by: Brene Bradley
The Office of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) honored students at the 2015 Celebration of Champions, a student achievement awards ceremony for students who complete career pathways. More than 250 Completers from high schools throughout the district were recognized for earning distinction as CTAE Program Completers and for passing their end-of-pathway, industry-recognized exams. The Georgia Department of Education defines completers as those students who successfully pass at least three courses in a chosen career pathway such as Biotechnology Research & Development, Therapeutic Medical Services, Engineering, Entrepreneurship (Small Business Development), Interactive Media, Graphic Design/Communications, or Broadcast Video Production.
The celebration was held at Atlanta Technical College on April 23. The students were treated to an inspirational message from motivational speaker, Billy Boughey. The program gave special recognition to over 180 completers who had a cumulative GPA of 90 percent or higher. The 2015 CTAE Valedictorian is Anna Hurie Gustafson, a North Atlanta student who completed the Audio-Video Technology & Film pathway. Eight students earned special distinction for completing, not one, but two pathways: Aliya Nicole Maloof and Pares Daquan Richardson, Henry Grady High School; Londen Aliel Mackey, North Atlanta High School; Milik Marcello Butts, Windield Cheeta Daughterty, James Matthew Clark III, and Tamiara Jasmine Hicks from Booker T. Washington High School; and Dequavius Sinkfield, Mays High School.
Three students were also awarded the CTAE Achievement Scholarship of $1,000 each: Anna Gutstafson – N. Atlanta High School, Kayla Stripling – Coretta Scott King High School, and Larissa Alexander – South Atlanta School of Healthcare Science.
In addition to students, teachers, and principals, district staff and CTAE Advisory Board members attended the event. This year marks the sixth year that Atlanta Public Schools has recognized its Completers.
CTAE also acknowledged more than 1,000 students as program completers for the 2014-15 school year!
One testing agency, Working in Support of Education (WISE), honored BEST Academy High School as one of the W!SE 100 Best High Schools Teaching Personal Finance in our national network. Alisha Foots and David Turner will receive a special award in recognition of this fine accomplishment.
At a young age, D’Ariel Myrick seemed to thrive on knowledge. She began walking and talking at an early age and by elementary school years, she was allowed to visit upper grade levels, settling in the gifted program where she was challenged beyond her imagination. In 6th grade, D’Ariel found her true calling—writing. By 2011, D’Ariel knew she would be an international model, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. In her final year at Booker T. Washington High School, D’Ariel juggles high school, dual-enrollment, and an internship, while endeavoring to be an amazing daughter, friend, and citizen. Other than writing, her passion is to help any and all future community service projects.
Plans to Attend: University of Georgia
Career Goal: Entrepreneur
DeVaughn Marcel Davis began his education in Atlanta Public Schools. He attended Fickett Elementary, Brown Middle, and is currently the Valedictorian of the historic Booker T. Washington High School. He has been ranked the top student of his graduating class since his freshman year. Currently, he is dually-enrolled at Georgia State University where he boasts a 3.9 GPA. Because DeVaughn recognizes the value of hard work and diligence, he also understands the importance of giving back and being a leader. He currently serves as president of Gentlemen of Quality, a mentoring program unique to Washington for a select group of young men earning over 300 community service hours. Moreover, he also serves as the editor of the yearbook staff. He lives by the quote, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”- Confucius.
Plans to Attend: The Ohio State University
Major: Animal Science
Career Goal: Veterinarian
Mya Green 2015 Salutatorian of Therrell School of Technology, Engineering, Math & Science Plans to Attend Tuskegee University and Study to Become a Wildlife Veterinarian
Mya Green is an active participant in multiple extracurricular activities at her school, including softball, tennis, drill team and performing arts. Mya serves as Parliamentarian for the Student Government Association and as a College Ambassador for Project GRAD. Her hobbies are writing, fencing, and reading interesting novels. She believes her greatest distinction is graduating high school at the age of 16. After high school, Mya plans to attend Tuskegee University to pursue a degree in animal sciences. Mya’s lifelong dream is to find a cure for a serious animal illness and to one day work on a wildlife reserve.
Plans to Attend: Tuskegee University
Major: Animal Science or Biology
Career Goal: Wildlife Veterinarian
Keiyitho Omonuwa is the 2015 Valedictorian of Therrell School of Technology, Engineering, Math & Science
Keiyitho Omonuwa moved to Atlanta in 5th grade with her mother and younger sister. She is the captain of the varsity swim team, the drill team squad commander, and a class leader in the Student Government Association. Keiyitho is also a member of the Shakespeare play cast, and a high scorer in the Academic Decathlon. Her passions are biology, computers, and taking care of her dogs. Currently, she is the Valedictorian and star student at D.M. Therrell High School of Engineering, Math, and Science and works as an IT intern at Atlanta Public Schools.
Plans to Attend: Emory University
Career Goal: Pediatrician
Future Dentist Ziana Townsend is Therrell School of Law, Government & Public Policy’s 2015 Salutatorian
Ziana Townsend’s philosophy about life comes from a quote by Robert Frost: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Her ultimate goal is to have her own dental practice—using her gifts to motivate and inspire both the young and elderly to be more confident and positive while empowering people one smile at a time. She is grateful to have her parents, Mrs. Reed (counselor), Ms. Modi (college advisor), Dr. Lee (teacher), and Ms. Edwards (teacher) by her side, constantly pushing, encouraging, and motivating her.
Plans to Attend: Georgia State University
Career Goal: Dentist
Valedictorian of Therrell School of Law, Government & Public Policy Shannon Harris Hopes to Find a Cure for Cancer
Shannon Harris has encountered several different obstacles at D.M. Therrell High School. Obstacles that have the potential to make many adults give up on life. Despite these hurdles, Shannon has remained triumphant. Someone once said, “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways-either by losing hope or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” Shannon’s story has inspired and steered her career path. She plans on majoring in biochemistry and pursuing a career in Medical Research in hopes of one day finding the cure for cancer, as well as work with the development of pharmaceuticals.
Plans to Attend: University of Georgia
Career Goal: Medical Researcher