LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL BOOK STUDY LEADS TO CHARITABLE DONATION TO AFRICAN ORPHANAGE  

Greensboro, Ga. (September 9, 2019) – The Lake Oconee Academy sixth through eighth grade middle school students took their summer reading assignment and turned it into a team fundraising effort to support Jonathan’s House, an African orphanage, school and medical center, in the Central African Republic. On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the students and faculty presented a check for almost $10,000 via video conference to the children and the orphanage director.

After receiving a book recommendation from an 8th grade student, the middle school teachers selected I Will Always Write Back for the summer reading assignment. The autobiography is about pen pals—one from Africa and one from America—that change each other’s lives. Caitlin, the 12-year-old American girl, sends Martin, a 14-year-old-boy from Zimbabwe, the $20 she earned babysitting after he finally admits to her that he cannot afford to keep writing letters – paper is too expensive and his last note to her is written on a discarded ice cream wrapper. Caitlin’s gift allows Martin to return to school. He eventually comes to the United States to attend college through the tireless efforts of Caitlin’s family.

Inspired by the true story of the pen pals, LOA students connected with Jonathan’s House to support children in the war-torn country to attend school. The average yearly cost for a child at Jonathan’s House to attend school is $34. With that information, the LOA middle school students went to work over the summer—they washed cars, took babysitting jobs, mowed lawns, walked dogs, held bake sales, sold lemonade, and grew and sold fresh produce.  

“The students far exceeded my expectations,” said LOA middle school teacher Dr. Beverly Montgomery. “The lengths each went to give to those less fortunate than themselves is a testament to the spirit of giving. We were hoping to raise about $2,000—just enough money to buy each of the 450 students at Jonathan’s House their own school books. With a donation this size, they will be able to provide much more support for these children.” 

LOA students were thrilled to connect with the orphanage on a video conference to present a check and meet each other “in person.” The children at Jonathan’s House sang “Amazing Grace” for the LOA students and teachers which was a beautiful finish to a very meaningful and impactful summer assignment. 

 

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Photo 1: LOA students speak to the children at Jonathan’s House, an orphanage in Africa.

Photo 2: LOA students prepare to present the check for their donation to Jonathan’s House.

Photo 3: The 2019 LOA Middle School students and faculty.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF SPELLING BEE  

Greensboro, Ga. (January 31, 2019) – Lake Oconee Academy recently held its annual Spelling Bee competition for first through eighth grade students. Students competed in three categories:  first-third grade; fourth-fifth grade; and sixth-eighth grade. The competition was intense, with spellers spelling such difficult words as aphorism, proboscis and exordium.

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The winner in the first-third grade competition was Leighton Seybt, with Beckett Christensen as runner-up.  Emilia Viscarra was announced the winner of the fourth and fifth grade competition with Kensley Windham as runner-up. Keerti Ahluwalia came out on top as the winner of the middle grades competition, with Jewell Morrison as runner-up.

Winners in the fourth-eighth grade groups advanced to the Greene County School District competition on February 5, 2019, at the Lake Oconee Academy auditorium. Congratulations to all the winners and participants in this year’s spelling bee!

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Photo: Top row (L to R): Jewell Morrison-6th-8th runner-up; Keerti Ahluwalia-6th-8th winner; Emilia Viscarra- 4th-5th grade winner.

Bottom row (L to R): Beckett Christensen- 1st-3rd runner-up; Leighton Seybt- 1st-3rd winner; and Kensley Windham-4th-5th runner-up.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL ROBOTICS TEAM COMPETES FOR FIRST TIME

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL ROBOTICS TEAM COMPETES FOR FIRST TIME

Team Takes First Place in Robot Design

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Greensboro, Ga. (January 8, 2019) – Lake Oconee Academy entered its first-ever middle school robotics team, the Iron Titans, to compete in the FIRST Lego League regional robotics competition on Saturday, December 15, 2018. Students traveled to Middle Georgia State University in Macon to compete against eleven other teams from middle Georgia.

The robotics competition includes four categories: Robot Design, Robot Performance, Core Values, and a comprehensive Project. The Iron Titans were awarded first place in Robot Design and third place in the comprehensive Project.

“Robotics allows students to solve complex problems and learn new technology,” said LOA teacher Eric Harper. “The students don't always see eye-to-eye so there is the opportunity to learn conflict resolution and develop leadership skills. At tournaments, the students get to showcase their work, interact in a positive way with other teams and judges, and compete with robots. It is truly a unique and invaluable experience.”

The team will advance to the Middle Georgia Super Regional in Warner Robins on January 26, 2019. The Iron Titans are directed by LOA teachers Eric Harper and Xeuchao Jiang, and the team is sponsored by Novelis.

 

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Photo: LOA’s Iron Titans middle school robotics team took first place in Robot Design at the FIRST Lego League competition. Team members are (left to right): John Paul Turiano, Will Moore, Jason Beall, Chase Carter, Mason Honea, Lauren Glass, Summer Abramson, and Camden Cronic.

 

 

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY STUDENTS COMPETE IN SPANISH POETRY DECLAMATION AT CLEMSON UNIVERSITY  

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kerry Minster

706.454.1562

kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

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Greensboro, Ga. (November 8, 2018) –  Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) students in grades 7-12 in Spanish Level 1 through AP® participated in the 46th annual Clemson University Poetry Declamation Contest in Clemson, South Carolina, on October 27, 2018.

Clemson University hosts schools across several states competing in American Sign Language, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Latin, and Italian. Students recite from memory two poems being judged on accuracy, intonation, pronunciation, and presentation. Of the eighteen students representing LOA, seventh grader Remi Baker won third place for Spanish I, and in the highest category of Spanish IV/AP, junior Azariah Chester finished in third place and junior Mahnoor Sultan finished in first place.

"The Clemson Poetry Declamation continues to help me grow in more ways than one,” said Sultan. “This year was such an amazing experience for me not just language-wise but also with culture. To see people from different backgrounds compete and join together is astounding. I look forward to next year!"

While at Clemson University, LOA students had the opportunity to tour the campus and learn more about the dual language undergraduate programs Clemson has to offer. 

 

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Photo: Mahnoor Sultan, Remi Baker and Azariah Chester (left to right) had outstanding performances at the Clemson University Poetry Declamation Contest for Spanish.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY’S AZARIAH CHESTER NAMED TO GEORGIA SCHOLASTIC PRESS ASSOCIATION STUDENT ADVISORY BOARD

Greensboro, Ga. (October 31, 2018) – Lake Oconee Academy student Azariah Chester was named one of five high school students across Georgia to serve on the Georgia Scholastic Press Association Student Advisory Board (GSPA). The GSPA at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism was organized in 1928 to promote the understanding and practice of journalism. The organization encompasses all forms of scholastic media including broadcast, literary magazine, newsmagazine, newspaper and yearbook.

Other board members include Cassidy Hettescheimer, Mill Creek High School; Avery Householder, Calvary Day School; Isabelle Manders, Marietta High School; and Paul Nickles, Thomson High School.

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“I am excited to be a part of GSPA because of my interest in journalism and technology, especially broadcasting,” said Chester, a junior at LOA. “I felt this program would help me increase my experience and knowledge. My role in the GSPA as a Student Advisor is to assist in helping with the Fall and Spring conferences, attend virtual conferences monthly, and to serve as a general ambassador for the GSPA.”

“Azariah is such an important part of our LOATV crew,” said Mrs. Lindsey Chamberlain, Audio Video Technology and Film instructor. “She brings organization, creativity and leadership as one of the producers of LOA’s student news show, The Current. We are so proud to see her represent LOATV and the rest of the Lake Oconee Academy family on the GSPA Student Advisory Board.”

Lake Oconee Academy is a member of the GSPA. Eight LOA students attended the Fall Conference on Monday, October 22, 2018, at the University of Georgia Tate Student Center with over 900 students from across Georgia. Students attended workshops on a variety of topics including effective social media strategies, interview skills, and photojournalism.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY ADVANCED PLACEMENT® STUDENTS OUTSCORE STATE, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL MEANS IN 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY ADVANCED PLACEMENT® STUDENTS OUTSCORE STATE, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL MEANS IN 2018


Greensboro, Ga. (August 13, 2018) – The Advanced Placement® (AP®) program at Lake Oconee Academy allows students to challenge themselves with rigorous AP coursework, and students are meeting the challenge. LOA’s 2017-18 AP exam scores once again top the state, national and global mean scores.

The AP program is administered by the College Board and offers college-level coursework to high school students. Colleges and universities will often grant course credit and advanced placement for qualifying scores on exams. AP exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5: 5 - extremely well qualified; 4 – well qualified; 3 – qualified; 2 – possibly qualified; 1 – no recommendation.

The 2017-18 mean scores for students taking AP exams for courses offered at LOA compared to students taking those same exams at the state, national and global level are:

LOA Georgia National Global
3.28 2.91 2.87 2.89

In 2017-18, LOA administered 155 AP exams to 91 students, with 79.1% of students scoring a 3 or higher. Of the 79.1% who scored a 3 or higher, 39.7 % scored a 4 or 5.

Below is a table showing four years of data at the school, state and global levels. The table illustrates the percentage of total LOA students who scored a 3 or higher on AP exams for courses offered at LOA compared to students taking those same exams at the state and global level.

Year LOA Georgia Global
2015 81% 57.2% 60.7%
2016 74.4% 58.1% 60.3%
2017 74% 58.9% 60.3%
2018 79.1% 61.2% 61.3%

LOA is pleased to have 30 students who were named AP Scholars for 2017-18. The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. Among those 30 students, 17 students earned the AP Scholar award that is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. The AP Scholar with Honor, for students who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four more of these exams, was awarded to four students. Finally, the AP Scholar with Distinction, granted to students who received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams, was achieved by nine LOA students.

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A LOA graduate was also named an AP National Scholar, LOA’s first student to receive that designation. This student earned 46 college credit hours while still in high school.

In addition, LOA was named an AP Honor School for 2018. Based on 2017 AP courses and exams, LOA earned the Honor School designation in the following categories: AP Challenge School, AP Merit School and AP Humanities School.

“AP courses offer students opportunities to prepare skill sets that are essential for success in post-secondary options,” said Dr. Hester Vasconcelos, AP coordinator at LOA. “AP teachers employ strategies that challenge students to develop habits of mind for critical thinking and problem solving. Students learn to dig deeper and provide meaningful answers to complex questions. Taking risks, accepting the challenge, and developing perseverance are patterns prominent in AP courses. Teachers prepare to teach AP courses through extensive professional development to help all students achieve success at extraordinarily high levels.”

During the 2017-2018 school year, LOA offered 17 AP courses: Biology, Chemistry, Calculus AB, Computer Science Principles, Microeconomics, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, US Government and Politics, Human Geography, Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Literature and Culture, Studio Art 2D, Studio Art Drawing, US History, Capstone Seminar, Physics 1: Algebra -Based, and Physics C: Mechanics.



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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY NAMES 2018 VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY NAMES 2018 VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN

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Greensboro, Ga. (May 21, 2018)– Lake Oconee Academy held its Senior Honors Ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2018, to honor LOA’s first graduating class. The faculty and staff were pleased to announce Anna Harris as Salutatorian and Kunj Sukha as Valedictorian of the Class of 2018 in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements.

Anna has been a leader both in and out of the classroom. Her rigorous academic course load allowed her to qualify for graduation from LOA in just three years. Anna completed 11 AP® courses during high school and was named an AP® Scholar by the College Board. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Senior Beta Club. She also earned the Georgia Bi-literacy Seal, International Skills Diploma Seal, and an International Spanish Academy diploma. Anna served for two years as the race coordinator for the Shoes of Service 5K to benefit the Surgeons of Service, a partnership with local doctors fostered by Anna to provide funds and donated shoes for children and families in need in the Dominican Republic. Anna will be attending the University of Georgia in the fall.

Sukha, who achieved the highest academic ranking of the senior class, will deliver the Valedictorian address during LOA’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Kunj completed 18 AP® courses in high school to earn an AP® Scholar designation from the College Board. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Senior Beta Club, and also earned the International Skills Diploma Seal and an International Spanish Academy diploma. Kunj was active with the broadcast team coordinating camera operations, lighting, and live streaming of various school events. He was also named a Titan Tri-Athlete all four years of high school for competing in a sport each season during the school year – cross country, basketball and baseball. Kunj will study Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo: Anna Harris and Kunj Sukha were honored as the Class of 2018’s Salutatorian and Valedictorian at the Senior Honors Ceremony on May 18, 2018, for their outstanding academic achievements.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SEVENTH GRADER HAILEY HEINEN TO COMPETE IN SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SEVENTH GRADER HAILEY HEINEN TO COMPETE IN SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

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Greensboro, Ga. (May 14, 2018) – Hailey Heinen, a seventh grade Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) student, is heading to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. from May 29-31, 2018. She will join spellers from all over the world as they compete during “Bee Week,” with portions of the Bee to be televised on ESPN.

Hailey has won every class spelling bee since first grade, and she has been the winner of every schoolwide spelling bee since fourth grade. She has moved on to win the Greene County spelling bee three times and has also competed in the Georgia Regional Spelling Bee three times.

Hailey is a high honors student in school. She enjoys piano, musical theater, reading, serving as a student government representative, and competition cheerleading. Finding time to study for the Bee can be challenging, especially when spellers are told that the most inclusive study tool for the National Bee is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Champion spellers also study etymology (the history of words and their origins) to give them the best chance of spelling difficult words that are unfamiliar to most people.

