Rotary recognizes top teachers

The Sandy Springs Rotary Club recently honored the teachers of the year from each of the public schools in the city, including Fulton County Schools’ Elementary School Teacher of the Year, Katina Krass of Lake Forest Elementary School.

Krass teaches art at Lake Forest and was named the new school’s first Teacher of the Year, then won the school system’s recognition.

The daughter of a teacher, Krass grew up with the knowledge that teachers make lasting impressions on those they teach.

She attended private school growing up and never experienced art education at school. That background has led her to seize her opportunities to inspire students to see and experience the world through artistic expression.

She said she strives to bring “meaning and magic, delight and awareness, and the ideal of beauty and truth to enrich the lives of young minds.”

Word of Krass’ county award came shortly before the Rotary Club recognized her and other educators and heard from Fulton Superintendent Cindy Loe at its weekly luncheon May 11 at Hammond Glen.

Fulton County Schools will hold a gala to honor all teachers and support professionals of the year in November.

The other school teachers of the year, most of whom attended the Rotary luncheon, are: Jacqueline Flowers, Dunwoody Springs Charter Elementary School; Ann Alvarez, Heards Ferry Elementary School; Jessica Lambert, High Point Elementary School; Lynn Tomaselli, Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School; Amy Peterman, Woodland Elementary Charter School; Marshette Northern, Ridgeview Charter School; Nicole Schechter, Sandy Springs Middle School; Scott Hetherington, North Springs Charter High School; and Anna Swafford, Riverwood International Charter School.

Each school also named a support professional of the year. They are: Benay Gunby, Dunwoody Springs; Linda Tuck, Heards Ferry; Mary Thomas, High Point; Willie Caldwell, Lake Forest; Nona Bickers, Spalding Drive; Karen Davenport, Woodland; Marcela Moran, Ridgeview; Adrienne Salters, Sandy Springs; Vincent Johnson, North Springs; and Emma Prothro, Riverwood.

Summer meals available at two schools

Woodland Elementary Charter School and Sandy Springs Middle School are participating in the Seamless Summer Food Service Program to provide free meals to children who get free or reduced-price meals at Fulton County public schools during the school year.

With the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Fulton County Schools program aims to ensure that poor children under age 18 don’t go without nutritious meals while school is out of session. The lunches are served on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to noon through June 26.

Children should sign in at the front office to receive a meal pass. After lunch, they must leave the building.

For more information, call 404-669-8960.

Board members elected at North Springs

Three parents were elected this spring to the Governance Board of North Springs Charter High School for two-year terms that began June 1: Robert Buschman, Regina Kane and DeeAnn Weprinsky.

Earlier, the faculty elected math teacher Scott Hetherington, family and consumer science teacher Diane Burton-Moroney and language arts teacher Lisa Myers to two-year terms as faculty representatives on the board.

UPS Foundation gives $15,000 to St. Jude

The charitable arm of Sandy Springs-based UPS is giving $15,000 to St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School to help students train their brains.

The UPS Foundation grant will support the northern Sandy Springs school’s Cerebral Matters Program, which will be entering its third year in the fall.

“The UPS Foundation is committed to funding programs that make a meaningful difference in our communities, so we are proud to support St. Jude the Apostle School’s efforts to provide strategies to enhance executive management skills in school-aged children,” said Ken Sternad, the president of the foundation.

The Cerebral Matters Program teaches St. Jude teachers to help children with “organizing your brain at school,” especially executive functioning skills related to memory, organization and task execution. This year the faculty developed an assessment tool so parents know how their children are doing at acquiring those skills.

“St. Jude School is thrilled to partner with UPS in bringing this program to the students, teachers and parents,” Principal Patty Childs said. “Cerebral Matters will impact not only the children of today, but also the work force of tomorrow.”

The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, encouraging diversity, community safety, and environmental sustainability.

Weber School meets fundraising challenge

The Weber School has exceeded the fundraising goal of the Weber Challenge, adding a total of $11 million to the Jewish high school’s Weaving a Legacy capital campaign.

In spring 2008, Felicia and Joe Weber pledged to donate $6 million if the Sandy Springs school received at least $3 million in new campaign gifts and pledges by this spring.

