This and That for High School Juniors and Seniors

Below are a few news bits we have acquired recently regarding college planning for juniors and seniors >> All Good News!

Scholarship for Hispanic Students

A HABLA Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded to one deserving Hispanic high school senior or college freshman in metro Atlanta. The HABLA Scholarship is presented in an effort to keep the community moving forward through education and community involvement. We believe that helping to educate our youth and providing positive role models and encouragement are the best paths toward future Hispanic Achievement & Business Leadership success…HABLA! Deadline for entries is Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:59PM EDT. Late entries will not be considered. Scholarship application and supporting documentation should be sent by mail only to:

HABLA Scholarship
Lanza Group, LLC
1710 Defoor Avenue
Penthouse 2
Atlanta, GA 30318

Tuskegee University:

The Atlanta Tuskegee Alumni Club is sponsoring a bus trip to Tuskegee University on September 27, 2014 for Fall Open House. High School students will hear presentations from the President, SGA, the Office of Admissions, Financial Aid, and Housing as well as Deans, Professors and students of various academic programs. High School students will also have snacks and lunch, take a tour of the campus, receive a T-shirt, and attend a football game. The cost is $50 per person. For more information, visit your high school counseling office.

Governor’s Honors Program:

ATTENTION all Sophomores and Juniors: If you have a GPA of 3.7 or better and are interested in obtaining information regarding the Governor’s Honors Program, please sign up in the Counseling Office no later than this Tuesday, September 22, 2014 to receive valuable information by EMAIL. The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a 4 week, summer residential program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. For more information on GHP, please visit the web site or speak with your school’s Counseling Office.

Mercer University:

Any students interested in attending the Mercer University’s School of Engineering, find scholarship information here. After you review this information, come see your counselor to be nominated for the Mercer Engineering Challenge which will be November 15th at the Macon Campus. Applications are due October 15th.

Elks Foundations Scholarship:

The Elks National Foundation will award 500 four-year scholarships to the highest-rated applicants in the 2015 competition. To download an application, click here. Applications are due by December 6, 2014 and should be sent to:

Atlanta Northlake Elks
1775 Montreal Road
Tucker, GA 30084
(770) 908-0832

Georgia State Honors College Visit Days:

Are you interested in Georgia State’s Honors College? They have three remaining visit days on September 27, October 11, and October 18th.

If you are interested. click here to choose your date for the Honors Visit Day.


On Thursday, October 9th, 2014, Georgia Tech will host the Engineering Career Conference (ECC), a one-day event where female high school students get the chance to learn about each of the 11 engineering programs available at Georgia Tech from current students and faculty.

For more details and to register for ECC, please visit their web site.

Are you interested in attending a Christian College? Log onto and be automatically entered in a $2,500 scholarship drawing. This is a free scholarship resource.

National Youth Leadership Forum:

Students interested in attending the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine during the summer of 2015 can sign up in your high school’s Counseling Office by September 25, 2014 for more information. There are 10 cities throughout the country (including Atlanta) where this extraordinary experience will be held.

Scholar Athletes:

High school seniors, don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 2014 Wendy’s High School Heisman Program – there are three weeks left before the application deadline on October 3, 2014. This merit based scholarship can award up to $10,000. For more information and to apply, visit here.

Colored Rocks Prize Competition:

Are you a senior male student of color interested in a college scholarship? To apply for The Colored Rocks Prize you must submit an essay. For more information, click here. If you would like to take part in this contest, please see your high school counselor.

PROBE College Fair:

Tucker High School will host a PROBE College Fair on October 15 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Tucker gym.


Readers: Please add any more events you are aware of in the comments below.

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Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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23 Responses to This and That for High School Juniors and Seniors

  1. dsw2contributor says:


    The Mercer “Scholarships” for Engineering are really STUDENTS LOANS with a cash repayment at a fixed interest rate of 10%.

  2. Oh Wow – thanks for that info dsw2contributor. A lot of these new, ‘for-profit’ colleges are the same way – everyone need to be careful.

  3. Marsha T. says:

    Has the grade-point requirement for Governor’s Honors changed? When my daughter participated in GHP 2012, I don’t think the GPA needed was a 3.7. That is the GPA required for the Zell Miller scholarship, however. Perhaps since the Governor’s office has taken the program away from the Department of Education, they have changed the GPA requirement. If you could clarify this, that would be wonderful. Thanks

  4. We can’t answer your question for certain Marsha. But the Gov’s website lists these two contacts >>

    Ricky Parmer
    (404) 463-0373

    Marlo Mong
    (404) 463-1502

    Perhaps they can help.

