2 names offered for new school

The Fulton County Board of Education will choose one of two names April 14 for the new elementary school at Ison and Roswell roads: Ison Springs Elementary School or Morgan Falls Elementary School.

The school board accepted those names on first reading at its meeting March 19.

A naming committee consisting of parents and staff of the new school, led by Principal Sara Glynn, met Feb. 26 and March 10. At the second meeting, they culled a list of five potential names, including Northridge, Ison Valley and Morgan Falls Valley, to their top two choices. Ison Springs received six of the seven committee votes; Morgan Falls received the other vote.

After the school board makes its decision on the name, Glynn plans to meet with rising fifth-graders and possibly fourth-graders who will attend the school to discuss the mascot and school colors. The students now attend Dunwoody Springs Charter Elementary, Spalding Drive Charter Elementary and Woodland Elementary Charter.

St. Jude sixth-grader wins State Spelling Bee

Julia Denniss, 12, a sixth-grader at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Sandy Springs, won the 48th annual Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) State Spelling Bee on March 20 at Georgia State University. She will represent the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington during the last week of May.

Julia, the daughter of Dr. Diane Lefebvre and Michael Denniss of Dunwoody, spelled “concatenate” to win the state bee.

Julia first won the school bee at St. Jude, then finished in the top 10 at the Georgia Independent School Association district bee to advance to the GISA state competition. Her victory in the GISA bee earned her a spot in the GAE State Spelling Bee with 19 other regional qualifiers.

In addition to the free trip to Washington for the national bee, Julia got $400 for winning the state bee, $25 for participating, a dictionary, a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and a $20 Amazon gift certificate.

Sandy Springs girl claims state debate title

Alexis de Groot of Sandy Springs, an eighth-grader at High Meadows School in Roswell, won the varsity middle school state debate championship with schoolmate Hannah Yindra last month.

The tournament, named for philanthropist J.B. Fuqua, was held at Emory University. It involved approximately 25 teams of two on the varsity level, as well as 35 at the novice level and 50 at the junior varsity level. Alexis won the JV title last year.

This year’s debate topic was whether the federal government should increase incentives to promote and pursue alternative energy in brown fields.

Alexis is the daughter of Eric and Vicki de Groot. She will be a freshman at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs in August.

Davis names Lower School head

Davis Academy has promoted Drew Frank to principal of its Lower School.

Frank has worked at the Sandy Springs school for nine years, including as teacher, Lower School assistant principal, and most recently director of academics and enrichment.

“Drew’s experience in both teaching and administrative roles right here at Davis has enabled him to develop a vast knowledge of our school operations and culture. Drew brings an excellent combination of professional expertise, warmth and a commitment to personal attention to each child,” Davis Head of School Sid Kirschner said.

Frank succeeds Rebecca Hunt, who resigned and took a consulting role with Davis.

Local schools score big at state Tech Fair

The 2009 Georgia Educational Technology Fair last month in Cumming proved a successful day for several Sandy Springs private schools and a charter school open to students in Buckhead and Brookhaven as well as Sandy Springs.

From Greenfield Hebrew Academy, Rem Hellmann was second in 3D modeling for third and fourth grades; Daniel Nixon finished second in hardware for fifth and sixth grades; and Ben Stolovitz was second in project programming for seventh and eighth grades.

From The Epstein School, Talia Katz won the 3D modeling category for fifth and sixth grades; Jake Bardack finished third in animated graphic design among third- and fourth-graders; Jack Schneider was second in digital video editing for fifth and sixth grades; Rebecca Cohen finished first in multimedia applications for fourth grade; Asher Berman and Samantha Weinberg were second in multimedia applications for sixth-graders; Jamie Albert and Rachel Schwartz were third in multimedia applications among seventh-graders; Peter Dunis and Alex Duner won multimedia applications for the eighth grade; and Asher Berman finished third in the technology literacy challenge for fifth- and sixth-graders.

From The Weber School, Jonathan Gaynes finished third in digital video editing among 11th- and 12th-graders, and Josh Mangel was second in Web 2.0 Internet applications for ninth- and 10th-graders.

From North Springs Charter High School, Ivan Akimov finished second in nonanimated graphic design for ninth and 10th grades; Eden Weingart won the nonanimated graphic design category for 11th and 12th grades; and David Kontyko won the individual programming challenge among 11th- and 12th-graders.

An eco-friendly fundraiser

The Epstein School’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is planning a green fundraiser this month in honor of Earth Day.

The Sandy Springs private school said the fundraiser has two goals: to make money for playground renovations and improvements and to make the world a better place.

The fundraiser will be run through Greenraising.com, which specializes in eco-friendly and fair-trade products, from reusable grocery bags and water bottles to all-natural cleaning supplies. Its sales of fair-trade chocolate, jewelry from women’s co-ops in Guatemala and lunch boxes made from drink containers raise money for art education.

Epstein will receive 25 percent of all sales throughout the year and 40 percent from April 26 to May 6.

“The PTO was looking for a fundraiser that reflects the values of our school,” Epstein fundraising volunteer Amy Fox said. “With Greenraising.com, we feel good about the products we sell and about the lesson we teach our children.”