News You Can Use - 02/12/2007

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
02/12/2007 - 02/18/2007

The Gwinnett Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place at the Gwinnett County Fair grounds on Feb. 9. More than 140 projects that placed first or second at local school fairs will be on display to the public from 5 to 7:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
First place winners at the Gwinnett fair are eligible to exhibit at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair on March 28-31 at the Athens Classic Center. From the State Fair, outstanding projects may advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair held May 13-19 in Albuquerque, NM. For more information, call Nikki Mouton, director of science, at 678-301-7036.

The Berkmar High Dugout Club and the Berkmar Cluster Schools Foundation will host the 4th Annual Taste of Berkmar on Feb. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the high school commons area. More than 28 restaurants will provide samples of their menus. Entertainment will be provided by elementary, middle, and high school groups and a silent auction will be held along with the tasting event. Visit for a list of participating restaurants. Tickets are $10 which includes 10 food coupons and an entry for door prizes. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the school or at the door. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-230-9058 or email

GCPS students recently participated in the Region II DECA competition, in the areas of marketing and other business related events. The top 132 region winners will compete at the state level conference in March. For a list of the Region II winners, e-mail Sue Peterson at For more information, call Jody Reeves at 678-301-7050.

Mill Creek High student Elizabeth (Lizzy) Trawick recently won an Education Theatre Association scholarship for a student planning to pursue a career in educational theatre. The award was announced at the State Thespian Conference held this past weekend. Only one of these $2,000 Education Theatre Association scholarships is awarded in each state. Georgia Thespians contribute $1,000 and the Educational Theatre Association (International Thespians) match this amount with an additional $1,000 contribution. A Mill Creek High student has received the award two of the three times it has been presented. For more information, call Richard Mitchem at 678-714-5850.

Peachtree Ridge High student Monte Howell won a $2,000 Georgia Thespian scholarship at the State Thespian Conference. Monte was one of only 11 students selected to win a scholarship from a field of more than 100 students who auditioned. For more information, call Diane Clausen at 678-957-3132.

The Peachtree Ridge High Fencing Team captured Bronze medals in two separate regional tournaments in the Women’s events on Feb. 3. Team captain Maggie Adams led the Lions at the Athletic Club Northeast regional foil tournament, competing against Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., University of Florida Fencing team, and several local high schools to capture the Bronze medal in the Women’s Foil event. Also competing were Chris Harper and Claire Putnam at a separate competition. Members of the Peachtree Ridge epee squad traveled to the Gladiator Gala, an open tournament in Rome, Ga. Epeeist Julie Tang captured the Bronze medal in Women’s epee. Also competing at the Gladiator Gala was Evan Gilchrist. The Lions next tournament will be on March 3 in Chattanooga with the Baylor School. On March 9 through 11, the Lions will compete in the North America Cup championships which will be held at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. The Lions will take on competitors from across the US and Canada in foil, saber, and epee. For more information, call Diane Clausen at 678-957-3132.

Berkmar High will host the 2007 Gallaudet University High School Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, Southeast Region, on Feb. 15-18 from 2 to 11 p.m. This is the first time a public school has been selected to host an Academic Bowl in the Southeast. The purpose of the annual Academic Bowl is to foster the pursuit of academic excellence, promote a spirit of academic competition and good sportsmanship, and encourage social opportunities for students. Teams made up of five players answer questions in eight academic categories. In addition to hosting the event, a team from Berkmar will compete. For more information about the competition, call Eva Parks at 678-301-7121.

Parkview High will host a College Fair on Feb. 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the commons area and old gym. This PTSA-sponsored event is open to all Gwinnett high school students. More than 60 college representatives will be on hand to share brochures and answer questions about their programs. For more information, call Nancy Hamel at 770-921-4355.

Louise Radloff Middle is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit student scholarships to the International Thespian Society on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Louise Radloff, GCPS Board chairman, will be honored with an Arts and Diversity Award presented by the International Thespians of Duluth organization for her contributions to the community and support of the arts at the fundraiser. Tickets may be purchased for $10 at the school or at the door. Activities will include a silent auction of student artwork, gift baskets, gift cards, a one-night hotel stay, and Hawks and Force game tickets. Staff and students will provide entertainment and food will be served at the event. For more information, call 678-245-3400.

