Monday, February 25, 2013

Dunwoody High JV Quiz Bowl News

Congratulations to the DHS JV Quiz Bowl team on its performance in the JV State tournament this weekend! The team went undefeated in the prelims, earning the #1 seed in class 5A! Unfortunately, we fell to the #8 seed in the quarterfinals of the single elimination playoffs. Our high scorer on the day was team captain Varsha Narendra, but the entire team of Ryan Polk, Kendall Lowrey, Zack Bloomberg, and Parul Rai made important contributions and exhibited some scrappy, clutch play that led to our earning the #1 seed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Advanced Placement Honor Schools Announced

The Georgia Department of Education has announced the 2013 AP Honors Schools. Among the list of Honor Schools are the following Dekalb Schools :

AP Merit : Schools with at least 20% of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of three (3) or higher
  • Chamblee
  • Dunwoody
  • Lakeside
AP Access and Support: Schools with at least 30% of their AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African- American and/or Hispanic and 30% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher
  • Chamblee
  • Cross Keys
  • DeKalb School of the Arts
  • Druid Hills
  • Southwest DeKalb
  • Stone Mountain
 AP Challenge: Schools of 900 or fewer students with students testing in four of the core areas (English, math, science, and social studies)
  • DeKalb School of the Arts
  • Elizabeth Andrews
AP Stem: Schools with students testing in at least two (2) AP math courses and two (2) AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science) 
  • Arabia Mountain
  • Cedar Grove
  • Chamblee
  • Columbia
  • Druid Hills
  • Dunwoody
  • Lakeside
  • Stephenson
  • Tucker High
AP STEM Achievement: Schools with students testing in at least 2 AP math courses and 2 AP science courses and at least 40% of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of three (3) or higher
  • Chamblee
  • Druid Hills
  • Lakeside

Click here to view all GA AP Access and Support Schools
Click here to view all GA AP STEM Schools
Click here to view all GA AP Challenge Schools
Click here to view all GA AP STEM Achievement Schools
Click here to view all GA AP Merit Schools

Peachtree Charter Middle Students Named To Honor Band

Congratulations to Kathryn Allen, Andrew Ford, Nina John, Eli Morey, Nina Stecker, Zoe Szczesniak and Chloe Thomas for being selected by audition, for this year's District IV Honor Band.  Thank You to their teachers Mr. Shores and Mr. Hickman!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dr. Laura Neely Named Principal at Kittredge Magnet School

Good morning KMS Families, 

My name is Dr. Laura Neely and I am thrilled to be the new principal at Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers! Over the next few weeks I will be transitioning from Oak Grove Elementary where I have served since 2010. Prior to being principal at Oak Grove, I was the Assistant Principal at Kittredge from 2007-2010 and a teacher there since 2001. Gifted/high performing students and instructional technology are my passions in education (check out the new Kittredge Twitter link below). I am so excited to return to such an amazing school!

I look forward to working closely with you in the coming months and weeks as we finish out the 2012-2013 school year, the school's 25th year in existence! I am honored to serve at a place with rich tradition, outstanding instruction, and amazing high achievers.

Early next week, I will communicate with you regarding my presence in the building and the date on which that will become permanent. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dunwoody Elementary Teachers Nominated for

National LifeChanger of the Year

Mrs. Elaine Mach, Second Grade Teacher, and Mrs. Connie Blair, First Grade Teacher, at Dunwoody Elementary School in Dekalb County have been nominated for the National ‘LifeChanger of the Year’ by students, parents, and coworkers. This is a national educator recognition program.

Each year, the LifeChanger of the Year program recognizes and rewards ten school district employees and educators who make a positive difference in the lives of students.

Mrs. Mach and Mrs. Blair were nominated by students, fellow district employees, and parents who gave a description of why they have made a positive impact in the lives of students.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 personal cash award along with a $5,000 donation to his or her school. The remaining LifeChangers will also receive personal cash prizes and school donations on a tiered level. 

LifeChangers will be recognized in early March.

The nomination period for the 2013 – 2014 program will re-open on April 1, 2013.

Nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, principals, or any member of the school's staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students.

To learn more about LifeChanger of the Year, visit

Dunwoody Elementary Students

Capital Art Exhibit 2013

In celebration of Youth Art Month in the State of Georgia, the Capital Art Exhibit was created to recognize and honor the accomplishments of art students in our state. Roy Nitzan & Itai Shefler, 5th grade students at Dunwoody Elementary, were selected by art teacher, Laura Fleury-Bell to participate in this wonderful event. This was the opening exhibit for Youth Art Month in March. There was a reception held at the Floyd Twin Towers building, across from the State Capital, on Wednesday, February 13,2013. Mrs. Fleury-Bell, Roy, Itai, and their families attended the exhibition & were amazed by all the incredible student artwork! They were even lucky enough to meet Fran Millar, the state senate representative from Dunwoody! Congratulations Roy & Itai!

