Volume 5 , Number 1September 18, 2012


This issue recognizes spring, summer, and back-to-school honors.

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Simpson ES honored as 2012 National Blue Ribbon School
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Simpson ES as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School, a prestigious national title that honors public and private K-12 schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. Simpson ES is one of only 269 schools from across the nation earning this honor.

This national program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories:
    • “Exemplary Improving” schools must have at least 40% of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state or national assessments.
    • “Exemplary High Performing” schools are recognized from among the highest performing schools, as measured by state or national assessments. Simpson ES was recognized in this category.

“This recognition affirms that setting high expectations for excellence in all areas of school life and focusing on teaching and learning every day, with the constant support of involved parents, is the formula for success,” says Bron Gayna Schmit, principal of Simpson ES.
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Gwinnett cited for technology know-how
Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) prides itself on technology know-how. That area of strength gained GCPS recognition as a top-ranked school district as part of the eighth annual Digital School Districts Survey produced by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education, the National School Boards Association, and convergemag.com. The survey showcases how exemplary School Boards and districts use technology to govern the district; to communicate with students, parents, and the community; and to improve district operations.
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SNP earns USDA kudos for Farm to School program
Gwinnett’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) continues to gain recognition for its work to provide healthy and nutritious meal options for students.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Southeast Region submitted Gwinnett’s SNP as a Georgia USDA Best Practice Award winner for the Farm to School program, which works with local producers to offer fresh fruits and vegetables in GCPS cafeterias.
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Two Gwinnett schools earn RAMP designation
The counseling programs at Trip ES and Hull MS earned the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association. This award recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.

Trip ES and Hull MS join 16 other Gwinnett schools in earning this award,” says Dianne Thompson, GCPS’ director of the Office of Advisement and Counseling. “This demonstration of commitment to student advocacy furthers the school system’s efforts to achieve world-class standing, and I commend these schools, their counseling teams, and their administration on this achievement.”

She adds, “Berkeley Lake ES also has renewed its RAMP certification. This shows continued excellence and dedication to sustaining services to meet the needs of all students.”
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System cited among ‘Best Communities for Music Education’
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation selected GCPS as one of the “2012 Best Communities for Music Education.” The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs from the international music products industry.

“This recognition validates our strong music education curriculum, endorsed and supported by the GEMS Oversight Committee which includes parents, teachers, administrators, counselors, and community members,” says Robert Andrews, the school district’s director of Fine Arts. “The comprehensive music curriculum begins in kindergarten and is present through 12th grade. All Gwinnett music teachers have music certifications and many of their music programs, performing ensembles, and music technology programs are recognized as world-class at the local, state, and national levels.”
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Parker-Jarrett named 2012 national counseling Advocate of the Year

Dorothy Parker-Jarrett,
principal, Summerour MS
Principal Dorothy Parker-Jarrett of Summerour MS has been selected as the 2012 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Advocate of the Year.

“I am so humbled by this awesome award,” says Ms. Parker-Jarrett. “I have and will always appreciate what school counselors do to support teaching and learning in our schools. I look forward to representing all the advocates who value counselors around the United States.”

Previously, Ms. Parker-Jarrett had been honored as the 2011 Advocate of the Year for GCPS, Region 2, and Georgia.

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Counseling award recipients recognized with state, regional honors
The Georgia School Counselors Association tapped Robin Zorn of Mason ES as both the 2012 Georgia Counselor of the Year and the 2012 Georgia Elementary Counselor of the Year. Mrs. Zorn now is under consideration for national honors. In addition,Tinisha Parker of Gwinnett County Online Campus was named the 2012 Georgia Secondary Counselor of the Year; and Dr. Paul Johnson, assistant principal at Peachtree Ridge HS, was honored as the 2012 Georgia Counseling Advocate of the Year.
All 2011-12 Gwinnett honorees were first recognized at the system and Region 2 levels earlier this spring. Gwinnett’s counseling professionals are consistently among the most recognized in the country in state and national honors.
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GCPS honored for excellence in economics education
The Georgia Council on Economic Education has tapped GCPS as the 2012 winner of the “Georgia Economics Program of Excellence” award. The honor highlights the school district’s ongoing program, “Examining Years of Economic Strides,” which incorporates the study of economics into the history of our nation.

