Salutatorian Caroline Albright (pictured right) plans to major in International Relations and Foreign Affairs in college. She is an IB Diploma Candidate and was president of both the Raider Beta Club and the Model UN team. Albright served on the school's Governance Council as one of two student delegates. She volunteers as an AP World History tutor and also at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Albright participated in the Harvard Summer Program and the Close-Up trip to Washington, D.C.
Raiders Sending Two to Governor's Honors
Congratulations to Daniel Steinberg & Kyle Weil for being selected for the prestigious 2015 Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP). GHP is a summer residential instructional program for intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students. Steinberg (Physics) and Weil (Technology) will spend four weeks this summer at the program held at Valdosta State University. Those attending GHP are nominated by teachers, and then must pass two rigorous interviews and/or auditions. Less than 1% of Georgia’s high school students qualify for this honor. To glimpse how competitive the process is, more than 50 Raiders received nominations this year, ten were Semi-finalists, and two were chosen to attend from Riverwood. Congratulations to these students and their teachers.
March 2015 Headlines
SkillsUSA Broadcast TV teams Win at Region & State Competitions
Congratulations to the award-winning Raider SkillsUSA Broadcast TV News teams. At the Region 3 competition in February, two TV teams won. Freshmen Hal Olson and Jamie Prentice won 2nd Place for Broadcast TV Production and Chelsea Cliette, Christin Jackson, Aleksa Veselinovic, and Molly Lautares won 3rd place in Broadcast TV News. Other Region 3 Raider winners were Brenston Buckner and Hannah Kelly who finished 2nd place in Digital Cinema.
The State competition took place March 26-28 at the Georgia International Convention Center. The Broadcast team of Aleksa Veselinovic (director), Alanis Ariama (floor director), and anchors Molly Lautares (not pictured) and Natalie Peek won 3rd place in the State.
|State Broadcast TV Team|
Reflections Winner Advances to National Competition
Congratulations to Junior Nicole Nichols for her winning visual arts entry in this year's Reflections contest. Her artwork titled "Wishing" was recognized as a State winner at the Georgia Reflections Program held Sunday afternoon, March 22 at the Woodruff Arts Center. Results of the National competition will be announced May 1, 2015.
Science Olympiad Team Medals at State Competition
Congratulations to the hard-working Raider Science team for their strong efforts at the 2015 Georgia Science Olympiad Tournament. Following their 2nd place finish at the Regional competition held at the University of West Georgia in mid-February, the team advanced to the State contest hosted by Emory University on Saturday, March 21. David Goldfarb and Ananya Munjal medaled in Forensics; Pascal Acree and Josh Vayle medaled in Bungee drop.
Raider Debate Top 10 at National Championships
Congratulations to the Raider Debate Team for their 10th place finish at the 28th Annual First and Second Year National Championships. Saya Abney and Cassidy Merhman competed in the First Year Policy division and credit their team captain David Kim and coach Blake Tanase for their success. Schools from across the country (from California to New Hampshire and from Minnesota to Florida) participated in the three day event held at Woodward Academy the weekend of March 20-22, 2015.
Multiple Winners at Georgia FBLA Conference
The Raiders sent 37 students to the 2015 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta and had winners in several divisions. Workshops and competitions with other outstanding high school students from across the state took place almost non-stop during the March 20-21 event. Congratulations to the seven Raiders who qualified to advance to the National FBLA Conference this summer in Chicago. Congratulations also to faculty advisor Sheri Smith for being named to the Georgia FBLA Board.
2015 State Leadership Conference Winners:
Jackson Rose, 8th Agribusiness
Liam Collins and Kyle Weil, 6th Global Business
Chandler Arney and Collins Vice, 10th Global Business
Brett and Kevin Feldman, 10th Business Ethics
Kian Smith and Marcelo Paiz, 8th Management Decision Making
Alexis Fuller, 8th Marketing
Kyle Weil, 6th Economics
Thaddeus Caldwell, Alex Koenig, and Bayne Jarvis, 5th Sports Management
Kaci Blair, 4th Desktop Database Management* (pictured below, center)
Jeffrey Hooks and Matt Oliver, 3rd Entrepreneurship
June 2015 National FBLA Qualifiers:
Jeffrey Hooks, 3rd Entrepreneurship* (pictured below, right)
Nicole Nichols and Harrison Lipsky, 3rd Partnership in Business
Asher Newman, 2nd Economics
Kara Wise, Cameron Steele, and Matt Gruenig, 1st in Sports Management
Interact Club Helps "Kiss Polio Goodbye"
The Raider Interact Club conducted a successful fundraiser at the Sandy Springs Egg Harbor Cafe on Saturday, March 14. They sold gift bags filled with Hershey's Kisses and made more than $50 for the Rotary National “Kiss Polio Goodbye” campaign.
Sophomore Organizes MarchOn Weekend
Natalie Peek, a 10th grade student, created MarchOn to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement’s Bloody Sunday. It was a full weekend of study culminating in a trip to Selma, Alabama and a walk across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge. Peek organized activities to increase social and political awareness among teens.
MarchOn began Friday, March 6 with a field trip to Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. On Saturday, March 7, which was 50 years to the date of Bloody Sunday, the group viewed the film “Selma.” Although several students had previously seen the movie, it was a powerful experience for everyone; having visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights the day before helped put the movie in context. Early Sunday morning, 32 students, two teacher chaperones and two parent chaperones boarded a charter bus to Selma, Alabama. En route they spent the three and a half hour ride viewing and discussing several film clips. They watched Congressman John Lewis’ message to students and teachers, President Barack Obama’s March 7, 2015 speech from the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech.
An estimated 100,000 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 8, 2015. The group of 36 Raiders was part of history. To wrap up their experiences, the group will meet one more time in late April for a roundtable discussion. Following the visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, student Alycia Cooper reflected “We are making progress, but there is still more that we can do.” Peek appreciates faculty members Mr. Kali Alford and Ms. Diana Dame for their advice and support.
Raiders Excel at Japanese Academic Challenge & Speech Contest
Kennesaw State University hosted the annual Japan Bowl on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Congratulations to faculty sponsor Azusa Callaway and the students who participated in this year’s competitions. At Level 3, the Chase Davis, Felipe Hernandez, and Kenyatta Robinson team won First Place. At Level 4, the Imani Dennis and Aiya Kadi team won Second Place. David Anderson II won the Speech Contest Special Award. As a bonus, these winners received invitations to dine with Japanese Consul General Kazoo Sunaga.
2015 Japan Bowl Teams
Team 1: Margaux Stice, Jaquez Drain
Team 2: Jenifer Huerta, Simona Floyd
Team 1: DeKarius Nelson, Yucelmi Perez
Team 2: Chase Davis, Felipe Hernandez, Kenyatta Robinson – First Place
Team 1: Imani Dennis, Aiya Kadi – Second Place
Speech Contest: Alanis Ariama, David Anderson II – Special Award
The 10th Annual Japan Academic Challenge & the 24th Annual Japanese Speech Contest are co-organized by the Georgia Association of Teachers of Japanese, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, the Japan-America Society of Georgia, and the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta. The Academic Challenge is a team competition which tests students’ knowledge of Japanese history, geography, language, and current events. The Speech Contest gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the Japanese language by reciting an original speech.
Five National Merit Finalists
Congratulations to Seniors Jeffrey Hooks, Ethan Mann, Luka Marinkovic, Carolyn Stanek, and Albert Xiong for advancing from Semifinalists to Finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship competition.
