Grade: 5th Grade
School: Hope-Hill Elementary
Kaylah is an efficient student who takes advantage of all her resources to excel in school. She is a young and highly motivated student who was able to overcome her challenges with math. Within the past year, Kaylah was able to pull her grades up from a C average to an A or B average. Her persistence and hard work is rewarded with high scores and her teacher identified her as the most improved student in her class. Kaylah’s mom played an important role in her improvement with math as she continually tested her and helped her understand math problems.
“My teacher helped me a lot online through a website called Edmodo,” Kaylah says. “We can call him through the website and he helps us whenever we need it.” Mr. Childs, Kaylah’s teacher, supported Kaylah by telling her to never give up and to always try again. “I feel good because I didn’t really get math when I started 5th grade and thought it was hard, but now I get it and it’s pretty easy,” Kaylah says.
Kaylah was a performer in Hope-Hill’s Holiday program this year. She sang “Feliz Navidad” with the chorus, played the xylophone, and performed the rockin’ around dance. Outside of school, she enjoys playing basketball with her cousin, and the playground with her sisters and brothers. She participates in science club, tutoring, and Cool Girls.
Name: Zykeria Douglas
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Heritage Academy
Zykeria Douglas is a dynamic fourth grade student at Heritage Academy. She enjoys math because she likes to focus and strive when she encounters tough problems. She encourages her fellow students to “keep trying” when the answers are just around the corner. “Zykeria always excels in her subjects, likes challenges and is very enthusiastic about learning.” says Heritage Academy gifted teacher Mrs. Brown, who has worked with Zykeria since kindergarten. “She always helps and encourages students in her group.”
Zykeria aspires to be an attorney because she loves discussions and diplomacy. Her passions include cheerleading, gymnastics, and math. If Zykeria were granted one wish, she states it would be for world peace.
Grade: 11th Grade
School: Mays High
As Amanda Watts sat in math class on November 29th, she overhead an announcement being made over the speaker system honoring a student who received a perfect score on the Georgia High School Writing Test. The loud cheers and claps from students throughout the school made it difficult for Amanda to hear the student’s name. But, nonetheless, she thought this was a fantastic accomplishment, and couldn’t wait to congratulate her fellow Raider. When she entered the hallway after class she was greeted with smiles, hugs and congratulations. To Amanda’s surprise, she was the student with the perfect score.
“I was like wow, and I couldn’t believe it,” Amanda explained. “I immediately hugged all of my English teachers. I was just so happy.”
Beyond her glowing accomplishment on the writing exam, Amanda shines in other ways as well.
“Amanda is the epitome of excellence,” explained Ms. Veronica Barnes, an ELA Teacher at Mays.
Amanda serves as a member of the Science National Honor Society, Kappa Pearls Service Organization, Wind Symphony, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chemistry Club, Soccer Team, and the Student Government Association. In the little free time she has left, she enjoys playing soccer, reading, and playing the piano.
Upon graduating from Mays, Amanda aspires to attend Duke University, where she will major in neuroscience to begin her path towards one day becoming a neurological surgeon. When asked who inspires her to succeed, Amanda explains that the past Mays High School Valedictorians are her inspiration. She looks forward to the day in May 2014 when she too can recite the Valedictorian speech in front of her classmates, family, and friends.
School: Carter G. Woodson Primary School
At seven years old Reginald Grant already stands out as a natural leader, a star student and a truly gifted conversationalist.
He loves reading, and spends a good amount of his spare time absorbed in schoolwork and his Kindle. Reginald’s enthusiasm toward reading has definitely enhanced his vocabulary and his gift for gab. And his gift for gab has allowed his enthusiasm for learning to help and encourage his peers, communicate well with adults and promote his school.
Last fall, Target and the Heart of America Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on community, service and literacy, combined their efforts to provide Woodson Elementary School with a complete library makeover. The makeover included new technology for students, new books for the library and new books for every student to take home. Reginald was arguably the most excited person at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“This library is the best thing to ever happen to me. Woodson was already a good school, and now it’s the best school,” said Reginald. “We have so many good books to read, and now we can read in this good looking new library. Just look at how beautiful it is. Target and Heart of America really know how to do it right!”
Reginald’s teacher, Ms. Veronica Armstrong, says, “Reginald loves school. No matter the situation, Reginald is always enthusiastic, happy.”
And he is also very serious about learning. Reginald is an excellent student who announced to Armstrong on the first day of school that his goal was to graduate from Georgia Tech.
His strong academic record, his enthusiasm for learning and his caring and compassion toward others earned Reginald the distinguished “Hero of the Heart” award. Heart of America Foundation grants the award to inspirational individuals across America who have made extraordinary contributions to enrich the lives of others.
Reginald’s picture hangs on Woodson’s Wall of Fame in the school’s newly remodeled media center. Images of other notable individuals including President Obama, Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein surround Reginald’s photograph, suggesting that the second grader is destined for greatness.