Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 12 , 2012
Former M.L. King Coach Mike Carsonto open sports prep academy
by Carla Parker
, the former Martin Luther King High Schoolfootball coach wholost his job amid al-legations of sextinga parent, plans toopen a prep schoolthat will help ath-letes get scholar-ships.The school,Georgia PrepSports Academy,will be a one-year post-high schoolgraduate programdesigned to helpathletes who didn’tmeet the require-ments for collegeget athletic scholar-ships. He plans toopen the school inJanuary 2013.Carson said thisis an opportunity for children to in-crease their grades and test scores.“Some kids are not meeting theminimum standards of a 2.0 GPA,or scoring at least an 820 on theSAT or 17 on the ACT,” he said.“And some NCAA schools havehigher standards than that.”Carson said, the school will alsohave sports starting out with twofootball teams then phasing into basketball and maybe baseball,which will give the athletes moreexposure to college coaches. He plans to coach the teams that will play Georgia-area junior varsity or freshmen college teams.Carson’s partner in the school isformer ColumbiaHigh School foot- ball coach
.Carson said hecame up with theidea of the school because he wanted
to nd a way to
continue to have animpact in students’lives. In his twoseasons at MLK,the Lions were20-5 and 42 play-ers earned athleticscholarships to col-lege. Carson had 16of his players signscholarships in twoseasons at AvondaleHigh School, whichhad not had a win-ning season in more than 20 years before he arrived in 2008.Carson said he is trying to putthe past behind him and moveforward. In August, the sexting al-legations surfaced after a parent of two football players at the schoolconfronted Carson during a footballgame Aug. 18.
The parent, identied as
, allegedly showed other people at the football game the photographs, which were allegedlysent by the coach via text messages, because she was upset about theamount of playing time her son was
getting on the eld, according to
a DeKalb County Schools Systemspokesman.Carson was suspended and thenresigned.“I know that there were a lot of people that were hurt from this situ-ation and all I can do is really just
apologize to them for my actions
and really just hope and pray that
they nd it in their hearts to forgive
me for that,” Carson said.Carson said this school will bethe only school of this type in theSoutheast once it opens. Junior col-leges sometimes help athletes meetthe academic requirements, butfew in the Southeast have footballteams.“There are a few schools likethis up North and there are only two junior colleges in the Southeast thathave sports,” he said. “So we’rehoping to feel that void.”Carson said he is attracting play-ers who have GPA’s no lower than1.8. Tuition will be $12,595, whichis lower than other programs thatcost a minimum of $30,000.
Carson is currently trying to nd
a location for the school, but saidhe is looking at Point University in
East Point and Morris Brown Col-
lege in Atlanta.“We’re hoping to partner withthem and use their classroomspace,” he said.
by Daniel Beauregard
firstname.lastname@example.orgTo celebrate Georgia’s pre-K pro-gram and its 20th anniversary, Rep.
Mary Margaret Oliver
read to a groupof 4-year-oldsduring her visit toCollege HeightsEarly ChildhoodLearning Center inDecatur as part of the 2012 GeorgiaPre-K Week.Oliver touredCollege Heightswith Principal
, City Schoolsof Decatur Assistant Superintendent
Thomas Van Soelen
and other staff members. Georgia Pre-K Week is spon-sored by Voices for Georgia’s Children,an advocacy group. Oliver was one of
nearly 140 state ofcials who visited
some of the approximately 3,800 pre-K classrooms throughout Georgia.Additionally, Oliver got an up closelook at the many ways College Heights,which serves ages six weeks to 4-years-old, is supporting early learning.“We know that early childhood edu-cation is critical to future success, and preparing for elementary school is animportant part of life for a child from
birth through age ve,” Oliver said.
As Oliver toured the school, she andVan Soelen talked about how manystudents in the school receive free or reduced lunches. Currently, Van Soelensaid approximately 25 percent of Col-lege Heights’ 340 students receive freeor reduced lunches. However, approxi-mately a decade ago that number wascloser to 70 percent.“Your challenge these next coupleof decades will be growth,” Oliver told Van Soelen, who agreed and said
“that’s nothing new.” CSD ofcials ex-
pect the growth of enrollment to nearly
double over the next ve years, and of-cials are looking for ways to deal with
, executive director of Voice’s for Georgia’s Children, said theGeorgia pre-K program serves 84,0004-year-olds throughout Georgia.“Studies show that early educa-tion programs for children age birth to
ve—in all income groups—will have
long-term impact on a child’s educa-tion. We are proud that Georgia’s Pre-K is making a difference in the lives of somany of our youngest learners, prepar-ing them for future success in schooland in life,” Willis said.At the end of the tour, Oliver satdown to read from
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
to agroup of excited 4-year-olds.
Local representativetours Decatur schoolfor Pre-K week
add approximately 300 acres to thecity.
, Decatur’s as-
sistant city manager, said ofcials
are “still working on our revenueand expenditure estimates” but the“rough, back-of-the-napkin esti-mate” is $1 million in revenue for
Floyd said the city’s school sys-tem would take in an estimated $2million.He said the annexations are be-ing considered because the city hashad “a lot of [annexation] requestsfrom a lot of people around Deca-tur.”“I feel responsible to at leasttake a look at it,” Floyd said. “Itmakes sense to look at the areasand see who can better serve theseareas.
“With all the municipalizations,
there’s been a lot of concern…about what’s going to happen,”Floyd said.
Floyd said city ofcials “de-
cided to do a comprehensive look at whether we want to annex.”“If you’re interested, let usknow. If you’re not let us knowthat too,” Floyd said. “If we don’tsee substantial support from the people,” the city won’t annex.
Floyd said city ofcials will also
have to consider a pending impactstatement from the City of Decatur School System.“Anytime we annex, it impactsschools. We have to be careful as towhat we want to do. No other cityin DeKalb has to worry about that.”The possible annexations would probably be the last annexationsDecatur does, Floyd said.“We’re not looking to get much bigger,” Floyd said. “We don’twant to be a massive city. We’vegot a culture we’re trying to holdonto.“I can’t imagine anybody an-nexing any more than that. It wouldchange the school system dramati-cally. It would change the city dra-matically,” Floyd said.
Floyd said the benet of annexa-
tion to residents in the areas is “ac-cess to what we consider a higher level of service” for police andschools.
“We’re trying to gure out if there are any benets to the city,”
Floyd said. “There may not be any
benets to the city. That’s what this
whole process is all about.”
The Decatur City Commissionwill hold a public meeting on an-nexation from 6-8 p.m., Oct. 22, inthe commission meeting room at theDecatur City Hall, 509 North Mc-Donough Street.
On Dec. 17, city ofcials plan
to make a recommendation to thecity commission on whether or notto adopt an annexation resolution,Arnold said. If an annexation reso-lution is passed, it would go to theGeorgia General Assembly, which
would vote to authorize any neces-
sary referendum on the matter.
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