Photo from our Capital Art Exhibit visit.  Fran Millar (center) is pictured with the Nitzan & Shefler families of Dunwoody Elementary
 (left to right): Roy Nitzan, Fran Millar, Itai Shefler, Laura Fleury-Bell.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dunwoody Elementary Mourns the Loss of

Teacher, Brenda Evans


Dunwoody Elementary School is mourning the loss of one of their beloved teachers, Mrs. Brenda Evans. Mrs. Evans had 39 years teaching experience in DeKalb County and 8 years outside of DeKalb. She always had a kind smile and a witty personality and will be truly missed by everyone. She loved children and was nominated for Teacher of the Year this year at Dunwoody. The funeral for Mrs. Evans will be Saturday, 2/16/13, at 1:00 in Lithonia, Ga.
Click here if you wish to leave a condolence via the AJC.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dunwoody High Math Team

Rocket City Mathematics League Contest

We are very excited to report news from Round One of the Rocket City Mathematics League Math Contest!  

Senior David Heavern placed 60th in the Comprehensive Division (the highest level which includes calculus problems). We also had 3 students place in the top 200, seniors Andrew Weatherly and Ryan Weinstein, and junior Mallory Harris. In the second highest division (which covers through advanced algebra), freshman Parul Rai also placed in the top 200.   

The Rocket City contest is sponsored by the Mathematics National Honor Society Mu Alpha Theta and includes over 4000 participants from schools all over the world. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Items of Interest from Around DCSS

  1. Don’t forget to tune into tonight’s DCSS Board of Education Meeting tonight. Click here for the agenda. 

  2. A quick look of the Human Resources Report indicates there were 252 resignations/retirements  to report.  A lot of positions to fill for DCSS.  Are there enough qualified applicants? 

  3. Rep. Scott Holcomb announced today the February 21st Georgia Board of Education Meeting/DCSS BOE Hearing will be webcast live beginning @ 8:00 a.m. 

  4. Fall 2012 ITBS Scores have been posted.  Click here to view Elementary school scores.  Click here to view Middle School scores. 

  5. School Choice Enrollment Begins Today.  H.B. 251 Transfer Schools have been identified.  Of local interest, Dunwoody Elementary has 6 open seats and Chamblee Middle School has 12 open seats. 

Rep. Tom Taylor To Introduce Bill to Create Separate Dunwoody School System

Step #1 to separate our schools from DCSS begins.  This may be the hardest and longest "battle", but it is one that must be fought. While the battle for a City of Dunwoody school system begins and continues for what may be years, we must have other options with which to remove our schools from the management of the DeKalb BOE and School System.   We cannot afford to wait on this legislation, we must take action now - the education of our children and the health of our City are at stake, I believe.  Perhaps we can utlize the Charter Amendment?  Research to follow.  I am not sure about the Parent Trigger bill making its way through the GA House, as there does not seem to be any appeal process if the request is denied by the DeKalb BOE.  Again, more research is needed.

Posted by Joe Earle
Reporter Newspapers

Rep. Tom Taylor says he soon will introduce legislation to create a separate school system for the city of Dunwoody. His proposal will call for an amendment to the state Constitution, he said. The bill he plans to introduce would be voted on by state lawmakers in 2014 and, if approved, call for a public referendum on the amendment in the 2014 election.

“It’s a huge uphill battle,” Taylor said.

The Dunwoody Republican told members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association during the group’s monthly meeting on Feb. 10 that amending the state Constitution is difficult. “The threshold is very high,” he said.

Click here to read the remainder of the article from the Dunwoody Reporter.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Michael Thurmond New DCSS Interim Superintendent

Vote was 7-2 with Jester and Speaks voting no.  The vote to accept the separation agreement with Dr. Atkinson was 5-4, Orson, McMahan, Jester and Speaks voting no.

Below is Michael Thurmond's biography.  You will notice he has ZERO education experience.

To the DeKalb BOE - I give up.  Congratulations - you win.  You have destroyed my once-proud school system. I have now come to the conclusion that this school system cannot be fixed.  Those that can will now be more determined than ever to find, by whatever means necessary,  a mechanism by which we can create school cluster/districts that will be independent of DCSS - I have now joined that fight.

Michael Thurmond is an attorney at Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, a nationally known civil trial practice firm that has four times set the record civil jury verdict in the State of Georgia and also obtained for its client the largest collected judgment in U.S. history.

