Atlanta Public Schools Announces Partnership with PUMA, David T. Howard High School Alumni Association


APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen (front row, third from left) is joined by David Ballin of PUMA (front row, first on the left) and Gloria Williams, president of the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association (front row, orange sweater) and the members of the Atlanta Board of Education at the announcement of a partnership between PUMA, the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association and Atlanta Public Schools at the February meeting of the Board.

Before there were Air Jordans, there was “The Clyde.”

Now that iconic shoe is an important link to a new and historic partnership between Atlanta Public Schools (APS), the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association and PUMA, the athletic shoe and apparel company. APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen officially announced the partnership on Monday at a morning press conference and again in the evening at the monthly meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with PUMA and the David T. Howard Alumni Association, and to do it during Black History Month makes it extra special,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “David T. Howard High School and the David T. Howard Alumni Association are woven into the fabric of Atlanta. They are Atlanta. Additionally, PUMA, through its five-decade relationship with Walt “Clyde” Frazier, one of Howard’s and APS’ most accomplished and distinguished graduates, is inextricably linked to Atlanta as well. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Last week PUMA launched the rebranding of one of its first signature shoe and apparel lines, “The Clyde”, worn by Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and graduate of David T. Howard High School, class of 1963. The line is called the “Puma Legacy Collection” and is designed to honor the history, legacy and contributions made to Atlanta by David T. Howard and David T. Howard High School.  The Collection may be found in Foot Locker stores around the nation and in special display rooms called “PUMA Labs” in selected cities, including Atlanta. The “Puma Labs” in our city are at Greenbriar Mall and South DeKalb Mall.

Historic partnership will benefit all children in Atlanta Public Schools

As a result of the partnership, APS will receive $30,000 in direct support of the Atlanta Public Schools/Atlanta Partners for Education Whole Child Fund, which provides experiences for students to support their academic and social/emotional development and well-being. Some examples of what this fund provides include field trips, cultural experiences and enrichment activities, and critical emergency support such as uniforms and MARTA cards.


Joshua Moore, head football coach at BEST Academy, models the PUMA Legacy Collection at the February meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education.

Additionally, as part of the terms of the partnership agreement, PUMA will pay eight percent royalties on net wholesale sales of all co-branded PUMA products worldwide to PUMA wholesale accounts, and four percent royalty on net retail sales of all co-branded PUMA products sold via PUMA-owned retail stores and PUMA’s online store. Each royalty payment made by PUMA will be split equally, with 50 percent paid to APS/Atlanta Partners for Education and 50 percent paid to the David T. Howard Alumni Association.

The David T. Howard Alumni Association will receive a $50,000 fixed-compensation payment as well as the 50 percent royalty mentioned above.

Historic Howard High School building to be reborn as a new APS middle school

Just as PUMA is reviving “The Clyde,” APS will refurbish the historic David T. Howard High School building (551 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue) and reopen it as a new middle school in the Grady High School Cluster. The construction project is scheduled to begin in July 2018 and is being paid for with funds from the recently-approved 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).


Facts about David T. Howard

  • David T. Howard was born in 1849 as a slave.
  • Howard became a free man after the Civil War, and he used $200 inherited from his father to start his life.
  • Howard worked as a railroad porter in Atlanta before becoming a mortician. His mortuary business eventually made him one of the city’s first black millionaires.
  • Howard donated the land upon which David T. Howard High School was built.
  • Howard was a founder of the city’s first black-owned bank, Atlanta State Savings Bank.
  • Howard died in 1935.

Facts about David T. Howard High School

  • The building opened as the David T. Howard Colored Elementary School in 1924.
  • The school became a high school in 1948.
  • Prominent David T. Howard attendees and graduates include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta Mayor Maynard Holbrook Jackson, NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, presidential advisor Vernon Jordan, Atlanta real estate entrepreneur Herman J. Russell, former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County Commission chairman Eldrin Bell and student civil rights organizer Lonnie King.



February 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Schools Throughout the District Celebrate Black History Month


Mason Muhammad Royal portrays famed scientist and inventor Dr. George Washington Carver in the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.


The auditorium at Continental Colony Elementary School was transformed into an interactive, African American “wax museum” last week, as nearly 50 students posed as famous and influential African Americans in history.

The event is part of the school’s Black History Month celebration during the month of February. Continental Colony Principal Dr. Kristen Vaughn said the school always goes all out to pay homage to the great African American leaders and events of the past.