“Going to the National Spelling Bee has been a goal of mine since 1st grade,” said Hailey. “I love the competitive atmosphere, and I am excited to meet new friends from around the world.” Hailey would like to thank LOA faculty Lindsay Lipscomb, Caroline St. John, and Katie Cobb who continue to help her study in the early mornings before and after school, and Greene County teacher Tara Burdette who helped her prepare for the Greene County Bee and Regional Bee.

Photo: LOA seventh grader Hailey Heinen will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. May 29-31, 2018.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY NAMED 2018 AP HONOR SCHOOL

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY NAMED 2018 AP HONOR SCHOOL

Greensboro, Ga. (April 23, 2018) - Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) has been named a 2018 Advanced Placement® (AP®) Honor School by State School Superintendent Richard Woods. Based on 2017 AP courses and exams, LOA earned the Honor School designation in the following categories: AP Challenge School, AP Merit School and AP Humanities School.

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The AP program is administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT, and offers college-level coursework to high school students. Colleges and universities will often grant course credit and advanced placement for qualifying scores on exams.

"Now that LOA has expanded to a complete high school with grades 9-12 for the 2017-18 school year, our AP program has really grown," said LOA CEO Dr. Otho Tucker. "Last year we were named an AP Merit School, so to achieve the additional designations this year is a good indication that our students are taking advantage of the opportunity to enroll in the most rigorous classes and earn college credit during their high school careers. They are truly preparing themselves for post-secondary education."

The AP Honor School categories achieved by LOA are defined as follows:

AP Challenge Schools (56 named in 2018) are schools with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in four of the core areas (English, math, science and social studies).

AP Merit Schools (67 named in 2018) are schools with at least 20% of the total student population taking AP exams and at least 50 percent of all exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

AP Humanities Schools (134 named in 2018) are schools with students testing in the following courses: at least one ELA course, two social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.

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Photo: LOA student Cydney Bish works on an AP Studio Design project in class. LOA was named a 2018 AP Honor School, including a designation as an AP Humanities School to include students taking ELA, social science, fine arts and world language courses.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SENIOR KJ HARRIS SIGNS FIRST ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP IN SCHOOL HISTORY

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SENIOR KJ HARRIS SIGNS FIRST ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Harris Earns Basketball Scholarship at Brewton-Parker College

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Greensboro, Ga. (April 17, 2018) – Lake Oconee Academy senior Ka’Jarius “KJ” Harris becomes the first student-athlete in LOA history to sign an athletics scholarship. Harris will attend Brewton-Parker College in the fall on a basketball scholarship. Brewton-Parker Men’s Basketball Head Coach Gavin Chapman visited the LOA campus on Friday, April 13, 2018, for Harris’s official signing.

KJ started attending LOA his freshman year in high school and was a member of the initial JV boys basketball team in the 2014-15 school year.

“KJ is determined, and he wanted to play basketball in college so he went after it with everything he had,” said LOA Athletic Director Chris Ingle. “KJ is always a pleasure to spend time with; he speaks from his heart and has been a bridge builder in our community. This is just the beginning for him and we will be here to support him from here on out.”

“KJ was a leader, the engine, so to speak, laying the foundation for the LOA basketball program going forward,” said LOA Boys Basketball Head Coach Michael Brooker. “Playing at the next level is a very exciting opportunity, and we are extremely excited to watch him grow and extend his playing career beyond LOA.”

The signing ceremony was attended by KJ’s varsity basketball teammates, his parents Freda and Jarrod Harris, LOA teachers, and friends. Speakers included teammates John Fowler, Hunter Lovelace and Ashton Evans who spoke about their friendship and admiration for KJ as a player and a person, and KJ’s father Jarrod.

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Photo: KJ Harris signs the first athletic scholarship in school history alongside his new coach, Brewton-Parker College Men’s basketball Head Coach Gavin Chapman.

LOA Senior Robert Hatfield Accepts Appointment to the US Naval Academy

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SENIOR ROBERT HATFIELD
ACCEPTS APPOINTMENT TO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

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Greensboro, Ga. (April 9, 2018) - Lake Oconee Academy senior Robert E. "Bobby" Hatfield III, a member of LOA's first graduating class, has received and accepted an offer of appointment from the U.S. Naval Academy. Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) visited the LOA campus on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, to conduct an official signing ceremony with Bobby. Students, faculty, friends, and family were on hand to celebrate Bobby's outstanding accomplishment.

Bobby's goal since he was a young child has been to serve his country. "I want to be where I can become the very best version of myself; my country deserves nothing less," Hatfield expressed in an essay written his senior year. "My generation will soon be charged with the awesome responsibility of passing the liberty we inherited to the next generation, and we will not let our country down."

