Friday, October 29, 2010

Clayton State Instructor/Economist/Author Mark Rogers to Speak at Peachtree City Library, November 6

Clayton State University’s Peachtree City instructional site, Clayton State – Fayette, is co-sponsoring a presentation at the Peachtree City Library by Clayton State adjunct faculty member and author/economist Mark Rogers. The presentation will be on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.

A resident of Peachtree City, Rogers is the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Economic Indicators” (2009, Penguin Books). The book covers the how-to of market watching, major economic indicators for the U.S., and Fed Watching. Rogers has extensive knowledge of how to track the U.S. economy, thanks to 19 years of experience as an economist and forecaster for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He has also authored the nationally-recognized “Handbook of Key Economic Indicators, Second Edition” (McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 1998; Chinese edition, 1999). He is currently senior U.S. economist for Econoday, providing current economic commentary on the web for traders and investors.

"We are fortunate to have such an accomplished instructor who can bring his real life experience into the classroom,” says Dr. Kevin Demmitt, Clayton State’s associate provost for Extended Programs. “Mark has a gift for presenting complex ideas in a way that they can be understood by students taking their first course in economics."

Demmitt also notes that Rogers’ abilities in teaching first-time economics students has been particularly valuable in Clayton State’s thriving Dual Enrollment program that allows high school students to take Clayton State courses for both college and high school credit.

“Economics is required for high school graduation, so Mark’s economics course is a popular one for our Dual Enrollment students,” he notes.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Graduation Rate at Top of Metro Atlanta School Systems

Fayette County has the highest graduation rate for metro Atlanta, according to figures from the Georgia Department of Education.

Fayette’s graduation rate for 2009-2010 is 94 percent, holding steady from the previous year. The county has increased its graduation rate by six points over the last seven years.

At 94 percent, the school system is soaring above other metro Atlanta systems by a point range of 4.3 to 27.7 percent. The other school systems include Atlanta, Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Forsyth County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County.

In addition to outpacing surrounding school systems, the county’s percentage of graduates is 13.2 points above that of the state (80.8 percent), whose rate rose 2 percentage points this year.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dr. Nobbie to Speak in Fayette Nov 16

The State of DD Services in Georgia Presented by: Dr. Pat Nobbie, Deputy Director of GA Council on Developmental Disabilities

ExceptionalOPS is pleased to announce that Dr. Pat Nobbie, Deputy Director of GA Council on DD will present information about the State of Services for people with Developmental Disabilities here in the State of Georgia. This may be the most important meeting you will attend this year. We need you to participate so that Dr. Nobbie can take our Fayette County needs message back to Atlanta. Please note, this meeting will take place on the THIRD Tuesday of November, the 16th!

Dr. Nobbie is the Deputy Director of the Georgia Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is responsible for conducting research on Council programs and initiatives, tracking state and federal budgets, coordinating the Council’s legislative agenda, and providing staff support to several Council contracts and projects, including Unlock the Waiting Lists which advocates for home and community based services and Partnerships for Success - a High School Inclusive Community project.

Dr. Nobbie will update us on the significance of the settlement of the recent lawsuit between the United States of America and the State of Georgia which resulted in the agreement by the State of Georgia to provide more community-based services for people with DD to be served in their local communities. Dr. Nobbie will also share information about the legislative budget and its effect on our population and is eager to hear our concerns and take them back to Atlanta for discussion.

Dr. Nobbie has worked on several policy initiatives in Georgia in the areas of healthcare, EPSDT, Direct Support Professional initiatives, Katie Beckett Program eligibility and funding issues, and the Champions for Children Initiative, a foundation created with state funds to provide relief for parents who are no longer eligible for Medicaid under Katie Beckett or other government programs. She has coordinated research on the impact of managed care on access to Medicaid. She also conducts several activities related to transition services and participates on the state DOE team that works on the state plan for transition. Because we hope that there will be a large attendance for this meeting, we have secured Grace Evangelical Church located at 164 Flat Creek Trail in Fayetteville as our venue for the evening. We’ll have signs out leading the way! For additional information call Janet Smola 770-631-1035 or 770-639-9169. Please consider attending this meeting. A large turnout will send an important message about the need for additional services in Fayette County.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sandy Creek One of Top High Schools in State for College Football

If you play football and aspire to advance to the college level, your best chances of getting there might be if you play for Sandy Creek High.

That’s what Steve Slay, a Georgia high school football fan and researcher with the Georgia High School Football Historians Association found when he complied data on schools throughout the state to see which were sending the most players into college ball.

With a total of 26 college players, Sandy Creek ranked #9 overall in a list of the top 14 Georgia high schools.

Slay also lists the top 10 schools for each classification. Sandy Creek ranked first in Class AAA. Both Fayette County High and Whitewater High made the top 10 for Class AAAA with 21 and 19 collegiate players, respectively. Fayette County is ranked #5 with Whitewater at #8.

The data is being highlighted in the next several issues of the Georgia High School Football Daily. Slay gathered data from college rosters online, so the information may not reflect complete accuracy.
Slay is continuing to research and tweak his data. When finished, he will post it on the forums at www.gavsv.com.

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Fayette County Moves Up in Ranking of Tech-Savvy School Boards

The Fayette County Public School System moved up a place nationally in the seventh annual Digital School Districts Survey by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association.

The school system placed seventh in the large student population category with more than 15,000 students. The purpose of the survey is to showcase exemplary school boards and districts’ use of technology to govern the district, communicate with students, parents and the community, and to improve district operations.

"We are honored to receive this award. It is a team effort on the part of our technology department, the staff at the schools, county level and our students and parents," says Acting Superintendent Fred Oliver.

All U.S. public school boards/districts were invited to participate in the survey. Schools were placed in three categories based on size of enrollment. The top 10 districts from each category received awards. Winners reflected those school districts with the fullest implementation of technology standards in the evolution of digital education.

The study examined and documented school boards and districts’ 1) online presence; 2) technology applications that allow the public to interact with school board members, administrators and teachers; 3) the public’s access to information such as school board calendars and district policies; and 4) technology use in the district and classrooms.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3rd Annual Hope Tea and Candlelight Service Honoring Breast Cancer Survivors to be Held at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center

The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network, Inc. (BCSN) proudly announces the 3rd Annual Hope Tea and Candlelight Service, which honors and remembers those who have lost their lives to breast cancer and celebrates those who are fighting and beating breast cancer. The Hope Tea and Candlelight Service will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 1:00 to 4:30pm at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center in Peachtree City, Georgia. All proceeds from this event will benefit local breast cancer patients and promote the BCSN mission “to provide assistance, education, and positive support services to patients before, during, and after diagnosis and treatment for and recovery of breast cancer.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Georgia, and it is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the US. In 2009 alone, more than 186,000 women and 1,700 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, and another 41,000 women and men lost their battle with breast cancer.

For this reason, the BCSN is hosting this event to celebrate and remember those in our communities who have been affected by breast cancer. The 3rd Annual Hope Tea and Candlelight Service will feature a unique menu of tea snacks by the Wyndham chefs, specially-designed jewelry and breast cancer quilt raffles, silent auction, and door prizes. Entertainment will be provided by Eric Lanford, a multiple Southeast Emmy Award winner and former CNN Headline News presenter.

In addition, prior to the Hope Tea there will be a Holiday Bazaar showcasing hand- crafted jewelry, linens, and other holiday gifts by local vendors. At the close of the Hope Tea, the BCSN will present three special awards and honor the local men and women we have lost this year with the Candlelight Service.

The Holiday Bazaar will be open from 1:00 - 2:30pm and immediately following the event, and the Hope Tea and Candlelight Service will be held from 2:30 -4:30pm. Limited sponsorships and vendor booths are still available. Tickets are $30 and are on sale now. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door, so please call the BCSN Office to reserve your seat and order by credit card or check. Reserved tables of 8 people are for sale for a $15.00 discount off the total price.

You can have your loved one’s name listed on the program and read aloud during the “In Memory of” and “In Honor of” portions of the candlelight service for $5 per name. Members of the community can also support local Breast Cancer Survivors through this event by making a general donation to the BCSN or by making a donation to sponsor a Breast Cancer Survivor Ticket (for a local Survivor who would not otherwise be able to attend). All contributions are fully tax deductible, and all donors will receive a tax receipt.

The BCSN is a Georgia-based, volunteer-led 501-(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides cancer programs, services, and supplies to underinsured and underserved patients locally and across the state. With more than 35 support groups, we have the largest breast cancer support group system in Georgia. Additionally, we have eight “Hope Closets” to provide surgical and other supplies to patients, with the largest Hope Closet serving patients in the Southern Crescent.

To make a donation or for more information about this event or about the content contained here, please contact Janet Beebe or Chloe Maaske of the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network, Inc. (BCSN ) at 770-487-4396.

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DECA Officers Elected at Whitewater High

Photo: (L-R, front row) Yanna Banks, Emily Layland, Lia Poulson
(L-R, middle row) Erin Mahlbacher, Danielle Jordan, Mikayla Stewart
(Clockwise, back row) Alex Resnak, Drew Huelfer, Tanner Sweatman, Kayla Maxwell




Members of the Whitewater High DECA Club have selected their 2010-2011 slate of officers. The officers were elected based on their leadership, character, and devotion to the club.

The new officers are Drew Huelfer and Danielle Jordan (co-presidents); Erin Mahlbacher and Lia Poulson (vice presidents of social activities); Mikayla Stewart (vice president of communication); Alex Resnak (vice president of recruitment); Emily Layland (secretary); Yanna Banks and Kayla Maxwell (historians); and Tanner Sweatman (team assistant).

Each of these officers has completed the DECA officer-training program provided by Georgia DECA. The officers and their advisor, Krystin Glover (Georgia DECA Board President), will attend an officer retreat this fall at Camp Calvin.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fayette Schools and United Way Help Set a New World Record

A total of 3,000 Fayette students in grades kindergarten through fourth joined other students around the world on October 7 to read Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snowy Day.” By doing so, they were among the more than two million children who helped break a world record of the most people reading the same book.

Spearheaded by the United Way and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, the reading initiative brings together children and adults to read the same book, on the same day to emphasize the power of reading. Research shows that children who learn to read well at an early age will read more independently, achieve more in math, social studies and science; and are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher education.

The United Way of Fayette and Coweta Counties presented the school system with a certificate of recognition for students’ participation in the worldwide event.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Sara Harp Minter Students Study Early Exploration

(l-r): Connor Ferguson, Maggie Gaston, Kate Flanagan, and Burt Young of Mrs. Falzone's fourth grade class

Fourth grade students at Sara Harp Minter Elementary have been studying Early Exploration of the Americas.  Their studies culminated by choosing a minimum of 3 detailed projects on Early Exploration. 

Projects reflected their understanding of challenges and problems solved by early explorers who had limited technology to guide them. Students created New World Menus, paper mache' globes showing routes taken by explorers, built ships reflective of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and showed their artistic abilities by drawing monsters, giant creatures, and mermaids in the ocean.

Photo source:  Sara Harp Minter Elementary School

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Fayette County School System Participates in Shoebox Project

Dignity, hope and confidence are what employees of the Fayette County Public School System have packed into shoeboxes for neighbors in need.

