Tag Archives: Marietta High School

MHS Junior Marcos Rios Scores Perfect ACT Score

Marcos Rios, a Junior at Marietta High School, recently accomplished a pretty rare feat by earning a perfect score on the ACT; an accomplishment less than one percent of students nationwide achieve.

Marcos prepared for the ACT in a few ways. He took both the SAT and ACT early to get experience completing both tests, and once he had a feel for each test, he went over content he didn’t know well and made sure to get plenty of rest the night before the test. Additionally, Marcos participated in the prep class at the high school.

Marcos took the ACT previously and scored a 35, so he decided to take the test again to see if he could earn a perfect score.

“I set an alarm for 1:00 a.m. the day I knew the scores would come out, the Wednesday after President’s Day,” Marcos explained. “I woke up, logged in to see the scores, said a little prayer, then clicked on the score report. I fell out of bed, cheered a little, then took a screenshot that I immediately sent to the family group chat before going straight back to sleep. I woke up again at 4 a.m. when I heard my parents shouting upstairs with joy.”

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

In addition to his academic success, Marcos is involved in several extracurricular activities and leadership roles, including serving as the president of the Technology Student Association and Society for Pre Engineering, Vice President of Model UN, National Honor Society service coordinator, and Flute Section Leader and Band Librarian in the marching band. Outside of school, Marcos serves as the Youth Preparedness Programs Committee Chair of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council, and he’s a co-teacher for the special needs class at his church every Sunday.

Marcos’ mom, Margarita Ojeda, says that while she was so excited, she wasn’t surprised about the big news.

“A different score wouldn’t have changed what we think of him or his outcomes, but I am glad he gets to relax a little and cross off one of the things on his bucket list,” she explained.

“Marcos works really hard and likes to set goals for himself,” his mom continued. “I am glad he has enjoyed seeing them come to fruition. However, it is his servant heart and helpful and kind disposition that makes me most proud. No matter what he is working on, if somebody asks for help, he stops what he is doing and helps. That is not determined by a score or a grade.”

In fact, Marcos has great advice for other students who aspire to score high on the ACT.

“To any other student trying to score high, the best thing I can recommend is being prepared for the test, outside of the test,” Marcos explained. “Read a lot and keep your math skills sharp…I also recommend taking the test early on, so you know what you do well on and you know what you can improve on.”

Marcos is the third Marietta High School student to receive a perfect score on the ACT in the past year.

MHS Students, Two of Twenty Georgians Chosen as Pages at Georgia State Capitol

On March 14th, the Georgia State Capitol hosted the 4th Annual Type 1 Diabetes Day and invited children living with Type 1 Diabetes between the ages of 12 to 18 to apply to serve as Pages to the Georgia Senate or House for the day.

Marietta High School seniors, Breanne Barco and Aili Fisher, were two of only 20 students selected to participate in Georgia’s Senate Page Program and serve as a Page to several Georgia State Senators.

This day was sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, with the goal of raising awareness of issues facing diabetics in the state of Georgia to our legislators. These include step therapy, Kevin’s Law and insulin pricing awareness.

The Senate Page Program offers students a first-hand opportunity to visit the Capitol to observe and participate in the legislative process. Senate Pages serve the Senators by delivering important information and messages to them in the Senate Chamber during the legislative session day.

Aili and Breanne were chosen from a record number of applicants to page and both were honored to be part of a Senate Resolution recognizing March 14th as Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day at the Capitol.


Letters of Love from MHS’ Air Force JROTC to Veterans

Valintines 2Learning about what is really important. . . . What an amazing experience for the Marietta High School Air Force JROTC cadets who wrote letters to our Veterans at the Greenwood Assisted Living Facility last month.

The 165 cards that were delivered and read to the Veterans brought tears of joy and happiness to everyone in the room, including the cadets.

Quoting Master Sgt. Victor Graham, 92 years old, who Landed on Omaha Beach (AKA Bloody Omaha) on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day)……..”young people have just made my day!”
He and the other Veterans were grateful for the visit from the high school cadets and had many memories to share with the students.
Our Marietta community is better because of these brave men and women who call it Valentine's Day 3home.
The mission of Marietta’s AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The goal of the program is to instill in high school cadets the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.
The JROTC program will educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals. AFJROTC is one of eleven MHS Career Pathways that has been approved for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), an innovative education framework incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique programme specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
Valentine's Day 1

MHS Exceptional Students Manage Successful Coffee Cart for More than a Decade

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MHS student Darby Parker collects money from a science student during the early morning Coffee Cart delivery. This is the 12th year that the school-based enterprise has been managed by students with special needs.

