);
Connect with us

Education

Greater Atlanta Christian School Gains Global Recognition for AP Test Scores, including a Peachtree Corners Student

Published

on

Greater Atlanta Christian
Senior Victoria Huynh, Alumnus Jack Hollier, Faculty Matt Fincher

To get a top score on an AP exam — a 5 on the 5-point scale — is a significant achievement that often enables students to get college credit. To get a perfect score is a rare occurrence. Out of over 300,000 students around the world who took the AP Government exam last May, only 113 got every answer right. Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Georgia boasts two of these students: Jack Hollier of Peachtree Corners and Victoria Huynh of Lilburn, Georgia.

AP Government teacher Matt Fincher had this to say about his students’ achievement: “Victoria and Jack are both incredible, hard-working students, and their success on the exam resulted from their own dedicated preparation and effort but also due to their interaction with an exceptional group of classmates, who sharpened them and who altogether earned an average score of 4.67 on the AP Government Exam, the highest we’ve ever had. Their achievement deserves to be celebrated and demonstrates how effectively our entire faculty prepares GAC students for the next level.”

High School Principal Shane Woodward, when told of this achievement, said: “This accomplishment is not only indicative of the caliber of students we have but of the quality of our faculty as well. Mr. Fincher’s ability to engage and challenge our students, while equipping them with knowledge of standards that are essential in the Advanced Placement curriculum, is phenomenal. This accomplishment does not just happen. It requires careful planning and quality assessment, over time, to understand exactly what students need. Mr. Fincher has put great work into making a perfect score a possibility for his students and I couldn’t be more grateful for his efforts.” The 1,600-student private school, which draws students from across the Atlanta region, is ranked at the top of the state for teaching quality, arts, and athletics. In fact, the school is tied for the Atlanta private school to have the highest AP pass rate at 84% in 26 AP courses.

Continue Reading

Arts & Literature

North Metro Academy of Performing Arts Settles into Peachtree Corners

Published

on

North Metro Academy. Photos by George Hunter

Gwinnett County’s first themed elementary school aims to incorporate arts education into a robust, imaginative, and collaborative environment.

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic. Music, dance, painting, and theatre are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” — William Bennett, former US Secretary of Education

Those words were declared many decades ago, long before students and even some staff members at North Metro Academy of Performing Arts (NMAPA) were born. But the sentiment rings as true today as it did then. 

Gwinnett County Public Schools’ first themed elementary school, NMAPA is still somewhat of a hidden gem. Dr. Rodriguez Johnson, principal since the school was established in 2014, along with students, staff, and the community are working to change that.

“It’s amazing that we have over 40 different elementary schools represented in our community here. We have kids that come from Lilburn and Lawrenceville and Duluth and all over to attend our school, and it’s really about that close-knit family community,” said Johnson. 

“We have our kids learning the same curriculum that they do at every other elementary school,” he continued. “I think it’s just really our personal connections that really separate us from our sister schools.”

The purpose of the K-5 school, open to every Gwinnett County resident, is to give students the opportunity to develop unique interests, uncover hidden talents, experience satisfaction in accomplishments, gain a sense of responsibility and pursue education as a way of life through educational programs tailored to their own specific needs, according to the school website.

This hidden gem didn’t pop up overnight. It has been a dream of lifelong educator Beauty Baldwin. After decades of dedication to educating students in Schley, Muscogee, and Gwinnett counties, Baldwin retired in June 1994 as the first Black female superintendent of Buford City Schools, as well as the first in the entire state of Georgia.

Her commitment to education and her community is evident with a school and a municipal building named for her. In 2016, the Gwinnett County Board of Education dedicated Baldwin Elementary School in Norcross in her name. In 2020, a ceremony was held to dedicate Gwinnett County’s newly- renovated elections office as The Gwinnett Voter Registrations & Elections Beauty P. Baldwin Building.

Perhaps her passion for education and commitment to children and the community is most evident in the former Hopewell Christian Academy that opened in 1997, shortly after Baldwin thought she had put away her educator hat. Many years later, she admitted that one never stops being a teacher.

Baldwin served as Hopewell’s administrator for 16 years until it became a Gwinnett County Charter School. The move to the public school system came with a name change — North Metro Academy. In May 2021, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved transitioning NMAPA from a public charter school to GCPS’s first themed elementary school.

But the work doesn’t end there.

Room for everyone

North Metro Academy of Performing Arts engages students in instruction that integrates the academics and performing arts in ways that address the unique needs and interests of each student, said Dr. Johnson. He added that, unlike the fictional school of the arts in the movie “Fame,” there’s no auditioning for a spot at NMAPA.

