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Student Spotlights – April 2024

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Student & School Spotlights Apr AOP
Every month we compile a list of students and schools doing great things across our community.  We have so many talented students in our area.  Auburn Opelika Parents joins with these families and schools to celebrate their achievements!
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Harmonies of History at AHS

Harmonies of History at AHS

The Afro-Cultural Education Club at Auburn High School hosted an incredible event celebrating Black History Month. With great pride and joy, the club presented “Harmonies of History” – an afternoon filled with powerful performances, enlightening discussions, and heartfelt tributes. From soul-stirring music to thought-provoking spoken word, students’ talents were on display, embracing the rich tapestry of African American heritage. Connecting his music education experience to the program’s theme, Richland Elementary’s Music Teacher Mr. Joseph Rowser was the Keynote Speaker. The Auburn High community united to honor Black individuals’ struggles, triumphs, and contributions throughout history. Thank you to the ACE Club, their sponsor Dr. Courtney Pritchett, and Ms. Alyssa Gentry for this celebration of culture, resilience, and unity!

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A Worldly Experience at AJHS

A Worldly Experience at AJHS

Auburn Junior High School’s Multicultural Night was a celebration of the rich diversity that makes Auburn City Schools so special. From captivating performances that showcased the talents and traditions of different cultures to the mouthwatering array of cuisines that tantalized taste buds, every moment was a testament to the beauty of unity in diversity. With 17 countries represented, ACS wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the students, families, teachers, and staff who contributed to making this event a resounding success! The enthusiasm, energy, and dedication truly brought the AJHS community closer together. Let’s continue to carry the spirit of inclusivity and appreciation for one another as we move forward, embracing our differences and celebrating our shared humanity!

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ACS 2nd Graders Learn Financial Literacy

ACS nd Graders Learn Financial Literacy

Second graders had a very special visitor in Auburn City Schools- none other than Short the Squirrel! Short is dropped by five schools to teach students about the importance of financial literacy and to present free activity books titled “Short’s Money Tree.” Watching the kids light up as they met Short and discovered the world of money management was heartwarming. Young people are learning valuable lessons about saving, investing, and making intelligent financial decisions for the future. Thanks to the support from sponsors, including the Alabama Securities Commission, Investors Protection Trust, and Troy Bank & Trust, for making this educational experience possible. Here’s to empowering young minds with the knowledge they need to thrive in the world of finance!

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Ogletree Elementary Celebrates Black History

Ogletree Elementary Celebrates Black History

Filled with music, knowledge, and inspiration, Ogletree Elementary commemorated Black History Month with a special program for parents. Students showcased their talents through powerful songs, engaging informational videos, and creative class projects, truly honoring the heritage and contributions of African Americans throughout history. A special highlight of the program was the heartfelt and enlightening speech delivered by esteemed guest speaker, Mrs. Liz Chandler. With grace and wisdom, Mrs. Chandler shared her personal journey as a black woman in Auburn, Alabama, offering valuable insights and empowering our students to embrace diversity and unity in our community. Thank you to all the students, teachers, and staff who worked to make this event a success, and a big shoutout to Mrs. Liz Chandler for her inspiring words!

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AHS Choral Company Wins in Mississippi

AHS Choral Company Wins in Mississippi

The Auburn Choral Company performed at the King City Classic in Tupelo, Mississippi. Auburn High received the “Best Crew” award and the following performance awards:
ELAN
1st Place Single Gender Division
Outstanding performer – Misha Temesgen
Best Costumes
Men at Work
3rd Place Single Gender Division
Outstanding performer – Tate Scholl
Varsity Singers
Best Opener
Outstanding performer – Kenyah Story
1st Runner Up
Special congratulations to Knowl Garris and Nacia Lee for being awarded Outstanding Soloists in a show during Finals!

