Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas as well as a Blessed Christmas. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Education Reform Needed"

On  Tuesday, December 14, 2010 "The Telegraph" printed in Columbus, Georgia and distributed in Middle Georgia, U. S. A. contained an interesting article by Brandon Brock entitled "Education Reform Needed."

This Young Scholar who is a Junior at Mary Persons High School of Monroe County, Georgia certainly appears to have a real sense of what an education should be.  I will quote the last three paragraphs of his article here:

"There is a misunderstanding of terms in the academic community.  The State Board of Education would have you believe understanding mean doing well on a test.  But true understanding as it elates to acquisition of knowledge cannot be measured in such a way.  It is impossible to measure because understanding something is personal and lies within an individual.  But that is inconvenient for the state."

"It cannot be proven, so it doesn't exist.  The only way to educate someone is to prove they are educated.  And the proof, in their system, lies in the test scores."

"This system defies the very essence of humanity.  Students lack the ability to think critically, and it is due to this flawed system.  This is nothing less than academic socialism.?"

I would suggest that young Brandon Brock has it right.  We do need citizens who can process information.  We do need citizens who can take a problem and solve it by evaluating all of the information which is applicable and then develop a real solution.

I salute young Brandon Brock for his ability to tell it like it is.  As I read the column I could not but think of Aaron Neville's Song "Tell It Like It Is" of 1966.  Certainly a different situation; but none the less, an individual who certainly relates to a problem!   Well Done Brandon!!!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Brown and Williamson Employees
Monthly Breakfast

The Third Friday of Each Month has been set aside by former Brown and Williamson Employees to engage in Fellowship at the Cracker Barrel on Eisenhower Parkway in Macon, Georgia.

Last Friday, December 17, 2010 was no exception.  The hour for this fellowship opportunity has been set at 10:00 A.M. which allows everyone to sleep in if they so choose.

I attended this past Friday and everyone in attendance agreed that the Fellowship is great as well as the Food.  We also discussed the opportunity to support each other as we engage in the normal events in our respective lives.  Several families were experiencing health issues as well as several who had to cope with medical issues brought on by recent accidents.  We all realize that we are not alone in the challenges of life.  That is one of the great benefits of this Monthly Fellowship.  I appreciate each and all of my Former Fellow Workers.

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas - Each and Everyone of You!!!!!

Warm regards,

Water Boy, Power Packer, Bag Boy, Paper Boy and Water Boy

a.k.a.  Alan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Break Shopping

I have fond memories of my youth when my Parents celebrated Christmas every December.  I feel sorry for the students who now get a "Winter Break" for the last weeks of December. 

I have yet to receive a "Sales" flyer with my local newspaper announcing the "Winter Break Gift Sale." 

Maybe if enough of us are engaged in saying "Merry Christmas" to our Friends and Neighbors we can reverse this trend to be politically correct. 

As an alternative to the message I read on this sign at a local Elementary School here in Bibb County Georgia may I conclude this Blog entry with this message for you:

Merry Christmas To You and Your Loved Ones.  Enjoy The Christmas Season and Do Not Forget the Christmas Gifts!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wreaths Across America

Andersonville National Cemetery

Andersonville, Georgia

December 11, 2010

 Cadets from the Civil Air Patrol headquartered in Griffin,Georgia awaiting the ceremony.
 The Color Guard Waiting for the Ceremony

 Seven Wreaths to Honor Our Nation's Heroes
U. S. Army
U. S. Navy
U. S. Marines
U. S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
U. S. Merchant Marines
U. S. Prisoners of War

 A member of the American Revolution Society Presents a Proclamation
The Young Men and Women of the Civil Air Patrol headquartered in Griffin, Georgia certainly represented their Organization, them selves and their families in an excellent manner.  They are shown here as everyone awaited the ceremony.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bibb County Georgia
Board of Education
Pay Scheme for the Superintendent

Of course I am seeing "Red" when every I read in the print media or view the electronic media the news that our Bibb County Georgia Board of Education is contemplating the pay scheme for the Candidate to lead our Bibb County School System.

The first concept that crosses my mind is why do we need to expend such a large sum of money for a leader of our School System?

"For example, the Commanding Officer of a Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier in our U. S. Navy is a full Captain who must also be an Aviator."

"Base Pay for a Captain with over 30 Years Service is about $11,000.00 per month. That would compute to about $133,000.00 per year. Of course Allowances for Housing would depend on the Commanding Officers Family Status. I state this figure of 133 thousand to give everyone a standard for what our Military Heroes draw in pay."

As you can all appreciate the Commanding Officer of a Carrier have the lives of over 5000 Sailors, the value of 80 to 90 high tech aircraft and the safety of the Ship as his major responsibilities.  Compare that to a School Superintendent in any County in Georgia.
Of course we all know that our Nations Heroes serve, not for the pay, but for the opportunity to insure our way of life and to also protect and uphold our Standards and Values and to promote those standards and values throughout the World."

Admittedly running a County School System is quite different from Commanding any Ship in our U. S. Navy; but I do find it very interesting that School Boards in Georgia think that they can purchase good educations for their Scholars by paying great sums of money to the Superintendent.

