Maynard Jackson Girls Soccer Team on a Mission to Write History


by: Britney Morgan 

“All of our Lady Jaguars have brought into the program the mindset of Only United Together Can We Achieve Our Goals!” – Coach Cary Nelson

Under the leadership of Coach Anelone Hilaire along with his assistant coaches Cary Nelson and Ariel Martinez, the Maynard Jackson girls’ soccer team has had a dominant season thus far. With a winning record of 7-1, they are gearing up for the region playoffs as the #2 seed. They will host the first round of the Region 4-AAA playoffs against Decatur High School, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Originally from the Ivory Coast, Coach Hilaire grew up playing soccer. In his first year working at APS, he volunteered to coach boys soccer at Crim High School and won the APS Championship.

“Soccer is a passion for me and one of my favorite hobbies,” said Hilaire.

Soccer Game 2015 422Coach Hilaire is confident in his team’s talent especially with the growth of soccer in the U.S. He believes there is even the potential to join the U.S. National Team.  “I will not be surprised to see some of them on the U.S. National Team in the near future,” said Coach Hilaire.

Team standouts include Eva Martinez, Charisse Nelson, Olivia Phillips, Kenna Newcome, Caston Noorullah, Doris Smith, Kalyann Teasley , Isabelle Welch and Gabrielle Welch.  B__FVMvUMAA4W5N1

The players expressed so much gratitude. Olivia Phillips and Doris Smith said that their team is like a family and they are happy and thankful to have Coaches Hilaire, Nelson and Martinez guiding them.

Coach Hilaire said that soccer is a sport that not only teaches physical skills but also gives the opportunity for youth to be part of a team.  “During practice sessions, I emphasize life skills such as comradery, friendship and sportsmanship,” said Hilaire.

Maynard Jackson’s Lady Jags soccer has team never qualified for the state playoffs. Only four teams from the region will have the opportunity to compete.  A victory over Decatur on Thursday will ensure the Lady Jags a spot in the state playoffs, making it the first time in the school’s history.

For more information about Atlanta Public Schools athletics visit



March 24, 2015 at 10:12 am Leave a comment

Bunche Middle School Student Granted Access To Dream Job Shadowing Opportunity Through Office Depot Foundation’s Essay Contest

By Taylor Jones

ATLANTA— Alahji Barry, an 8th grade student at Atlanta Public Schools’ Ralph J. Bunche Middle School, will receive hands-on experience with her dream job as a neurosurgeon, thanks to the Office Depot Foundation’s Career Exploration Program and the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation’s Dream UP! Middle School Essay Challenge. Barry is one of five students out of 30,000 middle school students chosen from across the country to shadow a professional in the field of their choice through hands-on mentoring experiences. The student winners were announced March 17.

The Dream UP! Essay Challenge attracted 280 educators in 30 states—the program’s largest number of teachers to participate in a single semester since its start in 2009. Previous winners of this essay challenge have experienced diverse career opportunities such as journalism, aerospace engineering and automobile design.

Bunche Middle School 8th grade student Alahji Barry

Bunche Middle School 8th grade student Alahji Barry

“We created the Dream UP! Program to address the concern that children are dropping out of school at younger ages. What used to be a problem that occurred almost exclusively in high school has moved into middle school,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong. “Our premise is that if we can encourage middle school students to begin thinking about careers and exploring possibilities about the world of opportunities that exist for them in the future, then it will inspire them to stay in school and work toward their goals.”

Through the Dream UP! Career Exploration program, students study current workplace trends, while analyzing the latest industry news from USA TODAY to identify career opportunities and understand professional requirements. Also, students will research several career options and develop a career portfolio.

To learn more about Dream UP!, visit the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation website or the Office Depot Foundation website.


About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit

About the Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of non-profit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards. For more information, visit

About USA TODAY Charitable Foundation

USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all. It welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary, secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. Staff works with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that meets the mission and goals for respective companies or organizations. For more information, visit

March 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

Harper Archer Middle School Observes Pi Day with a very special celebration

By: Belita Hamilton, Instructional Math Coach at Harper Archer M.S.