These students, based on their outstanding scores on the PSAT taken during their Junior year, now find themselves in the running for prestigious National Merit college scholarships. National Merit Scholars have a record of high academic performance, are endorsed and recommended by their school leadership, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance. National Merit Scholars will be announced in the spring.
Advanced Placement Test Results Earn Honors & Training Grant
The Georgia Department of Education named Riverwood an AP Access and Support School, an AP STEM School, and an AP Humanities School based on Spring 2014 AP test scores. Congratulations to the students and teachers for their hard work. The Georgia Department of Education also awarded training grants to over 200 high schools to send teachers to AP Summer Institutes; Riverwood received an $800 grant.
An AP STEM school has students testing in at least two AP Math and two AP Science courses. An AP Access and Support School has at least 30 percent of their AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African American and/or Hispanic, and 30 percent of all AP exams earning scores of three or higher.
An AP Humanities School has students testing in all of the following AP courses: at least one ELA course, two social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.
Marinkovic Excels at National Music Competition
Congratulations to outstanding musician and Raider senior Luka Marinkovic for winning second place at the National Music Teacher National Association (MTNA) competition for composition. Earlier this school year, his original four movement piano suite won the Georgia MTNA contest. Next, he represented the State of Georgia at the Southern Division regional event in Knoxville, Tennessee. Winning at the regional level, he advanced to the national finals which took place in March during the MTNA National Conference. Marinkovic, a native of France and a National Merit Finalist, is also the principal pianist with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.
Two Presidential Scholar Nominees
Congratulations to Seniors Ryan Fuller and Leah Greenberg for being named candidates for the United States Scholars Program. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, established in 1964 by executive order of the President, recognizes and honors some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.
|Wood Named Teacher of the Year; Perlmutter is Professional of the Year|
Teacher of the Year is Finalist for Central Learning Community Award
Congratulations to Brittany Wood (pictured right) for being named Riverwood’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year. A member of the Social Studies Department, Ms. Wood currently teaches IB Economics and US History. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia and began her teaching career at Whitewater High School in Fayette County. She joined the Raider faculty in 2013-14; in addition to her Social Studies classes, she coaches the Girls Golf team. She recently learned that she is a finalists for the Fulton County Schools Central Learning Community Teacher of the Year award. The selection committee will conduct additional interviews and observe her classroom at the beginning of March.
When interviewed about her teaching philosophy, Ms. Wood commented “Before you can become an effective teacher, I believe you must become an effective learner, especially in learning about your students. While I spend a great deal of time teaching my students about social studies, I also spend a great deal of time learning who my students are in order to understand how I can best serve them as their teacher. Realizing that the teaching profession requires me to be both a teacher and a learner at the same time has perhaps been my greatest discovery over the past few years.” She said one aspect of teaching she particularly enjoys is watching students learn and grow over the course of the school year. Ms. Wood added that she is honored to the school’s Teacher of the Year. She feels privileged to work alongside so many other dedicated professionals.
Congratulations to Melissa Perlmutter (pictured left) for being named Riverwood’s 2014-15 Professional of the Year. Previously a counselor at Druid Hills High School in DeKalb County, she joined the Raider Counseling Center in 2012-13. This year, she assists students with last names beginning with the letters “A” through “Do” addressing academic, social/emotional, as well as college and career needs and concerns. Ms. Perlmutter received her undergraduate degree from Emory University and her Master’s degree in School Counseling from Georgia State University.
Ms. Perlmutter enjoys working at Riverwood because of the diverse student body. She loves working directly with students, talking with them to work through issues or concerns - and ultimately, seeing them make thoughtful and positive decisions. She is proud of the school’s wide variety of programs and opportunities designed to meet the needs of different types of students. Ms. Perlmutter feels that being selected as the Professional of the Year is an honor for the entire Counseling Department. It indicates that the school community values not only what she does, but what the entire Department does to serve students.
Special Programs Awarded Seed Fund Grants
The school's Governance Council learned that the Fulton County Schools Foundation recently approved its two Seed Fund applications. One grant will fund a 2015-16 full-time teacher position for AVID. The other will purchase System 44, a remedial program designed to assist students with very poor reading skills. System 44 is a welcome complement to the Read 180 program already in place.
This year’s grants are not the first ones the Seed Fund has awarded Riverwood. Last year, Riverwood designed a customized Credit Recovery Program for students who were just barely failing a class. For those students within a few points of making a passing grade and needing reinforcement of basic skill before advancing, the Seed Fund award provided the teachers for these intensive recovery sessions.
The Seed Fund was established in 2013 using $7.8 million appropriated by the Georgia General Assembly.
The Seed Fund is managed by the Fulton Education Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1986 to strengthen the relationship between Fulton County’s schools and the extended comm
2014-15 STAR Student and Teacher Announced
Congratulations to Albert Xiong, STAR Student, and to Lakshima Anumukonda, STAR Teacher. The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. Each high school STAR Student names a STAR Teacher; Albert’s STAR teacher is Science faculty member Lakshima Anumukonda. To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year and be in the top ten percent, or top ten students, of their class based on grade point average.
Xiong is a member of the Varsity Soccer Team as well as the Science Olympiad Team. His current post-high school thoughts are to major in Biology or Pre-medicine. Xiong has acceptances from both the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology; however, he is waiting to hear from other schools before he makes a decision.
Congratulations to Megan Cohen for being nominated to the Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship program. Cohen is the Senior Class Student Body Officer and also serves on the Fulton County Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. The Comcast scholarship is a nomination-based award and is funded through the Comcast Foundation to recognize high school seniors for their commitment to community service, academics and demonstrated leadership. To acknowledge these accomplishments, Leaders and Achievers receive a one-time scholarship, with a base award of $1,000.
Choral Groups Earn “Superiors” at Large Group Performance Evaluation
Congratulations to all of the Raider Choral groups for their outstanding performances at the Spring 2015 Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE). This year’s competition was February 24 at North Atlanta High School. For the sixth year in a row, every Raider choir received the highest rating of “Superior” in their performance. Additionally, in the extremely challenging sight-singing evaluation, the Men’s chorus scored “Excellent” and the rest of the choirs scored “Superior.”
National Business Honor Society Inducts New Members
Congratulations to the newest members of the Raider chapter of the National Business Honor Society who were inducted on February 19, 2015: David Anderson, David Antonino, Blake Avrett, De-Ambra Burroughs, Thaddeus Caldwell, Alexis Fuller, Maxwell Goldstein, Anishya Hagans, Kendall Laws, McKenzie Lewis, Temia McColl, Asher Newman, Nicole Nichols, Marcelo Paiz, Alex Plavin, Arantza Romero, Kian Smith, Brittney Thomas, Sierra Tulloch, Kyle Weil, and Anna Xayravong.
First Year Wrestler Makes it to State Tournament
Junior Marvin Kinsey decided to try high school wrestling and ended up making it all the way to the State Tournament in his first year. Head Coach Zach McKeone encouraged the outstanding football and track athlete to join the wrestling squad for the 2014-15 season. Competing at 182 lbs, Kinsey compiled a 29-18 record, placed 3rd at the 2014 Fayette County Christmas Classic, and finished 4th in the Area Tournament. The Junior's 8th Place finish in the AAAAA-West Sectional tournament qualified him for State (Ranked #16, Class AAAAA,182 lbs).
In the first round of the State Traditional Tournament at the Macon Centreplex on Thursday, February 12, 2015, Kinsey faced #1 ranked Domonique Hargrave from Camden High School. Hargrave won the bout, advanced to the championship round, and finished 2nd in the State. Dropping to the consolation bracket, Kinsey faced #8 ranked Chance Bishop of Woodland High School (Bartow County). Kinsey lost the round by decision.
