December 2022 Spotlights

December 2022 Spotlights
Posted on 12/19/2022
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  Student Spotlight: Dawson Teatino
One of the goals of Foothills is to prepare students to take the next steps in their life after high school. In doing so, Foothills staff members design and hold many different activities to help students learn about opportunities to attend either college or technical school. Devoted counselors encourage students to visit local schools during their senior year. Every site hosts Senior Nights and FAFSA information sessions as well as hosting information sessions for various colleges/technical schools. Additionally, graduation coaches and career specialists attend Open House/Information Sessions at colleges in their areas, such as Athens Technical College and the University of North Georgia. 

The Alumni Transition team - a group of staff members dedicated to helping Foothills students transition to life after school - meets students at Athens Tech’s Tech on Tuesday each month. There, they work with students learning about potential degrees and major programs as well as the application process and opportunities for financial aid. Dawson Teatino is a Barrow County Foothills student who participated in a Tech on Tuesday event at Athens Tech and is now enrolled in their Associate’s Degree Radiography program. 

Dawson attended the Barrow County Foothills site before graduating in May 2022. After graduation, Dawson realized he wanted to expand the information he gained from a Tech on Tuesday meeting and started attending radiology classes at Athens Tech. In addition to taking classes, Dawson also works in a pharmacy to expound on his interest in the medical field.

For Dawson, Athens Tech is a good fit since he has always wanted to work in the medical field. He likes helping people and wanted a profession that was good for the community. Athens Tech is getting him closer to his career goal and Dawson says he "definitely recommends Athens Tech” for Foothills students to consider. 

“Foothills really helped me decide what I wanted to study," Dawson said. "I knew I wanted something in the medical field but the people at the Barrow Foothills talked to me one-on-one and were really helpful in making my decision which direction to take.” 

Dawson highlights the work of Dr. Bailey and Mr. Mangino, saying that they were great at helping him decide on a final plan. He also thanks Ms. Kelly for meeting him at Athens Tech, saying that “she was awesome.”


Staff Spotlight: Dallas Cowne
  Some teachers believe that teaching is a calling and it is those teachers that we have the privilege of working with at Foothills. Dallas Cowne is one of those teachers. Cowne grew up in a family of exceptional educators: his mother was an English Teacher who was the STAR Teacher seven times, as well as GCTE Teacher of the Year for the state, and eventually a principal and assistant superintendent.  His father was a principal, superintendent and the President of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and the President of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. By watching them change the lives of countless teenagers as a kid, he knew that one day he would love to take on the same challenge.
Today, Cowne works at the Madison County Foothills as a Writing Coach and is a member of the District Curriculum Team where he works in collaboration with other teachers across the district to make sure students are receiving the best content and curriculum possible. 
Cowne has worked at the Madison Site from day one. When the previous site director recruited him, he knew it was a worthwhile opportunity. He commented, “I love that no one cares about a student’s past, yet everyone cares about a student’s future. In a regular school a reputation can follow a kid, but here at Foothills, everyone starts with a clean slate, and all the teachers have faith in each student’s ability and his/her potential.  It takes lots of people doing lots of different things to overcome some of the challenges facing many of our students, but it comes together beautifully, and every graduation is a reminder of the importance of the job we do here - success as a result of selfless service.”
That success is evident in the English department at the Madison Site. Currently they have had a 100% pass rate for English EOCs for the year, but Cowne is quick to point out that that success is due to teamwork. He says, “this is a coordinated effort with all the guys in the ELA room - Trent Wilkes, Lacey Gordon, Brian Jones, Len Black, and Teresa Epps. Mr. Wilkes is a fantastic department chair and leader, and he ensures that everyone works on EOC prep and writing instruction together. But the thing that makes us most successful is the level of personal interest invested in each kid. As often as we can, we write notes to the students on the day they take the EOC to remind them that we believe in them, and they are much more than a test score.”
It makes all the difference in the world when students know they can walk into a classroom and the teachers truly care about them. We are certainly thankful to have Dallas Cowne and his team leading by example here at Foothills.