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LIST | Georgia's 20 best high schools

LIST | Georgia's 20 best high schools

(WXIA) -- U.S. News and World Report has unveiled its list of the 20 best high schools in Georgia, and almost all of them are in metro Atlanta.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology leads the pack. The Lawrenceville charter school is the No. 1 high school is Georgia and No. 3 in the country, with 100 percent of its students passing their Advanced Placement exams, and all students proficient in math and English.

The school has a 17:1 student-teacher ratio, which is average for Georgia. About 75 percent of its 696 students are minorities.

These schools round out Georgia's Top 20:

2. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School (Augusta)
Ranked No. 73 nationally

* 100% of students take AP exams; 76% earn passing scores
* 100% of students proficient in math
* 100% of students proficient in English
* 17:1 student-teacher ratio
* 55% minority enrollment

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

(WXIA) -- Public libraries across Georgia will participate in this year's Summer Reading Program and college savings sweepstakes.

The initiative, which is hosted by Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan, will award one grand prize and four regional scholarships to five lucky participants. The winners will be chosen at random from five groups.

The grand prize is a college scholarship worth $5,529 and a $1,529 grant for the winner's library. The runners-up will each get $1,529 to put toward a Path2College 529 Plan and $529 for their libraries.

Georgia parents, grandparents and legal guardians can sign up their children at path2college529.com. Entry closes on Aug. 10.

The program provides students with activities throughout the summer and encourages them to read by giving them prizes for finishing books, ebooks, audiobooks and magazines.

Participating library groups include:

Ga. Connections Academy graduates Class of 2014

Ga. Connections Academy graduates Class of 2014

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy recently held a graduation ceremony for its Class of 2014.

Many classmates met for the very first time during the event at the Gwinnett Center.

"We are very proud of our graduates," GCA lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. Altogether, the Class of 2014 secured $1.33 million in college scholarship offers.

Emily McClure of Columbus is GCA's valedictorian. She will attend Georgia College and State University on the Zell Miller Scholarship in the fall.

Learn more about Georgia Connections Academy, the state's free virtual charter school for students in grades K-12, at georgiaconnectionsacademy.com.

RELATED | Georgia Cyber Academy graduates first class

30 Ga. students appointed to military academies

30 Ga. students appointed to military academies

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Thirty Georgia high school students nominated by Congress members representing Georgia have been appointed to U.S. military academies.

Each year, members of Congress nominate students to attend the nation's military academies. Nominees who are accepted into the academies are awarded full four-year scholarships that include tuition, books, board, medical and dental care.

The nominees are:

U.S. Air Force Academy
* Casey Blaney, Augusta
* Micah Hayden, Roswell
* Joseph Humphries, Peachtree City
* Zachary Jones, Richmond Hill
* Nathan Katich, Buford
* Harrison Summerour, Dawsonville
* Christana Wagner, Alpharetta

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.

Sweet Apple Elementary School principal passes away

Sweet Apple Elementary School principal passes away

ROSWELL, Ga. -- The principal of Roswell's Sweet Apple Elementary School passed away Wednesday.

Natalie Richman died in her home, according to a letter sent by Roswell High School principal Jerome Huff. Sweet Apple Elementary is part of the Roswell High cluster.

"Let's stand together to help our children and the staff at SA during this difficult time," Huff said in the letter, adding that he and other cluster principals will spend time at the school this week to help where needed.

Huff said the Fulton County Schools Crisis Care Team will share the news with Sweet Apple Elementary students Thursday.

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