He has distinguished himself as an attorney, author, lecturer and public servant.
Thurmond graduated with honors from Paine College with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and religion and later earned a juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina's School of Law. He also completed the Political Executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his legislative tenure, Thurmond authored major legislation that has provided more than $250 million in tax relief to Georgia's senior citizens and working families.

Following his tenure in the legislature, Thurmond was called upon to direct Georgia's historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative Workfirst program, which has helped over 90,000 welfare-dependent Georgia families move into the workforce, saving more than $100 million in tax dollars that have been reinvested in childcare, training and other support services.

In 1997, Thurmond became a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The following year, he was elected Georgia Labor Commissioner.

During his three terms as labor commissioner, the Labor Department went under a significant transformation in customer service and efficiency. Unemployment offices were transformed into state-of-the-art Career Centers focused on getting jobless Georgians back to work as quickly as possible.

Thurmond's latest book, Freedom: Georgia's Antislavery Heritage, 1733-1865, was awarded the Georgia Historical Society's Lilla Hawes Award and the Georgia Center for the Book listed Freedom as one of The 25 Books All Georgians Should Read. He presently serves on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dunwoody High Math Team

Mandelbrot Competition Update

We have results from Round 4 of the Mandelbrot Mathematics Competition:

In Round 4, our top team scorers were Na Yoon, Ryan McGannon, Ryan Polk, Jamie Traner, Will Koval, David Heavern, Jack Trump, and Thomas Dellaert. 

After four rounds, DHS is ranked 15th in the Southeast Region (includes Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas,), and our 2nd team moved up a spot to rank 22nd.

Individually, Will Koval is on the overall Leader Board in 32nd place. Additionally, David Heavern, Thomas Dellaert, and Parker Hollander are ranked in the top 100 in the region, and in the top 150 we have Giang Ha, Erik Van Winkle, Craig Sturken, Wesley Dixon, Andrew Weatherly, and Jamie  Traner.

The contest has one more round to go at the end of February. Go Wildcats!

Dunwoody High Robotics Team Qualifies for World Competition

Congratulations to Dunwoody Robotics team 1264B for winning the Design Award at the Vex Robotic Competition in Lawrenceville. The Design Award at this VEX Event qualified 1264B for the World Competition in Anaheim, CA in April. Great Job 1264B!

The members of 1264B are: Archish Chaturvedi, Tejas Sardar, Max Noto, Liam Eastham, Wilson Pu, Derick Santistevan, and Kenny Hoang.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dunwoody High School Academic Quiz Bowl Teams

Take 2nd Place at

Locust Grove Academic Quiz Bowl Tournament

Congratulations to the Dunwoody High School Varsity and JV Quiz Bowl teams on their performance in the Locust Grove "Challenge in the Grove" Academic Quiz Bowl Tournament this weekend. Both teams brought home 2nd place trophies.  Our varsity team consisted of Thomas Dellaert, Captain Erin Thomas, Jacky Zhu, Mallory Harris, and Saakya Peechara. Our JV team was Captain Varsha Narendra, Gerardo Romero, Parul Rai, Ryan Polk and Zack Bloomberg. Stop by the Dunwoody High School front office to take a look at the trophies! Way to go Wildcats!
Dunwoody HS Varsity Quiz Bowl Team
From Left to Right:  Thomas Dellaert, Captain Erin Thomas, Jacky Zhu, Mallory Harris, Saakya Peechara
Dunwoody High JV Academic Quiz Bowl Team
From Left to Right:   Captain Varsha Narendra, Gerardo Romero, Parul Rai, Ryan Polk,  Zack Bloomberg

Peachtree Charter Middle School News

Academic Quiz Bowl, DCSS Spelling Bee Champion and Orchestra News

The Peachtree Charter Middle School Academic Quiz Bowl Team competed at the state academic bowl tournament for middle schools, sponsored by the PAGE Foundation, on January 26, 2013. It is with great pleasure that we recognize their achievement as 9th place finishers among 24 of the best teams in Georgia! Congratulations go out to eighth graders, Patrick Clinch, Ryan Wirtz, Nate Lee, Katrina Balga, Ruzan Durawella and seventh graders, Jacob Starks and Alex Eldridge. This is the first time in Peachtree Charter history that a team has made it this far! 
Anne Simonetti, 7th grader at Peachtree Charter Middle, is the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Spelling Bee winner. Anne, along with 6 finalists, will represent DCSD at the Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The Spelling Bee will be held at the Administrative Instructional Complex (AIC). 
PCMS is proud to announce Orchestra winners:  Joy Hsien for All-State and Joyce Yun for Georgia Honors. Congratulations!