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“NFL Sunday” Features GAC Alumni for Veterans Day



Greater Atlanta Christian School wished all the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces a happy Veterans Day. They thanked them and their families for their service to our country.

If you are a football fan, you may have seen the Fox Sports “NFL Sunday” show broadcast from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) this past sunday. The show honored several midshipmen including GAC’s own Jessica Carothers, Class of 2019. If you missed the segment, the link is below. It is something you will want to watch.

Jessica shared her connection with her father, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service who was killed in the line of duty, and the pride of carrying on the family tradition in the Navy.

What makes this a unique GAC story is that four Carothers siblings graduated from GAC and all attended the Naval Academy. The oldest, LT Michael Carothers (GAC Class of 2008) led the way and is currently a Naval Aviator serving as an Assistant Operations Officer onboard USS John C. Stennis. He married a GAC alumna, Brittany (Nolan) Carothers (Class of 2008) and they have a daughter, Nora.  LT Matt Carothers (Class of 2011) also married a GAC alumna, Paige (Tisher) Carothers (Class of 2009) and have twin sons, Collier and Knox. Matt is a Naval Submarine Officer serving as a Navigation Instructor and Assistant Operations Officer at Naval Submarine Base Trident Training Facility Kings Bay. ENS Paul Carothers (Class of 2015), recently married Madison “Maddie” Godleski, and is serving Hawaii as an Information Warfare Officer. He was Captain of the USNA Football Team.

Michael shared, “God really has brought us all a long way and blessed us with beautiful families and friends. We would NOT be where we are without the sound structure and guidance provided by our GAC family.”

It is an honor when a GAC graduate is accepted at an elite Service Academy, but to have four siblings attend is unheard of and a true blessing. The United States Naval Academy is one of the most highly selective universities in the U.S., with the Class of 2024 having a 9% acceptance rate. In addition to having a strong academic record, students must also receive a Congressional nomination and pass a physical test to receive a prestigious appointment. As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

When GAC reached out to Jessica, currently a Plebe (freshman at USNA) she said, “Tell the GAC teachers that they are all so incredible and that I said hello. I am so thankful for their love and support and everything they’ve done for me which all helped me get to where I am today! I miss them all. It was a blessing to be able to attend GAC.”

We express our gratitude to the Carothers family and our other GAC Veteran families.

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Norcross High School Student Lisa Van Ness named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist



Officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of 56 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) semifinalists considered for the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

One of these semifinalists is Lisa Van Ness, a senior at Norcross High School. Van Ness excels in all academic areas but really enjoys her STEM classes. 

Besides her success in the classroom, Van Ness is a member of the school’s color guard for the marching band and has spent three years on the cheer team. 

She is also an accomplished pianist and enjoys dancing, reading and baking in her free time.

Over 1.3 million juniors from 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Van Ness is among 16,000 semifinalists from across the nation competing for National Merit Scholarships worth almost $28 million and offered next spring.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and the high school must submit a detailed scholarship application. 

They must provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. 

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, a recommendation by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July 2024.

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Mayor Mason Visits BIA Charter School for Mayor’s Reading Program



On Friday, September 8, Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason visited the BIA Charter School to read to the kindergarten class of Meredith Huxtable.

The mayor visited BIA as part of the Mayor’s Reading Club. Launched in August, the program is designed to support literacy skills and early reading success for children in Georgia cities. 

During his visit, the mayor read “Georgia Caroline Visits City Hall,” and answered student questions.  Following his reading of the book, the mayor took part in an interview conducted by the school’s morning news team, that was broadcast to the entire school.

The Mayor’s Reading Club was developed by Georgia City Solutions and is designed to foster partnerships between the city, county, local nonprofits, schools, libraries and businesses. Other elected officials, city staff, youth and community members can participate in the program as guest readers.

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Four Wesleyan School Faculty Members Named GISA Master Teachers



Wesleyan GISA Master Teachers
Top Row from left, Juliette Ball, Paige Glass, bottom row from left, Suzanne Ragains and Laura Riester (Photo courtesy of Wesleyan School.

The Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) recently named four Wesleyan School faculty members GISA Master Teachers.

After completing a comprehensive application process through GISA this past spring, the following teachers were honored:

  • Juliette Ball, lower school lead teacher;
  • Paige Glass, lower school lead teacher;
  • Suzanne Ragains, a high school modern and classical languages teacher and
  • Laura Riester, middle school math teacher.

To be accepted into GISA’s Master Teacher program, candidates must submit a portfolio featuring three examples of outstanding work related to the classroom and collaborating with other educators.

The final part of the application is an unedited video of the candidate’s classroom teaching as well as five letters of recommendation from colleagues, administrators, parents and students.

“We are delighted that GISA has acknowledged the hard work of these committed educators through the Master Teacher program,” said Chris Cleveland, Wesleyan Head of School.

“Juliette, Paige, Suzanne, and Laura are outstanding classroom teachers and have been impacting the lives of Wesleyan students for many years. They are each deserving of this honor.”

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