News You Can Use - 02/11/2008

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
02/11/2008 - 02/17/2008

Duluth Middle and Trickum Middle teams will advance to the state finals in the PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) Academic Bowl for middle grades competition on Feb. 9 at Georgia College and State University. Both teams emerged as winners from a field of 23 during the PAGE Semi-finals. For more information, call Linda Koch or Sylvia Barteaux, coaches at Trickum MS; or Linda Laperre and Cary Sell, coaches at Duluth MS.

The Third Annual Gwinnett County Readers Rally Bowl was held Feb. 2, at Collins Hill High with 56 teams competing in the countywide reading bowl. Winners at the high school level were Mill Creek (1st), Collins Hill (2nd), and Norcross (3rd). Winners at the middle school level were Frank N. Osborne (1st), Creekland (2nd), and J.P. McConnell. Elementary winners were Ivy Creek (1st), Peachtree (2nd), and Brookwood (3rd). First and second place teams at the middle and high school levels will proceed to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a Georgia Eastern Regional competition scheduled for Feb. 9 in Augusta. The state playoffs between the regional wining teams will be held March 1, during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens.

South Gwinnett High will hold the school’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the commons area. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

J.C. Magill Elementary media specialist Kristie Michalowski won the 2008 Intellectual Freedom Award sponsored by the Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) and ProQuest. Ms. Michalowski will be recognized at the state library annual conference in the fall. For more information, call 770-554-1030.

The Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton awarded grants to four Gwinnett teachers. Felisha Keturah Coney of Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, Jennifer Fell of Mill Creek High, Deanna Prosser of R.L. Norton Elementary, and Catherine Quinn of Peachtree Elementary were awarded more than $3,300 in grants. For more information, call Andrea Leckie of the Junior League at 678-482-4364, or visit

Duluth High’s Chamber Choir performed with the Louisiana State University A Capella Choir recently. The Duluth High Chamber Choir is conducted by choral teacher, Greg Smith. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Suwanee Elementary, Creekland Middle, and Frank N. Osborne Middle will send teams to the First LEGO League State competition on Feb. 9 at Georgia Tech. For more information, visit, or call the local school.

GCPS had 10 “best of show” and “category” winners at the Shutter Sense and Non-sense exhibit at the Carisma Gallery in Buford. In addition, there were 20 students who earned honorable mentions for their photographs. For more information, call Norcross High Teacher Carisa Griffin at 770-448-3674. For a complete list of winners call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

GCPS elementary students will decorate posters to hang at the Atlanta Veterans Medical Center on Clairmont Rd. during the week of Feb. 10-16. Vulcan Materials Co. is providing personalized posters to each school to decorate for the veterans as part of the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans event.

Georgia’s first lady will visit Mill Creek High on Feb. 12 at noon. Student Tory Rodriguez received the “Champion for Children Award,” which is sponsored by Ms. Perdue. Tory was honored for her work with the Prom-o-rama program, which collects prom dresses, shoes, and jewelry and donates them to a foster shelter so young girls can attend a prom. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Duluth High Juntos Committee will host an open house for Latino students and their parents on Feb. 12 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the cafeteria. Latin American cuisine, entertainment, and helpful information about the community will be available. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Charles Brant Chesney Elementary will hold a garage sale on Feb. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. during early release. Proceeds will be used to purchase Scholastic books for classroom libraries. Parents are invited to shop before and after student-teacher conferences. Donations for the sale may be dropped off at the school between 8 and 10 a.m. For more information, call 678-542-2300.

The Peachtree Ridge High Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club will sell cakes for Valentine’s Day in February at the Mane Event school store. They may be purchased for $7. This student-run business will bake and ice cakes every Monday after school. The goal is to support organizational needs, while empowering students to participate in a real business world endeavor. For more information, call Linda Brimmer at 678-957-3100.

Norcross Elementary staff and students participated in “Give to the Troops,” a nation-wide letter and card writing activity. More than 400 cards and letters were written by K-5th grade classes. These cards and letters will be sent to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for Valentine’s Day. For more information, call Minnie Tee at 770-982-9238.

Peachtree Ridge High will sponsor the 2nd Annual Black History Month Oratory Contest on Feb. 15. Students will recite a notable, historically significant speech to a panel of judges. The top three winners will receive prizes. For more information, call Seth Hersch, teacher, at 678-957-3138.

The Berkmar High Deaf Academic Bowl team will travel to Talladega, Ala., to compete in the South Eastern Deaf Academic Bowl on Feb. 15 and 16. Sixteen teams from Southeastern states will compete. Berkmar established its team in 2004 and has had great success over the past 4 years. Team members are Tiffany Slieff, Michael Gibson, and Justin Malone. Tiffany is captain and a fourth year player. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Duluth Middle will host the school’s 2nd Annual Heritage Night on Feb. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Staff, community members, and students are encouraged to dress in cultural attire and bring a dish representative of their heritage. Heritage Night will include food, fun, and student entertainment. Student cultural exhibits will be on display. This event is free and open to the community. For more information, call Counselor Nicole Colbert at 770- 476-3372.

