Friday, November 30, 2012

Dunwoody High School Journalism Students
Attend National Convention

Photo courtesy of Ms. Carter, DHS Newspaper Advisor; Picture taken on the site of the Alamo. 

Dunwoody High School journalism students and advisers recently attended the National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Convention held in San Antonio, TX. They went from session to session collecting new ideas to bring back to school. From convergence media to covering sensitive issues to the latest design tips, the days in Big Sky Country were filled. Click here to view the Convention Program.

Congratulations go to the Yearbook staff for their award from the National Scholastic Press Association of "First Class with Two Marks of Distinction" (in photography and design). The yearbook is currently in competition for NSPA's Pacemaker Award, considered by many to be student journalism’s highest honor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dunwoody High School Math Team News

Congratulations to Will Koval, Mallory Harris, and Jacky Zhu on their performance in the Kennesaw State University Mathematics Competition! 

Based on their first round scores, these three students have been invited to compete in the finals of the competition in January. Being a finalist is a very significant accomplishment in and of itself--the Kennesaw Competition is one of the two most prestigious statewide math contests in Georgia. Of nearly 2000 contestants, Will, Mallory and Jacky are among the top 175 students chosen as finalists, and this is the first time that Dunwoody has had multiple finalists in the same year. We'd also like to recognize with honorable mention sophomore Zack Bloomberg and senior Jamie Traner, both of whom narrowly missed making the finals.    

For more information on the contest, visit

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peachtree Charter MS Competition Cheer Squad

Takes 1st Place 

PCMS cheerleaders took FIRST PLACE in the Middle School Cheer Division in Stockbridge, Georgia as well as the Georgia Blast Cheerleading GRAND CHAMPIONS! Because of this, they were awarded a sweatshirt, a banner, and a bid to participate in the Inferno Spirit, Cheer, and Dance Finale in Jacksonville, FL this Spring.  

In addition, PCMS took first place in the jump competition (Elyse Connor), first place in the lib contest (Emma Sheehan, Alyssa Sullivan, Olivia Milam, Molly Taptich and Erin Zeigler) as well as the Georgia Blast Cheerleading winners of Best Jump Incorporation.

A special thanks goes to our wonderful coach, Ava Moore and congratulations to all of our cheerleaders: Alyssa Sullivan, Annie Wall, Ariana Cohen, Ashton Harbin, Belle Schindler, Christy Holloway, Elyse Connor, Emily Christensen, Emma Sheehan, Erin Zeigler, Ginna Feiman, Holley Leech, Jessica Gibson, Lauren Callihan, Maddie Srochi, Meaghan Pressnall, Molly Taptich, Naomi Mitchell, Olivia Milam, Sarah Wagner, Savannah Maddux and Taylor Pressnall.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dunwoody High School Math Team News

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Math Team on its performance in Round 1 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition!  In the opening round (there are five rounds total, spread out through March), the team placed 15th in the Southeast Region (covers 9 states). Dunwoody also has a second team that made the leader board, placing 29th.

Our leading scorer, senior Will Koval placed 18th individually. Bobby Karnick, John Riordan and Andrew Weatherly all scored in the top 100, and also making the top 150 scorers were Parker Hollander, Valeriya Savchenko, Craig Sturken and Jamie Traner.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Former Dunwoody High Standout Treavor Scales
Ends Harvard Career with Win Over Yale

Boston Globe:  Harvard Tops Yale In The Game 

Collton Chapple arrived from Alpharetta, via Greater Atlanta Christian High School. Treavor Scales signed on from Stone Mountain and Dunwoody High School.  The Georgia boys. At Harvard...Their presence, and impact on the program, even prior to Saturday’s 129th edition of The Game, was immeasurable.

Thanks to Steve Barton for "tweeting" out the link to the article.

AJC:  Metro Atlanta Pair Help Harvard Extend Streak

Neither Chapple nor Scales knew much about Harvard football until they got recruited. Choosing an Ivy school means foregoing football opportunities available elsewhere. Chief among those is the chance to compete in the playoffs or a bowl game. The Ivies banned postseason play decades ago; the world has changed since Harvard’s 1919 team won the national championship and the Rose Bowl. Still, Harvard offered opportunities other schools didn’t....“As a parent you say I hope he realizes what we’ve been teaching him as a kid, that education is first,” Steven Scales said. “When he said, ‘Dad, Mom, I want to go to Harvard,’ we said, ‘He gets it.’

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chesnut Changers:  Those Raked Leaves Are Piled Treasure

I love these updates from Chesnut Charter's Ecology Club, the Chesnut Changers.  If you would like to follow their blog, click here and enter your email information in the appropriate field.

This Thanksgiving season as brightly colored leaves fall from the trees, instead of thinking of them as a nuisance that you’ve got to gather up and put curbside, why not see them for the free resource they really are? Decomposed leaves are excellent mulch and all-purpose soil amendment for your flowers, lawn, favorite plants and vegetable gardens. Light and spongy, leaf mold compost has lots of air pockets, which encourage worms and other beneficial organisms to live in your garden soil. It is also slightly acidic, which can balance a pH problem in your vegetable garden if your soil is too alkaline (your pH is near 8 and you want to bring it closer to the 6.5 – 7 range).

At our November PTA Clean and Beautiful workday, Chesnut family volunteers and Chesnut Changer students joined forces to collect more than a dozen bags of leaves destined to be next year’s leaf mold compost. Meanwhile, Chesnut Garden Leader Carissa Malone opened eight bags from last year’s compost project, adding the finished leaf mold to the cabbage and garlic beds.

So doing, we kicked off a new Chesnut tradition: annual leaf mold composting to feed our school garden! Taking the abundance of our local renewable resources (fallen leaves from the school’s front lawn), and converting them into a soil conditioner for our veggie garden is a great example of a self-sustaining practice that anyone can adopt. Here’s how we do it:

Click here to read the remainder of the blog entry.

Friday, November 16, 2012

DCSD Releases Questions and Answers from Parent Roundtable Meetings

From DeKalb County School District Facebook Page:

A current list of questions and answers from the parent roundtable meetings can be found here: and accessed through the Parent Portal. Please note that we are in the process of securing some answers, and the document will be updated accordingly. Have a great fall break!

My note:  Prepare yourself...some of these answers are well, just sadly, a bunch of malarky.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chesnut Charter Elementary’s Robotics Team Shines in Practice Meet

Chesnut Charter Elementary's very first robotics team -- the CougarBots -- participated in a scrimmage event on Friday night, October 26th, at Freedom Middle School in Stone Mountain. The event was hosted by DeKalb County Schools, and members of the Fernbank High School Robotics Team were there to assist the participants with robot design and programming tips.

Click here for a link to a YouTube video that shows what elementary FLL Robotics competitions are like and for a photo of part of our CougarBots team at their scrimmage.

The First Lego League Robotics competition has three parts: robotics, research and development of a solution for the competition theme (this year, "Senior Solutions"), and presentation. In the robotics section, kids build robots from a Lego robotics kit, and then the robots must be programmed to run a pre-set course and perform some tasks.

The CougarBots presented a first draft of their plan to start a walking club for senior citizens in the Dunwoody North subdivision before an FLL judge. Our team was well prepared for this stage of the season, and he praised the students' creativity and presentation and gave them pointers to use for the FLL qualifying competition, which will be held in December. Go, CougarBots!
DeKalb County Schools and its Deficit
by Fran Millar on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 12:47pm
The link to this Facebook post was sent out via Twitter by Sen. Millar.  I hope it's okay to post.

We have eight Georgia school systems with fund balances as of June 30, 2012 in deficit positions. This means that school systems expenditures exceeded both revenue and available fund balances (reserves). In other words they have no money as of June 30th.

The good news is for seven of these school systems no one deficit exceeds $3.5 million. Most are under $150,000.

The bad news is DeKalb’s deficit is $14.5 million as of June 30, 2012. I have communicated this information to Mark Elgart (SACS). I am also sure it is substantially larger at this time.