Human Resources Director Dr. Reaneé Ellis, serving as an ambassador for the United Way of Fayette County Shoebox Project, put out a call for help with collecting 200 decorated shoeboxes filled with personal care items for homeless women and children. It did not take long before the shoeboxes started pouring in countywide from teachers and staff members, parents and students, student clubs, cafeteria staff, bus drivers, after -school program groups, entire schools and departments, the superintendent-elect and the interim superintendent, board members, and so many more. Dr. Ellis even enlisted the support of her college classmates, family, personal friends and sorority sisters.

Many of the schools made this a teachable moment through their character education programs. Cafeteria staff sat down and packed shoeboxes after they finished serving nutritious meals to students. Bus drivers parked their buses and dropped off shoes boxes at the front desk. Teachers sent emails to Dr. Ellis telling her that more and more boxes were ready for pick-up. This was truly a superb collective show of support from a hugely benevolent family of school district employees.

“We have really given back to our community in a BIG way. Today, our shoebox donation total is 356 and we have promises of even more. I appreciate the effort our Fayette County Public School System family put into this project. It is such a blessing to be able to offer tangible support to our community in this way. It is an equally great blessing to work with people who care so deeply about those who are just a little down on their luck right now,” says Dr. Ellis.

She said that a statement from one donor who said, “I could have opted to just send you funds but the sacrifice of time made to actually do the shopping was, what I consider, a part of the blessing”, especially touched her.

Among the local organizations that will receive the shoebox care packages are Fayette Youth Protection Home, Fayette County Department of Family and Children’s Services, Fayette Care Clinic, Fayette Senior Services (Meals on Wheels), The Real Life Center, Promise Place, Exceptional Ops, and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

The school district hopes the community will continue to support this initiative throughout the year by dropping off decorated shoeboxes and separately decorated box lids at the receptionist desk at the central office on Stonewall Avenue. The boxes can be filled with: (For Adults) travel size lotion, sun protector, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, tampons, panty liners, travel size water bottles, re-sealable zipper storage bags, travel size baby wipes, deodorant, toothbrush and tooth paste, hair comb/brush, lip balm, hand towel, travel size hand sanitizer, travel size tissue pack, non-alcoholic mouthwash, rain poncho, pre-paid phone cards, dental floss; (For Children) coloring books, pencil sharpeners, toys, children’s socks, crayons/pencils, barrettes, elastic bands, etc., children’s toothbrush and small books.

Photo source:  FCBOE

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Oktoberfest Planned at Life Enrichment Center October 25

The public is invited to celebrate Oktoberfest at Fayette Senior Services Life Enrichment Center, Monday, October 25, 5 to 8 p.m. The festivities include a German polka band, authentic German foods prepared by Executive Chef Donnie Wuerl and Pastry Chef Lori Bean, as well as traditional beverages. Tickets are $15 per person and may be purchased at the Center located at 4 Center Drive, Fayetteville. Advance ticket sales only. Proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit Fayette Senior Services, a non-profit organization.

Guests will also be given the opportunity to help "grow" the future “Therapeutic Garden,” scheduled to be built adjacent to the Life Enrichment Center. Engraved memory bricks and pavers to be placed in the garden will be available for purchase, as well as a variety of unique gifts and traditional German pastries from the “Bavarian Bake Shoppe.”

For more information about the event call 770-461-0813 or visit www.FayetteLifeEnrichment.org.

Fayette Senior Services, Inc. (FSS), a non-profit, 501.c.3 organization, provides services that help Fayette County’s older adults maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. Programs include Meals on Wheels, Transportation, In-Home Personal Care/Homemaker Services, Case Management, Adult Day Care, Information & Assistance, Home Repair, and Medical Equipment Lending. For active older adults, Fayette Senior Services Life Enrichment Center offers a wide variety of social, leisure, fitness and recreational activities, the Ultimate Caf√©, and more! FSS programs are focused on total wellness – body, mind, and spirit – to help older adults age well and live well in our community. For more information about FSS visit www.FayetteLifeEnrichment.org.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peachtree City's The Fred hosts Jack O'Lantern Contest, Halloween Event

‘The Fred’ is once again planning a spooktacular Halloween party and wants you to be a part of it. Kids and adults alike are invited to decorate or carve your best pumpkin design and enter into our second annual jack-o-lantern carving contest at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater. The contest is in conjunction with the “Not so Frightful” Storytelling and Halloween Party on Saturday, October 23 beginning at 2 pm.

Bewitching prizes will be awarded to the winners of the creepiest, funniest and most creative designs in the kids category (up to 12 years of age) and adults (13 years and older).

The pumpkins will be on display at the ‘Fred’ during the “Not so Frightful” Storytelling and Halloween Party. Judging will take place on Saturday morning, Oct. 23 and winners will be announced that afternoon at the event. All pumpkins must have the following information attached to the bottom: Name, address, phone # and age. We will begin accepting jack-o-lanterns at The Fred Box Office on Thursday, Oct. 21 with a deadline of 5 pm on Friday, October 22.

Kids and their families are invited to attend the second annual free storytelling event and take part in lots of fun activities including safe trick or treating, costume contest, storytelling and more. Performers include the return of well-known storyteller and folk singer Erik Litwin, magician Ken Scott, and a visit from My Reptile Guys.

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10th Annual Harvest Yard Sale & 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar

Calling all bargain hunters! Visit over 50 yard sales in one location at the 10th Anniversary Harvest Yard Sale on Saturday, October 23rd from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Sponsored by the Fayette County Parks and Recreation Department, this community-wide sale will be held at the Activities House parking lot at 980 Redwine Road in Fayetteville. Shoppers at past sales have come from Norcross to Macon, Lithonia to Luthersville and everywhere in between. All booth space has been sold! FREE admission and parking for all bargain hunters! All vendor booths for the Harvest Yard Sale are SOLD OUT!

