GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Council for Exceptional Children honors Gwinnett teachers

Duluth resident Christine Anna Jeong, far right, a student at River Trail Middle School in Johns Creek poses with Kathryn Devlin, left, and Helen Hwang with her “Doodle 4 Google” entry, which is called “The Galactic Express,” which allows people to explore the world and will help scientists to solve the biggest mysteries of outer space. (Special Photo)

Duluth resident Christine Anna Jeong, far right, a student at River Trail Middle School in Johns Creek poses with Kathryn Devlin, left, and Helen Hwang with her “Doodle 4 Google” entry, which is called “The Galactic Express,” which allows people to explore the world and will help scientists to solve the biggest mysteries of outer space. (Special Photo)

The Gwinnett Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children recently honored several Gwinnett County Public Schools staff members.

Ashlee Todd of Grace Snell Middle was named 2013-14 Teacher of the Year, Jan Gattis of Shiloh Elementary was named Paraprofessional of the Year, and Gia Sachs and Nicole Matunas of Central Gwinnett High were named Collaborative Team of the Year.

Duluth resident wins ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition

Christine Anna Jeong, a Duluth resident and sixth-grader at River Trail Middle School in Johns Creek is one of the state winners in a contest put on by Google called “Doodle 4 Google” with her doodle, “The Galactic Express,” which allows people to explore the world and will help scientists to solve the biggest mysteries of outer space. Jeong also won the award last year. Jeong’s doodle was selected from the tens of thousands of entries received this year and the students’ ideas ranged from water purification to advanced robotics and nutrition solutions.

To help their favorites succeed, everyone across the USA can vote for their favorite doodle from the 50 state winners. Voting is open through May 9 at http://www.google.com/doodle4google/vote.html and the public vote will determine the five national finalists, with one in each grade group.

Google will announce five national finalists and one of them as the national winner on May 21 at an awards ceremony at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

The winning student will work with Google’s team of professional doodlers to animate their doodle for the first time ever. The animated doodle will be displayed on the Google homepage on June 9. The winner will also win a $30,000 college scholarship and his or her school will receive a $50,000 Google for Education grant toward the establishment and improvement of a computer lab or technology program.

Spelling bee winner

Ninth-grader Anias Hawkins of Old Suwanee Christian School in Buford won the spelling bee at the Georgia Association of Christian Schools Fine Arts Festival for 2013, and recently won second place in the American Association of Christian Schools competition at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.

Moore Middle student awarded scholarship

Moore Middle student Makhsud Nuriyev received a $500 Pitsco Education/Star Academy scholarship for his entry in the competition. The Star Academy program ensures each student has the opportunity to experience academic success. Makhsud was nominated by his counselor Kathie Hardin for overall character, academic performance, and attendance in the program.

Duluth High violinists to perform in national orchestra

Duluth High violinists Huijeong Lee and Nick Pelletier are two of only three Georgia students selected to perform with the National High School Honors Orchestra. Led by internationally acclaimed conductor Gary Lewis, the orchestra performed four movements of the Shostakovich 5th Symphony at its performance in Louisville, Ky.

Mill Creek High orchestra students travel to Washington

Students from the Mill Creek High orchestra traveled to Washington recently and attended a workshop with the U.S. Army Strolling Strings. The soldiers are world class musicians and shared with the students about the life of an army musician. The students attended a rehearsal and practiced with the musicians. The students attended a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, spent time at Arlington Cemetery watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visited the eternal flame at the grave of President John F. Kennedy, and visited the Smithsonian Museums.

Lanier High to receive a $5,000 Verizon grant

For its best in region win in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, Lanier High on May 14 will receive a grant. Each team receives a $5,000 cash grant for its school, and each team’s faculty adviser and up to two colleagues will participate in an online course: Teaching App Creation with MIT App Inventor, taught from MIT’s Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning. The Lanier High app concept called “TagIt” is designed to help citizens inform local governments about hazards along roads and walkways. For more information, visit www.appchallenge.tsaweb.org.

Quiz Bowl winners

From among the 100 teams that competed, Simpson Elementary, Sweetwater Middle, and Brookwood High won GCPS level championships in the annual 2014 Readers Rally, a quiz bowl reading competition. Winning teams are from Brookwood High, a winner, Berkmar High, a runnerup, Sweetwater Middle, a winner, Crews Middle, a runnerup, Simpson Elementary, a winner and Knight Elementary, a runnerup.

Twin Rivers Middle teacher named to Board

Joey Nunn of Twin Rivers Middle School was named to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Science Teachers Association. Election to the GSTA Board of Directors recognizes each educator’s excellence and dedication to improving science education in Georgia.

Killian Hill Christian School STEM camp

The Killian Hill 2014 COUGARTECH STEM Camp is being offered to students entering the sixth grade through the eighth grade in the 2014-15 school year. The camp will be from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. each day. Campers will spend half of each day investigating, designing, and creating robotic applications utilizing LEGO Mindstorms robotic kits. The other half of each day will have campers being introduced to web design using the web design programming code HTML. Students will design and create their own web page and be given a flash drive to store the design for the purpose of uploading to a web host of their choosing.

There is limited space available for this camp. For more information, call 770-921-3224.

North Gwinnett cadet receives military officers award

Cadet Grayson Cooper, a junior at North Gwinnett High School, recently received the Military Officers Association of America award from retired Colonel Donald Brown, of the Georgia Mountain Chapter. Cooper is an outstanding student in the school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and the award recognizes a cadet with the potential for leadership. Grayson is the son of Cary and Jan Cooper of Suwanee.

GSMST, GAC win at state math tournament

A team of four students from the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology recently won first place in the 38th annual state mathematics tournament in Macon. The team placed first in the state in all classifications. Team members were Josh Brunner, Jason Fan, Timothy Gieseking and Mark Wang. In the individual competition, Gieseking placed third, Fan placed ninth, Wang placed 11th, and Brunner placed 14th. They were coached by GSMST math teacher Robin Miles.

Four students from Greater Atlanta Christian School won the class AA championship. Team members were Rebecca Buechler, Gavin Sun, James Li and Owen Meng. They were coached by GAC mathematics teacher Angelique Allen.

At the state competition, competitors individually complete a 50-question multiple-choice test and a speed round followed by teams working together to complete a set of a dozen challenging problems. The questions come from topics included in the standard high school curriculum up to and including calculus, as well as topics not traditionally found in the curriculum, such as number theory and combinatorics.

Collins Hill senior wins full scholarship at LaGrange College

Christopher Smith, a senior at Collins Hill High School in Lawrenceville, has been awarded the prestigious Learning and Living Scholarship from LaGrange College. The honor, given to two incoming first-year students, provides full tuition, fees, room and board.

Smith, the son of John and Glori Smith, was chosen from more than 120 academically gifted students who applied for admission to the college to compete for the scholarship. In February, he participated in the annual Presidential Scholarship Weekend that included interviews and leadership activities.

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