Best in class for Sept. 20

Ninety-four Fulton County high school seniors will continue in the national competition in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, in the hopes of receiving one of the 8,000 awards with a total value of about $35 million. The program selected students with outstanding scores on their PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To move to the final round, students must show high academic performance and SAT scores as well as recommendations from their school’s leadership. They also will submit an essay discussing their involvement and leadership on their schools’ campus.

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Gwinnett County public school teachers nominated 130 local school “Teachers of the Year.” The nominees were chosen based on their passion and commitment to teaching. These honorees will continue to the next phase of the process to compete for a systemwide honor. In late September, 25 semifinalists will be selected and six finalists will be chosen in October. A committee of teachers, personnel and administrators will visit the finalists’ classrooms to look for unique teaching methods, philosophy and influence. Executive Director of Staff Development Nikki Mouton said that the nominees are chosen by other teachers because fellow colleagues understand that effective teaching is not limited to in-class instruction and the energy that being a teacher requires.

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Berkmar Middle School, Harper Archer Middle School and C.L. Gideons Elementary School have been chosen as National Champion Schools because of their innovations in physical fitness. The three Atlanta schools established a new “Live Positively Fitness Center” with a grant from the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, which partners with companies like The Coca-Cola Co. to fund its programs. Gov. Nathan Deal attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the three schools.

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Several students from Paideia School have been named to youth orchestras at Emory. The Emory Youth Orchestra has chosen seniors Ben Dollar and Anders Olsen and junior Avery Yang. The Emory Junior Chamber Orchestra has chosen freshman Will Goodwin and eighth graders Emma Lin, Karoline Perryman, Julia Simmons and Matthew Shu. These students will be performing at Lincoln Center in New York City in May. Paideia is a nonsectarian school located in Atlanta serving students ages three to 12th grade.

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