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Linder announces service academy nominations

U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, has announced his nominees for the United States Service Academies.

"Year after year I am amazed at the level of dedication and commitment these young men and women reflect in their eagerness to serve their country," Linder said in a news release. "Military service is never easy and, in a dangerous time when wartime service is more likely, it is encouraging to see these young candidates resolute and committed to serve. I am confident that these students will represent the Seventh (Congressional) District with distinction, and I am humbled to have the privilege of nominating them."

The following students received a nomination to attend the Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.:

Rachael Duvall, Hebron Christian Academy

Kemp Greenwood, Collins Hill High School

Matthew Jackson, Central Gwinnett High School

Michael Metz, Pinecrest Academy in Forsyth County

Zachary Oliver, Buford High School

Colin Patrick, Norcross High School

Chris Pawlik, Collins Hill High School

Matthew Quick, a Gwinnett resident who attends Riverside Military Academy

Taylor Rose, Brookwood High School

Timothy Schmidt, home schooled in Gwinnett County

Tyler Scott, Dacula High School

Matthew Whitley, George Walton Academy in Walton County

The following students received a nomination to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.:

Collin Burchins, Parkview High School

Aaron Dumond, Mill Creek High School

Henry Hayes, South Gwinnett High School

Tony Hotle, Dacula High School

Matthew Joiner, Collins Hill High School

Michelle Lansford, Duluth High School

Paul Neidhardt, Brookwood High School

Michael Scruggs, Grayson High School

The following students received a nomination to attend the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y.:

Ashley Bullard, Loganville High School in Walton County

David Kilgore, Brookwood High School

David Klotz, Peachtree Ridge High School

Mikhail Manalo, Brookwood High School

Taylor McClendon, Norcross High School

The following students received a nomination to attend the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.:

Chase Anderson, Mill Creek High School

James Collins, Greater Atlanta Christian School

Austin Dale, Collins Hill High School

Matthew Hamrick, a Gwinnett resident who attends St. Francis High School

Mark Johnson, Wesleyan School

Rich McMurry, Wesleyan School (Gwinnett)

Paul Owens, home schooled in Gwinnett

Rob Rohmiller, a Gwinnett resident who attends Blessed Trinity High School

David Shealy, Providence Christian Academy

Matthew Siverio, Shiloh High School

Nominations are based on a variety of criteria: a candidate's high school academic ranking, SAT or ACT scores, athletic ability, and leadership potential as demonstrated by extra-curricular activities, community service, or part-time employment.

A nomination from Linder does not guarantee an appointment to a service academy. It is the decision of the individual academies to issue appointments.

The Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn., does not require a nomination.

If you are interested in learning more about the nomination process for 2008, please contact Annie Valenty, the Seventh Congressional District's Academy Advisory Panel Coordinator, at 770-232-3005, or visit Linder's Online Office at http://linder.house.gov.

Schools participate in quiz bowl for readers

Many of Gwinnett County Public Schools' most avid readers participated Saturday in the Gwinnett Readers Rally, a quiz-bowl competition for students in fourth through 12th grades.

In its third year, 58 teams competed in the Readers Rally for the countywide championships. Readers competed in five-student teams using their knowledge of literature by answering questions based on a given list of books.

The following schools competed in the 2008 Gwinnett Readers Rally:

· Elementary schools: Alcova Elementary, B.B. Harris Elementary, Benefield Elementary, W.C. Britt Elementary, Brookwood Elementary, Cedar Hill Elementary, Centerville Elementary, Chattahoochee Elementary, Charles Brant Chesney Elementary, J.W. Cooper Elementary, Corley Elementary, Craig Elementary, J.G. Dyer Elementary, Fort Daniel Elementary, Gwin Oaks Elementary, Harbins Elementary, Ivy Creek Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Knight Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, Level Creek Elementary, Lovin Elementary, J.C. Magill Elementary, Dr. M. H. Mason Jr. Elementary, Mountain Park Elementary, Mulberry Elementary, Norcross Elementary, R.L. Norton Elementary, Parsons Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary, Shiloh Elementary, Simonton Elementary, Susan Stripling Elementary, Sugar Hill Elementary, Suwanee Elementary, Sycamore Elementary, K.E. Taylor Elementary, Walnut Grove Elementary and Margaret Winn Holt Elementary

· Middle schools: Creekland Middle, Alton C. Crews Middle, Dacula Middle, Five Forks Middle, Glenn C. Jones Middle, Lilburn Middle, J.P. McConnell Middle, Frank N. Osborne Middle, Sweetwater Middle and Trickum Middle

· High schools: Brookwood High, Collins Hill High, Grayson High, Mill Creek High, Norcross High, Peachtree Ridge High, North Gwinnett High and South Gwinnett High

First, second and third place winning teams were named at each level: elementary, middle and high. The results of the competition were not available before this column's press time.

The two winning teams at the middle and high school levels will proceed to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a regional competition scheduled for Feb. 9 in Augusta. The state playoffs will be held March 1 during the Children's Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.