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Young Georgia Authors Celebration Focused on Hope in Virtual Ceremony
“We are so happy that we were able to celebrate our writers across the district today. Even though we could not be together in person, we were together virtually!”

Dalton Public Schools held its annual Young Georgia Authors Celebration on Thursday, April 22 in a virtual ceremony.

While COVID-19 restrictions prevented an in-person celebration, each school was connected via Zoom to the event. The ceremony was livestreamed the district website and the DPS Literacy Facebook page, and the recording can be viewed below.

The theme for this year's Young Georgia Authors Celebration was Hope 2021. Alice Ensley, curriculum specialist, said the theme was inspired by the perseverance of students through this unexpected year.

"They have done something no other group of students has ever had to do," Ensley said. "They have learned in new ways, been flexible and resilient, endured countless temperature checks and Zoom meetings, all while wearing a mask and staying six feet away from their friends and teachers. And they continue to write! Our students' perseverance continues to inspire and give us hope."

The ceremony included a performance by the Dalton Middle School chorus and remarks from keynote speaker, Teresa Hensley. Hensley is a published author, literacy instructional coach for Park Creek School and the most recent winner of the district Teacher of the Year Award.

Reflecting on this year's theme in her speech, Hensley said that reading the work of students in the district gave her hope.

"Your bravery, not only of putting words down on paper, but to take that and share it with others, that gives me hope," Hensley said. "It gives me hope for the future."

Ensley said that despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, the virtual celebration was a success.

"We are so happy that we were able to celebrate our writers across the district today," Ensley said. "Even though we could not be together in person, we were together virtually!"

You may view the recording of the event below.

The school winners were:

Elementary School Winners

Blue RidgeBrookwoodCity ParkPark CreekRoanWestwood
Nicholas RodriguezPreston O'FerrallShamorie BroomeHunter FowlerAylin CanalesDerek Klaeger
Angel EscamillaEleanor HeadrickJamarion WareYaretzi LopezChelsea YanezMaliha Patel
Alex Vicente-EscalanteHadley KittleDaniela PerezDominik HuertaAriana Guzman LopezHarper Weeks
Ashley CalderonJacob McClureGiselle PosadaAmy MachadoNathan Flores-PlataChase McCullough
Zayetzy Dominguez-AngelAddison KitleAndrew LaraGerardo HerreraBrisa MorenoTess Summerlin
Christopher RangelMary Susan BroadrickMadison StanleyLilliana McLeroyYavier Martinez ZapataSara Cloud

Middle School Winners

6th Grade7th Grade8th Grade
Noelia GuerreroRachel EdwardsElyanna Quintero
Sydney BrownAaliyah Freeman AlfaroHayden E. Poe
Gabriel CuelloCarly BramlettJessica Escutia
Andrea NajeraJosue ResendizSaige Elrod
Jeannie GrayOlivia BowenHope Hambrock
Allyson SanchezHannah OrtizLilli Sharp

High School Winners

Dalton High SchoolMorris Innovative High School
Karla RosasChloe Harrison
Alexis Romero DiazTai Lewis
Adriana MorenoJonathan D. Fraire
Emma Hefner
Stephanie Rivas
Ian Gowin
Kira Delgado
Anjleena Mutahir
Emmy Vong
Navah Jordan
Daphne Vital
Dylan Spaulding
Aidan Stacy
Addison Simmons
Price Andersen
Brooke Schlisner
Lea Moreno

District Winners were:

Kindergarten - Shamorie Broome, City Park School

1st Grade - Jamarion Ware, City Park School

2nd Grade - Ariana Guzman Lopez, Roan School

3rd Grade - Nathan Flores-Plata, Roan School

4th Grade - Addison Kittle, Brookwood School

5th Grade - Mary Susan Broadrick, Brookwood School

6th Grade - Sydney Brown, Dalton Middle School

7th Grade - Carly Bramlett, Dalton Middle School

8th Grade - Jessica Escutia, Dalton Middle School

9th Grade - Karla Rosas, Dalton High School

10th Grade - Kira Delgado, Dalton High School

11th Grade - Daphne Vital, Dalton High School

12th Grade - Lea Moreno, Dalton High School