Every weekday morning, students at Marietta High School can be seen taking a quick break to pick up their coffee and hot chocolate orders as the school’s “Coffee Cart” makes its way down the hallways. On any given day they will meet Darby Parker, one of the leaders of the small business, who helps to organize the orders and collect payments from students and faculty members.

A school-based enterprise operated by students with intellectual disabilities, the Coffee Cart has been in operation at MHS for 12 years with 25 students participating in its daily operations. The cart provides students like Darby with the opportunity to work on the real-life skills they are learning in class and can translate to life after high school such as counting money, making eye contact with customers, greeting customers, prepping beverages, and stocking the carts.  Participating students, like Darby, work on three domains: education/training, employment, and daily living skills.

“Exposure precedes preferences, so it is essential to provide students with the opportunity to try various jobs, skills, and activities, so they can understand what their preferences, strengths, and interests are,” says Angelina Snider, Transition Specialist and Success Coach in the district’s Department of Special Services (DSS). “Participating in the coffee cart provides the students with an opportunity to grow in confidence and their skills. The students interact with almost everyone in the building.  The teachers begin by placing the students in jobs according to their strengths and the students rotate through the jobs throughout their time at the high school.”

“Darby and her peers receive individualized support from their teachers, based on their individual needs,” explains Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “School-based enterprises are essential for students with intellectual disabilities to practice real-world job skills with support while in high school.”

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

Darby_Exceptional Students_00009Marietta serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” says Bealing-Sayles.

So the next time you see the Coffee Cart coming down the hallway, know that it is more than an opportunity to take a break and enjoy a beverage, it is a specially designed program created to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities for our exceptional students so that they graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.


Marietta High School Students Win Big at GHSA Literary Meet


Marietta High School students competed in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region Literary Meet at North Cobb High School on March 2, 2019. MHS finished 2nd overall with three students advancing to the State competition as region champions.

The GHSA Literary competition was created to promote sportsmanship and an appreciation for and study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions.

This is the first time in 15 years that Marietta has competed in this prestigious competition. Other high schools participating included Hillgrove, McEachern, North Cobb, and the overall region champions – Kennesaw Mountain High School.  The state meet will take place on Saturday, March 16 at Buford High School. Learn more about the upcoming state competition here.

Rhetorical Essay – Samira Butts, REGION CHAMPION

Extemporaneous Speaking – Calvin Rausch, REGION CHAMPION

Humorous Interpretation – Carson Shearer, REGION CHAMPION

Dramatic Interpretation – Jocelyn Floryance, SECOND PLACE

Duo Interpretation – Jessica Napier & Vesey Banuel, SECOND PLACE

Girls Vocal Solo – Nailah Williams, SECOND PLACE

Boys Vocal Solo – Aidan Fortenberry, THIRD PLACE

Girls Trio – Nailah Williams, Calvin Rausch, Lourdes Skeete-Dennis, THIRD PLACE

Boys Quartet – Aidan Fortenberry, Daniel Jacobs, Thomas Lewis, Nicholas Sims, THIRD PLACE

Argumentative Essay – Wyatt Strassman, FOURTH PLACE

Personal Essay – Cameron Payne, FOURTH PLACE

Congratulations and job well down to our MHS Literary team, and a special thank you to the team’s coaches and instructors – Lars Grevstad, Carla Mills, Shannon Lawson, Theresa Duarte, Tim Nielson, Holly Smith, and Craig McKinney.


Marietta City Schools to Screen Documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety”


The feature film documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” is sparking a global conversation about anxiety through screenings throughout the country.

On March 20, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., Marietta City Schools will hold a special screening of the documentary at Marietta High School’s Marietta Performing Arts Center (MPAC) to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders, and experts. The event will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film, followed by an informative panel discussion with special guests.

“We felt it was important to make a movie that could raise awareness to open up the conversation and provide hope,” said Scilla Andreen, IndieFlix CEO and “Angst” Producer. “So many people struggle with anxiety and have trouble talking about it. We want to change that.

Producers Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope. The film also includes a special interview with Michael Phelps, a mental health advocate and one of the greatest athletes of all-time. In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources, and tools available to address the condition.

