Congratulations to Principal Margul Woolfolk and the entire M. Agnes Jones Elementary School student body and staff for conquering this milestone.
STEAM certification is awarded to schools that offer high-quality education that integrates science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts. The certification review was conducted by a team of 18 representatives from the Georgia Department of Education and educators from around the state.
In 2017, M. Agnes Jones became the first APS school to receive STEM certification. Based on its strong existing arts program and strong community partners, M. Agnes decided to pursue STEAM certification in 2018. On April 15, 2019, State Superintendent Richard Woods delivered the official STEAM certification banner to M. Agnes Jones.
Superintendent Woods was met with a warm welcome by students, staff, District leadership, including Deputy Superintendent David Jernigan — and, of course Ramsey the robot!
On April 17, Inman Middle School had a special visit from actress Mary Badham, who portrayed Jean Louise “Scout” Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Badhma was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress — the youngest actress nominated in this category at the time.
so glad to be here and that your teachers thought it was important enough for
me to be here,” Badham told an audience full of eighth graders.
Badham talked about her experience as a young child on set, race relations, and the power of education.
1961 Pultizer Prize winning novel provides a view of racial injustice through
the lens of its 6-year-old female protagonist Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. When a
black man is accused of rape in 1930s Alabama, Scout’s dad Atticus accepts the
role as his lawyer.
Like Scout, Badham is a self-professed tomboy and also grew up in Alabama.
“When I grew up in the 50s and 60s, not much had changed since the 30s,” Badham said. “The races were separated. If a Black boy so much as looked me in the face, he could’ve been beaten or killed, and nobody would’ve said anything.”
the connection to today, Inman interrelated teacher Dr. Stephen Alfred shared
statistics about the disproportionate amount of unarmed African Americans who
are fatally shot by police compared to whites. He encouraged students to be
are the game changers,” Dr. Alfred said. “Be the problem solvers. When all you
can do is react, you become a problem creator, and there’s a whole other system
question and answer portion ended with Badham asking students to repeat the following
Tracey Pendley, 2018-2019 Atlanta Public Schools Districtwide Excellence in Teaching winner, has been named a top 10 finalist for the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year program. Pendley is a fourth-grade teacher at Burgess-Peterson Academy.
“We’re very proud of Tracey here at BPA and are excited to have her represent APS and our school community at the state-level competition,” said Principal David White.
State School Superintendent Richard Woods today announced the 10 finalists for 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Woods announced Pendley along with nine other teachers as finalists from a pool of applicants all previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year.
The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.
“The ten 2020 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year are an exceptional group of educators and I’m proud to call them my colleagues,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Each one of them exemplifies what a teacher should be – caring, skilled, knowledgeable and intellectually curious, and first and foremost, laser-focused on the well-being, potential and success of their students.”
Finalists met with a panel of judges for a formal interview and gave speeches during a finalist luncheon. The winner will be announced Saturday, May 18, 2019.
The 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. He or she will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Robin Christian, principal of Barack and Michelle Obama Academy, has been selected as the 2019 Joe Richardson Award Recipient by The Principals Center at Georgia State University. Christian will receive the honor during GSU’s Annual New Principals Celebration, to be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center, near downtown Atlanta.
The Joe Richardson Award for Exemplary Leadership is named
in honor of the founder of the Principals Center at Georgia State University,
Dr. Joe Richardson, who was inspired by Dr. Roland Barth, formerly of Harvard
and the founder of the Principals Center movement. This award is given annually
by the Principals Center. The principal nominated for this award is an
educational leader who is considered highly competent and successful within the
school district and among his/her professional peers. The Award is given to a
principal who most represents the mix of leadership attributes that provides
for a school environment where both students and staff excel and who
exemplifies the characteristics of an instructional leader within a community
of learners and leaders.
Christian is a native of metropolitan Atlanta, a proud
product of the public school system, and an alumna of Spelman College. Upon
graduation from Spelman, she immediately began her career with Atlanta Public
Schools where she has served for almost 22 years as a teacher at Bethune Elementary,
Instructional Liaison Specialist at Mary Lin Elementary, and Principal of
Burgess Peterson Academy. Currently, she serves the Peoplestown community of
Atlanta as a turn-around principal at Barack and Michelle Obama Academy, where
she is committed to the total development of children while supporting and
coaching teachers to ensure their development as teacher leaders.
