Awards & Honors

Kell High Robotics Team Earns Sixth Major Award at Regional Event


The Kell High School Robotics Team earns a major award at the FIRST® Palmetto Robotics Competition at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was started by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people.

The team earned the FIRST Regional Chairman’s Award for their work in promoting and encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. The Chairman’s Award represents the spirit of FIRST. It honors the team that, in the judges’ estimation, best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and which embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST. It remains FIRST’s most prestigious award.

This is the Kell team’s sixth FIRST Regional Chairman’s Award. The team competed against teams from Canada, Brasil, and nine states in the United States. The team now advances to the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis Missouri. They will compete for the Championship Chairman’s Award. The team that earns this award in St. Louis will enter the FIRST Hall of Fame.

Submitted by Ed Barker, Kell Robotics adviser

Wheeler Magnet Senior Camille Mapua Earns Prestigious State Choral Music Scholarship

MapuaC_ScholarshipCamille Mapua, senior at the Wheeler High School Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Mathematics, and Technology, is one of two recipients of a prestigious scholarship from the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA). Camille is one of just 27 students throughout Georgia to make the All State Chorus for the maximum of six years, qualifying her to apply for the GMEA honor. State choral leaders selected her for one of the scholarships based on her choral performance, a required essay and recommendation from her chorus instructor John Perry.

Perry said, “I am incredibly proud of Camille for this scholarship. She is just an overall fantastic student, completely disciplined and hard working as well as incredibly talented.”

Camille plans to pursue vocal performance and speech pathology in her post-secondary studies.

Kemp, Sope Creek Elementary School Counseling Programs Earn Prestigious RAMP Designation

Kemp and Sope Creek elementary schools will receive the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation during a special ceremony this summer at the American School Counselor Association annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

asca_logoThe RAMP designation, awarded to schools whose counseling programs align with the criteria set in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and creating an exemplary educational environment. RAMP applications are reviewed once a year by a panel of school counseling professionals. For more information on the program, visit More than 400 schools nationwide have received the RAMP designation since the program’s inception, including 14 Cobb County schools.

Congratulations to the professional school counselors at Kemp and Sope Creek:

Kemp Counseling Staff:
Jenni Briggs
Michelle Stevens
Olivia Brauninger
Principal: Kristy Mason

Sope Creek Counseling Staff:
Jennifer Frederick
Claire Murphy
Sara Jane Lombardi
Principal: Martha Whalen

The American School Counselor Association ( is a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to over 30,000 professional school counselors around the globe.

Coach “Corky” Kell To Be Inducted Into Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Feb. 7

Kell_CorkyCarlton J. “Corky” Kell will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame this Friday, Feb. 7. Coach Kell is one of the most storied coaches in Cobb County and metro Atlanta prep athletics. Under his direction from 1965-1974, the Wheeler High girls’ basketball program captured five region championships and reached three state title games. Kell became head football coach at Wheeler in 1970, winning four region titles and earning numerous Coach of the Year awards during his tenure.

While serving as athletics director for Cobb County School District, Kell initiated the High School Kickoff Classic, an annual series of football matchups between Georgia’s most competitive high school programs. Following Kell’s passing in 1995, the program was renamed the Corky Kell Classic. Wheeler High School named its football stadium in Kell’s honor and in 2001, the Cobb County School District named its new northeast Cobb facility Carlton J. Kell High School.

Kell, along with former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, former Braves owner Ted Turner, Super Bowl and Heisman Trophy winner George Benson, basketball champion Cindy Brogdon and track and field star Antonio McKay, will be inducted Friday night at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.

Graphic Design Programs at Walton, Kennesaw Mountain Earn PrintEd Industry Accreditation

Walton and Kennesaw Mountain High Schools were awarded the PrintED Industry Accreditation for their CTAE Graphic Communications Programs. PrintED, administered by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF®), is a national accreditation program based on industry standards for secondary and post-secondary graphic communications courses. PrintED Accreditation certifies that the CTAE Graphic Communications programs meet industry standards.

PrintED certified programs provide students with a credential that validates mastery of academic and workplace competencies for 21st century jobs, upon the student’s successful completion of the PrintEd/SkillsUSA Skill Connect Assessment.

