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March 31, 2009

Alumnus Named Top Scholar-Athlete

Tyler Brantley, a member of Athens Academy's Class of 2005 and a senior at The University of the South: Sewanee, was recently named Middle Tennessee’s top scholar-athlete at the National Football Foundation’s Middle Tennessee Chapter awards dinner in Nashville. Brantley received the CR Bickerstaff/Coach Bill Pace University Scholar-Athlete Award for his “scholarship, sportsmanship and value to the team.” Brantley is also a Charles W. Hawkins and Joe C. Davis Collegiate Scholar-Athlete.
Tyler Brantley is a natural resources major and has played defensive back for the Sewanee Tigers for four years, during which time he was named to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s academic honor roll every year. At Sewanee, he is a Wilkins Scholar and a member of the Order of Gownsmen, and he has served as president of the Honor Council and VP of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Brantley also taught schoolchildren in Tanzania, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and volunteers through his fraternity and his church.

March 24, 2009

Faculty Member Wins Fellowship

Athens Academy mathematics teacher Bethany Goldman has been awarded a fellowship to attend the Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers at The Klingenstein Center of Columbia University. The Klingenstein Center is devoted to strengthening independent schools, and the Summer Institute is dedicated to “affirming beginning teachers and encouraging their continued growth.” Ms. Goldman is a graduate of Georgetown University and has been teaching at Athens Academy for three years.

March 23, 2009

Athens Academy Wins First Place in Shakespeare Competition

A group of students from Athens Academy participated in Georgia Shakespeare’s second annual high school competition, garnering a “First Place School” award for Athens Academy and a second place medal for sophomore Anne Lanier Gilbert. Over 75 students competed in the event this past February, each performing a scene or monologue from the works of William Shakespeare. Academy students participating in the event included Billy Pate, Mary Katherine Malone, Christine Shaw, Libby Hansen, Cate Jackson, Sofia Wasserman-Smith, Ansley McAlister, and Anne Lanier Gilbert. Athens Academy drama director Lorraine Thompson advised the student actors.

Students Participate in Literary Meet

The Athens Academy Literary Team participated the Georgia High School Association’s Region 8A Literary Meet on Friday, March 6, at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville. Team members and their awards include Alec Greer (first place, Boys’ Essay), Maggie Kellett (third place, Girls' Essay), Christine Shaw (first place, Girls' Extemporaneous Speaking), and Sofia Wasserman-Smith (second place, Girls' Dramatic Interpretation). The team’s faculty sponsor is English teacher Amy Sweetapple.

March 20, 2009

Mock Trial Wins 4th Straight Regional Title

For the fourth year in a row, the Athens Academy Mock Trial team has won the Northeast Georgia Regional Championship. Ten public and private schools participated in the first two rounds of competition, culminating in a final round against Clarke Central High School. The team went on to make it to the state semi-final rounds in Lawrenceville in March.

The participants on Athens Academy’s Mock Trial team included Ella Douglas, Margaret DuBose, Madison Eberhardt, Anne Lanier Gilbert, Ben Glauser, Drew Jacoby, Mary Katherine Malone, Meagan Marshburn, Ned McGregor, David Richman Millard, Jane Robbins Mize, Elizabeth Newcomer, Adam Sapp, Christine Shaw, Karishma Sriram, Ayman Tartir, and Bethany Varnado. Latin teacher Kelly Ryan and English teacher Brian Connell are the team's faculty sponsors, and drama teacher Lorraine Thompson helped the team by coaching the witnesses. Many lawyers from the community worked with the team, including Ernie Harris, Eric Eberhardt, Rich Connelly, and Alison Spiers.

There many awards this season. At the regional competition, the following people won awards: Margaret DuBose, Best Defense Lawyer; Anne Lanier Gilbert, Best Defense Witness; Mary Katherine Malone, Best Plaintiff Witness; Christine Shaw, 2 Best Plaintiff Lawyer awards; Ayman Tartir, 2 Best Defense Witness awards.

At the state competition: Margaret DuBose, Best Defense Lawyer; Mary Katherine Malone, Best Plaintiff Lawyer and Best Plaintiff Witness; Christine Shaw, 2 Best Plaintiff Lawyer awards; Ayman Tartir, 3 Best Defense Witness awards, including an award in the semi-final round.

Mock Trial takes an enormous amount of work for all the participants. For the lawyers, there are opening and closing statements, direct and cross examinations, and a million different angles from which to argue. Witnesses are given a statement from which to build their character. They have to be believable as witnesses, with enough personality and charisma to entice the jurors to vote in their favor. They are assaulted by merciless cross examiners who pick apart their statements, and they must hold their ground despite what is thrown at them.

March 16, 2009

China Travelers Communicate Using Skype

Students and faculty at Athens Academy were able to communicate with the 12 China travelers in real time on Friday, March 6. The call was made using Skype, and at 9:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m. in China), students and faculty were able to see each other and talk live from halfway around the world.

Earlier this month, a group of ten Upper School students, accompanied by Headmaster Bob Chambers and history teacher Beth Sensing, spent ten days in China as part of an international exchange program with Hangzhou High School. Seniors Amy Bruckner, Ella Douglas, William Harris, and Ginny Pylant traveled to China along with juniors Akash Agrawal, Nelson Fleming, Christian Lapp, David Millard, Jeffrey Nordgren, and Ben Terry.

--Faculty member Ley Brown and students talk to the China travelers.
--Students share their experiences live from China.
--Christina Zhang speaks in Chinese with fellow Athens Academy students in China.

Student Film Selected for Festival

A short film made by a group of Athens Academy students has been selected for screening during Teen Screen, a non-competition sidebar of the Atlanta Film Festival, April 20-24. “Message in a Bottle,” a short film made by TJ Sterrenberg, Harry Alex, Joshua Kundert-Gibbs, Chloe McWilliams, Savannah Duan, Maddie Eberhardt, Nick Brown, Tom Greene, and Ansley Richardson, will be screened at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 21, at 12:30 p.m. The film was selected from hundreds of submissions from across the world.

Since 1977, the Atlanta Film Festival has brought the newest and most daring voices working in cinema to Atlanta audiences. In 2008, the festival continued the tradition, screening approximately 160 of the finest films selected from more than 1600 entries and 66 countries. Out of the films screened, 20 feature length narrative and documentary films will compete for the festival’s prestigious jury prize.

The festival's legacy includes screening the early films of Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, and Robert Rodriguez. The Atlanta Film Festival is also an Academy Award ® Qualifying Festival for the Best Live Action Short Film Category ®.

The Teen Screen films will be shown at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema from Monday April 20 through Friday, April 24. The 2009 Teen Screen program line-up is available at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com and in the Atlanta Film Festival hard copy program guide.

March 4, 2009

Students Participate in State Spelling Bee

Congratulations to eighth grader Jason Fern and seventh grader Max Ruston, both of whom represented Athens Academy at the Georgia Independent School Association’s State Spelling Bee in Macon on February 26. Jason advanced to the final round of the state contest before being eliminated. Both boys advanced to the state spelling bee after making it through the final level of the district contest in Atlanta earlier in February. This is only the second year that Athens Academy has participated in the spelling bee program through GISA.