Posts tagged ‘West Manor Elementary’
Chances are, when you hear the name James Bond, your thoughts instantly turn to spies, cool cars, hi-tech gadgets and a certain tall and dashing, tuxedo-clad secret agent. But how often does that name leave you with thoughts of Atlanta Public Schools?
If you’ve called any APS phone number recently, you’ve probably made that connection. James Bond is the Cool Kid with the big voice customers now hear when they call district phone numbers. When callers are placed on hold, the fourth grader’s news updates keep them informed about what’s happening in the district.
James is excited to deliver the news for APS. “I like informing all the parents about the changes happening in the APS schools,” James says. But more importantly, he realizes that his news bites serve a purpose. “This is important, because it helps people so that they’ll be ready when it’s time to go back to school.”
When he’s not keeping parents informed, the straight-A student spends his time doing kid stuff. This summer James participated in a future space explorer program as part of Xanadu, the APS enrichment camp for gifted students. James learned a lot about rockets at Xanadu. But for him, the best part of the camp was combining those lessons with his creativity to build water and gunpowder rockets.
James is also a Lego enthusiast who can build just about anything with the miniature bricks. And his fascination with robots has prompted him to experiment and teach himself about the world of robotics.
This interest in design, construction and experimentation suggests that James’ future lies somewhere in science and technology. In fact, he says science is his favorite subject, and his professional goals include creating the first non-air propelled Hubber-craft.
James attends West Manor Elementary school, and has been an APS student since first grade.
Budding scientist and inventor James Bond is the APS Cool Kid for this week.
Sydney Ragland, a fifth-grader from West Manor Elementary, fulfilled her goal by being one of the first to win both her school and district spelling bee. Ragland has participated in spelling bees since she was in the third grade, yet wasn’t able to pull out a victory — until now. (Check out the AJC article here.)
All of those years of defeat made Ragland more determined to win her fifth grade spelling bee. She decided that her study process had to intensify to enable her to defeat her school competition. Ragland’s hard work paid off by beating her school and district competition.
“It felt great [to win the competition]. I was so astonished and I couldn’t move,” said Ragland. “I was very excited for myself and school and teachers.”
Ragland is now preparing for the regional spelling bee on Feb. 26. Her study routine includes studying a list of words provided to her; she studies 150 words a night. Her friends and mother help her study and go over the spelling bee words assuring her that she has memorized them to the best of her ability.
More than 200 men fanned out across Atlanta this morning to participate in the inaugural reading day of the R.E.A.L. Men Read initiative. This six-month program is part of Atlanta Public Schools’ overall effort to foster the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” by the time students complete third grade. Studies show that knowing how to read early in a child’s education is an important element in their continued educational development. (Check out previous coverage here.)
Four APS teachers rewarded with $1,000 worth of school supplies from OfficeMax’s ‘A Day Made Better’
Four Atlanta Public Schools elementary teachers got a needed boost in their classrooms Tuesday when OfficeMax provided $1,000 worth of school supplies as part of their national “A Day Made Better” project. The recipients were Boyd’s Trina White, Fickett’s Merilyn Tickles, Slater’s Gwendolyn Taylor and West Manor’s Francine Ferguson.
Armed with flowers, a plaque and a large box of office supplies, representatives from OfficeMax flooded Taylor’s classroom, leading students in shouting, “Surprise!”
The supplies ranged from markers and notebooks to a new leather chair. Two gifts that got the most response were digital cameras and electric pencil sharpeners.
“I wish I were Ms. Taylor,” said one student as her teacher displayed each item. Each year, Office Max selects 1,000 winning educators around the country. Based on their research, teachers spend about $1,000 a year outfitting their classrooms with colorful signs, banners and other tools to enhance instruction.
“It is our way of giving back to the community,” said Todd McBride, national account manager for the office supply retailer. “It’s really awesome to be here and watch the kids’ expressions.”
Taylor, who has taught at Slater for the past five years, also serves as the school’s Teacher of the Year as well as a Project GRAD master teacher. While the supplies definitely made her day, she was eager to put them to use by returning to that lesson.
“Partnerships like this encourage our teachers to keep doing their best each day,” said Principal Selina Dukes-Walton. “Miss Taylor is a great ambassador for Slater Elementary.” On Wednesday, Slater will welcome the city’s top ambassador; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is scheduled to attend the grand opening of Slater’s SunTrust Youth Bank.
Merilyn Tickles, a second-grade teacher at Fickett Elementary, was surprised by the OfficeMax A Day Made Better team along with her principal, Dr. Anthony Dorsey. “I am just shocked and overwhelmed,” said Tickles, who has been an educator for 31 years, and seven of those years have been at Fickett.
