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“Helping Your Children Live Their Faith in College and Beyond” To Be Presented by Pinecrest Academy

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Fr Branson Hipp and Dr. Todd von Helms (photos courtesy of Pinecrest Academy)

Pinecrest Academy will host a special presentation, “Helping Your Children Live Their Faith in College and Beyond,” a panel discussion for parents of students in high school and college. The event is set for Tuesday, April 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m., with a Q&A afterwards. Admission is free and open to the community.

Ideas will be shared about how students can grow in their faith in the face of the pressures of college and young adulthood.

Panelists include Fr. Branson Hipp, Chaplain of the Georgia Tech Catholic Center, and Dr. Todd von Helms, a Senior Fellow at the King’s College in New York and author of “Before You Leave: For College, Career, and Eternity.” Two college students will also be on the panel.

“This presentation can be particularly helpful and enlightening for parents of high schoolers and college students, as well as high school and college students themselves, as they plan for college, career, and beyond,” commented Jake Rodgers, Pinecrest Academy Head of School.

The panel discussion will be held at Pinecrest Academy, 955 Peachtree Pkwy., Cumming, Ga. in the school’s Upper School Gym.

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Education

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

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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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Education

Four Wesleyan School Faculty Members Named GISA Master Teachers

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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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Education

Paul Duke STEM High School Students Build a Legacy at National Conference

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The PDSTSA chapter holding their trophies

From June 28 to July 2, the Paul Duke STEM High School Technology Student Association (PDSTSA) chapter left a lasting mark at the 2023 National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Louisville, Kentucky. The group’s dedication to their work and unwavering support from chaperones and advisors led to nine Top 10 finishes and four Top 3 placements. 

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) compiled of passionate students who are thoroughly involved in STEM. TSA has over 200,000 members nationwide and 2,000 involved schools across 49 states.  

The theme of this year’s conference was “A Legacy of Innovation,” a theme that the PDSTSA chapter certainly excelled at. 

The PDSTSA chapter competed in the following areas: Data Science and Analytics, Video Game Design, Manufacturing Prototype, Future Technology Teacher, On Demand Video, Virtual Reality Visualization, Biotechnology Design and Geospatial Technology. Within each respective area, Paul Duke STEM High School (PDHS) had great success. 

Aside from regional and state-wide competitions, the PDSTSA chapter competed at the annual National Conference where expert judges score groups and individuals on more than 70 different STEM-based educational challenges that covered topics such as architecture, communication, engineering, leadership and technology research.

Pursuit of excellence

Within their group, the PDSTSA chapter had an impressive four awards given out to groups and individuals within places first through third. 

Notably, members Donald Iwejuo, Rohan Kumar, Hannah Le, Caleb Odunade, Mihir Pai, Rohan Pai, Phuong Truong and Keon Wilson won an astounding first place for their work in the Manufacturing Prototype category.

Manufacturing Prototype Team
Manufacturing Prototype Team

For their challenge, they were asked to create a Fourth of July-themed decoration. The team problem-solved and worked to create a customizable condiment and utensil holder with replaceable tops that incorporated the shapes of fireworks and the Liberty Bell, and symbols of the American flag, winning PDSTSA their first national title.

Additionally, within the realm of Data Science and Analytics, PDSTSA members Oswin Cervantes, Meagan Harris and Rohan Kumar took home third place by using and studying data found online and provided by them through science experiments involving Blue Zones teas, JASP (an open source program for statistical analysis) and the aging of Saccroymeces cerevisie (more commonly known as brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast).

Data Science and Analytics Team
Data Science and Analytics Team

In the category of Biotechnology Design, Chloe Au, Brandon Auyoung, Meagan Harris, Joshua Odunade, Quincy Robinson and Phuong Truong won third place for finding a solution to adequately address food preparation, storage and sustainability issues in space, specifically for a trip to Mars.

After creating a rocket-shaped display containing their solution, the team was awarded based on their problem-solving abilities. 

Biotechnology Design Team
Biotechnology Design Team

Caleb Odunade won third place in the solo category of Future Technology Teacher. For this category, competitors were required to choose an application that could be used for teaching and then demonstrate how to implement it in the classroom.

Odunade made a video for the preliminary round on how to use TinkerCAD, an engineering and 3D design application, and was challenged to also present a lesson plan he had designed. 

Caleb Odunade Future Technology Teacher
Caleb Odunade Future Technology Teacher

More notable accomplishments

However, the accomplishments didn’t end there. Others include:

  • Fourth place in Video Game Design for members Ali Akbar, Frank Hammock, Varun Iyengar, Rohan Kumar, Joshua Odunade and Sahana Parekh
  • Fifth place in Virtual Reality Visualization for members Aqil Afsar, Charlie Boalch, Rohan Kumar and Mihir Pai
  • Sixth place in Geospatial Technology for members Aqil Afsar, Mihir Pai and Rohan Pai
  • Sixth place for Future Technology Teacher awarded to member Myra Wu
  • Tenth place award in On Demand Video by members Baylor Brown, Abigail Donkor, Princess Igwe, Tristan Kim, Rohan Kumar, Caleb Odunade, Joshua Odunade, Rohan Pai and Landon Shell
Video Game Design Team
Video Game Design Team
Virtual Reality Visualization Team
Virtual Reality Visualization Team
Geospatial Technology Team
Geospatial Technology Team
Myra Wu Future Technology Teacher
On Demand Video Team
On Demand Video Team

More to come

This was only the PDSTSA team’s second time participating in the NLC. The team is excited with their success and are looking forward to working towards even greater success in the future. 

Check out the PDSTSA Instagram at @pdstsa. Learn more about TSA at tsaweb.org.

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