School: Inman Middle
Karin transferred to Inman from Finland this school year, and placed 2nd in the Georgia State Technology Fair on March 9. Karin and Max Nevins, an Inman 7th grader, were among 700 participants from around the state. Karin’s multimedia project from math class won 2nd place in the Multimedia Division for 8th grade. Her movie was created with Windows Media Maker and explained mathematical functions with photo drawings, text, and voiceover. “I was not expecting to win and was really surprised when I won,” Karin says. “I decided to do a little more than what was required for my math project, and my teacher submitted it for the APS Technology fair, but I didn’t expect to go this far.” The State Technology Fair was a great experience for her, and sparked further interest in technology. “I am going back to Finland next year, but I would really like to participate in a technology fair again,” Karin says.
This year was an adjustment period for Karin, as it was her first time in America. The new school environment was also a major change for her, as her previous school only had a few hundred students. “In the beginning, it was pretty hard for me, but now, it’s really easy and I will be sad to leave my friends and teachers,” Karin says.
Karin hopes to become an architect, engineer, or a software designer. She loves to draw, and hopes that her skills will benefit her in the future. Her other hobbies include photography and sailing, and she’s part of Inman’s Karate club as well. “Basically, I want to do really well in school so that I am in good shape for the future,” Karin says. “I think school is really important for success, and I really enjoy it.”
Grade: 2nd Grade
School: Connally Elementary
Jordan Malloy is a second grade student at E.L. Connally Elementary School. Jordan’s teachers and administrators recognize him as a star student because he always strives to do his best each day. Jordan is very inquisitive and remains dedicated to his education and goals, even in the midst of challenegs or adversity.
“Jordan meets and exceeds the standards in all content areas,” explains Toni Pickett, Connally Elementary Principal. “He is very good at reading and science and has a high interest in mathematics.”
In his spare time, Jordan enjoys sitting and looking at nature, playing football, and spending time with his family and friends. Jordan says his family serves as his source of inspiration. He always turns to them for advice and guidance in all that he does.
“I won’t let anything push me behind,” he says. “I will do everything I can to make sure my family is okay. I know my family loves me, and that’s all I need to know to work hard in life.”
Jordan aspires to one day become a scientist or a police officer.
“I’m very intelligent so I think I can be a scientist,” he boasts.
But it doesn’t stop there. Jordan also recently received several awards, including recognition in spelling bees and football.
“We continue to be proud of Jordan and his accomplishments,” Pickett said. “We know that he is just one of the many bright stars at Connally Elementary.”
School: Margaret Fain Elementary School
Maria Gallo-Blanco is big on student achievement. She sets high academic goals for herself, and expects the same from others – especially her students.
Maria says she teaches an excellent group of students. Her favorites – Selena, Rihanna, and Nikki Manage – are every teacher’s dream; they follow directions and stay on task, turn in their assignments on time, perform well on tests, always smile and they never talk back to the teacher. Of course, it helps that the students are stuffed bears, and their permanently smiling mouths are sewn shut. Maria says her biggest problems are with the live children in her class – her younger brother and sister.
“They act up, and I have to threaten to call their parents,” she says. She is working on a solution to this problem, and she will probably have one soon, because Maria loves solving problems.
She satisfies her hunger for problem solving by diving into challenging schoolwork like math, her favorite subject. As an active member of the math league, Maria helped Fain’s fifth-grade team place first in the regional math competition.
“In math I can use numbers often. I love numbers, because they don’t lie – no matter how many times or how many different ways you use them,” she says.
Maria, a Junior Beta Club member and Principal’s List student, also uses her problem solving skills outside of the classroom. She recently won the bronze-key award at the district-wide Science Fair Awards ceremony. And when she translates for parents at her school, in her community and her family, Maria shifts into problem-solving- mode again.
“My brain is always moving, because Spanish doesn’t really have all the words that English has,” she explains. “I have to quickly find a way to say things so they make sense and everyone understands each other.”
Maria enjoys translating, because she likes helping people. She also helps her classmates with math.
“You don’t want them to struggle and fall behind; you want everyone to be on the same page in the book. And it’s fun watching them when they understand.”
Fain Challenge teacher and Math Team Coach Ms. Riddick calls Maria “a shining example of character who is always there to help other students.”
Away from school, Maria dances – she is a member of the school’s dance team – plays soccer and keeps the earth clean by picking up litter in her neighborhood. But she says her favorite pastime is playing “Lawyer” with her sisters. In “Lawyer” they pretend that one sister is the judge, one sister needs a lawyer and Maria is the lawyer.
“It’s fun, because the judge is tough and always asks for more proof, and I have to figure out how to keep my sister out of jail.”
And what does this bright and imaginative problem-solver want to be when she grows up? A teacher or a lawyer, of course.
Name: Jasmine Williams
School: Carver Early College
Jasmine Williams started her ninth grade year at Carver Early College by immersing herself in the Biology and Neuroscience Clubs. Now, as a twelfth grader, she plans to follow her dream of being an anesthesiologist or a general surgeon. She’d like to pursue her degree at either Duke University or Howard University. She says that the field of medicine will allow her to combine her love of science with her love of people. Her stellar academic record has her on the Principal’s List every semester. She also holds membership in the National Honor Society and Beta Club. For four years, she has been the SGA President of her grade level. She is a scholar-athlete leading the Varsity Soccer Club as their captain and boasts of last year’s winning season.
As a member of Sophisticated Ladies and Upendo JaJa, she has learned to value high self-esteem and intellect. Her community service involvement in the Key Club and the Knitting Club has rewarded her with warm feelings and she’s distributed hand-knitted winter clothing for the homeless and less fortunate. With her latest internship with the National Institute of Health, she conducted research on hypertension and cognitive decline and presented it to distinguished medical personnel. As Ms. Early College and the valedictatorian for this year’s graduation, Jasmine is poised to launch into her great future.
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College