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News to Know for the Week of May 10, 2021

News to Know


Graduation 2021 

  • Continuing our tradition of recognizing graduating seniors, Fulton County Schools proudly launches its "Star Seniors: Class of 2021" web and video series. These 17 outstanding seniors - one from each high school - embody the spirit and fortitude of the Class of 2021. We are profiling high academic achievers, all-star athletes and award-winners, students with unusual or unique stories to share, and those who have beaten the odds to graduate.

    The ongoing impact of COVID continues to make the stories of our Star Seniors even more important to share. These students and their peers deserve to be recognized for overcoming obstacles and moving their studies online to continue the path towards graduation. Updates can be found here.


Save the Date

  • The Georgia Ag Experience will visit Northwood Elementary students with a mobile agriculture classroom, May 12 through May 14 from 8 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. each day. The Georgia Ag Experience is a unique STEM-based educational program that invites third through fifth-grade students across Georgia to explore the vast opportunities in agriculture in a 36-foot mobile classroom. Students will interact with the program's technology and digital learning to take a deep dive into Georgia's #1 industry. They will explore seven of Georgia's agriculture commodities and learn where food, fiber, and plants come from, how they are grown, or what they become.  Click here for information.


  • Cogburn Woods Elementary (CWES) will hold an Agricultural Program Open House, May 18, from 1 to 2 p.m. on the school grounds at 13080 Cogburn Road. This is an opportunity to meet CWES students who love agriculture at school and at home. CWES began an agriculture education program in the 2019-2020 school year with the Georgia Department of Education. The Ag area features a full-sized chicken coop with over ten chickens that produce eggs, raised vegetable beds, in-ground planting beds, fruit trees, and plans are in the works for a future greenhouse.  Stop by to hear directly from our students and to hear about opportunities for partnership.


  • May is Bike Month with Georgia Safe Routes to School program. National Bike to School Day was observed on May 5. See story below on Findley Oaks Elementary's award for implementing bicycles and other means of making the commute to school safe.


Awards and Honors

  • Creekside High Future Farmers of America (FFA) had state winners in the following categories: Destiny Absher, 3rd place, Small Animal Care & Production, and Janai Robinson, 3rd place, Agriscience Research-Plant Systems. State Degree Winners are Destiny Absher, Skylnn Little, and Jasmine Westry.


  • Langston Hughes High senior Madison Webb has been awarded the prestigious Ron Brown Scholarship. The winners, selected from nearly 4,000 applicants, will receive mentoring, career counseling, and $40,000 toward their college expenses.

    The scholarship was founded in 1996 in memory of the first African American Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown.


  • Sandtown Middle placed students in 16 categories of the 2021 Georgia Technology Student Association (TSA) competition. Notably, Madison Newborn and Mya McCall won 2nd place in Challenging Technology Issues. Madison Newborn, Mya McCall, Bailee Hurst, and Jayla Baynes placed 3rd in Medical Technology. Aiden Gobin, Azi Curry, Andrez Clay, Kalil Townes, and Harrison Edwards placed 3rd in Virtual VEX IQ Robotics.

    Additionally, Sandtown had three 1st place winners in the 2021 Fulton County Technology competition. Makayla Webb won 1st place for Digital Photo Production. Walter Scott and Thaddeus Reid won 1st place for Robotics.


  • Georgia Scholars Named

    Ten FCS students were named 2021 Georgia Scholars, among the 323 graduating seniors from across the state, as State Superintendent Richard Woods announced. These students have carried exemplary course loads during their four years of high school; performed excellently in all courses; successfully participated in interscholastic events at their schools and their communities.

    The FCS Scholars are:

    Alpharetta High: Manu John, Kiran Kashyap, and Advik Venkatesan
    Cambridge High : Rachel Mason, Anvika Menon, and Zainab Shaik
    Milton High: Priya Soneji
    Riverwood International Charter School: Madeline Chen and Jonah Glenn
    Roswell High: Julia Haley

    The Georgia Department of Education's Excellence Recognition Office manages the Georgia Scholar program through local coordinators in each public school system and private schools. "As a state, we can all draw inspiration from the resilience and determination of the class of 2021," Superintendent Woods said. "Like their counterparts in the class of 2020, they dealt with the sudden shutdown of in-person schooling in March of last year. Then they persevered through a school year that was, of necessity, unlike any we have ever seen before – despite that, they excelled."


  • Findley Oaks Elementary has been chosen as the 2020-2021 Metro Atlanta Partner of the Year by the Georgia Safe Routes to School (GSRS) Resource Center. The program is designed to encourage more kids to walk and bike to school safely.

    School Partners are selected based on their success in establishing an SRTS (safe route to school) program, such as increasing the number of students walking and bicycling to school, raising the level of awareness about SRTS in its community, and encouraging creativity in implementing SRTS.

    "Being selected as the Outstanding Safe Routes Partner for the Metro Atlanta Region is a wonderful recognition," said FOES Principal Camille Christopher. "Our partnership with GA Safe Routes to School is important because walking or biking to school is a great way to bring our community together and encourages our children to be healthy and active."

