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Monday’s Board of Education meeting was a special night as the board recognized several Special Olympics awardees at the middle and high school levels. 

North Oconee High School’s Red team earned gold in Division 4. Team members Cole Buczynsky and Luke Joseph Naeher were awarded certificates in-person. Team member Aaron Hilpp was also recognized with a certificate.

Oconee County Middle School’s 3x3 basketball team earned gold in Division 1. Team members Henry Aquino and Jack Leach were awarded certificates and recognized alongside their coaches, OCMS special education teach Audrey Norman and Brent Leach. Team member Quay Wright was also recognized with a certificate.

As well, Oconee County High School’s blue team earned bronze in Division 2. Team members Dominic Aquino, Robert Deal and Joseph Zahrn were awarded certificates and recognized alongside their coach, Sandy Palmer. Team members Alex Arroyo and Jared Eavenson were also recognized with a certificate. 

The following Special Olympics students also received various awards in the bowling category:

n Savannah Wimpey (Division 10): Gold

n Lauren Peterson (Division 11): Bronze

n Ellie Bancroft (Division 12): Bronze

n Grace Callaway (Division 12): 5th place ribbon

n Madison Moser (Division 20): Silver

n Spencer Nation (Division 25): Silver

n Nathaniel Del Sesto (Division 28): Gold

n Drew Hammond (Division 31): Silver

n Liam Mauck (Division 33): Gold

Academic accolades

North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School have been named Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools by the Georgia Department of Education. 

“Congratulations to the students of North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School for once again achieving the highest honors in Advanced Placement courses and exams,” said Superintendent Jason Branch. “Our students continue to demonstrate sustained excellence and have been well-supported by their world-class teachers, as well as their parents.”

Both schools also received the high AP Schools of Distinction designation and other AP honors. AP Schools of Distinction have to have at least 20 percent of their students taking AP exams, with 50 percent of exams taken then earning scores of 3 or higher. 

Both schools were also recognized as AP STEM Schools. Those schools have to have a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP STEM courses.

Likewise, the two high schools were recognized as AP STEM Achievement Schools. This means both schools had at least 50 percent of their AP STEM students take exams and score a 3 or higher. 

As well, North Oconee High School was recognized as an AP Humanities School and AP Humanities Achievement School. For the first honor, NOHS had to have a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP Humanities courses. For the second one, NOHS had to have at least 50 percent of its AP Humanities students take exams and score a 3 or higher. 

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