Two Maxwell High School of Technology students won college scholarships while cooking up a second place finish in a culinary competition.

Kaitlyn Bishop and Gaelle Dorisme were runners-up in the Georgia Department of Education’s third annual Shake it Up Farm-to-School Student Chef Competition, in which student teams from nine school districts prepared student-developed recipes featuring Georgia-grown ingredients. Each won a $10,000 scholarship to Sullivan University.

“The Student Chef Competition is a perfect example of the direction we’re moving in here in Georgia,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We want to encourage learning that is out of the box, outside of the status quo, and relevant to students’ lives and plans after high school.

“The Student Chef competition connects the school cafeteria with students’ learning and gives kids a chance to gain hands-on experience that could lead to a future career.”

Each team developed a nutritious, student-friendly recipe that included Georgia-grown foods that could be incorporated into the school food service program. Recipes that reached the final competition were judged on overall appeal, appearance and execution, taste, presentation, and sanitation and food safety.

Bishop and Dorisme, coached by Culinary Arts Instructor Amanda Williams, named their submission EnTHAIcing Swoodles of Noodles.

“Reaching the finals in this competition was no easy task,” said Laura Tanase, health and wellness specialist for the Georgia Department of Education. “These teams had to develop recipes that included locally grown foods, fit within the current nutrition standards for school meals, and could win over the judges with their presentation and great taste. We are so proud of all the participants and this year’s three winning teams. Every student involved did a wonderful job.”

A team from Putnam County High School won first place with its Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Lime Crema. A team from Newton College and Career Academy won third place with its Savory Southwest Chicken Wrap with Greek Yogurt Cilantro Dressing.

GCPS honored as a Best Community for Music EducationThe National Association of Music Merchants Foundation recently recognized six Georgia school districts, including Gwinnett County Public Schools, as Best Communities for Music Education.

Now in its 20th year, the BCME program honors schools and school districts for the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum.

In cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

In addition to GCPS, the Georgia school districts recognized with the 2019 BCME designation are Baldwin County Schools, Clarke County School District, Cobb County School District, Fulton County Schools and Putnam County Charter School System.

“We have some school communities that have received this recognition year after year. A few have been there for 20 years,” said Mary Luehrsen of The NAMM Foundation. “But every year, new schools and districts are upping their game when it comes to music and the arts, often despite intense budget pressures.”

“Music Matters,” the condensed guide from the Arts Education Partnership and co-sponsored by the County Music Foundation and The NAMM Foundation, was released in 2018 and offered key findings regarding the importance of music education. For example, the report found music students do better in English, math and science than their peers without music education and that more classes in music and the arts correlate with fewer dropouts and suspensions.

South Gwinnett football alums return for spring breakSome former South Gwinnett High School football players came home for spring break and gave back to the community that helped raise them by reading to students at Britt Elementary School.

Terell Smith, who attends the University of Minnesota, Robert Cooper, who attends Florida State University, and Justin Mascoll, who attends Clemson University, were joined by current South Gwinnett High seniors Jaden Woods and Josh Anderson and sophomore Ty VanHassel as they read “Game Day” by former NFL stars Tiki and Ronde Barber to the elementary students.

Upcoming meetings available for parents of kids with special needsParents of students receiving special education services in GCPS are invited to attend upcoming informational sessions as part of the “Gwinnett County Parent Mentors Present” series.

Waleska Ackerman, a bilingual speech-language pathologist in GCPS’ Special Education and Psychological Services Department, will present “Raising a Bilingual Child with Special Needs” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. April 16 in the Central Gwinnett Room of Building 200 of the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee. Topics will include myths of being bilingual, benefits of being bilingual, disorder vs. difference, and how to maintain a home language. To register, call Gwinnett County Parent Mentor Dawn Albanese at 678-301-7212 or email by April 15.

Chris Shaw, a special education instructional coach with GCPS, will present “Learning with Processing Deficits and the Impact on Life” from 10 a.m. to noon April 17 at the OneStop Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road in Snellville. In the session, parents will learn how to better understand their child’s needs, as well as strategies to promote independence and personal responsibility. To register, call Gwinnett County Parent Mentor Jackie McNair at 678-301-7149 or email by April 16.

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