“Receiving this honor validates the work we’re doing to expand the reach of economics education among our students,” says Debbie Daniell, director of Social Studies and the EconomicsAmerica coordinator. “We’re confident that, through this curriculum, our students are heightening their own awareness of economics in all the right ways.”
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GCPS teachers receive state honors
GCPS’ teaching professionals are winning accolades in their fields, worthy of a standing ovation:
  • Patrick Yaggy of North Gwinnett HS was honored as Georgia’s Latin Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Classical Association.
  • Dr. Elfi Funk of Peachtree Ridge HS received a Georgia Council on Economic Education’s Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year award.
  • Kathy Russo of Simpson ES was recognized as Coach of the Year by the Future Problem Solving International Conference.
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  • STAR Teachers shine with honor

    Chris Michael of Brookwood HS and Dr. James Glenn of Norcross HS were both honored as the Gwinnett County 2012 STAR Teachers this past school year. Mr. Michael was selected by Michael Song, and Mr. Glenn was selected by Andrew Alin.

    The STAR Student honor recognizes students for their exceptional academic performance. Each STAR student is the senior in the top 10 percent of his or her class with the highest SAT score.

    Pictured left to right: James Glenn, STAR Students
    Andrew Alin and Michael Song, and Chris Michael.

    The Brookwood HS and Norcross HS winners earned the title for having the highest SAT scores among the districtwide Class of 2012. The STAR Teacher is selected by the student as the educator who had a strong influence on his or her academic career.

    The state STAR program is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education.

    Following are GCPS teachers honored as STAR Teachers at the local school level last spring:


    2012 Local School STAR Teachers in Gwinnett
    Nathan Ulrey of Archer HS
    Joni Jameson of Berkmar HS
    Chris Michael of Brookwood HS*
    (County STAR Teacher winner)
    Lindsay Bates of Central Gwinnett HS
    Barry Gillespie of Collins Hill HS
    Lesley Buchanan of Dacula HS
    Dr. Chris Decastro of Duluth HS
    Billy Jones of Mountain View HS
    (selected by Grayson HS’ STAR Student)
    Seth Hersch of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    Michael Reilly of Lanier HS
    Giles Judd of Meadowcreek HS
    Jason Smith of Mill Creek HS
    Jill England of Mountain View HS
    Dr. James Glenn of Norcross HS
    (County STAR Teacher winner)
    Patrick Yaggy of North Gwinnett HS
    Maria Raymond of Parkview HS
    Andy Pasarilla of Peachtree Ridge HS
    Will Bonnett of Shiloh HS
    Judith Hall of South Gwinnett HS

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    GCPS TV earns prestigious Telly Awards
    The Broadcast and Distance Learning team earned Bronze awards in the 2012 Telly Awards for the following broadcasts:
  • “Celebrating Excellence”
  • eCLASS: The Classroom of the Future
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  • 12 GCPS educators among state’s Master Teachers
    Since 2005, Georgia educators have had the opportunity to earn the Georgia “Master Teacher” certification, a designation based on appreciable gains in student achievement. Among the state’s 600 Master Teachers, 96 Gwinnett educators have achieved the honor.

    Gwinnetts newest Master Teachers are recognized in the spring are:

    Master Teacher Honorees
    Jill Arness of Hull MS
    Laurel Bullock of Osborne MS
    Celisa Edwards of Dacula MS
    Kim A. Foster of Osborne MS
    Shenika Glenn of Gwinnett School of Mathematics,
    Science, and Technology
    Gayle Graham of Mulberry ES
    Jennie Gungiah of Kanoheda ES
    Jayne Lawson of Dacula MS
    Melissa Ann Murphy of Ferguson ES
    Jason Oglesby of North Gwinnett MS
    Terilyn L. Smith of Rockbridge ES
    Dr. Julie Baker Van Soelen of Creekland MS

    “Through the Master Teacher program, Gwinnett’s motivated educators continue to show their strong interest in continuous improvement and excelling at the highest level of the teaching profession,” says Nikki Mouton, GCPS executive director of Staff Development. “These educators are an asset to this school system and to the classrooms where they are impacting the future.”

    Georgia’s Master Teacher Certification Program is coordinated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). It provides statewide recognition to certified public school teachers in Georgia who have at least three years of teaching experience and who consistently demonstrate instructional excellence through student achievement. Master Teachers are eligible to automatically renew their teaching certificates as long as they continue to qualify for Master Teacher status. Application materials for the 2012 cycle are available on the GaPSCs website.
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    Frilot honored as GCPS Media Specialist of the Year
    Holly Frilot of Collins Hill HS was recognized as the 2012 Gwinnett County Public Schools Library Media Specialist of the Year for her contributions in the library media field through service to students, teachers, and the community.

