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Gwinnett students, teachers recognized

Atlanta Toyota honored 16 graduating seniors from Gwinnett County Public Schools and their most inspiring teachers through the company's annual scholarship program.

Scholarship applicants had to write two essays for the competition. The first was on how their experiences in Gwinnett schools helped shape their decision to go to college. The second was about the teacher who most influenced their academic careers.

Each of the honored students received a $2,000 scholarship, and each of their honored teachers received $1,000.

Over the past three years, Atlanta Toyota has given $141,000 in scholarships to Gwinnett students and teachers.

"Their support of public education through the recognition of outstanding students and educators is a source of pride for our community," Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said.

Students to compete in national history contest

Four Gwinnett high school students will be traveling to Maryland this week after being selected to compete in the National History Day Contest.

They were chosen for the honor after earning top honors at the state competition last month at Macon State College.

The students submitted documentaries, composed essays and created exhibits revolving around the theme "Taking a Stand in History."

Jeffrey Heaton of Collins Hill High School took first place for his performance titled "The Voice of Journalism: Edward R. Murrow and his Fight for the Truth." His classmate, Joyce Koh, took second place for her documentary, "Nelson Mandela's Stand Against Apartheid."

Parkview High School students Lisa Xu and Kristen Luca won second place for their senior group exhibit, "Come Site With Us" at the state competition.

They will represent Georgia at the national contest today through Thursday at the University of Maryland.

For more information on National History Day, visit http://nationalhistoryday.com.

Young entrepreneurs

recognized

A national organization recognized four Gwinnett and Barrow aspiring student entrepreneurs last week with $1,000 scholarships.

The graduating seniors received the annual awards from the National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation. The goal of the program is to help put future small-business owners on the path to achieving their goals.

The local winners were Justin Gorski of Norcross High School, Zach Todd of Loganville Christian Academy, Jena Sims of Winder-Barrow High School and Corey Monroe of Grayson High School.

In their applications, the students were asked to write two essays describing their entrepreneurial accomplishments, their future goals and their ideas about the importance of free enterprise.

"Small business is the bedrock of our nation's economy and our communities, and this award is designed to encourage the next generation of small-business owners, while saluting NFIB members who are already creating jobs," said Hank Kopcial, the organization's executive director.

The students will be eligible for a regional award of an additional $5,000 and a $10,000 national scholarship for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

For more information on the National Federation of Independent Business, visit www.nfib.com/education.

Gwinnett students

win scholarships

Burger King awarded scholarships to five Gwinnett students as part of its annual scholars program, which honored exemplary students across the country.

The local winners were Leeann Blackwell of Dacula High School, Adrianna Samaniego of Mill Creek High School, Tiffany Acholes of Norcross High School, Halina Maladtsova of Norcross High School and Shea Newman of North Gwinnett High School.

The students were among 35 in Georgia to receive the scholarships and 1,572 nationwide. They were nominated by their high school principals and counselors based on their grade-point average, work experience, financial need, co-curricular activities and community service.

"Too many qualified students are missing out on the opportunity to achieve a higher education because of financial constraints. This is our chance to make a difference in the lives of those promising young scholars," said Steven Lewis, co-chair of the Burger King/McLamore Foundation.

For more information, visit www.bkmfoundation.com.

Rubina Madan is the education reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Post.