Kimberly Students Honored at National Junior Beta Club Induction

Kimberly Elementary is proud to introduce its newest members of the National Junior Beta Club.  Twelve students from Kimberly’s fifth grade class were officially inducted on January 18, 2013 as national members of this prestigious organization.  The newest members include Tynia B., Ayana E., Jeremiah G., Caleb G., Kyle H., Kiara H., Maya M., Jerron M., Quintaja R., Kayla R., Jaxson S. and Sanlatoria S.

“This is a chance for me to work with my community and prepare for my future,” says Tynia B.  “I think this is a great way for me to become involved in activities as I get ready for middle school,” she comments.

Historically, the National Beta Club is an academic honors program with a strong emphasis on community service. Members of this organization excel in academics, character and leadership. The organization’s motto is “Let Us Lead By Serving Others.”  The National Junior Beta Club is open to students in grades 5 through 9. 

New officers were also installed at the induction ceremony.  The newly elected president, Kiara H., shared her duties and responsibilities as president during the ceremony.  She shared the meaning of lighting the white candle by saying:

“White denotes light, purity and faith.  As president of the Beta Club, I will endeavor to hold high this light.  It is with humility, joy, and pride that I undertake this task and accept this responsibility.” 

The newly elected vice president, Jerron M., pledged his assistance to the president.  He promised to serve as chairperson of the executive committee and to accept responsibilities suggested by the president.  Jerron then lit the red candle, symbolizing pure love, wisdom and bravery.  The secretary, Quintaja R., lit the blue candle which represents truth, constancy, and fidelity.  She pledged to endeavor to be prompt in correspondence, to keep records complete, and to give out accurate information. Finally, the newly elected treasurer, Ayana E., added that the black candle symbolized the dignity, restraint, and seriousness students should possess throughout their search for knowledge and truth.

The newly inducted members proudly sang the Beta Club Song, which was led by Kimberly’s music teacher, Mr. Harris.  The fifth grade sponsors, Ms. Britton, Ms. Bryant and Ms. Hunter worked with the students during the day and after school to prepare them for membership in the National Junior Beta Club.  Congratulations to the newest National Junior Beta Club members at Kimberly Elementary!

Price Middle School Afterschool All-Stars Spread Cheer to Local Seniors

PriceAllStarServiceProjectFive students from Price Middle School under the direction of Ms. Deidre Gordon, 8th grade math teacher, visited the Columbia Blackshear Senior Home on Friday, December 7, 2012. The students stuffed bags of goodies for the residents. The bags included a book, fruit, candy and another gift from the L. J. Price Middle School All-Star School Program as part of their first semester service project.

Marsharkia Perry, Shanterria Gates, and Fabian Williams assembled the bag of goodies while Sherman Jackson, Vantricia Haynes, Marsharkia Perry, Kami Freeman, and Fabian Williams delivered the bags with Ms. Gordon.

Columbia Blackshear Senior Home is located within walking distance of Price Middle School and as part of an ongoing service projects students will be visiting the facility again.

This project is part of the Afterschool All – Stars sponsored by Georgia State and this is Price Middle School’s second year in working with Georgia State on this program.

Written by Ms. Deidre Gordon, 8th Grade math teacher in the AfterSchool All Star Program and Mrs. Tammy Rosado, Media Specialist, Price Middle School 

College and Career Motivation Day at Gideons Elementary

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John H. Eaves, Ph.D with Gideons Elementary students.

Gideons Elementary School held its College and Career Motivation Day on January 25, 2013. Over forty professionals representing a vast array of professions along with Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Davis and Assistant Superintendent Smith gathered at Gideons and spoke to the elementary students. The importance of elementary, middle and high school studies was stressed along with going on to collegiate studies. Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, John H. Eaves, Ph.D spoke to the students at length about his scholastic career, his career path, the importance of being a leader and making the right choices. Chairman Eaves stated, “The whole point of this is; do your homework, do well in school, listen to your teachers, finish Gideons, finish middle school, finish high school and go on to college. Be a success in life. Go in a positive way. You have to figure out where you want to go and do the right things to get you there. I want you to do the right things so you can get there.”

Musician, business owner and APS Alumni Jerry Freeman at Gideons Elementary.

Musician and business owner Jerry Freeman talked to the students about staying in school and following the passions. Mr. Freeman is a graduate of Grove Park Elementary, Frederick Douglass High School, Clark Atlanta and Georgia Tech and has won numerous awards and acclaim as a featured musician on platinum selling recordings and has performed on The Jay Leno and David Letterman shows. Mr. Freeman, “I had a decision to make. I ended up going to Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Tech on a dual degree scholarship, majoring in mathematics and engineering. I’ve worked in corporate America with two major corporations. I then followed my passion, which has always been music. What’s most important? It’s choices. Every single day comes with choices to make. Make sure you make the right ones for your present and future success.”

