GOOD NEWS: Top teacher named to nationwide Dream Team

SNELLVILLE -- Melissa Huneycutt, a teacher from Brookwood High School, was recently selected to the 2013 LearnZillion Dream Team.

She'll join 200 others from across the country who were chosen for the honor, for which she won an all-expense paid ticket to San Francisco to attend a conference for fellow winners.

Teachers were chosen based on their understanding of the Common Core State Standards and their ability to create high-quality, highly conceptual lessons that are easily understood by students.

Huneycutt recently returned from TeachFest, an intensive professional development conference aimed at helping teachers to better understand the new standards and best ways to teach them.

LearnZillion provides teachers with the technology and support they need to translate their classroom expertise into screencasts, a "sophisticated but simple use of the computer screen for teaching."

Following TeachFest, Dream Team teachers will capture their proven approaches and teaching methods in concise lessons that will be made available for free to every student, teacher and parent through LearnZillion's online platform at www.learnzillion.com.

LearnZillion was founded by two former teachers who met at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and got funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund and the Achievement Network to "seed high-quality content and develop a Web-based platform."

Vote for Central Gwinnett in video contest

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Central Gwinnett High School is one of eight schools vying for a chance to win a share of $120,000 in cash prizes.

As part of the 2013 Lots2Give contest, the public is invited to view the videos submitted by participating schools at www.biglots.com/lots2give and vote for their favorite.

To enter the contest, schools submitted a 90-second video and a brief essay on why their school could use some additional financial support.

Voting runs through 11:59 p.m. July 7. Videos can be viewed and votes cast at www.biglots.com/lots2give. Winners will be announced on Aug. 10 during Big Lots Appreciation Day. Individuals can cast three votes per person, per day.

Along with prizes from the video contest, participating schools will be the recipients of an in-store donation program. From now through July 7, customers can donate $1 or $5 at participating Big Lots stores.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.