Best in class: Maxwell auto shop team wins national prize

• A team of Maxwell High School of Technology students in the automotive and collision class won the 2015 Quaker State Best in Class Challenge national competition by restoring, tuning, and customizing a pre-owned car into a showroom-ready, creative representation of their school. As Grand Prize winners, who competed against four other auto shop teams, the Maxwell Navigators won a $2,000 AutoZone gift card and will be featured in the February 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics. They also have been invited to participate in a classic and collector car auction in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 11, and will have an opportunity to auction off their customized vehicle, with proceeds going to Maxwell High. “The students spent countless hours working on the car during class and after school. For students that have only been in the automotive and collision class for one semester to be able to pull off a custom car build that wins best in the nation speaks volumes about their determination and hard work,” said Max Chavez, auto shop team leader for Maxwell High School of Technology.

• Members of the Alpharetta High School Science National Honor Society came to Creek View Elementary on Dec. 2 to teach science lessons to some fourth- and fifth-grade classes. This program was initiated to get younger students excited about higher-level science concepts and as a way for Alpharetta High students do community service. The honor society members conducted experiments in electrical, chemical, thermal and motion energy, radiant energy transformations, endothermic and exothermic processes, and potential and kinetic energy.

Gwinnett Technical College received a $24,000 donation from AT&T this month for scholarships that to students interested in studying computer information systems at Gwinnett Tech’s new Alpharetta-North Fulton campus. The new campus on Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta will open for classes this January. The donation will also enhance outreach for Move On When Ready, a program that allows students to earn college credit while still in high school.

Nancy Chrisman, a special education teacher at Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County, is a recipient of the 38th Annual Leaveys Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education, which honors teachers who create and conduct programs in entrepreneurship. Winners were selected by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Chrisman was recognized for her “Silver Lining Boutique” program, a fashion boutique operated by students. Its mission is to provide a workplace environment for students to learn hands-on job skills, work ethics, and entrepreneurial skills. Chrisman is one of only 12 educators in the country and the only one in metro Atlanta so honored. She was awarded $7,500.

Paideia School high school student Sara Cox was a finalist last month in the nationwide Schmidt Vocal Competition, which awards more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships annually. Sara sang “Apres Un Reve” by Faure, “Vergebliches Standchen” by Brahms and “Ridente la Calma” by Mozart.

Lanier, Sweetwater and Summerour middle schools in Gwinnett County have been named 2015 Breakout Schools by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. Sweetwater and Summerour also earned the title of Distinguished Breakout Middle School, which came with an award of $1,000. The Breakout Schools Award is to recognize and showcase Georgia middle schools that are high-achieving or dramatically improving student achievement.

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