Best in class

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Woodward Academy junior Olivia Washington was recently nominated as featured performer for her role as Motormouth Maybelle in the spring production of "Hairspray" for the Shuler Hensley Awards, The Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards. Woodward was also nominated for awards in the orchestra and music direction categories. The Shuler Hensley Awards honor musical theatre excellence at the high school level. A team of more than 40 Atlanta-based arts professionals evaluated the participating high school productions. Winners will be announced in a "Tony Awards-style” ceremony later this month at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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A team of students from Gwinnett's Arcado Elementary School and a second group from Sweetwater Middle School recently earned high honors during the WordMasters Challenge, a national language arts competition. Sixth graders from Sweetwater ranked first in the nation. The team also placed first during the first meet earlier this school year. The Sweetwater students outscored teams from across the nation. Receiving perfect scores were: Kaitlyn Choe, Joshua De La Fuente, Nabid Farvez, Rodrigo Herrera, Ibum Obu, Estefania Ortega, Darlene Praseuth, and Mariela Prieto-Torres.

Fourth-graders from Arcado tied for fourth place in the nation. Rhiannon Eplett earned the highest honors for individual achievement for a perfect score. Other Arcado students who did well in the competition include: Cailleagh Finlayson, Samir Hadi-Cisneros, Elise Musser, Jessica Pan, Isabel Segre,Paul “Joey” Thomas, Mary Wang, Reece Whitfield and Jule Zehngraff.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words considerably more difficult than grade level.

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