Several Lakeside Faculty Members Announce End-of-Year Departures


The end of the school year can also mark the beginning of a new path for faculty members. At least ten teachers will be pursuing new careers or new job positions next school year.

Social studies teacher Thomiah Dudley plans on pursuing her passion for human rights and activism at the Harvard School of Law. “I’m super excited for this next chapter of my life, and I feel as though my assets would be beneficial in the department of being an attorney.” With her passion for activism, she also sponsors Lakeside’s Black Student Union(BSU). “One of my student’s, Rocky, approached me with the suggestion for the club and wanted to help provide a voice for African Americans at Lakeside,” said Dudley. One of her favorite memories of Lakeside was the experience of watching her World Geography class perform different cultural dances from across the world. “I’m definitely going to miss my students, and now that I’m leaving I’m starting to notice that the population of Lakeside has definitely become more diverse,” said Dudley.

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29 Going on 30: Dr. Rainey having taught at Lakeside for almost three decades experienced a time in which Lakeside’s population was half of what it is now. “What many don’t know is that there was also a time, where we used to get out at 2:55, and that there were only just about a little over a thousand students so we had only A & B lunch,” said Rainey.

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With 29 years of service to Lakeside students, science instructor Dr. Syrena Rainey plans on making this year her last.“Lakeside has changed so drastically throughout the years, it's astounding. I was here when there wasn’t any phones, computers, or DVD players to play videos. We had payphones around the school, and so we would have to walk to different parts of the school to make a phone call. Not only that, but the only other way of communication we had was these little beepers, kind of similar to a pager,” said Rainey. Rainey remembers when she wanted to play videos for her class, she would have to feed it through a thread so it would play. “What many don’t know is that there was also a time, where we used to get out at 2:55, and that there were only just about a little over a thousand students so we had only A & B lunch.” Rainey planned out numerous trips for after she leaves, and when she returns she will then decide on what she wants to do next. “My most cherishable experience is the difference I’ve made in my students’ lives over the years. As I hear, or see from them or their parents they inform me on how well prepared for their college courses.” One thing Rainey miss the most is the drive to Lakeside. “It was very relaxing, and calming and it gave me a state of mind,” said Rainey.

Officer Robert Hudson, one of Lakeside’s Security Resource Officers(SRO) put in a notice informing about his new job offer as a detective. “I was astounded when I found out. I’d applied for the position a few months ago, and didn’t expect it,” said Hudson.

Custodian Jacqueline George recalls “I’ve been here so long, and enjoyed the students, and staff. But like everyone else I feel the need to continue my journey,” said George. She plans on going to work at a nearby Dekalb County middle school.

Lakeside literature and ESOL teacher, Alicia Davis will be continuing her teaching career at Sweetwater Middle School in Gwinnett County. “I’m eager to get started and having to adjust to not only the atmosphere of middle schoolers but teaching language arts and social studies,” said Davis. Davis recalls her favorite memory as when it snowed one year, and she was in the middle of teaching an ESOL class. “It was amazing, there was an accumulation of snow, and I was with a group of students who had never seen snow before. And the ones who did they had only seen it once or twice in their lifetime. The one thing they kept saying was ‘It’s cold’. It was definitely a highlight of my time at Lakeside.” She indicates that she’s going to miss her co-workers and her students.

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Sisterhood: “Before I considered on going back to graduate school for law, I had to recall all of the things I was leaving behind. One, being the sponsor of the Lakeside’s Royalty Danceline. The team is very important to me and always comes with great energy. I’m truly going to miss the bond that we’ve developed value the memories we share,” said Dudley. Dudley believes that whoever decides to sponsor the team next year will have the team in good hands.

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“It’s time for a new start. I learned a lot from Lakeside, and I love the students and environment,” said social studies teacher Timothy Hesse. Hesse plans on moving to North Carolina for new opportunities and growth. “Lakeside has changed a lot besides the students. It's hard to specify because the school has changed as a whole overall drastically. I can say that since I’ve started here there’s fewer students and more teacher transitions. But one thing, that hasn’t changed is the floaters,” said Hesse. Hesse also mentions that Lakeside has opened up new opportunities for both students and faculty.

Two of Lakeside coaches, Zachary Edwards and Clay Crump have both maintained a long-standing relationship with the community. However, both are leaving Lakeside’s halls this year as well. While Edwards plans on moving on to a job that is much closer to home, Crump will be moving on to coach at Alpharetta High School next season. “I know that Mr. Bounds will find a great coach to lead Lakeside’s program in the future and I wish you all the best,” said Crump via a tweet.

Having only been here one year, Lakeside will miss social studies, Benjamin Smalley. “I was offered a promotion, and with my family being from Athens, I accepted,” said Smalley. Instead of being a social studies teacher he will serve as a Social Studies Coordinator at an Athens Clark County school. Smalley likes Lakeside’s diversity, and different points of views and is grateful for the relationships he built with Lakeside. “I’m going to miss students, and co-workers that I’ve grown to appreciate,” said Smalley.

“As of April 16, only four of Lakeside’s faculty have officially reported to the school that they are leaving,” said principal administrative assistant Frankie Humphrey. On May 1, the Lakeside Legend returned for an updated status upon the numbers of faculty leaving. “ What’s been reported to me officially, are four faculty members. There might be a few more, but the ones I know of are Dr. Rainey, Alicia Davis, Coach Edwards, Coach Crump, and Ms. Wheeler the bookkeeper. “ said Humphrey. However, according to Dekalb County School District’s Paperless Application Tracking System about a dozen job openings are available for applying at Lakeside. Leaving bigger questions for administration to answer. How does the ratio of the numbers affect the discrepancy of teachers?

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