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Class Notes: Twitter campaign invites Ellen DeGeneres to Brenau University
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Some students at Brenau University have started a hashtag campaign to bring talk-show host and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres to the school.

Freshman Melani Stein said students want to bring DeGeneres to the university because her philanthropy makes her a great role model.

“Ellen DeGeneres is an outstanding example of living what is basically our ideal, because we believe in being generous and helping the community,” Stein said. “Our sororities have similar philanthropies that give to similar causes.

“Ellen is hilarious. She spreads happiness and joy throughout her show,” Stein said. “Also, she’s been through a lot in her life. She hasn’t just gotten success. That’s a good story for us to hear because it’s inspiring.”

The #ellenatbrenau is trending on Twitter and Facebook, with students posting all the reasons they want Ellen to visit as well as photos of themselves dancing, smiling and jumping.

On Sunday, a search for the hashtag produced around 150 tweets.

Stein said the students would love an in-person visit from DeGeneres, but would also be happy to have her visit via Skype or to have some students visit The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“We’re not picky,” Stein said. “(We want) just to get Ellen here or just to speak with her in some way, maybe on Skype.”

Award established to honor Burel

Chestnut Mountain Creative School of Inquiry will honor the memory of Pamela Burel with an award for outstanding fifth-graders.

Burel died of lung cancer Aug. 15. She worked at schools in Hall and Barrow County for 24 years.

The Pam Burel Character Award will be presented to a fifth-grader at Chestnut Mountain who has shown traits that school officials remember in Burel: loyalty, integrity and a strong work ethic.

The recipients, who will be chosen by teachers and administrators, will have their names added to a plaque in the school lobby and will receive a certificate during the school’s award ceremony.

“Pam Burel was an incredible asset to CMCSI, she cared tremendously about our students and often went the extra mile to help children who were struggling academically or emotionally,” Chestnut Mountain Principal Wade Pearce said in a written statement. “Her dedication, loyalty and work ethic on a daily basis, even during her illness, were commendable. She will be sorely missed by the Chestnut Mountain Community.”

Jennifer Jacob Brown covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: