Fulton County Schools Senior Spotlight: Yazmin Tamez-Garcia
Congratulations to Yazmin Tamez-Garcia (Class of 2018) for being selected by Fulton County Schools as the Raider Star Senior.
UPDATED: Class of 2018 Colleges & University Acceptances
The Counseling Center compiles the list based on information provided by students. Please contact the Counseling Center to report additional acceptances or wait-list clearances.
Abney and Schneider are National Merit Scholarship Finalists
Congratulations to Seniors Saya Abney and Lily Schneider for advancing from the semifinalist to the finalist stage of the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program. They are in the running to compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, plus over 1,200 corporate scholarships, and approximately 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.
Abney, the Class of 2018 Valedictorian, is yet undecided about where she will continue her education, but aspires to attend law school after college. Schneider will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology where she plans to study chemistry and engineering.
Advanced Placement Test Results Earn Honors
The Georgia Department of Education named Riverwood a 2018 AP STEM school, an AP Humanities School, and an AP Access and Support School based on the Spring 2017 Advanced Placement scores. Congratulations to the students and teachers for their hard work. visit the News & Media Gallery for the complete story
2018 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Announced
Congratulations to Saya Abney, Valedictorian, and Dori Balser, Salutatorian. Graduation 2018 is at 3pm on Thursday, May 24, at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Valedictorian Saya Abney (pictured left) is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme Candidate and plans to double-major in physics/aerospace engineering and sociology/ethnic studies. She is yet undecided about where she will continue her education, but aspires to attend law school after college. Abney is the Raiders' 2018 STAR Student, a National Merit Scholar Finalist, and an AP Scholar. She received the Georgia Certificate of Merit as well as the Harvard Prize Book Award. As Co-Captain of the Raider Policy Debate Team, Abney helped restart the team as a Freshman, has coached other team members for four years, and has had many successes in debate competitions. Passionate about education and social justice, Abney serves as an AP World History Tutor, tutors ESOL students in math, and volunteers to coach and judge middle school debate tournaments through the Atlanta Urban Debate League. Abney is a member of the National Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and the National Beta Club.
Salutatorian Dori Balser (pictured right) plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis in the fall. She is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme candidate and is the Student Body Vice President. Earlier this year, Balser received the Princeton Club’s 2017 Woodrow Wilson Community Service Award and was honored at the Georgia State Capitol. She is one of only 16 high school students selected to serve on the Youth Board of the United Way of Greater Atlanta, and currently serves as a co-chair. Balser was a 2016 "HOBY Ambassador," representing the Raiders at the Hugh O'Brian Summer Youth Leadership Conference. She is a school Ambassador and an AP World History Tutor. Balser is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, and the National Beta Club.
Raiders Announce Three Governor's Honors Students
Congratulations to Riley Mehrman (Engineering), Shreya Rekapali (History), and Jayden Richardson (Music) for being selected to attend the prestigious 2081 Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) this summer.
The 2018 GHP will be held on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia. The Governor’s Honors Program is a four-week, summer residential program for gifted and talented high school students in the state of Georgia. The instructional program is designed to provide enriching and challenging educational opportunities for intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students. 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.
2017-18 Teacher of the Year & Professional of the Year
Congratulations to Jerome Dunson for being named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year and to Tami Walton for being named the 2017-18 Professional of the Year. Faculty and staff nominated and voted for this year’s recipients. New to the process this year was the participation of the student body. The honorees received their awards at a March faculty meeting and, as a surprise, had their families present in the auditorium to witness the presentations.
Jerome Dunson joined the Raider faculty in 2013 and teaches US History, International Affairs, and Economics. He works with students in the Career Technology Instruction (CTI) program, serves as Assistant Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, and is a member of the school’s Governance Council.
Dunson, an Atlanta native, grew up in College Park and earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a minor in History at the University of West Georgia. Outside of school, Dunson is an avid basketball enthusiast and movie connoisseur, and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.
When asked about the best part of his work, Dunson replied, “[it is] being able to make a difference academically and socially in the lives of students as they transition into young adulthood. I am truly thankful to be able to work in an environment with such wonderful students and professionals, doing a service I’m passionate about.”
Principal Chuck Gardner added, “His students receive top notch instruction every day and his calm demeanor is a stabilizing force for so many students.”
Tami Walton joined the Raider Administrative Team in 2016. She is responsible for all of the school finances, including receiving and disbursing funds, and maintaining the cost center and local school budgets.
Walton came to Fulton County via Cobb County Schools where she worked for 12 years as a Bookkeeper. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Walton holds a degree in Human Services from Mercer University. She is currently working to complete a Master’s Degree in School Counseling.
Married with three children, she also enjoys time with her 10 year old Shih Tzu named Gizmo.
About Walton, Principal Gardner stated, “She always has a smile on her face and stays calm under pressure. Her patience is incredible and she is a comforting presence to everyone.”
Abney is STAR Student; Gribble is STAR Teacher
Saya Abney is the 2017-18 STAR Student; she chose Social Studies faculty member Daniel Gribble as her STAR teacher.
To obtain the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR), 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. The STAR program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.
Abney is an IB Diploma Candidate and plans to major in physics or aerospace engineering. Already holding an acceptance from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, she also has UC Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Emory, and Georgia Tech in her college choices. Abney aspires to attend law school after college.
Abney’s STAR teacher is Social Studies faculty member Daniel Gribble. Abney said, “ I picked Mr. Gribble as my STAR teacher because his classes encourage students to learn skills beyond the course content: reading comprehension, critical analysis, and time management. He cares about and supports his students while trying to ensure they can succeed on their own.” Read more in the News & Media Gallery
Arney Selected to Georgia State School Superintendent's Council
Congratulations to Junior Nate Arney for being chosen for Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2017-18 Student Advisory Council. Arney is one of 142 students selected from over 2,500 applicants from public schools across the state. One male and one female were chosen to represent each school district in Georgia; Arney represents Fulton County Schools.
Applicants were asked to explain their ideas for impacting the overall quality of public education in Georgia and to indicate their commitment to community service. Students on the council serve as liaisons between the Georgia Department of Education and the students of the state. Over the course of four meetings at the Superintendent’s office, the students can expect to discuss a variety of topics that, in the past, have included student leadership, Georgia graduation rules, dropout rates, school climate, nutrition, and career, technical, and agricultural education.
Arney has enjoyed his participation thus far, noting: “The diversity of students on the council has been extremely interesting to me. Talking with all students about how their schools function and comparing their school experiences to mine has been very interesting. I am fascinated by the variety of high school offerings a Georgia high school student experiences.” Arney, an IB Diploma Candidate, is an active member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish and Science National Honor Societies, and Beta Club. He also serves on Mr. Gardner's Principal’s Student Advisory Council. Arney is a peer tutor and member of the Varsity Lacrosse team.