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AHS Mass Media Wins Awards

AHS Mass Media Wins Awards

AHS Mass Media has won five 2024 Student Production Awards from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Southeast Foundation (Regional EMMY® Chapter)!
Congratulations to the following students for their nominations:
Best Public Service Announcement – Cordie Burt
Best Public Service Announcement – Leah Hardy and Lauren Brinkley
Best Commercial – Hailey Yoon
Best Editor – Jackson Wells
Best Talent or Performer – Knowl Garris
The Southeast Student Production Awards incentivize the pursuit of excellence in television journalism and focus public attention on outstanding achievements in television/media produced by high school and college students.

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ACS Empowering Families

ACS Empowering Families

The Parent Meeting with the Auburn City Schools Parent Resource Center was an eye-opening experience. We were incredibly fortunate to have Jessica Segrest, an esteemed Early Childhood Consultant & Parent Educator from the Child Care Resource Center, Inc., as the special guest presenter. The discussion delved into a crucial topic: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience. Parents must understand how these experiences can impact children and how to foster resilience in them. Jessica’s insights were invaluable, shedding light on practical strategies and resources to support our children through challenging times. For anyone who may have missed the meeting or is seeking guidance with their child, please email ACS Parent & Community Liaison Wanda Lewis at wjlewis@auburnschools.org.
Thank you to everyone who attended and actively participated in the discussion. Your engagement truly makes a difference in our children’s lives. Let’s continue to learn, grow, and support one another on this parenting journey!

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Lee-Scott Academy Student Participates in All-State Choir

Lee Scott Academy Student Participates in All State Choir

Lee-Scott Academy junior Jay Collins auditioned in November with thousands from around the state and was selected to participate in the All-State Mixed Choir in Birmingham. This is Jay’s second year to be selected for this honor! Congratulations, Jay! You can see Jay and other LSA students showcase their talents when Lee-Scott Academy Drama performs “Beauty & the Beast” April 4-6. Tickets are now available through S2 Pass.

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East Samford School Students Complete MAPP Program

East Samford School Students Complete MAPP Program

Students from East Samford School recently competed in the 2024 Mathematical Puzzle Program (MaPP) at Auburn University. With three teams representing ESS, two placed 2nd and 3rd out of 11! During the Challenge, students showcased their teamwork skills, perseverance, and positive attitudes while reasoning abstractly and quantitatively to solve up to 12 advanced math puzzles over several hours. One of the goals of Mathematical Puzzle Programs is to connect general audiences with mathematical research. In the context of fun puzzle games, STEM motivates and challenges students to grapple with the material to discover hidden messages. ACS is proud of Autumn Mayer and Pam Gaylor, both math teachers at ESS, for coaching and fostering a love of mathematics!

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LSA AP European History Students Tour Europe

LSA AP European History Students Tour Europe

Bonjour! AP European History students at Lee-Scott Academy traveled across the globe to London and Paris to explore historical landmarks and museums to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Europe! The group visited Versailles, the Louvre, and the top of the Eiffel Tower- just to name a few spots. It was a fantastic trip for these students and teachers!

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Career Connection for AJHS Students

Career Connection for AJHS Students

It was an exciting day on Southern Union State Community College’s campus in Opelika as our eighth graders explored potential career paths. More than 600 Auburn Junior High School students had hands-on experiences in the manufacturing, health sciences, and public safety fields during the career fair. Seeing young minds eager to explore diverse career paths and discover their passions is inspiring. ACS thanks SUSCC for providing this valuable opportunity!

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Under the Sea with Pick Elementary

Under the Sea with Pick Elementary

Dive under the sea with Pick Elementary School’s enchanting production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.! This magical journey was filled with memorable songs, colorful characters, and underwater adventures! Parents and guardians were invited to support these talented young performers as they bring this beloved tale to life on stage. A special thank you to the production team at PES for the fin-tastic opportunity to experience the magic of The Little Mermaid JR.!

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LSA 3rd Graders Research Famous Americans

LSA rd Graders Research Famous Americans

Special guests were all over Lee-Scott Academy’s campus! There were politicians, inventors, sports stars and everyone in between all sharing their stories on how they became a famous American. These 3rd Grade students spent weeks researching their Famous American and did a fantastic job presenting it to their peers as well as many guests!