Dr. Angela Fleming and Dr. Nikki Harris at Gideons Elementary.
Dr. Tyra Harris at Gideons Elementary.

Chiropractic doctors Nikki Harris and Angela Fleming discussed the human nervous system and the educational paths they took to become doctors. The students took part in an interactive participation with Drs. Harris and Fleming which showed the interaction between the brain, nerves, spine and body, that led to a lengthy and informative question and answer session about the education and preparation to become a doctor and other professions in the medical industry. Dr. Tyra Harris, a family medical doctor, let the students know that with hard work and dedication, they could be anything they set their minds to being. Looking into professions at an early age was discussed by Dr. Harris, “You should look for a profession and people in the profession that you admire. Ask them if you can visit them for some time and see what they do in their daily lives as a professional. You should connect yourself with them so that you can get a good feeling of what they do so that you can decide if that’s something you want to do with your life. Becoming a doctor takes dedication, hard work, listening skills and being a student for the rest of your professional life. Be young and enjoy this time in your life and be thinking about what you want to be when you grow up. What you do now does matter.”

Gideons Elementary is grateful and appreciative for the time and wisdom these wonderful professionals imparted to the students. College and Career Motivation Day was a success at Gideons!

South Atlanta HMS volunteer in the Hot Chocolate Run

SouthAtlantaHMS_Hot Chocolate Run2Students from South Atlanta High School of Health and Medical Sciences recently participated in the Hot Chocolate Run benefiting The Ronald McDonald House.  The Ronald McDonald House provides a “home-away-from-home” so families can live near their hospitalized child at little or no cost.

 The students and teachers assisted in setting before the event and handing out water and Gatorade during the run. In addition, students supported the runners by cheering and motivating them to the finish line.  The Hot Chocolate Run is a nationwide event and provided a wonderful opportunity for the Health and Medical Sciences students to collaborate with other area volunteers.

SouthAtlantaHMS_hot chocolateRun1

written by Shanna Miles, Media Specialist, South Atlanta High School Educational Complex

Student Spotlight of The Week

Name: Adrienne Finley image

Grade: 2nd Grade

School: West Manor Elementary 

Adrienne Finley is a gifted 2nd grade student from West Manor Elementary. Adrienne is always willing to go above and beyond in her daily activities. She takes pride in earning A’s on her schoolwork and helping others. In fact, she placed third amongst the school in this year’s science competition.

Adrienne was also honored as Student of the Month, has made Principal List each year, and was recognized as Student of Year at West Manor in 2011. When Adrienne isn’t delving deep into her studies, she enjoys reading, swimming, riding her bicycle, and writing short stories. This technology savvy 8-year-old is amongst the top performing students in her technology class, as well as a dedicated member of West Manor’s technology club where she makes astonishing PowerPoint presentations.

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Adrienne responded with a long list of occupations, but a gymnast was her top aspiration. With Adrienne’s  work ethic and dedication to her studies, she will surely accomplish whatever she sets out to achieve in life.

Name: Brandy PresleyBrandyPressley_ForrestHill_APSStudentSpotlight011813

Grade: 8th Grade

School: Forrest Hill Academy

Ralph Marston said it best when he coined the statement, “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” Despite the circumstances that placed our ‘diamond in the rough’ at Forrest Hill Academy, she is here displaying excellence in her work and sharing talents with her classmates. Forrest Hill 8th grader Brandy Presley is making the best out of her current situation. Even though she is no longer at her home school, the show continues to go on in a big way. Brandy’s report card reflects all A’s, and she strives to continue to better herself while being on the “A Wall of Fame.”

Intelligent, energetic, and pleasant are just a few adjectives used to describe Brandy. “She’s a success story gradually unfolding,” said Chuanitra Merrell, Implementation Specialist for Community D. “There is a high-level of determination always in her eyes.”

Not only is she making a positive impact in school; she’s also using her voice in her community. When she isn’t being a typical teenager with her friends, Brandy finds time to tutor elementary students, and lifts her voice in her church’s youth chorus.

“I enjoy tutoring younger kids; they want to learn, and I like helping them,” Brandy shared. “I think they look up to me,” she said while laughing.

