News You Can Use - 02/21/2005

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
02/21/2005 - 02/27/2005

The Duluth High Chamber Orchestra has been selected to compete in the National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada, Feb. 23-26. The Festival takes place at the conference of the American String Teachers Association and National String Orchestra Association. The 41 member Duluth High orchestra will compete against the top student orchestras in the country. In addition to performing in the competition, each student will participate in a master class on his or her respective instrument– violin, viola, cello, or bass– taught by renowned master teachers. Duluth is one of four orchestras in the country selected to compete at the national level in the string orchestra division. Under the direction of Reva Paget and Dr. Peter Lemonds, the orchestra will perform four selections.

Students from Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh high schools participated in the German Convention at Camp Jackson in Covington, Ga., Feb. 4 and 5. Approximately 450 students attended this year's convention.
SKIT: 3rd place, Central Gwinnett HS
Level 3: 1st place, Jackie Mullen (Central Gwinnett HS)
3rd place, Brianne Frisco (Collins Hill HS)
Level 4: 2nd place, Andy Wright (Central Gwinnett HS)

Level 1: 2nd place, Heather Taylor (Collins Hill HS)
Level 2: 1st place, Becky Waggoner (Parkview HS)
3rd place, Cody Nichol (Parkview HS)
Level 3: 2nd place, Lorena Cazarex (Collins Hill HS)

Level 2: 2nd place, Kristin Hansen and Joanna Watkins (Brookwood HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Keida Ackerman and Kristin Frederiksen (North Gwinnett HS)
2nd place, Nathan Brand and Matthew Rapson (Peachtree Ridge HS)

Level 1: 1st place, Sean Macikowski (Peachtree Ridge HS)
3rd place, Seth Dalton (Collins Hill HS)
Level 2: 1st place, Cody Nichol (Parkview HS)
3rd place, Donovan Hennebery-Verity (Norcross HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Miriam Branson (North Gwinnett HS)
Level 4: 3rd place, Charlotte Carlstrom (Berkmar HS)

NACHERZAHLUNG (Story retelling):
Level 1: 1st place, Jesse Craft (Collins Hill HS)
3rd place, Jake Warner (Shiloh HS)
Level 2: 1st place, Patrick Russum (Brookwood HS)
3rd place, Debbie Prince (Brookwood HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Brianne Frisco (Collins Hill HS)
Level 5: 1st place, Audrey Jordon (Norcross HS)
2nd place, Charlotte Carlstrom (Berkmar HS)

Level 1: 2nd place, Anna Barker (Collins Hill HS)

Level 4: 3rd place, Audrey Jordan (Norcross HS)

Level 1: 3rd place, Seth Dalton (Collins Hill HS)
Level 4: 2nd place, Christina Franke (Norcross HS)

Level 1: 1st place, Jesse Craft (Collins Hill HS)
3rd place, Heather Taylor (Collins Hill HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Lorena Cazares (Collins Hill)
3rd place, Miriam Branson (North Gwinnett HS)

Level 1: 1st place, Heather Taylor (Collins Hill HS)
2nd place, Christian Santiago (Peachtree Ridge HS)
Level 2: 2nd place, Robbie Brinson (Brookwood HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Lorena Cazares (Collins Hill HS)
3rd place, Lorena Cazares (Collins Hill HS)
Level 4/5: 1st place, Christina Franke (Norcross HS)

Level 1: 1st place, Kate Hendershot (North Gwinnett HS)
Level 3: 1st place, Kevin Tarner (Central Gwinnett HS)

POSTERS: 3rd place, Zaneta Daniels/Anna Torrance (Brookwood HS)

HINDERNISLAUF (Obstacle Course):
3rd place, Kristen Taylor (Peachtree Ridge HS) and
Samantha Hood (Collins Hill HS)

VIDEO TAPES: 2nd place, Lakyn Brinkman (North Gwinnett HS)
3rd place, Stephen Joiner, Garrett Murck and Camie Duerste (Collins Hill HS)

MAPS: 1st place, Luis Farias (Berkmar)

T-SHIRTS: 2nd place, 3rd Year Class (North Gwinnett)
3rd place, Rey Pineda (Berkmar)

PHOTOGRAPHY: 3rd place, Kyle Lineberry (Shiloh)

Torten (Tortes): 2nd place, Patrick Russum (Brookwood)
Kuchen (Cakes): 1st place, Nicole and David Collister (Brookwood)
2nd place, Amanda Mosley (Collins Hill)

