Posts filed under ‘Student Spotlight’
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Deerwood Academy
Ashley Dungey is currently a 5th grader in Dr. Huff’s class at Deerwood Academy. In addition to being a star student, Ashley enjoys drawing, writing, reading, and learning about new and innovative technology. But, what truly sets Ashley apart is her desire to give to others. She has a true understanding of the meaning of giving, and she would prefer to give back to her community at an age when most would rather spend time playing with friends or watching cartoons on television.
“What I love to do best is to give,” she explains. “When I have clothes or shoes that are too small for me, my dad will take me to the gas station, and I will donate my items to Goodwill.”
Putting a smile on someone’s face motivates Ashley to excel in her community service efforts. Every weekend you can find her lending her time and assistance at the neighborhood soup kitchen. But, the giving doesn’t stop there. Ashley is also aware of the damage we can do to the environment if we don’t keep our neighborhoods clean and free of waste. As a result, Ashley has become very interested in recycling. She has even been tagged the “recycling guru” at Deerwood Academy.
“One thing I really love to do is recycle,” she said. “I have been recycling for the past three years.”
Ashley continues to encourage her family, friends, and community to follow her lead to preserve the environment and unselfishly give back to others.
Grade: 9th Grade
School: Carver Early College
Family tradition brought freshman Alvan Price to Carver High School. His familial line of Carver graduates includes his father, sister and brother. Alvan’s sister encouraged him to attend Carver Early College because of his intelligence and the academic rigor of Carver Early College. Alvan says that the school offers “opportunity, opportunity, and opportunity”.
He has taken advantage of some of these opportunities in his freshman year by placing on the Dean’s List, becoming Mr. Freshman, becoming Vice-President of the Freshman Class and Vice-President of the SGA. He is also a football player and a member of Esquires-an organization devoted to building character in young men. Alvan’s sights are set on becoming a neurologist and he plans to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once he’s a doctor, he wants to open a medical plaza which would be a “one- stop- shop” for all types of medical specialties.
Next year, everyone at Carver Early College is expected to play at least one sport. As a leader on the campus, Alvin would like to build momentum by offering study halls for all athletes. He also thinks that a creative way to use the first ten minutes of advisement is for everyone to work on some phase of their homework. Alvan is an innovator who, with his perseverance, will succeed and light the path for many to follow in his footsteps or walk along beside him.
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College
School: Crim Open Campus
Impressive and optimistic are two words to describe Elijah Hodges. He is the salutatorian of the class of 2013 at Crim Open Campus, and is proud to graduate with top honor after facing many challenges. Elijah was able to overcome recent incidents that occurred with a positive attitude. Within one week in November 2012, he was involved in an accident, left out of his home, lived in a shelter, and moved in with his older sister. Although he could not control his situation, he managed to stay strong, land a job, and maintain his grades at school. Elijah will be attending Anthem College next year and plans to study biology and history.
Elijah is the salutatorian of his class, and he worked tirelessly to reach this position. He ranked 34 in his class in Memphis, and moved to Atlanta Public Schools in 2010. Although he found the instruction to be more rigorous at APS, he was not only able to catch up but excelled among the students. Elijah was privileged to participate in a recent Student Leadership meeting with Superintendent Davis. He was the only representative from Crim, and had a great experience asking questions and contributing to the discussions. “I gave input on how APS students feel about different topics, and felt that Mr. Davis really cares about the students and the schools,” Elijah says.
Elijah believes it is very important to network and form strong relationships with people. He met his godfather who owns businesses at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and landed a job at Popeyes. He believes that building connections with people brought him to where he is today. “I made $70 of tip in 2 days,” says Elijah. “People skills are a necessity that everyone needs, because it is a way to success.”
Elijah loves to skateboard as a hobby. He has been skateboarding for 6 years, and has been serious about the sport for 2 years. He always enjoys being adventurous and exploring his surroundings. History is one of his favorite subjects, because he finds it entertaining and it comes naturally to him. He has also gained the respect from staff and students at his school. “Elijah is a hard worker, very conscientious, and never has a bad attitude,” says Teena Cash Hargrove, Media Specialist and Communications Ambassador. “You can ask anyone at school, and they will agree.”
When asked to share his motto in life, Elijah says, “I mean what I say, and say what I mean. I like to get things done, don’t take no for an answer, and never doubt myself.”
School: Sarah Smith (Primary Campus)
According to the official IB website, “The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
This may seem difficult for most seven-year-olds to understand, but there is a special second-grader at Sarah Smith Elementary, an IB school, who epitomizes what the IB is all about.
Katie Jarrell is eager to share everything she knows with anyone who asks. She articulates her thoughts with the skill of someone twice her age; no short, vague mumbling or awkward second-grade rambling for her. When answering a question, Katie uses complete sentences and she always provides thought-provoking explanations to back-up her responses. And her enthusiasm for learning is infectious; anyone listening as Katie describes an idea or tells a story suddenly becomes eager to learn more. She’s that good.
For instance, last week while shooting an episode of the APS Comcast channel 22 program Perspectives, Katie unwittingly demonstrated her IB magic. The show featured Smith students engaged in hands-on study about Australia as part of the school’s annual International Traveler’s (IT) Week celebration.
Katie poured out her knowledge about Australia for the show’s viewers, covering everything Aussie, from aborigines and art, to crocodiles and kangaroos. And as Katie talked about marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, she skillfully worked in a message about pollution and personal responsibility — and she did it all without a script!
“People have been putting garbage in the water,” she said. “So when you’re outside you always need to pick up your trash, because you never know how all of this trash could just go in the water… we always want to make sure we’re picking up things — even if it isn’t ours — and we’re helping the earth and Mother Nature.”
She’s responsible too. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age two, Katie checks her blood sugar, gives herself insulin, changes her pump sites, and is learning to count carbs and make informed decisions about what she eats. As a gymnast, Katie realizes that eating right gives her the strength she needs to do the flips she loves.
And as an ambassador for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, Katie talks to newly diagnosed children to inspire them and give them the confidence they need.
This summer Katie will speak to business leaders to create more awareness for Type 1 diabetes.
Her teacher, Mr. Kraus, says, “Katie is a responsible, independent, caring and enthusiastic student. She is a leader in class through the words she chooses to use and the actions she chooses to take.”
IB learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. Without question, Katie Jarrell embodies it all.
Grade: 12th Grade
School: Therrell High School- Law, Government,& Public Policy
Robert Frost once said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Adrian Artary, a Senior at Therrell High School- Law, Government & Public Policy, says he lives by this quote as it sums up his journey to this point in life. Adrian emigrated from Jamaica to the United States of America with his family in 2004 in hopes of achieving the “American Dream.” It has been Adrian’s goal to help his family succeed and build a life in the United States, but in his opinion, college is an essential part of achieving this goal.
According to Adrian, when he was younger he allowed peer pressure to control his actions. But, Adrian quickly realized that peer pressure and engaging in negative activities would be detrimental to his goal of pursuing a college education.
