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Drew HS students feed Gov. Deal

Drew HS students feed Gov. Deal

RIVERDALE, Ga. -- Students in the culinary arts program at Charles Drew High School were honored when they got the opportunity to cook for Gov. Nathan Deal and 300 legislators.

The students at the Riverdale school prepared appetizers for the Georgia Restaurant Association's Taste of Georgia event on Feb. 19.

Drew High's budding chefs made pan-seared scallops on sour cream- and tarragon-spread crostini with basil and sweet pepper oils.

"Many people said that the scallops were the best dish of the night and that they were cooked perfectly," Lee Gray, executive director of the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia, said in a statement.

Drew High's culinary arts program allows students to obtain scholarships and participate in events like Taste of Georgia where they can showcase their talents.

4 Clayton schools among 2012 AP STEM Schools

4 Clayton schools among 2012 AP STEM Schools

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Four Clayton County high schools are among the 2012 AP STEM Schools.

The honor is given annually to U.S. high schools that offer at least two Advanced Placement courses in both science and math.

Clayton's AP STEM Schools are Jonesboro, Morrow, Mount Zion and Mundy's Mill.

The College Board, which gives AP exams every year, reported Wednesday that Georgia is the 12th state in the nation for the percentage of seniors earning passing scores on AP tests. More than 41 percent of Georgia's seniors took at least one AP exam in 2012, compared to the U.S. average of 32.4 percent.

"Georgia's students continue to outperform most of their peers throughout the country on Advanced Placement exams," State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "These results show that Georgia's students can compete against any students in the nation."

Clayton State students offer tax help

Clayton State students offer tax help

MORROW, Ga. -- Accounting students at Clayton State University will offer free tax help to the community this weekend.

The students will participate in the university's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) event on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional VITA sessions include Feb. 23, Mar. 16 and Mar. 23.

VITA participants receive extensive IRS training and testing to ensure that they can help customers find every possible refund. Clayton State has hosted the program for the past 23 years.

"It gives our students hands-on experience and provides a valuable service to the public. We have taxpayers who return every year," business law professor Dr. Judith Ogden said in a statement.

Clayton County students win national art awards

Clayton County students win national art awards

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Three budding artists at two Clayton County high schools are among this year's honorees in the National Art and Writing Awards.

The 90-year-old New York City-based awards program has such notable alumni as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol. In the past five years, it has given $25 million in scholarship money to some of the nation's most talented students.

Quentrez George, a senior at Mt. Zion High School, won a gold medal for "Falling," a painting he created. "Falling" will be on display at the Atlanta campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design before moving on to the national competition in the spring.

George's classmate Divine Martin received an honorable mention, as did Morrow High School student Andre Price.

Both George and Martin will attend SCAD after graduating from Mt. Zion High.

Shirley Franklin to speak at Clayton State

Shirley Franklin to speak at Clayton State

MORROW, Ga. -- Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will speak at Clayton State University later this month.

Franklin will give her presentation, "Lessons in Leadership: The Power of One," at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, and at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. Both talks will be held in the Harry S. Downs Center on campus.

Franklin's talks at Clayton State are free and open to the public. Visit claytonstate.com to learn more and reserve a seat.

A former Spelman College faculty member, Franklin served as Atlanta's mayor from 2002 to 2009. She recently accepted a visiting faculty position at the University of Texas.

North Clayton MS student wins county spelling bee

North Clayton MS student wins county spelling bee

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- An eighth grader at North Clayton Middle School is this year's Clayton County Public Schools Spelling Bee champion.

Kalyn Smith correctly spelled "vicious" to win the 13-round contest Sunday.

Jennifer Vo, a seventh grader at Riverdale Middle School, placed second, while Roberts Middle School eighth grader Jessica Dobbs was third and Lake City Elementary School fourth grader Katelynn Nguyen was fourth.

All four girls will represent Clayton County in the Georgia Association of Educators District Spelling Bee on Feb. 23.

Winner Smith is described as quiet and hardworking by North Clayton Middle spelling bee coach Francene Garrett.

"She exhibits model behavior in and out of the classroom," Garrett said in a statement.

Smith said she was relieved the competition was over. She will now rest for a few days before beginning to prepare for the district bee.

Callaway ES wins literacy grant

Callaway ES wins literacy grant

JONESBORO, Ga. -- The media specialist at Jonesboro's Callaway Elementary School has netted $2,000 to support reading education at the school.

Terry Pelick was awarded a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. She plans to use the money to buy more informational books for the media center.

"I am concentrating on non-fiction books to fill this need. I am using these funds to update and add to our non-fiction section," she said. "I am grateful to Dollar General for the grant that is used to purchase these books."

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation was established in 1993 to improve functional literacy of adults and families. In August, the foundation awarded $2 million to 564 schools, libraries and non-profits working for literacy.