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Harper Archer Middle School Celebrated National Pi Day on March 13, 2015.           All students in every math class were highly engaged in activities from building the longest chain link that represented the digits in Pi, a scavenger hunt inside the classroom, and Pi memorization.  Ms. Jordan’s 6th grade math students even created a rap that represented Pi Day!

20150313_162928 (1) (2)Unity was displayed throughout the building as math teachers, administrators, and other core teachers wore their “PI Irrational but Well Rounded” T-shirts.

Students who won their grade level Pi Memorization contest were rewarded for memorizing at least the first 50 digits in Pi. The overall school winner is Jayda Ward from Ms. Kendrick’s class.  The winners for their grade level received a Pi Day t-shirt, Wal-Mart Gift card, Subway Gift Card and a wings party.

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Classes that participated in the chain link activity constructed links and each color in the link represented the digits in Pi. The grade level winners of the chain link contest are Ms. Moore-6th grade, Mrs. Kennedy-7th grade, Mr. Brown-7th grade, and Ms. Allen- 8th grade. Winners from these classes were treated with donuts.

Teachers went the extra mile to make the learning fun for all students. Ms. Kendrick’s class was filled with scavenger hunt activities along with pizza, donuts, and other circular treats for students to enjoy. She was joined by other teachers who brought a variety of pies for their students to taste.

Harper-Archer was happy to celebrate this very special Pi-Day as the next one will not be until March 14, 2115.


March 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

Atlanta Public Schools Students Featured in Education Roundtable Documentary with President Barack Obama

By Kimberly Willis Green

Antwarn Sanders and D’Ariel Myrick, seniors from Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) historic Booker T. Washington High School, were featured in an education documentary taped March 9 with President Barack Obama. In the documentary, A Roundtable with President Barack Obama: The Cost of Education,” the APS students join three students from Georgia Institute of Technology and Vice Media founder Shane Smith to discuss the challenges of paying for college, accumulating college debt, and enrolling in community college as an option for saving money towards their education.

(From L-R) Lauren Milner, Georgia Tech; D’Ariel Myrick, Booker T. Washington High School; Gabriel Galarza, Georgia Tech; President Barack Obama; Antwarn Sanders, Booker T. Washington High School; and Laura O’Connell, Georgia Tech participated in the documentary “A Roundtable with President Barack Obama: The Cost of Education” filmed and produced by Vice Media in Atlanta March 9.  Photo Credit: White House Staff

(From L-R) Lauren Milner, Georgia Tech; D’Ariel Myrick, Booker T. Washington High School; Gabriel Galarza, Georgia Tech; President Barack Obama; Antwarn Sanders, Booker T. Washington High School; and Laura O’Connell, Georgia Tech participated in the documentary “A Roundtable with President Barack Obama: The Cost of Education” filmed and produced by Vice Media in Atlanta March 9.
Photo Credit: White House Staff

The roundtable discussion was videotaped at Manuel’s Tavern by Vice Media immediately following President Obama’s speech at Georgia Tech. The president spoke to thousands of college students and Atlanta residents about college affordability and unveiled his “Student Aid Bill of Rights.” Vice Media followed the president’s entire visit to Atlanta as part of the media outlet’s documentary. Washington High School students had the opportunity to share their thoughts with President Obama about paying for college, the possibility of using student loans, and the difficulty of researching scholarships.

Sanders and Myrick are both dually enrolled in Washington High School’s Early College program and at Georgia State University. The students were recommended to participate in the roundtable discussion by their principal, Dr. Tasharah Wilson, and English/Language Arts instructional coach Dr. Danielle V. Oliver. The White House U.S. Department of Education contacted the principal to identify two students who were in the audience when first lady Michelle Obama spoke of her REACH Higher initiative with Education Secretary Arne Duncan during their Back-to-School tour stop at Washington High in September 2014.

Students were instructed not to tell anyone about their life-changing interview with the President until the documentary roundtable was posted to Vice News’ web site March 16.

