Grade: 5th Grade
School: Gideons Elementary
Have you ever seen a child always with a book in their hand reading? Let me paint the picture of this phenomenal student who always finds the time throughout the school day to read just for fun. She is reading on a sixth grade level and completes all assignments with zeal and tenacity. She is passionate about learning and never gives up on a task. Her zeal and love of learning is remarkable. During the summer months, she is actively engaged at the Xanadu Program for high achievers and at the Galloway School for Savannah College of Art and Design Program.
Nadia is a natural born leader in every aspect. She tutors those in her class and she works with the younger students in the afterschool program. Her leadership skills are awesome as an active member of the student council, girl scouts basketball team, and the safety patrol. Nadia’s dedication to scholarship, leadership, service, character, and the community is noteworthy.
Nadia is a joy to teach as she soaks up everything like a sponge. She thinks outside the box and creates award winning projects. Nadia has won first place in the recent Fulton Public Library Abraham Lincoln essay contest. She was recognized by the Atlanta Falcons as a First Down for Fitness most valuable player for her commitment to exercising and eating healthy. She has also been recognized by the Atlanta Hawks for her first place essay on staying active. Nadia has been entering art contests and winning first place in the poison control poster contest, school bus safety contest, fire safety calendar contest, Atlanta Humane Society “Be Kind to Animals” poster contest, law week poster contest winner, Georgia Agriculture poster contest, Georgia manufacturing poster contest, Give Wildlife a Chance calendar winner. Congratulations Nadia!
written by April Key, Secretary and Communications Ambassador at Gideons Elementary
Grade: 1st Grade
School: Peyton Forest Elementary
Taylor Sanaa Finney is a first grader in Ms. Fuller’s class at Peyton Forest Elementary School. According to her teachers and administrators, she is an exceptional student who is always eager and ready to learn. Taylor is described as being attentive and determined, and she serves as a role model for her fellow students in all content areas.
Taylor doesn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to her classmates whenever possible. Her favorite subject is reading, and every morning she conducts a reading circle, where she assists students who strive to excel in reading. Outside of school, Taylor is an advocate for community service as she completes various service projects with her Girl Scout Troop. More than anything, Taylor says she enjoys volunteering at local retirement homes and community clean-ups.
Beyond the classroom, this star student is also a star athlete. As a member of the Atlanta Falcons Dream Jr. Cheerleadng Team, Taylor performs at Falcons games during the season. Taylor is no stranger to being honored for her efforts in school. She has received the Principal’s Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, and Citizenship Awards every semester since Kindergarten. She is also in the talent development program at Peyton, where she works with the gifted and talented teacher. When she grows up she aspires to work in fashion and begin a career in teaching because she wants to help kids learn.
Grade: 4th Grade
School: D.H. Stanton Elementary
Jovani is D.H.Stanton’s prized reading student as a participant of both the Reading Bowl and the Accelerated Reader competition. He will mostly likely be the only student to read 1,000,000 words in this year’s competition. Students read the books assigned and complete a comprehension quiz to get credit for reading. He is currently at 762,565 words and is on track to reach 1,000,000 by the end of the year!
His favorite subjects are reading and science, and he loves science fiction books because they are very creative and imaginative. “My favorite book is Red Pyramid, and it’s about magic,” says Jovani. “I would rather reading an exciting story than watch it on a TV screen.” Reading is his favorite hobby, and he reads before bed every night and even in the cafeteria during lunch at times. He understands the value of reading as he says, “Reading is important because you gain knowledge by reading different kinds of books, and it helps you get smarter.”
Jovani is bilingual, and speaks both English and Spanish. Although his family does not speak English, he is easily reading 6th grade-level books. “It’s impressive that he finishes all these thick books and scores a 100% on the comprehension quizzes,” says Brenda Street, Media Specialist at D.H. Stanton. “He is simply a model student, and I am proud of his accomplishments.”
School: B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School
Dionte West insists that he is just a regular kid. Never mind that he was the top-scorer on the school’s technology test. Pay no attention to the fact that he consistently exceeds or makes perfect scores on all standardized tests, including the CRCT. And forget about the eighth grader’s extraordinary skills as a poet. Despite Dionte’s modesty, it is clear that he is far more than “regular.”
Dionte came to B.E.S.T. from Mississippi as a seventh-grader. He describes his achievements during that year as the thing for which he is proudest.
“I received every award imaginable. I had medals and trophies from the school, from school partners, for everything. And it took a lot of hard work, so I was really excited to see everything come together, and know that it all paid off.”
As one of the school’s top students, Dionte’s resume is chockfull of activities and honors: school robotics team, B.E.S.T. Academy Golden Eagle Ambassador, track team, school chorus and debate team, “Reflections” competition winner and student peer mentor.
However, Dionte says that there is something he enjoys more than all of this—poetry.
“Poetry is a way for me to express myself without getting in trouble. I’ve had an interesting life, and I’ve been through a lot,” he says. “Poetry gives me a way to release what I’m feeling, and there is a never-ending list of words to help me make my feelings clear.”
Dionte says he spends most of his spare time reading. He describes reading as a great way to learn and “escape.” His current literary interest is Dante’s Inferno—a book usually assigned to high school juniors and seniors as a mandatory reading.
B.E.S.T. technology teacher Alva Hartry says, “Dionte is an all around student who gets along with everyone. He knows what he wants, he knows what direction he’s headed, and he knows what to do to get there.”