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Georgia school chief honors A.R. Johnson school

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 12:08 PM
Last updated 8:00 PM
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After becoming one of the highest achieving schools in Georgia, A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School was congratulated Thursday by the state’s top education chief.

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State School Superintendent John Barge speaks to students at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School for being recognized as one of the 28 schools in the state to be named a School of Excellence.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
State School Superintendent John Barge speaks to students at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School for being recognized as one of the 28 schools in the state to be named a School of Excellence.

State Superintendent John Barge addressed students, staffers and Richmond County Board of Education members in an assembly honoring A.R. Johnson’s being named one of 28 Georgia Schools of Excellence for 2012.

The honor was announced this month and awarded to schools that showed the highest performance or progress within each congressional district on the state’s new accountability system. Johnson was recognized for highest performance for scoring 101.2 percent on the College and Career Ready Performance Index, which grades schools and districts on a variety of indicators ranging from test scores to Advanced Placement offerings.

“I do believe in what I do,” Barge told almost 600 students and faculty members gathered in the gymnasium. “I believe in education, and I believe in you.”

The school was also awarded a $1,000 check from Georgia Natural Gas and a day of pampering from UnitedHealthCare, which will provide massages for all teachers and staff.

Barge called education “the great equalizer” and urged students to continue the work they have accomplished so far in a time when the state is emphasizing post-high school readiness. He said that no one in his family attended college and that there was no money to send him to a fancy university.

Still, he realized early that education could change his life. School was always there, even when his father was on drunken binges or when there was no food in the house.

“I made a decision like many of you that when I was an adult I wanted it better, and the only way to do that was through education,” he said.

Johnson 10th-grader Cameron Carlton said Barge’s remarks made him want to work harder and continue the success his school has made. Coming from a traditional public middle school in the district, Carlton said, he finds the atmosphere of a magnet school more demanding but more rewarding all the same.

“We’re one of the best schools in the state now and we have to keep it up,” he said.

Barge left after his remarks to fly to about four other schools Thursday to recognize their accomplishments as Georgia Schools of Excellence. Richmond County Superintendent Frank Roberson said it was an honor to have the education leader visit to congratulate the students and remind them of the importance of education.

Roberson said he sees A.R. Johnson as a key player in feeding the growing technical and medical industry in Augusta. The magnet schools have always been a source of pride for the district, but they are now serving a larger purpose.

“With (Augusta’s) medical and engineering focus, it’s in the best place any high school could be,” he said. “It’s going to continue to grow and feed those professions.”

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/29/13 - 01:41 pm
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Richmond County Schools Abysmal

Before the BOE and administrators of Richmond County get giddy with the kudos for A.R. Johnson realize the Richmond County School System as a whole is rated number 150 out of 160 rated school systems in the state. Hancock County is number 160. www.schooldigger.com

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/29/13 - 02:38 pm
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Song

John Barge said:

“I do believe in what I do, I believe in education, and I believe in you.”

Wasn't that the title of a Don Williams song?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/29/13 - 02:47 pm
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Campaigning

He would not be flying to schools all over the state if he were not running for governor.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/29/13 - 03:15 pm
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LL....Don Williams song. Heh.

LL....Don Williams song. Heh. Thanks for the link.

countyman
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countyman 08/29/13 - 03:54 pm
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Congratulations to AR Johnson

Congratulations to AR Johnson for being the second best middle and high school in the CARS only behind Davidson.

The Schooldigger website doesn't even include every school district in Georgia. Plus you're comparing Richmond County versus many suburban counties.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/29/13 - 04:52 pm
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Schooldigger doesn't include

Schooldigger doesn't include very small districts is all. 160 of the larger districts are covered. Richmond County is number 150. Isn't it best that we face the facts when trying to improve?

lifelongresident
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lifelongresident 08/30/13 - 08:41 am
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hey ms. cain since he was in
Unpublished

hey ms. cain since he was in the neighborhood, did supt barge stop off at laney to give "your kids" and award as well??? since you claim they perform just as well as students attending johnson.....oh i guess not if they did then the ENTIRE SCHOOL SYSTEM would not be ranked 150 out of 160 school systems in the state...but i guess in your world "at leece we aint not at da bottom" is your take on the richmond county school system...you are fine with it "jess as lonk as you be getting yo check and gets re-lected each term"....

dreTT
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dreTT 08/30/13 - 09:09 am
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As a graduate of ARJ, this is

As a graduate of ARJ, this is a very proud moment for me. I am happy for all of the key players who work hard every day to make it such a wonderful place to grow, and learn.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/30/13 - 09:30 am
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Deflection Again

Countyman posted:

The Schooldigger website doesn't even include every school district in Georgia.

The school systems omitted from the rankings are those that are so small that they don't have the required data to enter into Schooldigger's formulae.

Come on, Countyman, you can do better than that. The rankings provide valuable information. Your red herring statement does not invalidate Schooldigger's rankings.

Look at it this way — they ranked practically every public school system in Georgia. The rankings included all the large and medium-sized systems, and practically all the small systems. The rankings of what they included are valid. Don't sweat the small stuff, i.e., the handful of tiny systems they excluded for technically-sound reasons.

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