“Our school population is 98 percent African American. It is important for us to relate our history to our students,” Vaughn said. “If we don’t tell our stories, then who will? Also, we find that many of our parents learn a great deal from our programs and displays, and so it is good to know that we are educating the community as well.”


Tylar Woods portrays Atlanta’s first female mayor Shirley Franklin at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

In the wax museum, students took on the persona of individuals such as Louis Latimer (scientist, inventor), Hosea Williams (civil rights leader), Andrew Young (former Atlanta mayor and Secretary to the United Nations), Sarah Boone (inventor of the ironing board), Mary McCloud Bethune (educator, stateswoman and civil rights leader) and Sojourner Truth (abolitionist and women’s rights advocate). Visitors pressed a “button” located on the hand of the statues/students, which caused them to move and quote interesting facts about the characters they were portraying.

The top winner/performer in the wax museum was Jade Evans for her portrayal of Sarah Boone. Other students receiving awards for their portrayals were Kayla Sanders as Mary McCloud Bethune, Serena Booker as Serena Williams, Christian Murray as Andrew Young, Kevin Rose at Hosea Williams, and Jayla Graham as Sojourner Truth.


Zaire Parris portrays brilliant scientist and inventor Louis Latimer at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

Additionally, Continental Colony is continuing its annual tradition of decorating its entire foyer with homages to African American history.

Here are several other Black History Month celebrations occurring throughout Atlanta Public Schools (in chronological order):

Forrest Hill Academy | February 1-28
Students are filming a documentary titled “What Black History Means to Me.”

Grady High School | February 1-28
Teachers are incorporating African-American history facts throughout the curriculum, and a date for the annual Black history play is being developed.

Morningside Elementary School | February 1-28
Reading quotes or brief bios on morning announcements and on the school’s daily message board; Kindergarten does a unit of study on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and creates hallway bulletin boards in his honor; Kindergarten and first-grade students are being taught a song about Dr. King and will read “Martin’s Big Words”; Books related to African-American history and heroes are on display in the media center; Fifth graders will analyze quotes by Dr. King as an ELA assignment.

South Atlanta High School | February 1-28
Black history facts are broadcasted over the public address system during the day.

Morris Brandon Elementary School  | February 3-28
First Street: Students are invited to research an African American who was the “first” African American to achieve a specific accomplishment. The student will create a poster detailing the individual and his/her accomplishment. The posters will be on display in the school’s “First Street” exhibit.

Mary Lin Elementary School/Inman Middle School | February 11
Psi Phi Beta Step Team performs at the monthly “SPARK Saturday” at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. This month’s “SPARK Saturday” event teaches youth about African American culture through rhythm and movement, and illustrates how today’s music and dance movements are inspired by African traditions.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 16
(Grades 3-5) Guest speaker Nettie Washington-Douglass, great, great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass.

Young Middle School | February 20-24
“Celebrating Black History in Atlanta”: A series of performances and guest speakers throughout the week.

Bunche Middle School | February 23
“Sankofa – Go Back and Get It.” Performing arts performances featuring dance, drama and chorus.

Long Middle School | February 23
“Remember the Times”: Thematic, living timeline created by students, highlighting moments in African-American history.

Benteen Elementary School | February 24
Essay competition and family movie night.

Brown Middle School | February 24
“Sankofa”:The annual Black History Program (sankofa translates to “recovering or retrieving the past”).

Scott Elementary School | February 24
“Lift Every Voice”: The annual performing arts program for Pre-K through fifth grade.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 24
Black History Bowl

Continental Colony Elementary School | February 28
Pantherville Poetry Café.

Hope Hill Elementary School | February 28
Annual Black History program.

West Manor Elementary School| February 28
Annual African-American history program.

Whitefoord Elementary School| February 28
Black History Performing Arts Program.









February 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Teen Author Shares Positive Message of Kindness and Friendship

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Students at E. Rivers and Hope-Hill elementary schools learned valuable lessons about cyber bullying and the importance of forgiveness and friendship, thanks to a recent visit by teen author Justine Del Monte and illustrator Brandon Chappell.

During her visit, the 14-year-old Del Monte, who hails from Danville, California, read her three colorfully illustrated children’s books, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Focused on a red-headed boy named Drew, “Drew’s Dancing Drum” spotlights bullying awareness and ignoring the negative criticism of your peers. Her second book, “Drew Meets Boo,” tells the story of friendship and overcoming bullying, while “Drew and the Cyber Bully” shares the importance of being polite while using social media.

“A cyber bully is someone who bullies you online and says bad things about you,” a student from E. Rivers said.

