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Community Forum: Centennial Arts Academy turning out brilliant work, students
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Over the last several months, I've had the opportunity to be on campus at Centennial Arts Academy many times and to see first-hand the incredible teaching that goes on there each day.

It has also been refreshing to walk down the hallways and see the students transferring from point A to point B, following their "hallway procedures," quietly and respectfully, as a regular part of their school day. Having observed many elementary schools in other states, this is a refreshing change from the usual chaos of transition times.

As anyone in public school education can attest, many of the negative incidents can happen in the hallways. It has become now just something I expect at Centennial, and I am seldom surprised any more by the quality inside these doors.

However, a few days ago, I had another wonderful "catch-me-off-guard" moment. I have been involved in education, particularly in the arts, most of my career. I especially have enjoyed having students involved in projects that pull music and drama together.

Even if the end product turns out not to be very professional, the students still learn from the experience and it enriches them.

I was on campus last week when Centennial students from various classes throughout the school gathered in the school gymnasium for a program on electricity, presented by two of the fifth-grade classes. I expected, quite frankly, a yawner, but knew it would be good for the kids to do this.

It turned out to be a full production! About 45 minutes of sheer entertainment, with all the history and other facts presented as a musical that any organization would be proud of. Students in costume, music and dance numbers all memorized and performed with enthusiasm. Kids having fun!

The audience, which was a spread of first- through fifth-graders, as well as a number of parents and other adult supporters, were captivated. I walked around and looked at the faces of audience members and could tell that they were enjoying it thoroughly.

Well, I just have to say that it was one of the best presentations I've seen at any school anywhere! And it was accomplished without endless hours of after-school rehearsals. I am still amazed and say to Linda May, the fifth grade teacher who directed the program, along with Ms. Wood, whose class also participated. You definitely rock!

Joyce Preston
Gainesville

Here's hoping the anglers return to cove
I was glad to see the article about Starboard Cove. My husband and I have visited the park often over the past few years. It's sad to have seen the water go away. Now we can hopefully watch it return.

Lots of people used it for a fishing spot, especially over what we called the pipes. I do look forward to seeing to seeing the fishermen return.

Louise (Morris) McDowell
Flowery Branch

Republicans should put effort into their beliefs
Whatever happened to the hearts of the members of the GOP?

Teddy Roosevelt was a lifelong Republican and he said the role of government is to ensure that men can take care of their families, not that big business can make more profit.

My own wonder is if every person who is against abortion rights would only adopt an American child, or be a foster parent or even volunteer at an orphanage. Wouldn't that give their cause some meaning?

Nedra Brown Palmer
Flowery Branch

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