News You Can Use - 11/24/2003

During the school year, the Department of Communication & Media Relations produces a media tip sheet called "News You Can Use, which is distributed to metro Atlanta news outlets electronically. This publication provides school and system news, including recent honors, upcoming events, calendar items, and photo opportunities at local schools and central office locations. The tip sheet is sent out at the end of each week, and covers news and GCPS items of interest for the coming 7-10 days.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003

Brookwood High’s Dance department will sponsor a fall dance concert entitled “Razzle Dazzle: A Tribute to Bob Fosse.” As a director, choreographer, dancer, and actor, Bob Fosse was especially famous for his innovative, spectacular staging, and exhilarating dance sequences. The Brookwood Dance department will perform some of Bob Fosse’s most electrifying works on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-982-7642.

David Jahner, Language Arts coordinator, presented “A SWELL Assessment Program” at the Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages conference in Philadelphia. For more information, call Mr. Jahner at 770-513-6861.

The Auto Services Program at Maxwell High School of Technology recently earned certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The areas of certification are brakes, electrical/electronics, engine performance, and steering/suspension. The Auto Services Program, taught by Paul Lunsford and Eliot Lawrence, met the strict standards set forth by NATEF. The certification is for a period of five years. After five years, the program will be reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet industry standards. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Christina Hernandez, a Brookwood High senior, has been recognized by the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). NHRP, established in 1983, is a College Board program recognizing exceptional Hispanic high school seniors. Students are considered for the program based on results of the PSAT/NMSQT taken as a high school junior. From more than 124,000 Hispanic students nationwide, approximately 4,300 of the highest-scoring students were initially identified. Based on further evidence of their academic achievement, 3,300 students have been recognized by the program as an NHRP Scholar.

The Five Forks Middle Bronco Band has been invited to represent the state at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic held at Troy State University on Dec. 5. For more information, call Joe Bader at 770-972-1506.

Meadowcreek High participates in the Overture Program, which is dedicated to introducing Georgia high school students to professional theater. This year’s participating students from Meadowcreek High are Natalie Abreu, Yeira DeLeon, Danielle Graham, Breanna Inniss, Danielle Jones, Rebekah McHenry, Jarrett Moses, Sojiath Neuo, Nicholas Silvestri, Phuong Sy, and Mathew Wetz. For more information, call June Harris at 770-381-9680.

Trickum Middle’s Academic Bowl Team won first place at the Gwinnett PAGE Academic Bowl Tournament. Four Gwinnett middle schools—Trickum, Richard Hull, J.P. McConnell and Duluth will represent the system in regional competition in January. Team members include: Whitley Bacon, Caroline Bass, Glenn Branscomb, Kristen Jolley, Buck McClure, Ian Nurse, captain; Zack Olson, Deep Datta Roy, Sanjay Srivatsa, James Taylor, Raheel Thobhani, and Joshua Wong. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

The winners for the 2003 Gwinnett County School Bus Safety Poster Contest are listed below.
Division one: grades (K-2): Samantha Brewer of McKendree Elementary, teacher Colleen Davis
Division two: grades (3-5): Vicky Torres of Sycamore Elementary, teacher Melinda Reiss
Division three: grades (6-8): Dewayne Moreau of Shiloh Middle, teacher Patricia Osborne
These school bus safety posters have been submitted to the state competition. For more information, call 770-513-6855.

Three Sweetwater Middle students won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) writing contest entitled “My Dream for America.” First-place winner Pharlone Toussaint will receive a $100 savings bond. Second-place winner Gabriella Hotac will receive a $75 savings bond. Third-place winner Ashley Carey will receive a $50 savings bond. The commander of the Lilburn VFW Post will be visiting the school for a ceremony to give the awards. For more information, call Lois Bean at 990-923-4131.

The United Way presented the faculty of Richard Hull Middle with a United Way Flag to thank the school for achieving 100% employee participation in the United Way drive and for exceeding the school’s goal of $2,500. The school’s final contribution to the United Way totaled $4,008. For more information, call Pam Willis 770-232-3217.

Thirty select members of Brookwood High’s advanced choruses will perform on Thanksgiving Day with “America Sings” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. “America Sings” is a group of students from across the U.S. who will come together for the performance. For more information, call Kim Peeples at 770-972-7642.

North Gwinnett High’s Dugout Club will sponsor an annual Christmas tree sale, beginning Nov. 29. Trees may be purchased at the corner of Alton Turner and Peachtree Industrial, one block from Ga.-20. All proceeds go to support the North Gwinnett Baseball Team. For more information, call Vicki Otting at 770-318-3625 or Ron Walton at 770-945-3458. 

Norcross High will sponsor a “Holiday Spirit Drive” Dec. 1-5. Classes will be invited to donate toys, stocking stuffers, and canned goods to the school. Collected items will be donated to the Norcross Cooperative Ministries for needy families. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The Beaver Ridge Elementary art department will hold its annual candlelight luncheon Dec. 3-4. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

The Harbins Elementary PTA presents “Breakfast with Santa” on Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is $2 per child. Activities include making ornaments, shopping at Santa’s Secret Shop, and writing letters to Santa. Breakfast will be catered by The Red Barn. Pictures with Santa will be available for $3. The line to see Santa will close at 11:30 a.m. Santa leaves for the North Pole promptly at noon. The Secret Santa Shop will remain open until 1 p.m. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

The North Gwinnett High chorus, orchestra, and concert band will perform a holiday concert, “Hearts, Hands and Voices,” to raise funds for the North Gwinnett High Care Team on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Donations for the Care Team will be accepted at the end of the evening. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Summerour Middle’s Holiday performance is scheduled for Dec. 9, beginning with the band’s performance at 7:00 p.m. in the Summerour cafeteria. In addition, band students Anahi Garcia, Noe Gonzalez, Eric Mackey, Jay Nash, Jasmine Oliver, Lindsey Sumner, Tavonie Tatum, Kanicius Washington, D.J. Watkins, and Jeanette Won will perform at the Governor’s Mansion on Dec. 11. For more information, call 770-448-3045.