“The year of 2007 was the turning point in my life,” he explains. ”I realized that I needed to be a leader, not a follower. You only get one life, and you must make the best out of it. From that day forward, I put my family first in everything.”
It was then that he made the decision to recreate himself to become a shining example for his family and friends, so he could become the second person in his family to attend college. Fast forward to 2013, and it is clear that Adrian has done just that. In addition to being a scholar, he is also active in his community. He holds several leadership positions as he serves as the secretary of the National Beta Club at Therrell High School, a member of the Therrell High School Debate Team, Mock Trial, Yearbook Committee, Therrell High School Historian, and JROTC 2nd Lieutenant.
“I envision myself impacting the world positively through the career path that I choose to follow,” Adrian says.
And he is well on his way. Adrian will graduate as the 2013 Valedictorian at the Therrell School of Law on May 25, 2013. He was recently honored as a 2013 Gates Millennium Scholar, which will afford him the opportunity to attend college on a full scholarship. Adrian plans to attend Clark Atlanta University in the fall, where he would like to major in Mass Media so he can begin his path toward one day becoming a News Director.
Name: Kemore’ Massenburg
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Gideons Elementary
Kemore’ Massenburg is a student whom anyone would love to teach. Kemore’ consistently demonstrates a love of learning. “She is a conscientious about her grades, participates in class and is never disrespectful, among many of her attributes”, states Dr. Vikki-Austell Henderson, Gideons Special Education Lead Teacher. “It warms my heart to know that such a sweet young girl could possess so many excellent qualities. It bothers her when she does not perform her best on tasks.”
She is the cheerleader captain for Gideons.She is an outstanding leader who is always willing to help others with anything. Kemore` takes pride in her work, in and out of the classroom and continually pushes herself to do her best. Her enthusiasm for learning her schoolwork and new cheerleading cheers and techniques has made her into a self-motivated learner who models hard work while making it fun for her and others. Kemore` will continue to succeed in school because of her determination to be the best Gideons student she can be every day.
written by April Key, Communications Ambassador at Gideons Elementary
School: Carter G. Woodson Primary School
Autumn Johnson excels in all subjects, prompting her teachers to describe her as one of the most outstanding students in all of Woodson’s kindergarten classes. She entered kindergarten reading small words, and as a result of her hard work and perseverance Autumn has become one of the best readers in her class, quickly approaching a second grade reading level. As a result of her exceptional reading skills, Autumn’s teachers have selected her to MC Woodson’s kindergarten promotional exercises. And although Autumn excels in all subjects, she is most outstanding in math. She is already solving double-digit-addition equations, and she has exceeded every kindergarten math standard, and beyond.
Autumn is the epitome of excellence. She helps her classmates when they need help, she never misbehaves and she encourages everyone to succeed. Her kindergarten teachers are proud to claim Autumn as one of their own. They whole-heartedly value her as a student and a person because she not only strives to learn all that she can, but everyday after she completes her work, Autumn helps other students sitting near her.
Autumn has achieved well beyond what her parents and teachers expect from her academically, but she doesn’t stop there. In pre-kindergarten she actively participated in the Brownies Girl Scout program, and this year, in addition to being an “A” student, Autumn is also a very active member of Woodson’s cheerleading squad and soccer team. Autumn demonstrates her leadership skills during practices, and her teammates really appreciate when the teacher in her comes out. She learns new skills quickly and then makes a great effort to help her teammates understand the skills as well.
Autumn is a very talented student with a bubbly personality! She gained swift stardom among her peers after she debuted on Woodson’s morning announcements, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the school’s “No Place for Hate” pledge. From there she tried out for the school’s talent show and is now slated to perform in front of all her friends and family on Thursday, May 9th. Autumn’s parents are very proud at how well she has done in school; soon she will be off to first-grade where they know she will do very well!
Written by Brandon Green, Communications Ambassador, Woodson Primary School
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Burgess-Peterson Academy
Cecil is a well-behaved and talented fifth grade student at Burgess-Peterson Academy. He has a natural passion and talent for music, and has been a drummer in the school band for the past two years. “I like playing the drums because my dad played drums, and I like the sounds and beats that they make,” Cecil says. He hopes to expand his musical talent by learning other percussion instruments in the future. Although Cecil seems to be born as a musician, he is passionate about sports as well. His dream is to become a professional football player when he grows up. He loves to play basketball and soccer, and wants to play against different teams professionally. “I like sports because its fun to watch, and it makes you stronger,” he says.
Cecil is known to be a well-mannered, patient, and sociable student. “I don’t get mad easily, and I get along with people,” Cecil says. He is respected among his peers with his friendly personality and genuine smile. Cecil is a valued student by his teachers and school administrators as well. “I am just amazed how balanced he is as a student,” Principal Robbins says. “He is very resilient and able to overcome obstacles that have been presented over the past few months. He is a scholar and a role model for his peers.” When Cecil was asked what motivates him to be a well-behaved, he responds by saying, “Principal Robbins is really fun and not mean at all, and so I want to be a good student.”
As he moves to Coan Middle School next year, he will miss playing football outside with his friends, but he is looking forward to making new memories and reaching new heights in the next chapter of his life.
Grade: 11th Grade
School: Booker T. Washington High School- Health Sciences & Nutrition
Elizabeth Ushi is an 11th grader at Booker T. Washington High School- Health Sciences & Nutrition. Elizabeth’s teachers describe her as a dedicated and hard working student. Time and time again, she has proven to be a take-charge person who is able to successfully complete her work on time.
Elizabeth also dedicates her time and energy serving within various leadership roles. She has served as President of the school’s health organization, HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), for the past two years, and she oversees and participates in State and National HOSA competitions.This star student is a wonderful leader who enjoys participating in a myriad of fundraising and volunteering opportunities.
Recently, Elizabeth participated in the HOSA competition held in Athens, Ga. She was the only Booker T. Washington High School student to make it to the national level, and she plans to represent her high school in another health care competition in Tennessee later this year.
Grade: 12th Grade
School: South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Sciences
Herchel Springer is a Senior at the School of Health and Medical Sciences at South Atlanta (HMS). Like all Seniors he is excited about his future, but unlike most 12th grade students, Herchel has received over $1 million dollars in scholarships to fund his post-secondary career. Mr. Springer will be attending Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana in the fall to pursue a career in Sports Medicine.
A deeply family oriented young man, Herchel, hopes to be able to give back to his mother who he says has been his main inspiration and drives him to be dedicated, hard-working and positive.
Throughout his career at HMS, Herchel has been a model student. “Herchel was an outstanding JROTC Cadet who set the bar very high for both academics and leadership skills. He was the cadet who had the can do attitude and was always willing to put other needs before his own. He has demonstrated what a true younger leader can accomplished when you have a positive attitude no matter the obstacles in life.”, says Lieutenant Commander Johnson.
