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Decatur HS among 2012 AP Merit Schools

Decatur HS among 2012 AP Merit Schools

DECATUR, Ga. -- Decatur High School is among the 2012 AP Merit Schools.

The honor is given annually to U.S. high schools where at least 20 percent of students take Advanced Placement exams. Of those tests, at least half must earn a passing score of 3 or higher.

The College Board, which gives AP exams every year, reported Wednesday that Georgia is the 12th state in the nation for the percentage of seniors earning passing scores on AP tests. More than 41 percent of Georgia's seniors took at least one AP exam in 2012, compared to the U.S. average of 32.4 percent.

"Georgia's students continue to outperform most of their peers throughout the country on Advanced Placement exams," State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "These results show that Georgia's students can compete against any students in the nation."

Teacher helps students get a second chance

Teacher helps students get a second chance

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- During a class in mass media at Elizabeth Andrews High School, teacher Christopher Cave reads a newspaper article about a 2003 murder in Atlanta where a young woman was killed by her abusive boyfriend.

It leads to a discussion on dating abuse and domestic violence.

Soon, one student talks about a brother killed because of domestic violence; another lost a friend because of it. Cave encourages the teens to discuss their personal experiences.

"I want them to learn life lessons," Cave said. "A lot of times they come to class or they sit in class and they don't really identify with what the teacher is telling them."

These students in particular -- Elizabeth Andrews High is an alternative school, for those who dropped out or couldn't make it in other schools.

Seamus Heaney to read at Emory

Seamus Heaney to read at Emory

ATLANTA -- Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will give a free reading at Emory University next month.

Heaney will read on Saturday, Mar. 2 at 2 p.m. in the school's Glenn Auditorium.

Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday and can be picked up at a number of locations, including Emory's Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts box office, A Cappella Books in Inman Park, Charis Books and More in Little Five Points, and two Decatur bookstores -- Eagle Eye Bookshop and Little Shop of Stories.

8 Berry students make Ga. All College Band

8 Berry students make Ga. All College Band

ROME, Ga. -- Eight talented musicians at Berry College have been selected for this year's Georgia All College Band.

The band is made up of some of the best college musicians in the state. It will perform at this week's Georgia Music Educators Association conferece in Savannah.

Berry's All College Band members include the school's principal chair clarinet, Jarod Holland of Oxford, Ga., as well as two other clarinet players -- Katie Stuck of Acworth, and Kathy Stuvick of Nolensville, Tenn.

Four Berry trumpeters made the cut -- John Heidbreder (who lives in Atlanta), Everett Reiff (Buford), Matthew Soares (Rossville) and Joe Vidalez (Dalton).

RELATED | Berry hosts Trumpet Festival of the Southeast

Berry's final All College Band member is trombone player Ahmad Pruitt of Decatur.

FAMU hires anti-hazing administrator

FAMU hires anti-hazing administrator

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida A&M University has hired Bryan F. Smith as its first assistant to the president for anti-hazing.

Smith, a FAMU alumnus, is a certified mediator for the state of Georgia. Most recently, he served as executive director and co-founder of Destined for Success Educational Services, Inc., in Decatur.

RELATED | FAMU trustees create anti-hazing committee

"We welcome Mr. Smith back to FAMU," Larry Robinson, the university's interim president, said in a statement. "We are confident that with his expertise, he will ensure that all of the initiatives that have been put in place will be implemented."

Smith will begin his new position on Feb. 1.

31 Ga. schools eligible for AP funding

31 Ga. schools eligible for AP funding

ATLANTA -- More than 30 high schools in Georgia have been chosen to apply for funding for the new AP STEM Access program, the Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday.

The program was created to increase the numbers of girls and minorities who take Advanced Placement STEM courses.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to see this many Georgia high schools selected to expand access to Advanced Placement courses," Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "Having more access for our students to take courses in the STEM fields will help us meet students' needs and the expectations of colleges and employers. I encourage all of these schools to apply so more students have this access."

More than 800 U.S. high schools were selected to apply for the AP STEM Access program, which will begin in the fall of 2013 and offer STEM AP courses for at least three school years.

Georgia's eligible AP STEM Access schools include:

Death of key witness could jeopardize DeKalb school corruption trial

Death of key witness could jeopardize DeKalb school corruption trial

DEKALB COUNTY, GA - A funeral at a Lilburn church marked the passing of Cointa Moody on Tuesday.

According to the medical examiner, the former school system employee died of natural causes.

Now there's a question about whether her death could jeopardize one of DeKalb County's biggest open corruption cases.

"I remember when I was a prosecutor, unfortunately there were cases that had to be dismissed because the state's key witness was no longer available to provide testimony in the trial," former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan told 11 Alive News.

Morgan now represents architect Tony Pope, who was indicted along with three others on bribery and corruption charges in 2010.

Those others included Pope's ex-wife and former DeKalb County School Chief Operating Officer Pat Reid, former School Superintendent Crawford Lewis and Reid's personal secretary, Cointa Moody.