B.B. Harris Elementary will hold a candlelight luncheon Dec. 9-11. The cafeteria will be transformed into a formal dining room and a special holiday meal will be served. For more information and to make a reservation, call 770-476-2241.

The Beaver Ridge Elementary chorus will present its winter concert, entitled “Sounds of the Season,” at the Buchanan Fine Arts Auditorium on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The Beaver Ridge Chorus is comprised of fourth and fifth graders. Several second grade classes also will perform at this concert. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

North Gwinnett High’s Touchdown Club will sponsor a “Holiday Tour of Homes” on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will visit homes in Wild Timber, Edinburgh, Rivermoore Park, and Settles Cove subdivisions. Proceeds will support the end-of-season football banquet. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Jone Cross, a Chattahoochee Elementary teacher, has been selected as one of two teachers in the country to travel with students to Antarctica Dec. 16 through Dec. 30. The selection was made by People to People Student Ambassadors, an organization Ms. Cross has been involved with as a teacher-leader since 1993. When she makes this journey, Ms. Cross will be the first member of the organization to travel with students to all seven continents. Amelia Sims, a Duluth High student also will make the expedition. Amelia has been traveling with this overseas educational program since she was a sixth grader. Amelia has traveled with Ms. Cross to China and Africa and with three other GCPS teachers to Europe and Australia and will be the first student in the history of the organization to visit all seven continents. Ms. Cross and Amelia will spend four days in South America before traveling to Antarctica. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “Teachers Up Close” this week (Nov. 24-30). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
Ÿ Adelphia on Channel 20
Ÿ Comcast on Channel 24
Ÿ BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Ÿ Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

The Simpson Elementary media center will sponsor an Ellis Island simulation for all fifth-grade classes on Dec. 5 at 12:30 p.m. in the media center. Students take on the persona of an immigrant from a country by researching and writing a diary about their trip to America. Students will arrive at “Ellis Island,” and go through examination centers staffed by parents who speak a second language. The “immigrants” portrayed by the students will be allowed to enter the U.S. or be deported, depending on actual U.S. country quotas from 1910, their persona’s physical and mental health, and whether they can “bribe” the officials. For more information, call 770-417-2400.

Camp Creek Elementary’s PTA will honor students who participated in the Sunshine Math program with an ice cream party on Dec. 11 for grades 3–5 and Dec. 12 for grades K–2. Sunshine Math is an enrichment program of weekly worksheets designed to challenge students beyond the normal math curriculum through problem-solving exercises. Although participation is optional and scores on the worksheets are not recorded, a significant number of the students have chosen to participate. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

North Gwinnett High is sponsoring a raffle drawing for a 2001 Chevy S-10 pick-up through Dec. 12.  The drawing will take place during halftime at the boys basketball game against Central Gwinnett High. The truck is on display at school near the weight room and a photo may be seen on the school Web site Any school organizations interested in raising funds may participate. Tickets will be sold for $5. Fifty percent of the ticket price goes to the organization and fifty percent goes to the school capital fund for athletic improvements. For more information, call Chris Culpepper at 770-271-5171.

Maxwell High School of Technology students opened their hearts and pantries to donate food items to the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministries. Over 1,600 food items were donated by Maxwell students and staff. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

The Physical Education department at Trickum Middle will sponsor a “Hoops for Heart” event to raise money for the American Heart Association on Dec. 3 and 4. Students raising $15 or more will have the opportunity to play in a faculty/student basketball game during their PE time. Last year, more than $2,500 was raised. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Shiloh High School is sponsoring an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Dec. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. in the old gym. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pound and be in general good health. Please contact Karen McKnight at 770-972-8471 or to make an appointment.

Dec. 6 will serve as “Community Outreach Day” at Norcross High. Student and adult volunteers will collect and sort donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations will be distributed to the Norcross Cooperative Ministries, which is in need of food, personal-care items, toys, and goodies for infants through teens. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

North Gwinnett High, the PTSA, and the North Gwinnett community have created the “Partnership for Academic Achievement.” Volunteers will meet with students during lunch to assist with a guided study program. Subject-specific tutoring opportunities also are available. For more information, call Mary Jane Hamre at 678-482-8543.

A group of Camp Creek Elementary second and third graders are taking beginning Spanish in a before-school class. Susan Venable, the instructor, is a veteran foreign language teacher from Trickum Middle. Each grade level meets two days a week (Mon./Wed. or Tues./Thurs.) from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Class sizes were limited and all 30 spots were filled. This is a semester-long commitment that started in September. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

A group of Camp Creek Elementary fourth and fifth graders are taking beginning strings in a before-school class. School secretary Susan Purcell, an orchestra director for more than 20 years, is teaching the course. Ms. Purcell has 25 students who meet from 3 to 3:45 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday.These students will perform at the December PTA meeting. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

Nov. 23-29 is National Family Week.

Nov. 26-28 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 11, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Nov. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.