Herchel attributes his impressive scholarship count to taking the SAT and ACT in his Junior year and vigorously pursuing private colleges who tend to have school-based scholarships for upcoming Freshmen. He has received the HOPE Scholarship, the Project GRAD Brumley Scholarship, and individual school scholarships from 13 colleges and universities, including Johnson and Wales, St. John’s University, Benedict College and Wabash College.
As his principal Dr. Patricia Ford states,”Herschel is a young man who has taken his future in the palm of his hand and making things happen! He is a young man with a purpose and has done a great job mapping his journey.”
We cannot agree more. Congratulations, Herchel.
written by Shanna Miles, Media Specialist at the South Atlanta Educational Complex
Grade: 12th Grade
School: Grady High School
Daniel Blues is a three-time leukemia survivor and a winner of the 2013 Disney Dreamers Academy Essay Contest! He was among 100 students to attend Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine in Orlando, Florida. This special career workshop provides opportunities to work with celebrity mentors, and inspires students to pursue their dreams.
Daniel has a strong passion for music, and creates beats as a hobby. He was exposed to music since the age of four by playing piano and violin, and singing chorus. In 2012, he received a recording studio valued at over $7,000 from Make-A-Wish Foundation. He plans to attend Georgia State University to study Nursing with a Major in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and a minor in Audio Engineering.
Daniel fought with leukemia three times, and is now cancer-free! He was diagnosed in 2008, and relapsed in September 2010 and March 2012. He spent many months going in and out of the hospital, but he continued to fight with a positive attitude. He hopes that his story will encourage others when they face obstacles in life, and never give up on their dreams.
Through his experience, Daniel and his mother have founded a charity called Laughing with Leukemia. The mission of the organization is to provide educational, emotional, financial, and job related support to families of children diagnosed with cancer. For more information, please visit laughingatleukemia.org.
School: Coretta Scott King High School
She hasn’t been at the school a full year, but DaNeysha Wimberly is already making a splash at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA). Being a newcomer to the district has not discouraged DaNeysha from eagerly seeking out and diving in to the numerous and unique opportunities APS and CSKYWLA have to offer.
She satisfies her appetite for sports by playing on the CSKYWLA Eagle’s softball and tennis teams, and as a member of the school’s JROTC program, she is developing a a heightened sense of discipline and order. DaNeysha says that in addition to the close relationship between the school’s staff and students, she really likes CSKYWLA because of the extracurricular activities and curriculum they offer. She joined the environmental club at the beginning of the year, and she says it has enhanced her sense of responsibility when it comes to preserving the planet, her community and her school. And consequently, she has developed a strong sense of school pride.
“We do a lot of school beautification projects, and that has made me much more sensitive to things that make the school look bad.,” says DaNeysha. “When the school looks good, we all look good, and that makes me proud.”
Last month, during the district’s annual Shirley Frankin lecture series, DaNeysha had the honor of not only introducing the guest speaker, but also interviewing her afterwards.
“It was an honor to have her at our school, and even more of an honor to talk to her personally; she shared a lot about who inspired her when she was young, and encouraged us to not be afraid to aim high and pursue our goals.”
DaNeysha says she would like to attend the University of Miami to major in Biology, and hopes to become a Marine Biologist when she completes her education.
Grade: 12th Grade
School: Washington High School- Banking, Finance & Investment
A wise man once stated that, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” In eighteen short years of life Rodney Hill has endured and overcome a multitude of adverse situations. Being the oldest of six children, Rodney has been expected to achieve at every level in order to be an example to his siblings.
Rodney is ranked number 3 in his senior class, and he received the esteemed title of the 2013 S.T.A.R. Student of Booker T. Washington Banking, Finance, and Investment. Rodney is a magnificent representation of a scholar and has distinguished himself as a leader. He fosters scholarship and leadership on a regular basis in both his school and community. His academic recognitions include being named student of the month in both AP English and World History. His leadership skills include serving as the 2012-13 Head Drum Major of the Booker T. Washington High School Marching Band and Vice President of the Gentlemen of Quality Mentoring Program. He mentors youth at a local Boys and Girls Club, and he tutors students in the areas of mathematics and reading at Kennedy Middle School.
“He exemplifies all of the qualities of a gentleman,” said Myss Johnson-Jelks, a teacher at Washington-BFI. ” His confidence and competence are stellar, and in my opinion, Rodney is in a league of his own. I cannot think of another student more deserving of this honor. He continues to excel inside and out of the classroom while exhibiting a desire to be the best in all he does.”
Rodney has been accepted to several colleges and universities, but he is most proud of being accepted to Hampton University, where he plans to major in Business Administration in the Fall. Rodney lives by the philosophy of Mahatma Ghandi: “A man is but his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Therefore, he meditates and prepares himself mentally and physically for the challenges of life. Although Rodney is a successful student, he remains humble and is thankful for the assistance of his family, friends, and teachers.
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Gideons Elementary
Lynard Thomas is a current 5th grade student at Charles L. Gideons School. Lynard considers himself to be a person who exhibits great character traits, and his teachers agree. He is intelligent, nice, funny, friendly and sociable. His favorite subject is reading. He enjoys drama classes and playing football. Lynard is in the gifted/talent development program under the direction of Mrs. Darlene Dobbs with whom he has traveled to China, London, Paris and Rome.
He recently traveled to Alabama for the SCLC Civil Rights Heritage Tour, where he learned about and recited MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. After presenting the speech during the Civil Rights Tour, he was invited to present the speech for the SCLC’s 22nd Annual Awards Program. Upon graduation from high school, Lynard plans to attend Duke University to become a business owner and an entrepreneur.
written by April Key, Secretary and Communications Ambassador at Gideons Elementary
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Springdale Park Elementary
Maddie is a lively, cheerful fifth grader who leads her student body as the president of the Student Government Association. She began her leadership as a secretary last year, and was voted president after presenting her confident, effective speech. Her goal is to plan events that unify the school and benefit the community. Their current initiative is a community project that combines a bake sale with a talent show. Students will be able to showcase their performances at the bake sale, and the profits will be donated to the American Red Cross. “It’s really good cause you get to communicate with everyone,” Maddie says. “It takes a lot of work but it is rewarding when you see everyone having fun and it’s for a good cause.”
Maddie is planning the talent show, but she also has talents of her own. She loves to sing, and participates in chorus class every Friday. She is also very active and plays multiple sports. She currently plays soccer and basketball, and will begin volleyball this year. Her favorite activities include riding bikes with her family, and playing outside with her brother and friends.
Maddie’s dream is to become a singer, professional basketball player or soccer player. She also has an alternative plan to become a lawyer. “My parents say I should be a lawyer because I like to speak in front of people and have a good argument,” Maddie says. She is not afraid to speak up in front of crowds, and occasionally reads the morning announcements at school. Maddie’s confidence, talents, and positive spirit sets her apart from her peers as a natural leader!