We all know  that it is not what a Superintendent makes that sets the achievements a County School System attains. For instance Houston County appears to perform much better than Bibb with more Scholars than Bibb for less of a Salary for their Leader.
I know that working in Macon and Bibb County may be considered dangerous by some, but let me also quickly point out that Military Service is often considered dangerous. It just depends where our Commander in Chief sends the various units on deployment.
While I certainly can appreciate the fact that Georgia has no standard pay table for Superintendents; one could quickly get the impression that "high pay" will guarantee great performance of the Scholars. You and I know, and I am also confident that most taxpayers also realize that this concept is totally incorrect.
I know for a fact that the cost of living in Macon, Georgia is much less than in Rochester, MN. You do not need a snow shovel down here. I also conducted some research on the internet and learned that the cost of living calulator revealed this information:

If you have an income of $175,000.00 in Macon, Georgia it would cost you over $231,000.00 in Rochester, MN to have comparable housing and the same standard of living.

Therefore if our School Board sees fit to give the current candidate from Rochester $200,000.00 it would be like receiving $264,000.00 in Rochester, MN dollars.
So, lets look at this closely. If the current candidate in Rochester currently has an income of $171,000.00 he would in effect be receiving a $83,000.00 raise it he took a job here in Bibb County.
I realize that it may be too late to actually point this out to our Bibb County School Board but we all know that tax revenue in Georgia, just as in most of our United States, is not generating the funds necessary to maintain the standard of living we all enjoyed just a few years ago.
Most every Governmental organization, except for the Federal Government, is facing budget shortfalls. Yet we have a School Board that appears to think that by throwing enough money at a potential leader will solve our education problems in Bibb County, Georgia.
I will go back to the example I printed in "Navy" ink in the early portion of this Blog We need a Servant leader to bring Bibb's education out of the pit we now find ourselves in.
I would suggest that we also need "Common Sense" among our duly elected leaders.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The World This Week

I think you all may be interested to learn where the individuals live who read this Blog.  For the period May 2010 through November 2010 the report indicates the following:

United States 1,569
Netherlands 336
India 265
Russia 99
United Kingdom 53
Ukraine 48
Canada 47
Japan 33
Latvia 21
Luxembourg 19

Please be aware that I appreciate each and everyone who reads this Blog.  I Thank You and would encourage each of you to comment on what you would like to know more about which will assist me as I develop future Blog Post.  Again, Thank You!!!!
Veterans High School
Houston County Georgia

It was my good fortune on Monday, November 29, 2010 to visit the Veterans High School for a very special program.  The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps as well as the Social Studies Classes were given a presentation concerning U. S. A. History which focused on the word "Freedom."

The first speaker was Congressman Elect from the Eighth District of Georgia, Mr. Austin Scott who recalled his conversations with his Grandfather who was a Prisoner of War during World War II.

The second speaker was a Retired Air Force Captain, William (Bill) Robinson who was a Prisoner of War during the Vietnam War and was confined to the Hanoi Hilton.

His discussion was a very emotional talk with these young scholars who were totally focused on the conversation he delivered in the auditorum of the Veterans High School. There were no distractions during the conversation as everyone was captivated by the speaker.  In additional to the Scholars from Veterans High many Military Veterans had been invited to hear Captain William (Bill) Robinson's conversation.

His comments can be best summarized by quoting "The Knoxville Journal" article which was published after he delivered his conversation this past Summer.  I quote:

"Vietnam POW recounts 7.5 years in captivity

By Natalie Lester

Captain William “Bill” Robinson attributed his survival of the Vietnam prison camps to the WWII and Korea veterans.

“The example had been set [for us] by WWII and Korea veterans, proving you could survive in the prison environment,” Robinson said. “They had set the example that you could do what we were striving for — to return with honor.”

Robinson also accredited his and his fellow survivors’ endurance to the families they had left behind.

“Our hearts were with our families enduring the difficulties they were experiencing back home,” Robinson said. “The real heroes are the families.”

On July 13, Robinson shared his story at a Smokey Mountain Blue Star Mothers’ meeting at West Hills Presbyterian. Robinson enlisted in the Air Force after his high school graduation in 1971. After training, he spent time at bases in Oklahoma, Korea and North Dakota before being sent to Vietnam.

He left in April 1965 for what was supposed to be a “simple four-month tour.” However, four months would turn into almost eight years when his helicopter was shot down in a rescue mission in North Vietnam. “We didn’t have all the things necessary to do the things we needed to do, but we had a mission,” Robinson said. “Being shot at was familiar, but being shot down was not.”

When asked to describe the experience in a few words, Robinson described his eight Thanksgivings, Christmases and New Years in captivity in more minute terms.

“It was minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of boredom punctuated by terror,” Robinson said.

He and his American peers were not able to communicate except through a tap code.

“We took the alphabet and removed ‘K,’” Robinson said. “Then, we made a five-by-five cube of the letters. The first tap recognized the row the letter was in, and the second recognized the column.”

Robinson left no dry eyes in the room as he explained how he survived.

“I told myself I was only in Vietnam for three days,” Robinson said. “I was shot down yesterday; today was today; and I was going to the house tomorrow. I prepared myself everyday to come home. I knew I had to be physically and mentally strong.”

Robinson was directly commissioned to Lieutenant upon his return home on Feb. 12, 1973. Yet, he remained humble about his experience and honor.