G.H. Hopkins Elementary will host a visit from author David Lopez on Feb. 16. Mr. Lopez will answer questions from students while visiting classes. He will inform students about his writing and the process of writing. For more information, call 770-564-2661.

Illustrator Pam Alexander will visit three GCPS elementary schools in February. Walnut Grove Elementary will host a visit on Feb. 16, G.H. Hopkins Elementary will host a visit on Feb. 21, and Charles Brant Chesney Elementary will host a visit on Feb. 28. Ms. Alexander has illustrated three books about Georgia with the character Yumion the Onion. She will share about her books and the illustration process. For more information, call the local school.

The Duluth Center Stage Alliance presents “Harvey” on Feb.16 and 17 at 7 p.m. in the Duluth High theater. For more information about the play visit Tickets may be purchased for $6 from Vanette Vedder at Duluth High or at the door. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation will sponsor the Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant on Feb. 17 in the school theater. This year’s theme is the Wild, Wild, West. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore pageant will be held at 3 p.m., and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High School (PRHS) pageant begins at 7 p.m. The winner of the Miss PRHS Scholarship Pageant will receive a $1,000 scholarship. For more information, call Lynn Brunatti at 678-957-3166.

The Duluth High baseball team will sponsor a “100 Inning Game and Dinner” on Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Duluth High old gym. Tickets may be purchased for $12 and all proceeds benefit the Duluth High Baseball Dugout Club. For information and tickets, email Coach Bobby Link at or Sally Southerland at

GCPS will host the 2007 Gwinnett Reading Rally on Feb. 24 at Mill Creek High from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Gwinnett Readers Rally is a quiz-bowl competition for readers in grades 4-12. Forty-six teams will compete for the countywide championship. Readers will compete in ten-man teams using their knowledge of literature to answer questions based on a given list of books. Two winning teams from both the middle and high school levels will proceed to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a regional competition on March 3 in Augusta. The state playoffs will be held April 21 during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. For more information, call Leslie Greer at 770-232-3255.

“Math Rules - MR³” Learn the rules of “Superslide” and “One Time Only” this week on Math Rules - GCPS TV’s innovative and educational math series for elementary students and their parents. Join hosts Lisa Lee, K-12 mathematics coach, and Greta Loeber, math specialist, at Simpson Elementary, and special guest students as they problem-solve their way through these fun and educational games. This 30-min. program airs Feb. 12-17 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire - Ball State Electronic Field Trip” Join the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the National Park Service for a sobering visit to the Manzanar War Relocation Center. This national historic site provides a compelling classroom to relive the experience of Japanese Americans held captive during World War II, as well as the plight of countless nationalities that face discrimination and intolerance today. This is a tale of the indomitable Issei and Nisei generations. Learn through the emotional memories of survivors, and the invincible cheers of detainees’ baseball games that still echo across the desert valley. This 60-min. program airs live, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m.

“The Slave Trade - Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip” Beginning with the American Revolution, this program explores the U.S. law of 1807 that abolished the transatlantic slave trade. Meet the people who were involved in or influenced by this pivotal legislation: the enslaved, plantation owners, slave-ship captains, common seamen, government officials, navy officers, and anti-slavery activists. This 60-min. program airs live, Feb. 15, at 10 a.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 2” This video telecourse is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. This series airs in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and
8 p.m. Monday - Sunday; through March 18 (a new class airs each week, beginning on Monday).

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.

02/08/2007R.D. Head Elementary named Georgia School of Excellence (pdf)
02/05/2007Gwinnett recognizes top school counselors (pdf)
02/02/2007Berkmar High to host regional competition (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2008 include:
Feb. 22 and 23, 2007-- Superintendent and Cabinet meet to discuss FY 2008 requests
March 29 and 30, 2007-- Superintendent’s Recommended budget to Board
April 14, 2007-- Board budget work session
April 17, 2007-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
May 4, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education

February is Black History Month, and National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Feb. 14 and 15 are early release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

Feb 19 is a student teacher holiday OR snow make-up day.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during February. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Annistown Elementary
Arcado Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
Berkmar Middle
Camp Creek Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Corley Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula Middle
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Five Forks Middle
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
Parkview High
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.D. Head Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Rockbridge Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Snellville Middle
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
Walnut Grove Elementary