“Having a roundtable conference with the President of the United States was a dream come true–President Barack Obama was just phenomenal in all aspects,” said Sanders. “He actually listened and answered all of the students’ questions as thoroughly as possible, and he went in depth with each conversation. Because of this, I easily engaged with everything he said.”

Sanders, a student-athlete, is a member of the National Honors Society, National Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and the African American Men Initiative. He also plays varsity basketball. He will graduate in the top 10 percent of his class with a 3.6 grade point average in May. As the only Posse Scholar recipient at Washington, Sanders plans to attend Texas A&M University to major in environmental design.

“My hands and legs would not stop shaking as I sat in one of six chairs around a rustic round table. I extended my hand and shook the hand of the first African American and 44th President of the United States,” said Myrick. “President Obama made his college affordability proposal sound plausible and realistic for the near future. He shared with us that he had only fully paid off his own student loans in 2004, so his passion and informative ideas made the discussion intriguing and enlightening.”

Myrick, who was recently selected as Washington High School’s salutatorian and STAR Student for the Class of 2015, is a member of the Academic Decathlon Team, recipient of the 2014 Alexander Hamilton Merit Award, and member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, National Honor Society, Beta Club. She will also graduate in the top 10 percent of her class and plans to attend either the University of Georgia, University of Miami, or Western Carolina University to major in English.

March 20, 2015 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Atlanta Public Schools Celebrate School Board Appreciation Week

By Kimberly Willis Green

Atlanta Public Schools is celebrating members of the Atlanta Board of Education (ABE) during School Board Appreciation Week (March 16-20), a weeklong observance that recognizes the contributions of local boards of education.

(From L-R) Second row: Atlanta Board of Education Members Steven D. Lee, District 5; Jason F. Esteves, At-Large, Seat 9 (Districts 5&6); Byron D. Amos, District 2; Leslie Grant, District 1. First row: Matt D. Westmoreland, District 3; Nancy M. Meister, District 4 (Vice Chair); Courtney D. English, At-Large, Seat 7 (Districts 1&2); Eshé P. Collins, District 6; and Cynthia Briscoe Brown, At-Large, Seat 8 (Districts 3&4).  Photo Credit: Scott C. King, APS

(From L-R) Second row: Atlanta Board of Education Members Steven D. Lee, District 5; Jason F. Esteves, At-Large, Seat 9 (Districts 5&6); Byron D. Amos, District 2; Leslie Grant, District 1.
First row: Matt D. Westmoreland, District 3; Nancy M. Meister, District 4 (Vice Chair); Courtney D. English, At-Large, Seat 7 (Districts 1&2); Eshé P. Collins, District 6; and Cynthia Briscoe Brown, At-Large, Seat 8 (Districts 3&4).
Photo Credit: Scott C. King, APS

The Atlanta Board of Education establishes and approves the policies that govern the Atlanta Public Schools. The Board consists of nine members, representing six geographical districts and three “at-large” districts. One person is elected per district to represent the schools in a given district for a four-year term. Chaired by Courtney D. English, members of the Atlanta Board of Education are:

Leslie Grant, District 1

Byron D. Amos, District 2

Matt Westmoreland, District 3

Nancy M. Meister, District 4 (Vice Chair)

Steven D. Lee, District 5

Eshé P. Collins, District 6

Courtney D. English, At-Large, Seat 7 (Districts 1 & 2) (Chair)

Cynthia Briscoe Brown, At-Large, Seat 8 (Districts 3 & 4)

Jason F. Esteves, At-Large, Seat 9 (Districts 5 & 6)

As constitutional officers of Georgia, school board members are responsible for setting educational policies, employing school personnel, providing buildings and equipment, operating a transportation system and disbursing school funds. As community leaders, school board members serve as advocates for the children in local public schools and must study, evaluate and decide what actions are in the best interest of those students.