"One of the greatest thrills I have as a member of Congress is getting to be a part of days like this," said Congressman Hice. "It does my heart so much good to see the quality of the men and women that are appointed to service academies to lead our military and country. To earn an appointment, you have to excel scholastically, physically and in leadership roles. This is an incredible honor. I want to thank Bobby for his willingness to serve our country."

Caroline St. John, Bobby's English Literature teacher, spoke about her first interaction with Bobby through Youth Leadership Greene, a group of sophomores from all the high schools in Greene County.

"I had the pleasure of having Bobby in the first Youth Leadership Greene group, and it was important because it was our first group where all the student leaders would come together for the first time as a team," said St. John. "On that first day together, Bobby was the one who walked across the group and shook hands with all the kids from the other schools. He was the one that we followed. I knew at the moment that we would be following Bobby for the rest of his life."

After additional comments from LOA CEO Dr. Otho Tucker, Bobby's grandmother Brenda Pickett, classmate Eli Ramsey, and LOA Upper School Director Jody Worth, Congressman Hice presented Bobby with the certificate of appointment. The certificate, signed by Bobby to heartfelt applause from the large crowd gathered in Community Hall, reads, "With personal strength and upstanding character, I will serve my nation with honor."

Bobby will report to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on June 28, 2018, where he will swear in as a midshipman in the United States Navy.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL SPORTS HAVE SUCCESSFUL SPRING SEASON

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL SPORTS HAVE SUCCESSFUL SPRING SEASON
Boys Soccer Wins Third Consecutive CSRA Championship

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Greensboro, Ga. (April 9, 2018) – The spring sports season has come and gone for the Middle School programs at Lake Oconee Academy (LOA), but not without some excellent results. LOA’s middle school student-athletes and coaches have produced teams that are both exciting to watch and very competitive within the CSRA Athletic League.

The MS Baseball Titans, led by Coaches Paul Schofield and Tim Stephens, finished the season with an 8-2 record in the league. They came up short in the league semi-finals to a very strong team from Washington County.

The MS Lady Titan soccer team, led by coaches Kris Stevens and Crishandra Perkins, improved throughout the season and earned a spot in the League Championship finals. The team ultimately finished as the league runner-up to Jefferson County.

The MS Titan boys soccer team, led by coaches Evan Minster and Kevin Urrutia, finished the season with a record of 5-3 in the league. After earning a spot in the league championship game, the boys team pulled off a hat trick by winning its third consecutive CSRA League Championship 2-1 over Jefferson County.

“It was very exciting to win the championship three years in a row,” said eighth grader Kyle Beasley. “Several strong players moved up to varsity this year so it was great to see the team work together and continue to play with confidence.”

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Photo: The LOA Middle School boys soccer team wins the 2018 CSRA Championship for the third year in a row. Pictured left to right (front row) Leo Perez, Zach Stephens, Max Jackson, (back row) Coach Kevin Urrutia, Jarod Batson, Tyler Urrutia, Ryan McClendon, Fernando Patino, Tanner Larkin, Jay Beeker, Gavin Minster, Kyle Beasley, Jackson Millwood, Joshua Wilson, Lucas Minton, Kurtis Tran, Coach Evan Minster, Trace Wood.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY STUDENTS ORGANIZE FUNDRAISER

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY STUDENTS ORGANIZE FUNDRAISER FOR MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL VICTIMS' FUND

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Greensboro, Ga. (March 19, 2018) - The Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) high school Entrepreneurship class coordinated a Jeans Day on Friday, March 16, 2018, to benefit the official Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School fund to provide relief and financial assistance to the victims and families of the tragic school shooting. Participants received a green "MSD Strong" button in honor of mental health awareness and in support of the students and families in Parkland, Florida.

The Entrepreneurship class was pleased to announce they would be making a $3,000 donation to the MSD Victims' Fund directed by the Broward Education Foundation in conjunction with Broward County Public Schools on behalf of the students and faculty of LOA. Thank you to all of the students, teachers and families for their donations.

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Photo: Members of the LOA Entrepreneurship class announce the total donation of the fundraiser to benefit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Victims' Fund at $3,000.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY STUDENTS RECORD STRONG PERFORMANCES AT GHSA LITERARY MEET

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY STUDENTS RECORD STRONG PERFORMANCES AT GHSA LITERARY MEET
Pearson Becomes Back-to-Back State Champion

Greensboro, Ga. (March 19, 2018) - Lake Oconee Academy students displayed strong performances at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Literary Meet on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga. After finishing in first place in their region competitions, senior Bobby Hatfield, junior Chandler Pearson and freshman Stu Baker notched a first place win and two second place finishes in the GHSA Region A-Public, Area 5 state competition. The GHSA supports education-based interscholastic sports and activities, facilitating the development of fine arts and critical thinking and speaking skills.

