School: Slater Elementary School
Grade: 4th Grade
Melvin Coleman is an outstanding fourth grader who attends Slater Elementary School. Melvin has only attended Slater Elementary since the second grade, but he has been a valuable asset to the Slater Tiger family over the past two years.
During his second grade year, Melvin saw that there was a need for a school newspaper at Slater, and he took the initiative to create his own. Melvin now serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper and publishes the Slater News at least once each semester.
“From helping others to facing any academic challenges with success and victory, Melvin Coleman epitomizes the overall good model student,” said Ms. Snowden, Melvin’s second and third grade teacher.
Melvin is a role model to his younger brother, Deandre, and he is also an inspiration to the Slater student body as he sets the bar high for all students to emulate. Melvin is an honor roll student, a member of the Gifted & Talented Program, and he will be inducted into the National Honor Society this month.
Melvin is also a star on the athletic field. He is the starting cornerback and wide receiver for the Forest Park Vikings, and he is also an avid AAU basketball player. Melvin strives to give his all and do his best in everything that he does.
“I believe that if I am going to do something, I need to do my BEST at it,” Melvin said.
School: West Manor Elementary School
Grade: 4th Grade
Ashton Jamal Amerson, known as A.J. to his friends, has succeeded in more ways than one.
Ashton continues to maintain his honor roll distinction and excels in the challenge program. His favorite subjects in school are math and science.
“I love West Manor Elementary because I feel like I am at home,” Ashton says.
When the welcoming West Manor staff, and of course Principal Lawrence, encourages Ashton to succeed, it truly makes his day.
Ashton is determined to be a Marine Biologist one day. He is infatuated with ocean life and how marine animals play a part in the ecosystem.
Additionally, Ashton serves as an advocate for litter prevention throughout the community, in order to make sure things are recycled and not dumped into the ocean posing harm to marine life. Beyond the ocean, Ashton also participates in extracurricular sports. He was recognized as the MVP for the Sandtown Cubs baseball team during the USSSA championship. He is also a member of the Andrew Walter Young YMCA Stingrays swim team, and he is a triathlete. During the Atlanta Kids Triathlon Ashton biked four miles, ran one mile, and swam 150 yards.
At the end of the year Ashton will represent the United States as he competes in swimming against kids around the globe. He aspires to become the next Michael Phelps! Ashton believes that staying active is the key to motivating his peers to do the same and combat childhood obesity. During his downtime Ashton enjoys riding his skateboard, bicycling, skating, and traveling to new and exciting places!
School: Dunbar Elementary
Sydney Carthon is a bright six year-old kindergarten student at Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School. She is an enthusiastic student who enjoys learning, and her favorite subjects include math, science and reading. She enjoys reading fairytale books, and her favorites are Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. Sydney spends a lot of time in the library, and is the first kindergartner to become a library helper. As a library helper, she assists the media specialist with different tasks including passing out bookmarks and crayons.
Sydney is also a very active kindergartener. She loves doing cartwheels, karate moves, and front flips. She loves cheering for her favorite team, the Atlanta Hawks, and enjoys going to the games with her family.
“Sydney is very smart and outgoing,” says Tomiko Cobb, media specialist at Dunbar. “She may be shy at first but she comes out of her shell as she gets to know the person. She is a student with a very bright future ahead of her.”
School: North Atlanta High School
Anna Gustafson exemplifies the talent, commitment to excellence, drive, and personal growth APS strives to develop in every student across the district.
The straight A student is ranked number two in her 11th grade class, and she is determined to work overtime to move into the number one spot.
Anna, who was born in London, has studied Latin, and speaks French and Chinese. She practiced her Chinese last summer when visiting China for two weeks with seven other North Atlanta Students.
By taking advantage of North Atlanta’s vast extra-curricular opportunities, Anna has become a well rounded student with many titles: cross-country runner, math honor society (Mu Alpha Theta) vice-president, North Atlanta Spirit Club charter member and Beta Club, Women’s Filmmaker Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes member. She also teaches ballroom dancing, and works with Girlfriends of Children’s Healthcare of Georgia, a teen group that raises money for Children’s Healthcare patients. The group recently raised $15,000 in two weeks.
“We raise money, but we also do things like throw parties for the kids, which is a lot of fun. Helping these kids is the work I’m most proud of,” says Anna.
After a moment of hesitation, the IB student modestly adds, “I’m also really proud of my academics. I’ve worked very hard to be number two in my class — and by the way, I’m still trying to be number one.
“I’m also really proud of the decisions I’ve made, because it’s so hard not to stray — to choose studying over going out, and spending spring break touring colleges over going to the beach. I know it will pay off in the long run. I’m prepared, and I’m ready for my future.”
Anna says North Atlanta has been a great place to learn. Her favorite subjects are IB History and film, because of her teachers, IB History teacher Danielle Costarides and film teacher Andre Regan.
“They seem like real people, “ says Anna. “You can ask them questions and challenge them if you don’t agree with them, and they don’t get upset — I think they like it. And if they don’t know the answer to something, they don’t stop until they can get your answer to you.”
After graduating from college with a degree in either broadcast journalism or international relations, Anna sees herself working as a broadcast journalist or film producer.
Regan says, “Anna is an outstanding student – one of the best. She is beyond multitalented; she can cover all aspects of journalism and film, and very few students can do that. “
Ironically Anna only registered for her first film class, because her first choice, Chinese, was full, and the only remaining electives were weight lifting and film. She chose film, and that choice changed her world.
“I love North Atlanta,” Anna says. “This school has helped me discover my life’s calling.”