School: Scott Elementary School
A mediocre teacher tells. A good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Anyone searching for a good story about teacher-driven inspiration should take a close look at Lorkeyla Spencer. This year, Lorkeyla’s academic performance, determination and confidence have skyrocketed, and interestingly enough, all conversations regarding the fifth-grader’s enthusiasm for learning share one common denominator – her teacher.
It is her teacher who puts huge demands on Lokeyla, which motivates her to rise to the occasion; it was her teacher who encouraged her to enter a project in the APS media fair this semester; and it was her teacher who pushed her to work with the school’s media specialist, and do the best that she could on the project.
Lorkeyla says finishing the project is a big source of pride for her. “I had to research a lot, so I learned a lot,” she says. “ And it helped me realize that I’m smart.”
Fifth-grade work proved to be a lot harder than Lorkeyla expected, and at the beginning of the school year she had begun to doubt herself. But completing the project reminded her of her kindergarten and third-grade years, when Lorkeyla says she was the top student in her class. The project also helped her discover the pride and satisfaction that comes from completing a well-done job.
Away from school, Lorkeyla – who describes herself as a very good singer — keeps herself busy by participating in church activities like singing in the choir, and playing with her siblings. She especially enjoys playing “school” with them, and of course Lorkeyla is always the teacher. She takes her role as teacher so seriously she even makes copies and distributes the work to her “students.” All good practice for the day she begins teaching professionally.
Lorkeyla says watching her teacher everyday has inspired her to teach elementary school.
“She looks like she really enjoys teaching. She makes it look fun,” Lorkeyla says.
Grade: 11th Grade
School: Washington High School- Early College
Liza Wemakor is a Junior at Booker T. Washington High School-Early College. She also participates in the dual-enrollment program at Georgia State University. Liza has held the highest rank at her high school for three consecutive years, and her classmates and teachers commend her for her eloquence and academic prowess.
But, Ms. Wemakor’s worth reaches far beyond her transcript. She has grown substantially over the past years, breaking away from her timid tendencies by participating in essay and speech competitions and a Shakespearean play. Recently, Liza served as an intern at CNN, where she published her first article.
As she has evolved, one thing has remained a constant throughout her journey: her fierce ambition. People of any age struggle to maintain the drive needed to achieve their goals, but her motivation is natural to her. It could even be described as a part of who she is.
Her focus graces each and every one of her pursuits, but she is especially dedicated to her first love, writing. Accoridng to Liza, she is happiest when she is sitting in an English class, scribbling poetry and short stories in her notebook, or being captivated by a novel. Because of her immense passion for writing, Liza aspires to become an English professor and author.
When asked how she has stayed so level-headed, Ms. Wemakor gave one simple reply:
“I envision myself in the midst of greatness,” she explained. ”At this point in life, I imagine excelling in college and furthering my ability to do what I have always loved—writing. If we follow our own definitions of greatness rather than allowing others to define it for us, we become unstoppable forces. There is no doubt that the Early College program has made me even more unstoppable.”
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Parks Middle School
Maurice Jones is an 8th grade student at Parks Middle School and has solid commitments to excellence inside and outside of the classroom. He is very active in sports and participates in football, basketball, baseball, and track. Maurice was the captain of the football team and is currently the captain of the L.E.A.D baseball team which encourages students to make the right decisions on and off the field.
As an active member of Parks’ Males on the Move boys mentoring program, he embodies the character traits of dedication, community service and stewardship. He also participates in community service through the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry Foundation. In addition to his commitments on and off the field, he has remained focused and committed to his goal of one day attending the University of Alabama and playing football. Maurice also looks forward to taking advantage of the great academic program at University of Alabama by studying mechanical engineering. He believes his creativity and always “thinking outside the box” will allow him to have a successful career as a mechanical engineer. Based on his current and future goals, he has earned a place in the APS Student Spotlight.
written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist at Parks Middle School
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Dunbar Elementary
Keymontaye is known for his fun loving, entertaining personality! He loves attending Dunbar Elementary because he appreciates his teachers who love to teach and never give up on their students. They believe in each student’s potential and expect greatness from them.
Keymontaye entered Our Future Chefs National Competition this year, and his recipe was one of twelve to compete on March 9th at BEST Academy. Students in grades 3-5 submitted their favorite salad dish, and there were over 160 submissions from eleven different APS Elementary Schools. The salad recipe was judged based on the following categories: originality, kid friendliness, ease of preparation, best use of featured ingredients, taste, and plate presentation. The competition continues to build momentum as an exciting and engaging way to encourage student participation in a fun and rewarding recipe contest.
“I decided to enter the chef competition because I knew I had the confidence and personality,” Keymontaye says. “I want everyone to know that I am a great scholar, entertainer, and future chef!”
written by Tomiko Cobb, Media Specialist at Dunbar
Name: Sydney Faux
School: Garden Hills Elementary
Life has taught many of us that things aren’t always as they seem; just because something appears to be one way does not necessarily mean that’s the way it is. Sydney Faux is great example of this. Although her last name looks like it should be pronounced “foe”, it is actually pronounced “fox”. And even though Sydney’s third-grade stature made her look non-threatening to her sixth, seventh and eighth grade spelling bee opponents earlier this year, her performance at the bee proved to everyone that her third-grade brain was a force to be reckoned with.
Sydney may not have won this year’s district-wide spelling bee, but trouncing her middle school competitors and finishing third is certainly nothing to scoff at. And since she has won spelling bees at her school two years in a row, Sydney says she is very pleased with her strong finish at the district-level.
The pint-sized prodigy also impressed Atlanta Public Schools Technology Fair judges last month with a pretty spectacular project about how she won the Garden Hills spelling bee two years in a row. The APS Technology Fair gives 3rd-12th grade students interested in science, engineering and technology an opportunity to showcase their efforts and interests, and inspires them to pursue careers in those fields. Sydney’s project was such a hit, she won first place in the Multi-media Applications category, and she has already begun thinking about next year’s fair.
Sydney says she really enjoyed traveling to Macon for the student technology fair. Whether traveling for fun, or for educational purposes, Sydney loves to travel. In fact, in January she traveled to Washington D.C. to witness the presidential inauguration.
As a student in the talented and gifted program, Sydney is an inquisitive student who makes excellent grades, and gets along very well with others. And don’t be fooled if you spot her sitting quietly, escaping to her thoughts — something she does often; remember, with Sydney things are not always as they seem. She is, in fact, very outgoing. Staff at Garden Hills describe the third-grader as a natural leader and a risk-taker.
In addition to traveling, Sydney enjoys reading and spending time with her family. This summer she would like to attend robotics camp at Georgia Tech.
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Gideons Elementary
Have you ever seen a child always with a book in their hand reading? Let me paint the picture of this phenomenal student who always finds the time throughout the school day to read just for fun. She is reading on a sixth grade level and completes all assignments with zeal and tenacity. She is passionate about learning and never gives up on a task. Her zeal and love of learning is remarkable. During the summer months, she is actively engaged at the Xanadu Program for high achievers and at the Galloway School for Savannah College of Art and Design Program.