Brookwood High students won several honors at the State Beta Club Convention held in Atlanta Feb. 4– 6. Keith Jones won 1st place in the math competition. Dancers Andrea Barrett, Kate Hartmann, and Emily Oppelt, pianist Mary Reese, and violinist Rex Tzen, made it to the final round of competition. Elizabeth Debban placed 2nd in the pen and pencil art competition. Nick Rolader placed 2nd in the all-around scholarship competition, earning a $500 college scholarship. The Brookwood Beta scrapbook earned 2nd place with participation from Christina Bagnasco, Andrea Barrett, Chris Beebe, Elizabeth Debban, Kyle Dunbar, Kate Hartmann, Paige Ivey, Christine Lee, Rebecca Palmer, Mary Reese, and Rex Tzen. Quiz Bowl team members Megan Elsenbeck, Julie Reynolds, Nick Rolader, and Megan Yue earned 2nd place in the tournament. Cameron Secord was elected state Beta Club president for the 2005–06 school year. He will pursue National office as well. The Beta sponsors are Dee Anna Bean, Kristi Bryson, Leanne Foxworth, Deb Hughes, and Elizabeth Terry.

The Brookwood High Science Team earned 6th place in competition against 20 teams in the Regional Science Olympiad in Dahlonega on Feb. 12. Kevin Lee and Alex Tharpe won gold medals for Computing. Emily Kilgore and Crystal Phan won bronze medals for Chemical Identification. Other team members who placed were Sean Beyers, Jayme Chen, Matt Dittman, Robert Gittens Nicole Havill, Oge Imonugo, David Kilgore, Tiffany Kotak, Jason Kulpe, Justin Lansford, and Xuan Zhuang. Cindy Philpot and Heath Hinton are sponsors for the team.

The following students competed in the Gwinnett Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Students winning 1st place will go to state competition at the 57th Georgia Science and Engineering Fair at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., April 6–9. The 56th International Science and Engineering Fair will be held May 7-14 in Phoenix, Arizona.
1st Place
Brookwood High: Cecilia Kim, Megan Elsenbeck, and Julie Reynolds
Collins Hill High: Daniel Allen, Ryan Baker, Christina Chatham, Angela Clay, Tyler Cromey, Whitney Davis, Jackie Drouin, Justin Florio, Kate Gibson, Sonia Golemme, Sarah Groth, Alex Hall, Chris Johnson, Casey Nichols, Krishan Rajaram, Rachael Vaughan, Pauline Ventura
Duluth High: Kaitlin Best, Kaitlin Burns, Wendy Fujita, and Tara Thomson
Norcross High: Justin Chang
Parkview High: Saranya Selvaraj
Peachtree Ridge High: Berkeley Arakawa, Anna-Korine Hada, John Fannin, Matthew Newcomb, Mididoddi Prathyusha, Mitika Sethi, Jaclyn Sylvia and Xuan Vuong, Esther Yang, and Ja Young Kim

2nd Place
Collins Hill High: Brittany Bair, Megan Dunning, Nicole Duque, Shannon Kellar, Leah Hardy, Nicole Kroenberger, Devin O’Guin, Falzan Sayeed, and Courtney Telfare
Meadowcreek High: Loan Pham and Kha Trinh
Norcross High: Candace Jones
Peachtree Ridge High: Shalini Nemani

Shiloh High will host an assembly on Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. featuring the Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson of Big Bethel A.M.E. Church. Dr. Thompson will speak to students, staff, and community members about the contributions African Americans have made to the country. To make a reservation, call Kristie Barksdale at 770-978-5588, or send an e-mail to

W.C. Britt Elementary will host the program “Values of a Champion,” sponsored by Arby’s. The program features Courtney Shealy, 2000 Olympic medal winner at the Sydney games, who will teach the six Arby's Values (Dream Big, Work Hard, Get It Done, Play Fair, Have Fun, and Make a Difference.) She will meet with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students on Feb. 24. For more information and performance times, call 770-972-4500.

Berkmar High will present a Black History Month program in the school theater on Feb. 24 from 6–8 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Twenty-seven teams from across the state will compete in the 19th annual PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) Georgia Academic Decathlon at Berkmar High on Feb. 25 and 26. Gwinnett County Public Schools serve as host. The PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon is a competition in which teams of high school students compete in 10 academic events, individually as well as a team. The Super Quiz Oral Relay will be held on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Berkmar High Auditorium. The Berkmar High team, coached by IV Bray, will compete in the state meet. Berkmar teams have placed first in the state the last two years. For more information, call Lynn Varner at 800-334-6861.