Kinsey is now a three-sport Raider athlete. He played Varsity Football both his Sophomore and Junior years and is an award-winning member of the Track and Field program.
Georgia Thespian Conference 2015
Thanks to the teacher and parent chaperones, 14 Raiders were able to attend the 2015 Georgia Thespian Conference (ThesCon). Megan Cohen, Isabel Dever, Brett Feldman, Abigail Gibson, Maria Jackson, Max Kantor, Gina Karseboom, Sadie llop, Emma McConnell, Madison McConnell, Lucy Mulkeen, Stephi Peifke, Tianna Seidel, and Madeleine Sibert participated in weekend of theatre from the inside-out. Held in downtown Columbus, students from all over the state converged the first weekend of February for a full slate of workshops, performances, and even college auditions. Sponsored by the Georgia Thespians, a chapter of the Education Theatre Association, ThesCon encourages, promotes, advocates and celebrates theatre excellence in schools and communities.
Lila Claire Best Wins School's 1st Girls State Swim Championship
Swimmers Set Seven New School Records at 2015 State Swim Meet
The Raiders sent 23 members of the Swim and Dive team to the 2015 State Championships held at the Georgia Tech Natatorium the weekend of February 5-7. Senior Lila Claire Best won the first Girls State Championship event in school history with her school record-setting time in the 200 freestyle. Six other school records fell over the weekend in both individual and relay events. Congratulations to the Boys and the Girls teams for a great season.
Read about the record-setting 2015 State Championship Swim meet
Raider Entrepreneurs Win Junior Achievement Funding
Junior Achievement of Georgia awarded $225 in start-up capital to four Raider businesses. Students in Sheri Smith'sEntrepreneurship class created business plans and presented their ideas to a panel of “Sharks.” After successfully going through the grueling presentation and inquiry process, four teams received start-up funding:
- Stamped is making custom jewelry
- Laserwood is making custom phone and iPad stands
- Teen Cookbooks is publishing an international cookbook
- Cards for a Cause is creating custom cards
|Teen Cookbooks||Cards for a Cause|
Fall 2014 Honor Roll and Principal’s List Announced
Principal’s List students earned a Fall 2014 semester cumulative grade point average of 95 or higher; they will be recognized in the Auditorium during Advisement on Tuesday, February 17. Honor Roll students achieved a Fall 2014 semester cumulative average between 90-94.9 and will be recognized in the Auditorium during Advisement on Wednesday, February 18. Congratulations to these outstanding scholars for a successful semester and for their demonstrated commitment to academic excellence. Any questions? Contact Assistant Principal Thomas Garrett (GarrettT1@fultonschools.org) or Head Counselor Sally Page (PageS@fultonschools.org)
January 2015 Headlines
Junior Makes Elite Choir Two Years in a Row
Congratulations to Callaway Powlus for making the 2015 Georgia Music Educators (GMEA) All-State Reading Chorus for the second consecutive year. She is the first student in school history to make the elite choir. The Sight-Reading Chorus is separate from the general GMEA All-State Chorus; Powlus has been a member of the All-State Chorus for the past six years.
The Sight-Reading Chorus is a unique choir of the most outstanding high school choral students in the state. The reading level required is equivalent to a Master’s level music major in college. After rigorous auditions, the selected students gather for a challenging weekend of rehearsals and instruction, culminating in a concert in the intimate and acoustically fine sanctuary of Christ Church, Savannah. The students receive more than 50 pieces of music the first afternoon and spend five hours sight-reading. After spending more than ten hours over two days exploring the array of music, the concert program comes together with selected favorites. Dr. Stanley R. Roberts of Mercer University served as this year’s conductor on Saturday, January 31.
Science Project Wins 1st Place at Region and Heads to State Competition
Kenzie Fisher’s project “Power Output of Graphene Super Capacitors in Comparison to Capacitors” won first place in the Chemistry Division of the January 2015 Fulton County Regional Science & Engineering Fair. Westlake High School hosted the Region Fair January 30-31, 2015. Fisher's winning project was one of only five chosen to advance from the Fulton Regional Fair to the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair (GSEF). The GSEF is in March in Athens. Fisher will have the opportunity to share her research with some of the top scientists in Georgia and to compete for awards and scholarships. Congratulations also to Kendell and Sydney Laws for winning second place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division for their project “Musical Appetite.”
Beta Club Inducts 85 New Members
The Beta Club inducted its newest members in an evening ceremony held in the Auditorium January 29th. An affiliate of the National Beta Club, the Raider chapter promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership. Faculty sponsor Emily Kennedy announced the newest members: Brittany Albritton, Maya Allen, Yoel Alperin, Jamie Antonino, Blake Avrett, Katrina Balga, Maia Barton, Lilly Blumenthal, Malik Chennault, Carly Clayman, Amanda Cohen, Linsey Cohen, Simone Coleman, Jamison Collins, Jeremy Colton, Parker Courson, Ty Feng, Aman Folami-Reese, Hope Garrison, Grace Geyer, Connor Gladney, Devin Gladney, Shaina Goldfein, Elizabeth Graves, Olivia Gunthert, Zoe Gunthert, Anishya Hagans, Anna Hayden, Mia Hodges, Megan Holley, Katherine Horn, Brelan Jarvis, Christopher Johnson, Sydney Johnson, Zoë Johnston, Kelsey Key, Amanda Krause, Elizabeth Lamar, Kendall Laws, Sydney Laws, Evelyn Lea, Saul Levy, Sellars Lindler, Morgan Martin, Jordan Mason, Maya Mualem, Ellen Murray, Megan Nohstadt, Alexandra Owens, Eliza Paprin, Fallon Parfaite, Dipti Pattni, Natalie Peek, Sarah Peljovich, Korin Pinsky, Alexandra Plavin, Andris Poulos, Renija Redman, Christian Reeder, Grace Rieger, Michael Roddey, Chelsea L. Rosenboro, Alec Sokol Rosner, Eli Rosner, Hannah Sherrill, Anna Shutley, Jasmine Silas, Caroline Smith, Julia Smith, Benjamin Soran, Charlotte Spaeth, Shelby Starr, Bari Steel, Claire Stubsten, Mary Kate Swanson, David Taylor, Anna Thomas, Joseph Tobia, Dawson Vainer, Collins Vise, Cameron Walton, Sean Walton, Kyle Weil, Lizbeth Zamora, and Morgan Zang.
The 47th Annual King Holiday observance took place at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday, January 19. Among those honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were several students of international descent. Congratulations to Junior Nina Garibaldi for being chosen to participate in the celebration. Garibaldi, wearing native regalia, read excerpts from Dr. King’s writings. Fox 5 Atlanta televised the event live.
Congratulations to Senior Jaycie Emery for being named the January 2015 Work-Based Learning Employee of the Month. Emery works at Metro Atlanta Gastroenterology in their administrative office. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Only 11th and 12th grade students are eligible to participate in Work-Based Learning. Interested students should contact Ms. Sheri Smith (Room 809) for more information about applying for Work-Based Learning during the 2015-16 school year.
Mock Trial Team Earns Region Commendations
The Raider Mock Trial Team enjoyed success at the 2015 Region 3 Competition held at the Fulton County Courthouse on Saturday, January 31. Each team fielded two squads: Prosecution/Plaintiff and Defense during the day-long competition. The Raiders, under the guidance of coaches Mr. Evans, Mrs. Jones, and Mr. Alford, won commendations for both Outstanding Attorney (Caroline Albright, Nina Garibaldi, and Carolyn Stanek) and Outstanding Witness (Courtney Jeffers and Stephanie Piefke).