“My story is just one of 7.3 million,” he said. “The only reason I can tell my story is because of those who are not here today.” 

JULY 15, 2010 "

As Captain Robinson concluded his conversation on November 29, 2010 at Veterans High School he stated that he is often asked how the listeners can best honor our Nation's Heroes such as he.  He stated that our Former POWs, our deceased Heroes and our Current Heroes as well as all Veterans can best be honored by all Citizens Voting in every election.  He encouraged the youthful Scholars to encourage their parents to Vote.  Then he added, when you are old enough to vote, do so.  There is no better way to Honor the Service of our Military Men and Women!!!!!

After the presentations all of us Veterans were given the opportunity to tour the Lunch Room and the main halls of this great educational facility.  Everyone was impressed.

I was most impressed with the attitude and the display of respect for our Heroes by each and every Scholar who participated in this event.

Well Done, Veterans High School Scholars.  Each of you is certainly a credit to yourself, your family, your community, your school because you display the care and compassion that so many have invested in your education. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music - Sports - Trauma

Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
Georgia's Proposed Trauma Care Network

I suspect that by now you my dear readers are wondering why I am posting a Blog Entry about Music - Sports - Trauma!!!   Well it is fairly simple. Please take the time to read this complete Post.

" The Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon is the state's official music museum." This lovely facility celebrated the official opening on September 21, 1996 after a long planning process that involved many state wide elected officials.  The Georgia Music Hall of Fame was located in Macon, Georgia for a variety of reasons.

" The Hall of Fame serves to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of sports in Georgia "  The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame opened on April 24, 1999.  In addition to being a Hall of Fame it is also the Museum of Sport featuring athletics with a special Georgia connection.

I hope that everyone is still reading this post.  Please make special note that both of these Halls are known as "The Georgia........... Hall of Fame."  When each of these fine facilities were conceived by our States Lawmakers and other interested parties the focus was and still is to represent the Music and Sport in the State of Georgia.

Now that funds from income taxes and other sources such as sales taxes have decreased our Lawmakers have determined that one way to save State money is to defund each of these fine Halls of Fame.  Pressure from our lawmakers to have local City and County funding has been growing for at least a year.  In fact the future location/s of these Halls is now up for bid.  The City/Area that can provide the most funds will be able to have these Halls in their location.  What a shame.

Locally a group of concerned citizens has founded a "Save The Halls" non-profit to lobby our local governments to fund these fine Halls.  It is reported that if one million dollars is raised that the Halls can be saved.  This will allow the retention of these Halls in Macon for the next three years until the Halls can develop a fund basis to continue to remain in Macon.  Sounds great. 

I would suggest that each of these facilities, which have been in Macon for over ten years have had ample time to develop a fund basis to insure that they could remain here.  However, that is an aside.  Both of these Halls are State of Georgia facilities and as such I remain confident that our State can continue their funding.  Sure, it will be difficult; but history has clearly demonstrated that a Society that does not honor the past will decline in the future.  Here we have a rich legacy, a coveted heritage that many States in the United States of America envy and we desire to defund because we do not have the ability to make some hard choices.

So what does the current history regarding our Halls of Fame in Georgia have to do with Trauma?  I would suggest that the Voters in the State of Georgia saw through the proposal to require a $10.00 fee for auto tags to fund a State Wide Trauma Care Network as a sham.  In a few years when the Trauma Care Network is in a dire financial situation our duly elected lawmakers will put the Trauma Care Network out for bids just as they are currently doing with the Halls of Fame.

We The People have been fooled twice and I suspect that we do not desire to be fooled three times.  While the concept of a State Wide Trauma Care Network is appreciated I as one citizen of the State of Georgia do not look forward to any potential defunding of a State Wide System as a positive situation.

Therefore, before we in the City of Macon and the County of Bibb take on major funding of State Facilities we have to ask ourselves this question:  "What future programs/schemes enacted by our Lawmakers will we be asked to fund in the future?"

I would suggest that we all consider our Lawmakers as our servants.  Recently a local Senator was queried about why our General Assembly was messing up education, or juvenile justice his reply was words in this manner:  "You are sending the wrong people to Atlanta to represent you."

Enough said.  I would have to agree.  Just maybe we are sending the wrong people to Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"We Can Do Better"

I would like to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to everyone who voted for me in the Post 8 Race to serve on the Bibb County Board of Education.

Warm regards,

Friday, October 29, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
On Tuesday, October 26, 2010 I was one of 94 Georgia Citizens who participated in the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education 18th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia where we learned of some "Best Practices" employed by educators to have their respective schools achieve great results.

The theme of the Bus Trip focused on "flexibility" which was embraced by all the schools we visited.  We visited Charter Schools and Traditional Schools and at every stop, all seven of them, we learned that in order for a School to achieve great results; everyone involved must be engaged in Education.

At the conclusion of the Bus Trip we were all given the opportunity to summarize the experiences of the previous three days.  My comment was:

Flexibility, Yes!!!; however also using the available resources to provide/achieve the best possible output/results with strong support from the entire community. 

In this regard, the entire community includes the business firms, the civic leaders, the parents and yes, the stakeholders or all the citizens of the area. 

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8
Bibb County Georgia School Board

Monday, October 25, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
I had the good fortune to attend the "Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline Forum" held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 23, 2010.

