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Good news from schools: Students hit road for national competitions

The strong performance of many Gwinnett County Public Schools students in competitions this school year has earned them invitations to compete for a national title.

Here is a sampling of competitions at the national level in which Gwinnett students will participate this summer:

International Future Problem Solving Competition

Riverside Elementary and Pinckneyville Middle students were invited to East Lansing, Mich., where they competed in this competition, which ends today. Riverside Elementary representative Victoria Lee and Pinckneyville team members Allison Fisher, Robert Hensey, Priscilla Millette and Emma Reidy earned the invitation by placing first at the state competition.

Future Problem Solving is an international competition in which more than 50,000 students worldwide study real world issues. The topic at this year's international finals was "pandemic."

Health Occupations Students of America Leadership Conference

Three Gwinnett students enrolled in technology education classes at Maxwell High School of Technology will represent Georgia in Nashville, Tenn., from June 24 to 27 as they compete at the conference. The three students qualified for nationals after placing in the top spots in HOSA's state conference in March. Students Kaitlyn McLaughlin and Justin Ditty earned first place in the Emergency Medical Technician category, while Maranda Smith placed second in the Epidemiology section.

National Beta Club Convention

Berkmar High and Brookwood High students have been invited to the 2009 National Beta Club Convention, scheduled for June 17 to 20 in Orlando, Fla., after earning a combined total of nine awards at the state level. Brookwood High earned eight awards at state and will have seven students moving to the national level. Berkmar High students received four awards and will have two students competing for the national title.

FBLA Leadership Conference

Gwinnett students from one middle school and six high schools will compete for national titles June 25 to 28 during this conference in Anaheim, Calif. The students represent Dacula Middle, Collins Hill High, Meadowcreek High, Mill Creek High, Peachtree Ridge High, Shiloh High, and South Gwinnett High. They earned the invitation to nationals after placing first and second during the state-level challenge in categories such as career exploration, public speaking, proofreading and editing, business concepts, networking concepts, personal finance concepts, business law and accounting.

Junior World Orienteering Championship

Parkview High student and Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) cadet John Williams recently earned a spot on the U.S. Junior World Orienteering Championships Team. Orienteering is a sport that involves physical fitness and the ability to navigate on over wooded terrain using a detailed map and a precision compass.

Williams and 10 teammates from around the country will be representing the United States July 5 to 12 at the world competition in Primiero, Italy.

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.