All of these districts must submit a plan to the Georgia Department of Education detailing how they will get their budgets back in balance by June 30, 2013.

This appears to be another nail in DeKalb’s coffin. If SACS puts DeKalb on the step prior to loss of accreditation then the State can intervene.

It appears it is finally time for SACS to step up. Hopefully their evaluation of DeKalb will be done around Thanksgiving.

I also understand the forensic audit (in depth financial audit) commissioned by School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson through KPMG should also be available in the near future.

Bottom line as taxpayers with or without children in DeKalb Schools you need to be concerned.

No wonder 64 percent of DeKalb voters approved the state via the commission as an alternative authorizer of charter schools. It is called frustration with the status quo of mediocrity in the aggregate.

Senator Fran Millar

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dunwoody High School Cross Country News
Girls Team Wins AAAAA State Championship
Boys Improve from 15th to 12th Place
Courtesy of Coach Boucher and DHS News

History was made for the Dunwoody cross country team on Saturday in Carrollton at the 2012 GHSA State Championships. The boys led off the warm afternoon by improving on their 15th place team finish last year with a 12th place finish in the 5A race. The Wildcats were led by Blake Tiede (49th), Adam Christopher (55th), and Connor McKnight (61st). They were followed by the rest of the Varsity boys - Tyler Lu, Quinton Johnson, Cadmiel Velazquez, and Noah Goldstein. A great end to a great season for the boys team!

The girls then took the line in what was to be a tightly contested battle for the team title and for "podium spots" (top 4 teams). The girls steadily moved up throughout the race and when it was all settled, Dunwoody emerged victorious and earned their first ever State Championship! The girls finished with 86 points, and were followed by fellow Region rival Lakeside who finished second with 135 points. The girls were led by a State Champion, Alex Cameron, who finished first by 19 seconds. She was followed close behind by Kailey Williams, who finished fourth overall. Following close behind her were Ansley Heavern (16th), Erin Berger (25th), Kenzie Johnson (41st), Ann-Marie Sills (49th), and Jennifer Hardister (91st).

This was a great day of "Firsts" for the Dunwoody cross country program. Alex is the school's first individual State Champion, this is the girls first ever State Championship (2nd overall for the school - Boys - 1974), and the first team cross country championship from a DeKalb County school since 1982. Congratulations to the girls on their great performance, they have worked hard all season and stayed focused on their goals. It paid off with a DeKalb County Championship, a Region 6-AAAAA Championship, and, now, a 5A State Championship!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dunwoody Elementary Participates in
The Bert Show's "The Big Thank You"

Last year, Dunwoody Elementary School participated in The Big Thank You for the Bert Show. The purpose of The Big Thank You is that every single soldier stationed or deployed outside the United States deserves to receive a letter of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. DES wanted to give our troops a “Big Thank You” with a little taste of home this Thanksgiving. As part of the Skills Builder block, students created letters that were heartfelt, handwritten, original, and free of any political statements. The purpose of the letter is to express thanks to the military personnel currently deployed outside the United States. Students may include their mailing and/or e-mail address if they choose.

2nd grade students in Ms. Holbrook’s class: Left to right: Adleigh Rung, Madison Brown, Malisha Rahman, Blair Seigle with teacher Avis Holbrook

Mrs. Morris’ with her kindergarten class and their thank you notes to troops

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dunwoody High School Robotics Team News

Congratulations to Dunwoody Robotics team 1264B for winning the Design Award at the Vex Robotic Competition Saturday at Cross Keys High School. The members of 1264B are: Archish Chaturvedi, Tejas Sardar, Max Noto, Liam Eastham, Wilson Pu, Derick Santistevan, and Kenny Hoang.

Robotics Day at Farm Burger

After you vote on Tuesday, November 6, stop by the new Farm Burger in Georgetown Shopping Center and help support the DHS Robotics Club! A portion of all sales from 5pm to 9pm will be donated to DHS Robotics. Enjoy a delicious burger and support a great cause - everybody wins!!!