Model UN Wins Outstanding Delegation Award
The Raider Model United Nations team was very successful at the Model Arab League Conference held at the Marist School January 22-23, 2015. Representing Saudi Arabia, the Raiders finished in the top three out of 23 high schools. Additionally, the Raiders were one of only three teams to win an Outstanding Delegation award. The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which occurred during the two-day conference, presented the team a unique challenge to respond quickly to political change. Congratulations to:
*Caroline Albright (12th grade) Outstanding Delegate for Joint Defense Council
*Sam Moss (12th grade) Honorable Mention for Social Affairs
*Zach Schreier (12th grade) Outstanding Delegate for Political Affairs
*Harrison Lipsky (11th grade) Honorable Mention for Palestinian Affairs
*Nicole Nichols (11th grade)
*Arantza Romero (11th grade)
*Danielle Stewart (10th grade)
*Alexandra Lipsky (9th grade)
FBLA Shines at 2015 Region Leadership Conference
The Raider Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter participated in the January 2015 Region Leadership Conference. Congratulations to the following FBLA students for advancing to the State Leadership Conference March 20th-21st: Chandler Arney, Thaddeus Caldwell, Jordan Coleman, Liam Collins, Alexis Fuller, Max Goldstein, Ryan Graffagnino, Matt Gruenig, Sarah Hamer, Jeffrey Hooks, Katie Horn, Bayne Jarvis, Alex Koenig, Kendall Laws, Harrison Lipsky, Asher Newman, Nicole Nichols, Matthew Oliver, Marcelo Paiz, Cameron Sheele, Kian Smith, Daniel Steinberg, Brittany Thomas, Collins Vice, Kyle Weil, and Kara Wise.
Congratulations to the following for outstanding results:
3rd Desktop Publishing: Becky Greenberg and Emily Williams
2nd Web Site Design: Diamond Jones and Aminah Muhammad
3rd Public Speaking I: David Antonino
5th Business Ethics: Brett Feldman and Kevin Feldman
4th Impromptu Speaking: Kara Wise
Congratulations to the following who advance to the State Conference:
Accounting 1: Kendall Laws, 17th; Brittany Thomas, 13th; Katie Horn, 10th
Business Calculations: Nicole Nichols 10th
Business Communications: Alexis Fuller 8th
Digital Database Design: Kaci Blair 1st
Economics: Asher Newman 1st; Kyle Weil 2nd; Daniel Steinberg 6th, Harrison Lipsky 11th; Kian Smith 15th
Entrepreneurship: Max Goldstein, Jeff Hooks, Matthew Oliver 2nd
Global Business: Liam Collins and Kyle Weil 3rd; Chandler Arney and Collins Vice 5th
Introduction to Business Communications: Jordan Coleman 11th
Introduction to Information Technology: Ryan Graffagnino 7th
Management Decision Making: Marcelo Paiz and Kian Smith 2nd
Marketing: Alexis Fuller 8th, superteam competitor
Sports and Entertainment Management: Matt Gruenig, Cameron Shelle, Kara Wise-2nd; Thaddeus Caldwell, Bayne Jarvis, Alex Koenig-5th
Job Interview: Sarah Hamer, 2nd
Class of 2015 POSSE scholars
Congratulations to Taylor Hall (Boston University) and Jazondre Gibbs (Bard College) for receiving full four-year college scholarships from the Posse Foundation. Since 1989, the Posse Foundation has identified, recruited, and trained more than 4,000 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential. Thesestudents—many of whom might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes—receive full-tuition leadership scholarships. Of note, Posse Scholars graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on campus and throughout their professional careers.
Congratulations to the first place Science Fair winners who advance to the 2015 Fulton County competition: Yareen Alawneh, Yoel Alperin, Hill Belfi, Lily Blumenthal, Kenzie Fisher, Elizabeth Graves, Kendall Laws, and Sydney Laws. Congratulations also to Honorable Mention winners Lindsey Cohen and Amanda Krause.
Holiday Service Projects Bring Joy
Thanks to the generosity of the Raider community and the leadership of several student organizations
*over 200 books went to Children's Healthcare (Beta Club)
*The Boys & Girls Club received an array of children's DVDs (Film Club)
*More than 1,000 canned goods replenished the shelves of the food pantry at Hearts to Nourish Hope (FCCLA), and
*Students collected hundreds of pop tabs to benefit Ronald McDonald Charities
December 2014 Headlines
UGA Chooses Seven Raider Musicians for 2015 JanFest
The University of Georgia January High School Band Festival (“JanFest”) is a four-day event for high school band musicians. Congratulations to Yoel Alperin (Horn), Shelby Arrigo (Horn), Christopher Budden (Trumpet), Domenic Manson (Euphonium), Cole Markland (Alto Saxophone), Arthur Miltner (Trombone), and Benjamin Shaw (Trumpet) for being chosen to participate. This is the second year for Alperin, Budden, and Manson. These musicians will join 1000 attendees, representing 130 schools from across the state, in Athens January 22-25 for the 65th annual JanFest.
Raiders in Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops! Chorus
Sadie Llop, Ellen Murray, and Joe Virgin are members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's (ASO) All-City Chorus. The All-City Chorus, with 8-12th grade singers from across the Atlanta area, is the resident choir for the ASO’s A Very Merry Holiday Pops! concerts. This year's concerts are December 19 and 20, 2014. Led by ASO Pops conductor Michael Krajewski, A Very Merry Holiday Pops! is the most well-attended series produced by the ASO.
Touchdown Club Honors Players, Cheerleaders, & Coach
The North Fulton Forsyth Touchdown Club selected seven Varsity Football Raiders to play in the 2014 Senior All-Star Chamber Bowl: Khai Anderson, Skyler de Groot, Darius Hinton, Jeff Hooks, Coleman Mauberret, Reginald Prince, and Marcus Rosser. The four Varsity Cheerleaders named to the All-Star squad are Merrill Garrison, Alena Moore, Nadia Romero and Morgan Ward. Additionally, Raider Assistant Coach Shane Davis was named to the All-Star coaching staff. The 2014 Chamber Bowl kicks off at 1pm, Saturday, December 20, at Blessed Trinity High School.
Governor's Honors Semi-finalists
Congratulations to the ten Raiders chosen as semi-finalists for the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP). The next round of interviews will be in early 2015, and the finalists will be announced in March. GHP is a four week, all expenses paid residential academic program which brings together Georgia’s top students to study a variety of disciplines. Congratulations to Abby Gibson (Voice), Shaina Goldfein (Visual Arts), Mariah Hinton (Social Studies), Gabby Jackson (Voice), Kendall Laws (Technology), Ellen Murray (Theatre), Jaclyn Nichols (Visual Arts), Daniel Steinberg (Physics), Joshua Vayle (Chemistry), and Kyle Weil (Technology).
All-State Chorus News
Congratulations to the seven Raiders who passed the first, and most difficult, round of auditions for the 2015 All-State chorus: Matthew Boatwright, Gabby Jackson, Ellen Murray, Callaway Powlus, Jasmine Smith, Tim Stewart, and Carolyn Wright. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Callaway Powlus passed the GMEA Reading Chorus audition.
November 2014 Headlines
Raiders Advance to State PTSA Reflections
Congratulations to the six district winners who advanced to the state level Reflections competition. They interpreted the theme “The World Would be a Better Place If...” through original works of literature, visual art, music composition, and photography.
