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Fulton School Board Meeting Recognitions: April 11, 2019

NOTE - The Fulton County Board of Education is proud to recognize the achievements of FCS schools, students, and staff at our monthly meetings. A portion of the remarks from a recent board meeting have been transcribed here. 


Cliff Jones, Chief Academic Officer: Good Evening President Bryant, Members of the Board, and Dr. Loe. Tonight, we have many awards to present for our April recognitions. Due to many of our students being extremely busy with various activities, some teams or groups may be represented by several select members. I will, however, read the names of all honorees.


Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

We begin with 14 high school and middle school national award recipients of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, some of the most competitive awards in the country. Since 1923, these awards have been presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world.

Some famous alumni award winners include Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, John Updike and Sylvia Plath, to name a few.

We are proud to honor the following students; please come forward:

  • Dagmawit Adamu of Milton High School: Gold Medal for Poetry
  • Mira Eshwarean of Milton High School: Silver Medal for Poetry
  • Chaeha Kim of Johns Creek High School: Gold Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Michelle Oh of Johns Creek High School: Silver Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Jimin Suh of Johns Creek High School: Silver Medal for Painting
  • Jennifer Lee of Johns Creek High School: Silver Medal for Painting
  • Minjung Kyun of Chattahoochee High School: Silver Medal for Painting
  • Rachel Lee of Chattahoochee High School: Silver Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Annie Sunil of Alpharetta High School: Silver Medal for Painting
  • Jamie Wang of Alpharetta High School: Silver Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Cecilia Zabala of North Springs High School: Silver Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Mingye Jasmine Fan of Northview High School: Silver Medal for Drawing and Illustration
  • Janice Lee of Northview High School: Silver Medal for Sculpture
  • Shinyoung Yang of Autrey Mill Middle School: Gold Medal for Painting

Congratulations to you all!

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards



Lego Competition, Webb Bridge MS

And now to outer space. Earlier this school year, a seven-member team of robotics enthusiasts from Webb Bridge Middle School joined together to enter the Georgia FIRST Lego League competition. The self-named “Astrobots” worked tirelessly to build a robot that would complete as many tasks on the FIRST Lego League Mission table as possible within two and a half minutes. Following the competition theme “Into Orbit”, they completed their research project which focused on using aeroponics to grow a sustainable food source for humans while in space.

Would the following Astrobots team members please come to the front:

  • Anushka Goray
  • Victor Joseph
  • Garrison Lee
  • Gagandeep Narang
  • Aaron Wang
  • Dhanvin Rajesh Yajaman

and their teacher robotics sponsors Allison Hill and Ellen Rambo

GA FIRST Lego League



JROTC Riflery Competition

Our next award goes to a Roswell High School junior who is a cadet in the Junior ROTC and a champion riflery marksman. She has competed extensively and recently won first place in the JROTC Southern Region Air Rifle Postal Competition. She also advanced to the national championship competition where she placed in the top six and qualified as an individual to compete at the State Rifle Match at Fort Benning later this month.

Would Anusha Pakkam please come to the front?

Under the leadership of Senior Army Instructor at Roswell, Lt. Col. Anthony Duplechein in the JROTC Leadership and Education Training class, Anusha has excelled in various cadet citizenship skills including Military Leadership, First Aid, Financial Literacy, etc. Her teacher describes her as “a dedicated, natural leader and ultra-focused on her marksmanship skills. She possesses extraordinary micro-coordination and psychophysical abilities for marksmanship, and on a scale of 0-300, she is near perfect at 295, well ahead of her peer group, nationally.”

Anusha is on the All Georgia and Army team and hopes to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.


Roswell junior Anusha Pakkam and Lt. Col. Anthony Duplechien



Bright Spark Design Competition

Our next award recipients took first place in the 2018-2019 Bright Spark Design Competition. This challenge highlights design thinking and is held by Bridge Innovate, a global network of business strategists, consultants and leaders who use business transformation and design thinking techniques to solve complex challenges.

This year, more than 20 teams, ranging from fourth grade to college, created solutions to improve the quality of life for our communities. The challenge statement involved connecting resources and services in our communities to help families in need.

Three FCS schools took first place wins: River Trail Middle School won Bright Futures: Best Overall for Middle School; Woodland Elementary School was honored with the People’s Choice Award; and Mountain Park Elementary School won the Stronger Communities Award.

Will the following team members please come forward

From River Trail Middle:

  • Archana Pateria
  • Randall Sinckler
  • Aakansh Yerpude
  • Aarav Gupta
  • Nikita Rao
  • and facilitator Marwa Crisp

Bright Spark Student Design Competition


Will the following team members from Woodland Elementary, please come forward:

  • David-Nelson Tokognon
  • Varun Subrumanian
  • Mukhtar Mohammad
  • and facilitator Cheri Mills

Bright Spark - Woodland Elementary


And will the following team members from Mountain Park Elementary, please come forward:

  • Brody Duffy
  • Aya Elitr
  • Emelyn Baldi
  • Caitlin Unglo
  • Sam Slack
  • and facilitators Wendy Kelly and Pam Padak


Bright Spark - Mountain Park



Bright Spark Teacher Award

Continuing with the Bright Spark accolades, next we salute a Johns Creek High School engineering teacher who was chosen as the Leadership Impact Award recipient at the Bright Spark Design Competition.

Out of more than 20 team sponsors, this teacher was one of two who were recognized for their leadership, innovation and application of design thinking.

Would Dr. Stephen Sweigart please come forward:

Dr. Sweigart led a team of three Career Technology teachers and over 130 students through the design thinking process at Johns Creek. Engineering, Computer Science and Marketing students worked together to develop twenty solutions for the Bright Spark challenge. Two winning teams were selected to represent Johns Creek at the county competition, and one finished as a finalist in two categories. We are proud of our teacher leaders.


Bright Spark - Johns Creek



Valedictorians and Salutatorians

And in closing, we are so proud tonight to acknowledge the top two students from each of our Fulton County high schools – the Valedictorians and Salutatorians. These scholars from the class of 2019 have attained the two highest cumulative averages among their peers through hard work in rigorous courses.

These seniors have established themselves as models of excellence and set the standard for future students to follow. Special thanks to Balfour for their in-kind gift of the award medals.

After the meeting, we will have a special reception across the hall for our Valedictorians, Salutatorians and their parents. If you are able to stay, we invite you to join us and be celebrated.

Will the following Valedictorians an Salutatorians please come to the front: 

Kylee Rahm, Valedictorian
Dheeraj Eidnani, Salutatorian

Caroline Redick, Valedictorian
Chris Manna, Salutatorian

Marianne Lamarche, Valedictorian
Karis Wang, Salutatorian

Andy Luo, Valedictorian
Erin Fu Chang, Salutatorian

Savannah Kemp, Valedictorian
Antonia Houze, Salutatorian

Johns Creek
Tyler Bierfreund, Valedictorian
Samuel Song, Salutatorian

Kayleigh Monahan, Valedictorian
Erin Joyce, Salutatorian

North Springs
Lindsey Nicholas, Valedictorian
Elaine Wen, Salutatorian

Jonathan Zheng, Valedictorian
Sheri Zhang, Salutatorian

Michelle Stanek, Valedictorian
Julie Mittelstedt, Salutatorian

Sameer Khan, Valedictorian
Lena Krone, Salutatorian

Congratulations on this amazing achievement!




This concludes our recognitions.