“That’s right,” Del Monte said after reading “Drew and the Cyber Bully.” “Social media should never be unkind or cruel. It should be used to make people happy, not sad.”

Del Monte knows of which she writes. At age 11, she was bullied. She wrote the books to raise awareness about bullying and to teach children the importance of kindness.

“There isn’t much material that’s stimulating for little kids,” she said. “This is something that’s non-threatening they can read and learn how to discuss bullying.”

Del Monte’s visit was sponsored by PBA 30, which is promoting the book during its televised children’s programming. The station is currently airing an animated, one-minute short of the books throughout the week at various times.

Del Monte is currently on a book tour to promote her books, some of which were presented to the library  as a gift.

For more information or to read Del Monte’s books, visit:







February 6, 2017 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

APS Student Athletes Ink Scholarships at Annual National Signing Day Event


Grady senior receiver Kemari Averette is interviewed by North Atlanta senior Davis Baker after signing his National Letter of Intent to the University of Louisville. Kemari helped lead the Grey Knights to the Georgia High Schools Association Class AAAAA-Region 6 championship.

More than 50 student athletes from 10 Atlanta Public Schools high schools signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday, at the annual APS National Signing Day event.

This year’s ceremony was held at D.M. Therrell High School. While most of the scholarships signed were for football, other sports represented were baseball, basketball, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball and track and field.

Always held on the first Wednesday in February, National Signing Day is the first day a student athlete may officially sign a football scholarship, according to regulations set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). APS is the only metro area school district that hosts a district-wide signing day event.

“This is always a very special day for APS,” said APS Athletic Director Jasper Jewell. “All of the young men and women have worked hard and sacrificed to get to this day, and to see them be able to enjoy this moment with their friends and families is tremendous.”

Here is a list of the 2017 signees:

Student Athlete College/University Sport
Trevion Baker Morehouse College Football
Quentin Gates Hutchinson Community College Football


Student Athlete College/University Sport
Deshun Cade University of West Georgia Football
Jonathan Ford Lane College Football
Hugo Genchi Lane College Football
Jamarico Gray Albany State University Football
Elrico McKenzie Fort Lauderdale University Football
Ezekial Njoku U.S. Marine Academy Football
Student Athlete College/University Sport
Kemari Averett University of Louisville Football
Shelia Brown Howard University Lacrosse
Dimarcus Clay Furman University Football
Brandon Kemp Norfolk State University/

University of West Georgia

Cincere Mason Kennesaw State University Football
Caylin Newton Howard University Football
Avante Ross Lane College Football
Jaccquez Sloan Western Kentucky University Football
Micaiah Streator Augusta State University Football
Seth Wolf Charleston Southern University Football
Student Athlete College/University Sport
Maurice Jones Savannah State University Football


Student Athlete College/University Sport
Anthony Cayetano Arkansas State University Football
Kortez Daniel Clark Atlanta University Football
Trent Jamison Lawson State University Baseball
Ferlando Jordan Southeastern Louisiana State University Football
Ryan Martin Tuskegee University Baseball
Steve V. McClardy Jr. Clark Atlanta University Football
B.J. Phillips Iowa Central Community College Football
Devon Shaw Tuskegee University Baseball
Christian Warner Clark Atlanta University Football


KIPP Atlanta Collegiate
Student Athlete College/University Sport
Ernesto Chavez Lane College Football
Geronda Hall Old Dominion University Football
Marquis Johnson Southeast Louisiana University Football
Jacorris Lamar Reinhardt University Football
Brandon Perry Fort Valley State University Football
Otis Odum Reinhardt University Football
Marquis Thorne Nichols State University Football
Quartez Walker Virginia Union University, Lynchburg Football


Student Athlete College/University Sport
Larkin DeLaria Trinity College Rowing
Hayden Dwyer Cincinnati Baseball
Jack Ferguson United States Naval Academy Baseball
Majesty Hansberry Fort Valley State University Football
Jackson Pierce San Diego University Track
Yvonne (Bonnie) Shea Dartmouth College Soccer
Bryce Washington  Rutgers University Soccer
Patrick Wilson Berry College Lacrosse


Student Athlete College/University Sport
Frank Bailey Jr. Morehouse College Football
D’Angelo Julio Savannah State University Baseball
Student Athlete College/University Sport  
Jordan Vence Avila University Football  
Kyah Dumas Tuskegee Softball  


Student Athlete College/University Sport  
Sabree Gallishaw Savannah State University Basketball  
Kalveion Heard LaGrange College Football  
Tarik Knox Lane College Football  
Montravious Traylor Clark Atlanta University Baseball  

February 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Atlanta Public Schools Pre-K Lottery is Now Open

prekcutiesApplications are now available for Atlanta Public Schools (APS) 2017-2018 Pre-Kindergarten program. The APS Pre-K program lottery window is now open and all applications must be received by midnight March 7, 2017.