The Harvest Yard Sale will feature a fundraising booth for the Fayette County Special Olympics. The goal of the Fayette County Special Olympics is to help bring persons with intellectual disabilities into the larger society under conditions whereby they are accepted, respected, and given the chance to become useful and productive citizens. When we achieve this goal through our sports program, we demonstrate that Special Olympics has a unique value: to show the world that every person counts and that every person can be something good when we work together.

Also, the 3rd Annual Fayette Holiday Bazaar & Bake Sale will be held on November 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Kiwanis Center, 936 Redwine Road, Fayetteville.  The holiday season just wouldn't be the same without a 3rd Annual Fayette Holiday Bazaar where handcrafted crafts and home-baked treats can be found, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Local crafters will put their unique homemade crafts on display and sell their wares to Fayette visitors and local residents looking for that special gift.

Homemade items at the Bazaar typically include handmade jewelry to knitted clothing, wooden toys, quilts, arts & crafts, gift baskets and holiday arrangements (cornucopias, wreaths, and centerpieces).....and don't forget the delicious home-baked confections and treats!  Booth space will be available for craft & bake sale vendors.  . Booth spaces are still available for craft & bake sale vendors for the Holiday Bazaar. Registration deadline is October 16 or until full.

For more information about the Harvest Yard Sale, Holiday Bazaar & Bake Sale or Fayette County Special Olympics, please call the Fayette County Parks & Recreation Department at 770-716-4320 or visit www.fayettecountyga.gov/parks_and_recreation.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Africa Inland Mission U.S. Headquarters to Move to Peachtree City Pending Sale of Current Headquarters

Africa Inland Mission (AIM) announced this week that Peachtree City, GA, will be the new location for their U.S. Headquarters pending the sale of the current headquarters in Pearl River, NY.

In an email announcement to mission members AIM’s U.S. Director, Dr. Ted Barnett, said AIM’s U.S. Council decided unanimously on the new locale, a decision that came after more than a year of seeking God’s direction and researching potential locations. Peachtree City was the area that best fit the criteria set by AIM’s U.S. Council when the decision to move the headquarters was announced in May of 2009.

Factors contributing to the decision were access to the Atlanta International Airport, housing prices within the range set by AIM’s U.S. Council, and the identification of an office facility well-suited to the mission’s needs.

The Pearl River School District has contracted to purchase AIM’s current headquarters for use as its administrative offices, and a community vote to approve the bond to fund the purchase is scheduled for November 23, 2010.

“Should that vote pass, there are no other known hurdles to closing on the Pearl River property, which would be anticipated before the Christmas holidays this year,” said Dr. Barnett. “If the Pearl River property closes, it is anticipated that the Peachtree City property will close on or before December 31, 2010.”

The planned move of the Pearl River office is anticipated to be in August 2011.

“We would ask that you pray for each person affected by this transition -- particularly our staff,” said Dr. Barnett. “The date that most impacts on our future right now is the school district vote on funding the bond on November 23, 2010. Pray that God will be glorified in the entire process.

“We look forward to more effectively contributing to the establishment of churches among all the unreached peoples of Africa from Peachtree City, GA.”

Africa Inland Mission is an evangelical Christian mission agency serving in over 20 African nations and dedicated to seeing Christ-centered churches established and thriving among all African peoples.

Starr’s Mill High says: ‘Run and Tell That!’

Starr’s Mill students Stephanie Tobacco, Dillon Roseen, Amy Docalavich and Eddie Harris at rehearsal for their upcoming production of “Hairspray.”

What gives a girl power and punch? Is it charm? Is it poise? If you ask the cast of Starr’s Mill High School’s 2010 musical production, they’ll tell you, without a doubt, it’s “Hairspray”!

A diverse cast of more than 40 students, under the direction of David Spearman, SMHS’s longtime theatre teacher, will be singing and dancing their way through “Hairspray,” the award-winning Broadway musical comedy on Nov. 11, 13 and 14 at Duke Auditorium. Starr’s Mill has gained a reputation for producing professional caliber musicals, year after year, and this is one you definitely won’t want to miss!

Spearman, who is in his 10th year at Starr’s Mill, said he thought “Hairspray” would be the ideal musical to follow last fall’s “Guys and Dolls,” “Grease” (Spring 2009) and “Damn Yankees!” (Spring 2008).

“There is an abundance of talent here at Starr’s Mill,” Spearman said. “I thought ‘Hairspray’ would be the perfect outlet for all of our students, as it would provide the opportunity for our diverse student body to get involved and shine.”

With music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman, “Hairspray” the musical is based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name. It tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a pleasantly plump teenager in 1960s Baltimore whose one dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local television dance program. With spunk and determination, Tracy wins a role on the show and becomes a celebrity overnight, all the while trying to win the affections of teenage heartthrob Link Larkin. All is not smooth sailing, however. When Tracy realizes black teens are not allowed on the show, she leads her friends and family on a march against the TV station that lands them in jail.

Starr’s Mill students prepared songs and monologues during the summer, and auditions took place the first week of school. The students have been rehearsing every day since, as well as on weekends. All told, by the time the curtain opens on the first performance, the students and their teachers—director Spearman, along with choreography director Courtney Savage, music director Christy Todd and orchestra director Dr. John Odom—will have spent more than 150 hours in rehearsal.

