In this ongoing series, we reach out to CHS alumni to learn what they are doing now that they have the advantage of experience, education and self-reflection. This month’s pick is Jada Veljkov, Class of 2011. Jada is passionate about farm-to-table and sustainability, likely rooted in her upbringing outside the Burwell community near Bowdon.
EDUCATIONAL PURSUITS: “Following high school, I earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Georgia,” says Jada, who also worked at a number of restaurants in downtown Athens where she discovered a passion for the farm-to-table movement.
EMPLOYMENT: Now the executive chef at the Greyfield Inn, the only commercial venture on Cumberland Island, Jada previously served as the head chef of Hugh Acheson’s prestigious Five & Ten in Athens, solidifying her reputation in culinary circles. A website post welcoming Jada to the Greyfield Inn family says: “Jada brings a minimalistic approach to the table – showcasing fresh vegetables from the Greyfield Garden while allowing sustainable and thoughtfully procured meats, seafoods, spices, and aromatics to complement the seasonal flavors, keeping her dishes rooted in a Southern style. We are thrilled to have Jada leading the Greyfield culinary program.”
PERSONAL: Says Jada: “I am the youngest of three who all attended Carrollton City Schools. We lived a little outside of Carrollton on Lake Tisinger. Growing up, we almost always had a garden which helped me learn early on where food came from.” Her mother says Jada has been cooking since she was 3 years old.
HOBBIES: “I enjoy being outdoors especially hiking, swimming, or cycling. I also enjoy creative outlets such as painting and do-it-yourself projects,” says Jada.
ASPIRATIONS: Whenever Jada decides to leave her magical adventure living and working on Cumberland Island, food will still be in her future. “I aspire to open a small business focusing on farm-to-table dining & community outreach,” she says.
PROUD PARENT MOMENT: Jada’s parents, Skip and Jamie Veljkov, travel to Cumberland Island on occasion to visit their daughter and because of that connection, have the opportunity to stay at the exclusive inn and enjoy Jada’s talents first hand as dining guests. “When others find out we are her parents, it’s almost like we’ve become celebrities,” says her mom, Jamie. “People from all parts of the country rave about her culinary skills and creative approach to food. We beam with pride.”
INSTAGRAM EYE-POPPER: Cumberland Island is known for its wild horses, but feral hogs are also abundant. Jada recently posted photos showcasing cuts of meat from a hog she butchered in February. A hunter gave it to her following a scheduled hunt to control the population.
Five CHS students were honored at the 2021 Carrollton Creative Writers Guild Tuesday. From left are David Bryson, CHS ELA teacher; Belle Esslinger, sophomore; Steven Slappey, Tony Fulbight and Willow Huett, seniors; and Masha Hook, CHS ELA teacher. Not pictured is Emma Hollenbeck, senior.
Four CHS seniors, one sophomore dominate awards
Five Carrollton High School students were recognized for their work this week when the Carrollton Creative Writers Guild announced the winners of its 2021 High School Creative Writing Awards.
Senior Willow Huett, who has been honored several times in recent years for her writing talents, was presented the guild's Special Recognition Award for her poem, "The Visit." Willow was a region winner last year in the Young Georgia Authors competition and as an eighth grader, she earned a second-place finish at state in the same contest.
Other CHS award winners announced Tuesday at the event, held in the Carrollton Center for the Arts, were Emma Hollenbeck, who won first place in poetry for "Mrs. Virginia Poe," Tony Fulbright who placed second for "Medals," and Steven Slappey, third, for "Adam's Wife." All are seniors. Belle Esslinger, a sophomore, placed second in the short story category with "Innocence in Doubt."
The Carrollton Kiwanis Club donated copies of “The Big Orange Book of Beginner Books,” that were distributed earlier this week to 45 deserving students. From left are Kylie Carroll, CES principal, Kristie Poor, media specialist; Randy Miller, Kiwanis Club past president; and Dr. Mark Albertus, Carrollton City Schools superintendent and fellow Kiwanian.
45 lucky CES students get to take book home
Read Across America Day and the celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday were handled a little differently this year at Carrollton Elementary School in response to pandemic protocols, but the Carrollton Kiwanis Club members came up with a creative solution to continue their annual visits as school readers – even though they weren't physically present.
On March 2, Randy Miller, past club president and chair of the Kiwanis Club's foundation, stopped by the school to donate Dr. Seuss books as is tradition. But this year's book, "The Big Orange Book of Beginner Books," contained a QR code that could be scanned to access videos of Kiwanians reading popular Seuss stories.
Miller said despite challenges of the past year, the club was able to double its book order for area elementary schools, donating 45 to each school.
"We are hopeful the worthy students selected will be able to enjoy their own personalized book for their reading pleasure as well as sharing with their siblings and friends," said Miller.
Miller said each year the books are donated in memory of one of their club members. This year's honoree was Bill Dees, who passed away in August 2020. Above the dedication acknowledgment on the inside cover of the book, a QR code takes readers to a dedicated website featuring several club members reading the Dr. Seuss classics.
“CES was thrilled to receive books donated by the Kiwanis Club! Even during an unprecedented year, the Kiwanis Club found a way to show love to our students,” said CES Principal Kylie Carroll. “They also innovatively included QR codes to provide read-alouds in the text. Their generosity is a ray of sunshine and fosters our love of all things literacy.”
Others can enjoy the readings from the book as well by typing https://www.drseussreadingday.org/ in their website browser.
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