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Schools, Colleges and Major Universities: Education (& Sports!)…

In addition to the University of Georgia in nearby Athens, the North Georgia powerhouses of Atlanta’s Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Agnes Scott, and Morehouse Colleges, and more, the education opportunities and labor pool talent are spectacular, not to mention the world class sports such as NCAA football and basketball, tennis, etc. A Georgia Bulldogs football game is a mere one hour and 15 minute drive away.

Locally, higher learning is supported by the North Georgia College & State University, which is approximately 25 minutes from the city of Dawsonville; the private Brenau University and Gainesville State College (both 35 to 40 minutes to the east); as well as a Lanier Technical College campus located in Dawsonville, with two other technical campus locations in nearby cities.

For the seven public schools, Dawson County employs over 300 certified personnel with 70 percent holding Master’s Degrees or Doctorates – in comparison, the state of Georgia and the North Atlanta affluent suburb’s Alpharetta High School average 45 percent. The student to teacher ratio in Dawson County is 11:1 at Black’s Mill Elementary, with an average of 13:1 system wide. Statewide the ratio is 14:1.

Dawson County won one of six 2011 County of Excellence Awards issued by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and Georgia Trend magazine. The other counties focused on topics such as medication disposal and neighborhood stabilization, but Dawson County won for their initiative, Building Educated Students for Tomorrow (BEST), targeted at high school students. The program used field trips, classes, mock elections, and more to help the students understand local government functioning and opportunities to give back in the future. Three Dawson County schools were certified with the Gold Award of Distinction in the HealthierUS School Challenge that recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity. Dawson County schools were the only facilities in Georgia to receive the highest award. Dawson County High School has won the honor of being a part of the Blue Ribbon School Program, and Riverview Middle School was a recipient of the governor’s Gold Award.