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News to Know for the Week of May 24, 2021


Awards and Honors  

  • Banneker High girls won the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region 5A, 4 X 100 relay.  
  • Northview High Lady Titans are official GHSA State runner-up in golf in Region 5A. They finished three shots off the lead.  
  • Westlake High –
    • Girls won the 2021 GHSA State Championship in Track & Field. They are the official 6A State Champions.  
    • The baseball team won the Region 6A championship and their coach, Kelsey White, was named Region 4, 6A Coach of the Year.  
    • Raven Johnson was named Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 2021 High School Player of the Year.  
  • Alpharetta High –
    • Boys Track team won 7A State Championship. The soccer team won the 5 7A Region 5 Award with Region Coach Alejandro Romero being named Coach of the Year and Caelin David named Region Player of the Year.  
    • All achievements were the first time in program history.  
    • Additionally, Raider Boys Tennis won 7-A Region Championships and went to Final Four.  
  • Cambridge High –
    • Girls Tennis won the 7 6A Region and 6A State Championships.  
    • Boys Tennis placed fourth in regionals, they made a run in the playoffs and were the 6A State Runner-Up team.  
    • Girls Soccer was also a 6A State Runner-Up.  
  • Johns Creek High had their most successful year in athletics.
    • The Boys Swim and Dive team, Boys Tennis, Girls Soccer and Boys Golf all won state championships.  
    • The Girls Tennis, Boys Soccer and Girls Golf won state runner-up.  
    • Gladiator Boys Lacrosse made the Final Four in the state run.  
  • Langston Hughes High senior David Tenga was selected overall First Place winner of Congressman David Scott’s 2021 Art Competition. This is the third year Tenga has placed in the top three of the competition.  Tenga earned the top award with his submission, “Lady,” a digital drawing of a fantasy landscape. The drawing will be displayed in the Tunnel of the Cannon House Office Building for the next year. 

    Congressman Scott also presented Tenga with a $12,000 scholarship provided by the Art Institute of Atlanta, another $12,000 scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and two round-trip Southwest Airlines airfare tickets to attend the national ribbon cutting ceremony in Washington, D. C. 

    “What a wonderful display of talent,” said Congressman Scott. “From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank every student who submitted their artwork this year and each of our community partners for investing in the bright futures of our young artists.” 

    In addition to Tenga, Fulton County Schools (FCS) student Alyssa Healy, participated in the competition. The North Springs Charter High student received Honorable Mention, and two complimentary tickets to the High Museum of Art.

    Langston Hughes senior David Tenga's digital drawing of a fantasy landscape, "Lady."
    Langston Hughes senior David Tenga's digital drawing of a fantasy landscape, "Lady."  


  • Students from Chattahoochee, North Springs, Northview High, and Roswell High received various honors in the 2021 Springs Awards from the Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA). The awards program recognizes high school broadcasts, newspapers, news magazines, and news websites. The Georgia Scholastic Press Association, based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, holds the contest annually.

    Twenty-five, high school publications, were entered into the spring General Excellence contest, and 525 individual award entries were submitted. Individual and General Excellence Awards were given. All-Georgia awards represent Best in Show, and Superior awards represent first place for the various categories listed.

    The awards are as follows:

    Northview High School
    House Editorials, Photo Illustration, Advertising Design, Social Media Storytelling, Social Media Promotion

    Individual Superior
    COVID-19 Reporting, News Story, Feature Story, News Photograph, Feature/Entertainment Photograph and Photo Essay, Information Graphic, Social Media Breaking News, Social Media Promotion. 
    Publication: The Messenger. Student Staff: Grace Peng, Rachel Everett, Megan Serfontein, Melissa Liu, Bedansh Pandey, Jennifer Xia and Meghana Ramineni
    Teacher Advisor: Meredith Evans

    North Springs Charter High School
    olumn Writing

    Individual Superior
    Column Writing, Critical Review, 
    Publication: The Oracle. Student Staff: Veronica Kogan, Nelson Cummiskey,Saaniah Hardy, and Isaac Linnen 
    Teacher Advisor: Adam Throne

    Chattahoochee High School
    Individual Superior
    Opposing Viewpoints, Commentary, Critical Review, Sports Column

    General Excellence Superior
    Publication: The Speculator, Student Staff: Francesca Abarca, Shruti Nemala, and Julia Fortt
    Teacher Advisor: David White

    Roswell High School
    Individual Superior
    Illustration, Photo Illustration
    Publication: The Sting. Student Staff: Maynor Chinchilla and Luke Hicks
    Teacher Advisor: Megan Volpert


  • River TrailMiddle students coached by science teacher Marwa Crisp were selected as winners of the 2020-2021 Youth Design Challenge (YDC) of the Biomimicry Institute. Biomimicry is a human-centered Design Thinking process that applies biological strategies to help solve problems and create innovative products in sustainable ways.

    Competing in this international competition were students from across the U.S., Canada, Japan, and other countries. Since January, the River Trail team, called “Adapto-Panel,” worked on their project, which involved designing a different surface covering for solar panels that would automatically change absorption phases based on the heat to make solar panels more efficient. They used different biological models, including plant processes, to inspire their design.