Nicole Nichols: “Wishing” (Visual Art)
Sarah Kern: “What are You Looking at?” (Photography)
Lilly Blumenthal: “The Dog Park” (Photography)
Anton Hsu: “Lost in Nature” (Photography)
Elise Flanagan: “Flowing Emotions” (Musical Composition)
Alexander Hamer: “The Incomplete Answer” (Literature)
Pie Fundraiser Tasty Success
Culinary Arts students, under the direction of Chef Elissa Oliver, baked hundreds pies for their first annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. Students spent three weeks baking, testing, and perfecting recipes. In the week leading up to the Thanksgiving break, the Raider kitchens turned out over 250 pies: pumpkin, apple, chocolate, and coconut chess. Asked if the students had a particular favorite, Chef Oliver replied “Hands down, the students preferred chocolate.”
Every Culinary Arts student took part in the pie baking. From the entry level to the advanced classes, the project was a lab grade for all of Chef Oliver’s 188 students. One of the bakers remarked “Making this many pies helps me understand how to feed the masses.”
Orders came from students, members of the faculty and staff, parents, and even members of the community. The most popular pie order, by far, was chocolate. The Culinary Arts students raised more than $2,250.00 which will go toward buying new pots and pans, having a guest chef teach a class, pay entrance fees to culinary competitions, as well as purchasing new uniforms and hats.
Based on the success of the inaugural pie sale, Chef Oliver is already looking forward to next year with a few adjustments in mind. She would like to double the amount sold for next year and said “We have worked so hard this year perfecting the recipes that next year will be a breeze.”
Chef Oliver continued “When I approached the students with the fundraising idea, they were somewhat leery. Once the orders started coming in, they got a little more excited and also a bit concerned about the enormity of the task ahead. They tackled the job with poise, learned a great deal about kitchen management and, of course, can now bake pies like the pros. The food and hospitality business is all about pleasing our customers; we hope the people who eat our pies are as pleased as we are with the product.”
Raiders Make Commitments on National Signing Day
Four Raider athletes made official college commitments on National Signing Day in November. Congratulations to Lila Claire Best (Swimming, U.S. Naval Academy), Jalen Miller (Baseball, Clemson University), David Peljovich (Baseball, Wake Forest University) and Davis Vainer (Baseball, University of Alabama).
FBLA Fall Leadership Conference
The Raider Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter sent over 25 students to the 2014 FBLA Fall Leadership Conference. The two day conference, held November 18-19 in Athens, brought more than 3,000 students and advisers together from across the state. In cooperation with TRI Leadership Resources, a nationally recognized leadership services firm, Georgia FBLA members and advisers attended sessions on Leadership, Professionalism, College Readiness, and Public Speaking. Sheri Smith is the FBLA Faculty Sponsor
Foundation Sponsors Business Partners Breakfast
The Foundation brought representatives from Governor Deal's office, the Sandy Springs Society, the Sandy Springs Education Force, and many local business partners to the school on Tuesday morning, November 18. While enjoying a spectacular breakfast catered by Culinary Arts Students, the visitors celebrated the accomplishments of the past year and learned about plans to expand Computer Science and Accounting course offerings. A highlight of the morning was honoring longtime Raider business supporter Dr. Paul DeLargy of Georgia REAL Enterprises. In 2006, Dr. DeLargy made connections in Norway and Denmark for the first international student exchange camp program. Raider students continue to enjoy these exchange camps and, because of Dr. DeLargy's commitment, will be able to do so for five more years.
First Place Win at Carrollton Debate
Raider debaters traveled to Carrollton for the 2014 Peach State Classic the weekend of November 14-15. Team members Saya Abney, Tamiyah Crouthers, Madalyn Liberman, and Cassidy Merhman, led by Captain David Kim, tackled the resolution “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the earth’s oceans.” Saya Abney and Cassidy Merhman won first place in the Novice division. They defeated Milton and Johns Creek in the early rounds to face Marist in the finals. Their win over Marist was the third victory of the year for Abney and Merhman. Abney also came in second place in the individual competition for speaker points.
Senior Wins State Music Competition
Congratulations to outstanding musician and Raider senior Luka Marinkovic. He is the Georgia winner of the Music Teacher National Association (MTNA) competition for composition. Marinkovic will represent the State of Georgia at the Southern Division performance competition next year. He will play his original four movement piano suite in Knoxville the weekend of January 17-19, 2015. Regional winners advance to the national finals which take place in March during the MTNA National Conference.
Asher Berman Nominated for National Competition
Congratulations to Senior Asher Berman for advancing in the 2015 United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) competiton. Berman, an officer in the Student Government Association, went through an extensive application and interview process to become the Fulton County School System’s nominee. Besting every candidate from all Fulton County high schools, Berman now competes for one of two spots to represent the State of Georgia at the National Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. He will take the USSYP Qualifying Exam, which consists of five sections of questions on politics and government and one essay section, and should know the state results before the end of the fall semester.
The United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. This year’s program is March 7-14, 2015. The 104 students, representing every state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, spend the week experiencing government in action by hearing major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense, and from directors of other federal agencies. The delegates will also meet with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Hearst Foundations provide funding for all transportation, hotel, and meal expenses. In addition, each delegate receives a $5,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. Learn more
Raiders Selected for 2014 Fulton County Honor Band
Congratulations to Juniors Phillip Prior and Andres Campos for being selected to the Fulton County Honor Band. Prior (percussionist) and Campos (tuba) will perform in the Honor Band concert at Centennial High School on November 17, 2014.
Debate Continues Winning Ways at Autumn Argument
The Raiders had a successful day at the Seventh Annual Autumn Argument hosted by Sequoyah High School in Canton on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Congratulations to the team of Saya Abney and Cassidy Merhman for winning their division. Individually, Abney won First Place in speaker points and first-year debater Merhman placed Seventh. The Madalyn Lieberman and Tamiyah Couthers team was 2-2 in their competition.
Graduation Rate Jumps More than 13%
Congratulations to the Raider students and faculty for the double-digit increase in the graduation rate from the Class of 2013 (67.8%) to the Class of 2014 (81.3%). This is the fourth year using the Georgia Department of Education’s new graduation rate formula.
Fulton County High Schools Class of 2014 Graduation Rates
The graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman, is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years, and includes adjustments for student transfers. By contrast, Georgia's former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate from high school.
PTSA Announces 2014 Reflections Winners
Congratulations to the 12 Raiders who are advancing to the district-level Reflections competition. The PTSA honored the school winners with an ice cream social on Thursday, November 6. These students interpreted the theme “The World Would be a Better Place If...” through original works of literature, visual art, music composition, and photography. Good luck to them as they advance to the district contest.
Literature: Lillian Davis, Alexandra Owens, Alexander Hamer, Nicole Nichols, & Sheng Lung Huang.
Visual Art: Alexander Hamer, Nicole Nichols, & Sheng Lung Huang.
Photography: Sarah Kern, Lilly Blumenthal, Arabelle Berman, Kelsey Key, & Anton Hsu.
Musical Composition: Elise Flanagan & Olivia Gunthert
Raiders Well-Represented in District V Honor Choir
Congratulations to the 11 Raider musicians chosen to the District V 2014 Honor Choir: Matthew Boatwright, Chip Carter, Maggie Daniels, Megan Echols, Abby Gibson, Lucy Mulkeen, Adam Segal, Madeleine Sibert, Jasmine Smith, Tim Stewart, and Joe Virgin. After a day and a half of combined rehearsals with students from across the metro area, they performed Saturday, November 1 in Roswell.
