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Good News From Schools: GCPS students, teachers win trip to Turkey

The skills three Gwinnett County Public Schools students have learned in their fine arts and language arts classes, recently earned them a unique award - an all expense paid trip halfway around the world to Turkey.

The Trickum Middle and North Gwinnett High students participated in the Istanbul Center's Talented Hands Art Contest and Talented Minds Essay Contest for middle and high school students. As the teachers of the winning students, the Gwinnett educators also are recipients of the award.

The winners are:

· Keith Jackson of Trickum Middle and language arts teacher Debra Moody - second place on middle school essay contest

· Deion King of Trickum Middle and language arts teacher Cathy Alexander - first place on middle school essay contest

· Jennifer Paek of North Gwinnett High and art teacher Debi West - first place on high school art contest

Middle and high school students from across Georgia were invited to participate in the contest using the theme "Alliance of Civilizations," which is the United Nations' concept of interaction and coordination among national and cultures globally. The purpose of the UN program is to establish relations and facilitate cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue, understanding, reconciliation and cooperation.

In addition to the trip to Turkey, the two first-place winners each received a $200 gift card, while the second-place winner was awarded a gift card for $150. An amount of $100 was awarded to the teachers.

Eight other Gwinnett student participants were recognized with the honorable mention award, each receiving admission to Six Flags Over Georgia.

Collins Hill FBLA members advance to state competition

Ten Collins Hill High School students will compete this month in the Georgia Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference.

Collins Hill's FBLA group has more than 110 members this year, 28 of whom competed in the Region Leadership Conference on Jan. 28 in Cumming.

The following students will advance to the state competition:

· Dhruv Bhavsar and Nganda Gatei - first place in business

· Brian Krause - first place in computer applications

· Stephania Orbe and Angelia Rohler - third place in desktop publishing

· Travis McNeill - third place in Accounting I

· Christina Galasso - fifth place in economics and ninth place in personal finance

· Amanda Ary - sixth place in personal finance

· Carlos Galindo - seventh place in business calculations

· Juan Hurtado - eighth place in Accounting I

FBLA Week was celebrated Feb. 8 to 14. Students dressed professionally to demonstrate how to dress in the business world.

FBLA members are also completing the necessary requirements for the Business Achievement Award. National FBLA gives these awards in the spring of each year. Members start with the Future award and must complete activities in the area of education, progress and service.

Many members participate in community service. Each month, students volunteer at Sheltering Arms, a day care in Lawrenceville. The members have also participated in Operation Christmas Child and collected coats for the homeless. Students have also raised money for the March of Dimes, supported by FBLA chapters across the nation.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post. For more good news, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com on Monday.