    “I love my job,” says Mrs. Frilot. “At the Collins Hill HS Media Center, we are passionate about the comprehensive education of students through books, technology, and dynamic teaching. I delight in how varied my day is… one minute I’m helping reluctant readers find a book that gets them hooked on reading, the next I’m racking my brain to help the student who’s read more books in the library than I have.”

    Mrs. Frilot also has been selected as the District Library Media Specialist of the Year for the Metro District. She is now one of seven district winners eligible for selection as the state Library Media Specialist of the Year in October.

    Holly Frilot was pleasantly
    surprised with the news of her win
    at the system level.

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    Class of 2012-13 begins Teachers as Leaders program
    The following Gwinnett teachers are participants in the Teachers As Leaders Class of 2012-13:

    Teachers As Leaders Class of 2012-13
    Cecilia Anderson of Anderson-Livsey ES
    Alison Stover of Beaver Ridge ES
    Monique Frazier of Bethesda ES
    Sheri Boutin of Camp Creek ES
    James Meadows of Cooper ES
    Melissa Van Sant of Craig ES
    Vanessa Platto of Creekland MS
    Sheryl Ackers of Dacula HS
    Erica Parkman of Duluth MS
    Veronica Crawford of Grayson HS
    Jennifer Prince of Gwinnett School
    of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    Jennifer Dalton of Harbins ES
    Casey Nestor of Harris ES
    Katie Ford of Hopkins ES
    Whitney Young of Ivy Creek ES
    Hope Boyd of Jenkins ES
    Elizabeth Loos of Kanoheda ES
    Kinsey Edwards of Lanier MS
    Karlene Hamilton of Lawrenceville ES
    Nancy McLellen of Mason ES
    Brian Howe of McConnell MS
    Grace King of Monarch School
    Darryl Colley of Mountain View HS
    Brandon Bell of Nesbit ES
    LaTonya Davis-Ross of New Life
    Academy of Excellence
    Kara Bohannon of Norcross ES
    Logan T. Malm of Norcross HS
    Paula Fowler of North Gwinnett HS
    Mona Brawley of Partee ES
    Rebecca Mdabe of Peachtree ES
    Lynne Bombard of Peachtree Ridge HS
    Emily Treuman of Phoenix HS
    Melissa Jeffers of Riverside ES
    Kimberly Hobgood of Rock Springs ES
    Amy Toro of Shiloh ES
    Jody Mathews of Starling ES
    Derico White of Sweetwater MS
    Jennifer Chambers of Trickum MS
    Karen A. Phillips of Trip ES
    Lynn Fagan of Walnut Grove ES

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    GCPS honors top transportation employees
    Three Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) employees, who are often among the first and the last to greet students at the beginning and end of each school day, were recognized for a job well done by the school system. During the spring annual Bus Manager and Monitor of the Year Banquet, district leaders expressed their appreciation for the job that these employees do every day in transporting students safely to and from school.

    GCPS’ transportation professionals honored for 2012 include:
    Jennifer Arroyo

    2012 Regular Education
    Bus Manager
    of the Year
    With the school district since 2007, Jennifer Arroyo transports students in the Collins Hill Cluster. It’s a service she says she enjoys due to her love for children.
    Holly McDowell

    2012 Special Education
    Bus Manager
    of the Year
    Holly McDowell serves students in the Grayson Cluster. A GCPS bus manager since 1995, Ms. McDowell says she enjoys building a relationship with her special needs students, as well as their families.
    Dori Puckett

    2012 Special Education
    Bus Monitor
    of the Year
    A caring person by nature, Dori Puckett has dedicated 11 years to her special needs students. She currently supports special needs managers in several clusters in the eastern area of the district.

    Before being named as this past school year’s top transportation employees, these candidates participated in an extensive selection process. First, they were nominated by peers in their transportation zone. Nominees then were given a written and driving skills test. Eleven finalists were selected— five regular education bus managers, three special education bus managers, and three special education bus monitors. A judging committee, comprised of GCPS system leaders who serve outside of the Transportation Department, selected the winners from the finalists.
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    90 Gwinnett school custodians earn district’s top honor
    Maintaining a safe, clean, and orderly learning environment is a big priority in Gwinnett, and GCPS annually celebrates the people who work hard to accomplish that task. The school system honored 90 head school custodians for exemplary achievement during its annual Head Custodian Appreciation Breakfast in May.

    These top professionals were selected based on their achievement on multiple criteria, including the composite score of two semi-annual inspections; adherence to the GCPS Custodial Care Program; proper set-up and provisioning of custodial storage rooms, with updated cleaning chemicals present; submission and approval of detailed work schedules; attendance at monthly head custodian training, including annual hazard communication; documentation of subsequent local custodial staff training; demonstrated proficiency in the use and care of system-approved equipment; management of equipment inventory and repair with the maintenance system; and scheduled monthly replenishment of custodial supplies via a computerized supply chain system.
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    Need-to-know highlights in Spotlight:
    Learn more about…
  • System, School, and Staff Honors

  • Student/Team Honors

  • Degrees

  • Presentations

  • Publications

  • Participants, and

  • Grants/Scholarships.

  • Something to celebrate?


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    System, School, and Staff Honors
  • Human Resources awarded a Platinum Award in the area of recruitment materials and in the area of highly qualified status for the 2010-11 school year from the Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators.
  • Dr. Gail Y. Green and Dr. Kathy Lynes-Jordan, both of Berkmar HS— inducted into Phi Gamma Sigma international professional society at Nova Southeastern University’s Abraham S. Fischler School of Education.
  • Geri Flanary of Duluth HS— named one of the 30 Most Outstanding Educators in America and featured in a chapter of the book, Great Educators, by Pintail Publishing.
  • Pintu Thaker of Meadowcreek HS— awarded $500 for her web design class through the Technology Association of Georgia’s Web Challenge 2012 competition.
  • Dennise Peagler of Berkmar HS— earned a $100 honorarium from the Rotary Club for achieving the highest percent (95%) of student participation in the 2011-12 Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest.
  • Congratulations to the following educators for awards received from the Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education (GAGE): Lisa Vaughn of Riverside ES, Gifted Program Teacher of the Year; Dot Poss of Lovin ES, Gifted Cluster Teacher of the Year; Sandi Gollmar of Chesney ES, Hughes Award winner; and Clayborn Knight of Nesbit ES, Outstanding Administrator of the Year.
  • Congratulations to the following coaches for receiving awards in spring sports:
    Danny Klinect of Brookwood HS— named Region 8-AAAAA Boys Soccer Coach of the Year.
    Jason Guzzardo of Dacula HS— named Region 8-AAAAA Girls Soccer Coach of the Year.
    Bill Holleman of Peachtree Ridge HS— recognized with the Coach’s Award by Sports Champions of Greater Atlanta.
    Jack Lowrey of Dacula HS— named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Dugout Club.
  • Dr. Aimeé Burgamy of Trickum MS— named as honoree for the Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders Recognition Program. As an honoree, she received a $2,500 contribution to the arts program of her choice and $500 for professional development. Crystal Collins of Magill ES was named as a finalist for the award.
  • Nadaria Wade of Sweetwater MS— earned the Distinguished Educator Award from the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.
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  • Student/Team Honors
  • South Gwinnett HS Myriad 2011Platinum Edition literary magazine earned top awards from both the American Scholastic Press Association and the National Council for Teachers of English. Keren Giles Brown serves as advisor.
  • Berkmar HS and Duluth HS honored with the 2012 Georgia EMC Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award. Duluth HS represents Region 7-AAAAA and Berkmar HS represents Region 8-AAAAA.
  • Brookwood HS earned the Regions Director’s Cup, presented by Regions Bank and the Georgia Athletic Directors Association. Mark Kimbro serves as activities director at the school.
  • Brookwood HS Academic Team— finished 2nd in the Georgia Academic Team Association (GATA) State Championships. The team is coached by Erin Eidson, Jeff Corkill, and Chris Michael.
  • Brookwood HS and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) Georgia Science Olympiad teams— finished as State Champion and Runner-Up, respectively, and qualified to compete at the Science Olympiad National Tournament. Joe Cox and Dr. Jorge Diaz serve as the Brookwood HS team sponsors, and Patricia Caldwell, Dr. Lindsey Stamm, and Ana Vasileva serve as sponsors for the GSMST team.
  • Collins Hill HS earned 2nd place in the Georgia High School Association State Literary Championship. David Langley serves as the literary coordinator.
  • Collins Hill HS Girls Swim and Dive Team— earned the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association Scholar Teams Silver Award for achieving a team GPA of 3.628. The team is coached by Jennifer Weaver, Micah Porter, and Brian Collins.
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology won the high school division of the first annual S.T.E.M. Education Awards, created by the Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative.
  • Meadowcreek HS and Phoenix HS Video and Broadcast Journalism programs— earned industry certification. Nancy Khashan of Meadowcreek HS and Pasha Souvorin of Phoenix HS serve as the teachers for these programs.
  • Mill Creek HS Key Club— recognized with the Stash the Trash award from Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. Brent Leitsch is the club’s sponsor.
  • South Gwinnett HS Entrepreneurship Alliance, with the City of Snellville— honored with a CREATE Community Award by the Atlanta Regional Commission for their partnership. Students from Scott Allen’s marketing class participate in the program.
