Grade: 5th Grade
School: Deerwood Academy
Ashley Dungey is currently a 5th grader in Dr. Huff’s class at Deerwood Academy. In addition to being a star student, Ashley enjoys drawing, writing, reading, and learning about new and innovative technology. But, what truly sets Ashley apart is her desire to give to others. She has a true understanding of the meaning of giving, and she would prefer to give back to her community at an age when most would rather spend time playing with friends or watching cartoons on television.
“What I love to do best is to give,” she explains. “When I have clothes or shoes that are too small for me, my dad will take me to the gas station, and I will donate my items to Goodwill.”
Putting a smile on someone’s face motivates Ashley to excel in her community service efforts. Every weekend you can find her lending her time and assistance at the neighborhood soup kitchen. But, the giving doesn’t stop there. Ashley is also aware of the damage we can do to the environment if we don’t keep our neighborhoods clean and free of waste. As a result, Ashley has become very interested in recycling. She has even been tagged the “recycling guru” at Deerwood Academy.
“One thing I really love to do is recycle,” she said. “I have been recycling for the past three years.”
Ashley continues to encourage her family, friends, and community to follow her lead to preserve the environment and unselfishly give back to others.
Grade: 9th Grade
School: Carver Early College
Family tradition brought freshman Alvan Price to Carver High School. His familial line of Carver graduates includes his father, sister and brother. Alvan’s sister encouraged him to attend Carver Early College because of his intelligence and the academic rigor of Carver Early College. Alvan says that the school offers “opportunity, opportunity, and opportunity”.
He has taken advantage of some of these opportunities in his freshman year by placing on the Dean’s List, becoming Mr. Freshman, becoming Vice-President of the Freshman Class and Vice-President of the SGA. He is also a football player and a member of Esquires-an organization devoted to building character in young men. Alvan’s sights are set on becoming a neurologist and he plans to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once he’s a doctor, he wants to open a medical plaza which would be a “one- stop- shop” for all types of medical specialties.
Next year, everyone at Carver Early College is expected to play at least one sport. As a leader on the campus, Alvin would like to build momentum by offering study halls for all athletes. He also thinks that a creative way to use the first ten minutes of advisement is for everyone to work on some phase of their homework. Alvan is an innovator who, with his perseverance, will succeed and light the path for many to follow in his footsteps or walk along beside him.
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College
School: Crim Open Campus
Impressive and optimistic are two words to describe Elijah Hodges. He is the salutatorian of the class of 2013 at Crim Open Campus, and is proud to graduate with top honor after facing many challenges. Elijah was able to overcome recent incidents that occurred with a positive attitude. Within one week in November 2012, he was involved in an accident, left out of his home, lived in a shelter, and moved in with his older sister. Although he could not control his situation, he managed to stay strong, land a job, and maintain his grades at school. Elijah will be attending Anthem College next year and plans to study biology and history.
Elijah is the salutatorian of his class, and he worked tirelessly to reach this position. He ranked 34 in his class in Memphis, and moved to Atlanta Public Schools in 2010. Although he found the instruction to be more rigorous at APS, he was not only able to catch up but excelled among the students. Elijah was privileged to participate in a recent Student Leadership meeting with Superintendent Davis. He was the only representative from Crim, and had a great experience asking questions and contributing to the discussions. “I gave input on how APS students feel about different topics, and felt that Mr. Davis really cares about the students and the schools,” Elijah says.
Elijah believes it is very important to network and form strong relationships with people. He met his godfather who owns businesses at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and landed a job at Popeyes. He believes that building connections with people brought him to where he is today. “I made $70 of tip in 2 days,” says Elijah. “People skills are a necessity that everyone needs, because it is a way to success.”
Elijah loves to skateboard as a hobby. He has been skateboarding for 6 years, and has been serious about the sport for 2 years. He always enjoys being adventurous and exploring his surroundings. History is one of his favorite subjects, because he finds it entertaining and it comes naturally to him. He has also gained the respect from staff and students at his school. “Elijah is a hard worker, very conscientious, and never has a bad attitude,” says Teena Cash Hargrove, Media Specialist and Communications Ambassador. “You can ask anyone at school, and they will agree.”
When asked to share his motto in life, Elijah says, “I mean what I say, and say what I mean. I like to get things done, don’t take no for an answer, and never doubt myself.”
School: Sarah Smith (Primary Campus)
According to the official IB website, “The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
This may seem difficult for most seven-year-olds to understand, but there is a special second-grader at Sarah Smith Elementary, an IB school, who epitomizes what the IB is all about.
Katie Jarrell is eager to share everything she knows with anyone who asks. She articulates her thoughts with the skill of someone twice her age; no short, vague mumbling or awkward second-grade rambling for her. When answering a question, Katie uses complete sentences and she always provides thought-provoking explanations to back-up her responses. And her enthusiasm for learning is infectious; anyone listening as Katie describes an idea or tells a story suddenly becomes eager to learn more. She’s that good.
For instance, last week while shooting an episode of the APS Comcast channel 22 program Perspectives, Katie unwittingly demonstrated her IB magic. The show featured Smith students engaged in hands-on study about Australia as part of the school’s annual International Traveler’s (IT) Week celebration.
Katie poured out her knowledge about Australia for the show’s viewers, covering everything Aussie, from aborigines and art, to crocodiles and kangaroos. And as Katie talked about marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, she skillfully worked in a message about pollution and personal responsibility — and she did it all without a script!
“People have been putting garbage in the water,” she said. “So when you’re outside you always need to pick up your trash, because you never know how all of this trash could just go in the water… we always want to make sure we’re picking up things — even if it isn’t ours — and we’re helping the earth and Mother Nature.”
She’s responsible too. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age two, Katie checks her blood sugar, gives herself insulin, changes her pump sites, and is learning to count carbs and make informed decisions about what she eats. As a gymnast, Katie realizes that eating right gives her the strength she needs to do the flips she loves.
And as an ambassador for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, Katie talks to newly diagnosed children to inspire them and give them the confidence they need.
This summer Katie will speak to business leaders to create more awareness for Type 1 diabetes.
Her teacher, Mr. Kraus, says, “Katie is a responsible, independent, caring and enthusiastic student. She is a leader in class through the words she chooses to use and the actions she chooses to take.”
IB learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. Without question, Katie Jarrell embodies it all.