Free tickets are available now and seating is limited. This film is appropriate for ages 10 years old and up.

Visit https://www.showclix.com/event/angst-marietta-city-schools to reserve your tickets today for the March 20 screening at the MPAC.

While “Angst” documents the struggles some people have with anxiety, it also reveals their hope for the future. Noah, a teenager in the film, describes it this way: “Anxiety doesn’t define me. It’s not just a curse; it also gives me strength.”

“Everybody needs to know that anxiety disorders are real, common and treatable instead of viewing them as a personal choice or something to be ashamed of,” said Dr. Jerry Bubrick, Senior Director of Anxiety Disorders Center, Child Mind Institute. “Getting help early is crucial in giving people the tools they need to feel better. We just need to start the conversation.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age seven being the median age of onset, according to the World Health Organization. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of “Angst” has a personal experience with anxiety – from the producers to the interviewees.

“The conversation surrounding mental health really hits home for me,” said Michael Phelps. “Many people don’t understand how debilitating mental illness truly can be, and even more than that, how common it is, yet people are afraid to have the serious discussions about it. I welcomed the opportunity to be a part of ‘Angst’ to further the dialogue around mental health and to help people understand the impact anxiety has on our mental state and encourage people, especially kids, to ask for help.”


The IndieFlix Foundation holds a unique place at the intersection of donors who want to inspire global change, and creative filmmakers who tell powerful stories that can unite and transform communities. By funding films that inspire social change and positive action, the Foundation supports documentaries that are screened in schools, groups and organizations. This brings communities together to watch films, sitting side-by-side, and allows conversations to begin. Recent documentaries include “Finding Kind, about bullying, “The Empowerment Project”, which addresses female empowerment, and “Screenagers” which delves into the impacts of social networking and increased screen time. Powered by donations, the IndieFlix Foundation’s cause-based content targets ages nine and up.   


Founded by filmmakers, IndieFlix is a membership-based streaming service ($4.99/mo & $39.99/yr) that is one of the industry’s most meaningful global streaming platforms. IndieFlix gives film lovers access to more than 4,000 high-quality shorts, features, documentaries, and series from 85 countries with an emphasis on content for a purpose. IndieFlix is available on just about any internet connected device, anywhere in the world. In addition to being a distribution streaming service , IndieFlix has several original social change projects in production. For more information about IndieFlix, visit https://indieflix.com/



Marietta High School Students Place 3rd in Regional Reading Bowl

Marietta High School’s reading bowl team placed third in the Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition, Saturday, February 9th.

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl is a rigorous reading competition in a game format created by former Dekalb County media specialist Helen Ruffin as a way to use books to encourage students to read.  Teams from schools throughout the state of Georgia compete to show off their knowledge of the selected books.

MHS students competed against 5 other area high schools, including Walton, South Paulding, East Paulding, Griffin, and  South Cobb.

Beginning in September, the students read 10-20 Georgia Peach Award nominated books and were quizzed on their knowledge during the six-round competition. The MHS Reading Bowl Team consist of 6 students, Bennett Lindsley-Smith (Freshman), Isabel Hardy (Sophomore), Amelia Floryance(Senior), Abigail Creyts(Sophomore), Laurel Thornton(Senior), and Chinemerem Amechi(Sophomore).

Congratulations on an impressive showing at regionals, and demonstrating what makes Marietta special, different, better.

A Perfect ACT Score for MHS Junior, Emily Howard

BOE_February_2019_00086A Marietta High School student has achieved a perfect score on the ACT – something that less than one percent of students in the United States can add to their resume.

Emily Howard, a student at MHS, recently scored a perfect composite score of 36 on the American College Test or ACT. According to ACT statistics, only 0.195 percent of all test takers earn a perfect score, putting Emily in the top one percent of all test takers in the nation.

Emily first took the ACT her sophomore year and scored a 33. But, when she learned of her most recent score she was shocked, to say the least.

“I was sitting on my couch when my mom mentioned the scores had come in,” Emily explained.  “I quickly logged in and checked.  When I saw the scores, the only thing I could say was, “What?!”  I was in total shock and even started crying. The score was so much higher than I was expecting, and I was thrilled.”

Melanie Myers, Emily’s mother, said Emily was hoping to get a score high enough for some potential international college applications, so it was wonderful to see her reaction to not only meeting that goal, but exceeding it.

