This girls team is heading back for the 4th time seeking a 3rd win
If you haven’t heard, the Pinckneyville Middle School Odyssey of the Mind just placed 1st at the Georgia state competition and have been invited to represent Georgia at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Orlando in June.
Some people might never have heard of Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) or do not understand exactly what it is, so here is the official description as well as a link to the Odyssey website for anyone who would like to know more.
“[OotM] is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. OotM proves that students can have fun while they learn.”
The competitions consist of the performance of an original skit based on the exact set of required elements given (the “long-term problem”) as well as the performance of the “spontaneous problem,” in which teams are asked to perform random tasks on the spot with no prior preparation, such as creating a bridge out of unique materials that can actually support weight. So, in effect, it’s a great combination of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the arts (STEAM)! It also requires a lot of teamwork and effective communication.
“The Pinckneyville MS team is made up of 7 girls, including two of ours, with my wife Lisa Dommert as their coach. They’ve really helped put Peachtree Corners and Georgia on the map among thousands of Odyssey teams from around the world. They’ve placed first in the world twice already, besting 71 world finalist elementary school teams in 2018, placed 4th among over 60 world finalist middle school teams in 2019, and reclaimed the top spot among over 60 world finalist teams in 2020. They are shaping up to be one of the most dominant teams in state history and one of the few to consistently beat the Chinese and Polish teams who have been very strong in recent years,” supporter and parent Travis Dommert said.
It is an honor once again to be one of the teams that will be competing at the World Finals in Orlando and to represent Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County Public Schools, and the state of Georgia! They sincerely appreciate any assistance, large or small, that you can provide as they prepare to make the journey to Orlando! All donations collected on their GoFundMe page will be withdrawn at the end of our fundraising campaign and deposited into a bank account created by Jeff Ebert (a team parent); these funds will then be distributed equally among the team members and volunteer parent coach.
The girls will also be fundraising on Saturday, May 8 in front of Sprouts Market in Peachtree Corners, from 2-4 p.m. They thank you for your support!
Pinecrest Academy Named to AP School Honor Roll
College Board has announced that Pinecrest Academy has been named to the Advanced Placement® Program (AP®) School Honor Roll, earning Platinum distinction.
The AP® School Honor Roll recognizes schools whose AP programs are delivering results for students while broadening access.
Schools can earn this recognition annually based on criteria that reflect a commitment to increasing college-going culture, providing opportunities for students to earn college credit and maximizing college readiness.
Pinecrest had 87% of seniors who took at least one AP exam during high school. 78% of seniors scored a three or higher on at least one AP exam, and 74% took five or more AP exams.
Twenty-two AP courses were offered during the 2022-2023 school year, representing 21 sections taught by 12 high school teachers.
“We are so honored to have received this AP Honor Roll Award, as we strive each year to provide every student with a college preparatory experience, which includes the successful completion of challenging AP courses,” commented Amy Bowman, Pinecrest Academy High School Principal.
“The Platinum designation from AP speaks to the excellence that our faculty strives for in delivering challenging content that prepares our students for college,” she added.
“AP represents an opportunity for students to stand out to colleges, earn college credit and placement, and potentially boost their grade point averages,” explained Trevor Packer, head of the AP program.
“The schools have shown that they can expand access to these college-level courses and still drive high performance – they represent the best of our AP program,” he said.
Pinecrest Academy was also awarded the AP Access Award. The AP Access Award recognizes schools demonstrating a clear and effective commitment to equitable access to advanced coursework. In addition to these honors from the College Board, Pinecrest Academy’s Class of 2023 earned a 100% acceptance rate into The University of Georgia. Since the school’s first graduating class of 2007, Pinecrest’s high school has maintained a 100% graduation rate every year.
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Greater Atlanta Christian Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Earlier this October, Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC) seniors Kevin Liu and Akhil Sarikonda were named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Competition.
Liu and Sarikonda are among over 16,000 Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Semifinalists must have outstanding academic records, a recommendation from a high school official, an essay submission and SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying PSAT test.
Semifinalists are chosen from 1.3 million high school students who took the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during their junior year.
These semifinalists are competing for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2024.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award and advance to the competition’s final level, semifinalists must submit a detailed application.
This application includes the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors or awards received.
“Kevin and Akhil are dedicated to their academics and pursue excellence both in the classroom and in their many activities within GAC and out,” Dr. Paul Cable, GAC High School Principal, said.
“We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments and eagerly anticipate the bright futures ahead for these exceptional students,” he added.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation Recognizes Eight Wesleyan Seniors
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition that recognizes a student’s outstanding performance on their junior year PSAT.
Seniors Josh Kavel and Dina Samson were named National Merit Semifinalists, an honor that only 1% of seniors (approximately 16,000 total) nationwide, receive based on their PSAT scores.
These seniors will submit essays, hoping to become finalists and earn scholarship money from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Finalists will be announced in February.
Additionally, seniors Alex Ebert, Kallaghan Freeman, Daniel Lim, Papa Ohemeng-Mensah, Junie Shin and Tengle Wang were named National Merit Commended students. Approximately 2% of seniors nationwide receive this recognition.
Congratulations to these seniors and their families.
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