  • Pictured left to right, Gayle Adkinson, director of Gifted and Accelerated Education, Dr. Jeff Mathews, principal of GSMST, and Molly McAuliffe, Internship Coordinator, were on hand to accept the award.
  • Congratulations to the following school communities, student-athletes, and coaches for AAAAA state athletic championships in the spring of 2012:
    Brookwood HS Boys Cross Country team, coached by Ben Dehnkeand David Thompson;
    Brookwood HS Boys Track team, coached by Mark Kelley;
    Collins Hill HS Boys Soccer team, coached by Drew Prentice;
    Collins Hill HS Softball team, coached by Paul Pierce;
    Mill Creek HS Competition Cheerleading team, coached by Brenda Petty and Ashley Taube; and
    Parkview HS Baseball team, coached by Chan Brown.
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  • Degrees
  • Dr. Matt Champitto of Duluth HS— earned a doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Argosy University.
  • Dr. Pamela Cummings of Norcross ES— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Capella University.
  • Dr. Michael Dartt of Parkview HS— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
  • Dr. Victoria Dodd of Duluth HS— earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University.
  • Dr. Amy Farah of Human Resources— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
  • Dr. Jeff Hall of Maxwell HS of Technology— earned a doctoral degree in Workforce Education from University of Georgia.
  • Dr. Christine Jones of Berkmar MS— earned a doctoral degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University.
  • Dr. Wendell LaTouche of Dacula MS— earned a doctoral degree in Executive Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.
  • Dr. Kathy Lynes-Jordan of Berkmar HS— earned a doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
  • Dr. Katharine Page of Staff Development— earned a doctoral degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University.
  • Dr. Jonathan Patterson, Area Superintendent— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Mercer University.
  • Dr. Donna Power of Radloff MS— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Alabama.
  • Dr. Krista van Beurden of Starling ES— earned a doctoral degree in Teaching and Learning from Piedmont College.
  • Josh Mendoza of North Gwinnett HS— earned a specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University.
  • Erin Woods of Stripling ES— earned a specialist’s degree in Teacher Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
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  • Presentations
  • Dr. Gail Y. Green of Berkmar HS— presented at Nova Southeastern University’s 2012 Conference on Global Leadership, Learning, and Research as a Dissertation of Distinction Award winner.
  • Jessie Moreau of Special Education and Psychological Services— presented “Providing Access to the General Education Curriculum for Students Who are Nonverbal” at the National TASH (The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps) Conference.
  • The following GCPS educators presented at the joint conference of the Foreign Language Association of Georgia and the Southern Conference on Language Teaching:
    Miriam Patrick of Duluth HS— “Cultus Civilis et Linga Latina Dicendo: Culture and Latin by Speaking;”
    Arianne Kahn of Grayson HS— “Targeting the Language (In the Target Language);”
    Dr. Jaime Claymore of Mountain View HS— “Back to the Drawing Board...;”
    Laura Droms of Mountain View HS— “Improv in L2 Classes: Creating Community and Confidence through Games;”
    Rachel Ash of both North Gwinnett HS and North Gwinnett MS— “Fabulas Mirabiles Rogare: The Art of Asking a Story Demystified;”
    Dr. Robert Patrick of Parkview HS— “Docere et Descere Dicendo: Teaching and Learning (Latin) by Speaking;” and
    Melanie Hutsell and Lindsay Perkins, both of Peachtree Ridge HS— “Paired Activities in the Foreign Language Classroom.”
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  • Publications
  • Quality-Plus Leader Academy featured in the June 2012 issue of JSD Journal, a publication of Learning Forward (formerly the National Staff Development Council). Gwinnett’s work with The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative is described in an article, entitled “Principals in the Pipeline: Districts Construct a Framework to Develop School Leadership.”
  • GCPS Reading Recovery program— featured in a case study on the ReadingRecoveryWorks.org website, focusing on the district’s strong implementation of the early intervention.
  • David Jahner, Foreign Language Director— published an article, “Beyond Requirements: Why Do Students Continue with Language Study? A Survey of Upper-Level Language Learners Reveals Motivating Factors,” in The Language Educator, a publication of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
  • Laura Magner of White Oak ES— published a book, American Heroes, written by her 5th grade students.
  • Kay Sands of Trickum MS— featured in PAGE ONE cover story.
  • Courtney Sievers of South Gwinnett HS— published an article, “The Question Still Remains: What Happens When the Curricular Focus for Students with Severe Disabilities Shifts? A Reply to Courtade, Spooner, Browder, and Jimenez,” in the March 2012 edition of Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Debi West of North Gwinnett HS— featured in an article, “Meet the Teacher - Debi West,” published on Examiner.com.
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  • Participants
  • Jody Reeves, director of Technical Education, Computer Science, and Work-Based Learning; and Christopher Wells, director of IT Policies and Communications— selected to serve on the National Council on Digital Citizenship.

