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2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

ATLANTA -- Twenty-four productions have been nominated for the 2015 Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards, otherwise known as the Shuler Hensley Awards.

The program is named for Tony Award-winning actor Shuler Hensley, a Cobb County native. This year's winners will be announced Thursday, Apr. 23 during an awards ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Winning a Shuler Hensley Award can reap major benefits for a budding performer. Just ask Jai'Len Josey, who won Best Actress in 2014 for her portrayal of Effie White in Tri-Cities High School's production of Dreamgirls.

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy, a free statewide virtual K-12 school, will begin accepting applications for the 2015-16 school year next month.

Enrollment opens Mar. 3. The school can support 4,000 students; spaces are limited and families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

A free parent information session will be held Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Atlanta-Perimeter Center, which is located at 769 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Teachers and currently enrolled families will answer questions and go over the school's curriculum at the session.

For more information about Georgia Connections Academy, visit connectionsacademy.com.

Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

(WXIA) -- State School Superintendent Richard Woods has named the 64 young Georgians who make up his 2015 Student Advisory Council.

The council is composed of middle and high school students who meet periodically throughout the school year to discuss the impact of state politics in the classroom.

More than 1,000 students statewide applied to join the council. The members were chosen on a series of essays that focused on public education.

"It is essential, as we work to develop child-focused, classroom-centered policies, to hear directly from students," Woods said. "These students feel the impact of our decisions every day and, if we're going to improve their educational experience, we have to bring them to the table."

The Student Advisory Council will meet Feb. 27, Mar. 11 and Apr. 28 at the Georgia Department of Education office in Atlanta.

Several members are from metro Atlanta, including:

Clayton State to host film crew training information sessions

Clayton State to host film crew training information sessions

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Clayton State University will soon hold two more free information sessions for its Digital Film Technician Training Program.

The program gives students an opportunity to learn valuable skills that will help them find jobs on film sets. Many graduates got to work on actual film productions during their time in the program, giving them a distinct advantage over other aspiring crew members.

Clayton State boasts one of the largest teaching studios in the country -- 10,000 square feet at Lucy Huie Hall. The program's classes are held in this recently renovated space.

The first information session will be held Thursday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the LaFayette Education Center, which is located at 205 LaFayette Avenue in Fayetteville. It will take place in Room Media D.

The second session will be at Lucy Huie Hall, 9013 Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro, on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m.

Fayette students to raise money for children's shelter

Fayette students to raise money for children's shelter

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. -- Bloom, Fayette County's charity for abused children, will host a fundraiser at 14 local elementary schools next month.

The 24th annual Power Parade will be held Nov. 3-7. Students at participating schools will take part in a walk-a-thon during their PE classes. They are encouraged to solicit pledges from family, friends and neighbors.

"Bloom's annual walk-a-thon allows students the opportunity to help other children their own age who are living in desperate circumstances," said Deborah Friday, a PE teacher at Peeples Elementary School in Fayetteville. "It's so important to get students involved in supporting our community's charities, especially at a young age."

Participants will also be treated to surprise visits from Powerman, the initiative's mascot. Powerman, a red-masked superhero, will teach children about the importance of helping those in need.

AP exam participation: Fayette County

AP exam participation: Fayette County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Fayette County, 1,576 students took 2,727 AP exams in 2014, and 2,008 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Fayette County public high school:

Fayette County HS
247 students took 358 exams
193 passing scores

2014 SAT scores: Fayette County

2014 SAT scores: Fayette County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 SAT scores were released Tuesday morning.

About 77 percent of the state's high school seniors took the test in 2014. Mean scores include:

State of Georgia
Critical Reading: 488
Math: 485
Writing: 472

In Fayette County, 1,360 students took the SAT in 2014. Mean scores include:

Fayette County
Critical Reading: 528
Math: 528
Writing: 505

Here are the SAT breakdowns for each Fayette County public high school:

Fayette County HS
170 test-takers
Critical Reading: 491
Math: 489
Writing: 465

McIntosh HS
354 test-takers
Critical Reading: 547
Math: 548
Writing: 523

Sandy Creek HS
189 test-takers
Critical Reading: 506
Math: 503
Writing: 476