Nadia is a natural born leader in every aspect. She tutors those in her class and she works with the younger students in the afterschool program. Her leadership skills are awesome as an active member of the student council, girl scouts basketball team, and the safety patrol. Nadia’s dedication to scholarship, leadership, service, character, and the community is noteworthy.
Nadia is a joy to teach as she soaks up everything like a sponge. She thinks outside the box and creates award winning projects. Nadia has won first place in the recent Fulton Public Library Abraham Lincoln essay contest. She was recognized by the Atlanta Falcons as a First Down for Fitness most valuable player for her commitment to exercising and eating healthy. She has also been recognized by the Atlanta Hawks for her first place essay on staying active. Nadia has been entering art contests and winning first place in the poison control poster contest, school bus safety contest, fire safety calendar contest, Atlanta Humane Society “Be Kind to Animals” poster contest, law week poster contest winner, Georgia Agriculture poster contest, Georgia manufacturing poster contest, Give Wildlife a Chance calendar winner. Congratulations Nadia!
written by April Key, Secretary and Communications Ambassador at Gideons Elementary
Grade: 1st Grade
School: Peyton Forest Elementary
Taylor Sanaa Finney is a first grader in Ms. Fuller’s class at Peyton Forest Elementary School. According to her teachers and administrators, she is an exceptional student who is always eager and ready to learn. Taylor is described as being attentive and determined, and she serves as a role model for her fellow students in all content areas.
Taylor doesn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to her classmates whenever possible. Her favorite subject is reading, and every morning she conducts a reading circle, where she assists students who strive to excel in reading. Outside of school, Taylor is an advocate for community service as she completes various service projects with her Girl Scout Troop. More than anything, Taylor says she enjoys volunteering at local retirement homes and community clean-ups.
Beyond the classroom, this star student is also a star athlete. As a member of the Atlanta Falcons Dream Jr. Cheerleadng Team, Taylor performs at Falcons games during the season. Taylor is no stranger to being honored for her efforts in school. She has received the Principal’s Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, and Citizenship Awards every semester since Kindergarten. She is also in the talent development program at Peyton, where she works with the gifted and talented teacher. When she grows up she aspires to work in fashion and begin a career in teaching because she wants to help kids learn.
Grade: 4th Grade
School: D.H. Stanton Elementary
Jovani is D.H.Stanton’s prized reading student as a participant of both the Reading Bowl and the Accelerated Reader competition. He will mostly likely be the only student to read 1,000,000 words in this year’s competition. Students read the books assigned and complete a comprehension quiz to get credit for reading. He is currently at 762,565 words and is on track to reach 1,000,000 by the end of the year!
His favorite subjects are reading and science, and he loves science fiction books because they are very creative and imaginative. “My favorite book is Red Pyramid, and it’s about magic,” says Jovani. “I would rather reading an exciting story than watch it on a TV screen.” Reading is his favorite hobby, and he reads before bed every night and even in the cafeteria during lunch at times. He understands the value of reading as he says, “Reading is important because you gain knowledge by reading different kinds of books, and it helps you get smarter.”
Jovani is bilingual, and speaks both English and Spanish. Although his family does not speak English, he is easily reading 6th grade-level books. “It’s impressive that he finishes all these thick books and scores a 100% on the comprehension quizzes,” says Brenda Street, Media Specialist at D.H. Stanton. “He is simply a model student, and I am proud of his accomplishments.”
School: B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School
Dionte West insists that he is just a regular kid. Never mind that he was the top-scorer on the school’s technology test. Pay no attention to the fact that he consistently exceeds or makes perfect scores on all standardized tests, including the CRCT. And forget about the eighth grader’s extraordinary skills as a poet. Despite Dionte’s modesty, it is clear that he is far more than “regular.”
Dionte came to B.E.S.T. from Mississippi as a seventh-grader. He describes his achievements during that year as the thing for which he is proudest.
“I received every award imaginable. I had medals and trophies from the school, from school partners, for everything. And it took a lot of hard work, so I was really excited to see everything come together, and know that it all paid off.”
As one of the school’s top students, Dionte’s resume is chockfull of activities and honors: school robotics team, B.E.S.T. Academy Golden Eagle Ambassador, track team, school chorus and debate team, “Reflections” competition winner and student peer mentor.
However, Dionte says that there is something he enjoys more than all of this—poetry.
“Poetry is a way for me to express myself without getting in trouble. I’ve had an interesting life, and I’ve been through a lot,” he says. “Poetry gives me a way to release what I’m feeling, and there is a never-ending list of words to help me make my feelings clear.”
Dionte says he spends most of his spare time reading. He describes reading as a great way to learn and “escape.” His current literary interest is Dante’s Inferno—a book usually assigned to high school juniors and seniors as a mandatory reading.
B.E.S.T. technology teacher Alva Hartry says, “Dionte is an all around student who gets along with everyone. He knows what he wants, he knows what direction he’s headed, and he knows what to do to get there.”
School: Inman Middle
Karin transferred to Inman from Finland this school year, and placed 2nd in the Georgia State Technology Fair on March 9. Karin and Max Nevins, an Inman 7th grader, were among 700 participants from around the state. Karin’s multimedia project from math class won 2nd place in the Multimedia Division for 8th grade. Her movie was created with Windows Media Maker and explained mathematical functions with photo drawings, text, and voiceover. “I was not expecting to win and was really surprised when I won,” Karin says. “I decided to do a little more than what was required for my math project, and my teacher submitted it for the APS Technology fair, but I didn’t expect to go this far.” The State Technology Fair was a great experience for her, and sparked further interest in technology. “I am going back to Finland next year, but I would really like to participate in a technology fair again,” Karin says.
This year was an adjustment period for Karin, as it was her first time in America. The new school environment was also a major change for her, as her previous school only had a few hundred students. “In the beginning, it was pretty hard for me, but now, it’s really easy and I will be sad to leave my friends and teachers,” Karin says.
Karin hopes to become an architect, engineer, or a software designer. She loves to draw, and hopes that her skills will benefit her in the future. Her other hobbies include photography and sailing, and she’s part of Inman’s Karate club as well. “Basically, I want to do really well in school so that I am in good shape for the future,” Karin says. “I think school is really important for success, and I really enjoy it.”
Grade: 2nd Grade
School: Connally Elementary
Jordan Malloy is a second grade student at E.L. Connally Elementary School. Jordan’s teachers and administrators recognize him as a star student because he always strives to do his best each day. Jordan is very inquisitive and remains dedicated to his education and goals, even in the midst of challenegs or adversity.
“Jordan meets and exceeds the standards in all content areas,” explains Toni Pickett, Connally Elementary Principal. ”He is very good at reading and science and has a high interest in mathematics.”
In his spare time, Jordan enjoys sitting and looking at nature, playing football, and spending time with his family and friends. Jordan says his family serves as his source of inspiration. He always turns to them for advice and guidance in all that he does.
