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Rockdale News Community Spirit Award: Davis learns from special teacher at Magnet school

 After spending much of their time giving back to the community, Jonathan Davis and Susan Gary have received recognition for their service, as they were awarded The Rockdale News' Community Spirit Award for Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.

Davis, a sophomore at Rockdale Magnet, is involved with Peer Leadership as well as being on the junior varsity math team.

Gary was one of the original teachers at Rockdale Magnet, is part of the Community Service and Peer Leadership Class, teaches advanced placement environmental science and is an envirothon coach.

Davis is a student in Gary's classes, where he is leaning toward pursuing more education and a career in aerospace engineering.

However, before he graduates with the class of 2012, Davis is spending his time learning additional skills from his Peer Leadership Class.

He spends his mornings tutoring freshmen and his afternoons helping in the community and striving to become more involved in his school.

"It helps build your leadership skills," Davis said. "It helps our community and school to get to know you, and you get to know your community."

Through his Peer Leadership Class, Davis has done such things as helped out with elementary school carnivals, collected cans for Rockdale Food Bank, collected books for troops overseas through Operation Paperback, created gift baskets for relay for life raffle, sewed pillows for breast cancer patients, wrote holiday cards for soldiers overseas and participated in the Magnet Association Student Activities Council LEAD program.

"It helps me in the right direction to get into college and get scholarships," Davis said.

Gary has been one of the Rockdale Magnet faculty members helping Davis and his classmates prepare for the next level through their classes and community service activities.

She was a top three finalist for Rockdale County's Teacher of the Year and has received the regional, state and national student council advisor of the year honors.

Through her work with Magnet Schools advisor council she has attended and hosted several workshops at the LEADS conferences, which was held in Chicago this year and has come to Conyers in the past.

Recently Gary was accepted into a GIFT internship with Georgia Tech. The program puts teachers in academic or corporate settings to allow them to bring back their experiences into the classroom.

Gary will be spending seven weeks working at the University of Georgia's plant genome lab under Dr. Patterson.

"I'm excited about that," Gary said. I will be working in the plant genome lab to learn about plants to bring back into the environmental science class."

Aside from her career achievements Gary can also celebrate being in remission of cancer for 16 years, which she celebrated this past Thursday.