Best in class: Sandy Creek High wins grant for innovative teaching

Sandy Creek High School is one of four recipients of an Innovation in K-8 Mathematics or K-12 Computer Science/Coding Professional Learning Grant to develop models for math and computer science instruction. Sandy Creek will use the $150,000 to train computer science teachers to apply visual programming language, scripting language, and textural programming language to develop professional game engines. They will work with career, technical and agricultural education and math teachers to develop school-wide game-programming projects that incorporate computer science, coding and programming into math classes. They'll submit their findings about initiatives' effect to the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, and the state will use the results to determine best practices in professional learning for mathematics and computer science/coding.

Daniel Gribble, an American history teacher at Riverwood International Charter School, is the recipient of this year's Outstanding American History Teacher Award from the Sandy Springs Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Gribble says he was fortunate to have had several great teachers who inspired him to pursue a career in history education. "I love the story that history presents," he said. "The idea that we can attempt to fathom the experiences of another person in another time and place, and in so doing perhaps understand and appreciate our own lives is a beautiful thing to me."

Woodward Academy junior Andy Sun earned a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT. The College Board, which administers the SAT, reports that just 0.02 percent of students earn a 2400 on the SAT in one sitting.

• In December, Oakley Elementary School's second-graders conducted a project called "It's Cool to Care: Compassionate Kids." This project allowed students to become contributing citizens by showing compassion toward a cause bigger than themselves. Students raised awareness, wrote letters of support, and raised funds to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project of Atlanta. The month of December was declared "Dollar Power Days" and students asked every student, parent, and staff member to donate at least $1 during the campaign.

McClarin Success Academy teacher Farhat Ahmad (9th/10th grade World, Multicultural and American Literature) and KIPP South Fulton Academy teacher Danielle LeePow (5th grade science) were named winners in the 2015-2016 Innovation in Teaching Competition by Governor Nathan Deal. The competition rewards teachers who demonstrate innovative instructional strategies. It is available through Georgia's Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program.

• A club at Anderson-Livsey Elementary School received a financial donation from a local realty group. Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners donated $825 to the 2015-16 Ladies of Character Club. The Atlanta company has pledged to partner with the club annually. The mission of the Ladies of Character Club is to provide 5th-grade girls opportunities to develop into leaders and develop character skills while serving as positive role models in their school and community. The program covers five character development tiers: leadership and academics, etiquette, decision-making, health and wellness, and community service and cultural development.