The Durham team couldn't help but "high five" after 'Georgia Month' was signed into existence!
Thanks to the efforts of Durham Middle School students BethAnn Shires and Ryan Mulkey and teachers Thomas Panter and Mandy Martin, the entire state of Georgia will celebrate the first-ever “Georgia Month” in September 2012. Governor Nathan Deal signed a resolution March 27 establishing September as a statewide month of Georgia history and character education, with the team from Durham (and some important allies) alongside him.
So how did a pair of inquisitive eighth graders turn an idea into reality? BethAnn and Ryan approached their Georgia history teacher Thomas Panter with a vision for honoring the character values and accomplishments of Georgia founder James Oglethorpe. Through research, they discovered the long-dormant recognition of Georgia Day, established in 1909 to celebrate statehood on Feb. 12 each year. BethAnn and Ryan, with assistance from Mr. Panter and Langauge Arts teacher Mandy Martin, drafted a letter to Senator Steve Thompson, proposing a new concept for Georgia Day that celebrates character and positive choices during the month of September. Sen. Thompson jumped at the idea, visiting Durham Middle School to work with the team at Durham to draft a new Georgia Day resolution for the state Senate! The resolution swiftly passed both the Senate and House, arriving on the desk of Gov. Deal.
Beth Ann and Ryan’s idea impressed Gov. Deal so much, he proposed expanding Georgia Day into an entire month of celebrating Georgia’s history and the positive character traits exhibited by Georgians, past and present. Both students, along with Mr. Panter, Ms. Martin and their families were special guests at the State Capitol on March 27 for the resolution signing. The Senate recognized BethAnn and Ryan on the floor for their hard work emphasizing the importance of character in Georgia. A gallery from their visit is below:
Gov. Nathan Deal was flanked by Ryan Mulkey, BethAnn Shires, Thomas Panter and Mandy Martin during the resolution signing.
The Durham team couldn’t help but “high five” after ‘Georgia Month’ was signed into existence!
Cobb County legislators joined the Durham Middle School team to watch Gov. Deal sign the ‘Georgia Month’ resolution.
Durham Georgia history teacher Thomas Panter listened as Sen. Thompson discussed the ‘Georgia Month’ resolution with Gov. Deal
Ryan and BethAnn, along with their families and teachers, watched the Senate open its proceedings for the day.
Sen. Thompson took the Durham team and their families on a tour of the Senate offices at the State Capitol.
Sen. Lindsey Tippins, BethAnn Sires, Ryan Mulkey and Sen. Steve Thompson
Ryan and BethAnn were all smiles as they experienced government in action, along with Durham principal Dr. Susan Galante.
Durham student Ryan Mulkey and principal Dr. Susan Galante met Senator (and former Cobb Board of Education member) Lindsey Tippins at the Capitol.
“It is a true belief of the Cobb Performance Learning Center that the education of each student should be a combination of the GPS in addition to lifelong lessons that will assist the students in becoming great citizens. Many times, history is taught in isolation from students’ day-to-day lives. We understand the importance of teaching the “whole” student which means that there must be a connection between what is being learned from the textbook to what the student deals with daily.
The Power of Peace lesson recently conducted in Melissa Campbell’s U.S. History class was an excellent example of our core belief and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The purpose was to get students to closely analyze the actions of previous leaders so that they could better understand how to deal with trials and tribulations that they encounter on a daily basis. The students were able to choose any historical figure from our current GPS. They also had choice of which NCSS Theme the focus would be placed on. All of the students did an excellent job but one product stood out to me the most.
Student Jake McKool decided to create a short but powerful story of the Power of Peace by using technology and the MovieMaker software. His focus was on the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s role. The thematic standard that he chose was “Individuals, Groups & Institutions.” He divided the story into three sections which include the struggle of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, the peaceful strategies taken by African-Americans and the ultimate gain due to peaceful protests. Jake used photos along with colors, for both the photos and narrative, to change the mood and focus throughout the video. In the end, he was able to understand the relevance of history as it impacts his life. Perhaps more importantly, the assignment has helped him make different choices that are more conducive to him having a fulfilling life.”
Submitted by Elaine Bush, Cobb Performance Learning Center
“Awesome – four pups and they have all their fins,” said 5th grader Brycen Downey at Wheeler High School last Thursday, March 15.
Downey helped remove the pups from a female dogfish shark in Wheeler Center for Advanced Studies’ Post-AP Advanced DNA Genetics Lab. While Downey and his classmates are not regular students in the Wheeler Magnet Program, they worked with the high schoolers to dissect sharks in the lab. The 4th and 5th grade Target students from Powers Ferry elementary school are studying sharks and how sharks’ anatomy compares to human anatomy. Last week, they donned goggles, aprons, and gloves and spent the day with 11th and 12th grade Post-AP DNA Genetics students to study DNA and the internal parts of dogfish sharks.
