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A chance to get it right
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We'd like to congratulate Mallory McGee, a sixth grader at Richmond Hill Middle School. McGee was the District 12 winner of the Georgia Municipal Association's essay contest and will be honored today in Atlanta. Her essay will run in Saturday's paper, by the way, and from the looks of it, someone could get a pretty good mayor in the future should McGee ever decide to run for office.

We also congratulate all those who took part in the essay contest in both Pembroke and Richmond Hill.

And while we're passing out kudos for jobs well done, it seems that all three of Richmond Hill High School's Odyssey of the Mind teams have earned the right to represent Georgia in the World Finals of that competition on May 23-26.

Team "Tag Em," consisting of Alex Squires, Ginny Freeman, Dicy Saylor, Lesley Chesnut, Shannon Wichers, Adam Uhlig and Matt Baker, took first in their division at the state tournament on April 21 and earned a special award for dedication for missing their prom in order to stay for the entire tournament. Parent coach Debbie Squires was placed into the Georgia Odyssey of the Mind Coaches Hall of Fame for her dedication.

Team "I'm Only Thinking of You," which includes Alex Reid, Chiara Norce, Kendra Schneider, Lauren Trvitayakhun and Megan Nance also took first place, though team member Laura Black couldn't be there because her father was being deployed. Parent coaches are Susan Norce and Vinette Trivitayakhun.

Team "The Large and Small of It," consisting of Evan Thompson, Kevin Lewis, Brian Farr, Matt Cordle, Taurean Butler, Tanzie Nelson and Victoria Townley finished second, losing by only 28 points to defending world champ Harrison High but beating them in the most important scoring category. Brad Thompson is parent coach for this team.

Congratulations to these kids, parent coaches and to RHHS Odyssey of the Mind coordinator Steven Wilkie.

Now, here's the rub.

The World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind are at Michigan State University. That's a lot farther away than Washington, D.C., which is where the RHHS band was invited to perform in the National Anthem Project.

We all know what happened next. Citing the potential for costly litigation were something to go wrong in a state which doesn't recognize Georgia's sovereign immunity, school officials nixed the trip.

Though we understand to a certain extent the school board's argument that the possibility of an expensive lawsuit would take dollars from its primary mission of educating youngsters, it seems there might be an insurance policy out there somewhere which would cover such potential issues.

Indeed, bands and other groups from throughout Georgia have made trips out of state – and out of the country – in recent years. How have they managed to overcome concerns about sovereign immunity?

Just as band members earned through their musical excellence a chance to perform in our nation's capitol, these Odyssey of the Mind competitors have earned an opportunity to showcase their talents and possibly win a world title while they're at it.

It will be interesting to see what school officials decide this time. And we hope they don't feel bound by recent precedent, since two wrongs have never made a right.

Bryan County News

April 25, 2007


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