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Baker placed second in Boys Solo with his performance of "Santa Fe" from the Broadway musical Newsies and "Alma del core" from Caldara's opera entitled La constanza. Hatfield placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking - International by addressing the question, "How did the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea affect the tensions in the Korean Peninsula?"
Pearson followed up her 2017 state championship title with another first place win in Extemporaneous Speaking - Domestic. This year her speech addressed the question, "Can members of Congress lay politics aside and do what they believe is the right thing for the American people?"

Extemporaneous Speaking is a public speaking contest in which contestants are provided a selection of topics dealing with current national or international issues that have been discussed in periodicals since September 1 of the current year. Each contestant draws three topics and must select one of the three to address in competition. A contestant is then allotted 30 minutes to plan and organize his/her speech and seven minutes to deliver the speech. The criteria for judging the competition includes: (a) analysis of topic (b) organizational skills (c) logical support (d) language skills and (e) delivery skills.

"Congratulations to Stu, Bobby and our back-to-back champion Chandler for their hard work and dedication to the GHSA Literary Meet," said Dr. Otho Tucker, CEO of LOA. "These experiences will benefit their overall academic performance as well as their preparation for life skills outside of the classroom. A heartfelt thank you to the faculty sponsors, Mrs. Colleen Ham and Mrs. Juli Malcom, for inspiring and preparing students to take on these challenges."

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Photo A (left to right): Stu Baker, Chandler Pearson and Bobby Hatfield celebrate their performances at the GHSA Literary Meet on March 17, 2018.
Photo B: Chandler Pearson is the winner of back-to-back state titles at the GHSA Literary Meet in the category of Extemporaneous Speaking - Domestic.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SPELLING BEE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY SPELLING BEE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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Greensboro, Ga. (December 19, 2017) - Lake Oconee Academy recently held its annual Spelling Bee for first through eighth grade students. Students competed in three categories: first through third grade, fourth and fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade. The competition was intense, with spellers receiving such difficult words as pertinacity, rheumatic and habanero. The winner in the first-third grade competition was Shelby Marullo, with Cole Schumacher as runner up. Ashton Leach was announced the winner of the fourth and fifth grade competition, with Jewell Morrison as runner up. Hailey Heinen came out on top as the winner of the middle grade competition, with Keerti Ahluwalia as runner up. Winners in the fourth through eighth grade groups will move on to the county competition at the CBJ Board Office on February 1, 2018. Congratulations to all the winners and participants in this year's spelling bee!

Photo: LOA spelling bee winners include (back row, left to right) Shelby Marullo, Ashton Leach, Jewell Morrison, (front row) Cole Schumacher, Hailey Heinen, and Keerti Ahluwalia.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY CELEBRATES CONSTRUCTION OF HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS WITH GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY CELEBRATES CONSTRUCTION OF HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS
WITH GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY

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Greensboro, Ga. (November 20, 2017) - Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) students, families, teachers, administration, board members, and friends celebrated the start of the construction of the new high school campus with a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, November 16, 2017, followed by the annual Titan Bash school-wide event. The high school expansion project features two new buildings that will include seventeen classrooms with two science labs, and a student life center with a cafeteria and a gymnasium.

The LOA Foundation also announced on Thursday that the $2 million "Fulfilling Our Commitment" capital campaign to provide philanthropic support for the expansion of the LOA high school had met its goal with current funds raised at $2.3 million. The capital campaign will fund items such as advanced technologies, furnishings, safety measures, equipment, and green space for the high school campus.

"This is certainly a historical day for LOA and Greene County," said capital campaign co-chairman Rick Wolfert. "Today we have the opportunity to celebrate LOA's remarkable success and growth over the last ten years, but also understanding that this $19 million campus expansion shapes the future of our school. I would like to personally thank the over 200 donors, business partners and parents that made this campaign a success, and acknowledge our teachers and LOA board members who all contributed to the campaign at a 100% level. That is outstanding."

"We sincerely thank the USDA and appreciate everything they do through the Rural Development Loans program which made this project possible," said Dr. Otho Tucker, CEO of LOA. "What it really comes down to is the parents who had the need and desire to have these buildings go up and knew that expanding the school is a good thing for the children. LOA could still be 11 or 15 or 80 students in Lakeside Church, but our dream was to do more than that. We wanted to give this opportunity to more and more children. Without the parents, it would have never been possible."

