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Gwinnett Tech students earn 10 medals at SkillsUSA competition

Gwinnett Technical College students earned medals in 10 out of 14 competition categories at the recent SkillsUSA State Championships held at Augusta Technical College.

Three Gwinnett Tech students earned first place medals and will represent the college and the state of Georgia in June at the National SkillsUSA Championships.

The SkillsUSA State Championships showcase the skills of post-secondary students through hands-on competitions in leadership, health occupations, trades/industry and technical contests. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization that serves teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

In addition to the three gold medals, Gwinnett Tech students earned five silver medals and two bronze medals.

Winners include:

* Allison Evans -- gold medal in photography

* Ashley Blattel -- gold medal in architectural drafting

* Doug Liao -- gold medal in culinary arts

* Damian AhChing -- silver medal in photography

* Levi Stanley -- silver medal in carpentry

* Nicole O'Claire -- silver medal in commercial banking

* Parnell Roberts -- silver medal in cabinetmaking

* Patricia Westbrook -- silver medal in preschool teaching assistant

* David Petrides -- bronze medal in precision machining

* Semra Slijivo, Kristen Stevenson, Ebonee Moses and Kimberly Ruan -- bronze team medal in Health Knowledge Bowl

Gwinnett Tech faculty served as advisers and assisted the students with preparing for the competition.

Gwinnett Tech named Tree Campus USA

Gwinnett Technical College has been named a Tree Campus USA college by the Arbor Day Foundation, the second consecutive year that the college has received the honor.

Gwinnett Tech met five standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation to earn the designation of Tree Campus, including having a campus tree advisory committee, campus tree care plan, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, a service learning project and an active observation of Arbor Day.

"We are so proud of our urban forest here at Gwinnett Tech," said Gail Zorn, grounds director. "Preserving and protecting this great resource is a top priority for us, and it is truly an honor to be named as a Tree Campus again."

Teacher earns honors in lesson plan contest

Elfi Funk, a teacher at Peachtree Ridge High School, received honorable mention in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's 2009-10 Lesson Plan of the Year contest.

The contest challenges middle and high school educators to develop lesson plans featuring Federal Reserve publications, Web sites or multimedia materials. The contest is designed to introduce educators to Federal Reserve materials and resources.

A panel of judges composed of teachers evaluated each entry on the use of Federal Reserve materials, originality and creativity, accuracy, quality of documentation, adherence to project guidelines, organization, ease of replication or adaptation, relevance to standards and writing style. The Atlanta Fed offers economic and financial education outreach to teachers, students and others through a variety of programs and activities.

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