  • Sergio Parra of Osborne MS— invited to the International Society for Technology in Education 2012 International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology in Singapore. While visiting schools in Asia, Mr. Parra had the opportunity to experience how innovative lessons are being conducted and to see innovative projects that are underway in both Singapore and China. “I was proud to represent our school district in Singapore, and to share the initiatives that Gwinnett is implementing as part of the school system’s Strategic Priorities for 2012-2020,” he says.


  • Mr. Parra, shown above, teaches a class at Tsinghua High School.
  • Eleanor Neal of Shiloh HS— selected to participate in the Center for Contemporary Printmaking Biennial Footprint International.
  • Congratulations to the following GCPS staff members on their selection for the 2012-13 Class of Leadership Gwinnett: Jorge Gomez, executive director for Administration and Policy; Jennifer Fero, assistant principal in the Grayson HS’ Technical Education Program; and Jennifer Dunn, a teacher at Pharr ES.
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  • Grants/Scholarships
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools— received $46,500 in funding support from Cisco System, Primerica Financial Services, and Scana Energy through the GCPS Foundation Fund, Inc., to offset the cost of Advanced Placement (AP) exams administered by The College Board for students with financial need.
  • Shiloh HS and South Gwinnett HS received a cash grant of $50,000 from Cisco to support graduation and credit recovery programs at both schools.
  • Berkmar MS, Buice School, Couch MS, and Knight ES— each school received a donated salad bar from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, in partnership with Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and CBS Atlanta.
  • Annistown ES and Bethesda ES— each received a $25,000 grant from Target.
  • Sweetwater MS’ STEP Academy— received a $25,000 grant from the Primerica Foundation to assist with expansion of the program. STEP stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Targeted Education Program.
  • Chattahoochee ES— awarded a $15,000 grant from Cartridge World.
  • GCPS Adapted Sports program— received a $5,600 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for purchasing sport wheelchairs.
  • Peachtree Ridge HS— earned a $5,000 grant and has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Intel Schools of Distinction competition. The honor included a trip to Washington, D.C. for four representatives for the awards ceremony.
  • Britt ES— won a Kroger Earning Plus Learning grant of $5,000.
  • Brookwood HS and Grayson HS earned donations of $4,050 and $2,000, respectively, from Nash Chevrolet’s “Drive for Perfection” program recognizing strong attendance by high school seniors.
  • Dacula ES— awarded $3,449 from Community Coffee for winning the Community Cash for Schools® Program.
  • Pam Nunn of Craig ES and Donna Springer of Mill Creek HS— each awarded $1,500 scholarships from the Gwinnett County Educators Association.
  • Congratulations to the following school foundations that were awarded $1,500 grants from the George A. Ramlose Foundation, Inc.:
    —The Archer Academic Foundation will support hands-on materials for science instruction;
    —The Central Gwinnett Cluster Foundation will focus on the Vertical Team Approach to Writing instruction;
    —The Grayson Cluster Schools Foundation will concentrate on Acceleration in Mathematics instruction and supporting Gifted Endorsements in teacher certification; and
    —The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation will host a summer AP Enrichment Camp for rising 9th graders.
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  • Something to celebrate?
    Share your good news with your colleagues in the Spotlight publication. If you have earned a state or national award, earned a degree, made a presentation, or had work published, send the information to the Spotlight mailbox via Lotus Notes, or to the Communication and Media Relations department through the courier. Click here to send your submissions to Spotlight. The deadline is Dec. 6, 2012, for the winter issue.
    Share your feedback on Spotlight!

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