7 at North Atlanta win Chinese competition

Seven North Atlanta High School students were recognized as winners of a recent Chinese writing competition during a celebration of the start of the Chinese Year of the Ox at Coan Middle School, the home of Atlanta Public Schools’ Confucius Institute.

North Atlanta’s Bria-Maine Wilcox, Kelly Ford, Jenna Bhaloo, Reid Ulicny, Guergana Terzieva, Shannon Kelley and Vincent Robinson were among 24 students who won the writing competition at the Atlanta schools teaching Chinese: North Atlanta, Coan, Maynard Jackson High, Carver Early College and Toomer Elementary.

The New Year’s celebration featured a Panda Express buffet, poetry, dancing and singing. North Atlanta students, for example, sang “Edelweiss” in Chinese.

The Cheng Hong Martial Arts School performed the traditional lion dance, meant to chase away evil spirits and bring good luck, and North Atlanta Chinese instructor Zhao Fangxia joined in. Another highlight was North Atlanta student Hu Wen Yi’s performing a violin solo of a Miao flute piece.

Atlanta Girls’ School second in GISA contest

Atlanta Girls’ School students won six categories in the 2009 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) 1 AAA Literary & Music Competition on March 4, and two other girls finished second.

Overall, the Buckhead school finished second among the teams and qualified for the state competition, which was held at Valdosta State College on March 17. Results were not available at press time.

The winners from the Atlanta Girls’ School: Elizabeth Barsalou, first place, girl’s solo; Sophia Hutton, first, domestic extemporaneous speaking; Meagan Knowlton, first, personal essay; Christine Lopez, first, humorous oral interpretation; Virginia Parker, first, dramatic oral interpretation; Amber Reed, Victoria Hill and Sophie Coffman, first, girls’ trio; Kelsey Dutcher, second place, piano; and Izzy Hendry, second, international extemporaneous speaking.

Lovett to hear lessons about Holocaust hero

The Lovett School will host an evening March 26 focused on Corrie ten Boom and her heroic efforts against the Nazis during World War II.

Pam Moore, who took care of ten Boom during the last seven years of her life, will speak from 7 to 8:15 p.m. about the lessons of ten Boom’s best-selling memoir, “The Hiding Place,” which chronicled the Dutch Christian family’s efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust. Lovett students are studying ten Boom’s book.

“We are honored and privileged to host Pam Moore at Lovett … and eagerly await her words of wisdom,” Headmaster Billy Peebles said.

The evening will feature readings from several students as well as a question-and-answer session with Moore.

Recession slows Weber challenge

The Weber School looks as if it won’t meet its March 31 deadline to turn $3 million into $9 million, but the head of the Jewish high school’s capital campaign is confident donors eventually will rise to the challenge.

“Everybody knows that we’re going to raise the $3 million,” said Sandy Springs commercial developer Steve Berman, the capital campaign chairman. “We’re going to meet our end of the obligation.”

The Sandy Springs school accepted that obligation a year ago when benefactors Joe and Felicia Weber issued a challenge: If the school could raise $3 million toward its ongoing $32 million Weaving a Legacy capital campaign, the Webers would contribute an additional $6 million. But if the school falls short of its $3 million goal, the Webers won’t give any of the $6 million.

Berman said the school was ahead of schedule to meet the goal until the economy collapsed in November.

Two weeks before March 31, Weber had raised about $2 million from 110 donors.

As part of a big push with the challenge deadline looming, Weber students produced a four-minute YouTube video, posted at www.weberschool.org about three weeks ago.

But with the goal still about $1 million away, the school is likely to extend the challenge period as long as it takes.

Holy Spirit second in Odyssey of the Mind

Holy Spirit Prep’s Odyssey of the Mind team finished second at the regional tournament in Savannah last month and captured the coveted Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award.

Under the rules of Odyssey of the Mind, an international educational problem-solving competition, any team winning a Ranatra Fusca Award advances to the next level, although Holy Spirit also earned a berth in the state tournament by placing second.

The team representing the Sandy Springs school consists of Amy Dixon, Emily Dixon, Janie Janeczko, Marilyn Lapu, Catherine Lennon, Charlie Martin and Sam Rodriguez.

The state finals are April 4 at Columbus State University, where Holy Spirit will try to win a spot in the world finals in late May at Iowa State University.