Not only do members of the Atlanta school board serve on behalf their respective geographical districts, ABE members also lead various board committees and taskforces such as:

Accountability Committee – Leslie Grant, Chair

Audit Committee – Byron D. Amos, Chair

Budget Committee – Matt Westmoreland, Chair

Policy Review Committee – Eshé P. Collins, Chair

Board Professional Development Committee – Nancy M. Meister, Chair

Charter School Taskforce – Byron D. Amos, Chair

Pension Fund Taskforce – Jason F. Esteves, Co-Chair and Nancy M. Meister, Co-Chair

Legislative Liaisons – Steven D. Lee and Matt Westmoreland

Additionally, members of the ABE represent the district on several external organizations including the National School Boards Association, Council of Urban Boards of Education, Council of Great City Schools, and Invest Atlanta. For a full list of all board appointments and affiliations, click here.

School Board Appreciation Week is sponsored by the Georgia School Boards Association. Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring the week for school board members who are dedicated and committed to providing a quality education and resources for the students they serve.

The mission of the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s 180 elected boards of education. For more information, visit .

March 19, 2015 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Parent University brings parents of gifted students together

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.29.02 PMIn February, parents of newly identified gifted students were notified that their child would be eligible to receive specialized instruction as required by the Georgia Board of Education. Atlanta Public Schools’ department of Gifted and Talented Education is on a mission to make sure parents understand what ‘gifted education’ means and how it could benefit their child. The department will host the 2014-2015 Parent University, “Embracing your Gifted Learner,” on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Sessions will provide parents an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the unique academic, social and emotional needs of gifted learners. The event begins at 6 p.m. at MLK Middle School, 1550 Hosea Williams Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30317. Gifted_parent1Parent University is one of several ways the department brings parents together. In January, the department hosted Gifted Parent Café & Book Discussions. Parents who came together discovered their children had much in common. This is no coincidence says Bianca Jones, a gifted elementary support teacher, “They were really just happy to be validated and to learn that their child is motivated by something different.” Parents were led in a discussion about the book, “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children,” by James T. Webb. For many parents, one lesson learned from the Café event, was how to reframe the language of perfectionism with a gifted child. Perfectionism is one trait with which many gifted students struggle.  Gifted_Parent3“Many may have the need to have everything right and many times they get down on themselves when they don’t. That leads to the use of negative self-talk,” said Ms. Jones.  She suggests parents reframe those negative comments into positive expressions. APS screens students for eligibility during the fall semester. For more information about Gifted Education in APS, visit

March 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Crim High School’s Culinary Arts Team Advances to State FCCLA Culinary Competition

By Kimberly Willis Green

Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program earned a Silver Rating – the second highest score in the FCCLA Regional Culinary Arts Student Taking Action for Recognition (STAR) competition held March 7. The event was held at Charles Drew Charter School in Clayton County.

(From L-R) Crim High School Culinary Arts students Darryl Mobley, Rickell Etheridge, Latisha Grant and Crim High School Culinary Art Career Pathway Instructor Chef Larry Alford

(From L-R) Crim High School Culinary Arts students Darryl Mobley, Rickell Etheridge, Latisha Grant and Crim High School Culinary Art Career Pathway Instructor Chef Larry Alford

This is the first time in 12 years that APS has placed in this competition.

The culinary arts competition recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/ food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment. Teams must develop a plan for the time allotted, prepare menu items given to them at the time of the event, and present their prepared items to evaluators. Crim’s culinary team was given 60 minutes to prepare the following menu:

  • Waldorf Salad
  • Shaker Style Turkey Cutlets Potatoes Parmentier
  • Sautéed Green Beans

Crim’s winning culinary arts student team – Rickell Etheridge, Latisha Grant and Darryl Mobley, will represent Region 4 at the State FCCLA Conference March 22-24 at the University of Georgia. At the state competition, students will prepare the following menu in 60 minutes:

  • Sautéed Breast of Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce
  • Fresh Broccoli Sauté
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Aeblekage (Danish Apple Trifle)

“Our students did an amazing job and demonstrated their knowledge and skills in a professional matter,” said Crim High School Culinary Art Career Pathway Instructor Chef Larry Alford. “This will give them the confidence for the next level of career and academic success. I am elated to coach these fine young future professional chefs.”

March 17, 2015 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

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