Awards & Honors


Two Cobb Seniors Named Semifinalists in 2014 Presidential Scholars Program

Anirudh Udutha of the Wheeler High School Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Mathematics, and Technology and Edward S. Park of Walton High School are among 16 semifinalists from Georgia in the 2014 United States Presidential Scholars program. Each 2014 senior made the cut of semifinalists by demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Cobb Bus Drivers Advance To State Bus Road-e-o Safety Competition
BusRoadeo

L-R: Rebecca Cooper of sponsor Credit Union of Georgia; runner-up Meredith Banks; champion Michael Graham; 3rd place winner Chrisy Maetz, CCSD safety mascot Hawkeye, and Road-e-o coordinator Brian Jacquet

Two CCSD bus drivers will begin their summer behind the wheels of their school buses as part of the state Bus Road-e-o safety competition! Drivers Michael Graham and Meredith Banks won the top two spots in the Road-e-o event for Cobb bus drivers, qualifying for the state competition June 4-5. The Bus Road-e-o challenges drivers to be the best in events such as pre-trip inspection, backing up, student pickup, and effective driving techniques.

Mr. Graham and Ms. Banks will advance to compete with more than 60 other bus drivers from across Georgia – first in a written test pertaining to traffic laws and first aid, then in a battery of driving tests.

Graham has competed in the local Bus Road-e-o for nine straight years, qualified for the state competition five times, and competed twice in the international event. This is Ms. Banks’ first time competing in the state Road-e-o.

Eleven Cobb Seniors Named Winners of $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships

Eleven twelfth graders from Cobb’s Class of 2014 were named winners of National Achievement Scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Approximately 800 students were selected for the Achievement Scholarship awards from more than 1,600 semifinalists who applied for the program, designed to recognize academically promising Black students throughout the United States. The 11 recipients of 2014 National Achievement Scholarships from Cobb County Schools are:

Emil F. Thomas, Wheeler High School – Probable career field: Medicine
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Aduraseyi C. Ayeni, Sprayberry High School – Probable career field: Anesthesiology
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Christophe Ebhogiaye, Walton High School – Probable career field: undecided
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Kerri J. McNair, Campbell High School – Probable career field: Anthropology
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Robert C. Taylor, Wheeler High School – Probable career field: Materials Engineering
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Tori M. Walker, Walton High School – Probable career field: Linguistics
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Skylar Williams, South Cobb High School – Probable career field: Oncology
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Emmanuel K. Basil, Campbell High School – Probable career field: Biomedical Engineering
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Rachele B. Byrd, McEachern High School – Probable career field: Writing
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Oladele D. Osisami, South Cobb High School – Probable career field: Psychiatry
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

Jamal K. Pace, Kennesaw Mountain High School – Probable career field: Computer Engineering
- National Achievement $2,500 Scholarship

More than 160,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States requested consideration in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program when they took the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT test. Semifinalists are designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region. All students who advanced to the Finalist level in the 2014 competition were considered for the $2,500 National Achievement scholarships, awarded on a regional representation basis. Achievement Scholar awardees are the Finalist candidates judged to have the strongest record of accomplishments and greatest potential for academic success in college.

For additional information, visit www.nationalmerit.org.

82 Cobb Rising Juniors and Seniors Selected as Finalists for 2014 Governor’s Honors Program

Eighty-two (82) Cobb County rising eleventh and twelfth graders have been selected as finalists for the 2014 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Cobb’s selections are among 691 finalists selected for the program from nearly 3,000 applicants. Since the program is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly, there is no charge for students to attend.

Students will arrive on the campus of Valdosta State University on Sunday, June 22. For four weeks, students will spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom. During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study. The curriculum in all the areas is challenging and engaging. Evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts, and performances.

Cobb’s finalists for the 2014 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program are:

Last Name First Name School Name Subject
Brennan Ryan Allatoona Theatre Performance
Aldana Sarah Campbell Visual Arts
Augenbroe Anneke Campbell French
Beldeanu Oana Campbell Comm Arts
Campbell Lauren Campbell Comm Arts
Chen Vanessa Campbell Biology
Hardnett Erin Campbell Social Studies
Ilieva Guergana Campbell Spanish
Lopez Jefferson Campbell French
Patel Aakanksha Campbell Math
Ross Michael Campbell Visual Arts
Shonia Anna Campbell Comm Arts
Zhang Belinda Campbell Visual Arts
Gray Chris Harrison Math
Saini Arushi Harrison Chemistry
Dupree Keshaun Hillgrove Music
Grubbs Jennifer Hillgrove Music
Mbaezue Chielo Hillgrove Physics
Oberlton Benjamin Hillgrove Chemistry
Sewell Cooper Hillgrove Music
Christensen Carrie Kell Music Voice
Axelrod Nicole Kennesaw Mountain Music Voice
Chan Alicia Kennesaw Mountain Comm Arts
Chokshi Trishla Kennesaw Mountain Math
Johns Mitchell Kennesaw Mountain Physics
Rinaudo Ryan Kennesaw Mountain Math
Soudelier Bailey Kennesaw Mountain Theatre Design
Sun Tingxiao Kennesaw Mountain Math
Feininger Harold Lassiter Math
Ganesan Kashyap Lassiter Music Jazz
Gonzalez Daniel Lassiter Social Studies
Kiefer Trevor Lassiter Music
Stone Kelsie Lassiter Comm Arts
Wang Anna Lassiter Math
Greifinger Jacob Lassiter School Music
Anderson Kaytlan McEachern Technology
Escoto Dairys McEachern Visual Arts
Johnosn Dakota McEachern Technology
Carmona Jose McEachern School Music
Connolly Zachary North Cobb Social Studies
Coutinho Kristen North Cobb Biology
Hubbard Nolan North Cobb Social Studies
Olle Laura North Cobb Design
Parsa Samira North Cobb Comm Arts
Smart Andrew North Cobb Music Voice
Thomas Michael North Cobb Visual Arts
Attaway Jacob Pebblebrook Dance
Burgess Kirby Pebblebrook Music Voice
Dow Kelsie Pebblebrook Music Voice
Garland Alexandria Pebblebrook Dance
Hamilton Kristian Pebblebrook Music Voice
Lee Jayson Pebblebrook Theatre Performance
Niemeier Hunter Pebblebrook Music Voice
Pinniger Paige Pebblebrook Dance
Primous Commodore Pebblebrook Music Voice
Welsh Matthew Pebblebrook Music Voice
Frew Alexander Sprayberry Theatre Performance
Sutherland Donald Sprayberry Social Studies
Borer Brett Walton Spanish
Fortier Madeline Walton Spanish
Kaplan Carly Walton Visual Arts
Raman Vineet Walton Spanish
Chiou Jonathan Walton Music
Hsia Jeffrey Walton Latin
Jang Dong Yoon Walton Latin
Jindal Nitish Walton Music
Ke Shannon Walton Music
Kim Julie Walton Music
Mori John Walton Music
Singh Shrish Walton Latin
Stasko John Thomas Walton Math
Achtani Karan Wheeler Math
Danneman Marianne Wheeler Comm Arts
Freaney Sophia Wheeler Music
Ji Alissa Wheeler Math
Kim Kyoo Wheeler Music
Kim Kyoung Wheeler Music
Maloney Grace Wheeler Latin
Nath Mirna Wheeler Biology
Varnedoe Kyle Wheeler Math
Vasay Naim Wheeler Technology
Piendel Adam Wheeler Design

Cobb has the third largest number of 2014 GHP finalists of all Georgia school systems, bested only by Fulton with 91 and Gwinnett with 82.

Submitted by Alison Coker, Advanced Learning Programs

CCSD Financial Services Division Earns Tenth Consecutive Meritorious Budget Award

mbaFor the tenth consecutive year, the Financial Services division of the Cobb County School District has earned the prestigious Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). Cobb is among just 127 U.S. school systems to be recognized for excellence in presentation of the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year budget.

Founded in 1910, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) is an educational association that supports school business professionals. The Meritorious Budget Award recognizes well-developed school system budget presentations that are easy for the public to access and comprehend, based on the following criteria:

  • Presents clear budget guidelines.
  • Promotes communication between departments and the community.
  • Encourages short- and long-range budget goals.
  • Supports effective use of educational resources

Congratulations to Chief Financial Officer Brad Johnson, Director of Accounting Jan Hendrix and the CCSD Financial Services staff for their efforts to exceed the national standards for budget presentation.

Brian DeVore of Mountain View Honored as Southern District Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year

DevoreMountain View Elementary physical education teacher Brian DeVore will be honored as the Southern District Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) at its 129th annual National Convention & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri, April 1-5. The Southern District represents 13 states from Virginia to Texas. The award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the elementary school level and the ability to motivate today’s youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.

Devore, a physical education teacher at Mountain View Elementary School for the past five years, will vie with five other district winners for the distinguished honor of National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. At the convention AAHPERD, Sportime & SPARK, innovators of equipment and evidence-based programs for physical educators, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of this Teacher of the Year awards collaboration.

The National Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award recipients will be announced on Friday, April 4 at the AAHPERD Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field. Olympic legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee will also be inducted into the AAHPERD Hall of Fame that evening.

“My success as a PE teacher is directly related to the success of my students,” said Mr. DeVore.  “I focus on creating innovative learning experiences that students of all skill levels can build upon.”

In addition to physical education class, he makes it a point to encourage physical activity throughout the day. Devore established a Let’s Move! Walking Week, giving students the opportunity to walk or jog on the school track before school begins. He also provides fellow classroom teachers with ideas for movement breaks for students and started a “3 O’clock” Club for his colleagues to be physically active together after school.

Every year, Devore co-coordinatesJump Rope For Heart events in February during American Heart Month and school wide physical activities May 1-7, during National Physical Education and Sport Week. His commitment to his profession and his students has resulted in Mountain View Elementary receiving the Georgia Governor’s Gold Medal School Designation through the Georgia SHAPE Program for the last two years.

Submitted by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)

Walton Art Teacher Kathleen Petka Named 2014 National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year

PetkaKathleenKathleen Petka, art teacher at Walton High School, was named 2014 National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year by the National Art Education Association. The award, determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes dedication from an NAEA member who sponsors an outstanding National Art Honor Society Chapter. Ms. Petka will receive the award at the NAEA National Convention March 29-31 in San Diego, CA.

NAEA President, Dennis Inhulsen states, “This award is being given to recognize excellence in professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated art educator. Kathleen Sneed Petka exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active in education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession.”

NAEA is the professional association for art educators. Members include elementary, secondary, middle level and high school art teachers; university and college professors; education directors who oversee education in our nation’s fine art museums, administrators and supervisors who oversee art education in school districts, state departments of education, arts councils; and teaching artists throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

In addition to her role as art instructor at Walton, Kathleen Petka also coaches junior varsity volleyball and is assistant gymnastics coach.

Kell High Robotics Team Earns Sixth Major Award at Regional Event

Kell_Robotics_Palmetto_Regional_2014

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 www.ascanationalmodel.org/ramp. 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 (www.schoolcounselor.org) 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.

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