This day long event, which was one of several being conducted throughout the State of Georgia was the subject of an article by Andrea Castillo in "The Telegraph" on Friday, October 22, 2010.  Ms. Castillo's article was entitled "Forum to explore discipline in public School" which caught my eye.  As a candidate for the Bibb County Georgia School Board I determined that I must attend this event.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend and appreciate the information that was shared during this day long event.

There were four topics presented.  The first session focused on a data book entitled "2010 Kids Count" which allowed us all to learn of the situations concerning Georgia's Children.

The second session was specific data concerning Bibb County Georgia and everyone was shocked to learn of the number if discipline problems that are handled each year in the two suspension programs which are in school suspension and out of school suspension.

The third session focused on the current rewriting of the Georgia Juvenile Code and was led by the Project Director of JUST Georgia.

The fourth session was entitled "When My Child is Disciplined at School" and each attendee was presented a handbook which contained appropriate information for Parents and/or Other Involved Adults to use when their Child/Children is/are disciplined at School.

The Working Lunch focused on a discussion with State Senator Robert Brown who focused on the topic "Organizing Your Community."

As a Candidate for Post 8, County Wide for the Bibb County Georgia School Board I learned a lot and was provided an abundance of resources which will assist me when elected.

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8 (County Wide)
Bibb County Georgia Board of Education

Friday, October 22, 2010

"We Can Do Better"

Several months ago I learned about the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia.  As a Candidate for the Post 8 Seat (County Wide) Bibb County Georgia Board of Education I determined that it would be an excellent opportunity to learn about successful schools in Georgia and to view "Best Practices," which is a topic that most individuals seeking School Board Post often talk about.  I am taking this trip to see first hand the Schools in Georgia that are successful and to also discuss Education Matters with all of the Trip participants.  I think that I can learn a lot during this three day trip.  I know that I have talked the talk, now I have an opportunity to walk the walk; which I will continue to do when elected to the Bibb County School Board.

Seven schools will make up the 2010 Bus Trip Across Georgia:

•Da Vinci Academy at South Hall Middle School, Hall County Schools
•Norcross High School, Gwinnett County Schools
•Sawyer Road Elementary School, Marietta City Schools
•KIPP South Fulton Academy, Fulton County Schools

•The New Schools at Carver, Atlanta Public Schools

•Charles R. Drew Charter School, Atlanta Public Schools*

•Smokey Road Middle School, Coweta County Schools
*Charles R. Drew Charter School subject of Atlanta Journal-Constitution article

*Da Vinci Academy subject of Gainesville Times article
Theme: Georgia's Public Schools: Greater Flexibility, Greater Focus on Results
Why Go? Which was the question on the Application Website.  This is the answer:

The Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia is a wonderful experience. It both offers an opportunity to praise achieving schools for the great work they are doing and affords influencers from around the state a chance to see and share best practices.

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8 - County Wide
Bibb County Georgia Board of Education

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"We Can Do Better"

WMAZ - TV here in Macon recently gave all local Candidates the opportunity to compose a message of no more than 90 seconds that they would broadcast to the community during the 5:00 P.M. news.  My spot ran last Friday, October 15, 2010.  My message for the broadcast entitled in "Their Own Words" follows:

"I am Alan Thiese.  I have the work experience that will allow me to present the 'Common Sense Solutions" that represent the citizens of Bibb County."

"I will work to improve the Education of all of our Scholars.  I have the courage to do what is correct.  'We Can Do Better.'"

"Our future adult citizens deserve a 'World Class Education' so that they can perform as productive employees for the challenging employment opportunities of the futue.

"Vote for Alan Thiese to serve "We The People" for the Bibb Board of Education."

"Together we can accomplish the task that will be required."

"Thank You!!!"

Published by Alan Thiese
Post 8 - County Wide
Bibb County Georgia Board of Education
"We Can Do Better"

I recently developed a limited TV Commercial to highlight the Campaign to Elect Alan Thiese to the Bibb County School Board.

The message in this Commercial is:

"I am Alan Thiese!!"

"As you vote for the Bibb County School Board you need to ask:  Do We need another Educator on the Board?"

"Vote for Alan Thiese, a concerned citizen to serve on the Bibb County School Board."

"Thank You!!!"

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8
Bibb County Georgia Board of Education

Friday, October 01, 2010

"We Can Do Better!"

I recently saw this message on a Church Sign Board here in West Bibb County.  It certainly stresses the fact which I support, that Education begins in the Home.  It is essential that we expect that Parents and other Family Members know and also expect their Children to be ready to learn and to also obey the rules when they enter school.

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia Board of Education

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
# 9

As I conduct my campaign I am often asked "What Is Your Platform?"

Every School Day the parents of over 24 thousand Scholars in Bibb County entrust the education of their children to the Bibb School System.  As a member of the Board I will strive for:

  • A World Class education for these Scholars so that they will be ready to compete for the employment opportunities of the future.

  • Managment of the financial resources to obtain the most education for the limited funds available.

  • The establishment of policies that insure a safe and secure setting for the safety of all our Scholars.

  • Policies that insure open and honest communication from the District to the Citizens of Bibb County.