October 2014 Headlines
Marching Band Wins 3rd Place in Competition
Congratulations to the Raider Marching Band for winning 3rd Place in their division at the 15th Annual Eagle’s Nest Invitational Marching Band Competition. Collins Hill High School hosted fifteen schools from the metro Atlanta area on Saturday, October 25. The Raiders competed in the Single A division; the event had five divisions based on the size of the ensembles.
Raiders Win at Johns Creek Gladiator Debates
Congratulations to Cassidy Merhman and Saya Abney who competed in the Novice division at the Johns Creek Gladiator Debates at Johns Creek High School October 17-18, 2014. The Raiders finished as co-champions (with Northview) and also won the first and seventh speaker awards. It was Merhman's first debate tournament; she and Abney credit team captain David Kim for his steady leadership as they faced novice teams from Chattahoochee, Westminster and Northview. (Pictured L-R Kim, Abney & Merhman) In the coming weeks, the Raiders will compete at Alpharetta, Sequoyah, and at the big Tournament of Champions qualifier at Carrollton. Students interested in joining the Raider debate team should contact faculty sponsor Zack Feldberg (Feldberg@fultonschools.org)
Spring 2014 Honor Roll and Principal’s List Announced
Honor Roll students achieved a cumulative average between 90-94.9 and will be recognized during the school day on October 22. Principal’s List students earned a cumulative grade point average of 95 or higher; they will be recognized during the school day on October 24. Congratulations to these outstanding scholars for a successful semester and for their demonstrated commitment to academic excellence. Any questions? Contact Assistant Principal Thomas Garrett (GarrettT1@fultonschools.org)
2014 Spring Honor Roll and Principal's List
Model UN attends Georgia Tech Conference
The Raider Model UN team attended the Georgia Tech Model United Nations Conference October 13-14, 2014. Established in 1998, the two day event attracts high school teams from across the southeast. Caroline Albright, Brett Feldman, Anton Hsu, Erik Hsu, David Kim, Harrison Lipsky, Asher Newman, Kian Smith, and Josh Vayle represented the countries of Chad and Finland. Topics ranged from land degradation and desertification in Africa to enforcing territorial sovereignty amidst claims of human rights violations. The delegates used strategic decision and problem solving skills to reach a consensus on each topic of debate. The Model UN faculty sponsor is Social Studies teacher Josh Williams.
Junior Pascal Acree Takes Science Fair Project to International Conference
Last year, Pascal Acree’s Honors Chemistry Science Fair project examined the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in homes. Using two variables, he concluded that an active home ventilation system successfully reduced measurable radon. He also concluded that the presence of rain increased radon concentration levels in the home. Applying his findings, Acree found that the absence of requirements for engineered ventilation in residential building codes misses an opportunity to achieve safer radon levels and he recommends regulatory measures for new residential construction.
In September 2014, Acree exhibited his findings at the 28th Annual International Radon Symposium. The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) hosted this year’s international symposium in Charleston, South Carolina. The AARST is a nonprofit, professional organization dedicated to the highest standard of excellence and ethical performance of radon measurement, radon mitigation and transfer of radon information.
Acree is a member of the Raider Jazz Band as well as Science National Honor Society. Additionally, he is the co-founder and president of the Raider Science Olympiad Team. Beyond the world of math and science, Acree is an avid tennis player. A starter as a freshman for the Raider tennis team, Acree played on the second doubles team as a sophomore. His freshman year science fair project, which studied tennis racquet parameters in relation to a junior (youth) tennis player's swing, appeared in the March 2013 edition of The International Journal of Sports Science and Engineering.
Art Teacher Nominated for National Art Educator of the Year
Congratulations to faculty member Dana Munson for being nominated for the National Art Education Association, National Art Educator of the Year. She will find out if she is selected late fall semester. Ms. Munson is the current Southeast Region Art Educator of the Year and the 2013-14 Georgia Art Educator of the Year.
Science Team Wins Second Place in "Disease Detectives" Event
The Science Team traveled to the Rockdale Science and Math Magnet Science Olympiad Invitational on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Representing the Raiders were Pascal Acree, Erik Hsu, Ananya Munjal, Aman Folami Reese, Arantza Romero, Annie Sullivan, Josh Vayle, and Albert Xiong. Congratulations to Ananya Munjal and Josh Vayle for placing second in the "Disease Detectives" event. With 16 teams competing from across the state, the Raiders faced some highly ranked opponents and were pleased to finish 12th overall. Jeanne Urban is the Faculty Sponsor.
Football and Girls Cross Country Earn Athlete of the Week Honors
Congratulations to Football Junior Jay Dukes (read article here) and Girls Cross Country Sophomore Elizabeth Graves (read article here) for being namedThe Northside Neighbor Male and Female Athletes of the Week for October 1, 2014.
Language Arts & Social Studies VIP's Honored in October
25 students, nominated by Language Arts and Social Studies teachers, attended the first VIP Breakfast of the Year on Thursday, October 2. Thank you to the PTSA for supplying the wonderful food. Congratulations to Pascal Acree, Caroline Albright, Brittany Albritton, Maia Barton, Julia Dias, Aiden Erez, Christian Ford, Juan Pablo Gasperin, Marise Gouthier, Jennifer Hernandez-Molina, Mariah Hinton, Jeffrey Hooks, Amir Macopson, Madison McQuary, Morgan Mitchell, DeKarius Nelson, Michael O’Connell, Keesan Pascal, Brooke Rappaport, Anna Shutley, Kian Smith, Carolyn Stanek, Mary Tuck, Taylor Williams, and Zayd Zori.
September 2014 Headlines
Audio, Video, Technology & Film Program Receives State Certification;
Dr. Futrell Honored at September School Board Meeting
Fulton County Schools honored Raider Career Tech faculty member Dr. J.C. Futrell at the September 2014 School Board Meeting for his work earning Industry Certification for the Riverwood Audio, Video, Technology and Film (AVTF) program. Industry certification is a stamp of excellence, which represents the apex of program quality. Riverwood is the first high school in the Fulton County School System to receive certification, and is one of only 15 high schools across the state to successfully pass the rigorous business and industry certification review process. (Pictured L-R: Raider Career Tech Department Chair Sherri Smith, Principal Dr. Robert Shaw, Dr. J.C. Futrell, Fulton County School Board Member Gail Dean, and Mrs. Futrell)
Five National Merit Semifinalists & Two National Achievement Semifinalists
Congratulations to the following Seniors who, based on their outstanding scores on the PSAT taken during their Junior year, now find themselves in the running for prestigious National Merit college scholarships: Jeffrey Hooks, Ethan Mann, Luka Marinkovic, Carolyn Stanek and Albert Xiong are National Merit Semifinalists; Corinn Gist-Stevenson and Kara Wise are National Achievement Semifinalists.
As semifinalists, the students now must fulfill several requirements in order to advance to the finalist round. They must have a record of high academic performance, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance. Additionally, the semifinalists will complete a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about his or her participation and leadership in school and community activities.
The 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition for African-American high school students. Gist-Stevenson and Wise are two of only twelve semifinalists from Fulton County Schools. Approximately 1,300 National Achievement finalists will be named in January. Of these, 800 overall winners will be chosen for $2,500 National Achievement scholarships.