“I won’t let anything push me behind,” he says. ”I will do everything I can to make sure my family is okay. I know my family loves me, and that’s all I need to know to work hard in life.”
Jordan aspires to one day become a scientist or a police officer.
“I’m very intelligent so I think I can be a scientist,” he boasts.
But it doesn’t stop there. Jordan also recently received several awards, including recognition in spelling bees and football.
“We continue to be proud of Jordan and his accomplishments,” Pickett said. “We know that he is just one of the many bright stars at Connally Elementary.”
School: Margaret Fain Elementary School
Maria Gallo-Blanco is big on student achievement. She sets high academic goals for herself, and expects the same from others – especially her students.
Maria says she teaches an excellent group of students. Her favorites – Selena, Rihanna, and Nikki Manage – are every teacher’s dream; they follow directions and stay on task, turn in their assignments on time, perform well on tests, always smile and they never talk back to the teacher. Of course, it helps that the students are stuffed bears, and their permanently smiling mouths are sewn shut. Maria says her biggest problems are with the live children in her class – her younger brother and sister.
“They act up, and I have to threaten to call their parents,” she says. She is working on a solution to this problem, and she will probably have one soon, because Maria loves solving problems.
She satisfies her hunger for problem solving by diving into challenging schoolwork like math, her favorite subject. As an active member of the math league, Maria helped Fain’s fifth-grade team place first in the regional math competition.
“In math I can use numbers often. I love numbers, because they don’t lie – no matter how many times or how many different ways you use them,” she says.
Maria, a Junior Beta Club member and Principal’s List student, also uses her problem solving skills outside of the classroom. She recently won the bronze-key award at the district-wide Science Fair Awards ceremony. And when she translates for parents at her school, in her community and her family, Maria shifts into problem-solving- mode again.
“My brain is always moving, because Spanish doesn’t really have all the words that English has,” she explains. “I have to quickly find a way to say things so they make sense and everyone understands each other.”
Maria enjoys translating, because she likes helping people. She also helps her classmates with math.
“You don’t want them to struggle and fall behind; you want everyone to be on the same page in the book. And it’s fun watching them when they understand.”
Fain Challenge teacher and Math Team Coach Ms. Riddick calls Maria “a shining example of character who is always there to help other students.”
Away from school, Maria dances – she is a member of the school’s dance team – plays soccer and keeps the earth clean by picking up litter in her neighborhood. But she says her favorite pastime is playing “Lawyer” with her sisters. In “Lawyer” they pretend that one sister is the judge, one sister needs a lawyer and Maria is the lawyer.
“It’s fun, because the judge is tough and always asks for more proof, and I have to figure out how to keep my sister out of jail.”
And what does this bright and imaginative problem-solver want to be when she grows up? A teacher or a lawyer, of course.
Name: Jasmine Williams
School: Carver Early College
Jasmine Williams started her ninth grade year at Carver Early College by immersing herself in the Biology and Neuroscience Clubs. Now, as a twelfth grader, she plans to follow her dream of being an anesthesiologist or a general surgeon. She’d like to pursue her degree at either Duke University or Howard University. She says that the field of medicine will allow her to combine her love of science with her love of people. Her stellar academic record has her on the Principal’s List every semester. She also holds membership in the National Honor Society and Beta Club. For four years, she has been the SGA President of her grade level. She is a scholar-athlete leading the Varsity Soccer Club as their captain and boasts of last year’s winning season.
As a member of Sophisticated Ladies and Upendo JaJa, she has learned to value high self-esteem and intellect. Her community service involvement in the Key Club and the Knitting Club has rewarded her with warm feelings and she’s distributed hand-knitted winter clothing for the homeless and less fortunate. With her latest internship with the National Institute of Health, she conducted research on hypertension and cognitive decline and presented it to distinguished medical personnel. As Ms. Early College and the valedictatorian for this year’s graduation, Jasmine is poised to launch into her great future.
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College
School: Bethune Elementary
Brandon Anderson is a well-rounded student who comes to school ready to learn each and every day. He is self motivated, independent, and is always focused on the learning task, so it comes as no surprise that his teacher absolutely loves having him in class. His favorite statement is “Learning is fun.” Beyond his classwork, Brandon has a kind and compassionate spirit that makes everyone smile, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to others.
According to Jami Pettway, Principal at Bethune Elementary, Brandon is always highly enthusiastic and excited about learning.
“There have been times when his sheer presence has given me a bright ray of sunshine,” she explains. ”He is kind and considerate of his peers and strikes me as someone who has a wonderful outlook on life despite his very young age. I think he is well deserving of this month’s spotlight.”
Brandon is such a dedicated student, that he has earned the privilege to attend Ms. Moore’s first grade reading class and Ms. Horton’s first grade math class. Reading is one of Brandon’s favorite subjects, and he already aspires to one day become a video game inventor or a physicist. Brandon’s teachers believe this young and bright scholar will achieve anything he sets his mind to!
School: Warren T. Jackson Elementary School
Last year when Molly Cann set out to raise money for diabetes research, most people regarded her mission as noble, thoughtful, and even sweet. But one year later, the fifth-grader has proven that she is more than a cute face and a caring heart. Molly is a fundraising super-star, and her efforts resulted in a jaw-dropping $50,000 for diabetes research.
And although Molly was excited, she was not completely blown away when she learned the total. She never gives less than her best, and as a result she has grown quite accustomed to aiming high and finishing big. Molly was, however, touched to see so many of her peers supporting her efforts to raise money for a cause that is personally significant for her. Molly has type-1 diabetes.
Molly says her diabetes has helped her become a more responsible, caring and service-oriented person. She understands what she must do and what she must refrain from doing to prevent any life-threatening situations from occurring, and she realizes how important it is for her to help others. And as Molly sees it, she also has a responsibility to educate others about her illness. In fact, a critical part of her fundraiser was providing information about diabetes to her schoolmates during an assembly.
And while living with diabetes is something Molly must acknowledge daily, she does not allow the illness to define her or slow her down. Not only is she a straight A Challenge student, but she is extremely well balanced and talented. Molly is gymnast, she plays tennis, sings and even acts. Her angelic voice landed her a major role in the school’s upcoming musical, and Molly says she loves performing so much that she wants to do it professionally when she grows up. And if things don’t work out like she plans, she says she doesn’t mind settling for a career as a doctor.
Jackson’s principal, Dr. Lorraine Reich, says Molly is every teacher’s dream student; she makes excellent grades, she is helpful to her peers and her teachers, and she always goes the extra mile. And as the fundraising results indicate, when Molly goes the extra mile, everyone wins – BIG.
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Parkside Elementary School
Ian excels as a student and a robotics expert at Parkside Elementary School. He has been on the robotics team since second grade, and it has become one of his favorite hobbies. Parkside’s robotics team has won two state championships since he joined, which is the highest achievement for his grade level. “In robotics, we design robots out of mechanical legos that have electricity,” Ian says. “We program the robots to move back and forth and have to complete missions.” Ian’s robotics team includes four students, and they have become best friends through the experience. His dad helps him design the robots and they enjoy working together. “I like building things and making things move,” Ian says. “I have my own robotics kit, and love to put mechanical things together.”