“Research shows that Pre-K programs bridge school readiness gaps and prepare students for successful educational outcomes,” said Dr. Shana Weldon, APS early learning coordinator. “We want all eligible families to apply for the spaces in our high-quality early learning program.”

APS offers Pre-K at 39 elementary schools across the district, which includes its newest site, Jackson Primary that is scheduled to open in August 2017.  The APS Pre-K program provides standards-based instruction which aligns with the district’s K-12 curriculum and meets the diverse needs of all students.

For complete details about the Pre-K lottery and enrollment process, visit the PreK website at or call 404-802-3640.


January 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm Leave a comment

Young Middle School Wins First ELS, Inc. Reading Competition


Students at Jean Childs Young Middle School won the ELS, Inc. Reading Plus Achievement Award by reading more than three millions words during the months of August and September. ELS made the announcement last week.

Educational Learning Systems, Inc. (ELS, Inc.) has announced that Jean Childs Young Middle School is the winner of its Reading Plus Achievement Award for the months of August and September. For their efforts, the students and teachers at Young Middle will receive a championship banner and $200 for the school.

ELS, Inc., is a provider of research-based K-12 math and reading online curriculum and professional development programs. Reading Plus is a web-based program created by ELS, Inc. for students in grades three through 12. Young Middle school students won the award over nine other Atlanta Public Schools middle schools by reading more than three million words with 80 percent accuracy during the months of August and September.

“What an outstanding start-up performance during the months of August and September by the Reading Plus team at Jean Childs Young Middle School,” ELS, Inc. Vice President Virginia Stoner said in a statement. “We selected as our award criteria the ‘Total Number of Words Read’ – a total of 3,225,415 words read with 80 percent accuracy at Jean Childs Young Middle School.”

According to Stoner, the competition will continue through the remainder of the school year with a different criteria category each month.

“We look forward to recognizing more outstanding performances from the APS Middle Schools,” Stoner said. “Let the competition begin.”

Rounding out the top five behind Young Middle were Sutton, Inman, Sylvan Hills and Harper-Archer.


January 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Having a Ball: King Middle School & Wesley International Academy Students Learn to Program Sphero Robots



Students prepare a sphero robot to knock down bowling ball pins. 

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Imagine being able to program an object the size of a golf ball to roll forward, move backward, and to hit the center of a bullseye.

That’s exactly what students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Wesley International Academy did after learning to program sphero balls – small, app-enabled droid robots – at the first-ever Maynard H. Jackson High School Sphero-Versity event on Friday, Jan. 13.

Designed to boost enrollment in Jackson’s robotics program and encourage underrepresented students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers, the event was led by 10 robotics students from Jackson who taught the middle schoolers the basics of computer programming.

Eventually, middle school students learned to program the robots to knock down bowling pins, hit the center of a bullseye, and roll the sphero ball through a maze.


By the end of the day, the students – many of whom represented their respective schools’ robotics teams – competed to see who could successfully master all three programming skills.


“I loved learning something new,” King Middle School student Caesar Rosser said, as he worked to program the sphero ball to make it go forward and then right again. “It would be cool to add a camera to the balls.”

Shevan Howard, IB coordinator at King Middle School, said he hoped the event would help further his students’ interest in STEM education.

“Hopefully, this will provide them with the connection between middle school and high school and build their love for STEM,” Howard said.


According to Shelley Carter, an engineering teacher and robotics coach at Jackson, students also gained leadership experience, as well as presentation and interview skills, from working with middle schoolers.


Jackson High students Kol Greenbaum and Ethan Heyns taught middle schoolers the basics of programming a sphero robot.


Tenth grader Ihsan Muhammad agreed.

“It makes you feel older, like being a mentor,” he said. “The younger kids helped me learn more because of the questions they asked.”


Kameron Clark, an eighth grader at King Middle School, said he may now consider studying computer science.

“This is like learning more than you can at school,” he said. “You don’t have to be a scientist or a genius. You just have to be willing to learn.”

Tracy Joyner, gifted endorsement internship facilitator with the Office of Gifted and Talented Education, said the event was a win-win for all students.

“I love to see high-achieving and talented students work together,” she said. “It’s like magic.”



Sphero-Versity winners show off their first-place prizes. 





January 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

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