In addition to the student cast, professional actress Kayce Grogan-Wallace, 30, will join the students to reprise her role as Motormouth Maybelle, who she portrayed in Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of “Hairspray” this summer at The Strand Theatre in Marietta. Fans of both the Broadway musical and the movie will no doubt be dancing in their seats as the cast performs more than a dozen songs from the award-winning score, including “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” “The Nicest Kids in Town,” “It Takes Two,” “Run and Tell That” and “Welcome to the Sixties.”

“Hairspray” performances at Starr’s Mill are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 13, and 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Duke Auditorium, 193 Panther Path, Fayetteville. Tickets cost $10 for students and $12 for adults.

On Oct. 26, SMHS “Hairspray” cast members will be on hand for a fundraising night at Chick-fil-A in Wilshire Pavilion on Highway 74 South. Purchases made between 5 – 7 p.m. will directly benefit the musical, helping to offset production costs. Everyone is invited to attend.

For more information, contact the school at 770.486.2710.

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Burn Headlights to Support After School Programs Oct. 21

Burn your car’s headlights on October 21 to support “Lights on Afterschool” and the nearly 1,400 elementary-aged students and their families who rely on the Fayette County Public School System’s After School Program (ASP) for a safe alternative to staying at home alone.

The Afterschool Alliance’s 11th annual Lights on Afterschool is a national event that calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources required to keep the lights on and the doors open to programs across the nation.

Celebrations will take place in after school programs throughout the county with family nights, poster design contests, and ASP tours.

Fayette’s ASP has been in operation since 1987 under the auspice of the Fayette County Board of Education and the guidance of various national organizations such as the National Afterschool Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the Georgia School-Age Care Alliance. The program has grown from 250 students serving nine elementary schools at its inception to nearly 1,400 students today at 17 elementary schools.

ASP is not only a great alternative to daycare, but it also gives parents peace of mind. It is a safer option than entering a home alone, and has been shown to reduce opportunities for latchkey kids to engage in criminal, delinquent or inappropriate behaviors or become victimized by predators. It has also been shown to improve achievement and promote a better attitude toward school.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blue Jeans Net Donation to FACTOR

Accepting the donation from Fayette County Acting School Superintendent Fred Oliver is (left) FACTOR Executive Director Becky Smith with Barbara Serapion (far left), FACTOR board member, and Donna Wright, of the school system’s finance department, looking on.

Employees at the Fayette County Public School System love blue jeans and a good cause. A total of $3,000 was collected for Fayette FACTOR (Fayette Alliance Coordinating Teamwork, Outreach and Resources) during jeans days at schools across the county.

In exchange for wearing jeans to work on a non-casual day, employees gave a donation to benefit Fayette FACTOR. The organization’s mission is to bring all areas of the community together to build a safe and healthy county. The school system’s donation will be used to help support the non-profit’s initiatives including Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Prevent Child Abuse Fayette, Fayette Meth Task Force and ENCORE, a senior adult leadership program.

Donations made to Fayette FACTOR are tax deductible. Anyone wishing to help the organization can make donations payable to Fayette FACTOR, P.O. Box 142518, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Contact Executive Director Becky Smith for more information, 404-291-1602 (office cell).

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Volunteers Needed at Gracie's Closet

Gracie’s Closet, the clothing and supply resource center of Fayette Youth Protection Homes, Inc. (FYPH), needs volunteers to organize and distribute clothing and other items to children living in foster homes on the south side of metro Atlanta. Volunteer duties include sorting clothing donations and assisting foster children when they “shop” for items in the store. If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a child and can commit to volunteering on a weekly or monthly basis, please contact Becky Davenport at 770-461-7020. Gracie’s Closet is located at 101 Devant St, Suite 502, Fayetteville, Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Additional information about Gracie’s closet is available at the organization’s website at www.fyph.org or by visiting Fayette Youth Protection Homes on Facebook.

Sandy Creek SkillsUSA Members Win Awards at National Fair

Members of the SkillsUSA Georgia chapter at Sandy Creek High proved that they are champions during the annual Champions Rally at the Georgia National Fair in Perry October 8.

The school’s chapter brought home four awards, including a first place victory in Chapter T-shirt Design. Each year SkillsUSA Chapters create t-shirts that show off their chapter spirit. The t-shirts were judged on creativity and visual appeal; every member had to wear their chapter t-shirt to the SkillsUSA day at the fair as part of the judging criteria.

As the first place winner, the chapter’s t-shirt will be on display through the duration of the fair, which ends on October 17.

A fourth place award was earned in Chapter Banner Design. Students were charged with designing a banner that promoted chapter pride and unity while focusing on the SkillsUSA vision and mission.
A fifth place award was achieved in Pathway Poster Design. The objective of this competition was to create a poster that accurately represents the career pathways incorporated into SkillsUSA (architecture, construction, communication, transportation, public safety, and cosmetology).

Additionally, the chapter won fifth place for Overall Outstanding Chapter.

Last month chapter members earned Statesman Awards at the 2010 SkillsUSA Georgia Fall Conference. Colin Westover was one of 25 statewide members who made a perfect score on the Statesman Award test, an evaluation of a participant’s knowledge about SkillsUSA facts, history, programs, and ceremonies. Both Bria Carmichael and Jonathan Strickland were among 105 statewide members earning Statesman Awards by passing the test with an 85 percent or higher.

The fall conference allowed members the opportunity to increase their leadership abilities, professionalism, community service, and the skill to be a greater champion in their chosen career pathway. Sandy Creek’s Addie Davis was among the eight-member State Officer Team that organized the conference’s activities.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps high school and college students enrolled in career and technical education programs to excel by teaching employability skills such as communication, problem solving, and leadership in conjunction with their trade, technical and service occupations skills.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don’t Miss Out on a Free Pizza and Oil Change to Help Fayette’s Teachers

Back by popular demand, 2010 Enjoy the City Coupon books featuring a free Papa John’s Pizza and free oil change from Firestone Complete Auto Care are available for purchase at the Fayette County Board of Education, 210 Stonewall Avenue West in Fayetteville.

