GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOL: City Council honors Duluth Middle students

The Duluth City Council recently honored Duluth Middle School students for their Academic Team achievements and National Junior Honor Society service project.

The Duluth Middle Academic Team placed first in Georgia, second in its division and seventh overall out of 649 middle school teams in the computer-based Spring Knowledge Master Open in April. More than 1,300 elementary, middle and high school teams from 49 states and many countries participate din this international academic competition.

A few days before, the Georgia Academic Team Association State Middle School Tournament took place, and teams from the top middle school academic teams in Georgia competed in 10 rounds of competition. By midday, Duluth's three teams were all in the top 15. At the end of the day, Duluth Middle's A team was awarded the first place trophy, and A team members were awarded first place medals.

The Duluth Middle Academic Team also competed in the Professional Association of Georgia Educators' Academic Bowl for Middle Grades State Finals competition in March. At the end of the competition, the team was awarded a silver Jefferson bowl for being first runner-up, and all members of the team were awarded medals.

Duluth Middle School Academic Team members who have represented the school at one or more of these competitions are Jack Botting, Jashith Choppara, Kishan Chudasama, Ebuka Imachukwu, Prerak Joshi, David Kamayor, Maria Matthews, Nick Pelletier, Jasmine Pillaresetti, Ronak Pipaliya, Aashna Punwani, Viral Shah, Abhi Ramachandiran, Vishnu Ramachandran, Saad Rashid, David Silverstone, Mike Wang, Mark Wang, Michael Xu and Khalid Ziad.

Duluth Middle School's chapter of National Junior Honor Society was notified in April that it received the National Association of Secondary School Principals' Outstanding Service Project Award, which is given to chapters that make significant community service contributions at the local level.

Each project submitted for this award is judged based on their goals and organization, service impact, involvement, and the quality and clarity of the written summary. Only five middle schools in the country received this award.

The chapter's major service project this year was "Support Our Troops." The students made individual gift packages for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry of the Georgia National Guard serving in Afghanistan.

For the project, members of the school brought in personal items as well as items for the holidays. The chapter members then packaged them, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars paid for the postage. The items were received before Christmas.

Chapter members are president Abhi Ramachandiran, vice president Yuki Kato, secretary Jasmine Pillarisetti, treasurer Saad Rishad, historian Prerak Joshi, Lauren Cole, Daniela Correa, Everett Hill, Saadman Rahman, Firas Sheikh, Rashmi Rajendran, Mark Wang, Mike Wang, Emily Backer and Nicole Hofmann. The team is led by Sylvia Barteaux, an eighth-grade gifted social studies teacher.

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