    GSRS School Outreach Coordinator Marielena Guiterrez stated that Findley Oaks was selected out of 145 partner schools. "Findley Oaks has done a wonderful job since they started their partnership with GSRTS back in 2018," she said. "They are awesome at organizing Walk to School events, coordinating activities with the local Johns Creek PD for their events to ensure safety. They also ensure that the students receive the incentives provided by our program for the students to be safe and seen while walking and biking. They make the events a lot of fun for the students."


  • Two students from Roswell High, junior Emily Harrell, and senior Nicole Price, won first place in the State Champions in Duo Performance Oral Presentation at the GHSA State Literary Competition, Class 7A. The competition was held in late April at Buford High School.

    Under theatre director Trey Rutherford, these students researched, wrote, and performed a piece from Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." They performed as nearly ten different characters between the two of them in approximately nine minutes. Each new character required a stark contrast from the previous ones in both vocal quality and physical gestures. Rutherford said, "Overall, the student's dedication and passion for the work earned them the recognition of the judges and their peers at competition."

    Seven FCS studentswon first place in the Georgia PTA Reflections contest themed "I Matter Because…" The Reflections Program is a cultural arts competition which began in 1969 and whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for students' self-expression through their own original works. Fulton winners include:

    Isabel Neeley, Alpharetta High for 2D Visual Art
    Gabrielle Gibson, CambridgeHigh for Film Production 
    Daniel Shin, Chattahoochee High for Music Composition 
    Milana Aithal, Creek View Elementary for Literature 
    Alexa Tabor, Dolvin Elementary for Literature 
    Taylor Giordano, Hopewell Middle for Dance Choreography
    Ayana Davis, Riverwood International Charter High for Dance Choreography
    Jack Fallon, Roswell High for Music Composition

    The projects of Cambridge's Gabrielle Gibson and Roswell's Jack Fallon were selected to advance to the National PTA Reflections competition. Gabrielle's film was entitled "Alright" and highlights feelings of sadness and frustration about the injustice black communities often face. Fallon's work was a composition for piano and strings called "Transfixture." Results will be released later this spring.

    Over 10 million students across the nation have taken part in this PTA program each year. Young artists get involved through their local PTA or PTSA and may submit an entry in six of the following arts areas: Visual Arts Photography; Literature; Music Composition; Dance Choreography; and Film Production.


  • The American School Counselors Association (ASCA) has announced that Summit Hill Elementary has received the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation. This year, 130 schools in 27 states received this national recognition. Summit Hill will be honored during a special ceremony at the ASCA's Annual Conference in July in Las Vegas and online for making an exemplary commitment to their school counseling program. Summit Hill counselors Ruth Bowen and Myriam Seoane are responsible for making the program a success.

    The RAMP designation, awarded for aligning with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools committed to delivering a data-informed school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. Since the program's inception, nearly 1,100 schools have been designated as RAMP recipients.


  • North Springs Charter High has won several regional championships this spring. TheSoccer Team won the Region 6 5A championship in April, and Principal Scott Hanson presented them with their trophy. This year's region championship was the first of any kind since 1980. This season Coach Bill Bratton also recorded his 200th career win this year.

    The Water Polo Team placed second in state during a challenging year for water polo to thrive safely.

    The Baseball Team also won the Region championships for the first time since 1999. Currently, they are in the GHSA state playoffs.


  • FCS' Accounting Services was recognized with a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2020 under the leadership of Account Services Director Suzanne Hatfield.

    The Department of Budget Services was honored with the Meritorious Budget Award for budget presentation by ASBO for the 2020-2021 year under Budget Services Director Tracy Ogletree-Watson.  


Cool Kids (and Teachers) Doing Cool Things  

  • Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the African American scientist who was one of the lead scientists working on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, did a live-stream Q & A with students and staff at Banneker High on May 4. The virtual event was open to the community. Bannekerinstructor Marva Miles organized the recorded event.


  • Stonewall Tell Elementary was awarded a $900 grant to purchase STEM books for the school library and the Summer Reading program. The grant was provided by Stonewall Tellpartner Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc.


In Case You Missed It

  • Evoline C. West Elementary held a Virtual STEM Day on May 7, Georgia STEM Day. Third-grade students were asked to answer this question: How can you design a tiny house that meets people's needs in our community? Students researched and built their tiny homes with solar panels. Partner was John Bynum Custom Homes. Evoline C. Westis the first in South Fulton and the fourth school in Fulton County Schools (FCS) to become state-certified in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by the Georgia Department of Education.

    E. C. West students work on tiny home they are building to help community. E. C. West student installs solar panel on tiny home.


  • Oakley Elementary held a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) takeover on Georgia STEM Day. Powered by Oakleypartner PlantLanta State University (PSU), the event featured a live stream for remote learners. Events included Culinary Arts, Farming and Gardening, Health and Wellness, STEM, and Recycling demonstrations.

    Oakley ES students plant pollenater garden.