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Photo: Representatives from JMWilliams Contractors, the LOA Board of Governors and the LOA Foundation participated in the groundbreaking at the site of the new high school campus (left to right): Daniel Hauser, Brad Campbell, Michael York, Jennifer Vaughan, Riezl Baker, Connie Hoyle, David Mapp, Dick Schmidt, Mark Lipscomb, Dr. Otho Tucker, Rick Wolfert, Tommy Jeffords and Allison Evans.

LOA Students Make Impact at GA National Fair Art Awards

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LOA STUDENTS MAKE IMPACT AT THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIR ART AWARDS

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Greensboro, Ga. (November 6, 2017) - Lake Oconee Academy submitted 35 entries to the student art competition at the 2017 Georgia National Fair in Perry, Ga., and 16 of those entries were awarded ribbons.

"Student learning is always the ultimate goal and seeing the entries from schools all over the state is very eye-opening and inspiring to our kids," said LOA art instructor Debbie Vogel. "With 16 ribbons, we are growing and improving among the ranking in the state. It built their confidence and affirmed what we are doing to grow the fine arts program at LOA."

The following students were awarded ribbons at the Georgia National Fair art competition:

8th Grade:

  • Isabelle Hodges: Best in Show in Sculpture

  • Isabelle Hodges: 1st place in Sculpture

  • Shelby Davis: 1st place in Painting

  • Ella Chesney: Honorable Mention in Painting

  • Willow Manville: Honorable Mention in Sculpture

9th Grade:

  • Katie Ciavola: 1st place in Drawing (Mixed Media)

  • Katie Ciavola: 1st place in Sculpture

  • Marissa Malone: Honorable Mention in Drawing (Colored Pencil)

  • Marissa Malone: 2nd place in Sculpture

10th Grade:

  • Rachel Bird: Honorable Mention in Drawing (Ink)

  • Lane Herndon: Honorable Mention in Drawing (Colored Pencil)

  • Savannah Dwyer: Honorable Mention in Drawing (Charcoal)

  • Savannah Dwyer: 2nd place in Drawing (Charcoal)

  • Rachel Bird: 3rd place in drawing (Mixed Media)

11th Grade:

  • Breanna Coffman: Honorable Mention in Drawing (Pencil)

12th Grade:

  • Ashlyn Harris 3rd place in sculpture

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Photo: LOA 8th grade student Isabelle Hodges earned the Best in Show and First Place ribbon in the Sculpture category at the 2017 Georgia National Fair art competition.

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY ADVANCED PLACEMENT® EXAM SCORES TOP STATE, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL MEAN SCORES

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY ADVANCED PLACEMENT® EXAM SCORES

TOP STATE, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL MEAN SCORES

LOA Named AP Merit School for 2017

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Greensboro, Ga. (September 22, 2017) - The Advanced Placement® (AP®) program at Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) has continued its trend of high achievement on AP exams resulting in scores that ranked higher than the state, national and global mean for the 2016-17 school year.

The AP program is administered by the College Board and offers college-level coursework to high school students. Colleges and universities will often grant course credit and advanced placement for qualifying scores on exams. LOA offered nine AP courses for students in grades nine through eleven in the 2016-17 school year. AP exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5: 5 - extremely well qualified; 4 - well qualified; 3 - qualified; 2 - possibly qualified; 1 - no recommendation.

The mean scores for 2016-17 AP exams are:

LOA Georgia National Global
3.13 2.86 2.84 2.86

LOA administered 139 AP exams to 73 students, with 71% of students scoring a 3 or higher. Of the 71% who scored a 3 or higher, 35% scored a 4 or 5.

LOA is pleased to have 22 students who were named AP Scholars for 2016-17. The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. LOA has 11 students who earned the AP Scholar award that is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. The AP Scholar with Honor, for students who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four more of these exams, was awarded to seven students. Finally, the AP Scholar with Distinction, granted to students who received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams, was achieved by four LOA students.

In addition, LOA was named an AP Merit School for 2017; a school with at least 20% of the population taking AP exams and at least 50 percent of all exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

"At LOA we believe that the AP program offers the most challenging options for students to prepare themselves for success in their post-secondary choices, whether that is at a technical school, in the military, or in a competitive four-year university," said Dr. Hester Vasconcelos, AP Coordinator at LOA. "AP uses a national set of curriculum standards, claims, and evidence for each AP course, and each AP course ends with a national exam. AP teachers must submit a national audit to have the course included officially as an AP course on a student's transcript. The scores students receive are an excellent way to measure their preparedness compared to other students across the country taking the same courses."