Christy Garvin of Vaughan Elementary Wins Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching


Just before the 2013 winter holiday break, Christy Garvin, teacher of advanced learning programs at Vaughan Elementary in Powder Springs, was named winner of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Ms. Garvin is one of 102 educators from across the nation to be honored for inspiring students to pursue excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math. A panel of experts selected Christy for the Presidential Award based on the quality of the written essays and instructional videos she submitted in support of her nomination. She will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and will travel to Washington, DC later this year to formally receive the award and meet President Obama.

Christy Garvin is a veteran teacher of more than two decades and shares her extensive field experiences with her Target students at Vaughan. Click here to read the recent profile of Ms. Garvin by the Marietta Daily Journal. Principal Dr. Shannon McGill said, “Ms. Garvin is passionate about Science and her enthusiasm is evident in the classroom. She uses science as an avenue to not only teach students about the world around them, but also to challenge them to make the world a better place.”


South Cobb High Academy of Research and Medical Sciences Conducts Inaugural White Coat Ceremony

The South Cobb High School Academy of Research and Medical Sciences recently held its inaugural White Coat Ceremony at Orange Hill Baptist Church to celebrate the achievements of its future physicians, researchers and scientists. Mirroring the coat presentation for doctors upon completion of medical school, upperclassmen in the magnet program received white lab coats (and seniors received stethoscopes) for use in internships and field experiences.

Students in the South Cobb magnet academy have their course work tailored to infuse both scientific research and medical sciences into the curriculum. The medical science portion of the program utilizes the on-site medical lab/clinic and provides students with the opportunity to intern with a health professional of their choosing. The research portion of the magnet program culminates in a research project and internship with a local business or institution of higher education.

Twenty-five percent of the students who complete studies at the South Cobb High School Academy of Research and Medical Sciences go on to become physicians, 50 percent continue in allied healthcare, and 70 percent continue in a field related to science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

Walton High School Art Students Win National Water Conservation Mural Competition


Art students in teacher Kathleen Petka’s classes at Walton High School were named grand prize winners for grades 9-12 of the national ‘Water Is Life’ mural contest backed by the foundation of famed conservationist artist Wyland. More than 35 Walton artists worked together to design and paint their 50 sq. ft. entry, which depicts various aquatic ecosystems. The contest judges said the following about the winning mural from Walton:

Prismatic effect provides unique view of water based ecosystems. Shows how water supports life in so many ways. The rendering itself was stunning and beautiful. The mural shows tremendous forethought and pre-planning and a clear objective.

The Wyland Foundation sponsored the contest this fall, providing 300 schools nationwide with paint supplies, materials, and large-sized canvases for students to create their own conservation art. The goal of the program is to inspire students to consider the growing demands on U.S. water resources and how they can promote conservation and good stewardship of water.

Two Cobb Middle School Parents Earn 2014 Georgia Parent Leadership Awards

Edward Richardson, parent of a Floyd Middle School student and Laura Shyman, parent of a Tapp Middle School student, are two of six honorees statewide to receive 2014 Georgia Parent Leadership Awards from the Georgia Department of Education. Mr. Richardson and Ms. Shyman were recognized for their leadership and parent engagement efforts among their school communities. Each was nominated for the award by their respective school leaders.

Both will be formally honored during the 2014 Georgia Family Engagement Conference Jan. 9-11, 2014 in Athens, GA and receive free registration to participate in the three-day event.

Debi Goodman of Shallowford Falls Elementary Wins Competition For Innovative Teaching Strategies

Goodman_DebiDebi Goodman, Kindergarten teacher at Shallowford Falls Elementary, is one of two winners in the statewide Innovation in Teaching Competition. Ms. Goodman submitted a detailed application to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, demonstrating how she incorporates literacy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts throughout her Kindergarten lesson plans. She also proved how her effective instructional strategies have directly resulted in student achievement.

Gov. Nathan Deal named Ms. Goodman one of the two winners, for which she will receive a $2,000 stipend for themselves and $5,000 for Shallowford Falls. Georgia Public Broadcasting will also interview Ms. Goodman and film her as she works with students; the video will be shared with educators and parents throughout Georgia over the next year.

The Innovation in Teaching Competition is funded through a $19.4 million grant created from the state’s Race To The Top plan.

« Previous PageNext Page »