Emily is a well-rounded student who participates in several extracurricular activities, including serving as a member of Beta Club and Interact Club. She is also a founding member of the MHS Science Club. Emily is excited about the opportunities her score will provide.

“It opens many doors for me both academically and financially,” Emily said. “My score qualifies me for many scholarships, and I can also apply to more summer programs and colleges with better chances of getting accepted. My score is a step towards my future and it means a lot to me.”

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

Emily also has some advice for students who are striving to score high on the ACT. She says you have to be willing to put in the work.

“If you have resources open to you, use them,” she explained. “Take the official exam freshman or sophomore year to get a starting point.  Don’t let that score discourage you! Remember it is a baseline and you will improve.  Before you take the official exam again, sit for some practice exams and build up your testing stamina.  Always get a solid eight hours of sleep the night before the exam, and eat a good breakfast the day of the exam. In the end, if you put the work into it, you will do well.  I wish everyone luck in any future testing!”

Emily Howard was recognized at the February Board of Education meeting for her perfect ACT score.

Marietta City Schools Named to the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll

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MCS is one of only five school districts in Georgia to receive this honor

Marietta, GA –  Marietta City Schools has been named to the 9th annual AP® (Advanced Placement) District Honor Roll by the AP College Board. Marietta is one of only 5 school districts in the state of Georgia to receive this honor and joins 373 total schools in the U.S. and Canada to receive the distinction.

“To be recognized on the AP® Honor Roll is a tremendous accomplishment,” said MCS Superintendent, Dr. Grant Rivera. “This recognition from the College Board is an excellent metric of how our students and teachers in our Advanced Placement classrooms are succeeding, and I am incredibly proud of the success of our district AP Program, as well as our students who continue to show a high level of motivation and commitment to their learning.”

The annual AP® District Honor Roll recognizes districts for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Honor Roll Districts defy the expectation that expanding access automatically results in a decline in the percentage of exams earning scores of 3 or better.

“Marietta High School students are extremely fortunate to have some of the best AP teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with throughout my career,” said Marietta High School Principal, Keith Ball. “Three of our AP Teachers, Dr. Bishop, Dr. Vermilya and Mrs. Dejarnett, have more than 125 years of combined experience and tremendous success. I am excited to continue to build our AP program and to provide more access, and improved performance, for all students.”

According to the College Board, which awarded the distinction, reaching these goals indicates that Marietta High School is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP course work. In 2018, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture.

National Signing Day: 11 Marietta Student-Athletes Sign Letter of Intent

Marietta High School held their National Signing Day ceremony for 11 students signing their letter of intent for athletic scholarships on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at the Marietta Performing Arts Center (MPAC).

Usually held the first Wednesday of February, National Signing Day has traditionally been the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for a collegiate sport with a school that is a member of the United States National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Only 2% of approximately 7 Million high school athletes get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level, making this a special celebration for student-athletes receiving scholarships across the nation.

“Signing day is always a special day for high school athletes who have committed to play at the next level,” said Marietta City Schools Athletic Director, Craig McKinney. “It symbolizes the moment where are all of their years of hard work result in the achievement of a dream.”

8 of the 11 students are scholar-athletes, with 5 boasting 4.0 grade point averages.  

McKinney shared that with the support of their parents and coaches, these young men and women have learned a valuable lesson that will serve them well in their transition to adulthood.  

“By setting goals, developing a plan and staying committed to that plan, success will follow no matter what the goal is.”

The following students signed their letter of intent during Marietta’s National Signing Day ceremony:

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00010Ellie Hall, Cross Country/Track & Field
University of Georgia

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Ani Henderson, Cross Country/Track & Field
University of Georgia

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Karena Grigenas, Track & Field
University of New Orleans

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Josie Konigsmark, Track & Field
Kennesaw State University

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00051Kevin Abrams-Verwayne,  Football
Garden City Community College

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00062Kareem Hobbs, Football
University of Tennessee – Martin

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00078CJ Swan, Football
University of Tennessee – Martin

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00095Mac Thompson, Golf
Georgia State

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Rafaella Abbud, Soccer
Kennesaw State University

signing day_Marietta High School_2019_00106Kacie Banks, Tennis
University of New Haven

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Junmoke James, Tennis

Lehigh University

Congratulations to all of our Class of 2019 athletes!

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