After sold-out performances on the school stage in Sandy Springs, The Davis Academy took The Lion King, Jr. on the road last week to perform songs from the show to an audience at Avalon as part of the popular development’s Little Acorn’s program for preschoolers. 

  About two dozen Lion King middle school-aged cast members sang four of the show’s most popular songs, including “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata,” to an outdoor audience of about 200 preschool-aged children and their families on Tuesday, April 5.  The outreach performance followed four exciting in-school shows March 20 – 22 featuring a cast and crew of nearly 200 Davis Academy students ages 5 – 14, along with colorful and creative costumes and sets.

The Lion King, Jr. also served as a learning theme for Davis Academy students that included a Middle School visual and performing arts day a month prior to the show’s opening.  Student art inspired by the theme was hung in a gallery at The Davis Academy Middle School that greeted playgoers on their way to see the show.

  This year’s performance of The Lion King, Jr. also marked a school milestone in that it was the 13th and last musical to be presented in the Middle School gymnasium.  Next year’s show will take place in Davis Academy’s Performing Arts Center, a 600-plus seat theater currently under construction at the Davis Academy Lower School.                 

The Davis Academy serves students four-years of age through eighth grade at its two state-of-the-art campuses in the Sandy Springs/Dunwoody area.  The Davis Academy program includes project-based learning, integrated technology, accelerated math, fine arts, athletics, world languages, and a foundation in Reform Jewish values, community service, student government, overnight trips, and after-school programs. For more information about The Davis Academy, visit davisacademy.org

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Peter Warrick an eighth-grader at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, was invited to the White House Science Fair with other science scholars on April 13. Warrick was invited by the President Barack Obama because of the outstanding work of his MathCounts team last school year at Ron Clark Academy. 

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Saaleha Medlock, a senior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, has been awarded a prestigious Ron Brown Scholarship, the first in school history. The Ron Brown Scholar Program “honors the legacy of Ronald H. Brown through a selective scholarship program that advances higher education for community-minded and intellectually gifted African Americans,” according to the program’s website.

The program awards four-year, $40,000 scholarships ($10,000 each year) each to talented and economically-challenged high school seniors who demonstrate an interest in public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship, and global citizenship. Medlock has also received a full MLK scholarship to New York University, which she will attend in the fall.

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St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School has been awarded $2500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year.

The Blue Ribbon school will use the funds for staff development in support of the Complete Reading Series. The Complete Reading Series (CRS), based on research by the National Reading Panel and the National Institute for Literacy,  is comprised of six courses totaling 70 hours, and is designed to empower teachers to understand and master the instructional practices necessary to teach reading, writing and spelling to all students, regardless of ability.

Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program is a philanthropic initiative which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations focused on academic education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.

In 2015, Staples awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 875 local organizations in support of education and job skills programs, including job readiness for homeless individuals, career exploration for high school students, academic scholarships, mentoring, and more.

“For 30 years, Staples associates have been making a difference in their communities around the world,” said John Burke, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc., “We’re thrilled that the 2 Million & Change program lets our associate make an even greater impact on the organizations they are passionate about.”

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The Fulton County Board of Education has named Scott Hanson as the new principal of North Springs Charter High School. 

Currently the principal of Conway Middle School in Florida, Hanson has 19 years of work experience in educational leadership and teaching, including 15 years specifically at the high school level. He was selected as the top candidate following an extensive process that involved surveying the community about desired leadership skills and attributes, application and resume review by the North Springs School Governance Council, and interviews with key district officials.

Hanson began his career as a high school social studies teacher and also has taught history at the University of Central Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in social science education and a master’s degree in educational leadership.

Opportunities for students, parents, staff and community to meet Hanson will be announced later this month. He will complete the school year at his current school and then begin his new position at North Springs in June.

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