Under the supervision of Wheeler Biology and Genetics teacher, Maggie Kelavkar, and Powers Ferry Target teacher, Kristine Anderson, the high school students used scalpels to open the sharks, and the elementary students used probes to pull back tissue and remove organs. The dogfish, a common shark found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, is frequently used for lab studies.
“The shark’s liver is huge, but the heart is smaller than a peanut – it only has two chambers,” said Damariz Ortiz, a 4th grader who hopes to become a veterinarian.
Mrs. Kelavkar, who is collaborating with elementary school students for several lab activities, and Ms. Anderson have collaborated on other projects over the years.
Two years ago, the Target students dissected sharks and last year they dissected frogs. “The kids really like being in a real science lab and working with the older students,” said Ms. Anderson, “but this is the first time we’ve ever dissected a female with pups.”
Mrs. Kelavkar hopes to involve the elementary students in more projects with genetics techniques, giving the students more hands on science experience. This will “peak their interest in science at a very young age and build a generation of science literate citizens.” “Working with the younger kids is a great opportunity for vertical alignment of the curriculum as well as sharing resources in a time of economical crisis.” Mrs. Kelavkar’s Genetics Students “wowed” the young elementary students with bacterial transformation, which is taking a gene of interest (gene that controls the production of a green protein) from one organism (Jelly-fish) and cloning it into bacteria ( E.coli). Mrs. Anderson’s students had a lot of questions about how the transformation is done. “How can we make bacteria glow? Can we make insects glow?” “These questions tell us that we have sparked an interest, and as teachers we can take it to the limits,” says an excited Mrs. Kelavkar.
After their lab experience, the Target students toured the high school and learned more about the Center for Advanced Studies in Math, Science and Technology Magnet program. A’niya Abdulsamad, a 4th grader planning to become an OB GYN, said, “I definitely want to apply for the Magnet school and play in the band.”
Entry submitted by Wheeler High School Biology and Genetics teacher Maggie Kelavkar and Powers Ferry Target teacher Kristine Anderson
Floyd Middle School eighth graders researched various careers and discussed educational requirements and skills associated with those careers in a Career Fair on Tuesday, March 6. More than 500 guests (students, parents, visitors) visited the fair and learned firsthand from the students, who were dressed in related career attire. Students were eager to share verbally what they learned because oral speaking skills were a part of their assessment as well as the research itself. In addition to a tri-fold visual display of the students’ chosen careers, students created a brochure for their guests which provided highlights of the career, interesting facts, training, and education. Students were prepared to answer many questions about the careers. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade language arts teachers and students worked collaboratively and rigorously on college and career readiness skills resulting in this real world experience!
Submitted by Teresa Hargrett, Floyd Middle School principal
Watch the video below to learn about the Cheatham Hill Elementary Drama Club’s production of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book!’ The club will perform Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 17, both at 7 p.m. at Cheatham Hill. Admission is $2.00.
The Kincaid Elementary School Honor Chorus is preparing to debut its spring musical, The Grim Twins, the story of a sibling pair coping with the loss of their parents and learning about acceptance. Watch a video feature below from Fox 5 Atlanta:
Teacher Dr. Walt Griffith works with Wheeler horticulture student Tiffany Cowart.
The Wheeler High School Horticulture program will conduct its Spring Fall Plant Sale Saturday, March 24 and Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The student-cultivated plants for sale include annuals, perennials, house plants, hostas, tomatoes, peppers and other offerings. Proceeds are used for field trips and continuation of the horticulture program. Additional offerings include antiques, art, garage sale items and more. Parking is available at the Greenhouse located on the South Drive between the Old Church Building and the Magnet Building.
Horticulture instructor Dr. Walt Griffith has conducted the horticulture sale since 1996, maintaining the same prices for 16 years! Dr. Griffith is planning to retire at the end of the school year after 52 years in education.
What has been proven to boost test scores and improve classroom behavior, while reducing tardiness and trips to the nurse’s office? School breakfast! Yet in the race to get to the head of the class, many students forget the importance of jump starting their school days with a morning meal. To highlight how eating a balanced breakfast at school can help students succeed, the Cobb County School District is hosting “School Breakfast – Go for Gold.” The campaign will be appearing in school cafeterias during National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9, 2012.
Every school day, Cobb’s breakfast program offers students the healthy foods they need to get set for a busy school day. Every school breakfast served meets and exceeds federal nutrition standards.
Healthy school breakfasts can be a lifesaver for busy parents too. “It’s a race for any family to get their kids ready, fed and out the door in time for school,” said Cynthia Downs, Registered Dietitian and Executive Director. “Knowing that your child can eat a healthy breakfast after they get to school can be a huge relief for parents.”
Mabry Middle School is currently promoting its upcoming performances of ‘Annie Jr.’ March 22 and 24 with a student-produced movie trailer. The trailer is being shown during the morning news and announcements broadcast in all Mabry classrooms. Click below to watch!