News You Can Use - 11/20/2006

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
11/20/2006 - 11/26/2006

Note: GCPS schools will be closed Nov. 22-24 for Thanksgiving Break, students return Nov. 27. The next News You Can Use… will be sent Nov. 30.

Two Frank N. Osborne Middle students will be recognized on Nov. 17 in the school’s media center by Principal John Campbell for their actions in an emergency. Brothers Luke and Joey O’Donnovan responded maturely and appropriately by dialing 9-1-1 when they encountered a neighbor in medical distress. For more information, call 770-904-5400.

Annistown Elementary kindergarten students will have a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 17 at noon in the cafeteria. For more information, call 770-979-2950.

The Peachtree Ridge High Roaring Lions Marching Band placed 2nd at the Old South Marching Festival and Competition Nov 4. The band received Superior ratings for Colorguard, Percussion, and Band, and had the highest music score. The band will travel to Hawaii to participate in the Waikiki Holiday Parade in November. For more information, visit

Twenty Berkmar Middle students with perfect attendance received a special reward to honor their accomplishment. On Nov. 3, these students attended a luncheon at Smokey Bones Restaurant. For more information, call 770-638-2800.
Smokey Bones Nov 5, 2006 002.jpgSmokey Bones Nov 5, 2006 027.jpg

Jerry Paxton, Technical Education teacher at Five Forks Middle, has been selected as the winner of the University of Georgia Education Technology Training Centers November 2006 Spotlight on Georgia Award. Mr. Paxton was nominated by Monya Phillips, the Local School Technology coordinator at Five Forks, for his integration of technology into the classroom. For more information, visit

This year’s theme for the Gwinnett County Council of PTA’s 2006-07 Reflections Contest was “My Favorite Place.” GCPS’ 1st-place winners will move on to state competition. Attached is a list of first place winners. For more information, e-mail Holly Melton at

Winner Insert-Reflections 2006-2007.doc

The Grayson High Engineering and Technology Education program has completed the Georgia State Program Certification process. The State of Georgia established a system for certification of Technology Education programs within the state. Recognized for maintaining the highest standards, the Grayson program was reviewed for instructional facilities and equipment, personnel, administration and support, curriculum and instruction. Along with the certification came a grant of $15,000. Teacher Charles Kachmar used the grant to upgrade the engineering laboratory, including the purchase of 15 VEX Robotic systems used to teach Power 7 Transmission. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

Spinner Atlanta will sponsor the Duluth High Robotics Club. The Norcross-based company will provide financial support and mentor students as the club prepares for competition in the FIRST Robotics competition. The regional competition will be held at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth in March. The team received a $5,000 check from Spinner Atlanta and also has applied for a national grant. Team members include Brandin Alsten, Rick Daneke, Jeff Holleman, and Brian Hysell, Scott Mann, and Josh Matthews. John Edgar is the club’s sponsor. For more information, call 770-476-5206.


To celebrate National Education Week at Oakland School, Pam Walker, the 2007 Georgia Teacher of the Year, will visit the school on Nov. 21 at 8 a.m. Ms. Walker will speak on the topics “Effective Teachers are Good Dancers” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teachers.” For more information, call David Ashton at 770-513-6800.

Level Creek Elementary will sponsor an “Empty Bowls Dinner” on Nov. 28 (Grades K-2) and on Nov. 30 (Grades 3-5) from 6-8 p.m. in the cafeteria. For $3 per person, participants will receive a meal of soup and a roll, and take home a student-made clay bowl. Donations will benefit the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. In addition, there will be student performances and an opportunity to meet Maureen Kornowa, the executive director of the North Gwinnett Co-op. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Rock Springs Elementary will host a three-day visit from author Diane Z. Shore Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Ms. Shore will share her book, “Bus-A-Saurus Bop.” For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Illustrator Pam Alexander will visit Gwin Oaks Elementary on Dec. 4, Norcross Elementary on Dec. 5, and Harbins Elementary on Dec. 7. Ms. Alexander, a former teacher, has illustrated three books about Georgia in the Yumion series. For more information, call the local school.

Charles Brandt Chesney Elementary classes recently held a pumpkin-decorating contest. Students and teachers choose a theme from a children’s book to decorate the pumpkin. For more information, call 678-542-2300.

Pinckneyville Middle Girls As Leaders (GALs) recently donated more than 1,100 items to the Battered Women’s Shelters in Gwinnett and Fulton counties. A presentation about domestic violence was made to GALs members. The next service project for the girls will benefit the Norcross Food Bank. Students will begin collecting items for a community garage sale on Dec. 2 and 3 to be held at the school. Gift cards will be purchased for the shelter and canned goods collected for the food bank.
For more information, call Bridget Guenthner at 770-263-0860.

“ArtStage –Veteran’s Day Concert”- GCPS TV is proud to present a special Veteran’s Day Program, performed by Norton Elementary 4th and 5th Grade Chorus. It’s a patriotic celebration you won’t want to miss. This 60-min. program airs Nov. 20-25 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Highlighting Excellence: Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year”- Join GCPS TV for a special presentation of the 2006-07 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year awards ceremony. This 2-hour program airs Nov. 24-26 at 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This program, a valuable language resource and learning opportunity, is now airing on GCPS TV. The 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially to the needs of educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series airs in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday–Sunday, with the final installment running through Nov. 19.

“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 Dec. 10 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon to 4 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 678-301-6460, 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.

11/16/2006Volunteers to build Kanoheda Elementary playground in one day (pdf)
11/15/2006Thanksgiving celebrations at Gwinnett schools (pdf)
11/14/2006Norcross High to host college fair (pdf)
11/09/2006New principal to lead Cedar Hill Elementary (pdf)
11/09/2006Berkmar High students selected as delegates to Anti-Defamation League (pdf)

Nov. 19-25 is National Family Week.

National Community Education Day is Nov. 21.

Nov. 22-24 is Thanksgiving break for students and teachers. GCPS offices are closed Nov. 23-24.

Dec. 7-20 is the Georgia End-of-Course Test Window.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 14, 2006, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during November. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary11/30
B.B. Harris Elementary11/28
Corley Elementary11/28
J.G. Dyer Elementary11/20
J.P. McConnell Middle11/27
Kanoheda Elementary11/30
Meadowcreek High11/30
Parkview High11/28
Rock Springs Elementary11/30
South Gwinnett High11/28
W.C. Britt Elementary11/30