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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gwinnett parents selected to Parent Advisory Council

Mountain View High special education students, from front left, Kameron Mattox, Mohammad Ahmed, Louis Bontempo, and from top left, Dawson Donnell and Michael Brown pose for a picture at the school’s recent homecoming festivities where they wore crowns and helped crown the homecoming queen. (Special Photo)

Mountain View High special education students, from front left, Kameron Mattox, Mohammad Ahmed, Louis Bontempo, and from top left, Dawson Donnell and Michael Brown pose for a picture at the school’s recent homecoming festivities where they wore crowns and helped crown the homecoming queen. (Special Photo)

Two Gwinnett parents were recently selected to a statewide parent advisory council.

Ayana A. Shepherd and Tilwana Anderson were among 36 parents from around the state to serve on State School Superintendent John Barge’s Parent Advisory Council. The council meets three times with Barge to discuss state education issues, and the primary focus is increasing parent and family engagement to ensure student success.

Anderson was also named among six parents honored with the Parent Leadership Award.

“I am looking forward to getting to know these parent advisors and discuss how our policies affect their children on a daily basis,” Barge said in a press release. “Having parent engagement is critical to ensuring student success, and hearing directly from parents is the best way to ensure their children get what they need to be successful after high school.”

Parents are nominated to serve on the PAC by their local school district at the beginning of each school year. Members are chosen by a committee of Georgia Department of Education representatives based on the applicant’s response to questions. Each member serves a two-year term on the council.

Mountain View honors Royalty Guard

For the second straight year, Mountain View High School gave special education students a chance to walk on the field with their crowns during the school’s homecoming ceremony, and help crown the homecoming queen.

“It was such a beautiful thing to see our students smiling from ear to ear as they were treated like the kings they truly are,” Mountain View special education department chair Maria Sharrett said.

Sharrett said the parents of the students said how grateful they were that their children could be involved in school activities, and she enjoyed sitting with them in the stands during the game.

“Those kids really just wanted a buddy and were happy to have me as their newest friend,” she said. “I sat and talked with them and their parents and could feel their excitement and nervous anticipation about going out onto the field and crowning the homecoming queen.”

North Gwinnett junior to serve on national board

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, last week announced that North Gwinnett High junior Hasib Muhammad was among 10 high school students selected to serve on its second national Youth Advisory Council.

The YAC is supported by a grant from the Wrigley Company Foundation to create a framework for youth engagement with KAB.

The students act as ambassadors and leaders for youth service in their respective communities and states. The selection decisions were based on a written application, geographic representation, grade level, and interest area (litter prevention, beautification and community greening, and waste reduction/recycling). There’s a limit of one member per state.

“It’s critical that we reach the next generation of environmental stewards to change attitudes and behaviors about environmental issues,” Connie Wiggins, executive director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful said in a press release. “Thanks to the Wrigley Company Foundation’s commitment to environmental education, KAB has been able to develop programs such as the Youth Advisory Council to engage young adults in our mission.”

Muhammad, a Suwanee resident, is the Program Director of Greening Forward, a youth-driven nonprofit organization that promotes civic environmentalism in young people. He is also the 2nd Vice-President at North Gwinnett High School. He serves on The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council and has served as the Land-Use and Environmental Chair of the Model Atlanta Regional Commission.

Elementary students named national student leaders

Leo Xu of Arcado Elementary and Yasmeen Ahmed of Fort Daniel Elementary earned recognition as 2012-13 Continental Math League National Student Leaders. Continental Math League is a high-level problem-solving competition which allows students to compete with other students on the same grade level from schools all over the United States. Leo Xu was recognized for achievement in Euclidean Math at the fourth-grade level and Yasmeen Ahmed for achievement in Euclidean Math at the fifth-grade level. Both have been recognized as National Student Leaders based on their outstanding performance in the Continental Math League Competition during the 2012-13 school year.

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