Students Become Millionaires (sort of)

For the past three years, Hemlock Elementary School, in Fontana, CA, has encouraged their students to read at least a million words.

Students must past a computerized test when they finish reading a book. After passing the test, the number of words in that book are added to an on-going tally. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that, as of May 19th, nine students have met the challenge. They are:

  1. Valerie Villanueva
  2. Jackson Randle
  3. Victor Lee
  4. Isaiah Duran
  5. Andrew Huang
  6. Nnaemeka Okonkwo
  7. Jeremiah Johnson
  8. Fred Tran
  9. Damien Amaya

Teacher, Hank Rager, told the paper that the program is working well.  He says, “We want them to get into the habit of reading, but we also want them to enjoy reading.”

Hemlock Elementary School is a part of the Fontana Unified School District, whose mission is to “graduate all students prepared to succeed in a changing world.”

2014 Florida History Fair Winners Announced

Each year since 1988 the Museum of Florida History sponsors the Florida History Fair.  Students in grades 6-12 researched the given theme, using both primary and secondary sources and presented their findings in a variety of ways, including written papers, exhibits, performances, or even websites.  This year’s theme was “Rights and Responsibilities in History”, a topic that was open to interpretation by entrants.  Students were free to focus on areas that interested them, such as politics, science, the arts, etc.

Several teachers were also singled out for honors.  Click here to read our story about these great teachers.

Meanwhile, here are the students that came in first place in their respective categories:


  • Junior Historical Paper
    • Sara Buchanan
    • Gideon v. Wainwright: The Right to Counsel
    • Bellview Middle School
    • Teacher: Tina Witbracht
  • Senior Historical Paper
    • Jared Hirschfeld
    • Israeli Palestinian Diplomacy: UN Resolution 242
    • Shorecrest Preparatory School
    • Teacher: Ronald Heller
  • Junior Individual Documentary
    • Langston Oliver
    • Turning the Tide: The owed of Kids in the Civil Rights Movement
    • Lavilla School of the Arts
    • Teacher: Brian Topping
  • Junior Group Documentary
    • Josh Ciarlariello, Evan Bouck, Joshua Macri
    • The Atomic Responsibility
    • Community Christian School (Leon)
    • Teacher: Matt ROot
  • Senior Individual Documentary
    • Madeline Bookout
    • An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Responsible Politics
      and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Gulf Breeze High School
    • Teacher: Grace Freeman
  • Senior Group Documentary
    • Hannah Schelle, Cristina Teems
    • Our Rights and Responsibilities: Exploring Civil Disobedience 
    • American Heritage School Boca Delray
    • Teachers: Kristy Mangone, Cindy Glover
  • Junior Individual Performance
    • Cloe Whipple
    • Tea, Textiles, and Tyranny: The British East India Company
    • Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School
    • Teachers: Laura Gibson, Joshua Roberson
  • Junior Group Performance
    • Justin Diaz, Nicholas Albiza, Avery Tallman
    • The Tale of Richard the Tricky and the Leak that Would not Keep
    • All Angels Academy
    • Teacher: Terry Davila-Alexander
  • Senior Individual Performance
    • Amos Jackson III
    • 8 Days of Praying & Thinking: Letter From a Birmingham Jail
    • American Heritage School Boca Delray
    • Teacher: Cindy Glover
  • Senior Group Performance
    • Elliott Riches, Zach Weisberg
    • Pitts and Lee v. Florida: How One Reporter Fought for Others’ Rights
    • American Heritage School Plantation
    • Teacher: Leslie Porges
  • Junior Individual Exhibit
    • Jacob Ferris
    • Poverty To Sovereignty
    • Gulf Breeze Middle School (Santa Rosa)
    • Teacher: Grace Freeman
  • Junior Group Exhibit
    • Cali Cortelli, Logan Roberts
    • Lewis Hine: Child Labor
    • American Heritage School Plantation (Broward)
    • Teacher: Leslie Porges
  • Senior Individual Exhibit
    • Holly Gorton
    • Pullman Porters Pave the Way for Civil Rights
    • Pensacola High School (Escambia)
    • Teacher: Wm. Blevins Rose
  • Senior Group Exhibit
    • Sujaya Rajguru, Samantha Kunin, Ashley Mathew
    • The First Ms. with the Right to an M.D.: Elizabeth Blackwell
    • International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High School (Polk)
    • Teacher: Ted Wright
  • Junior Individual Web Site
    • Sophie Aguilar
    • American Military Women of World War II
    • Chiles Middle School (Seminole)
    • Teacher: Jennifer Capp
  • Junior Group Web Site
    • Andrew Kolondra, Kishan Patel
    • Freedom Beach: A History of the Fort Lauderdale Beach Wade-Ins
    • American Heritage School Plantation (Broward)
    • Teacher: Leslie Porges
  • Senior Individual Web Site
    • Amy Paskiewicz
    • Korematsu v. United States:
      Fighting for Rights, Facing 
    • Palm Harbor University High School (Pinellas)
    • Teachers: Jason Tsardoulias, Shaun Falcon
  • Senior Group Web Site
    • Drew Anderson, Sarah Fuller
    • Photography with a Purpose:
      Lewis Hine and the Fight Against Child Labor
    • Pensacola Catholic High School (Escambia)
    • Teacher: Eric Nelson

