Student Spotlight of the Week

Name: Jazziyah Taylor

Grade: 2nd Grade

School: D.H. Stanton Elementary

Jazziyah Taylor is a 2nd grader at D.H. Stanton who strives to be a high performing student both in and out of the classroom. She is a bright and talented addition to D.H. Stanton as an Honor Roll student, as well as an all-star cheerleader.  Since Kindergarten, she has been excelling in all subject areas and is part of the Talent Development Program at D.H. Stanton this year. Her favorite subject is math, and she is also an avid reader of chapter books.  Jazziyah’s diligence and consistent advancement is a great example and motivator to students around her.

Apart from her academic achievements, Jazziyah has athletic talent as an all-star cheerleader. She has accumulated 4 years of cheering experience and is currently in her 3rd year at the all-star level with CAO Elite in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her skills are classified as a Level 2 tumbler, and she is currently a flyer on two teams at an award winning gym. Her team went undefeated the entire season during her first year. Over the years, Jazziyah won many medals and trophies for both her academic and cheerleading achievements. In addition, she recently stepped into pageantry and competed in her first pageant. “Cheerleading makes me happy and I really like tumbling. I also like getting dressed up and wear different outfits. I want to be a beautician when I grow up,” Jazziyah says.

Name: Jabari Gay

Grade: 8th Grade 

School: Bunche Middle School

Jabari Gay is an 8th Grader at Bunche Middle School, and his teachers describe him as a shining star in the classroom. Jabari is a polite, courteous young man who is always willing to lend a helping hand. In addition to being an exceptional student, he also completes all tasks with pride and confidence equipped with a knowledgeable skill set.

“I love math and art,” he explained. “But my favorite subject is math.” Jabari’s family is a major component of his success, and they encourage him to stay on track in school. He says that his mom inspires him to do well in school, but his grandfather also motivates him to succeed in academics.

One reason why Jabari says he is successful in school is because he genuinely enjoys completing school projects and homework. Beyond his accomplishments in the classroom, Jabari is also an athlete, and he likes to play baseball in his free time. “I also love to play with my friends and watch television,” he says. “My future aspiration is to become a psychologist or an entrepreneur one day.”

Name: Miaya Faniel                                                                                                                                     

Grade: 12th Grade 

School: The School of Computer Animation and Design at South Atlanta         

Miaya Faniel is a 12th grade student – athlete with a 3.5 GPA average. She is the President of the Student Government Association and is the captain of the South Atlanta High softball team.  Miaya’s batting average is an excellent .584 and she has earned MVP and Female Athlete of the Week honors.

Miaya volunteers with Open Hand Atlanta, Books for Africa and is a peer tutor.

“Since the first day that I have known Miaya she has made it apparent that education is at the forefront of her priorities. Miaya’s diligence, maturity, and inquisitive nature distinguish her as a unique student. Even during troubling times, I have seen Miaya seek out assistance whenever necessary and persevere in my classroom, ensuring her continued success as evidenced by her consistently strong grades,” says Shawn Kacker, South Atlanta High physics teacher.

Miaya’s future goals are to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a PhD in biomedical engineering. “I first realized that I wanted to become a biomedical engineer when my grandfather was hospitalized for a collapsed lung. I have been striving to succeed in every element inside and outside of school to reach my goal. In my eyes, education is an essential component of success. Activities outside of school are also important. Playing softball has taught me how to become a team player and cooperate with others. I have developed life long bonds with many of my teammates. My parents are my main support system. They have sacrificed hours of sleep and leisure time to guarantee that I am well taken care of,” Miaya says.

Name: Jasmine Sertel 

Grade:  3rd Grade

School: Garden Hills Elementary School

Jasmine Sertel has been described as interesting, unique and very funny.  The spirited third grader likes to sing along to Justin Beiber hits and entertain family and friends with her amusing stories.

But she also has other talents.  Jasmine is a quick study when it comes to computers, and she speaks fluent Turkish (in addition to English and the Spanish she is learning at school, of course).

She  believes that everyone should take the time to learn at least one additional language for several reasons: people will be fascinated to hear you speak, you can easily communicate with people when you visit foreign countries and you can help others. 

“If you see someone at the store or the park who does not understand English, if you speak their language, you can tell them everything they need to know,”  says Jasmine.  

According to Jasmine, all of these reasons lead to the same exciting result–making new friends.

She  is also very responsible, too.  Jasmine travels to Turkey—by herself—every summer to visit her grandparents.

“I love going to Turkey.  Even though at first it seems like there isn’t a lot to do, you can still have fun,” Jasmine says.  I have friends there, and we ride our bikes everywhere all day.”

Jasmine says that she especially enjoys spending time with her grandparents when she visits Turkey.  She plans to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become a pediatrician when she grows up.

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