  • Enforcement of the discipline standards which are currently established.
By working together, You and I, we can insure a World Class Education for our Scholars.

"We Can Do Better!!!!"  Vote for Alan Thiese in the General Election.  Thank You!!

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia Board of Education

Monday, July 26, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
As I prepare for the November 2010 General Elections you will see this Sign around Bibb County. I have pledged to conduct a cost effective campaign which I will model as a member of the School Board. I know that I will be but one member of a team of eight, however I know that I can express me views and share my concerns in an effective manner. I am confident that everyone is concerned about the tax dollars that all governments are collecting. I am also confident that "We Can Do Better" as regards the management of the limited resources that all governments will collect in the future. I am aware that many have reduced hours, been terminated, or are living on limited financial resources because of the current economy.

I know that by working together that we can continue to provide an excellent education for the Scholars of Bibb County. Will it be easy? Of course not, but I also know that it can be done. I appreciate your support. Thank You!!!

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
In several blog entries I have discussed the fact that Parent Engagement in the nurturing of their children is vital. I have also discussed the fact that a Child learns more in their first three years of live than during any other period.

During the recent Fourth of July (Independence Day) I noted families with young children enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the Birthplace of Macon at Historic Fort Hawkins.
This fifteen star flag was flown at Fort Hawkins on the Fourth of July 2010. Attendees learned about the War of 1812 and how this Flag was of great importance during that time.

Parent engagement such as I witnessed is what I am encouraging now and will encourage as a member of the Bibb County School Board.

Together "We Can Do Better."

Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Saturday, July 03, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
Why am I seeking the Post 8 (County Wide Seat) on the Bibb County Board of Education? I have always thought it was much better to be the part of the solution rather than being a part of the problem. I Care and I am a Concerned Citizen and I know that I can work as a team player on the Board of Education to "Make our School System Better!!"
In addition to bringing diversity to the Board I would like to share my comments as to why I am the Right Person to Make a Difference:
My Vision and Goals for high academic achievement for all students:
I realize that a child learns more in the first three years of life than they will ever learn after that.
I believe that all of our Children deserve the best education we can provide.
I believe that the role of public education is to educate all Scholars so that they can be productive citizens in our society.
I believe that all Scholars have the potential to achieve a proper education to the level of their abilities. I am aware that our society will always have special needs scholars and they also must be afforded the opportunity to receive an education.
As a member of the school board it will be my goal to provide a well rounded education so that all can achieve their potential.
Do I have Confidence in our local Public Schools?
Yes. 92 percent of our citizens in training currently receive their education in Georgia's Public Schools. As a society we rely on the citizens who have received a public school education in our every day lives.
I have been an engaged parent in the Bibb School System as my Children attended Rosa Taylor Elementary, Clisby Magnet School, Miller Middle School and Central High School.
  • I was the Chairperson of fund raising at Miller Middle School.
  • I was the President of the Parents organization at Central High School. During that period I was involved with the Principal, Ms. Espy and another Concerned Citizen, Mr. Tom Hudson working on a Drug Abuse Prevention Program.

In recent years I have been engaged as a Concerned Citizen:

  • I have been a Rolling Reader (also known as Read Aloud in recent years) during the period 1999 through 2007. I read to Scholars at Weir, Bruce, Morgan and Vineville Academy.
  • At this time I am a Mentor to a High School Scholar.

I believe in leading by example. Both of my Children were involved in the Sugar Bear Band at Central High School. One Child was a member of the Clisby Quiz Team. One Child was involved with the Army ROTC at Central.

I was also educated in Public Schools and achieved a score of 98 percentile on the Iowa Standardized Test each of My High School Years.

I would submit that I have confidence in our Public School System and when elected I pledge that I will speak to School Parent Groups as often as afforded the opportunity to stress parental engagement as well as address the needs of Children in their first three years of life.

Do I understand the role of the School Board?

Yes! When elected I will be one of eight members of the Bibb School Board. I know that it is the duty of the Board to establish policy and monitor the System. I know that no one individual of the Board has any authority over the system. The Board has the power to manage the system while the day-to-day operation of the system is properly executed by the Professional Educators. In this regard I understand and pledge to adhere to the principles of Georgia Senate Bill 84 as recently passed:

"The General Assembly finds that local boards of education play a critical role in setting the policies that lead to the operation and success of local school systems. School board members hold special roles as trustees of public funds, including local, state and federal funds, while they focus on the singular objective of ensuring each student in the local school system receives a quality basic education. Board duties require specialized skills and training in the performance of vision setting, policy making, approving multimillion dollar budgets, and hiring a qualified superintendent. The motivation to serve as a member of a local board of education should be the improvement of schools and academic achievement of all students. Service on a local board of education is important citizen service. Given the specialized nature and unique role of membership on a local board of education, this elected office should be characterized and treated differently from other elected offices where the primary duty is independently to represent constituent views. Local board of education members should abide by a code of conduct and conflict of interest policy modeled for their unique roles and responsibilities. And although there are many measures of the success of a local board of education, one is clearly essential: maintaining accreditation and the opportunities it allows the school system's students."

As a Candidate I have already participated in a Seminar sponsored by the Georgia School Board Association to learn about Board member Duties. When elected I will participate in all required educational opportunities to learn about my duties.

