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15 Gwinnett students named Gates Millennium Scholars

15 Gwinnett students named Gates Millennium Scholars

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A record 15 Gwinnett County high school seniors have been named 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars.

The honor is given annually to some of the top minority students in the U.S. It includes a full scholarship to the college of the student's choice and additional funding for graduate work.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999.

Gwinnett County's recipients include:

Oluwatomisin Adelusi
Brookwood HS
Will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Micheline Amisi
Archer HS
Will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Brian Chung
Peachtree Ridge HS
Will attend Dartmouth College

Jonathan Conde-Peraza
Meadowcreek HS
Will attend Emory University

Paula Deroseney
Dacula HS
Will attend Emory University

19 Gwinnett high schools among America's Most Challenging

19 Gwinnett high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Nineteen Gwinnett County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

Fights in high schools: Gwinnett County

Fights in high schools: Gwinnett County

(WXIA) -- Last week, 11Alive News received a shocking video clip from a viewer. The footage showed a teenage boy being repeatedly punched in the face in a locker room at Parkview High School.

WATCH | Teen beaten at school

The video prompted an investigation into reports of violence and fights in Georgia's public schools. The Georgia Department of Education provided 11Alive News with four years' worth of discipline incident reports for every school in the state.

WATCH | 11Alive's Doug Richards investigates violence at school

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Brookwood HS educator named Spanish Teacher of the Year

Brookwood HS educator named Spanish Teacher of the Year

SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- Mary Meyer has been named 2014 Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgia Chapter.

Meyer teaches AP Spanish and Honors Spanish III at Brookwood High School in Gwinnett County. She moved to Georgia in 2005 after more than 30 years of teaching in Orange County, Fla.

"This award is one of the most prestigious for K-12 Spanish in Georgia, and we are absolutely thrilled for Mary and all the students lucky enough to be in her class," Jon Valentine, Gwinnett County Schools' director of foreign languages, said in a release.

It is hardly Meyer's first teaching award. She was named Florida Foreign Language Association State Spanish Teacher of the Year in 1985 and is a five-time recipient of the Orange County Pride Award for Foreign Language Teaching. She has also won Gwinnett County's Foreign Language PEAK Award twice.

Gwinnett Tech president Sharon Bartels to retire

Gwinnett Tech president Sharon Bartels to retire


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Sharon Bartels, who has served as president of Gwinnett Technical College since 1996, will retire May 1.

Bartels has led the school during significant growth. Gwinnett Tech now has nine buildings -- seven more than in 1996 -- and plans to open a satellite location in north Fulton County in early 2015.

A committee to find a new president will likely be announced in early April, according to Technical College System of Georgia spokesman Mike Light.

An interim president will be named at the appropriate time, Gwinnett Tech spokeswoman Dana Urrutia said.

Bartels, 59, told the Gwinnett Daily Post in a 2013 interview, "When you're my age, and you look at what's important about life, you see your family."


Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include: