Inman Middle School Student Wins Atlanta Public Schools’ 2015 Districtwide Spelling Bee


The spelling bee was open to qualifying students in grades 4-8.

Our APS students from 37 schools competed last night in the district’s spelling bee at Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School.

It took nearly two hours of word definitions, countries of origin and correct pronunciations before a winner was determined. Kedar Veeraswamy, a seventh grader at Inman Middle School, correctly spelled cruller and was crowned the champ.

Kedar, age 12, credits his success to a love of reading. He reads more than an hour a day, (yay for reading every day), and says that has helped him improve his vocabulary skills. Increased vocabulary and grammar skills are just a few of the benefits of the spelling bee according to Literacy Coordinator Dr. Alisha Hill.

SpellingBEE2015-009She said, “It’s not just about spelling words. Increased vocabulary skills and grammar further develops a student’s reading and writing, oral presentation, speaking and listening skills.”

Second place honors went to Nathan Rachwalski of Morningside Elementary. DeAndre West of West Manor Elementary came in third place. Kacie Geter of Sylvan Middle School won fourth place and Maya Ratchev of Jackson Elementary took fifth place.

The spelling bee was open to qualifying students in grades 4-8. All schools registered with the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the 2014-15 academic year were invited to send one qualifying student to participate in the APS system Bee. In the past, the Atlanta Association of Educators hosted the event. They are now a sponsor supporting APS in coordinating the competition.


37 schools competed last night in the district’s spelling bee.

The top four participants will compete in the Georgia Association of Educator’s (GAE) District Four competition Feb. 28, at the DeKalb County Board of Education complex. The top two winners of the GAE District Four competition will participate in the state Spelling Bee at Georgia State University March 20. The National Scripps Spelling Bee will be held May 24-29 in Washington, D.C.

“I am very, very pleased with the progress in APS.” Said Susan Tallant, state vice-chair of the GAE state spelling bee committee. Tallant is a retired teacher and says she especially enjoys seeing students improve year after year.

Dr. Adrienne Simmons, K-5 literacy coordinator for APS, who by the way did a great job coordinating this spelling bee, summed up the event. “Our students demonstrated that teachers, administrators, and parents across the district are committed to academic achievement and in developing lifelong learners. I am proud of the courage and intellect displayed on stage last night and look forward to even greater participation in the 2016 APS Spelling Bee!”

Congratulations to all of our students who participated at the school and district level! Keep practicing – only 12 months until the next bee!SpellingBEE2015-012 SpellingBEE2015-011 SpellingBEE2015-007


Kedar Veeraswamy, a seventh grader at Inman Middle School, correctly spelled cruller and was crowned the champ.


My 100th blog post – Hooray for learning!

There are at least a hundred reasons to get excited about the great things happening in APS. What is the best way for me to celebrate my 100th blog posting? By celebrating our students of course!

Take a look at a few awesome highlights from around the district.

Two North Atlanta video broadcast students, Jada Jackson and Joy Longely spent today on the set of the daytime show, Atlanta & Co. with television hosts Rashan Ali and Christine Pullara. They were able to go behind the scenes and were encouraged to dream big, network and give back. These students were chosen to cover APS football games as a part of a mentorship program with Atlanta Football Insider.


Photo from Thomasville Heights Twitter feed


It is important to keep our kids physically active on a daily basis. Check out this group of Thomasville Heights students exercising in Coach Rambo’s physical education class. Way to keep our kids moving!

Photo from Perkerson Elementary's Facebook page

Photo from Perkerson Elementary’s Facebook page

Perkerson scholars learn about conservation and protecting the environment as they work with Trees Atlanta to plant 50 trees, including the ceremonial tree at their school. Their efforts help to launch TOTO USA’s Urban Greenways project.  The initiative is to improve children’s well-being by planting 250 trees on the streets that lead to schools. Way to keep our communities beautiful!

Photo from Mr. Foster's Twitter feed

Photo from Mr. Foster’s Twitter feed

Technology department chair Terry Foster and students at Carver School of Technology work to refine their programming skills using EV3 Robots in the GAETT (Geniuses Achieving Excellence through Technology) after-school program. Mr. Foster along with Instructional Coach Christina Rogers were able to implement this program from the Google Rise Award they received earlier this year. Thank you Google for supporting our schools!


Photo from Kipp Strive Primary Facebook page

The Kipp Strive Primary flag football team did an amazing job this year. They finished the season undefeated and took home the first place trophy. Their Facebook post says “ ‘Like’ this post for the hardest working scholar athletes in Atlanta.” Way to work hard KSP!

Photo from Inman Middle School Twitter feed

Photo from Inman Middle School Twitter feed

Seventh graders in Ms. Vaughn’s science class at Inman Middle School get creative with their project about the human body. The students were learning how the different parts of the body work together to keep the body at homeostasis. Look at that great work!

Eight APS Schools Named 2014 Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education

The Georgia Department of Education has announced the 2014 Reward Schools.  Eight APS schools earned Reward designations this year.
A Highest-Performing School is among the five percent of the state’s Title I schools with the highest absolute performance, over three years, for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a Highest-Performing School if it has been identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School.
A Highest-Progress School is among the 10 percent of the state’s Title I schools making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a High-Progress school if it has been identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School.
making the list this year.  
In a release earlier today, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said “The schools on this list represent some of the finest efforts being put forth in Georgia education.  The educators, parents, students, and communities who came together to move these schools forward should take great pride in the results.”
I agree.  The 2014 APS Reward Schools are:
Highest Performing
  • Charles Drew Charter School
  • Inman Middle School
  • KIPP Strive Academy
  • West Manor Elementary School
Highest Progress
  • North Atlanta High School
  • Perkerson Elementary School
  • Scott Elementary School
New to the list this year are KIPP VISION, North Atlanta High School, Perkerson Elementary School and Scott Elementary School.  
Former Rewards List Schools (2012 and 2013)
Highest Performing & Highest Progress
Early College High School at Carver  (2012, 2013)
Highest Progress
Booker T. Washington  – Early College Small School  (2013)
South Atlanta Law and Social Justice School   (2012)
The Best Academy at Benjamin S. Carson (2012)
Washington High School (2012)