GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Lanier High students win mobile app challenge

Looking for ways to save fuel, walk or bike, there’s an app for that thanks to students from Lanier High.

And the app, called TagIt, was recently honored as a winner of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a national competition in which students develop a mobile application concept that addresses a need or problem in their local schools or communities.

The students at Lanier High created the TagIt app, and the team was chosen from nearly 1,300 teams nationwide who entered the contest, and is one of 80 Best in State teams that will go on to vie for the titles of Best in Region, and ultimately, Best in Nation.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge selected the best concepts from the more than 770 apps submitted by student teams across the country and named qualifying teams from one high school and one middle school in each state as Best in State winners. The competition was created by the Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Technology Student Association to encourage students to use technology to help solve local social issues.

The other Georgia team was from Needwood Middle in Brunswick.

District seeks standards review

Gwinnett County Public Schools invites parents, community members, and GCPS staff to participate in the school district’s review of the curriculum. The public can participate, offering feedback on new Academic Knowledge and Skills standards that have been developed to align the curriculum with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

The review is underway and runs through Feb. 14.

The current review addresses five new Common Core-aligned mathematics courses: Multivariable Calculus, Number Theory, Advanced Mathematical, Decision Making, Differential Equations and Engineering Calculus. It also covers fine arts, including music technology, and 30 career and technical education courses.

2014 Georgia Foreign Language Teacher of the Year

Lilburn resident Catherine Horton (Flippen) was recently honored as the 2014 Georgia Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Catherine (Horton) Flippen is a 2000 Brookwood High graduate. She teaches at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs.

Flippen is in her second year at Mount Vernon after she previously taught Spanish and music technology in Gwinnett County Public Schools. She’s pursuing a doctorate at the University of Florida in Educational Technology and Curriculum and Instruction.

“I was incredibly surprised and excited to receive the award,” Flippen said in a news release. “It is such an honor to have my efforts and work with technology immigration and testing emergent technologies recognized. For me, accomplishing this kind of achievement gives me even more capabilities at making an impact in the lives of students and continually encouraging the incorporation of digital literacy and 21st century mindsets into any subject.”

The Foreign Language Association of Georgia grants the Teacher of the Year award to a teacher who “effectively strives to use various strategies, techniques, and materials to enhance a students’ interest in, acquisition of, and proficiency in a second language.”

As the 2014 Foreign Language Association of Georgia Teacher of the Year, Flippen will go on to compete at regional level, among 13 states, for the Southern Conference on Language Teaching Awards.

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