Over the years, Christian has been a part of several
leadership development programs including SABLE, which aimed to develop the
leadership potential of aspiring principals. She serves as a Principal Mentor
to first year principals in Atlanta Public Schools’ Principal Mentor Program
and is proud to have had several faculty members complete the yearlong district
Aspiring Assistant Principal Program. She is appreciative that she is able to
provide input on various school and district related issues as a member of the
Superintendent’s Principal Advisory Council. Additionally, she is honored to be
representing Atlanta Public Schools as the first cohort of principals
participating in the prestigious 2018 Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals
at Teachers College, Columbia University. Christian is a 2011 Atlanta Families’
Awards for Excellence in Education recipient, a 2018 Atlanta Magazine’s Women
Making a Mark honoree, and is the recent recipient of the 2019 Ethel Mae
Mathews Courage and Character Award from Emmaus House Atlanta.
Her two most memorable events continue to be: 1.) hosting
former First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit during her tenure as principal of
Burgess Peterson Academy and 2.) when the school where she presently serves was
renamed to honor both President and Mrs. Obama. Christian truly loves working with
school communities and partners to make a difference for all children. She is
very passionate about being a voice for the underserved and does not believe in
having low expectations for children based on zip code or socioeconomic status.
She works tirelessly to build partnerships that will provide resources for her
students and their families.
In her spare time, Christian enjoys spending time with her
husband, Neal Christian, and her children, Kennedy Robbins, age 17, Kenneth
Robbins, Jr. age 14, London Christian, age 10, and her godson, Caden, age 5.
She is a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is extremely
active in her church and community. Her favorite quote is, “I am not anxious to
be the loudest voice or the most popular, but I would like to think that at a
critical moment, I was an effective voice of the voiceless, an effective hope
of the hopeless” (Whitney Young). Robin Christian strives daily to put this
quote into action as she serves her school and community.
There were a variety of exhibitors from multiple career fields ranging from packaging to education. The students enjoyed hands-on activities that allowed them to understand what was happening scientifically through creating it. Students at CSKYWLA for example, created soda, organic face masks, and tested for contamination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
K.I.T.E.S. encourages and motivates students to explore their options for the future. APS is dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists.
Musicians, pilots, police officers and nurse practitioners were just a few of the professions represented at Crawford W. Long Middle School’s second annual STEM Fair on April 12.
“The whole purpose of the day was college and career-based STEM,” said Tanya Barrett, STEM program specialist. “As we work towards our STEM certification, our goal is to build leaders and to help students get to college and start careers. Hands-on opportunities allow our students to see themselves in new ways, and it allows teachers to see students respond to content differently.”
Students rotated to different STEM sessions throughout the day. STEM professionals also joined classrooms for discussions. Barrett says students particularly enjoyed the police officer who discussed how STEM is used in investigations. The Black Pilots Association talked to students about aviation, a nurse practitioner talked about the medical profession, and Make Music Count founder & CEO Marcus Blackwell showed students how to engage with math through music.
The Make Music Count app is an innovative math curriculum
for grades 3-12 that teaches students how to master fractions, graphing,
algebra and pre-calculus through popular music. (Blackwell is offering free
licensing through the summer to any interested APS school. Just email email@example.com for
Other hands-on activities included photography, robotics and spheros, operating 3D printers and drones and building model bridges with cue tips and marshmallows. The model bridge project illustrated engineering concepts and was facilitated by Field of Dreams, a nonprofit with the goal to expose under-served students to STEM.
The day concluded with students who put the “A” in STEM; that
is, the “arts.” Representatives from Billionaire Buddies guided students in 45-minute
sessions, where they learned how to count beats, write music, devise a social
media marketing plan, and rehearse. Select groups performed their original lyrics
and dances to a small group of peers.
Yes, testing season is approaching. That means the District is reading more than ever! As you’re preparing for your 2019 Georgia Milestone Assessments, be sure to log all those minutes of reading to count towards our #APSRace2Read goal of 13.1 million minutes!
Below is a snapshot of how we are progressing (as of April 10).
Top 10 Schools
Morris Brandon Elementary
Springdale Park Elementary
Sarah Smith Elementary
John Lewis Invictus Academy
Long Middle School
Grady High School
Garden Hills Elementary
Top 10 Making Progress
Minutes Logged (since March 26)
Long Middle School
Morris Brandon Elementary
Grady High School
John Lewis Invictus Academy
Garden Hills Elementary
Top 10 Adult Readers
Minutes Applied To
Melissa Dandy Walker
North Atlanta High
Hollis Innovation Academy
About APS Race2Read: On Nov. 6, 2018, Atlanta Public Schools launched our district-wide literacy campaign, APSRace2Read. This challenge was designed to encourage students, teachers, staff and parents to read daily and collectively reach 2 million minutes of reading by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. Since surpassing our original 2 million minutes goal in January, we have raised the bar to 13.1 million minutes—the equivalent of a half marathon of reading! Learn more about Race2Read and log your minutes at www.beanstack.com/race2read!