Posts tagged ‘Parks Middle School’

Parks walks for Patrick

IMG_4709On May 19th, Principal Sherri Bennett and the faculty of Parks Middle School participated in Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  Principal Bennett and the Parks Staff walked for Ms. Bennett’s nephew Patrick and the students of Atlanta Public Schools. Their team name is “Parks for Patrick”. IMG_4698

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a fun-filled, family friendly event and is our single most powerful force to fund vital research that will lead us to the answers needed to address autism. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder in the U.S. Every 11 minutes, another family receives the devastating news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder.  This walk event took place at Atlantic Station in the Pinnacle Lot beginning at 8:00 am. The Parks for Patrick group raised $320 that was donated to the Autism Speak Walk.. IMG_4692Way to go Principal Bennett and Parks staff!

May 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm 1 comment

APS School Construction and Renovation Projects

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April 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm 1 comment

Student Spotlight of the Week

Name: Liza Wemakorliza

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.”

Name: Maurice JonesParksAPSStudentSpotlightMauriceJones032513

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

kdzah[1]Name: Keymontaye Dzah

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

Student Spotlight_Sydney FauxGrade: 3rd

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.


April 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Parks wins 1st prize in the College and Career Readiness Spirit Week


The Atlanta Public Schools Annual “College & Career Spirit Week” consists of various opportunities for students to be exposed to a variety of careers and post secondary institutes of higher learning.   Students have the opportunity to create resumes, explore their teachers’ alma maters, and hear from representatives from various universities, colleges and vocational schools.  This exciting week also includes a district-wide contest that measures how each school promoted this event and showed spirit.

Parks Middle School took home the honor of winning 1st prize in the APS “College & Career Spirit Week”.   The trophy and $300 prize was given by Brene’ Bradley, Project Coordinator for College & Career Readiness and was accepted by Mrs. Latarsha Mills Mckie, Guidance Counselor who led Parks to victory.  The prize money will be used to provide more opportunities to expose the students to College & Career readiness.  All staff participated to show the love of their colleges and universities. Congratulations to Parks Middle School!ParksCollegeCareer2ParksCollegeCareer1ParksCollegCareer2


April 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm 1 comment

Parks Tar Heels College Tour

ParksCollegeTour5APSNews22032113On March 8th and 9th, thirty seven young ladies from W.L. Parks Middle School had the opportunity to travel to the state of North Carolina to visit college campuses They visited Queens University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College and the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. The students visited to promote college and career readiness and to expose them to higher education and historically black colleges and universities.

Representatives from the each college and university provided the students with history and information on the schools. The students also had the opportunity to visit classrooms, dorms and current students. Ramona Hart, a former Parks staff member and alumna of Livingstone College, shared a valuable lesson on the importance of education with the Parks students.

This trip was made possible by the Parks Pals Mentoring Program and Forever Family Atlanta, Inc.ParksCollegeTour6APSNews22032113


March 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Parks and L.E.A.D. Baseball’s 3rd Annual Signing Day


Parks baseball team. Chyna Barnes is the third person in the front row from left to right.

On February 27th, Parks Middle School and L.E.A.D Baseball held its 3rd annual signing day.   This day signified a partnership with L.E.A.D organization and a commitment to academic excellence for members of the 2013 Parks’ baseball team.  Students, parents, and the Board of Directors for L.E.A.D presented students with the opportunity to sign a letter of commitment.  This opportunity has been previously been reserved for graduating seniors who have received athletic scholarships.

This event was monumental, because the first girl to play L.E.A.D Baseball, Chyna Barnes, was among the signees.   C.J. Stewart, founder of L.E.A.D Baseball program, spoke about the honor of serving students in the Pittsburgh community where his father was raised. Mr. Stewart also talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with a team that will elevate and expose you to greatness. Parents, students and community members had the opportunity to participate in this memorable day that impacted the baseball team.  Parks_LEADscholarshipbaseball030813

written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist at Parks Middle School

March 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Student Spotlight of the Week

Name: Jada MumphreyJada Mumphrey

Grade: 5th Grade

School: M. Agnes Jones Elementary

Jada Mumphrey personifies the “Born for Greatness” creed inspired by the principal at M. Agnes Jones, Mrs. Woolfolk. Jada is an exemplary citizen and student. This soft spoken and kindhearted individual excels in all that she does.