There is currently no wait list and no child within Gwinnett County is turned away.

“Before we moved onto this campus, we had around 320 students. We expect to continue to increase our enrollment each year,” Johnson said. “We’re really excited about our future and our continued growth. And we’re extremely excited about being here in Peachtree Corners and Norcross.”

Although Peachtree Corners is considered a more affluent area than many other parts of the county, the student body is quite diverse and there’s a place for everyone.

“I think a lot of families choose us because they know that when they come here, we are an extended part of their family and there is no judgment. Every kid is one of our students and we make sure that we build a rapport with all of them,” said Johnson.

“We have such a small staff that I think that really helps us build those relationships, too,” he added. “Our parents know the teachers and we treat everyone like family.”

The first group that started kindergarten at NMAPA will be transitioning from fifth grade to middle school at the end of the academic year. 

He said he gets requests from parents who want to see the theme extended to middle school, and perhaps even high school. However, Johnson is focusing on the ones in his care and preparing them for their best futures.

“Right now, we’re just trying to embrace our new space and continuing to grow our program,” he said. “Hopefully, one day, we will have so many students on the waiting list that we’ll have to have a bigger building.”

Photos by George Hunter

Continue Reading

Education

Paladin Pacer 5K and Fun Run Debuts New Course

Published

on

Paladin Pacer 5k and Fun Run

Pinecrest Academy’s 4th Annual Paladin Pacer race is set for Saturday, February 25. It’s open to all runners, walkers, and hikers. As in previous years, the Pacer includes a 5K event and a Fun Run.

The 2023 Pacer will debut two changes this year.

  • The entire 5K course will be run or walked on Pinecrest Academy’s 68-acre campus, which includes a cross-country trail. In previous years, the 5K portion of the event has run along Highway 141.
  • The 5K portion of this year’s Pacer will be a Trail Race. Trail running, running in a natural environment with minimal paved or asphalt roads, has become a popular sport. It increases the physicality of the race by adding climbs and rougher terrain. Paladin Pacer participants should be ready for over two miles of scenic dirt trails, grass, and hills.

“As an avid runner, I am particularly excited about our transition to a trail race,” said Mary Tollett, Paladin Pacer Race Director. “Trail run enthusiasts usually have to travel to a destination, sometimes to rural locations, to participate in a trail run. But this one is right here in our neighborhood.”

Paladin Pacer 5k and Fun Run
Photo from Last Year’s Paladin Pacer 5k and Fun Run. This year the 5K will be a trail race on campus.

The 1-Mile Fun Run includes three laps around the school driveway, allowing parents to support their “little Olympians” throughout the race. It’s also perfect for the casual walker or jogger.

The epic costume contest will return this year. Cross-country teams are encouraged to participate as a group, as are families with children of all ages.

“We are thankful to be part of Forsyth County, a vibrant and growing community, and delighted to be able to offer a unique running experience for our neighbors,” said David O’Shea, Pinecrest Academy Director of Advancement. “The Paladin Pacer is an opportunity to come together for a fun community event while getting some exercise and trying out a new local trail run!”

Paladin Pacer 5k and Fun Run
Photo from Last Year’s Paladin Pacer 5k and Fun Run

Awards will be presented for Overall Male/Female and Top 3 Male/Female finishers in each age group, along with an award for Best Costume.

Registration is open, and the early bird rate for both the 5K and Fun Run is available through February 17. All participants registered by February 13 will receive a race t-shirt.

For more information on the 2023 Paladin Pacer and to register, visit active.com/cumming-ga/running/distance-running-races/paladin-pacer-trail-race-2023. Limited sponsorships are available. Please contact David O’Shea at doshea@pinecrestacadem.org or call 770-888-4477.

Continue Reading

Education

Partnership Gwinnett Celebrates Gwinnett County Students and Teachers

Published

on

Partnership Gwinnett Celebrates Gwinnett County Students and Teachers

Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Reception honors 76 recipients from 32 schools.

On January 26, Partnership Gwinnett hosted the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Reception, sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and PAGE Foundation and presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, at the John C. Maxwell Leadership Center in Duluth.

More than 200 students, teachers and guests attended the annual event that honors the highest-achieving seniors and their most academically influential teachers.

“Gwinnett County boasts some of the best schools in the nation,” said Partnership Gwinnett Economic Development Vice President Andrew Carnes. “We are proud to celebrate and congratulate these talented students who represent our future workforce and the teachers who have made a difference in their lives.”

  • Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Reception
  • Student Teacher Achievement Recognition Reception

The presentation recognized 76 recipients from 32 schools, including Buford City Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Greater Atlanta Christian School, Hebron Christian Academy, Killian Hill Christian School, Notre Dame Academy, Providence Christian Academy, Sugar Hill Christian Academy, Wesleyan School.

Honorees include:

Buford City Schools

  • Erin Lim and Mr. Brent Leitsch – Buford High School

Gwinnett County Public Schools

  • Dean Putnam and Mr. John Jameson – Archer High School
  • Samad Ahmed and Mr. Gary Haynes – Berkmar High School
  • William Li and Mrs. Mirela Kimbrough – Brookwood High School
  • Niheer Patel and Mr. Chris Michael – Brookwood High School
  • Farhan Baig and Mrs. Stephanie Timmons – Brookwood High School
  • Mariabelle Azemar and Mr. Alan Dills – Central Gwinnett High School
  • Sara Amou and Mrs. Danielle Wilcher – Collins Hill High School
  • Cooper Brambley and Mr. Robert Winstead – Dacula High School
  • Jerusha Titus and Mr. Thomas Curran – Discovery High School
  • Mandy Xu and Mr. Jonathan Roy – Duluth High School
  • Chikaima Anigbogu and Ms. Lindsey Saa – Grayson High School
  • Jackson Lee and Ms. Kristen Brigmond – Gwinnett Online Campus
  • May-Jann Wong and Mr. Donny Thurston – Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology
  • Erika Tay and Mrs. Laura Wood – Lanier High School
  • Tracy La and Ms. Theresa Ryan – McClure Health Science High School
  • Cristopher Miranda and Mr. Robert Ro – Meadowcreek High School
  • Joshua Ha and Mr. Greg Marr – Mill Creek High School
  • Evan Grove and Dr. Rick Creed – Mill Creek High School
  • Bao Trinh and Dr. Nicki Collins – Mountain View High School
  • Jordan Katz and Mr. Corey Fair – Norcross High School
  • Sean Zhong and Ms. Michelle Larate – Norcross High School
  • Aditi Venkatesh and Ms. Katie Massey – North Gwinnett High School
  • Grace Liu and Mr. Jon Aldrich – Parkview High School
  • Nathan Chen and Mr. Andrew Wright – Paul Duke STEM High School
  • Rohan Pai and Dr. John Mobley – Paul Duke STEM High School
  • Katharine Wang and Mr. Michael Crawford – Peachtree Ridge High School
  • Phoebe Yoon and Ms. Rhonda V. Perry – Seckinger High School
  • Jessica Duong and Mr. Isaac Kwak – Shiloh High School
  • Dominique LoBlack and Ms. Natilee Brown-Van – South Gwinnett High School

Private Schools

  • John Alsobrook and Dr. Derek Wilson – Greater Atlanta Christian School
  • Jackson Rosero and Mr. Samuel Vernhes – Greater Atlanta Christian School
  • Peter Lee and Mr. Taylor Kulp – Hebron Christian Academy
  • Shalena Lam and Mr. Matthew Lewis – Killian Hill Christian School
  • Riddhi Akshara and Mrs. Elena Ouimette – Notre Dame Academy
  • Lydia Panek and Mrs. Renee Sargent – Providence Christian Academy
  • Benjamin Jones and Mrs. Sherry Wiltshire – Sugar Hill Christian Academy
  • RJ Devlin and Mr. Joseph Cooper – Wesleyan School

PAGE Educational Membership Services Representative Laurie Provost also announced the system winners — Erin Lim and Mr. Brent Leitsch from Buford High School and Aditi Venkatesh and Ms. Katie Massey from North Gwinnett High School — who will compete for region honors. Region winners will then compete for state honors.

The PAGE STAR honors the highest-achieving high school seniors and their most academically influential teachers. Students must have the highest score on any single SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year with their SAT scores equal to or higher than the 2022 national average scores on the evidence-based math and reading and writing sections, as well as rank in the top 10% or top 10 students of their class based on their GPA.

Continue Reading

Read the Digital Edition

Subscribe

Peachtree Corners Life

Capitalist Sage

Topics and Categories

Recent Posts

Authors

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Mighty Rockets LLC, powered by WordPress.

Get Weekly Updates!

Get Weekly Updates!

Don't miss out on the latest news, updates, and stories about Peachtree Corners.

Check out our podcasts: Peachtree Corners Life, Capitalist Sage and the Ed Hour

You have Successfully Subscribed!