  5. bettyandveronica1 says:

    You might want to include those two huff post articles on this thread.

  6. Thanks Betty – good idea!

    On the subject: News regarding student loan defaults >>

    Colleges Win, Student Borrowers Lose In Obama Administration Absolution

    And back in January, HuffPost had this article about the DOE >>

    Why Obama’s Education Department Is His (And College Students’) Worst Enemy

  7. I spent the summer mentoring a minority student in Cobb County, who graduated from one of their 95% plus minority high schools get into college. She was totally left in limbo and unadvised by the minority counselors and administrators at her school. My first mentoring was having her take the ACT via signing up on the last day for the June administration. She scored a 24 with no test prep, on her one and only try. This is a great score for an African American student who basically as I later found out had been put on what is either referred to by the students themselves as the black or Mexican dropout track. She had only taken a few honors classes, and zero AP classes. She was signed up for that ROTC, Band, and chorus, not very helpful unless you aspire to be in the Armed services, she did not want that. Luckily she did take two years of Spanish.

    We went on a tour of West Georgia, I wanted to smack the student ambassador, when during the tour the dummy states most students don’t graduate in 4 years, but 5. It is taking her 4 1/2 herself. I said excuse me, that is not an acceptable goal for you to give students. My children know they only have a maximum of 4 years to get a BS. My daughter has informed me that she will have her BSN in 3 years by going through next summer. Then the student ambassador whined to me that it was hard, I replied that she did not know what hard was until she tried Engineering Grad School. I could see the other parents were ticked off that she told students they had license to take five years. The Angel who is funding this girls tuition and board beyond what her Pell Grant doesn’t cover ( she is a victim of Deals cuts on HOPE, because with a 3.04 GPA but without the AP/ Honors/dual enrollment classes, you now must have a 3.2 GPA to get HOPE, while those who take AP etc.. are allowed a 3.0 ) made clear to point out he would only fund 4 years. He also is requiring she declare a Math or Science major by next spring for the funding to continue.

  8. dsw2contributor says:

    Any reports from tonight’s soirée at the Evergreen Marriott Conference out at Stone Mountain?

  9. dsw2contributor says:

    Another dismal chapter in DeKalb schools, Part II: Dekalb County Schools Bookseller of the Year for 2010 Ralph Simpson ( is now Dekalb County Schools Principal of the Year for 2014.

  10. dsw2contributor says:

    A September 27, 2013 Champion Newspaper article about Mr. Simpson:

    And a January 2, 2014 “On Common Ground” newsletter article about his requiring uniforms at Towers:

  11. Bucky Rogers says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is a dismal chapter at all. I think this is great news for DeKalb County. Based on the articles dsw2contributor posted, it sounds to me like Ralph Simpson is working hard to redeem himself. Running Towers is not a job for a coward, and it seems like he is embracing it wholeheartedly, making important changes, and affecting children’s lives for the better. I think a lot of the crooked buffoons I’ve dealt with in DCSD would be too proud to roll up their sleeves and do hard work. I’m glad that Ralph Simpson seems like an exception.

  12. dsw2contributor says:

    Bucky, my “dismal chapter” remark was a reference to Maureen’s 2010 headline “Another dismal chapter in DeKalb schools: Official sells his autobiography to schools under his supervision.”

  13. teachermom says:

    Simpson acted unethically and should not have been allowed a second chance. Of course this unethical behavior is ultimately rewarded. I find it appalling and sadly not surprising… completely fitting with the internal logic that prevails in our county.

  14. howdy1942 says:

    Bucky, I appreciate your perspective. Whether or not Mr. Simpson is doing a great job at Towers is not the issue – the issue is unethical conduct as pointed out by @teachermom. Most colleges and universities have very strict guidelines forbidding employees from enriching themselves because of their position. For example, many college professors publish textbooks which are used by other colleges and universities including that of the college which employs this professor. However, if that college uses that textbook, then this professor is not be allowed to be the recipient of revenues for the use of his/her book at the school. Similarly, most businesses have very strict ethics rules restricting any employee from being a part of any decision of doing business with a company to which he/she has a family or business relationship. Such conduct is very clearly unethical and there can be little doubt that Mr. Simpson, having three degrees beyond high school, was aware of such an ethical standard. He wrote this book and he knowingly engaged in activity that resulted in the Dekalb County School System using that book for which he did receive financial benefit. The point made in one of the articles that Federal funds were used may make this a matter of interest to the U. S. Attorney.

