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Nelson Heights center has new leader
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The Nelson Heights Community Center is up and running again and serving an average of around 30 kids with daily after-school tutoring, after hiring a new part-time director.

Veda Miller was hired as the center’s new director in September, and the center reopened Sept. 16 after being closed earlier this year because of a change in its operation.

The community center, located at the corner of Puckett and Laseter streets in Covington, is now open from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays and provides after-school homework tutoring, entertainment and a snack to students who attend. Most students are from the surrounding neighborhoods of Nelson Heights and Green Acres, but all students are welcome, Miller said.

The center is now being run by its own board of directors, chaired by Newton County Commissioner J.C. Henderson, with financial oversight provided by Newton County’s government.

Christine Young-Brown was originally tabbed to be the center’s director, but was never officially appointed to the position by the board, which chose to seek another director after alleged disagreements over her role and the center’s operation and staffing. Given the center’s budget is currently only $32,000, the board decided it did not have enough money to hire a full-time director.

Miller, who is the center’s only paid employee at this time, said she will get an annual salary of $18,000. She said was looking for work, and Henderson asked her to consider the position, which she felt was a good fit.

Miller has an associate degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in human resources from American InterContinental University in Dunwoody. She is also enrolled in paralegal studies at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. She said she has multiple certifications, including substitute teaching.

She previously worked as a business manager with the local Covington Cavaliers AAU basketball team for seven years and for the MBS Karate School. She worked for MARTA for 15 years, including multiple years in the organization’s police department.

Miller said the center needs both volunteers and supplies.

She hopes to get more college and high school students and adults to volunteer time to tutor the younger students, most of whom are elementary-school aged.

She said the center is also partnering with the staff at Middle Ridge and Livingston elementary schools, and is open to partnering with any other schools.

She said the center also needs arts and crafts supplies, education supplies, books, tablets, computers, snacks and other supplies. For more information, visit the center or call 678-712-6225. Miller said the center will soon have a Facebook page and website as well.

Parents are required to fill out a registration package, but children can attend the same day the package is completed, Miller said.