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Partnership Gwinnett Celebrates Gwinnett County Students and Teachers



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.

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



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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