I love all of our students, I really do, but every now and then, as a school district leader, I meet a student who truly stands out and stands up for his school and community. I’m not sure if it’s his smarts, his humbleness or his heart, but I’ve truly enjoyed spending time this summer with Qwantavvious Stiggers, a rising senior over at B.E.S.T. Academy, our newly consolidated 6-12 single-gender male high school.
Earlier this year, Qwantavvious won first place at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. Then, this summer, I watched him give an unbelievable presentation at Georgia Tech on Regenerating Articular Cartilage with Heparan Sulfate Hydrogels using Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells. He was a part of the Project ENGAGES Research Scholars program, a new high school science education program developed at Tech in partnership with several APS high schools, including B.E.S.T.
So of course when he invited me to workout with his teammates during football practice this week, I had to say yes. Once again it was a hot day, but I must say, I’m getting the hang of this three-point stance. Not only did I suit up, but so did Board of Education member Matt Westmoreland along with James Malone from my communications office. We all had a great time.
In 2014 Qwantavvious was named a “Captain in the Community” by the Atlanta Falcons. This program, presented by Ford, recognizes outstanding varsity high school football student-athletes who demonstrate leadership on and off the field. When asked about being a leader, Qwantavvious said that he tries to positively influence people, he doesn’t associate with the wrong people, he gives back to his community and he respects his elders.
On the eve of this new school year I’m wishing not only Mr. Stiggers, but all of our incredibly talented APS students a fantastic school year. You amaze me every day and I am so proud to be your superintendent.
See you bright and early tomorrow, August 5, for Day One APS!