At the annual meeting of the Weber board May 21, outgoing President Harold Kirtz announced that the school had raised more than $5 million to meet the challenge and earn an additional $6 million from the Webers.

“This is an historic and joyous day for Weber,” Kirtz said.

The Webers’ gift is the largest donation ever to an Atlanta Jewish educational institution from an individual or couple.

17 more local graduates receive National Merit Scholarships

More than 2,800 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities, including 113 Georgians, were announced May 27 by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among finalists in the 2009

National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend the institution. The awards provide

$500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Another group of Scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total of college-sponsored scholarship recipients in the 2009 competition to more than 4,700. This year 120 private and 81 public colleges and universities in 44 states and the District of Columbia are underwriting the scholarships.

The 17 recipients who live or attend schools in Reporter Newspapers’ distribution area: Shashank Bharadwaj, Westminster Schools, Georgia Tech; Ian Cooke, Westminster Schools, Emory University; John Eatman, Westminster Schools, University of Georgia; Emily Fawcett, Marist School, University of Georgia; Judson Green, Lovett School, Georgia Tech; Joseph Hodges, Westminster Schools, University of North Carolina; Daniel Ish, Pace Academy, University of Chicago; Rosemary Lewis, Westminster Schools, University of North Carolina; Mary Lintel, Riverwood International Charter School, Vanderbilt University; Hannah Miller, Riverwood International Charter School, University of South Carolina; Sarah Onderka, North Springs Charter High School, College of Charleston; Emily Robey-Phillips, Atlanta International School, Georgia Tech; Sarah Russell, Westminster Schools, University of Tennessee; William Stamper, Marist School, Georgia Tech; Connor Wakamo, Lovett School, Georgia Tech; Lindsey Warren, Marist School, Georgia Tech; and James Willingham, Marist School, University of Georgia.

Mount Vernon Presbyterian hires AD

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School has named Mark Heiser director of athletics.

He replaces Don Burgess, who previously announced his retirement.

Heiser will join the Sandy Springs private school July 1 from Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he was athletic director and supervised 42 teams and 81 coaches in 15 athletic programs.

“Coach Heiser has developed lifelong relationships with student-athletes, parents, alumni and coaches,” Mount Vernon’s new head of school, Brett Jacobsen, said in a letter. “He will be an effective and engaging leader for the coaching staff and a strong Christian mentor for our student-athletes.”

Heiser has more than 13 years of coaching experience in Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, where he was named Virginia Coach of the Year in 2004 and was twice named Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Heiser received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina-Coastal Carolina, where he played baseball, and earned a master of educational administration degree from Salisbury University, where he coached football and baseball.

“My family and I are thrilled with the opportunity to join the Mount Vernon community, and I look forward to building upon and growing the already established athletic program at MVPS,” said Heiser, who has a wife, Kelly, and a 1-year-old son, Luke. “I have a strong focus on the future of MVPS athletics and look forward to watching all of our Mustangs as they continue to emerge as a competitive force within the city of Atlanta.”

Atlanta International gets $50,000 to go green

Grants to Green has awarded Atlanta International School $50,000 to help build an energy-efficient Arts, Science and Design Center.

The money will be used to install high-performance windows, energy-recovery ventilation and an ultraefficient lighting package that could lead to annual energy savings of more than 20 percent and provide the Buckhead school with significant financial savings, freeing up resources to improve education.

“We are delighted to receive this grant from the Grants to Green Foundation, which will enable us to implement additional innovative strategies to increase our green credentials. This must be, and is, a fundamental part of the education that we provide our students and our community,” Headmaster Robert Brindley said.

The Grants to Green program is a partnership of the Southface Energy Institute, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Enterprise Community Partners. It helps nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta area assess their facilities, identify energy-, water- and resource-efficiency upgrades, and adopt best management practices in sustainability.

Suzuki School receives accreditation

The Suzuki School has earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after a two-day evaluation of the preschool’s two campuses in Buckhead resulted in the conclusion that the institution excels in all seven categories evaluated.

Fewer than 3 percent of the nation’s preschools have such accreditation. Suzuki worked for four years toward accreditation.

Debra Markham, Suzuki’s head of schools, said the process focused on “the school’s innovative approach to early childhood education, strong teaching staff and curriculum, as well as dedication to constant improvement.”