Jada has been a challenge student since kindergarten. Upon entering the Science Fair, she received first place honors for her project. With outstanding effort and fortitude, she has received nothing less than A’s in her core subjects. Jada excels in all that she does and continues to perform in the top percentage of the fifth graders at M. Agnes Jones. Great effort and determination are the factors that drive Jada to meet and greet any challenge that is set before her.

“It is simply a joy to be able to work with Jada,” explains Jada’s teacher, Ms. Robin Holloway. “She is an inspiration to everyone she meets, and I am inspired to be a better teacher simply by her daily examples of quiet giftedness.”

Jada excels in more than academics. Cheerleading and dancing are areas in which she also exceeds. She has been a cheerleader since she was two years old and is presently cheering with the Hapeville Recreation Center. Mastering the art of ballet, tap and jazz is a simple feat for someone as talented as Jada. Dancing is an art that is so near and dear to Jada, and she also dances with the gospel dancers at her church.

It is obvious upon meeting Jada that she is a multitalented individual. However, one of her most outstanding qualities is the humble quiet nature that she exudes as she interacts with others.

Name: Keiara LawsonKLawson_ParksAPSStudentSpotlight020813

Grade: 8th Grade

School: Parks Middle School

Keiara Lawson is an outstanding 8th grade student at Parks Middle School.  Keiara is a member of the Parks Middle School Media and Literacy Club. Keiara attends the Forever Family after school program where she learns to play tennis and receives healthy eating tips through cooking demonstrations.  This motivated her to enter a Sodexho Companies sponsored cooking contest where she had the opportunity to present and prepare an original recipe. Every summer, Keiara attends the Odyssey Program which teaches an advanced curriculum and life skills to the students. The Odyssey Program grants scholarships to students that remain in the program until their high school graduation. Keiara is also active in her community and her church.

Based on her leadership qualities, she was chosen by her peers and Parks Principal Sherri Bennett to take a tour and meet the members of WSBTV news anchor team.  As a member of the gifted program, Keiara has excelled in all content areas and maintained consistency each quarter as a honor roll student.  Keiara wants to attend Yale University and become an obstetrician because she loves working with children and helping people.  She is truly a spotlight student with a bright future.

written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist at Parks Middle School.

Name:  Marissa SalettIMG_1311

Grade:  4th Grade

School: Boyd Elementary

Marissa Salett is a model student at Boyd Elementary.  This 4th grader is eager to learn new information and is the type of student who is always willing to lend a helping hadnd to her peers when they have academic challenges.  She consistently exceeds academic expectations and her pleasant demeanor allows her to get along effortlessly with her fellow classmates.

For fun, Marissa enjoys cooking and gardening.  She is a member of Boyd’s Garden Club, where students are growing and monitoring fresh vegetables, as well as determining the effects of weather on the crops and their growth.

Her unique culinary skills have afforded her the opportunity to be chosen as a finalist in the 2nd Annual Future Chef’s Culinary Competition.  This exciting event, where Marissa will have to prepare a six-inch presentation plate, will take place on March 9, 2013 at B.E.S.T. Academy.  And Marissa’s project on school uniforms won first place at the school’s science fair!

Marissa’s teacher, Jocelyn Daniels, says Marissa can be summed up in one word—“fantastic.”

alexName:  Alex Yang

Grade: Kindergarten

School: Toomer Elementary

Alex Yang is a six-year-old at Toomer Elementary who excels in all subject areas, has artistic talents, and is also bilingual. Alex is able to speak both English and Mandarin. His mother was a Chinese teacher at Toomer last year, and is now teaching at North Atlanta High School. “I am better at English than Mandarin,” Alex says. “I like that I can speak both, but I only speak Mandarin to my mom.”

Alex is very intelligent and gifted, but he also has a dynamic personality. He can be very quiet and reserved at times, and also very energetic and social. Alex’s teacher says that he does not struggle in any subject areas, but excels at everything he does.  His favorite subjects are reading and math and says, “I like math because it has lots of numbers.”  His teacher is also very impressed with his drawings, and says, “Alex stands out as an artist; he loves drawing and he’s very good at it.” His diverse characteristics, intelligence, and capability make him a very unique and special student at Toomer Elementary.

February 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm 12 comments

Living Legend Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian among speakers at Parks College and Career Day

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Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian with Parks Middle Scholars.

