Best in Class 3-20

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Samantha Gaito, a DECA member at Creekview High School in Cherokee, recently won the right to compete at the international level in the organization’s competitive events program by placing third in Food Marketing. DECA’s competitive events meet National Curriculum Standards in marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism. Students compete in several ways, including written events, interviews and role playing.

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Vanessa Garcia, an eighth-grader at Pointe South Middle School in Clayton County and Maurel Denge, an art teacher at the school, won first place in the middle school category of the Fifth Annual Istanbul Art and Essay Contest.  They earned an all expenses paid trip to Istanbul, Turkey. The award is sponsored by the Istanbul Center, United Nations Secretariat, and the Georgia Department of Education. They were chosen to represent the Southeastern Region, which includes Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

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Sequoyah High School student Anna Ristuccia is a Scholastic Art National Gold Medal Award Winner.  Her award-winning photograph Night will be on exhibit at the World Finance Center. The Cherokee County student has been invited to New York’s Carnegie Hall to receive her medal at the awards ceremony in May.

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Students at Crabapple Middle School in Roswell did some planning for their future recently using a program called "My Graduation Plan." The unit of study lets students  create an individualized plan for graduation. The plan involves an assessment that takes into account the students' interests and abilities. Trained teachers worked one-on-one with students, who were shown inspirational videos and given assignments to promote self-advocacy. The school's graduation coach, Mimi Gamel, led the effort.

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Brookwood High School principal Debbie Dees is a finalist for Georgia High School Principal of the Year. Dees, of Gwinnett County Schools, was nominated by the Georgia Association of Secondary Schools Principals.

Staff writer Tammy Joyner contributed to this report

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