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Richland Elementary Sings and Celebrates Black History Month

Richland Elementary Sings and Celebrates Black History Month

Students at Richland Elementary School presented a Black History Program titled “Let Our Lights Shine!” With several students dressed as famous African Americans, the Richland Singers took the stage to present facts about prominent Black inventors, activists, athletes, and politicians in between songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome.” Students and teachers welcomed Mrs. Marion Sankey as the guest speaker, and she shared about the roots of Black History Month, which started as a week in 1926 before it grew to be the month-long celebration we know today. Mrs. Sankey praised the talent of the student performers and encouraged continuing to shine a light on Black History!

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ACS Middle School Robotics Team Advances to VEX World

ACS Middle School Robotics Team Advances to VEX World

The Auburn City Schools robotics teams competed in the Alabama Middle School State VEX Robotics Competition. All three teams made it to the finals matches, with Team 36832A finishing second in the tournament and advancing to the VEX Worlds Robotics competition. The annual event in Dallas, Texas, brings together the top VEX IQ Robotics Competition, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U teams from around the globe to celebrate their accomplishments and participate in the 2023-2024 games. ACS congratulates all of our robotics students and wishes Team 36832A the best at VEX Worlds!

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Art Show Winners at LSA

Art Show Winners at LSA

Lee-Scott Academy students were absolutely the “Best in Show” at the AISA District Art Show! Students that earned 1st & 2nd place ribbons in the school-wide art show went with Mrs. Beard & Mrs. Basgier to the AISA District Art Show at Glenwood. Congrats to the following students for winning a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place ribbon at district! 1st place winners in grades Kindergarten – 8th will advance to the state competition in April. Both 1st & 2nd place winners in the 9th-12th grade division will advance to state.
Kindergarten – 1st Grade:
Water Base: Camille Stark, 1st
Printmaking: Hayes Hester, 1st; Sophia Wilson, 3rd
Drawing (non-color): Sophia Wilson, 2nd
Drawing (color): Elizabeth McMurray, 1st
Mixed Media: Addie Claire Russell, 1st
Collage: Zadie Bradham, 1st; Hayes Hester, 2nd
Photography: Elizabeth McMurray, 2nd
3D: Charlie McGarrigle, 1st; Hayes Hester, 3rd
2nd-3rd Grade:
Water Base: Mila Donaghey, 1st
Printmaking: Charlotte Moore, 1st; Peyton Craig, 2nd
Drawing (non-color): Caroline McGarrigle, 3rd
Collage: William King, 1st; Mattie Beckett Riggs, 2nd
3D: Mila Donaghey, 1st
4th-5th Grade:
Printmaking: Hank Nolin, 2nd
Drawing (non-color): Ella Williams, 3rd
Drawing (color): Parker Reynolds, 1st; Grayson Davis, 3rd
Mixed Media: Kennedy Bancroft, 2nd; Harrison Wood, 3rd
6th-8th Grade:
Water Base: Colten Zachry, 1st
Printmaking: Corbett Culpepper, 1st; Townes Frye, 2nd
Drawing (non-color): Madelyn Wheeles, 2nd
Drawing (color): Sadie Terrell, 1st (Best in Show); Madelyn Wheeles, 2nd
Mixed Media: Walker Bancroft, 1st
Collage: Owen England, 3rd
Photography: Barrett Moore, 3rd
3D: Ava Senn, 1st; Barrett Moore, 2nd
9th-12th Grade:
Painting: Pie Clinard, 1st (Best in Show); Grace Thrift, 2nd
Water Base: Pie Clinard, 1st; Eleanor Harrison, 2nd
Drawing (non-color): Pie Clinard, 2nd
Mixed Media: Pie Clinard, 1st Place/3rd
Photography: Travis Pham, 1st
3D: Pie Clinard, 1st; Mia Grace Roberts, 2nd

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ACS 3rd Graders Visit Auburn Public Library

ACS rd Graders Visit Auburn Public Library

Third graders took a field trip to the Auburn Public Library to meet children’s book author Beth Bacon. Beth Bacon’s lively storytelling brings joy to students, igniting a lifelong love for books. She is the author of popular titles such as “I Hate Reading” and “The Book No One Wants to Read,” both of which validate reluctant readers’ experiences and reward them with laughter. This opportunity was made possible through a partnership with the Auburn Public Library’s classroom outreach program titled “Third Grade Reading Dragons” (TGRD). In addition to unique author engagements, each month during the school year, library staff offer classroom visits to every third-grade classroom in ACS. During the visits, staff provide information about the Auburn Public Library, share 2-4 books on the appropriate reading level (through book talks and read-aloud), and encourage the joy of reading and learning through inquiry-based conversations with students.