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Special Education Lead Teacher Kamau Mason, student Kevin Griffin, Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian and Media Specialist Yashica Green.

February 1st marked the first day of Black History Month.  A bit of history also occurred at College and Career Day at W. L. Parks Middle School.  The College and Career Day focused on exposing students to the many post-secondary opportunities available to them and how critical it is to prepare for these opportunities now.  Over 30 College and Career Day participants shared their enthusiasm, dedication and expertise from their trade school, alma mater or career.  This year, we were privileged to have individuals representing various colleges and technical schools, as well as a living legend in the person of Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian. Dr. Vivian is known as one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest friends and faithful lieutenants during the Civil Rights Movement.  He shared his stories of discrimination, racism as well as stories of determination and triumph. His soft voice but strong spirit engaged our students from beginning to end. It was indeed a joy to have Dr. Vivian grace us with his presence.

Parks CollegeCareerDay02012013

Mr. Charles King, IT Consultant, Florida A & M Alumnus and President of the Atlanta Alumni Chapter for FAMU.

Parks CollegeCareerDay020113_5

Mechelle Matthews with the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers, Atlanta.

Students also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Wilkerson from The Georgia Driving Academy.  As a senior instructor for the GDA, Mr. Wilkerson brought an actual truck cab to Parks which hitches to 18 wheeler trucks. Students were able to make real world connections while he demonstrated what he discussed.

Mr. Charles King, an IT Consultant and businessman, was another dynamic presenter who spoke with passion and excitement about his profession and alma mater, Florida A & M University. Mr. King was able to capture our students by expressing the critical need for innovative and out of the box thinkers who also meet minimum requirements and training to be tomorrow’s trendsetters. His passion was evident and contagious.

Parks MS had a dynamic and informative College and Career Day that truly was an eye-opening and impressionable experience for our students. We are grateful for all our participants and know that their presentations have sparked our students towards greatness and success.

written by Latarsha Mills-McKie Ed.S Guidance Counselor, Parks Middle School  

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Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian imparts life lessons and wisdom to Parks Scholars.

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Mr. Vann Wilkerson from the Georgia Driving Academy.

Parks CollegeCareerDay020113_4

Mr. Jackie Miller, Southwest Representative for Milo’s Sweet Tea.

February 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Parks Middle School receives top honors for giving








Walter Leonard Parks Middle School embraced the holiday spirit of “giving back to the community that has supported them”.   Parks Middle School’s Graduation Coach, Mr. MacArthur Randolph, facilitated and motivated the students during the Holiday Can Food Drive to benefit the Atlanta Food Bank. Over 1, 500 cans were collected during this annual drive.  Based on the number of cans collected, Atlanta Food Bank stated that it will provide at least 1, 213 meals to needy families. Every year many schools within the Atlanta Public Schools district participate in this event.  This year, Parks Middle School received top honors for collecting the most can goods by a school for the Atlanta Food Bank. Mrs. Natascha Hampton’s 7th grade homeroom was recognized with a holiday meal for collecting over 500 cans.   Mrs. Patrice Mapson’s 8th grade homeroom was also recognized for collecting over 280 cans.

Great job, Parks Middle School!

written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist, Parks Middle School


December 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Parks Middle School welcomes, and videotapes, noted children’s book author Evelyn Coleman

Lights … camera … action! These are only a few of the words spoken by W.L. Parks Middle School students as they videotaped renowned storybook author Evelyn Coleman during a recent school visit. Parks sixth-graders have teamed up with the Auburn Avenue Research Library under the auspices of library program division manager Morris Garner. The students have currently been learning how to video document famous Atlantans for a video documentary piece that details the Pittsburgh community. The school invited Ms. Coleman to read storybook passages, answered questions and chronicled her life as a writer. The noted author has written more than 35 best seller storybooks for children.

Coleman is also a Parents Choice Honor Book Award winner who is best known for writing the following children books: The Freedom Train, The Riches of Oseola McCarty, To Be a Drum and White Socks. Parks students interviewed and videotaped the author responses to questions that will be inclusive of a community documentary piece. Parks teacher Jocelyn Johnson continues to prepare the students for visits as she assists them with Internet research and literary projects in preparation for a visit from local spoken-word artist Reed Dorty.

The Pittsburgh student documentary project will be completed in late April. The documentary will premiere at both the Auburn Avenue Research Library and Parks Middle School gymnasium.

March 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

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