Over at Boyd, Principal Emalyn Foreman was delighted for Trina White, whom she nominated. “She’s a very nurturing person who brings love and compassion to the kids everyday,” Foreman said of White, currently in her second year at Boyd. “No matter her students’ circumstances, she brings them under her wing and gives them what they need to succeed.”
West Manor Elementary held its second annual “Exceeds Luncheon” Wednesday for students who excelled on the 2010 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). To qualify for attending the luncheon at Benihana Restaurant in Buckhead, students in first and second grade had to score in the “exceeds” category in all three areas measured. Students in third through fifth grade had to score in the “exceeds” category in three areas tested, including math or reading.
A total of 113 students qualified to attend the luncheon, which was sponsored by a local business. Eighty-five students attended the event.
“We are so proud of our students,” said Principal Cheryl Twyman. “Some students remarked that they had never been to a restaurant like Benihana.”
Dozens of professionals came out to Career Day at West Manor Elementary School on Wednesday. The school-wide event featured Andra Grier, West Manor parent and co-owner of Grier Brothers Enterprises and Sand Gravel Suppliers. Grier brought his dump truck for students to observe and admire. Before he left the building he reminded the students, “Hit the books – that’s what it’s all about.”
Another welcome guest was Arie Michel, actress and sister of R&B singer Bobby Valentino. The West Manor parent acknowledged that everyone has dreams, and there are a variety of ways to reach them. “Find someone that’s doing what you want to do now,” said Michel. However, she did talk with students who wre still uncertain about what career is right for them. “There are so many jobs that I didn’t know about,” she told them. “I encourage you to step outside your circle and surround yourself with people you want to be like.”
Other Career Day participants included Dr. Margarett Wilson, a physician in Grady Hospital’s Employee Health Services and inventor of the “Snazzy Napper,” a sleep shield blanket for travelers. Dr. Wilson is also the mother of Arie Michel and Bobby Valentino. Also in attendance were Atlanta Police Department Mountain Patrol officers P. Towns and W.P. McReady; Desmond Fannin, executive chef of Sodexo-Jackmont; and Kimberly Willis Green, manager of public relations and special events for Atlanta Public Schools.
We continue our ongoing series on the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education winners with a profile of Cathy Carter, third-grade department chair at West Manor Elementary School. Currently in her third year at West Manor, Carter also serves on the Mathematics and Science Committee, the One Fair Committee and School Programs Committee, and is a member of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
Carter has been a teacher for 13 years, all but two with APS. She began her teaching career at Gideons Elementary, where she taught for eight years and was the recipient of Project GRAD-Atlanta’s Master Teacher Award in 2004. She has taught at Oak Knoll Elementary in Fulton County and was a mentor for the Butterflies Girl’s Mentoring group. She also taught Charles Drew Charter School, where she served as mentor with the Go Girl Go Program. She led as a summer camp Creative Writing Coach for students in grades K-8 at the East Lake YMCA via Drew Charter.
Twenty West Manor Elementary students enjoyed a fine-dining experience in the West Manor Café last week following a one-hour etiquette class on Jan. 19 sponsored by Sodexo-Jackmont. Sodexo-Jackmont’s Chef Praylani conducted the class earlier in the week in preparation for the meal. Third- and fourth-graders shared a four-course meal complete with salad, soup, entrée, and dessert, prepared by Chef Praylani and his staff. They also spoke with Sodexo-Jackmont Executive Chef Desmond Fannin about his career as a chef. Each student received a certificate for completion of the etiquette course at the luncheon.
“Most of the students enjoyed their soup bowls and plated dishes, but their favorite item was the warm buttered bread served with the meal,” said West Manor Elementary Principal Cheryl Twyman.
More than 50 Atlanta Public Schools chess club members from five elementary schools competed for the “travelling trophy” during a chess tournament yesterday hosted by M. Agnes Jones Elementary on Monday. Sponsored by the Kappa Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the America’s Foundation for Chess First Move Program, levels II and III players K-5 from Fain, West Manor, Usher-Collier Heights, Humphries, and Jones elementary schools participated in the tournament. The First Move program employs chess as a learning tool to teach higher level thinking skills, advance math and reading skills, and to build self-esteem in students.
West Manor Elementary School is among the top 10 percent of schools in the state, earning the 2009 Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement designation.
“I want to personally congratulate the students, teachers and staff at West Manor Elementary for their outstanding achievement,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. “Your performance is reflective of what we are experiencing across the district in terms of the tangible impact of our decade-long school reform initiatives.”
A total of 27 schools from across Georgia were singled out for their student performance in two categories — greatest academic gains and the top 10 percent in overall student achievement. Qualifying schools are selected from each Congressional district based on student performance as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics.
“These schools are getting great results from all students in many different areas,” said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. “The teachers, students and administrators at these schools truly represent excellence.”