Ian’s favorite subjects are math and science, and he receives As and Bs in all of his classes. In the future, he wants to attend Georgia Institute of Technology and become a mechanical engineer. Ian enjoys being active through sports such as basketball, baseball, and football. He also loves traveling and recently went on a trip to Singapore. He visited his grandparents for three weeks during winter break, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “I had a lot of fun,” Ian says. “It was really clean and very nice, and made me want to travel more.”
Grade: 11th Grade
School: Carver Early College
Elonte Porter is an eleventh grader who is one of Carver Early College’s shining stars. His high grade point average has kept him on the Principal’s list consistently. One of his favorite activities at Carver is the JROTC. He has been a member of the JROTC for three years. When recently competing, his precision and skills were so sharp that he has earned the distinct title of the Brigade Commander of all Commander Service. This is the number one JROTC position within the entire APS district.
Elonte’s career goal is to be an obstetrician/gynecologist with the Army or the Air Force. He says that since the military can be a profession where death often occurs, as an obstetrician, he could regularly handle new life. His college choices include Harvard, Yale, Duke, West Point Military Academy or the Air Force Academy. Elonte is also a member of Carver’s inaugural swim team. He has been swimming for ten years and he eagerly accepted the opportunity to swim competitively. His list of accomplishments continues; he is the assistant Secretary of the SGA. He participated in homecoming activities as Mr. Eleventh Grade for Carver Early College. He participates in the DTLR all-male book club which focuses on literacy and brotherhood. He also receives character development through his membership in The Esquire. The Esquire is an organization that fosters brotherhood, respect for womanhood and career strategies. With such dedication, involvement and scholarship, a very bright future awaits Elonte.
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College
Grade: 12th Grade
School: Jackson High
Divine is looking forward to high school graduation in the spring and attending Syracuse University with a full scholarship in the fall. As a student at Maynard Jackson, she is an active member of the National Honors Society, National Beta Club, Posse Scholar, head captain of the Varsity volleyball team, and more. Divine was a student intern at the College Bound Center, where she helped seniors prepare for the SAT and ACT, search for scholarships, and apply to colleges. She is also active in chorus through the Festival Choir as well as the APS Honors chorus, and participates in competitions.
She is dual enrolled in Atlanta Technical College and has earned 12 credit hours this year. She is learning the basics behind infrastructure and troubleshooting computers. She is passionate about technology and is planning to major in Computer Science and Engineering in college. She’s always loved video games and wants to help others in her career. In the future, she plans to dedicate herself in encouraging women to pursue STEM fields, because they are predominately men. Her interests are inspired by her mother who is an electrical engineer. “I was exposed to the field at an early age and always had technology around me,” Divine says. “I grew up playing video games rather than Barbie dolls.”
Divine’s hobbies include anime, graphic design, and animation. She worked with the media and broadcasting team at her church for 6 years. She performed administrative duties including monthly reports, managing equipment, sales, and more.
Divine has a younger 16 year-old sister and a 9 year-old brother. They have always been a priority in her life while they circulated around the family growing up. “We’ve come a long way and looking back, I feel really relieved and I’m so glad that I’m graduating,” Divine says. “I taught myself not to be negative, but there is a lot more work to be done. I’m so excited to go to NYC in the fall.”
As a successful student with a bright future, Divine sets a positive example to her peers. She encourages them to be optimistic, and to challenge themselves. “If I were to give advice to someone, I would say to start strong from the beginning,” Divine says. “Don’t be afraid to try because you never know what will happen.”
School: Adamsville Primary
Naija Dubose is an exemplary Kindergarten student in Ms. Bivings’s class at Adamsville Primary Elementary School. She excels academically in all content areas, in addition to possesing a warm and nurturing spirit. She displays honorable character traits among her peers in her classroom and around the school.
Even when Naija is enjoying her free time outside of school, she is still dedicated to furthering her reading and learning. She is an avid reader and she seeks opportunties to further her knowledge and learn new things on a daily basis.
Thougn Naija has just begun her academic tenure, she already has big dreams and goals for the future. Naija has expressed her interest in the field of health and fitness. When she grows up she hopes to become a farmer and a teacher who educates people on how to eat healthy, while also sharing her love for reading with her students. Adamsville Primary congratulates Naija on being a star student!
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Price Middle School
Cordell was bored one day and instead of playing video games or watching more TV he decided to write poetry about violence. He believes that writing poetry will help show the need to help others and that if everyone helps it will get better and then violence in the world will be reduced.
Cordell believes that writing poetry has made a difference in his life. He has made a change in friends and he is focusing on being consistent with his behavior. Poetry helps because “It is best to get it out. It doesn’t help to keep it in.” He has a new focus in his life. His favorite subject is Math and boasts that he really likes Ms. Beverly his Language Arts teacher because he “likes the way she teaches, when she teaches I get it.” His New Year’s resolution is “to make all school subjects his favorite and to make my low grades as high as my favorite subject.”
Cordell showcased his poetry at the CF Youth Development Group Poetry Reading on February 16th. This event was sponsored by the Youth Arts Festival.
While his future plans include Carver High School, then to the University of Kentucky to play basketball and then on to medical school just like his role model, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Cordell feels that poetry will always be a part of his life.
written by Tammy Rosado, Media Specialist at Price Middle School
School: Harper-Archer Middle School
Most travelers are accustomed to seeing occasional signs of litter, potholes, tree limbs or other obstructions in the road as they journey to their destinations. And as a traveler on the road to success, Derrianna Jones has had to clear a number of obstacles from her path. The seventh-grader admits that her while she loved elementary school, her sixth-grade year was tough. She found herself routinely distracted by the drama the follows most adolescent girls, and her response to it usually invited more drama. It seemed as if she was trapped in wild middle school soap opera. As a result, she began regarding school as a very unpleasant place to be.
But Derrianna says she never gives up. And she says, “Thanks to her family’s encouragement, she has developed a strong sense of optimism and perseverance. As a result, this year she can boast that she is an honor roll student, and last month she was selected as Student of the Month. The staff at Harper-Archer instantly noticed her polite demeanor and leadership qualities. And moreover, as a peer advocate, the time Derrianna devotes to befriending and assisting her disabled peers has made it clear that she has a genuine heart for helping others.
In addition to all of this, Derrianna has found time to serve as captain of her cheerleading team, play softball, run track, and create her own library of rap lyrics. Derrianna enjoys rapping and performing so much, she says when she finishes school, if she cannot become a teacher, specifically a third-grade teacher, she plans to rap professionally. And those who have witnessed her in action agree that she is a very talented entertainer.
