Posts tagged ‘Springdale Park Elementary’

Springdale Park and Inman Middle School Students Advance to Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Division Playoffs

Springdale Park ES

Students from Springdale Park Elementary School celebrate their success.

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Springdale Park Elementary and Inman Middle School’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) teams are headed to the Division 1 playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 27, in Jasper, Georgia. This past weekend, both teams placed second after competing in the Metro Atlanta Regional HRRB Competition at Clayton State University. Both schools won all six rounds in the Atlanta Public Schools division.

Congratulations are in order, as this marks the first time two APS schools have made it to the divisional round.

First- and second-place winners from the divisional rounds will advance to the state finals on March 19 in Athens.

Inman Middle School

Inman Middle School HRRB Team

Saturday, Jan.30, marked Atlanta Public Schools’ 11th year participating in the Georgia HRRB. The event is a statewide competition with a quick-action game format that tests knowledge on selected, award-winning books. Named in honor of former Dekalb County Public Schools media specialist Helen Ruffin, the HRRB was started in 2000 by DeKalb County Schools to encourage students to read.

The HRRB is now open to students in grades 4-12 across the state with over 600 schools participating.

Warren Goetzel, APS Media Services Coordinator, introduced APS schools to the HRRB in 2006 with only two schools competing district wide.

Goetzel said he’s proud of all the students who participated in the competition.

“The dedication to reading and literacy put forth by the student HRRB competitors is truly astounding and commendable,” he said. “I am eternally grateful to the media specialists and teachers who devote their time, energy, and resources to coach their HRRB team.”

As part of the competition, elementary and middle school teams read the Georgia Children’s Book Award nominees, while the high schools read the Georgia Peach Book Award nominees. The HRRB is played with a lockout buzzer system between two teams, usually consisting of five players each. Players are read questions and try to score points for their team by buzzing first and responding with the correct answer.

This year, approximately 350 students from 42 schools competed in the APS HRRB at Charles R. Drew Senior Academy. At the elementary school level, Springdale Park won first place and E. Rivers won second, marking the first time either school had placed at the APS HRRB.

At the middle school level, Inman won first place in its inaugural HRRB appearance and Wesley International placed second for the second year in a row. Drew Senior Academy placed first in the high school division, while Carver High School came in second for the second year in a row.



February 17, 2016 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

April 2014 APS Student Spotlight Featuring Students from Fickett, Carver Early College, SPARK and Towns

Name:  Ronald White III Student Spotlight 2014_Ronald White III_Ficket Elementary School

Grade:  5th

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.


Name: Austin MinorStudent Spotlight 2014_Austin Minor_Carver EC

Grade: 9th

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.


Name: Annie LasterStudent Spotlight 2014_Annie Laster_SPARK

Grade: 4th

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

Student Spotlight 2014_Colin Cofield_Towns ElementaryGrade: 3rd

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.





April 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

APS School Construction and Renovation Projects

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April 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm 1 comment

Springdale Park’s Chorus Performs “O, Canada” at Gwinnett Gladiators Game


On Saturday, January 12th, the Springdale Park Advanced Chorus performed the Canadian National Anthem “O, Canada” at the Gwinnett Gladiators Game vs. the Kalamazoo Wings. Over 120 Springdale Park fans were present to support the chorus. The Gladiators are the ECHL Affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres and the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and are members of the ECHL, the Premier “AA” Hockey League.

The event was part of a FUN-raiser with many benefits for Springdale Park Choruses:

  • Family and friends of the chorus members were able to buy reduced-price ticket sales for the game
  • The Children had an unforgettable experience singing for a huge professional sports team audience
  • Because Springdale Park sold more than 100 tickets, their music program will receive a donation back from the Gladiators!

The Springdale Park Choruses have performed the US National Anthem for multiple sporting events around town, including Georgia Tech Women’s Volleyball and Basketball games and Springdale Park’s 5th Grade Basketball Challenge. The performers wanted to try something new for the Gladiators game by singing the Canadian Anthem. They further challenged themselves by learning the bi-lingual version of “O, Canada”, singing it in English and French!

“I am so proud of the beautiful singing and grateful for the dedication and hard work devoted by all of our Springdale Park Chorus and Advanced Chorus members! The kids blew me away with their lovely sound and excellent diction!” says Brianne Turgeon, Music/Chorus Teacher at Springdale Park.


