GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Parkview High selected as Naval Honors School



The Gwinnett County Board of Education recently saluted Parkview High on its selection as a Naval Honors School by the commanding general of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.

The national honor, presented to the school's Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps unit, is one shared by only 20 percent of the nation's units.

The school's MCJROTC unit earned the designation because of its overall rating during the 2008-09 school year. The decision was based on the cadets' exemplary performance during inspections, drill competitions, community service, marksmanship and scholastic achievement. In addition, the JROTC unit as a whole demonstrated excellence in unit administration, training, supply, facilities, armory management, cadet citizenship, school and community involvement, scholastic achievement, and extracurricular events.

The school board honored the Parkview High JROTC student-cadets along with retired Marine Corps Capt. Modesto Silverio and Gunnery Sgt. David H. Erwin.

The Parkview High unit was established in 1995.

Riverside Elementary teacher named state's top social studies educator

The Georgia Council for the Social Studies selected a Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher as the state's top social studies educator for 2009.

Melisa Jeffers, who teaches fourth grade at Riverside Elementary in the North Gwinnett cluster, was named the 2009 Outstanding Social Studies Educator.

The 20-year veteran Gwinnett teacher was honored in November with the state's top title during the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference.

"I am incredibly honored," Jeffers said. "It is always an honor to be recognized by your leaders and peers."

Jeffers was selected for the contributions she has made to the teaching of social studies. Known for her initiative, she has participated in a number of districtwide social studies projects such as the Gateway assessment program, adoption of instructional materials and curriculum reviews.

"I rarely miss an opportunity to participate in anything involving social studies," she said. "GCPS allows teachers the opportunity to go beyond the classroom and share their love of learning and teaching with others. I am forever grateful for both the personal and professional opportunities that have been given to me here in Gwinnett."

Jeffers joined Gwinnett County Public Schools in 1989 as a substitute teacher at McKendree Elementary. Upon completing a degree in early childhood education from Oglethorpe University in 1993, she began teaching fourth grade at Walnut Grove Elementary. Thirteen years later, she moved to Riverside Elementary, where she has taught for five years.

Jeffers also has a master's degree in elementary reading and literacy from Walden University. She graduated from Central Gwinnett High.

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