Radiologic technology student honored for academic excellence and leadership

Ruben Basulto, 28, a radiologic technology student at Gwinnett Technical College, has been named the 2008 Gwinnett Tech winner of the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership.

The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education sponsors the statewide GOAL program, which recognizes outstanding technical college students.

The award honors excellence in academics and leadership. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state's 33 technical colleges, as well as the four Board of Regents colleges with technical education divisions.

Basulto said he felt "extremely humbled" when he was selected as Gwinnett Tech's winner.

"I felt appreciative when my program director initially nominated me for GOAL," he said. "Now, I'm honored, and it's truly sublime when I think I'll be representing GTC during the state level GOAL competitions this May."

In addition to his full-time class schedule, his part-time job, his family life and playing competitive tennis, Basulto is a Gwinnett Tech Student Ambassador.

"I'm ready to serve GTC as an ambassador both now and in the years to follow," Basulto said.

In May, Basulto will compete with GOAL winners from the other state technical college campuses during a three-day conference in Atlanta. A panel of leaders from the business, industry and government sectors will interview the college winners and choose one to be the state's 2008 GOAL winner and recipient of the GOAL medallion. The grand prize also includes a new car.

"Ruben Basulto has had other college experience and was an excellent student in that environment, but he realizes that Gwinnett Tech will open doors to a career path with many more opportunities waiting," said Jim Sass, the radiologic technology program director at Gwinnett Tech.

Sass said Basulto also exhibits both great technical and patient care skills while learning radiologic technology.

"He will be an excellent representative for technical education," Sass said.

School board honors Gwinnett students

Three Gwinnett County Public Schools students took center stage during the Gwinnett County Board of Education regular monthly meeting in March, as they were recognized for recent state and national academic achievements.

The students listed below were joined by family members, their school teachers and administrators:

* Jessica Morton, a third-grade student at Sugar Hill Elementary, recently placed first in Georgia - and 10th nationwide - in the "National InvestWrite Essay Competition."

The national writing contest is sponsored by the Stock Market Game, an economic education and financial literary program. This essay competition relates to investment principles, tying together various lessons throughout the curriculum and adding a critical thinking component to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom. In the essay, students make a case for a particular investment strategy.

Student essays are selected by the teachers who forward the top five essays per class to the Foundation for Investor Education in New York City. Jessica's essay was chosen from 1,203 entries. She also will be recognized at the annual "Stock Market Game Awards Luncheon" in May by the Georgia Council on Economic Education.

* Kate Hardin of Parkview High has been chosen as the "Georgia German Student of the Year" by the American Association of Teachers of German, Georgia Chapter.

The Parkview High senior was nominated by her school's German teacher, Sanja Knezovic.

As this year's winner, Kate will have the opportunity to participate in a three-week study course at the Goethe Institute in Germany sponsored by The German Cultural Center in Atlanta. This win marks the second consecutive year that a Parkview High student has won this award.

* Margaret Winn Holt Elementary students Chelsea Murphy, Carolina Hinojosa and Susannah Speagle earned a perfect score on the National WordMasters Challenge.

Chelsea and Carolina, both fifth graders, and Susannah, a fourth grader, participated in the vocabulary competition in which students study a predetermined set of words and all of their variants, followed by participation in the written challenge.

This year more than 230,000 students participated nationwide. Out of that number, only 109 fourth graders and 189 fifth graders earned perfect scores. The three Margaret Winn Holt Elementary students earned perfect scores in the Blue Division, one of the more difficult levels of competition.

Grayson Elementary teams place second in problem solving competition

Two Grayson Elementary teams recently placed second in their division at the Flowery Branch Regional Odyssey of the Mind competition.

The third and fourth graders were competing against fifth-grade students. Both teams will advance to the state tournament on April 19 at Columbus State University.

"The Odyssey Road Rally" team consists of fourth-graders Paige Bunn, Alex Carley, Grayson Gavulic, Davis Ray, Nate Seymour, Anna Scartz and Noah Wilson. Coaches are Christine Scartz and Lisa Carley. The team also won second place for the banner competition.

"The Wonderful Muses" team members are third graders Tyler Kenyon, Cameron Lavallee, Erin Marney, ED Thompson, Chole Tullis and Levi Weible. Coaches are Susanne Lavallee and Dee Marney.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving competition for students of all ages. Participants learn that the group is a much more powerful thinking force than the individual.

Contest to give school an eco-friendly makeover

Schools looking to go green can now enlist Ford Motor Company's help in welcoming sustainability into the classroom.

The automaker is joining forces with ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Educate to Escape - a green school makeover campaign. As part of the campaign, Ford is sponsoring a nationwide contest that awards one K-12 school with an eco-friendly makeover up to $250,000.

Ford's Educate to Escape initiative launched earlier this month, and schools will have their shot at the makeover until May 18. Students, parents, community members, school staff and teachers are encouraged to nominate schools for the contest by submitting an online survey to www.educatetoescape.com.

Entrants will be asked a series of essay questions about why their school deserves an eco-friendly makeover.

The winner will be announced in June, and the makeover will be completed later in the summer.

In addition to the green school makeover contest, entrants will have the opportunity to win a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid in the Educate to Escape sweepstakes.

To enter and for more information on the contest and sweepstakes, including official rules, go to www.educatetoescape.com.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. More Good News From Schools appears online on Mondays.