College is several years away, but it is not too late to think about the future. Upon graduating from her future high school, Booker T. Washington, Brandy wants to attend Spelman College and major in History. This will allow her to pursue her dream of being a family attorney.

Great things are in store for Ms. Presley, and she is keeping her eyes on the prize.

written by Ronnie C. Banyard Jr., M.Ed., Educator, Forrest Hill Academy

IMG_1608Name: Ellie Buck

Grade: 2nd Grade

School: Mary Lin Elementary

Ellie Buck is a big-hearted eight year old who loves taking care of people. She has a younger sister at Mary Lin and a two year old brother who she loves to babysit. “Ever since she was in kindergarten, she has looked after people and is very bright and caring,” says Dr. Hassan Rafig, paraprofessional at Mary Lin.

Ellie’s favorite hobby and best subject is reading. She makes it a habit to read a book almost every night, finishing around 30-40 pages before she goes to sleep. Her favorite books include Laura Ingalls WilderAmerican Girl books and Judy Moody. She is very intellectual and artistic, as well. She enjoys art, drawing, and creating school projects. She hopes to become a veterinarian or an artist in the future.

Ellie loves to go to school to learn, write, eat lunch and play outside with her friends. Her goal is to improve math, and her parents are helping her every day to accomplish this.  “I love Mary Lin,” Ellie says. “We have great teachers and great subjects!”


Name:  Lauren HesterIMG_1893

Grade: 5th

School: Towns Elementary

After searching for the perfect word to describe herself, Lauren Hester finally smiles and says, “Unique.”   Is it because she has never been absent since kindergarten? Or could it be because she can perform hilarious feats with her face—like moving her eyebrows independently of each other? None of the above, according to Lauren. The Challenge student and Beta club member says she is unique, because she is not afraid to take chances and step outside of her comfort zone.

For instance, when Lauren sees a bug, she does not shriek and run away.  Instead, she catches it—and then inspects it. She loves learning about all insects, animals and plant life, and she is especially fond of mosquitos.

“The females feed on blood and the males feed on nectar,” she explains unprompted. “But the really interesting thing is after she mates, the female kills the male and lays her eggs on his body. I know that’s cold, but I just think it’s a really cool fact.”

She likes attending Towns, because the school offers programs many schools do not have, like French.  And she appreciates the exploratory classes Towns students take every Friday, which include the community service club and the calligraphy club—activities she says she would not know about if they were not offered at school.

Lauren also enjoys performing, and Towns gives her plenty of opportunities to do that.  Delivering Towns’ televised morning announcements makes her feel like a real news anchor, and acting in the drama club allows her to perform in plays. In May she will play Ms. Hannigan in Annie, and she  won’t have any trouble pretending to be the cruel orphanage supervisor.

“People have a friendly side and an aggressive side,” she says.  “So when I’m acting, I just let my aggressive side take over.”

Gentrie Weaks, Lauren’s drama coach says, “Lauren is an outstanding student.  We call her our ‘go-to’ person, because we can always depend on her for anything, even at the last minute. She works very hard, and gives her all in everything she does.”

Lauren’s favorite subject is Life Sciences, and she wants to be a doctor or an educator when she grows up.

Inman’s Teacher Jatisha Marsh Selected as 2013 National Teacher Fellow

Inman Middle School Teacher Jatisha Marsh is among twelve teacher leaders from eleven states selected as a 2013 Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow. The National Teacher Fellowship is a competitive program designed for teacher leaders wanting to share their expertise, experience and ideas in helping to shape education policy nationwide. Marsh was selected from nearly 100 applicants from 27 states to serve as representatives of Hope Street Group, advocating for education policy changes. She will meet with fellow educators to present to national, state and local policymakers, as well as peers across the country.

“This fellowship will provide me the forum to combine my interests education and policy,” says Jatisha Marsh. “The opportunity to talk and collaborate with teachers from across the country regarding educational policy issues excites me. The fellowship will allow me to interact with business leaders and government officials while bringing teacher voice into the shaping of educational policy.”

jatisha_marshJatisha Marsh is a middle school teacher at Inman Middle School where she is a member of the Local School Council, an Atlanta Public Schools Ethics Advocate, and the Site Director for the Before Care and After School Program. She attended Florida A&M University on a full scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and History as well as a Masters in Business Administration. She also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgia State University. Jatisha entered the teaching profession in 2006 through Teach For America.  She has received a number of recognitions and honors, which include appointment to the APS Farm to School Task Force, TFA/CRSS School Board Fellowship, and IIE Korean Workshop for American Educators Award Recipient.  Jatisha also serves as a Recruitment Ambassador for TNTP.