    One of the big issues that we face in Dekalb County in both its government and its school system is that we seem to forgive actions and their consequences. I’m all for forgiveness, but I also understand that imposition of consequences serves not only as punishment – it also serves as a determent to future infractions of that code. If there are no consequences, then the message to others if very clear – go ahead and do it and ask for forgiveness later if you get caught. In the case of Mr. Simpson, he took taxpayer money and he was in the position to make that happen. He chose the book, allocated school money, and took that money home. I think that he was ordered to refund that money, but that is not the point – he would not have refunded that money had he not been caught.

    This ethics matter is not just unique to the DCSS but, as we all know, it seems to be very much an issue across this County and State. And our State is paying a terrible price. We have the highest unemployment rate in the nation. We are at the very bottom of educational performance in the nation. Metro areas in neighboring states are attracting businesses and creating jobs. And I’m sure that businesses considering expansion and/or relocation are taking note. This is a death spiral that Dekalb County and the State of Georgia need to correct and soon.

  15. dsw2contributor says:

    howdy1942, I assume that Ralph Simpson was selected for Principal of the Year because Tekisha Ward-Smith is positioning Dr. Simpson to fill the Regional Superintendent vacancy created by Angela Pringle’s departure.

    Here’s an article about what the Richmond County Board of Education agreed to pay Dr. Pringle:

  16. howdy1942 says:

    @dsw2contributor – “Principals of the Year” have a distinct understanding of ethics and know that it is unethical to write a book, approve the use of that book, and then to benefit financially from the sale of that book. As in so many other violations of ethics, the school system has done little in the way of consequences. In most businesses, he would have been fired. In a separate case, if two principals had gotten into a fight on school property as happened in Dekalb, at least one of them would have been dismissed – not simply reassigned. That certainly would have been the case in business. We solve nothing by “reassigning” our problems.

    Dekalb County and its school system are in the position the are in today because both have tolerated violations of ethics that may have reached violation of law. The Ellis case, the Boyer case, the Barnes-Sutton case, the Dekalb County School Board, the Watson case – all were exposed not by internal investigations within Dekalb County, they were exposed by the AJC and/or SACS and/or the U.S. Attorney. Little, if anything, has been done by the County to followup on the findings of that Grand Jury. That is sad.

    If Dekalb County wants to get beyond where it is now so all of these issues stop coming up in the newspaper, then it needs to call in some outside group, such as the GBI or an independent auditing firm, and get to the bottom of what is wrong and then to take strong action. If we continue to ignore these matters, then they will continue to surface and Dekalb – all of Dekalb – will suffer the consequences.

    I’ve read a lot about this so-called “surplus” in the school system. This thing has been all over the map – it has been a deficit, it has been a surplus, it has been a bigger surplus – but the school system won’t allow an independent audit to answer that question once and for all. It’s like the school system has something to hide and wants all of us to just “trust it”. Given its record of the past 10 years, why would anybody just “trust it”?

  17. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    Don’t forget the following tonight:

    September 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm – Parent Councils United, “State of the District” with Superintendent Michael Thurmond. Georgia Perimeter College, Cole Auditorium, 555 N. Indian Creek Drive,Clarkston, Georgia 30021-2396

  18. Thanks! Didn’t know about this. If someone in attendance would send a report, we will post it. Send it to

  19. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    I went and there is not too much to report. For an hour, Mr. Thurmond tooted his horn, talking about all the achievements of the district. He got a lot of laughs and got in some digs against those who think differently than him politically. He stated he likes to focus on the positive things and not the negative things. He also said he reads some of the blogs out there at times but the criticisms do not bring him down since his focus is the kids and the positive things. The last half hour was Q&A with the questions selected from pre-submitted ones and ones submitted on cards during the meeting. When asked about the Druid Hills area possibly annexing to the City of Atlanta, he said his focus was on educating the kids in the district who ever they may be and that the annexing issue was a political one for the city and county officials and he wasn’t in politics anymore. He did not address the underlying issue of why they want to annex. One question that got a lot of reaction from the audience was the lack of support the teachers were getting. He reminded everyone about the elimination of the furlough days and the pay increase. He also said there was more money in the budget for teachers in the next budget cycle but that was not clear to me if he was talking about the 2014-2015 budget that has been approved or the one after that. It was specifically asked about retirement for teachers but he did not address that either. No questions were selected on the excessive revenue increase from not decreasing the millage rate or the bloated central office and he did not mention them.

