Chattanooga PTA prez busted for theft

Doris Mizzell

This story out of Chattanooga is remarkable for the small amount of money involved and the alleged culprit’s unwillingness/inability to pay back the missing funds–although in one news account, she said that “Everything has been fixed.”

Maybe not so much.

Red Bank Elementary School PTA President Doris Mizzell–nicknamed DeeJay—has been arrested and charged with stealing $900 through fraudulent use of a PTA debit card. She’s also accused of stealing $189 from the petty cash fund.

According to The Chattanoogan,

Police said she told Haley Brown, the school principal, that use of the PTA money was “an accident.”

She was given two weeks to repay the money and did not, it was stated.

Read more.

Florida A&M band’s academic problems

From Inside Higher Ed:

The marching band at Florida A&M University — long a source of pride but more recently the subject of intense scrutiny because of a hazing death last year — had serious academic problems, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Nearly 50 members of the 350 people in the band last year had grade-point averages below 2.0, the minimum required for participation in organizations such as the band. Twelve of those students had G.P.A.s of 1.0 or lower.

Ga. Tech scores high in world university rankings

The Times Higher Education’s World University rankings have just been released, and Georgia Tech continues to hold its high ranking. Last year, it was ranked 24th. This year, it’s tied for 25th with the University of Texas at Austin. Emory also saw a slight decline, from 75th to 79th.

The University of Georgia maintains its 201(ish) rank.

Georgia Health Sciences University dropped from 197th to 226(ish).

Read more.

For previous years’ rankings, click here.

Will stupid facebook posts kill your kid’s college chances?

It’s a distinct possibility.

From Inside Higher Ed:

A survey of admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep has found that they are increasingly likely to find on social media material that may hurt some applicants’ chances of admission. Only a minority of admissions officers say that they consult Google or Facebook on applicants. But the percentage of admissions officers who reported that something they found there had negatively affected an applicants’ chances of admission increased in the last year from 12 percent to 35 percent. Some of the material that the admissions officers found: essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in photographs and “illegal activities.

One question interview about Chain Gang Elementary

Can you compare Chain Gang Elementary to a film?

I’d say Chain Gang Elementary as a cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Catch-22, and Body Heat set in an elementary school. It’s also been called the author’s revenge for having to read Lord of the Flies in high school — the exact opposite setting with adults behaving badly

Award-Winning DeKalb Author Bolsters Libraries’ Collection

DeKalb author Jonathan Grant with Kim Hill, manager of the Tucker-Reid Cofer branch library

For pdf version of release, click here.

DeKalb author Jonathan Grant has made a generous donation of his works to DeKalb County libraries. On Wednesday, Grant, co-author and editor of the award-winning The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia, presented Kim Hill, manager of the Tucker-Reid Cofer Library branch, with hardcover first editions of that work. He also jump-started the library system’s collections of his new novels Chain Gang Elementaryand Brambleman.

“Both novels deal with important issues,” Grant said. “I think of them as ‘book club books.’ Chain Gang Elementary will be of special interest to readers.” The former Evansdale Elementary School PTA president’s timely, poignant tale of war between a PTA president and a grade school principal has struck a chord with parents and educators. In addition to receiving high praise from critics, Chain Gang has been dubbed “Required Reading” in PTO Today.

Brambleman, the Forsyth County saga, is an outgrowth of Grant’s work on The Way It Was in the South. The novel focuses attention on one of the most horrific acts of racism in U.S. history and its repercussions “unto the third and fourth generation”—the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. As a result, Forsyth remained virtually all-white for nearly 100 years. The world’s attention fell on the county in 1987, when Hosea Williams and Oprah Winfrey pointed out the county’s racist past, which still hadn’t died down completely—a fact Williams found out the hard way when he was run out of town during his first protest. (He returned a week later with 20,000 friends.)

In all, Grant has donated over two dozen of his books to DeKalb County. “Librarians’ acquisition budgets have been cut to the bone in recent years,” Grant said. “I want to do what I can to help them out. My mother and grandmother were librarians, so I’ve always known how important libraries are. I did a lot of work on all three of these books at the Decatur library, so consider this a partial repayment.”

Grant noted that once upon a time, DeKalb libraries had twenty copies of The Way It Was in the South. “Their holdings have dwindled to only seven,” he added, “so I wanted to get them back up to strength.” Written mainly by his father, Dr. Donald L. Grant, the monumental manuscript for The Way It Was in the South was left uncompleted and unpublished at the time of the professor’s death. Jonathan, his youngest son, took over the project, editing and completing it. The work won Georgia’s prestigious “Book of the Year” award when it was published and was named Editors’ Choice at American Heritage magazine.

“It’s one of the most valuable books on Georgia history that’s ever been published,” Grant said. “I want to do my part to make sure it stays in DeKalb Collections.”

For more information about Grant’s novels, visit and