Best in Class: 2 Fayette educators up for Oscar-like honor


Best in Class: 2 Fayette educators up for Oscar-like honor

• Two Rising Starr Middle School educators are getting ready to walk the red carpet, nominated by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences for 2015 Bammy Awards. Principal Nancy Blair is one of five nominees in the “Middle School Principals” category, and media specialist Christopher Harper is one of five nominees in the “School Librarians” category. Winners will be announced at the 2015 Annual Bammy Awards, a red-carpet event in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 26. Bammy Awards feature two types of honors: Educator’s Voice Awards (a public popularity vote, think Peoples Choice Awards), and the Bammy (a categorical nomination from members of the Academy, similar to the Academy Awards). Once Blair and Harper were nominated in the Educator’s Voice Awards, the number of online votes and reviews caught the attention of Academy members who gave them to an Academy nomination, making both eligible for a Bammy.

Nathan Rhineheimer, Thushsara Mudireddy, Gavin Deleshaw, Kaityln Mote, Andre Blair, Kimberly Erett and Matthew Seitz, part of the team from Union Grove High School in McDonough that competed in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference this summer, placed first in the nation in Quiz Bowl. Ryan Palmer competed in Related Technical Math and came in fourth place. Montana Ray and Nimsa Asif were among the participants from 24 schools in the nation selected to compete as a Models of Excellence Chapter. Approximately 6,000 students competed in more than 98 occupational and leadership skill areas at the conference in Louisville, Ky.

Joanne Giel, a longtime county nurse with Gwinnett County Public Schoools, has been named School Nurse of the Year by the Georgia Association of School Nurses. Giel has been a nurse for more than four decades. She said, “I feel humbled, honored, and so grateful” for the award. “There is nothing like winning something when it is bestowed upon you by your peers.”

• The Lanier Education Foundation plans to award $56,000 in grants requested by teachers at Lanier High, Lanier Middle, Sugar Hill Elementary, Sycamore Elementary, and White Oak Elementary schools, at the Lanier Cluster Breakfast today. Teachers submitted grant applications in May, mostly related to project-based learning as those schools’ STEM program. Grants are funded by profits from the foundation’s primary fundraiser during the 2014-15 school year, the Blue Jean Ball, which was Feb. 28, 2015, at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. The foundation, established in 2011, has given more than $155,000 to that cluster of schools in the past four years in grants as well as three scholarships.

Chesnut Charter Elementary School in DeKalb County has recently been selected for a Captain Planet Foundation’s Project Learning Garden grant. Captain Planet Foundation is an international environmental education foundation for youth. The three-year Project Learning Garden program gives schools strategies for building effective and long-lasting garden-based learning programs. Teachers at pilot schools are provided with professional development for every grade level, interdisciplinary curriculum aligned to state and national standards, lesson kits with supplies for hands-on learning, a schoolyard garden, fully-equipped mobile cooking cart, and a summer garden management intern.

• High school students nationwide can now apply at to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy, an outside-the-classroom educational mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort where students participate in hands-on workshops related to a variety of career paths. Applicants must answer essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. Participants are selected based on a combination of strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Those chosen, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort for the program March 3-6, 2016.

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