During the 2017-2018 school year, LOA is offering 16 AP courses: AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Microeconomics, AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP US Government, AP Human Geography, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, AP Studio Art 2D, AP Studio Art Drawing, AP US History, AP Capstone Seminar, AP Physics 1, and AP Physics 2.

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LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY HONORS LEGACY OF FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER JAMES BROOKS WITH SCHOLARSHIP FUND

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY HONORS LEGACY OF FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER

JAMES BROOKS WITH SCHOLARSHIP FUND

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Greensboro, Ga. (September 14, 2017) - A long-time member of the Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) family, Board of Governors founding member James Brooks, age 80, has passed away. Mr. Brooks joined the LOA Board of Governors in 2007, and was an avid supporter of quality education and strongly believed in the mission of LOA. He was instrumental in the passage of the initial charter to bring LOA to Greene County. Without his efforts, the vision of LOA may not have come to fruition. His friendly demeanor, generous nature and thoughtful actions will be missed by the LOA Board, faculty and students.

Mr. Brooks, a native of Greensboro and part-time Atlanta resident, spent his professional career in mechanical construction. In 2002, he successfully completed the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Advanced Minority Business Executive Program. In 2005, he was recognized by the Greene County chapter of the NAACP for his support of minority advancement and contributions to the greater Greensboro community. Mr. Brooks was named an accomplished alumnus of the former F. T. Corry High School for classes from 1949 to 1960. He also served on the board and budget committee of the Atlanta Old Timers, Inc., an organization that raises money for books and scholarships for students in the Atlanta area and beyond. He was active with students in the Greensboro Dreamers program and lived by the philosophy, "You are never too old to learn; the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing."

Mr. Brooks is survived by his wife Virginia, a retired elementary school teacher who spent over 40 years educating Atlanta students. Together they have truly impacted the lives of countless students.

"James believed that life is not always fair, but with great determination, you can achieve whatever it is you set out to accomplish," said Dr. Otho, Tucker, CEO of LOA.

In that spirit, LOA has started the James Brooks Scholarship Fund that will be awarded annually to a student who exemplifies the three cornerstones of LOA - citizenship, scholarship and community - and shown resilience and tenacity in their educational journey. Each year, LOA will honor a senior pursuing post-secondary educational work that embodies Mr. Brooks' outlook that with enough determination, anything is possible.

Contributions may be made to the James Brooks Scholarship Fund, c/o Lake Oconee Academy, 1021 Titan Circle, Greensboro, GA, 30642.

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Lake Oconee Academy Named Recipient of the 2016-2017 Class A Region 7 Cooperative Spirit Sportsman Award by the GHSA

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster
706.454.1562
kerry.minster@lakeoconeeacademy.org

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY NAMED RECIPIENT OF THE 2016-17 CLASS A REGION 7
COOPERATIVE SPIRIT SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD BY THE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

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Greensboro, Ga. (August 14, 2017) – Lake Oconee Academy has been announced as the recipient of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class A Region 7 Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award. The award honors schools that demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship during the 2016-2017 school year.

The Cooperative Sportsmanship Award recognizes student athletes, fellow students, school staff, parents and event spectators for the sportsmanship they display during competitive events. The award is not only a school honor, but a community honor as well. The GHSA region secretaries and coaches select winners based upon sportsmanship demonstrated throughout the school year.

“The mission of the LOA athletics is to develop leaders through an education-based athletics program,” said LOA Athletic Director Chris Ingle. “To accomplish that, LOA coaches are committed to academic excellence, integrity, hard work, selflessness, a winning attitude, and the spirit of ONE Titan. We are honored to be selected for the GHSA Cooperative Sportsmanship Award. This signals that our student athletes are heeding the lessons that will develop them into leaders in the athletic arena, the classroom and in their adult lives.”

Since 2006, the GHSA and Georgia’s Electric Membership Cooperatives (Georgia’s EMCs) have sponsored the Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award which reinforces the GHSA philosophy: “Students, athletes, coaches, spectators and all others associated with high school activities programs should adhere to the fundamental values of respect, fairness, honesty and responsibility.”

“Congratulations to all of the region winners of the GHSA Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award for 2016-2017,” says Dr. Robin Hines, GHSA Executive Director. “It is an honor for these member schools to be selected by their regions for this award. The characteristics of good sportsmanship are critical to the development of our young people as they transition into productive adults. The GHSA applauds our schools on this accomplishment and appreciates Georgia’s EMCs for their support of this outstanding recognition program.”

Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Awards are presented annually to the GHSA-member high schools in the 56 regions from the seven classifications by representatives from the EMCs during fall athletic events and school assemblies.

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