    Selected from 53 middle schoolentries, Adapto-Panel received the Naturalist Award. Competition winners receive an award certificate and have their work publicly recognized online or in the media. In addition, a $500 cash gift will be made to an environmental charity in honor of the team. The River Trail team donated their winnings to the Center of Biological Diversity.

     Screenshot of student winners


  • Roswell High Student Jordan Freeman won the National Association for Urban Debate League (NAUDL) Expo’s end-of-year Round Robin, along with her partner, Aaron Gill, of Rockdale County High School. Jordan has been active in the Roswell debate team under the direction of Roswell debate coach Ross Ellison. They became the first ever Leonard A. Gail Champions for the 2020-2021 debate season. Jordan and Aaron were one of 20 teams from the 16 leagues to compete this year at the Expo in April.

    NAUDL’s mission is to advance debate education in urban public schools to amplify youth voices and to develop confidence for future success.  


  • Milton High Senior Divya Nori is now a U.S. Presidential Scholar. One of 161 winners nationally and one of only two in Georgia from the 6,000 candidates qualified to compete in the 2021 U.S. Department of Education's President Scholars Program.

    Divya was selected based on merit, both academic and extracurricular. She nominated Milton biology teacher Amanda Martinez to be named 2021 Distinguished Teacher. 

    Students chosen for this honor will participate in a virtual event tentatively scheduled for June in Washington, D.C., where they will be presented with the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. They will also meet with important national and international figures virtually, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, and scientists. The students could also meet President Joe Biden.

    The President's executive order established the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Each year, up to 161 students are named Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.


  • Tri-Cities High Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Magnet took home two Shuler Awards on May 20. The Shuler Awards, named for Shuler Hensley, is also referred to as the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards. One of the country's largest high school musical theatre awards programs, it is presented by ArtsBridge.

    Jade Lambert-Smith and Briana Bunkley won the award for Choreography for their work on "Fela!" "Fela"also won the Spotlight award for the tenacity of the Tri-Cities VPA. The Tri-CitiesVPA is celebrating 30 years of award-winning performances in 2021.

    Jade Lambert-Smith and Briana Burkley of Tri-Cities HS win Shuler Award for Fela!
    Jade Lambert-Smith and Briana Burkley of Tri-Cities HS win Shuler Award for Fela!


  • Milton High’s Syndey Lynch is a published author! Her scholarly article entitled “Adolescents Voice Preference in Auditory Advertisements: A Study in Gender Stereotypes and Multi-Media Marketing” was published in the March issue of the international publication, Journal of Student Research, High School Edition. As a student in Milton’s inaugural AP Research class in 2019-2020 under the guidance of teacher Marianne Campbell, she became interested in how gender perceptions influence students’ interpretations of auditory content considering the history of gender stereotyping and changing norms. To investigate her research question, she created ad copy for a fictional technology product, recorded teacher volunteers delivering the advertisements, and surveyed Milton High students on their impressions of the different ads. She found that students did not prefer male or female narration, contrasting with results of similar studies conducted in previous generations. Her work demonstrates a shift toward more egalitarian views among the students surveyed.

    The academic publication process includes multiple rounds of peer review by an editorial team of 97 university professors during which reviewers ask for changes or additional work before acceptance. Reviewers gave Sydney top scores in the first round of peer review and subsequently accepted her paper as-is, which was characterized by editor Dr. Mir Alikhan as “rare.” Through Milton’s AP Capstone program, Sydney completed this project, a course sequence like the capstone project of an IB diploma program.  


  • Milton High senior Priya Soneji was named the 2021 Georgia BioGENEius Challenge winner, the premier competition for high school students recognizing outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology by Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute.

    As Georgia's BioGENEius finalist, Priya will attend the international BioGENEius competition held virtually and featured during the BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA, the week of May 24, 2021.

    Priya will compete against high school students from the U.S. and winners from Canada and Germany. Student projects will represent a range of biotechnology topics such as healthcare, agriculture, and the environment.

    Priya was selected for the tracking microscope she developed that automatically focuses on a microorganism as it travels through three-dimensional space. It is an improvement on the traditional method of manually moving the slide or petri dish by creating a mechanized device that uses artificial intelligence to record video and plot an organism's location as it travels. By enabling scientists to observe microscopic organisms for longer periods and more easily identify fast-moving specimens, this device has the potential to facilitate parasite diagnosis and advance the discovery of previously unknown microorganism behaviors. Priya has worked at the Bhamla Lab at Georgia Tech, which has sponsored and assisted her work on the BioGENEius project. Winners will receive cash scholarships.

    "Georgia Bio is thrilled to have Priya represent our state on the international stage at the upcoming BIO Digital Convention," said Georgia Bio President and CEO Maria Thacker. "We are proud to support this Georgia scholar in her future endeavors."  


  • Milton student Asmi Kumar was the BioGENEius runner-up. Her project focused on treating Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) with a low-cost, computer app-based therapy, called FollowMe.  