    My conclusion is that those who liked him before love him now. Those who feel he is not making the tough decisions still feel the same way.

  20. Thanks for the report Frustrated.

    Hmmm. So if he cares about the children so much, why does he continue to suppress promised retirement contributions and increase class sizes for teachers? Teachers are the one critical component required to educate children. The return of furlough days and a 1% raise after years of no step increases doesn’t fully cut the mustard.

  21. Stan Jester says:

    At the State of the District address, Mr. Thurmond read through this document and provided commentary.

    There was a Q&A segment where the facilitator read from/summarized questions turned in by the audience. Wadsworth would like to expand their magnet and Mr. Thurmond said DeKalb Schools couldn’t afford it. The charter district, DHCC, and teachers were also covered.

    I recorded it as did somebody from PDS 24, so it may appear on PDS 24. I’ll cut it up and publish it on FactChecker as soon as possible.

    Note: I would like to remind everybody that despite the advertised 1% raise, teachers with 10+ years of experience received a reduction in their rate of pay.

  22. For a good description about the importance of quality teachers, read this post at the new blog “Chamblee Charter Progress”
    The Key to Effective Education is Effective Teachers.

  23. howdy1942 says:

    Stan – thank you for providing this information. Also, thanks to @Frustrated Dekalb Parent. Rather than attending Mr. Thurmond’s address, I chose to attend the meeting of the Blueprint Dekalb meeting at the Manual Maloof Auditorium. Little has changed in the Dekalb County School System nor has Mr. Thurmond – he continues to be full of himself and also continues to ignore addressing the issues that are on everyone’s mind. I figured that I would be wasting my time listening to him. I’ve been down that road.

    Based on what a number of my friends who live in the Druid Hills area tell me, Mr. Thurmond ought to be very concerned about the potential loss of that area to Atlanta. That is a very wealthy tax base and its loss would be a devastating blow to Dekalb. I also think that the people who live there could make a very strong argument that they have more than paid for the schools there and also would argue that Druid Hillst should become a part of the Atlanta Public School System. I think that Mr. Thurmond and the school board made a very serious error in choosing not to approve the Druid Hills Charter Petition.

    I also attended a meeting Monday night regarding cityhood. I’m from Tucker and this meeting was held in a Lakeside-friendly area so I just listened. Regardless of where one stands on cityhood, Mr. Thurmond really, really ought to be very seriously concerned with just how much the people in this area of Dekalb County utterly despise the Dekalb County School System. And this is really Central Dekalb! People who live here as well as north in Dunwoody and Brookhaven sincerely want to get out of the Dekalb County School System as it exists today. It is beyond me as to how the DCSS remains blissfully aloof and continues to ignore so many people. At least three legislators, including Senator Fran Millar, were there. The school board really, really needs to start listening and working to address the expressed concerns. Although they are trapped in the Dekalb County School System for now, the school system is really the elephant in the room at just about all of these cityhood meetings.

    I continue to believe that Dekalb County will lose the teacher lawsuit and it would be well-advised to reach a settlement with the teachers. If this lawsuit reaches class-action status, Dekalb County risks a very substantial financial consequence. The logic is simple – had the teachers remained in Social Security, Dekalb County would have had no choice but to continue to pay employer contributions. Whether formal or not, the teachers were led to believed the County when it said that it would pay into the TRA in lieu of Social Security contributions and I just don’t think that many teachers did not understand it that way and simply got it wrong. If the Dekalb County School System loses this case, I’m not sure where it will get the money to pay these teachers. And that would be a lot of money because Dekalb County has not made its contributions to the TRA for all teachers for at least three years. And, in addition to that, there could possibly be a class-action “multiplier”. Also, were this to happen, I would expect the entire existing school board and superintendent to be dismissed as a condition to receiving any support from the State.

    People may laugh at Mr. Thurmond’s jokes and rejoice in his many “digs” at those who raise their voices, such as those on this blog, but this is about the kids that belong to all of us and those who teach them.

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