Best in class: Gwinnett students help Toys for Tots

• Students and faculty in the North Gwinnett cluster of schools hosted a holiday toy drive. Each school collected toys for the Toys for Tots campaign. The toys were taken to North Gwinnett High School where they were sorted and counted. More than two dozen students from Level Creek Elementary School wearing Santa hats brought in toys. The elementary students also made up a holiday song called "Toys for Tots Rock," sung to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock."

• Two DeKalb County teachers, Eric Knapp of Tucker Middle School and Jason Raines of Stone Mountain Middle School, are among 25 educators chosen as Teacher Fellows in the 2015-2016 Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy. The third Georgian selected is Teresa Wall of Mossy Creek Middle School in Houston County. Teacher Fellows are selected on the basis of criteria including a desire to advance STEM education and apply real-world applications in the classroom. They will participate in a five-day workshop at a Northrop Grumman facility next summer, where they will discuss teaching strategies for integrating engineering design practices in their classroom; attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Nashville, March 31-April 3; and participate in a two-week summer externship at a Northrop Grumman facility, where they will be paired with an engineer/technologist to observe daily activities and learn the industry-specific skills required for success in the field.

Fayette County's high and middle school teams dominated this year's Academic Bowl competition sponsored by Griffin Regional Education Service Agency. High school varsity winners were Starr's Mill, first place; Whitewater, second ; McIntosh, third, and Fayette County High, fourth. Junior varsity winners were Fayette County High, first; Starr's Mill, second; Sandy Creek, third, and Whitewater, fourth. Among middle school teams, Bennett's Mill Middle took first place, followed by Rising Starr Middle, second, and J.C. Booth Middle,fourth. The winning teams will be in the state meet Feb. 6 in Flowery Branch. The Griffin RESA competition was among students from Butts, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Newton, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. reported that its 2015 Fuel Your School program generated $400,000 to help fund 445 classroom projects for 49,168 students at 211 public schools in Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Through the program, Chevron contributed $1 when consumers purchased eight or more gallons of fuel at participating Chevron and Texaco stations in those counties in October. The funded projects included 162 focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), to help connect real world experiences to classroom learning. "As a company of engineers and scientists, we rely on a STEM-skilled workforce to operate," said George Wall, vice president of Chevron Americas Products, U.S. East & Latin America. "We're proud to invest in our local schools and classrooms so that students can succeed in the modern, technical economy."

• The Board of Education of the City of Marietta recently earned designation as a 2015 Georgia School Boards Association Distinguished School Board. The Distinguished School Board status recognizes school boards that exemplify best practices in school governance and leadership.