Cool Kids (and Teachers) Doing Cool Things  

  • Sandtown Middle and RISE Prep Charter Middlecelebrated Law Day with the theme “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.” The theme reminded citizens that we all share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty, and pursue justice. During the celebration, students could pose questions to Superior Court Judge Rachel Krause. “We appreciate Judge Krause for sharing her time and insights with the students at Fulton County Schools,” said Crystal Flowers, Director of Social Studies. “One student said, after the event, ‘it was exciting being able to speak to a judge, but I wish I could’ve gone to the courtroom in person to have a full experience of seeing the bailiffs, lawyers, and defendants.” 


  • The Fulton County Schools Teaching Museum has received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant will fund ArtSparks, a project in which Teaching Artists will record five short videos as 'sparks' focused on middle school standards that enhance existing learning resources offered by the Museum. The videos will feature "Professor Inquiry" and his colleague researching artifacts in the Teaching Museum and FCS Archives collections. The videos will extend and enhance two projects: "Teaching Museum on the Go! Traveling Trunks," an exhibit resource lending program for our schools, and the "Curiosity Corner," an online publication featuring primary sources from the museum collections, support classroom instruction incorporation.

    The NEA-funded videos will enhance the Museum's ArtSparks collection. During the 2020-21 school year, the Teaching Museum collaborated with Teaching Artists to create over 70 short videos targeting Pre-K through second-grade audiences. These videos supported a district initiative to reach young students learning remotely through distribution on the district's closed-circuit television station, Microsoft Streams, and YouTube.

    FCS will serve as the fiscal agent, and Jena Sibille, Curator of the Teaching Museum, will serve as the grant manager.  


  • Centennial High seniorKyler Parker founded and runs KylerKares, a non-profit organization created for teens dedicated to helping break the stigma surrounding homelessness and providing relief to homeless women and children in Roswell and Atlanta areas. Moved by the reality that many homeless shelters closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic because of safety concerns and lack of resources, she sought a solution to bring direct and immediate relief and founded her non-profit.

    KylerKares has partnered with four homeless and housing transition organizations CORATLANTA, The Drake House, 7 Bridges to Recovery, and Homestretch during this past year. KylerKares provides these shelters with monthly donations based upon their needs through teen-led service projects.

    A recent project included student volunteers cleaning out multiple apartments with Homestretch that were offered to homeless families in Roswell.

    Kyler had previously worked on community service projects with each organization partner and gained awareness of the critical need for extra donations and support from the pandemic, putting more people out of work and on the street. Through her work with them, she developed relationships that have become effective partnerships for her initiative.

    In the last six months, KylerKares has provided over $5000 worth of requested donations to teens and families with COR Atlanta, prepared dozens of apartments for homeless families, and created and offered a multitude of service opportunities for teens in her community.

    Though Kyler heads to the University of San Francisco this fall, she will continue to run her non-profit from college, delegating some tasks to her local Atlanta board members and using KylerKares to help the homeless population in San Francisco.    


In Case You Missed It  

  • FCS partnered with North Point Community Church (NPCC) on May 22 for a bike giveaway. NPCC ran a bike drive to get donations for FCS students and held a Venture Day Out Day where volunteers took the time to fix, clean, and wash bikes for distribution to students. "Bikes are fun, great exercise, and provide a way to get around," Executive Director of the Office of Student Supports, Chelsea Montgomery, said. "This partnership will help every child have a summer to remember. Words alone cannot express how thankful we are to partner with North Point Community Church on this endeavor."

    FCS counselors shared with the church that bicycles are among the most frequently requested items by families in need. Over 500 new and gently used bikes were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at both Banneker High School and North Point Community Church to currently enrolled FCS students. 

    FCS and North Point Church volunteers prepare bikes for May 22 Bike Giveaway to FCS students.
    FCS and North Point Church volunteers prepare bikes for May 22 Bike Giveaway to FCS students. 


  • FCS School Governance Council showcased stories of impact in the Design Thinking Challenge. In collaboration with AK12DC (Atlanta K12 Design Challenge), the program launches its design thinking with seven schools: Brookview ES, Campbell ES, E. C. West ES, Johns Creek HS, North Springs HS, River Eves ES, and Webb Bridge MS. The AK12DC experience, in partnership with The Center for Teaching, is assembling a small group of thought leaders and educators across Atlanta to discuss the issue and design a learning experience that differs from those that schools typically support. School Governance Facilitator Gina Foster said, "Participating in the Design Thinking experience allowed us to use creative activities to foster collaboration, starting with empathy. It provided our SGC's with a paradigm shift in how we think about innovative solutions to create change." To view an overview of the SGC Facilitators' perspective, click here.  


  • FCS received an $8000 grant to expand RISE (Resiliency in School Environments) in collaboration with Healthier Generation. Besides the 15 current RISE Schools, FCS received support to expanding Fulton Cares. Fulton Cares is the district's employee wellness program that provides four Wellness Rooms for staff to relax, decompress and build relationships with other staff across all 3 administrative buildings and professional learning opportunities for staff on combating the effects of compassion fatigue and burnout.