The books cost $10 with proceeds going to benefit the Fayette County Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports public school teachers by providing mini-grants for teacher-driven classroom projects. Over $180,000 in grant money has been given to the county’s teachers to date.

Only 35 of these books are left so hurry to get one before they sell out. For only $10, they are a bargain, and the free items more than cover the cost.

The books also feature a number of “buy one, get one free” deals and discounts from local restaurants and businesses such as Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, La Hacienda, Sonic, LaParrilla, and many others. The coupons are good until December 31, 2010.

Families can also enjoy savings on entertainment like “buy one, get one free” Atlanta Braves game tickets and free general admission to Zoo Atlanta with the purchase of a ticket. There are many discounts on services such as car rentals, dry cleaning and hair care.

The Fayette County Education Foundation is nonprofit organization and is a cooperative effort between the school system and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the foundation or Enjoy the City coupon books, contact Melinda Berry-Dreisbach, public information specialist for Fayette County Schools, 770-460-3535.

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Brooks Proclamation of Constitution Week to Local DAR

The Brooks City Council recently presented a proclamation for Constitution Week to the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Pictured  in the back (l-r) are Steve Hayne, Mayor Dan Langford, Bob Rolader, Scott Israel and Todd Speer.  Front (l-r) are James Waldrop Chapter DAR members Bebe Moore and Serenah Tyson.

The James Waldrop Chapter DAR is chartered in Fayetteville, GA.

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Number of Fayette County AP Scholars Top National Average

The College Board has released the results of the 2010 Advanced Placement (AP) exam results, rigorous exams that test student performance on college-level courses offered at the high school level. Of the 1,183 Fayette County Public School students who took the exams in the spring of 2010, 273 achieved an AP Scholar designation.

AP exams provide the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement in college or both, for successful performance on the AP exams. According to the College Board, about 18 percent of the nearly 1.7 million students worldwide who took AP exams performed at a sufficiently high level to earn an AP Scholar Award. In Fayette County, 23 percent received AP Scholar designations, topping the national average by five percent.

To qualify as an AP Scholar with Distinction, students must earn an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Fayette County had 70 students in this designation.

To qualify as an AP Scholar with Honors, students must earn an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. The school district had 58 students qualifying for this award.

To earn a designation as an AP Scholar, students must complete three or more AP exams with grades 3 or higher. A total of 145 students met the criteria for this honor.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Avenue Helps CARE Provide After School Program Scholarships

The Avenue Marketing Manager Kim Tanalgo-Minshew (right) and The Avenue Peachtree City Merchant Relations Coordinator Lisa Hernandez (left) present the donation check to CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler.

Many working families are facing financial hardships, making it difficult, if not impossible, to pay for necessities such as after school care for their young children.

Thanks to the generosity of The Avenue Peachtree City and its patrons, CARE (Children at Risk in Education), a program of the Fayette County Public School System, is able to After School Program (ASP) scholarships to families of elementary-aged students enrolled in the system’s schools.

The Avenue Peachtree City raised over $400 this summer through Movies in the Park and Music in the Park. Although the events were free, the shopping center offered patrons the opportunity to purchase popcorn or glow necklaces for $1, with all proceeds benefitting CARE. Southern Outdoor Cinema donated the popcorn and The Avenue donated the glow necklaces.

“We are very fortunate and appreciative to have the support of The Avenue and its patrons. These are difficult times for our working families. Many have been forced to take pay cuts or jobs that pay well below what they were making. Now they are struggling with necessities like what to do with their young children between the end of the school day and when they get home from work. The scholarships are a way we can help with that struggle,” says CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler.

The scholarships pay for a portion of the ASP tuition for a limited number of weeks. Parents have to pay the other portion of the tuition in order to receive the scholarship.

The Avenue Peachtree City has scheduled several upcoming events where patrons can make donations to CARE to help with ASP scholarships throughout the school year. On Friday, October 15, families can watch the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon.” Children’s entertainment and giveaways begin at 6 p.m. followed by the movie at dusk. Popcorn will be sold for $1 with all proceeds benefitting CARE.

Also, there will be a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 30 from 3-5 p.m. with trick-or-treating at the stores, free crafts and complimentary photos by Wolf Camera. Donations for CARE will be accepted throughout the event.

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FUMC Preschool Rings in the 223rd Anniversary of the Constitution with DAR

The four year old class of the First United Methodist Church Preschool and Mother's Morning Out of Fayetteville joined in the recent patriotic celebration of the U.S. Constitution. 

The class was eager to show the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution their patriotic spirit as they rang bells in honor of the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

Pictured are members of the 4 year old class with James Waldrop Chapter DAR member Phyllis King.
 
The James Waldrop Chapter DAR is chartered in Fayetteville.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Rotary Club Donates Dictionaries to Third Graders

Third graders at North Fayette Elementary cannot wait to start looking at the pages of their brand new dictionaries. Pictured (L-R) are Arnold Campbell, Jordun Green, C.J. Okpala, and Kennedy Neely.

Receiving their own personal Webster Dictionary was as exciting as getting a million dollars for third grade students across the county.

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Peachtree City, all 1,426 third graders in the Fayette County Public School System received their own personal dictionary as part of the club’s Dictionary Project aimed at helping students become better readers, writers and learners. The organization has handed out dictionaries to the county’s third graders for a number of years.

