Ison Road school is named

The public elementary school opening to students in Sandy Springs in August now has a name: Ison Springs Elementary School.

The Fulton County Board of Education approved the name at its meeting April 23. The name was the top recommendation of a committee Principal Sara Glynn formed for that purpose. The name reflects the school’s location on Ison Road just west of Roswell Road and its location in the city of Sandy Springs.

By custom, the school board goes with the name choice of the board member representing the school, so Julia Bernath of Sandy Springs got to make the decision. She picked Ison Springs.

The second choice of the committee was Morgan Falls Elementary School, but Bernath said another school of that name burned down decades ago, so it has bad associations.

Ridgeview student wins state contest

Seventh-grader Gabrielle Rosenthal of Ridgeview Charter School won first place in the state in the dance choreography category of the annual Reflections arts contest.

The national PTA sponsors the 30-year-old program, which encourages students to express themselves through their works of art. Students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade submit presentations in one of six areas: literature; musical composition; photography; visual arts; dance choreography; and film/video production.

This year’s theme was “Wow!”

Gabrielle is an accomplished, competitive Scottish Highland dancer. Her presentation was titled “Stealing the Crown Jewels,” in which she appeared as a cat burglar.

She and the other winners were honored at a reception at North Atlanta High School.

Oracle still excellent

North Springs Charter High School’s newspaper, The Oracle, received 10 awards at the 2009 Georgia Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony in Athens on May 1.

The awards haul included four top All-Georgia awards, and the Oracle was named the best high school newspaper in the region for the second year in a row.

Editor in Chief Amanda Wolkin, a junior, and faculty adviser David Courtenay-Quirk lead The Oracle.

The Oracle’s awards:

• Superior Georgia rating.

• General excellence for AAAA high schools.

• Superior opposing viewpoints article, Amanda Wolkin and Connie Roberts.

• All-Georgia house editorials.

• Superior sports feature story, Daniel Kramer.

• Superior sports column, Polina Marinova.

• Superior double-truck/layout design, Wolkin and Roberts.

• All-Georgia advertising design, Michael Rosenberg.

• Best overall use of advertising.

• Best overall editorial page.

Dean meeting May 21

Fulton County Board of Education member Gail Dean, a Sandy Springs resident whose district includes part of the city, will hold her monthly community meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 21, at Ridgeview Charter School, 5340 S. Trimble Road.

Both Dean and fellow Sandy Springs school board member Julia Bernath hold community meetings each month to discuss the board’s activities and hear the concerns and other feedback of parents and school personnel. Bernath’s meeting this month was May 13 at Northwood Elementary School in Roswell.

24 win national scholarships

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. has announced the first two sets of 2009 National Merit Scholars and the National Achievement Scholars, including 24 local students.

On April 22, the nonprofit corporation announced the more than 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored merit scholarships, including 24 Georgia high school seniors. The scholarships range from one-time awards of $2,500 to $5,000 to renewable four-year stipends of $500 to $10,000 a year.

On May 6, the 2,500 recipients of one-time $2,500 National Merit Scholarships were announced, including 62 Georgians.

An additional 4,700 college-sponsored merit scholarship winners will be announced in two groups, May 27 and July 13.

In addition, on April 8, the National Achievement Scholarship Program announced its 800 African-American winners, including 61 Georgians. Of the winners, 700 earned one-time $2,500 scholarships, and the rest got corporate-sponsored scholarships.

The following are the scholarship winners who live or attend school in Sandy Springs, Buckhead and Brookhaven:

• National Merit Scholarship $2,500 winners — Simonne Berry, Alison Beskin, Adam Cook, Erica Curtis, Evan Fields, Richard Gieryn III and John Greene, Westminster Schools; Liya Lomsadze, Riverwood International Charter School; Adrien Pellerin, Atlanta International School; Neil Kimball, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School; Peter Melampy, Marist School; and Chelsea Stowell, North Springs Charter High School.

• Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners — Claire Ittner, Marist, sponsored by the UPS Foundation; Dorothy Longley, Westminster, sponsored by Texas Instruments; Clay Williams, Chamblee High School, sponsored by Siemens; and Natalie Papillion, Riverwood, sponsored by the State Farm Cos. Foundation.

• National Achievement Scholarship winners — Brittany Croone, Chamblee High; Imani Franklin, Chris Gold, Plas James, Nahum Seifeselassie and Nicholas Hines, Westminster; Megan McGraw, Atlanta International; Nimat Lawal, Pace Academy; and Natalie Papillion, Riverwood (honorary only because of other awards).

Tabula Rasa changes

Besa Tarazhi, the founder and owner of the Tabula Rasa school in Sandy Springs, announced April 24 she is giving up day-to-day operational leadership of the school.

Tarazhi remains the owner, directs the curriculum and works from the school at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The school runs an immersion preschool program in French and Spanish and a bilingual kindergarten and plans to add first grade in August.

The Sandy Springs Planning Commission is due to hear applications for a 390-student use permit and a 2,000-square-foot addition May 21. The City Council is to vote June 16.