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Lee-Scott Academy 2nd Graders Present President’s Day Projects

Lee Scott Academy nd Graders Present President’s Day Projects

As part of a Presidents Day themed research project, second graders recreated the likeness of different United States presidents they’ve been studying. Students created different American leaders out of two-liter bottles and presented them to their classmates! Through this, they worked on their public speaking and presentation skills. These projects, now being displayed in the LSA Media Center, are incredibly creative and impressive!

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CWES Students Celebrate Black Inventors

CWES Students Celebrate Black Inventors

Cary Woods Elementary School students are learning about prominent Black inventors through arts and crafts. Piquing the curiosity of young minds, teachers introduced the inventors of potato chips, ice cream scoops, and mailboxes. Students were fascinated to gain more insight into these inventions and their inventors, George (Speck) Crum, Alfred L. Cralle, and Philip Downing. These men are only a small sample of the many Black men and women inventors in history. Lessons like this open students’ eyes to the origin of items they see or use daily, as well as the world around them!

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ACS Celebrates National School Resource Officers

ACS Celebrates National School Resource Officers

Auburn City Schools is grateful for the safety and security our SROs provide at every school in the system. SROs are carefully selected, specifically trained, sworn officers assigned to work with and in schools using community-oriented policing concepts. The SRO assignment is unique within the public safety profession. These officers fill a three-part role, serving as informal mentors or counselors, law educators, and law enforcement officers to support the students and communities they serve. They are valuable and essential members of the education community who deserve unwavering respect and support from the public to keep schools and students safe.

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LSA Thanks Teachers and Staff

LSA Thanks Teachers and Staff

It has been an amazing week on campus with the Lee-Scott Academy PTO celebrating all of our faculty & staff throughout “Teacher Appreciation Week!” From breakfast to lunch to desserts to take-home casseroles, each day has been filled with special treats to make the best teachers feel that much more valued. LSA teachers truly are super stars and we’re thankful to all those who worked so hard this week to celebrate them.

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Students at LSA Enjoyed Read Across American Week

Students at LSA Enjoyed Read Across American Week

That’s a wrap on “Read Across America” Week! On top of countless guest readers on campus, Lower School classes have been in and out of the Media Center with Mrs. Moore! They’ve been going through stations to get excited about reading, making estimation guesses and wearing silly socks this week…all to remind us how great and important it is to keep reading!
Thank you to all who came to campus to read to students and classes!

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Wrights Mill Road Receive Award from FACES Grant

Wrights Mill Road Receive Award From FACES Grant

Wrights Mill Road Elementary School has been infused with a brand-new Theremin’s funky electronic rhythm! Two fifth-grade teachers at WMR, Leann White and Christi Keith, recently received The Bill and Carol Ham Award for writing the top FACES grant for their outdoor math lawn games. With the additional grant funds provided by the award, they purchased a Theremin to enrich STEAM teaching, specifically in math, science, and the arts. FUN FACTS: The Theremin was a product of Soviet government-sponsored research into proximity sensors and was named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. It is one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be played without physical contact by the performer. The instrument’s sound is often associated with scores in motion pictures, especially during “eerie” scenes.

