GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: National Achievement selects 11 from GCPS



The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced that 11 Gwinnett County Public Schools high school seniors have been selected as 2011 National Achievement Scholarship winners.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program provides a one-time $2,500 scholarship to outstanding black high school students considered as having the strongest record of accomplishments and greatest potential for academic success in college.

The 2011 Gwinnett honorees are:

• Dina A. Hassan, Berkmar High

• Joel A. Own, Brookwood High

• Dania A. Roach, Brookwood High

• Aida J. Syrkett, Brookwood High

• Patricia E. Ekpo, Dacula High

• Brianna I. Edghill, Grayson High

• Wesley Mitchell, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology

• Amarachi O. Nnakwe, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology

• Tiffany A. Agard, Parkview High

• Jamal B. Gaddis, South Gwinnett High

• Kadeem J. Yearwood, South Gwinnett High

These 11 GCPS students join more than 700 seniors across the nation who will receive scholarships totaling more than $2 million dollars as part of the annual competition, conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The competition first began with results of the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Last fall, semifinalists were designated within geographic regions based on the highest scores in the states that make up each region. They advanced to the finalist level in the competition by filling out a detailed application, presenting a record of high academic performance throughout high school, being endorsed and recommended by the school principal, writing an essay, and earning SAT scores that confirm the PSAT/NMSQT performance.

Achievement Scholar honorees were selected from the finalists judged to have the strongest record of accomplishments.

Three GCPS students honored for reading achievement

The Georgia Reading Association recently congratulated three Gwinnett County Public Schools students for the strides they have made in reading.

The state organization of educators selected the Gwinnett students based on nominations by their teachers.

The following students were honored:

• Mackenna Basteyns from Ivy Creek Elementary — Pre-K through 2nd Grade Reader of the Year

Mackenna was nominated by Ivy Creek Elementary teacher Natalie Frady last school year while she was a first grader. McKenna said that one of her favorite places to read is the doctor’s office. “If you are holding a book, you aren’t touching germs,” she said.

• Kyri Phillips from Lovin Elementary — Bob W. Jerrolds Reading Achievement Award

Kyri was nominated for the honor while still a fifth grader at Lovin Elementary. Currently, he attends McConnell Middle. He was nominated by his literacy coach, Lovin Elementary teacher Elena Diaz.

• Sara Vogel from Meadowcreek High — Secondary Reader of the Year

A 10th-grader at Meadowcreek High, Sara was nominated by Meadowcreek High teacher Marcia Ellington-Lopez. Sara, who is described by her teacher as a voracious reader, has an insatiable appetite for reading. Through reading, Sara says she has found more confidence and expanded her horizons.

Annually, the Georgia Reading Association selects one student at each level (primary, elementary, middle and secondary) for the gains they have made in reading performance. This year, Gwinnett students earned three of the four awards.

The mission of the Georgia Reading Association is to promote literacy.

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