The Duluth High Student Council will sponsor a “Support the Troops” campaign through Feb. 22. Donations of handy wipes, hand sanitizer, lip balm, beef jerky, and individually wrapped hard candy will be distributed to the troops. The class collecting the most items will win a pizza party. For more information, contact Teacher Jerry Hancock, at or call 770-476-5206.

The Collins Hill Education Foundation (CHEF) will sponsor a Hometown Hoedown on Feb. 23 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, located at 2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford. Tickets are $45 per person (tax deductible) and include all of the following activities: Tex-Mex fare, line dancing, a DJ, live and silent auctions, Texas Hold’em tables, caricatures, old time photographer, and lasso lessons. Proceeds will support grant funding for innovative programs at the schools in the Collins Hill Cluster. Tickets may be purchased by visiting

The 2008 GCPS Spelling Bee competition narrowed the field to 12 finalists. From those twelve, Asad Ladhani of Suwanee Elementary prevailed as the winner. All 12 participants will advance to the District 3 Spelling Bee on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in the Collins Hill High theater. Approximately 32 students from area school systems will compete with the winner and alternate of the District 3 Bee moving on to the State Spelling Bee in Atlanta on March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Georgia State University Student Center. For more information, contact Carey McDurmon, the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, at
Below is a list of the top 12 GCPS finalists.
Cory Bhowmik Trickum Middle
Kari Burden Creekland Middle
Norris Davis, III Dacula Elementary
Rheanna Hearne Shiloh Middle
Naveed Khan Sweetwater Middle
Asad Ladhani Suwanee Elementary
Robert Martin Frank N. Osborne Middle
Andrew Min Summerour Middle
Surya Narayanan Chattahoochee Elementary
Rodrigo Soares Duncan Creek Elementary
J.J. Stewart Dr. M.H. Mason, Jr. Elementary
May “Quinn” Wong Duluth Middle

During “Read Across America Week,” Representative Tom Rice will visit Monarch School and read to students. Rep. Rice will read on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

Students in the Dacula Middle Multicultural Club will sponsor a Multicultural Night on Feb. 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Activities include food tasting, a tour of artifacts from around the world, and performances by Dacula Middle students. For more information, call Nicole Anderson-Irish or Elethia Rhoden at 770-963-1110.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary will host an International Festival on Feb. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food and entertainment from different cultures will be available. A Chinese dragon will also perform. For more information, call Parent Outreach Liasion Adriana Ledon at 678-957-0863.

Simonton Elementary held an International Festival in February. The theme for the festival was “Taking a Walk in Our Countries Through Reading and Writing.” Activities included writing projects, artifacts from around the world, music, and food from different countries. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (GEHC) is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are GCPS, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student field studies and activities Mon.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

Feb. 16, 1 - 2:30 p.m., Environmental Club: Club Method (Middle and High School Club), free
Participants will have the opportunity to gain work and team-building skills for future resumes, develop problem-solving skills, and participate in environmental challenges and earn community service hours. Becoming a Club Method member will allow you the opportunity to expose yourself to the outdoors. Please call the center to register.

Feb. 23, 1 - 4 p.m., Girl Scout Program: Listening to the Past, $6 per person, center admission not included
This program introduces participants to the importance of understanding history. Activities include visiting a local archaeological site, looking at artifacts, and interviewing an older individual in the community. Badge is included. Pre-register and pay by February 8.

March 8, 1 p.m., Brer Rabbit: “Tales From the Briar Patch,” combination tickets available: family of four-$25, adults $10, children $6
Professional Storyteller Chetter Galloway will entertain and educate with the Brer Rabbit tales that make you laugh out loud and teach important lessons in life. Registration required.

“GCPS Focus” This week’s Focus will take a closer look at the changes to Georgia’s graduation requirements, issues on the horizon for Gwinnett schools, and a reunion of Gwinnett’s student leaders. This 30-minute program airs daily at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Math Rules” Watch for the 7th episode of “Math Rules” airing this week on GCPS TV. MR7 features students utilizing math skills and strategies as they play Fraction Fill-in and 3D Shapes. This 30-minute program airs live at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 11-16.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through March 9 on GCPS TV. This 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers will learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Each Monday, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot. The series runs through April 6.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

02/07/2008 Grayson High engineering program tops in the nation
02/06/2008 GCPS Foundation Fund receives $20,000 contribution from the Nordson Foundation
02/05/2008 Gwinnett high school science fair to feature 142 projects
02/04/2008 Gwinnett honors top school counselors during National School Counseling Week
02/01/2008 GCPS middle school students to compete in second annual middle school science and engineering fair

February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

Early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences is Feb. 13-14.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 14, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Feb. 18 is a student/teacher holiday.

March 3 is Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

March 5 is the Grade 5 Writing Assessment.

March 3-7 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, National Foreign Language Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Feb. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Annistown Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood High
Central Gwinnett High
Creekland Middle
Dacula Middle
Five Forks Middle
Freeman's Mill Elementary
GIVE Center East
GIVE Center West
Grayson High
Harmony Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pharr Elementary
R.D. Head Elementary
Snellville Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary