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News to Know for the Week of September 8, 2020

News to Know


Cool Kids Doing Cool Things


Chattahoochee High senior, Julia Scott, designed and created over 180 flexible plastic "ear savers" on her 3D printer for people to wear with PPE masks, which she donated to organizations and the staff at Chattahoochee complete with personalized "Hooch" insignias.

As the pandemic forced the school closures in March, Julia began her project to produce some PPE to assist frontline workers. She and her parents looked for mask designs and face shields but found materials difficult to find. Then she came across ear savers and decided not only would they be a simpler design, but they had plenty of materials available. Her family joined in and helped keep the 3D printer going. "It was a family team effort," said Julia. "The printer was running nonstop throughout the day." The more they printed and tried different designs, the more she could customize and add additional designs to the ear savers. Once school ended, she started printing as many ear savers as possible to help local organizations. Each ear cover took nearly three hours to complete and more than 80 hours to finish all the masks. Her family helped with keeping the print jobs going. When she was asked to make the Chattahoochee High School ear savers, she was sent logos from the administration. She and her family also came up with a custom design for the Taylor Road Middle School Band Department.

Julia has not decided on a career path though she is interested in science, math, and forensics. "This entire COVID experience has been hard on everyone," observed Julia. "I was glad that I could find some way to help out my community and my school. I enjoyed the creative process of designing the ear savers and will continue to look for other opportunities."

Julia Scott
Chattahoochee High School senior Julia Scott, creator of mask ear savers, and her 3D printer

Julia Scott
CHS student Julia Scott bringing her ear savers to Chattahoochee for staff to use



National Arts Education Week will take place the week of September 13 – 19, 2020. The week is a national celebration recognizing the arts' transformative power in education. It was designated to bring attention to this cause by elected officials and educational decision makers across the country to support equitable access to the arts for all students. Despite the pandemic limitations, FCS's visual and performing arts teachers and students have found ways to safely explore and learn in their various art forms. Recently, marching bands have been gearing up for the football season.

Creekside High's drill team held a team-building activity at the top of Stone Mountain, and Milton High's marching band practiced outside in a courtyard of the school, sitting in chairs distanced, wearing masks with holes for the mouthpieces and bell covers on the instrument openings. North Springs Charter High's dance department hosted Hip Hop Teacher, Gerran Reese from the Hollywood Campus of American Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts on September 2, 2020. Many of FCS’ fine arts teachers have a strong presence on Instagram and Twitter where arts creations and achievements are shared. Many elementary art teachers are gearing up to celebrate International Dot Day (Sept. 15). Lake Forest Elementary art teacher Jo Brekke recently posted her students preparing for the big day.

Follow Fulton County Schools' Instagram page and watch September 13-19 for an arts-related Instagram Takeover with hashtags #FultonArtStrong #FCSMusic #FCSDanceArts!

Preparing for Dot Day
Lake Forest Elementary School art teacher Jo Brekke reviewing a student’s artwork in preparation for International Dot

Milton Bell Covers
Milton High School marching band rehearsing outdoors with special masks and bell covers


Creekside Drum Majors
Creekside High School drum majors engaged in a team-building activity atop Stone Mountain



Awards and Honors

Thousands of educators from across the U.S. applied to be members of the 2020-2021 class of Microsoft Educator (MIE) Experts. The following FCS educators were selected because they are self-driving, passionate about their work, have a real collaborative drive to inspire students with creative thinking, and implement technology thoughtfully. Here are the 2020-21 FCS MIE Experts:

Ashley Agans, Cambridge High
Martha Bongiorno, Autrey Mill Middle 
Ashleigh Buist, Tri-Cities High 
Darren Clay, Conley Hills Elementary 
Jason Davis, Campbell Elementary 
Aysha Farooqi, Haynes Bridge Middle 
LaSchunn Gonsalves, Fulton County Schools 
Briana Harrison, Chattahoochee High 
Caroline Hartin, Hamilton Holmes Elementary 
Chanel Johnson, Fulton County Schools 
Lin-Chiou Lee, Fulton County Schools 
Dana Munson, Riverwood International Charter  
Anthony Newbold, Global Impact Academy 
Sharon Newell, Bear Creek Middle 
Alyssa Noland, Chattahoochee High 
Cathleen Oravetz, Webb Bridge Middle 
Raquel Plummer, Hamilton Holmes Elementary 
Mindy Ramon, Fulton County Schools 
Abby Shapiro, Barnwell Elementary 
Marisa Williams, Oakley Elementary 
Cheryl Winborne, Ridgeview Charter Middle 
Melany Bracking, Spalding Drive Elementary 


Pole Vault Champ
Riverwood International Charter School Pole Vault record-breaker Ka’Leila Abrille.
Photo courtesy of Pole Vault Atlanta

Riverwood International Charter School Class of 2020 graduate Ka’Leila Abrille recently broke new records, becoming the sixth highest pole-vault jump ever recorded by a girl in Georgia history. She is also ranked 10th nationally in girls’ high school pole vault, having jumped 13’ 0.25” at a Pole Vault Atlanta meet on July 25, 2020. She is also the only girl to jump 13 feet or higher this year and is currently ranked number one in Georgia.