National Art Honor Society Inducts New Members
During the month of September, Binders Limelight Gallery in Buckhead displayed Raider student artwork in their public gallery. A reception held in the gallery at the conclusion of the exhibition also served as an induction ceremony for the Raider Chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS). The Raiders welcomed 26 new members to the NAHS on Monday, September 29, 2014. Binders Art Supplies and Frames is at 3330 Piedmont Road, NE, #18, Atlanta, 30305
FBLA & FCCLA Go Behind the Scenes at Chick-Fil-A
Members of the Raider Family, Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) clubs spent a half day in September taking the Chick-Fil-A Backstage Industry Tour. The students visited the Chick-Fil-A headquarters in southwest Atlanta on Tuesday, September 23 and learned the history of this successful local food service operation. The visit also revealed the many job opportunities available throughout the corporation beyond those typically seen when visiting a Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Sheri Smith and Sandy Gosch were the faculty sponsors of the field trip.
Debate Team attends Roswell Tournament
The Raiders traveled to Roswell High School on Saturday, September 20 for the Second Annual Hornet Challenge Debate Tournament. Raider Team President David Kim helped coach Madelyn Lieberman and Saya Abney to the semifinal bracket with a 3-1 record. Furthermore, Saya Abney won 10th place in speaker points. Asher Newman also made a great showing going maverick in the JV bracket. Congratulations for such fine results in only the second tournament of the year.
Class of 2015 Top Ten Students Announced
Congratulations to the members of the Senior class with the highest GPA's (pictured L to R):Madeleine Sibert, Ethan Mann, Asher Berman, Carolyn Stanek, Zara Caroline Albright, Tyler Diamond, Albert Xiong, Jeff Hooks, Julia Clendenin, and Christine Tye.
Career Tech Student & Teacher Featured in County Video
Fulton County Schools released a video this fall spotlighting a variety of High School Career Tech opportunities in the school system. Look for interviews with Web Design Student Malik Kimbrel & Career Tech Teacher June Campbell in the five minute video.
August 2014 Headlines
Student Artwork on Display at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Congratulations to Senior Berea Thornton. Her beautiful artwork is on display at the Atlanta Airport. She was recognized with other young artists at a reception at Hartsfield on August 20, 2014.
Youth Leadership Sandy Springs Inducts 17 Raiders
Congratulations to the 17 Raiders inducted into the 2014-15 Youth Leadership Sandy Springs class on August 4, 2014. Hill Belfi, Linsey Cohen, Liam Collins, Hope Garrison, Olivia Gunthert, Mia Hodges, Megan Holley, Eliza Paprin, Natalie Peek, Aurora Santana-Cortes, Hannah Sherrill, Bari Steel, Gabrielle Sutton, Collins Vise, Kyle Weil, Glenna Williams, and Anna Xayraveng join 19 other students from seven other local schools for a year of leadership training and civic awareness programs. Now in it's fourth year, YLSS kicked off with an opening retreat on an Outward Bound ropes course followed by a cell phone scavenger hunt in September.
Throughout the year, the students will meet with city leaders at city hall, conduct a mock trial, get a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement, explore the Chattahoochee River and city parks, meet with developers and city planners to redevelop the town center, and work at non-profits. In the spring, after investigating the needs of the community, the group will work together on a joint service project.
Back Row L-R: Liam Collins, Collins Vise, Mia Hodges, Megan Holley, Natalie Peek, Hannah Sherrill, Hill Belfi
Front Row L-R: Gabrielle Sutton, Anna Xayraveng, Glenna Williams, Hope Garrison, Linsey Cohen, Eliza Paprin, Bari Steele, Olivia Gunthert
Not pictured: Kyle Weil, Aurora Santana-Cortes
Chinese Summer Language Immersion Programs Here and Abroad:
Senior Lucy Mulkeen Selected for Spoleto, Italy Summer Program
Congratulations to Senior Lucy Mulkeen for being chosen to attend the 2014 Spoleto Study Abroad program. She was part of an elite group of high school students chosen to participate in the summer arts and humanities immersion program. The students spent a month in historic Spoleto, Italy studying vocal music, photography, drama, visual art, or creative writing. Mulkeen, a vocal music student, explored the rich cultural heritage of renaissance Italy while working closely with talented faculty and motivated peers. The curriculum also included day trips to cultural centers such as Florence, Tivoli, Siena, and other historic cities.
Sophomore Justin White spent two weeks in China at the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp 2014. The summer camp is funded by Hanban, a non-profit organization in China. The program, which has been running for almost ten years, invites high school students from the United States to experience China for two weeks.
Justin, who has been studying Chinese for the past two years, stayed on the campus of Luoyang Senior High School. Among the highlights of his stay were visits to the Great Wall, Shaolin Temple, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the White Horse Temple. Each day students studied martial arts and Chinese language lessons. They also participated in traditional tea ceremonies and learned Chinese paper cutting.
Junior Tannisa Lestari and Senior Taylor Robinson Attend STARTALK Summer Camp 2014 at Troy University.
A two-week language and culture immersion program, STARTALK is a national, federally funded program for critical languages. While the students studied Chinese language and sang songs in Chinese each day, the program also integrated cultural activities. Students could choose between learning Fan Dance, Ribbon Dance, Tai Chi, Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, Chinese arts and Kung fu.
Additionally, over the two week camp, the entire class learned four poems written during the Tang Dynasty and converted the poems into song. A field trip to a local Chinese restaurant allowed the students to apply their language skills. Another field trip to Camp Butter and Egg offered various camp activities such as archery, hang gliding, kayaking, mini golf, human foosball, tubing, and paddle boating.
July 2014 Headlines
Raiders Win National FBLA Award
After qualifying at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Georgia State Leadership Conference in March, eight Raiders advanced to the 2014 National Leadership Conference in Tennessee. More than 10,000 participants from across the United States and two countries met in Nashville at the end of June to sharpen their core business skills, expand their networks, and participate in more than 60 business and business-related competitive events.Congratulations to Hunter Lankford and Visar Mehmeti for their 3rd Place award in Banking and Finance. Sharod Hinton, Remy Falciglia and Connor Gladney competed in Entrepreneurship, Cameron Scheele in Sports Management, Eric Jacobs in Marketing, Kara Wise in Public Speaking II, and Jazondre Gibbs in Client Services. In addition to the competitions, students immersed themselves in educational workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and attended motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics. Sheri Smith is the faculty sponsor of the Raider FBLA Chapter.
The Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is the largest and oldest student business organization in the country. FBLA-PBL competitions recognize and reward excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. FBLA-PBL is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisors in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Visit fbla-pbl.org or more information
Nikunj Jinan Receives Princeton Prize in Race Relations
Congratulations to Nikunj Jinan, member of the Class of 2014, for receiving the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for his work with students at Mimosa Elementary School in Roswell. His after school program "Kids Teach it Forward" pairs students with tutors of a different race, creating an opportunity for greater racial understanding while fostering academic achievement. The Reporter Newspapers featured Jinan as their Standout Student in the July 6, 2014 edition.
Read The Reporter Newspaper article by Elizabeth Lamar
Four Raiders Attending 2014 Governor's Honors Program
Congratulations to this year's Governor's Honors Program (GHP) participants: Garon Berenson (Technology), Max Kantor (Theatre), Callaway Powlus (Music) (not pictured), and Pascal Acree (Biology). After a rigorous audition and interview process, these students were selected to participate in the four-week program at Valdosta State University. GHP is a residential summer program for approximately 700 intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school juniors and seniors from across the state. The 2014 GHP begins June 23 and runs through July 20. Students spend their mornings in their major area of nomination exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom. During the afternoons, students choose one of the other twenty areas in which to study. Evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts, and performances. Now in its 51st year, GHP is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly.
Foundation Receives $10,000 Sandy Springs Society Grant
The Sandy Springs Society awarded the Riverwood Foundation a $10,000 grant in May 2014 to help establish AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college readiness educational program. The Society supports non-profit programs that improve the quality of life for all the residents of Sandy Springs by promoting the arts, heritage, education, the environment, and social services. The Riverwood Foundation is committed to raise $25,000 to implement the program in the fall.