For a comprehensive list of winners, including those that placed second and third, click here.

If I Were Mayor, I Would…

Every year, the Maryland Municipal League (MML) and the Maryland Mayors’ Association (MMA) invite fourth grade students to write an essay explaining what they would do if they were Mayor.  The “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” contest gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the areas of both language arts and social studies.

This years’ theme was “Engaging My Community”.  Students were asked to consider why the project or event is important to them; how they would encourage fellow town officials, business and residents to participate in their proposed project; and how they would spread the word about their proposal.

Out of more than 2,100 entries, there were a total of 11 winners from across the state, which had been divided into the same number of “districts” for the contest.

The Carroll County Times (Westminster, MD) interviewed one of their local winners.  Kate Stultz, a fourth-grader at Mount Airy Elementary School, told the paper that her idea consisted of a picnic that would allow her community to “…hang out, play games, plant trees and flowers, and pick up some trash that’s in gardens and the environment.”

The Maryland Municipal League was founded in 1936 and represents the 157 incorporated cities and towns in Maryland.  It is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan association, controlled and maintained by city and town governments.

The contest was also sponsored by Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company and Local Government Insurance Trust.

TN Students Compete in Math Contest

Student representatives from six high schools gathered at Tennessee Wesleyan College for the East Tennessee Regional Math Contest.  The event, held on Thursday, April 15th, was sponsored by the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers’ Association.

The college reports the first place winners for each of the six categories were:

  • Algebra 1 – Kaitlyn Winder, Athens City Middle School
  • Geometry – Janice Walden, Meigs County High School
  • Algebra 2 – Justin Nile, McMinn County High School
  • Statistics – Sam Griffey, Walker Valley High School
  • Pre-Calculus – Jacob Judd, Walker Valley High School
  • Calculus – Benjamin Burton, Walker Valley High School

Other schools participating were: Athens City Middle School, McMinn Central High School, Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.  Click here for a full list of winners.

The Tennessee Mathematics Teachers’ Association (TMTA) gave its first math contest exam nearly 60 years ago.  In order to participate in the contest, students must take an 80-minute exam that aligns with the math class in which they are enrolled at the time.

TMTA also holds a Middle Tennessee and a West Tennessee Region contest with similar requirements.




Kids Get that First Interview

Imagine 150 middle school students dressed their best: the young men in suits and ties, while the young ladies in professional skirts and dresses.  What’s the occasion?  Why, job interviews, of course!

For the past three years, Holgate Middle School, in Aberdeen, SD, has given students the chance to experience their first job interviews.  No, they weren’t really interviewing for real jobs.  Instead, members of the local business community came out to give the kids a taste of the real world.

The Aberdeen American News reports that mock interviews were conducted by the YMCA, AveraKesslers, and Northern State University.


Student Wins $6K in Essay Contest

The South Dakota Department of Labor Relations has awarded $6,000 to Kristie Bade of Northwestern Area High School.  The senior was the first place winner in an essay contest, funded by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust.  Her teacher, Anne Frericks won $500 for having sponsored Bade.

Aberdeen American News (SD) also reports that other students in the area also won.  Chelsey Mehlhoff Clyde, a student at Warner High School, Austin Effling, from Britton-Hecla High School, and Schyler Sattler, also from Northwestern Area High School, all received cash awards.