North Springs science teacher named finalist for national award

North Springs Charter High School’s Rochelle Lofstrand is one of three Georgia finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. The winning finalist will be announced next spring and Lofstrand, if chosen, will join the other states’ winners at a special ceremony at the White House.

Lofstrand has been a science teacher at North Springs for 10 years, is nationally board certified and is the recipient of the 2007-08 Siemens’ Science teaching Award. In 2005, she was named Fulton County High School Teacher of the Year. She was the science department chair at North Springs until this summer.

Before learning of her new honor, she accepted a two-year assignment as the Title I Data Support Specialist at North Springs, a new position targeted especially to serve educationally disadvantaged students and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to Lofstrand even though she might not be hands on in a science classroom now, “I am actually writing science curriculum for the State Department of Education and am serving on a science advisory committee for the state so I hope I can reach even more students. My experience at North Springs has made all this possible.”

Riverwood wins regional Governor’s Cup

Riverwood International Charter High School was among 35 schools statewide to win 2009 Governor’s Cup regional awards for SAT achievement.

The awards are given to the schools with the highest SAT gains in their respective regions.

Riverwood, which is in Region 5-AAA, had an increase of 38 points per student. Riverwood’s overall SAT average was 1688.

The school will receive a $1,000 grant, along with a trophy.

Volleyball match raises $5,000 for hospice

“Claws for a Cause,” a fundraising volleyball match between Marist and St. Pius played on Oct. 1, raised $5,000 for Visiting Nurse | Hospice Atlanta, a community nonprofit that offers quality home health and end-of-life care to patients and families.

The money was raised from the sales of tickets, T-shirts, barbecue and bake sale items. Hospice Atlanta is an organization close to Marist volleyball coach Anna Bush’s heart as it cared for her mother.

“My only wish was that [my mother] could live out her last days in peace and comfort. [Hospice Atlanta] was an indescribable experience,” Bush said. “They provided emotional support for me and my family as well as spiritual support and guidance. It helped to make the last days for my mother a bearable experience. She was kept comfortable and was able to be surrounded by the people she loved. I remember telling myself if there was ever anything I could do to help this organization, I would do it.”

Played in Marist’s Kuhrt Gym Marist won the best-of-5 match over St. Pius.