Best in class: Home schoolers are Memory Masters

• Five students from the Woodstock Classical Conversations home-school community recently capped months of study by correctly reciting hundreds of facts from six subjects as part of the Classical Conversations Memory Master program. Clark Hayes, Piper Nix, Alex Hayes, Nathan Tellason and Matthew Hamilton spent about two hours recalling facts as well as a history timeline. Classical Conversations is a home school group that follows the classical education model.

Katherine Gooding of Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek is one of just 183 high school seniors statewide selected as a 2015 Georgia Scholar. Katherine, daughter of Missie and Doug Gooding of Atlanta, has been a varsity tennis player, president of National Honor Society, commissioner of service in Student Government, and a Senior Leader. She volunteers with DreamMakers Youth Foundation, where she has been a coordinator. Katherine will attend the U.S. Naval Academy next year. Georgia Scholars are high school seniors whose performance was excellent in exemplary course loads and who have assumed active roles in extracurricular activities sponsored by their schools.

The Westminster Schools debate team won the Tournament of Champions, a national championship for high school policy debate, held April 25-27 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Seniors Saul Forman and Naman Gupta won the finals on a 3-0 decision, and Forman was named top speaker for the competition. Only 152 high school debate students from 16 states qualified to compete in the policy division.

• A ninth-grade team, Winniethepooh22, consisting of Megan Brooks, Diya Dharmendran, Sanjana Duuvar, and Krishnasai Kodali from Milton High School in Milton, Ga., was a state winner in the 13th annual eCYBERMISSION, a free web-based STEM competition designed to help build students’ interest and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program and administered by the National Science Teachers Association. Winniethepooh22 worked together with team advisrr Amanda Mauldin on the problem of pollution caused by construction in Milton. The project requires students to work through all steps of the scientific practices process before submitting to be evaluated and scored by a panel of virtual judges.

• The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) earned the top rank in Georgia and was ranked 19th in the South and 26th in the nation on The Washington Post’s list of most challenging U.S. high schools. The Post uses a “Challenge Index” that considers the number of students in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education courses. The only other Georgia school in the top 100 nationwide is St. Andrew’s, a private school in Savannah, which ranked 97th. Gwinnett’s Meadowcreek High School ranked 140th nationally.

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Simpson Middle School in Marietta has been recognized as one of 17 National Model Schools for being one of America’s most rapidly improving schools. Simpson is the only school in Georgia and one of four middle schools in the nation chosen for this award by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Dr. Andy Bristow, Simpson’s principal, will be among educators presenting the school’s best practices at the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta June 28 - July 1 to thousands of U.S. educators.

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