• Dave Senecal, physical education teacher at P.B. Ritch Middle School in Paulding County, is the Society of Health and Physical Education's Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year for the Southern District. He advanced to the regional competition after receiving the Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year award from the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. One criterion for the award was planning "innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of all students." Senecal has received grants to buy mountain bikes, skateboards, rugby balls and a Frisbee golf course, and he builds lesson plans around these pieces of equipment to engage his students. Senecal will join other regional award recipients in Seattle in March at the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo. That is when National Teachers of the Year will be announced.
• Woodward Academy's Upper School literary magazine, Silent Voices, is a 2015 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award finalist in the high school magazine category. Publications are judged on excellence in design, photography, concept, coverage, and writing. The Gold and Silver Crown recipients will be announced at the CSPA convention at Columbia University in New York on March 20. Silent Voices received the Gold Crown Award in 2003 and has been a gold medalist in a number of years. For more information on Woodward Academy, visit www.woodward.edu.
• Adairsville High School senior Emily Sexauer recently made history at the Army National Junior ROTC Raider Championships. She defeated 35 of the best female Raiders in the country to be crowned the Ultimate Raider for the third year in a row, a feat never previously accomplished. The Raider events include team competitions requiring speed, strength and endurance. Each year after the teams compete, the best male and female from each team vie with those from other teams and one male and one female win the designation Ultimate Raider. Female participants compete in a mile run while carrying a 35-pound rucksack, then run an obstacle course in the woods that includes a low crawl and scaling a 6-foot wall. Sexauer, who will attend The United States Military Academy at West Point, is also leading in the race for valedictorian at her Bartow County school.
• Aditya Suri, an 11th-grade student at George Walton Comprehensive High School in Marietta, received first place and a grand-prize $20,000 scholarship in Samsung's Mobile App Academy 2014 for his innovative mobile app concept, Mobi Sense. Suri's app allows smoother communication for people with vocal, auditory and visual impairments through a user-customized experience. Suri said, "Mobi Sense acts in aiding these users to perform social functions easily, thus reintegrating them socially and technologically into the community." Suri was one of 300 high school students across the U.S. chosen in the summer to participate in Samsung's app development and coding program.
• Kindergarten enrollment for 2015-2016 will begin Jan. 20 at the Fayette County school system's enrollment center, 205 LaFayette Ave., Fayetteville. Parents are asked to enroll their children as soon as possible. Students must turn age 5 by Sept. 1, 2015 to attend kindergarten. Parents need to complete the online registration form at www.fcboe.org, and bring required documents to the enrollment center to finish the enrollment. A complete list of required documents is on the registration page of the website.
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