Previously a gymnast and cheerleader, Abrille started her sophomore year pole vaulting for Riverwood's Track & Field team, then training and competing at Pole Vault Atlanta in 2018. That year, she qualified for the state meet in her first season and placed sixth. At the first meet in 2019, she broke the Riverwood girls' 10-year, standing pole vault record. A dedicated scholar-athlete, Abrille was a member of the National Honor Society and BETA Club and is entering Rutgers University as a freshman. She will continue her pole vault career and major in Biology/Pre-Med.

"I like how unique pole vaulting is," shared Abrille. "You don't typically see a whole lot of pole vaulters. I like how there is always a new skill to learn. Most people think it is a straight-to-the-point thing - one pole and a bar that you must get over. But it's so much more. There are always bigger poles, new techniques, and higher heights for you to master."

Coincidentally, Abrille's Pole Vault Atlanta Coach, Matthew Barry, is a 2001 Riverwood alumnus and held the Riverwood boys' pole vault record for almost two decades. In 2019, his record was beaten by Riverwood Senior Nick West, another student who splits his time between Riverwood's Track & Field team and Pole Vault Atlanta. Riverwood attributes its pole vault program long-standing success to science teacher and track and field coach Isaac Seals, who has taught and coached at Riverwood for 32 years. Abrille credits Seals for being an especially significant factor in her success. "Before he even saw me jump," she said, "he already believed in me and what I could do. He saw my potential before anyone else."


Five Northview High students and members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) placed first at an FBLA national leadership conference on over the summer. They competed with more than 10,000 participants from across the country who convened online for the FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) 2020 National Leadership Experience (NLE). The event, which connected middle, high, and college-level students through competitive events, leadership sessions, and networking, provided students with the collective opportunity to win more than $145,000 in cash awards. Northview’s student winners and their areas of focus include Daniel Martinez (Class of 2020) for Organizational Leadership, Abinash Satapathy (senior) for Business Law, Adit Sachde (Class of 2020) for Cyber Security, Tianyu Dong (junior) for Intro to Business and Ananya Kumar (senior) for Spreadsheet Applications. The prize for each first-place winner was $500.

The awards were part of the National Awards Program (better known as competitive events). The organization’s program recognized and rewarded excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. The NLE featured 74 events on the high school level and were modified to accommodate the online experience.


Four students from Taylor Road Middle received a perfect score on the National Spanish Exam this past spring. Former eighth-grade students Arun Vikhyat, Dominick Adina, and Hemrajan Sahil (now Chattahoochee High School freshmen) and current eighth-grade student Keefer Lin. Coached regularly in the mornings before school beginning in February (and virtually once schools closed due to the pandemic) by Taylor Road Spanish teachers Ileanna SanAntonio and Maria Andres, the students were among only eight students in Georgia to receive perfect scores. Andres spoke for the teachers and their efforts, “I am very proud of these four students, and NSE results from School year 2019-2020 give me more reasons to be proud of those students.”



In Case You Missed It

Westlake High's girls’ basketball team received their championship rings September 4. Raven "Hollywood" Johnson was presented with the Miss Georgia Basketball award. 


Banneker High seniors hosted a Senior Drive-through event September 2. The event featured a DJ, school supply giveaway, academic information, job opportunities, and more. The brainchild of SAFE Center Director Igola Richardson, students also received information on wraparound services. "In conversations with Ms. Richardson, we jumped right on the idea," said Senior Class SGA President Gerald Harris. "After consulting with Senior Class Advisor Jackie Holland, we thought about the partners and connections we have in the community," said Harris.

Partners who assisted in the celebration included Family Ties, Waffle House, Walmart, Next Generation Men and Women, Unveiled Princess, and South Fulton Arrow Youth Council.

"Our students are used to coming back to school and kicking off their Senior year in grand style," said Banneker principal Dr. Jason Stamper. "We wanted to do something special in the drive-through event. We had free t-shirts, swag bags, and transcripts. We wanted to keep it academic as well as social." 


Sandtown Middle's Technology Student Association (TSA) had 19 students in the top 10 in multiple events at the Georgia TSA State Leadership Conference this spring in Athens, Georgia. Mrs. Maria Bibb-Hines co-sponsors the TSA group.


The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning launches the SOLVE Program. Solve, Supporting Onsite Learning for Virtual Education Program will provide financial assistance for parents whose children are ages 5-12 and involved in 100% online distance learning. Interested parents can visit for more information.