“I have had high school students tell me that they still use the dictionaries they received in third grade. I’ve even heard about a college student who is still using his,” says Rotary member Karen Stephens, community services director-new generations.

Students are receiving their new Webster dictionaries just in time for Dictionary Day, October 16, in honor of Noah Webster, the father of the American Dictionary. He was born on October 16, 1758.

The Fayette County Public School System thanks the Rotary Club of Peachtree City for all they do to support the county’s schools, and encourages students and their parents to celebrate Dictionary Day by cracking open their new dictionaries and learning some new words together.

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Friday, October 08, 2010

A Flush Worth $500

Rotary representatives recently visited Starr’s Mill High to present the $500 check. Rotary Club members Karen Stephens and Pam Young (center) presented the check to teacher Jenny Kelly and Principal Audrey Toney as teacher Todd Little (far right) and students Casey Slaggert and Kevin Thomas looked on. Both Jenny Kelly and Todd Little sponsored the students’ entry. Not pictured is Carol Thomas. 

The old saying, “flushing money down the toilet,” might change to “flushing money from the toilet” after three students won $500 for their school with their medical toilet prototype, “Dr. John.”

Starr’s Mill students Casey Slaggert, Kevin Thomas and Carol Thomas came up with the idea as a project for the Future Fayette 2030 Contest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Peachtree City.

The toilet is an improvement on a version that Toto, a Japanese toilet manufacturer, developed that analyzes urine, blood pressure, temperature, and weight. The improved student model also sends data directly to a physician who can authorize in-home treatment using nano-bots, all while the patient sits on the toilet.

The students won first place and each received a net book. A cash prize of $500 was also awarded to the school.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Winter Residents Flock to Peachtree City Early This Year

Drifting high in the sky in their majestic flights, two winter residents of Peachtree City have returned for the season.  Although it appears to be early this fall, two adult Bald Eagles have come back to Fayette County for the winter.  I expect we'll see more coming back soon.

It's a wonderful sight to see these residents return each year. 

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Sara Harp Minter Elementary Raises Money for Relay of Life

Pictured on front row from left to right: Clayton Nelson, Joshua Oubre, Kazley Gilreath, Ella Hall, Addyson Corley and Olivia Owen. Back row from left to right: Mrs. Paulk, School Social Worker, Mrs. Harris, Kindergarten Teacher and Mrs. White, 3rd Grade Teacher.

Students and Faculty at Sara Harp Minter Elementary joined together in participating in the school's first Relay for Life Ice Cream Social which raised $500.00 for SHME's Relay for Life Team.  The Relay for Life Team will continue to raise money during the school year and all proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society in May when the Relay for Life takes place.

In addition to this fund raiser, the Relay for Life team will be sponsoring a used book sale Dec.1st and 2nd at SHME.  For donations or purchasing of books, please contact Mrs. Corley, corley.eileen@fcboe and visit the school's web page, http://www.saraharpminter.org

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Fayette Youth Protection Homes Names New Board President

Bill Webb, President of Fayette Youth Protective Homes, Inc. and Becky Davenport, Executive Director of Fayette Youth Protective Homes, Inc.

Fayette County resident, Bill Webb, was recently appointed President of the Fayette Youth Protection Homes, Inc. (FYPH) Board of Directors. Fayette Youth Protection Homes is a private, non-profit organization which offers refuge and supportive services to children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect. Bill Webb will serve as President of the Board of Directors for one year.

He and his wife Lou reside in Fayetteville. They are the proud parents of three young adult children; Murray, Taylor and Elizabeth. Mr. Webb is the Senior Loan Officer/ Senior Vice President of Community Capital Bank in Jonesboro, Georgia. He has served as a member of the FYPH Board of Directors since 2004.

Visiting the Fayette Youth Protection Home’s Friday-Johnson group home in Brooks, Georgia has become a regular activity for Bill and his Sunday school class from New Hope Baptist Church. The residential group home offers children ages 6 through 17 comprehensive services in a loving, homelike environment. A typical visit for Webb and his group includes providing a home cooked meal, some games or entertainment, followed by some Christian fellowship. The entertainment has occasionally been Webb himself playing the guitar; a hobby he started as a young boy. Recently his guitar playing inspired several of the children who are currently residents of the home. They told Webb that they wanted to learn how to play the guitar themselves. Knowing how important music has been in his own life, Webb inquired with local music stores for guitar donations, after several phone calls, he found a local beneficiary, Greg Mayo, of GregsGuitars.net. Mayo’s own upbringing makes him very empathetic with the children in the Friday-Johnson group home. Thanks to the request from Mr. Webb, four guitars were donated by Mayo and the children are now learning how to play guitar.

When Mr. Webb was asked what he would like the residents of our area to know abut the children in residence at the local group home, he replied, “The children there are heart grabbers. Despite their circumstances, they have a rosy outlook on life and they do not feel sorry for themselves. They are normal kids who want normal kid things. If we can just keep them body and soul together through their stay at the Friday -Johnson home, provide them with an excellent Fayette County education, they will be fine. They will go to college and they will be fine.” Three prior residents of the Friday-Johnson group home have graduated from Fayette County high schools and are currently enrolled in college. According to Bill Webb, “They now have a better chance at a great life. We will never fully understand or know the twists and turns of the lives of the children. We do know that the youth in our home sometimes struggle to just keep body and soul together. They are in the storms of life and the most important thing we do is to be there for them. Helping them to feel and know the love of caring adults who want them to succeed is extremely rewarding for those that do it.”

