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Ga. Highlands College names new VP

Ga. Highlands College names new VP

ROME, Ga. -- Mary Transue is the new Vice President of Advancement and Executive Director of the GHC Foundation at Georgia Highlands College.

She was chosen in late November to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Carnley.

Transue comes to GHC from the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, where she was Associate Vice President of Executive Affairs. She also has extensive experience in corporate healthcare and non-profit leadership.

"I am excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to joining the team at Georgia Highlands College," Transue said in a statement. "I can already tell there is strong leadership and a solid vision taking shape for the college moving forward. I know we can accomplish great things together."

Transue began her new job on Dec. 15.

AP exam participation: Floyd County

AP exam participation: Floyd County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Floyd County, 229 students took 311 AP exams in 2014, and 118 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Floyd County public high school:

Armuchee HS
66 students took 94 exams
54 passing scores

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter University will stage a production of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker next week.

The 1959 play tells the story of deafblind Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, who helped her find ways to explore the world around her.

"It's not just Helen's story -- it's also the story of a family coping with challenges most of us could never understand," said Shorter assistant professor of theatre Chad Daniel, who directed the production. "They are also dealing with societal pressures, because it is Alabama in the 1880s and society is still healing from the Civil War."

Shelby Folks of LaFayette, Ga., will play Helen Keller, while Annie Sullivan will be played by Kaitlin Kennedy of Missouri City, Texas.

The Miracle Worker will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25-27, and 2 p.m. on Sept. 27-28. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Berry chief of staff named to state board

Berry chief of staff named to state board

ROME, Ga. -- Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed Berry College Chief of Staff Alexander Whitaker to the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

"Whit," as he is known, will be sworn in Oct. 1 and will serve a three-year term on the board.

He already serves on several boards, including Berry's Board of Trustees, SunTrust Bank of Northwest Georgia, William S. Davies Homeless Shelter, Mercy Care Rome and Pennsylvania's Trinity School for Ministry.

Whitaker is a retired U.S. Navy captain and judge advocate. He is a Rome native and graduated from the Darlington School in 1977. Whitaker has a bachelor's degree from Berry, a law degree from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in international and comparative law from Georgetown University and a master's degree in religion from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry.

2015 Best Colleges: Berry College

2015 Best Colleges: Berry College

ROME, Ga. -- U.S. News & World Report has released its 2015 list of America's best colleges and universities.

Three Georgia schools earned national rankings: Emory University (21), Georgia Tech (35) and the University of Georgia (62).

Berry College was featured on some U.S. News lists as well. It is No. 129 on National Liberal Arts College Rankings and No. 100 on High School Counselor Rankings, a list compiled by a nationwide sampling of guidance counselors. The counselors rated the schools on a scale of 1 to 5; Berry earned 3.5.

See the complete list of top schools at usnews.com.

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.

Construction to begin this fall on Berry stadium

Construction to begin this fall on Berry stadium

ROME, Ga. -- Construction for Valhalla, the new stadium at Berry College, will begin this fall and is expected to be completed by next summer.

The stadium will be located south of Maple Drive, adjacent to the college's main entrance. It will feature a synthetic track and synthetic turf field, and will be home to Berry's football, lacrosse, and track and field teams. Its grandstands will seat about 1,800 people.

Real estate firm Carter will oversee design and construction of Valhalla. Its name comes from the hall where, in Norse mythology, Viking warriors spend eternity; Berry's mascot is the Viking.

Berry College VP for Finance Brian Erb said the stadium will begin hosting home games in 2015.