Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Ron Clark Academy House Championship Awards Banquet Recognizes a New Champion

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On June 15, 2011, the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) held its fourth annual House Championship Banquet, and for the first time the ceremony honored the new house champions, Isibindi. 

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Students at RCA are divided into four houses: Altrusimo (Portuguese; it means to give to others), Isibindi (Zulu; it means courage), Reveur (French; it means to dream), and Amistad (Spanish; it means friendship).  A house is much like a fraternity, and the members of each house become very close-knit.  Each house is graced by a different color.  Altrusimo is black, standing for power, formality, and elegance.  Isibindi’s color is green and symbolizes harmony, ambition, and growth.  The color of Reveur is blue, which showcases the school colors, and represents trust, loyalty, and wisdom.  Lastly, red graces Amistad’s house, which symbolizes passion, desire and love.  During the course of the school year, students earn points for their house for citizenship, behavior, academics, and getting caught doing anything well.  This year, the RCA house championship was reminiscent of the emerald city, as green took center stage, recognizing Isibindi as the house champion. 

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“We are so proud of Isibindi serving as this year’s house champions.  They have proven to be strong and courageous, and these traits embody the characteristics of their house,” said Kim Bearden, co-founder and executive director of the Ron Clark Academy.  Bearden also serves as the faculty head of Altruismo, who served as house champions for three consecutive years. 

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As an RCA tradition, awards were presented to the students who did exemplary work through the school year.  The top honor, RCA’s student of the Year, went to eighth grader Jayla Ellis.  The Global Ambassador Award went to Kennedy Guest-Pritchett, who has made numerous appearances on media outlets as a spokesperson of the Academy.  Kamran Sadiq was recognized as Citizen of the Year, while Raven Johnson was highlighted for her commitment to strengthening her academic performance as Most Improved. The School Spirit Award, which is a highly coveted recognition at the Academy, went to sixth grader Jordan Still. 

Bearden recognized two of her top language arts students, Zaria Franklin who was awarded the Avril Award for Editorial Excellence, and Darryl Ann Coss who received the Ugwuh Award for Creative Endeavors.  The awards were named after Osei Avril and Chi Chi Ugwuh, two alumni of RCA that embodied exemplary excellence in language arts.

Ron Clark, founder of the Academy, recognized two outstanding math students: Wade Medford, who received the Outstanding Math Award, and Malachi Moody, who was awarded Outstanding Math Effort. Clark also honored Tynelius Hall with the Outstanding Global Studies Award, and Jelani Wotton with the Outstanding Global Studies Effort. 

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Ken Townsel acknowledged Science Scholar Awards in all grade levels: Wade Medford and Chandler Fulton, two fifth graders were recognized for their achievements for their class.  Chapelle Johnson was awarded for the seventh grade, and Jayla Ellis and Arsene Lakpa represented high achievement for the eighth grade class.  Gina Coss recognized Humanities Scholars fifth grader Noah Ware, seventh grader Aliyah Cofer, eighth grader Tiara Milner. 

In athletics at RCA you have to have a lot of H.E.A.R.T, which stands for Health, Excellence, Aptitude, Resilience, and Tenacity.  Those students who exemplified those characteristics were fifth grader Derius Hulbert, sixth grader Zuri Wilson, seventh grader Zaire Wilson and eighth grader Rashad Sherrell.

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Another top honor was the Quill and Ink Award, presented by language arts teacher Susan Barnes, which was awarded Arsene Lakpa, an eighth grader.  Adam Dovico, a mathematics and global studies teacher, recognized Kennedy Guest Pritchett as the Great Debater.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Clark made a special presentation to the fifth grade class and new staff members.  Another RCA tradition is to have new students and staff participate in genealogical DNA testing, which provides detailed information about their ancestry.  Clark presented the results to each student and staff, sharing a special story linking their heritage to their individual unique and special qualities.

“The house championships serve as a special moment at our school.  It provides the opportunity for us to recognize the outstanding accomplishment of students.  We value any opportunity to lift them up,” said Bearden. 

Although, the house championships at RCA served as an event that recognized the best and brightest, the Academy practices the acknowledgement of students all year round. 


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