Do I have knowledge and concerns about the broad range of challenges our School Board must address?

  • Since 1978 I have attended the Budget Hearings of the School Board on a regular basis.
  • As a Candidate I have attended all the Called Meetings and the Regular Meetings of the Bibb County School Board.

The Bibb County School System has a great physical plant. As we proceed in the future the Board must:

  • Provide the best education possible for all of our Scholars.
  • Improve the image of the Bibb System. Policies which enhance open and honest as well as timely communication must be developed. The system must be aware of the need to address the "bad" things that happen in a timely manner. I recall the recent Bloomfield Middle School Gun Discharge Incident and the Howard Middle School Restroom Tragedy.
  • The establishment of a consistent, yet fair discipline policy to insure that all of the Scholars are Safe.
  • Prudent and effective use of the limited resources. We are all aware of the challenges all levels of Government are currently experiencing. Thus the school board will need to continue to address the use of limited funding. As a member of our U.S. Military for 21 years I know that I have personal experience regarding the management of limited financial resources and living within my means. As a member of the School Board I know that we can all work as a team and think "Outside of the Box" as we engage in the yearly activity of establishing the following year's budget. Yes, a challenging task; but one that must be completed each year with the primary focus on providing an excellent education for all Scholars in the Bibb System.
  • I am also aware of State and Federal Mandates on the education process. Many of these mandates are issued without the necessary funding. A major problem, but I also feel that Citizens and School Boards can advocate for their respective school systems. I know that all levels of government that all elected officials must be and always indicate during their respective campaigns that education is a top priority, if not a number one priority.

I am not a single issue candidate and realize that many challenges face all of us.

The Bibb System as well as all other School Systems face major challenges at this time and also in the future.

Can I work effectively with the rest of the Board?

  • I submit that I as a career enlisted Sailor of 21 years in our Navy have the team working abilities to function with the Board. During my 17 years as a production worker at Brown and Williamson here in Macon I worked on a team which consistently exceeded production goals as well as safety goals.
  • I have witnessed the current board as they developed the FY 2011 Budget and am aware of how each current board member interacts.

Do I have a mix of skills and background to contribute as a board member while representing the diversity of the citizens of Bibb County?

  • I am been an engaged parent while my children attended the Bibb County Public Schools.
  • I have been a dedicated volunteer within the Bibb County Public Schools.
  • I served in the U. S. Navy as a Yeoman (administrative clerk and as an administrative supervisor at higher pay grades).
  • I worked as a production worker in a local factory.
  • I currently work part time as a standardized patient at the Mercer University School of Medicine.

I know that I can provide useful, while also being respectful to others on the board, insight as a citizen of Bibb County for over 35 years. I am a listener and can communicate well.

I also communicate with all levels of our local, state and nation on matters that impact on us all.

As a member of the Board I will always remember that it is my responsibility to be focused on the proper education of all Scholars.

In summary: I know that I can share the views of the citizens of Bibb County and also reflect and represent the concerns of these same citizens. I have an sincere and respectful appreciation of "Common Mankind and Common Womankind." I will use a "Common Sense" approach in my actions as a member of the Board while also remaining in compliance with the laws and ethics governing members of the School Board.

Do I have the commitment to do what is right for all children, even in the face of opposition?

  • My life of service to all the Citizens of the U. S. A. as a Sailor reflects that I know what "Service" is about.
  • The mantra in life is: "My Word is Good!"
  • I pledge to continue to act in the best interest of our Scholars as the Board seeks to provide the best education possible for all of our Scholars.
  • I am seeking this office because I believe that "We Can Do Better." This must be done, not only for our own security and well being; but for the future of our next generations. The Scholars of today and tomorrow also deserve a great life.
  • The Scholars of today will be providing the labor and services that our entire society will require in the future.

In Summary:

I desire that our current and future Scholars are afforded the education opportunities that have allowed me to have a productive and blessed life.

I also know that my current campaign will be the model for my actions as a member of the School Board. We need to obtain the maximum impact for the financial resources expended.

As the world currently struggles with the economy I will always know that jobs are essential, but that an excellent education will also be a priority for all citizens. I would suggest that we cannot have jobs without an excellent education. A World Class education for the Future. We can achieve this with a World Class Work Force. As a member of the Board I will always strive for educational excellence and the establishment of policy to make educational excellence possible.

Please Vote for "Alan Thiese" on November 2, 2010.

Thank You!!

Published by Alan Thiese

Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
The following information is quoted from the Georgia School Boards Association Brochure entitled "All in Favor."
"Cast your vote for student success.
Your local school board makes the decisions that determine how your community's children are educated and how your tax dollars are spent. Voting for school board members is a simple but powerful way to support student success and strengthen your community.
You have Everything to Gain or Lose!
Everyone - not just parents - has a stake in the success of public schools. When schools are strong and students are successful, everyone in the community benefits.
  • Good Schools are good business. They attract employers, strengthen the local economy, and enhance property values.
  • Good schools ensure our students will be prepared to keep our nation competitive in a global economy.
  • Good schools keep the American Dream alive with an opportunity for every child to receive a world-class education.
  • Good schools keep the quality of life in a community high by producing citizens who pay taxes and obey the law.
  • Good schools teach students from all backgrounds how to live and participate in our democracy.