Derrianna has already learned that the journey to excellence requires perseverance, discipline and focus. She understands the importance of staying optimistic while sweeping aside debris and other distractions that can suddenly appear in the road. And Derrianna is gassed up, excited and determined to keep things moving forward as she travels along her road to success.
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Coan Middle
Bianca is a cheerful 8th grader who loves to share her talent in music. She started learning violin in 3rd grade, and has been inseparable with her instrument ever since. “I love playing the violin because it helps me express my emotions, relieves stress, and helps people understand me and how I feel musically,” Bianca says. In her spare time, she enjoys performing at the senior citizen home and uplifting others with cheerful melodies.
She is a violinist in Coan’s string orchestra, and performed a duet at Coan Middle’s Fine Arts Festival. She is thankful to Ms.Bridgette Yancy, Coan’s Orchestra Teacher, and Ms. Catherine Price, Teaching Artist from Atlanta Music Project, for their guidance in her progress and techniques. “They are fantastic teachers and will always encourage you to play to the best of your ability,” Bianca says.
Bianca is a motivated student who makes all A’s and B’s in school. She is part of the Junior National beta Club, and is applying for the IB program at Jackson High School. Bianca also volunteers at a local nursery by reading to the children. Her dream is to become a pediatrician when she grows up, so she can work with kids and improve their health. “They love it when I come and read to them, and I want to start my own pediatric clinic in the future,” she says. Overall, Bianca is a talented and uplifting role model for children as well as her peers, and a positive influence to everyone around her.
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Brown Middle School
A highly motivated and intelligent young lady, Jenny Nguyen, is an engaging member of the Brown Middle School Gifted & Talented Academy. In her second year at Brown, Jenny strives for excellence in all her classes. She continues to earn all A’s and has been recognized on the Principal’s List.
It is obvious that education is extremely important to Jenny. A fervent reader, Jenny is often found with the latest fantasy novel or anything that peaks her interest. In fact she has been known to read as many as three books at a time or a novel in a single day. After high school, Jenny plans to attend college and major in medicine. She wants to pursue a career as a neonatal specialist because she enjoys taking care of babies. Her role models are her parents and her brother.
Jenny’s other passion aside from reading is folding origami. She is quite skilled and can make boxes, flowers, and stars.
This year, Jenny was selected to participate in a Saturday program at Spelman College. She had the opportunity to visit science and technology classes and learn about magnetism. She worked with a group to program a robot. As a member of the BMS Honor Band, Jenny plays the clarinet. She enjoys playing at school events including the basketball games, BMS Winter Program, this month’s Black History Program and an upcoming special performance at the State Capitol.
Jenny contributes to the community as a member of the BMS Notty Blanket Club, a service project which makes blankets for the homeless. Jenny is an amazingly well-rounded young lady, and her dedication to academics is inspiring. She is eager to help her classmates with difficult concepts and is always a team player. Jenny’s teachers are confident that she will be successful in all her endeavors.
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Slater Elementary School
On any given day you can walk into Slater Elementary School and ask about Anthony Johnson. Teachers’ eyes begin to beam, smiles start to form, and a multitude of positive praises flow from their mouths. Anthony is phenomenal fourth grade student at Slater. He is a member of the National Honors Society, a manager of the SunTrust Youth Bank, and one of the highest performing students in the city. In 2012, Anthony exceeded in all subjects on the 3rd grade CRCT. He scored above a 900 in four of the five subject areas. His math score was only one question away from being perfect.
Despite his community and environment, Anthony stays focused. Anthony’s homeroom teacher Ms. Mailloux stated, “Anthony is always very focused and optimistic about his learning. Anthony is very helpful with other students during the school day. He is always willing to tutor his peers when needed. Everything that Anthony does is above and beyond.”
Anthony’s helpful ways do not stop in the classroom. Anthony frequently volunteers with his church’s recreation league and he mows his neighbors’ yards without asking for a dime.
“Anthony is a diligent worker and a leader within the classroom. He is a person that never gives up. He always makes sure that he uses his critical thinking skills within the classroom. He is creative and innovative. He cares about his community and he shows this by volunteering with his church,” says Mr. Gusta, a teacher at Slater and the advisor of the National Honors Society.
Anthony has abounding aspirations for his future. He plans to attend the prestigious Harvard University after graduating high school. He is enthusiastic about studying political science at Harvard. He will one day work with the Democratic Party and aspires to be the President of the United States.
“It is every teacher’s desire to have a student in the classroom just like Anthony,” says Mrs. Bowden, Anthony’s 3rd grade teacher. “I have no doubt that Anthony will be successful in his future endeavors. Anthony never complains. No task is ever out of his range. He thrives from competition, but he is selfless in his attempt to motivate other students to elevate their thinking.”
Anthony is well-rounded as well. He enjoys playing sports when he isn’t working on his studies or volunteering. Baseball and basketball are some of his favorite athletic activities.
“I recognized Anthony’s future potential when he was a second grade student in my reading class. His stoic demeanor, unstoppable drive, and loving personality are all ingredients in his recipe for success. He is one special child and everyone that encounters him knows it,” praises Slater Elementary teacher Ms. Fick.
Anthony Johnson will certainly be an Atlanta Public School success story in the future. Plan to see Anthony’s name on your ballot in the future.
written by Tiffany Fick, Educator at Slater Elementary
School: Sutton Middle School
Seventh-grader Nolan Edmonds has been honing his skills on the gridiron since he was six-years-old. Finally last month, after six years of hard work, grit and perseverance on the field, the Sutton Middle School running back and defensive back earned the opportunity to showcase his amazing athleticism to the nation — and he did it at the world-famous Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Nolan was selected to join an elite group of youth football players in Georgia who represented the state and their schools in the only event of its kind: the Football University (FBU )National Championship, an event many describe as “March Madness meets the Little League World Series.” During the championship 64 teams from the U.S. and Canada represent their states or provinces, and compete in a single-elimination tournament to earn the most prestigious title in youth football – National Champion.
The All-American Games (AAG) created FBU’s 40-state National Championship to allow America’s top seventh and eighth-grade players to compete against each other, and according to the organization, the opportunity prepares athletes for optimal performance on the football field.
Nygel, Nolan’s older brother, played on the seventh and eighth-grade FBU All- American teams, and Nolan was all too excited to follow in his brother’s footsteps. On January 6 Nolan played with the Eastbay All-American team in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Nolan’s spectacular performance contributed to the team’s 40-7 win.
But Nolan’s talents extend beyond his footwork on the football field, and he is far from the stereotypical jock. The 5’5″, 140 lb. athlete also excels at track and field. Nolan was named team captain when he played in the All-American bowl because of his performance and his stellar leadership on the field. And his performance in the classroom is equally strong. As an honor roll student, he has a long history of making ‘As’, he enjoys reading and drawing and he is an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). And somehow the seventh-grader still finds time to give back to the community by volunteering at MUST Ministries, a food and clothing bank.
Nolan Edmonds has all the characteristics of true superstar, and readers should take time to remember his name. Chances are, we’ll be hearing it a lot .