The Fayette Youth Protection Homes, Inc. was founded in 1986 by a group of Fayette County citizens who recognized the need for children to have a safe place protected from abuse and neglect. Through a contract with Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes, FYPH provides the clinical services and staff for children who have been displaced from their homes. Children are provided housing in a home owned by FYPH in Brooks, Georgia. The group also supports a comprehensive, privatized foster care program for children of all ages. For more information regarding the Fayette Youth Protection Homes, Inc., to become a donor, a volunteer, or to learn more about becoming a foster care family, please contact Becky Davenport, Executive Director, at 770.461.7020 or via the groups website at www.fyph.org.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Marketing Teacher Elected to State and National Posts

Whitewater High’s marketing teacher, Krystin Glover, has been selected to serve at the state and national level to help with the advancement of career and technical education.

The membership of the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education elected her to serve on the board of directors as vice-president of the Marketing Education division. Her term will be for two years.

In addition to serving on the board of directors, Glover will co-chair the Public Relations Special Committee.

Glover was also elected to serve on the Young Professionals Task Force of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), a national organization.

While serving on the task force, she will help determine how ACTE can encourage newer or younger members to join by analyzing the products and services the organization offers, and what gaps exists; developing a list of products and services ACTE should offer; surveying the younger, newer members on the developed list of products and services; and building and creating a session at the ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo geared toward younger and new members.

Task force members serve as long as it takes to accomplish their tasks, which can be anywhere from several months to several years. Members volunteer to serve and are selected based on experience and expertise.

Glover has taught marketing at Whitewater High for five years, and serves as the school’s DECA advisor and school store operator.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Whitewater Teachers Win Makeovers from The Avenue Peachtree City

Because of your votes, two Whitewater High teachers are sporting some glam looks after winning a makeover contest sponsored by The Avenue as part of its ongoing Partners in Education initiative.

Math teacher Jacqueline Mullen and healthcare science teacher Julie Wolfe represented Whitewater High in THE STYLE upGRADE challenge that was sponsored by The Avenue and Cousins Properties last month. The teachers were among 10 from the metro-Atlanta area chosen by their schools to participate.

Pictures of the teachers and their profiles were posted online, and people were asked to vote for the two teachers they wanted to win. Mullen and Wolfe had the highest number of votes.

Whitewater High’s Advanced Marketing class, a total of 21 students lead by teacher Krystin Glover, developed public relations tactics, promotional materials and online strategies to promote the contest. The class was also responsible for selecting two of the school’s teachers to participate. They did so by distributing self-nomination applications to all teachers, and interviewing each one based on pre-determined questions from The Avenue.

“THE STYLE upGRADE has been a great way for our students to obtain hands-on marketing experience while recognizing two deserving teachers. The Avenue’s continued support allows us to give our students opportunities to apply their skills outside the classroom and engage the community,” says Glover.

The teachers received their makeovers on September 30 at The Avenue Peachtree City. Talbots and White House Black Market provided their new wardrobes; hair and makeup was courtesy of Ici Paris Day Spa and Salon. The Memory Cottage took complimentary before and after photos of the winners.

“We were thrilled with the way the communities and students came together to support their teachers. The impressive number of votes the teachers received shows that students went above and beyond in their marketing efforts,” says Kim Tanalgo-Minshew, marketing manager of The Avenue Peachtree City.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Fayette Middle Student Wins Annual Plains Postcard Contest

Julie Bustamante is congratulated by President Jimmy Carter as the first place winner in the 7th grade division of the 11th annual Plains, Peanuts and a President Postcard Contest.

The 39th U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jimmy Carter, shook hands with Fayette Middle seventh grader Julie Bustamante, congratulating her as a first place winner in the annual Plains, Peanuts and a President Postcard Contest.

The former president honored Julie’s first place achievement during an awards ceremony at the annual Peanut Festival in Plains on September 25. She received a certificate and a signed copy of one of President Carter’s books.

Julie designed her postcard as part of a classroom project in Ellen Mitchell’s art class. Artwork had to be drawn on an index card and was required to contain at least one image or drawing of a peanut and something about Plains or President Jimmy Carter. Julie’s drawing featured a portrait of the former president along with peanuts and the Georgia flag. Her artwork can be viewed online at www.jimmycarter.info under “In the Spotlight.” She won first place in the seventh grade division.

Around 12-15,000 postcard entries were received statewide from students in grades K-12. A first, second and third place winner was chosen for each grade level.

The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Education Program sponsors the contest. It continues the dream of Ms. Julia Coleman, President Carter’s favorite teacher. She always incorporated many types of student activities for the betterment of students. President Carter quoted Ms. Coleman in his Inaugural address in 1977 and once again in 2002 when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway.

Photo source:  Fayette County Board of Education

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Semifinalists in National Achievement Scholarship Program More than Triple in Fayette County

The number of Fayette County semifinalists in the 2011 National Achievement Scholarship Program has increased 150 percent over last year. A total of seven students have been named to the list compared to two in 2010.

Onyekwere Eke and Linsey Jackson, both of Fayette County High; Seyi Amosu and Elana Burton, both of Starr’s Mill High; Kevone Hospedales, Whitewater High; and Camara Carter and Alaisha Wellons, both of Sandy Creek High, were selected from more than 160,000 students from all parts of the U.S. who requested consideration in the program when they took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as high school juniors.

These students are among the 1,600 Black American high school seniors nationwide who were selected as semifinalists in the 47th annual scholarship program.

To advance to the finalist level, semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, earn SAT scores that confirm the PSAT/NMSQT performance, and write an essay. The semifinalist and a school official must also complete a scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s participation in school, and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and educational goals.

Approximately 1,300 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level in the 2011 program. Every finalist will compete for one of 700 one-time National Achievement $2,500 scholarships as well as 100 Achievement Scholarship awards underwritten by corporate and business sponsors for those who meet criteria set by the grantor.

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