Springdale Park is looking forward to the upcoming events:

  • February 9 – The Community Children’s Chorus Festival, featuring choruses from Springdale Park, Mary Lin, The Swift School (private), Henderson Mill (DeKalb), and Atlanta Young Singers (of Callanwolde)
  • February 13 – Advanced Chorus performance at LGPE at Mays High School
  • April 27 – The Inman Park Festival Parade
  • May 13 – Spring Music Concert

For more information, please visit Music@SPARK’s blog:

January 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm 2 comments

Ten APS educators surprised with Atlanta Families’ $7,500 grants

Ms. Naja Freeman – Bunche Middle School, seventh grade teacher (Photo Credit: Tammy Garnes)

Ten APS educators surprised with Atlanta Families’ $7,500 grants
by Tammy Garnes, Office of Communications

Community partners, local personalities and government officials – including Atlanta Board of Education Chair Brenda J. Muhammad, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders and football players, and mascots from the Atlanta Braves and Chick-fil-A surprised 10 outstanding APS educators Tuesday with grants from the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education (AFAEE).

The following educators were named 2011 AFAEE winners:

Mr. Ed Chang – KIPP STRIVE Academy, principal
Ms. Nieves Corrales – Centennial Place Elementary School, Spanish teacher
Ms. Naja Freeman – Bunche Middle School, seventh grade teacher
Mr. Kenny Kraus – Sarah Smith Elementary School, kindergarten teacher
Dr. Brian Mitchell – Mary Lin Elementary, principal
Ms. Alicia Pagan – Drew Charter School, first grade teacher
Ms. Robin Robbins – Burgess-Peterson Academy, principal
Mr. Mike Stewart – KIPP STRIVE Academy, fifth grade teacher
Ms. Shenise Shorter – Springdale Park Elementary School, first grade teacher
Ms. Sarah Visel – Morris Brandon Elementary, third grade teacher

Each winner was awarded $7,500, which includes funding for a school project of the winner’s choice ($3,500), funding for a professional development opportunity to increase the winner’s effectiveness in the school or classroom ($1,500) and a personal stipend ($2,500). These grants will help fund innovative classroom and school-wide projects designed by winners to improve students’ access to quality education.

Ms. Shenise Shorter – Springdale Park Elementary School, first grade teacher (Photo Credit: Tammy Garnes)

This is also the first year that AFAEE has awarded educators at APS charter schools. KIPP STRIVE Academy’s principal Ed Chang and teacher Mike Stewart were named winners, as well as teacher Alicia Pagan from Drew Charter School.

“This is a good example of how the community works hand in glove with individual schools and the district to promote student achievement,” said Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. “Recognizing high-performing teachers and principals is an excellent way of encouraging everyone to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the educational process for all children.”

Since its inception in 2005, AFAEE has recognized outstanding teachers and principals for their commitment to excellence, while aiming to create a platform to further award winners’ success in APS, retain motivated educators and attract like-minded individuals to the district.

“We were impressed with the creativity, passion and integrity that these winners bring to the teaching profession,” said Katie McDowell, co-founder and board co-chair of AFAEE. “Our partners are excited to watch as these winners use their grants to make a lasting impact on the lives of their students and strengthen APS.”

For the past six years, AFAEE has donated more than $500,000 to teachers and principals in APS. This year, the organization also will make an equally substantial financial commitment to APS’ new academic support program that will provide additional help to students whose performance is below standards.

For more information about AFAEE, visit

View the 2011 AFAEE photo gallery of winners.

December 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Springdale Park Elementary School earns LEED gold certification by U.S. Green Building Council

Springdale Park Elementary School

ATLANTA Springdale Park Elementary School has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC).  This is next to the highest certification for school buildings and campuses in recognition of the unique nature of the design and construction of K12 schools.

Springdale Park Elementary School underwent a $12.1 million total renovation and expansion recently that incorporated energy efficient and environmentally friendly, low-emissions geo-thermal technology into the school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.

The rating process involves evaluating schools and campuses for such things as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and environmental site assessment.

November 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Miles and Springdale Park Elementary students represent APS in statewide elementary honor chorus

The Georgia Music Educator’s Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus was held the weekend of October 28th in Jonesboro, Georgia.

Students from Atlanta Public School’s LP Miles Elementary and Springdale Park Elementary represented APS among almost 500 of the best elementary chorus members across the state of Georgia.

The Georgia Music Educators Association Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus is a yearly event for excellent choral singers from all over the state of Georgia.  GMEA Honor Chorus is an opportunity for singers to meet kids from all over Georgia who share their passion for singing and music, plus each choir had the opportunity to work with widely-known choral conductors Craig Hurley from the Spivey Hall Children’s Chorus and Phillip Shoultz from Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, Gwinnett Young Singers, and the Gwinnett Choral Guild.

October 31, 2011 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

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