Board Meeting Recognitions: December 3 & 12, 2019
Each month the Fulton County Board of Education recognizes outstanding students, staff and schools that have been honored at the state, national or international level. Honorees must have placed first at the regional or state level or be among the top finishers at the national or international level.
Bright Spark Award
Two River Trail Middle School eighth grade students recently competed in the regional 2019 Bright Spark Invention Challenge and took home the top award. Vaishnavi Tammali and Anusha Kanagaraj teamed up together to create a design that featured a rain gutter system that produces electricity and fresh water for developing countries.
Bright Spark is the education arm of the design consulting firm Bridge Innovate; and the Invention Challenge is a 30-day competition for students in fourth grade through college. Entrants are challenged to create a new service or product that solves an existing problem. Using the Design Thinking process, competitors research and build empathy for the problem, design a solution and pitch their idea via a short video. Winners were chosen by industry and education leaders.
For their research, these young scientists consulted with a mechanical engineer, aiming for cost-efficiency and innovation. River Trail science teacher Marwa Crisp testified to the creative and intellectual process that led to their design and well-deserved award.
5A All-State First Team
Kaylah Jackson is an exceptional senior athlete at Riverwood International Charter School. An Outside Hitter on the varsity volleyball team, she was selected to play on the 5A All-State First Team, qualifying through a selection process. Votes for nominees are based on overall stats, skill level, coach observation in competition, impact on the game, and utilizing the MaxPreps sports website to measure player stats and team success.
Kaylah is known as one of the team's most vocal leaders, a fierce competitor and a student of the game, sharing her wealth of knowledge with her teammates. Riverwood volleyball coach Nikia Bynum-Isler says Kaylah pushes her teammates to be better with every play and encourages them in their successes.
Women In Technology's Girl of the Year
A Chattahoochee High School senior was recently honored by the non-profit Women In Technology (WIT). A Georgia-based organization, WIT is dedicated to empowering girls and women to excel in careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, otherwise known as STEAM.
At the 2019 Women of the Year awards, Sri Vaishnavi Ghantasala was named Girl of the Year, an award for a high school age girl. The nominee must engage in one or more WIT GIRLS programs, be respectful and encouraging of others, demonstrate exemplary educational performance and citizenship, and have made a lasting, positive impression on a WIT GIRLS team member.
Sri is an aspiring Data Analyst who already has a long resume.
A sampling of her leadership includes service as Vice President of Chattahoochee’s Computer Science for Girls Club, Team Captain of Modern Physics Club and participation in national and international competitions in math, world languages, and programming. Sri also co-founded SpeakPro, a public speaking club at Chattahoochee. She is trilingual yet hopes to learn more languages, and she plans to study computer science and math in college. Her computer science teacher Pam Whitlock – who is also FCS’ Teacher of the Year - testifies to Sri’s intellectual curiosity and drive to achieve while also being humble, kind and a role model to younger students.
Sri was one of three nominated finalists and received a $7,500 scholarship from State Farm, a Dell laptop computer and an iPhone from ATT.
GHSA's "One Act Play" State Champion
The Tri-Cities High School Theatre Department has had a winning streak this fall. Under the direction of theatre teacher Jade Lambert-Smith, the program received several awards at the Georgia High School Association's "One Act Play" State Championships. For the 6A division, Tri-Cities senior Milkah Sadiki-Yisrael took home a top state award. Milkah was named Best Actress in the state for her role as Erzulie in the musical "Once on this Island."
She was a previously Shuler Hensley Award nominee for her role in "Pippin" last year and is on track to pursue a career in musical theatre and vocal performance.