Learn more about AVID and contribute to the Foundation
Class of 2014 Senior Spotlight on Kimia Shahrokhi
Fulton County Schools selected one senior from each high school for its 2014 Star Senior Showcase. Congratulations to Kimia Shahrokhi for representing the Raiders in this year’s video. Shahrokhi moved with her family to the United States from Iran four years ago. Knowing only her native language Farsi, she then began a journey not only to adapt to American culture but also to its educational system. With her determination and commitment to academics, she quickly learned English and has helped her non-English speaking parents navigate the social and business worlds.
One of the major differences she noticed between American and Iranian schools was the co-ed environments and the cultural diversity. In Iran, schools are single-gender and most students are Muslim. Shahrokhi has also enjoyed the opportunity to express herself – especially in art, where she was selected last year as a 2013 Governor's Honors Program participant.
Even though she has pushed herself academically with Advanced Placement and honors classes, Shahrokhi also finds ways to be challenged outside of the classroom. She loves Crossfit and credits the training program with helping her develop inner and physical strength and to stretch past her limits. Shahrokhi's teachers appreciate that quest for excellence and praise her "thirst for knowledge, intellectual curiosity and work ethic." She has been accepted to Georgia State University and plans to study math and science. May 2014 Video Interview
SAIL Celebrates Success
Congratulations to the students who took part in this year’s SAIL program. Almost 30 seniors (Class of 2014) and 13 adult volunteers participated. SAIL, Seniors Achieving in Life, is a rewarding and effective program pairing adults with seniors needing assistance navigating the college application process. Beginning in the spring, volunteers met with their assigned student(s) weekly during the student’s lunch period to research post graduate opportunities, complete applications, and apply for scholarships.
SAIL is partially funded by a grant from the Sandy Springs Education Force (SSEF) in conjunction with the Counseling Center. When SAIL began with the Class of 2012 only 19 students participated. Now in it’s third year, the program served 28 students; almost half of these students will be the first members of their families to attend college. The support of the SSEF covers expenses such as application and transcript fees. On May 7, the SSEF helped sponsor a breakfast reception to congratulate the students and thank the adult volunteers.
May 2014 Headlines
The Class of 2014 graduated on Friday, May 23 at the Cobb Energy Centre. Each year, the school bestows three special awards to outstanding seniors. Congratulations to:
Atlanta Journal & Constitution Cup: Jonah Blumenthal (pictured left)
Principal's Cup: Mae Davis (pictured center)
Faculty Cup: Joey Weiss (pictured right)
Fun Facts about the Class of 2014
View the list of Colleges and Universities where members of the Class of 2014 received acceptances (as reported to the Counseling Center by May 23, 2014)
View the list of Senior Raiders who will be playing college sports next year
Juniors Honored for Service to NYO's Christopher League
The Northside Youth Organization (NYO) presents the annual Nick Napalitano Award to honor dedication to the Christopher League, abaseball program for physically and mentally disabled players. This year's recipients are Juniors Chad Davis & Sam Moss, committed“buddies” helping youngsters who otherwise would not get a chance to experience the thrill of the game. Congratulations! Coincidentally, Davis and Moss are the third and fourth Raiders to receive the award following Ruby Freeman in 2013 (Raider Class of 2014) and Lee Miller in 2012 (Raider Class of 2012).
Youth Leadership Sandy Springs Graduation
Congratulations to the 12 Raiders who graduated from this year's Youth Leadership Sandy Springs class. They spent the 2013-14 school year learning about the city, working with other local high school students, and serving in the community. Pictured at their May 4 graduation are (standing): Charlotte Spaeth, Nicole Nichols, Emily Smith, Chandler Arney, Jan Berland, Kevin Feldman, Amelia Holley, Margaret Beckley; (seated): Brett Feldman, Palmer Jones, Suleima Millan, Elizabeth Lamar.
Raider Students & Faculty Bring Home CTI State Leadership Conference Awards
Congratulations to Aminata N'Diaye and Jennifer Camona for their 1st Place Awards at the 33rd Annual Career & Technical Intervention (CTI) State Leadership Conference. Raider CTI Coordinator Sandy Gosch received the distinction of 100% CTI Coordinator participation in fulfilling all CTI program state requirements. Held in Eatonton at the 4-H Center at the end of April, students from across the state participated the annual conference. CTI Coordinator Sandy Gosch, along with Chef Elissa Oliver, accompanied the Raider delegation to the weekend full of workshops and competitions.
Aminata N'Diaye placed 1st in the state in the category of Culinary Arts/Professional Foods; Jennifer Camona placed 1st in the category of Catering/Table Set Up. Jennifer used items from her own Quinceanera adding a personal multi-cultural touch which impressed the judges. Representing the Raiders at the conference were: Elena Fink, Maribel Hernandez and Jhoana Soriano in Occupational Creative Thinking (Problem Solving); Janet Cruz and Aminata N’Diaye in Culinary Arts (Professional Foods); and Jennifer Carmona and Markiettea in Head Catering & Table Set Up – Fine Dining.
Olivia Gonzalez Named 2014 District Professional of the Year
Congratulations to Olivia Gonzalez for being named the Fulton County Schools Professional of the Year. Superintendent Avossa came to campus on Friday, May 9 to present Mrs. Gonzalez the award. Earlier this year she was named Riverwood's Professional of the Year. Next, the Central Learning Community voted her the CLC Employee of the Year, which placed her as one of four finalists for the district award. An active member of the Counseling Center for the past six years, she serves as the bilingual parent liaison. Mrs. Gonzalez coordinates activities and programs for Latino students and parents both at the school and in the community, serves as an interpreter and translator for teachers in the building, and sits on the school's Governance Council.
2014 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Announced
Congratulations to Ryan Roels, Valedictorian, and Ben Dolder, Salutatorian. Graduation 2014 is at 3pm on Friday, May 23, at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Valedictorian Ryan Roels (pictured left) will attend Williams College in the fall. While at Riverwood, he was Co-President of the Mock Trial Team, first chair in the Orchestra, and Co-founder of the Riverwood Quartet. Roels plays violin in the Georgia Youth Symphony. A member of the National Honor Society, Roels also played #1 singles for the Raiders Boys Tennis team. He is an IB diploma candidate and volunteers as both an AP tutor and an elementary school tutor.
Salutatorian Ben Dolder (pictured right) will attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the fall. He is also this year's STAR student and a National Merit Finalist. While at Riverwood, Dolder was Co-President of the Mock Trial Team, treasurer of the Quidditch Club, and a member of the National Honor Society. He is an IB diploma candidate and tutors AP students and economically disadvantaged elementary students.
Two Faculty Chosen for NEH Summer Programs
Congratulations to Shaun Leyden and Angus Guberman for being selected to participate in two exciting summer programs sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Leyden will attend “Race and Politics in the American Civil War” at the New York Historical Society July 13-25. Guberman will attend “California’s Gold Rush: Many Contexts, Many Histories” in Sacramento, California during the third week of July.
Junior Selected to Attend Hugh O'Brian Leadership Seminar
Congratulations to Junior Amelia Holley for being chosen to represent the Raiders at this summer's Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Seminar. She will join over 200 other HOBY Ambassadors from across the state of Georgia at Berry College May 30-June 1. Selected students demonstrate leadership in their schools and communities. The weekend seminar helps students discover their strengths while also learning effective organization and administrative skills to maximize their potential.