Best in class: ‘Numbers Game’ aided needy

• A “Numbers Game” last month at Sandy Creek High School helped some of the community’s needy people. Senior Taylour Howell organized the student-led math tournament, and those attending brought a non-perishable food item for admission. All items were donated to the Real Life Center in Fayetteville. Students solved traditional math problems and participated in challenges designed to exercise their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Winners were: Junior Varsity (9th and 10th grade): Anna Bridgeman, first place, individual; Kalia Blake, second place, individual; Bridgette Churbock, third place, individual; and Emily DeGrange, Lindsey Eichhorn, Alexa Murtha, and Rachel Wood, top team winners. Varsity (11th and 12th grade): William Allen, first place, individual; Diana Lopez and Nicole Ezeagwu, second place, individual (tie); and Devin Hamill, Nicole Ezeagwu, Shamiah Davis, and Jazmin Perez, top team winners.

• Josie Barton, a junior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, has been accepted to the 2015 summer Spanish-immersion session of the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy in Vermont. For a month, “even in the dorms at night and when we wake up in the morning, we will have to be speaking in Spanish,” she said. Acceptance is based on a teacher’s recommendation, GPA, and an essay. Middlebury is nationally known for how well it prepares its students, says HIES teacher Gerard Gatoux, who nominated Barton.

• A high school senior in Sandy Springs, Luka Marinkovic, is the Georgia winner of the Music Teacher National Association competition for composition. Luka’s winning composition is a four movement piano suite. He will represent Georgia in the Southeast regional competition. A native of France, Luka is student of Riverwood International Charter School, and is principal pianist with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.

• Tucker Middle School this month became the first Georgia middle school to receive state Department of Education certification for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. It is the fourth DeKalb County school and 11th statewide to earn the designation, which denotes success in integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in all subjects. “We’re proud and excited to have achieved this milestone after three years of hard work,” said Dr. Kathy Cunningham, principal, who spearheaded the program along with Tucker Middle’s STEM coordinator, Dr. Stephen Csukas.

The University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Oconee Campus raised $17, 895 during OconeeFest, the first event of its kind designed to raise money for scholarships for students from Oconee County attending any of UNG’s four campuses. University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, one of more than 100 other guests, spoke about the importance of merit-based and need-based scholarships and praised community members for participating in the inaugural OconeeFest. UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs has made increasing scholarship support for students one of her top priorities as president. During the 2013-14 academic year, UNG raised more than $1 million for student scholarships.

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