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Makayla Jones selected for 2024 AHSAA Student Leadership Team

Makayla Jones Opelika High AHSAA Student Leadership Team

Congratulations to Makayla Jones, a junior at Opelika High School, on being selected to serve on the 2024 Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Student Leadership Team. Jones was selected from a pool of over 120 applicants throughout the state and will serve for two years. The AHSAA Student Leadership Team is comprised of sixteen student athletes representing eight districts. “We are immensely proud of Makayla for her selection to represent our district on the AHSAA Student Leadership Team. She demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities within our school community on a daily basis. In both the classroom and on the court, Makayla is a model student-athlete, leaving no doubt that she will represent OHS with excellence,” said Kelli Fischer, Opelika High School Principal. Jones stated that she is excited to serve in this capacity and hopes to motivate others to show leadership through sports. “I am a positive person and I feel like I can motivate others,” said Jones. “Being a member of the AHSAA Student Leadership Team will give me a great opportunity to inspire others to be a leader.” Jones is a member of the Opelika High Volleyball Team, OHS Basketball Team, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA).

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OHS Wrestling Team Win at State

OHS Wrestling Team Win at State

Congratulations to the OHS Wrestling Team at the State Competition! Brady Campbell won the State Championship for the second year in a row!
Brady Campbell: State Champion 157 lbs. (Brady is now a back-to-back State Champ)
Trell Anderson: State Runner-Up 144 lbs.
Brayden Wilson: 3rd Place 138 lbs.
Trace Gaither: 5th Place 150 lbs.
Kyle Epperson: 5th Place Heavyweight
The team placed 6th overall. Way to represent Opelika….GO DAWGS!

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Students Learn Self-Defense Strategies

Students Learn Self Defense Strategies

Coach Randall Phillips of Auburn Jiu Jitsu hosted the annual Teen Girls Survival and Self Defense Seminar. This seminar gives young women the tools and technique to be self-aware and confident. The sessions empower them to be an active part of staying safe. It is offered every February and is open to 13–17-year-olds.

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Opelika City School Students Attend Trade Event

Opelika City School Students Attend Trade Event

Tools of the Trade was an awesome event for OCS fifth grade students! Thank you to all of the businesses who participated. Students were able to learn a little about health, industrial, computer, and service industry career paths.

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OCS 2nd Graders Learn to be a Super Citizen

OCS nd Graders Learn to be a Super Citizen

Second Grade students from Carver Primary School, Jeter Primary School, and Southview Primary School enjoyed meeting Libby Liberty during the Hands-on Liberty Program Kickoff.

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3rd Graders at Ogletree Learn with Pizza

rd Graders at Ogletree Learn With Pizza

The third-grade wing at Ogletree Elementary School transformed into a row of pizzerias for a slice of learning. Teachers incorporated interdisciplinary instructional standards by using pizza as a real-world example for authentic learning. Students donned chef hats and worked on fraction pizzas, calzone context clues, pizza punctuation, and opinion writing to convince the parlor owner to sell a new dessert. Classroom transformation creates creative and unique opportunities to engage students in themed activities and inspire active participation. ASC loves to see educators thinking outside the (pizza) box to make learning exciting for students!

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Students Win at Tournament

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Students Win at Tournament

Auburn’s Best After School Program hosted the biannual Genesis 32 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament. It was open to all ages, weight classes, Gi and No Gi. This was some of our students’ first times participating in a tournament, placing first through third place.

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Lee-Scott Academy Student Serves as Alabama Senate Page

Lee Scott Academy Student Serves as Alabama Senate Page

Over Spring Break, Lee-Scott Academy seventh grader Will Ward served as an Alabama Senate page for Alabama State Senator Jay Hovey. He led the Pledge of Allegiance during the legislative session on the senate floor and was responsible for delivering correspondence of legislative material within the Capitol complex. During the convention, Will met legislative body member & Alabama State Senator Kirk Hatcher, executive member & Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and several others! It was a memorable and enriching experience as a Senate page and Will is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the government process. Will will return and serve again next year as he has a return invitation! Way to go, Will, and thank you for representing Lee-Scott so well among those in our state capital!

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Students in Afterschool Program Attend Clinic

Students in Afterschool Program Attend Clinic

Auburn’s Best After School Program and Summer Camp participants enjoyed an intro to basketball clinic this past fall. It was taught by Coach Jazzmun of Loachapoka High School and was held at the Frank Brown Recreation Center here in Auburn. The camp took place over every Friday evening during the month of October.

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Student Spotlights – April 2024

by Staff time to read: 25 min