The top 10 GCPS spellers from the Feb. 6 county Bee will compete in the regional (district) bee on Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. in the Mill Creek High theater. For more information, e-mail Cindy Gaskins at

Kanoheda Elementary will host a Black History Month program on Feb. 25, at 9:15 a.m. in the cafeteria. Dr. Angela Pringle, principal of Meadowcreek High, will be a guest speaker. In addition, the Meadowcreek High Dancers and the Kanoheda Chorus will perform. The program will include a video created by 4th grade teacher Donald Parks and music teacher Merle Soodyall. An award will be presented to Board of Education member Louise Radloff for her commitment to education and to the Berkmar Cluster schools. Kanoheda Partners in Education also will be recognized. For more information, call Shelaine Watson in the Parent Center at 770-376-8647.

The Simonton Elementary PTA will sponsor an International Night on Feb. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students and their families will share food, wear costumes, present artifacts, and showcase their talent. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

The Grayson Elementary PTA will have its next meeting on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Chris Rumble, also known as the “Reading Guitar Man.” Mr. Rumble promotes literacy through music. He is a singer, musician, author, and illustrator. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

The Level Creek Elementary PTA will host the school’s first Academic Fair on March 1 and 2. This fair will include projects in the academic areas of science, social studies, and mathematics. Each class will have the opportunity to enter a class project in any of the subject areas. The projects may be viewed on March 1 from 5–7 p.m. Judges will include members of the community as well as county teachers and administrators. Winners will be announced at the end of the day on March 2. For more information, call 770-904-7950 or visit the school Web site at

SAT tests will take place at Buchanan High School of Technology throughout the academic year. The next SAT I test will be administered on March 12 in building F. Preregistration is required. This is the first administration of the new SAT, which includes a writing portion. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

Grayson Elementary will host a Summer Computer Camp at the school from June 27 to July 1. Cathy Clements and Lisa Davis will facilitate the morning and afternoon sessions. The cost is $90 for each session. Maximum class size is 25 students. Students will explore the use of technology for reading and writing, use technology for research and information, create compositions, explore the Internet, and make math flashcards. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

During the month of February, Grayson Elementary students will celebrate Black History Month. Students will research famous black Americans to learn facts that could help them answer trivia questions and win prizes. Each class will design a “quilt square” to be assembled and displayed in the main office. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

The Grayson Elementary Chess Club has successfully concluded its first session with Championship Chess. More than 50 students participated on Thursday afternoons during the months of January and February, learning how to play the game of chess. The second session begins on March 10 and runs for seven weeks.

Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers
A committee of public and school librarians has compiled a list of 20 outstanding books for high school–aged students to consider for the first ever Georgia Peach Award. The winner will be announced in April. For a list of the books, visit Promotional activities at GCPS high schools are listed below.

Mill Creek High media specialists Julie Hatcher and Cheryl Spotts created a display with short descriptions of the Georgia Peach books, posters, and displayed copies of each title. A book a day has been highlighted in the school’s daily video announcements. Bookmarks have been created with the 20 titles on them. Several titles have been bookmarked in Language Arts classes. The Mill Creek parent/community newsletter has featured the book list. An article was published in the Mill Creek student newspaper.

Shiloh High media specialists Debbie Hysong and Andy Walcott created a display in the Media Center which includes a display of the books, a ballot box, bookmarks, and posters. Students who vote for a book are eligible for a prize. Drawings will take place at the end of February, and prizes will be given to those students. Language Arts teachers also are promoting the books.

Norcross High media specialists Kay Day and Denise Koplan displayed signs around the school and promoted the books in Language Arts classes. The books were advertised in the school newspaper and on the scrolling announcements. Promotional activities revolve around this theme:
Didn't get a chance to vote in the big election? Here is your chance!

Simonton Elementary will sponsor a family dinner on Feb. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Steak ’n Shake in Snellville. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to the school. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host a Relay for Life Spring Cleaning Yard Sale on March 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

During the months of January and February, Meadowcreek High students and faculty members sponsored several activities to raise money for tsunami victims. Events include a Blue Ribbon Drive, Classroom Spare Change Fund, Pledge Campaign, and a Student-Faculty Basketball The school will donate more than $3,000 to tsunami relief efforts. Proceeds will be presented to the American Red Cross staff on Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at a school assembly. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Tsunami relief efforts are continuing at Trickum Middle. Checks should be made out to Trickum Middle School or TMS, with "Tsunami Relief" annotated in the lower left hand corner of the check. On Feb. 21 and 24, the Student Council will provide “Trickum Tags” to students who donate $3 to the drive. These are metal dog tags engraved with either a tiger or a paw print. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

In observance of Children’s Dental Health Month in February, Georgia Perimeter College’s Dental Hygiene Program hosted Seal Georgia day to provide dental sealants at no charge to Rockbridge Elementary 3rd grade students with little or no access to dental care. For more information, call Barbara T. Obrentz, Media Relations Coordinator at Georgia Perimeter College, at 404-244-5795.

