School: Fickett Elementary School
Career Goal: Engineer/Entrepreneur
Ronald White, III is a proud 5th grade Trojan who has been at Fickett Elementary School since kindergarten. He is an honor student with multiple interests.
Ronald plays soccer and enjoys swimming, playing video games and Monopoly, watching movies with his family, and creating various art projects. He participates in the Fickett Robotics Team, band, safety patrol, and student TV broadcast. He is in the Georgia Tech K.I.D.S. (Kids Interested in Discovering Science) program, and a lifetime member of SWAYBO (Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization). In SWABYO, he learned about the fundamentals of owning and running a business and ran his own retail business.
Ronald’s 5th grade teacher, Mr. Gerald Gray, says he has watched him grow academically. He describes him as a positive, hard-working, dependable, and organized student who is an inquisitive risk-taker.
In the future, Ronald wants to attend Georgia Tech to study Robotics Engineering and he says he wants to start a family business.
Ronald is a recent recipient of the 2014 Ben Carson College Scholarship and received $1,000 at a special ceremony on March 26.
School: Carver Early College
Career Goal: Orthopedic Surgeon/Entrepreneur
The outstanding reputation of Carver Early College in the community led to Austin Minor enrolling as a freshman. Now, he is the top academic student in his junior class. Austin says that he’s at the head of his class because it was one of his goals and he’s learned to stay focused on what he really wants. The orientation program for freshmen at Carver called Jumpstart helped Austin to become acquainted with the expectations and rigor of the school.
What Austin really loves about Carver Early College are its teachers. This is a recurring theme. Austin says that the teachers genuinely care about the students and are committed to their success. He says that although he studies a lot, he has also played several sports. He has participated in swimming, golf, tennis and cross-country. His favorite is cross-country. Austin is an officer of the Student Government Association and is president of The Esquires. The Esquires is an all-male club which emphasizes building the character of young men. He says that he has enjoyed all of the networking opportunities and serving the community through this organization. Through community service, Austin has mentored middle school students as well as worked with literacy programs for adults.
Austin advises students to stay centered on their studies and to “grab onto a goal”. His love of Science has led to his desire to become an orthopedic surgeon. An internship this summer in the office of Dr. Erroll Bailey (a prominent, local orthopedic surgeon) has confirmed his passion. He plans to attend Harvard University or Emory University. He also has an intense interest in entrepreneurship which he knows will lead him to start his own practice.
Because he has seen many of his peers turn around because of his influence, Austin is working on a self-help book for students. Kudos are in order for this valedictorian-to-be.
School: Springdale Park Elementary
Career Goal: Teacher/Scientist
Annie has attended Springdale Park since it opened five years ago. Since then, she has excelled academically and matured into a well-rounded student with an effervescent and glowing personality. In fact you could say she’s a real ‘spark.’
Annie becomes entranced by the magic of a good book the way most kids are entranced by the power of television. She breezed through the nearly 1,000 pages of the thickest book in the Harry Potter series, and she welcomed with open arms the 14 required readings for this year’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. SPARK media specialist Roy Carter says Annie played a critical role for SPARK’s rookie team during the reading bowl, and he expects her to serve as team captain next year.
Annie is currently reading “An Hour Before Daylight” by Jimmy Carter. An unusual choice for a fourth-grader, but since she will soon visit Plains, GA – the birthplace and current home of the former president – she believes reading the book will give her a deeper appreciation for the trip.
“It describes how the rural farmers lived in the Great Depression, and how hobos were always around. And it said a white man would only earn $12 a month, but a black man would only make eight,” says Annie. The straight A student says while visiting Plains, she plans to attend the Sunday school class Carter teaches at his church.
This natural thirst for learning and experiencing new things have served Annie well at SPARK: She is a member of SPARK’s student government association; she plays piano and violin and sings in the advanced chorus; and she will accompany the chorus on piano at their next performance.
“I really like the music education and Challenge class, because they let you have fun while learning. We do a lot of fun and creative projects in Challenge – last year we did a gold rush simulation.”
In her spare time, Annie enjoys sports, skiing, roller blading, zip lining, hunting for critters at the creek, and of course reading. Is there anything this energetic SPARK doesn’t do?
“I don’t play video games, or watch much television,” says Annie, and she’s clearly doing just fine without them.
Name: Colin Cofield
School: Towns Elementary
Career Goal: Scientist
Towns Elementary teacher Deidra Burson says no matter what she puts in front of her student, Colin Cofield, he tackles it with enthusiasm.
“He’s inquisitive, innovative and smart,” says Burson. “He just loves learning.”
Colin agrees. “I really like to learn.” Learning new things – especially in math and science – is the reason he loves going to school. And he gives another reason: “It’s good to learn as much as you can, because if you don’t learn, you won’t get a job.”
Colin enjoys learning about science more than any other subject, even exploring the field away from school. “I watch the weather forecast everyday; I learn a lot about the different kinds of weather that way,” says the future meteorologist.
Conducting experiments with things like bubbles and magnets is what Colin likes most about science. His class is currently studying rocks and minerals, and they recently took a field trip to the Tessler museum where Colin had a chance to view fossils and dinosaur bones up close, something he really enjoyed.
“It was a lot of fun,” Colin says. “That’s something I like about this school – the fun field trips. ”
Colin says the teachers also make Towns fun. He notes that one teacher also stands out as funny.
“My teacher, Ms. Burson, is the funniest. She makes a lot of jokes during class, and if you’re good, she ‘ll do nice things and give you treats.”
And Colin is always doing good things according to Burson.
“Colin is a just a wonderful student,” she says. “He makes all A’s, he’s cooperative, he’s a peer tutor, so he’s always helping his classmates, and he’s always eager to satisfy his teachers.”
Colin is a Challenge student, and as a Towns morning announcer, he delivers late-breaking news to the Towns students and staff. Colin likes this role, because he says it’s helping him polish his public speaking skills – something he’ll need when he becomes a meteorologist. A talented baseball player, Colin spends his spare time on the baseball diamond and bicycling with his friends and his mother.