Voting in a school board election is an investment in the future of all children, of your community, and of the nation.

Every child enrolled in your school district is a reason for you to vote in school board elections. Local school boards can impact the overall quality of your local schools, both now and in the future. You want the most qualified people in charge.

The Power to Pursue Excellence

The decisions made by the school board affect virtually every important aspect of local schools from boundaries to bus schedules, curriculum to clubs, and funding to field trips.

The Georgia Constitution requires that an elected school board oversee each school system. Members of a local school board are to "manage and control" and to make decisions on almost every aspect of public school operations. Each school board - as a whole - serves as the governing body. Individual board members have no authority outside of the board room.

Many of the day-to-day responsibilities for which school boards are responsible generally are delegated to the superintendent. However, responsibilities of a public school board also include, but are not limited to some duties that cannot be delegated, such as:

  • Buying and selling school property (including the power of condemnation),
  • Calling elections to authorize a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and bond elections to authorize the issuance of bonded debt,
  • Making the policies and rules necessary to govern the school system,
  • Reorganize and consolidation of schools within their control, and
  • Authority to hire employees on the recommendation of the superintendent.

More About Duties of School Board Members

For more information about what Georgia law says about local school boards, their roles, and their responsibilities, please refer to the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) website: The Center for Public Education also provides important information about school boards and school board candidates.

The Right Person Makes a Difference

What qualities, skills, and experience should you look for in a school board candidate? Here are some questions to consider:

  • What are the candidate's vision and goals for high academic achievement for all students?
  • Does the candidate inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local public schools?
  • Does the candidate understand that the school board's role is about the big picture - setting the direction for the district and providing oversight and accountability - rather than day-to-day management?
  • Does the candidate focus on one issue or discuss a broad range of school district concerns?
  • Does the candidate's approach make it likely that he or she will be able to work effectively with the rest of the board to get things done?
  • Will the candidate enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community?
  • Does the candidate have the commitment to do what is right for all children, even in the face of opposition?

Qualifications for School Board Membership

In Georgia, there are actually very few qualifications for school board membership. Board members should be willing to serve and must reside within the school system's political boundaries.

In many instances, local laws prescribe additional qualifications such as residing within a particular war or election district. Check with the local board of elections for details. Beyond that there are few requirements for school board membership.

Georgia law actually provides more criteria for ineligibility for the office of local school board members than it does for eligibility. A person is ineligible to hold the office of school board member if the individual is:

  • Not a resident of Georgia.
  • Under the age of 21.
  • Not a resident in the county in which the individual is seeking office for 12 months prior to the election or appointment.
  • Employed by or serving on the governing body of a private educational institution.
  • Employed by the Georgia Department of Education.
  • Employed by the board of education the individual is serving on.
  • The holder of another county office.
  • A holder or receiver of public money that has refused to, or failed to, account for it or pay it over when asked.
  • A convicted felon who has not been pardoned and is not the subject of a restoration of rights.
  • Of unsound mind or unable to discharge the duties of the office because of advanced age or bodily infirmity.
  • A publisher of schoolbooks, an agent of schoolbook publishers, or someone with financial interest in the sale of schoolbooks."

I know that this is a rather long post, however I publish it in the interest of informing all voters that our Georgia State School Boards Association has developed valid and appropriate information that we all should be aware of. Public Education is the backbone of our Economic Future here in Bibb County, Middle Georgia, the State of Georgia and the Nation. Within the State of Georgia 92 percent of our scholars are the product of public education. Thank You!!!

Published by Alan Thiese

Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
I attended the Called School Board Meeting on June 3, 2010. During that meeting I addressed the Board with these comments:
"As you press on with the task of:
  • Coordinating with the Search Firm to find a new Superintendent, and
  • As you conclude the FY 2011 Budget process

I remind you that the new principals for the 4 Grant High Schools need an effective monitoring system by the management staff to insure that they are 'thinking outside of the box' in an effective manner and also leading appropriate efforts as the Bibb School System is involved in 'The Race To The Top' program. I would hope this can also be done without an increase in the management staff. Thank You!!"

The State of Georgia is awaiting the announcement of which states will receive the "The Race To The Top" funds. The planned announcement date for Phase 2 applications (of which Georgia is one) is scheduled for September 2010.

During the 3 June 2010 meeting it was announced that the board anticipates information from the Transportation Department regarding possible budget cuts so that the board could adopt the FY 2011 Budget during the Scheduled Board Meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2010. I understand that the Board has conducted work sessions to wrap up the proposed budget.

I understand the the Search Firm for the next Superintendent has now established a "Web Site" so that citizens can submit their input regarding the Search. I also understand that this information will be published within the next day or two.

On Monday, June 14, 2010 I attended the Education Policy Forum sponsored by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) at Central Georgia Technical College. This event had a very informative agenda and I am glad I attended.

The highlight of the Meeting was a presentation entitled "What I Wish I'd Known Before I Ran For the Board." Mr. Albert Abrams (currently holding Post 8) made an excellent presentation. All three of the Bibb County Candidates for Post 8 attended this afternoon event.

During this Forum I also learned that some of our elected leaders to the General Assembly feel that Public Education is a lost cause. During this Forum I learned that 92% of our Scholars in Georgia attend Public Education Schools in grades K through 12. It was pointed out that as Citizens we all should support Public Education simply because the citizens of the future will be those who we will rely on to provide our health services, retail services, and the list goes on. I understand this information, which points out quite dramatically that we all depend on the outcome of Scholars who are in the Public Education System should be a valid reason for broad base support of Public Education in Georgia. Think for a moment, 92 out of 100 citizens of the future certainly means that as we all mature and interact with service providers in 2015 (or any other year) we will place our fate on citizens that were educated in the public system. To state this concept briefly, "We all have a stake in the results of Public Education" no matter where our own Children are educated. Thus we all have a responsibility to support Public Education as we "Race To The Top." I look forward to your vote in November 2010. Thank You!!

Published by Alan Thiese

Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
As I continue my campaign to be elected to Serve I desire to share with you the following. I firmly believe that it is proper to prepare one's self for public office. In this regard I have read the following book: "The World Is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times Columnist. This book was first published in 2005 but it has been updated in 2007.
I am currently reading "The Other Wes Moore" which has a subtitle of: "One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore which was published in 2010.
I share these two titles with you because they both place major emphasis on education. I also believe that it is important for the electors to know that there is an abundance of information available for their own education.
Now an Update on my activities:
2 June 2010: I attended the Called Meeting of the Bibb County School Board. The sole purpose of this meeting was to launch the work of the Search Firm as regards the hiring of a new Superintendent for the School System. This meeting garnered a lot of press in "The Telegraph" of Thursday 3 June 2010 so I will not go into great detail here.
However, I would like to report that the Search Firm will employ three methods of collecting information as regards the qualifications for the next Superintendent. They Will be:
1. On Line Responses from the Public
2. Individual Interviews
3. Focus Groups/Small Group Meetings of the Public
These three activities will happen rather fast in as much as the goal is to acquire appropriate stakeholder response so that a "Profile" can be developed as the Search Firm advertises for the position.
Each of these three methods of collecting information will be employed and will be promoted in the local print and electronic media. It is my recommendation to the Citizens of Bibb County that they participate. At this time, Option 1 appears to be the most appropriate because it will allow everyone to share their thoughts and concerns in a private manner. I was informed that the process will be set up so that no one individual can "Spam" the On Line Response Web Site with multiple responses.
Now for my own Concern in this the "We Can Do Better" Post #3. I would suggest that the parents of Scholars become engaged in the Education of their Children. Please remember that the word engaged is quite different from the word involvement. I use the word engaged to mean that parents are performing as parents of Scholars in their own homes. Involvement is usually considered as the task parents and grandparents perform at the local school/s.
In this regard I would also suggest that our Bibb County School System require that the Leaders of our Middle Schools and our High Schools require that all Parents and Guardians sign a pledge such as the Staff of the Four Grant High Schools had to recently sign in order to continue their employment. We all know that the $24,000,000.00 will be much more effective as a tool to improve our Scholars Education with parent/guardian engagement.
Our Future Adult Citizens deserve the best. Now we must all step up to the Plate and also Do Our Own Best as we prepare our "Future Adult Citizens." Thank You!!!!
Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Friday, May 28, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
As of this date I have attended the following Bibb County School Board Meetings:
May 20, 2010: I attended the Regular Meeting which was held at Westside High School. This was the meeting where Scholars in the Bibb System were recognized for their achievements during the past school year.
  • One 13 year perfect attendance award.
  • Honor Band/Chorus/Reading. 87 Scholars.
  • National Drill Team Champions. Rutland High School. 18 Scholars.
  • Academic Team. Miller Middle School. They will be competing in the National Championship Contest. May 28-31. 11 Scholars.
  • Middle Georgia Invitational Academic Bowl. Central High School. 1st Place. 5 Scholars.
  • Young Georgia Authors. 12 Scholars.
  • High School Literary Competition. 27 Scholars.
  • National History Day. 28 Scholars.
  • High Schools That Work - Award of Educational Achievement. 29 Scholars.
  • Career and Technical Instruction State Board. 1 Scholar from Hutchings Career Center.
  • DECA Award. Howard High School and Northeast High School.
  • FBLA Award. Hutchings Career Center.
  • FBLA State Competition. 6 Scholars.
  • FCCLA. 3 Scholars.
  • Georgia Career Student Association. 4 Scholars.
  • SKILLS USA. 2 Scholars
  • National Financial Capability Challenge. 6 Scholars.

I was impresssed with the number of Scholars who have represented the system in State and even National Competitions this past year. Unfortunately, we the citizens of Bibb County are not aware of our School System's achievements.

Twenty-Nine Employees of the Bibb System were recognized for their achievements on the occasion of their retirement.

Three citizens of Bibb County addressed the Board and presented a petition signed by over 2000 people requesting that the Bible be taught in our Schools.

May 20, 2010: I attended a Called Board Meeting which enacted the 2010-2011 School Calendar and revised the Work Days.

The Board also approved the closure of the Joseph N. Neel Academy.

The Board approved the Ombudsman Program.

The Board tabled consideration of a reduction in Transportation Services agenda item.

The Board announced the new principals for the four Grant High Schools.

May 26, 2010: I attended this Called meeting which announced the selection of a Firm that will conduct a Nationwide Search for a new superintendent.

Published by Alan Thiese

Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board