This is a week of reflection and celebration. As our high school students in grades 9-11 prepare to take final exams, our youngest students are cleaning out their desks and lockers – preparing to move on to the next grade and our seniors will graduate high school this weekend. Our mission here in Atlanta Public Schools sets the goal of graduating students ready for college and career and over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, the Board and I have recognized many students for their distinctive accomplishments in academics, their successes in athletics and their dedication to community service. We are so proud of all of them, that I wanted to bring to APS, a great Austin tradition of setting aside a specific day to honor and celebrate our highest performing students.
For me, this afternoon is full of as much celebration and pomp and circumstance as Graduation Day itself. We should do all we can to recognize students who truly succeed, and I am thrilled this Board has called a special meeting for recognitions today at 5:00pm devoted solely to honoring and praising students for going far above and beyond the basic requirements and expectations of an Atlanta Public Schools student. We are going to celebrate high academic achievers; scholars of such programs as the Posse and Gates foundations; our valedictorians, salutatorians and STAR students; writing and spelling bee champions; social sciences, science and engineering fair winners; champion athletes; master chefs and more.
We are also introducing the first Throwback Award! We will salute a few former students as part of the first Throwback Award as we recognize the 1973 Southwest Atlanta Wolves football team.
And because this is a special meeting and special day, we have invited a local celebrity – Karyn Greer – to serve as our mistress of ceremonies.
Tune in tonight online to watch our ceremony live: https://livestream.com/k12aps/events/4060557
We will also rebroadcast during the summer break on our very own APS Comcast Channel 22.