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Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

(WXIA) -- The Class of 2014 is the very first class to graduate from Georgia Cyber Academy, the state's free online public school.

The school will hold a graduation ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 31 at the Gwinnett Center. More than 300 graduating seniors are scheduled to walk across the stage.

"We're so proud of each of our graduates, all of whom have taken the individualized learning that comes with GCA's online curriculum and worked with GCA's world-class teachers to adapt it to best serve and support their own academic successes," GCA head of school Matt Arkin said in a release.

Members of GCA's Class of 2014 were accepted to some of the country's top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

Dr. Julie Raschen named National Distinguished Principal

Dr. Julie Raschen named National Distinguished Principal

NEWNAN, Ga. -- A Coweta County educator has been named Georgia's 2014 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

Dr. Julie Raschen has been principal of Brooks Elementary School since 2009, the year the school opened. She has worked for the Coweta County School System for 21 years as both a teacher and an administrator.

Raschen was chosen for the honor from among more than 1,300 principals statewide. GAESP executive director Hal Beaver surprised her with the honor during a reception at Brooks Elementary Tuesday afternoon.

Brooks Elementary assistant principal Amy Harrison spoke on behalf of the faculty and staff.

"You always celebrate us," Harrison told Raschen. "I think it's time we celebrate you."

Raschen earned a bachelor's degree from Georgia Southern University, a master's degree from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate from Samford University.

Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

(WXIA) -- The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced Friday during a special luncheon.

Georgia State Superintendent Dr. John Barge will reveal the winner at around 2:45 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

The 10 finalists include:

Nick C. Crowder
Forsyth County Schools
Teaches engineering education at South Forsyth HS

Rhonda Lokey
Cobb County School District
Teaches 6th grade social studies at Campbell MS

Amanda Miliner
Houston County Schools
Teaches 4th grade at Miller ES

Paul D. Mixon
Heard County School District
Teaches journalism and economics at Heard County HS

Michelle Peace
Early County School District
Teaches Spanish at Early County HS

Coweta County high school graduations

Coweta County high school graduations

NEWNAN, Ga. -- The Coweta County School System has announced the graduation dates for its high schools.

East Coweta High
Baccalaureate will be held Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. at the Centre for Performing & Visual Arts (1523 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan). Graduation will be Saturday, May 24 at 9 a.m. at the school's Shoemake Memorial Stadium.

Newnan High
Baccalaureate will be held Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Newnan (15 West Washington Street). Graduation will be Friday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the school's Drake Stadium.

Northgate High
Baccalaureate will be held Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Church (2564 Highway 154, Newnan). Graduation will be Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the school's Henry Seldon Field.

College and Career Readiness: Coweta County

College and Career Readiness: Coweta County

ATLANTA – We now have the latest information on how well Georgia students are performing academically.

The Georgia Department of Education released its latest College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) Monday morning.

The CCRPI measures on a scale from 1-100 how schools are performing. It adds another 10 points to schools with students enrolled in high-level academic courses or with high performing students in certain areas, including special education, those learning English and in high poverty areas.

To make sure there is an "apples to apples" comparison of the scores, the state has revised last year's numbers to make them more in-line with this year's calculations.

The state first released the CCRPI in 2012 as a new statewide accountability system. The release of the scores in May 2013 was considered a "study year." The DOE received feedback from school district and this year revised the CCPRI.

2 Coweta high schools among America's Most Challenging

2 Coweta high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Two Coweta County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

1797. Northgate HS
1975. East Coweta HS

See the full list at washingtonpost.com.