The Lilburn Middle Young Voices United (YVU) program allows students to create and present a positive attitude for the staff and students at Lilburn Middle through the use of Fine Arts, Theater Arts, Creative Writing, and 3D Art. Recently the group performed “Share The Dream” at Union Grove Middle School in Henry County, the Imperial Healthcare Center in Atlanta, and at the Gwinnett County Drama Conference in Duluth.
Seventh grade members include Terese Atkins, Tenesha Brown, Chrysta Cribb, Kanesha Grant, Andre Gray, Aaron Kersey, Maria Panizo, Shakeel Patel, Karen Perez, Monica Roblero, and Arezo Sarwar. Eighth grade members include Jamaal Bush, Klarissa Darne, Yoni Davis, Duc-Hanh Ngyuen, Ahmed Islam, and Justyn Williams-Riley. For more information, call 770-921-1776.

“ArtStage–Peter and the Wolf” The musical fairytale “Peter and the Wolf” comes to life this week on GCPS TV’s ArtStage. The Brookwood High Dance Department and Honors Orchestra combine their talents to bring you this favorite children's classic. Program airs Feb. 21-27 at 2 and 8 p.m.

“Martha Graham Dance Company–PW/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” Known as “one of the great companies of the world,” the Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest contemporary dance company in America and one of its most celebrated. Company members discuss the legacy of Martha Graham and demonstrate the technique that continues to influence dancers today. Program airs Feb. 21–27 at 7 p.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 22 on GCPS TV. The 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

February is Black History Month and American Heart month.

Monday, February 21 is a student and teacher holiday OR snow make-up day (priority 1).

Presidents’ Day is February 21.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during February. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford ES678-924-5300Lanier MS
Alton C. Crews MSFeb770/982-6940Lawrenceville ES
Annistown ES7-Feb770/979-2950Lilburn ES
Arcado ESFeb770/925-2100Lilburn MS
B. B. Harris ES22-Feb770/476-2241Mason ES770/232-3370
Beaver Ridge ESFeb770/447-6307McConnell MS770/554-1000
Benefield ESFeb770/962-3771McKendree ES678/377-8933
Berkeley Lake ES770/446-0947Meadowcreek ES
Berkmar HSFeb770/921-3636Meadowcreek HS
Bethesda ES770/921-2000Mountain Park ES
Brookwood ES28-Feb770/736-4360Nesbit ES
Brookwood HS770/972-7642Norcross ES
Camp Creek ES25-Feb770/921-1626Norcross HS
Cedar Hill ES770/962-5015North Gwinnett HS
Centerville ES23-Feb770/972-2220Norton ES
Central Gwinnett HS770/963-8041Oakland Center
Chattahoochee ESFeb770/497-9907Parkview HS
Collins Hill HSFeb770/682-4100Parsons ES678/957-3050
Cooper ES770/554-7050Partee ES
Corley ES15-Feb678-924-5330Peachtree ES
Craig ES770/978-5560Peachtree Ridge HS
Creekland MS770/338-4700Pharr ES
Dacula ES4-Feb770/963-7174Pinckneyville MS
Dacula HS25-Feb770/963-6664R.D. Head ES
Dacula MSFeb770/963-1110Rebecca Minor ES
Duluth HS15-Feb770/476-5206Richard Hull MS
Duluth MS770/476-3372Riverside ES678/482-1000
Duncan Creek ES678/714-5800Rock Springs ES
Five Forks MS11-Feb770/972-1506Rockbridge ES770/448-9363
Fort Daniel ES4-Feb770/932-7400Shiloh ES
Freeman's Mill ESFeb678/377-8955Shiloh HS
GIVE CenterFeb770/338-4898Shiloh MS
Grayson ESFeb770/963-7189Simonton ES
Grayson HSFeb770/554-1071Simpson ES770/417-2400
Gwin Oaks ES11-Feb770/972-3110Snellville MS
Harbins ES770/682-4270South Gwinnett HS770/972-4840
Harmony ES770/945-7272Stripling ES
Hopkins ESFeb770/564-2661Sugar Hill ES770/945-5735
Ivy Creek ES4-Feb678/714-3655Summerour MS
J. G. Dyer ES7-Feb770/963-6214Suwanee ES
J.C. Magill ESFeb770/554-1030Sweetwater MS
J.E. Richards MS8-Feb770/995-7133Sycamore ES678/714-5770
Jackson ES10-Feb770/682-4200T. Carl Buice Center
K. E. Taylor ESFeb770/338-4680Trickum MS
Kanoheda ES3-Feb770/682-4221W. C. Britt ES770/972-4500
Knight ES770/921-2400Walnut Grove ES