Reigning champion Naima Johnson makes history as the school’s first back-to-back winner
ATLANTA (February 18, 2019) – After navigating her way through a daunting gauntlet of stations as well as other demanding rounds in Atlanta and Walt Disney World, Ron Clark Academy (RCA) 7thgrader Naima Johnson managed a restaurant in supreme fashion in order to win the final challenge and secure the distinguished title of two-time Amazing Shake Champion!
Beginning on Thursday, January 31st, the Ron Clark Academy held its annual Amazing Shake Competition, a contest created to educate students about the nuances of professional and social interaction with an emphasis on displaying manners, discipline and savor-faire. By undergoing such a contest, the Academy seeks to present students with the skills they need to be exceptionally prepared for current and future opportunities.
On the first day of competition, all 120 RCA students traversed through round 1 known as “The Gauntlet,” which featured 37 stations designed to test each student’s ability to think critically and quickly in a professional fashion. Throughout the maze, students answered interview questions, gave commercial pitches, resolved conflicts, and recited monologues. After the end of the gauntlet, the Top 30 students were announced with Johnson emerging in 3rdplace.
After making it out of the building, Johnson trekked across Atlanta with the remaining finalists where she was faced with an assortment of challenges. For round 2, she held engaging conversations by “working the room” with lawyers at Alston & Bird LLP. Upon advancing to round 3 with the Top 21 students, she exercised her collaborative skills when delivering a team-based presentation to Mercedes-Benz professionals and then reverted back to her individual flare in round 4 when the Top 16 finalists fielded interviews live from a set on Turner Studios.
The following Wednesday, Johnson’s journey to the title continued at Walt Disney World where the top 11 finalists spent the day exploring the park and competing in stations simultaneously. Determined to make it to the end of the day, she shined in 5 challenges: a breakfast meeting where students discussed important topics in society such as school culture and bullying prevention, a VIP tour of Tower of Terror where students were scored on their attentiveness to their guide, a tour of Animal Kingdom where the top 8 were judged on their engagement with their guide and other guests, an African food tasting at the Animal Kingdom Lodge where students delivered two minute pitches about how to boost tourist attendance during the slow season, and a special night tour of Magic Kingdom where the top 6 were ranked on their overall interaction with their tour guide for the evening.
The next morning, Johnson endured a thought-provoking breakfast meeting with a Disney executive in order to advance from the final four contestants to the top 2. Later that morning, she flew back to Atlanta with her final competitor and picked a team of 8 students to work with as she served her role later that night as Manager-On-Duty at a local Newk’s Eatery. After the restaurant takeover was finished, Johnson and her team earned more customer sales in comparison to the other team and received more high-quality scores in regards to customer satisfaction. Additionally, Johnson herself received rave reviews and the deciding votes from the staff and owner at Newk’s. After a week’s worth of challenges, Johnson was named as the winner in front of RCA’s entire student body the following morning.
In her acceptance speech, she held back tears and expressed, “I’m so honored that I go to a school where the staff members, students, and families love and support you in everything that you do — win or lose.”
To see footage from the 2019 Ron Clark Academy Amazing Shake, view the Facebook Live videos at www.facebook.com/RonClarkAcademy and on Instagram, @ronclarkacademy. Also, photos from the competition’s first day can be viewed via the school’s photo album on Facebook.