News You Can Use - 12/03/2007

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
12/03/2007 - 12/09/2007

Brookwood High Orchestra Director Greg Pritchard played bassoon in the orchestra accompanying singer Josh Groban for a segment on “Opra’s Favorite Things,” which aired on Nov. 20. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Teacher Sonia Adams of Charles Brant Chesney Elementary will appear in in a video commemorating Robert McNair and honoring her alma mater the University of South Carolina (USC). Ms. McNair was one of the first recipients of the Robert McNair sholarship. Representatives from USC will be at the school to interview and film Ms. Adams on Dec. 5. For more information, call 678-542-2300.

Camp Creek Elementary was honored as the top recycler in the group category for American Recycle Day from Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. The school was awarded a $100 prize for recycling 138 pounds of aluminum and 1,220 pounds of newspapers. For more information, call Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Director Connie Wiggins at 770-822-5187.

GCPS had 15 students among the 50 finalists for the Georgia High School Drawing Contest. SCAD-Atlanta invited Georgia high school educators to submit student artwork for the competition. The students were from Brookwood, Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, and South Gwinnett high schools. The work of the top 50 finalists will be featured in a juried exhibition at SCAD-Atlanta in January. For more information, call SCAD-Atlanta Media Relations Manager Emily Gourgues at 404-253-2759.

Peachtree Ridge Foundation President Kevin Butler received an award for his outstanding service to the Foundation, serving as president for four years. Dr. Steve Flynt, Peachtree Ridge High principal, welcomed Mike Stokke as the new president. For more information, call 678-957-3100. (Photo available upon request.)

The Duluth High Center Stage Alliance will present “30/60” on Dec.7 and 8 at 7 p.m. Performers act out 30 plays in 60 minutes in random order. The plays are original and cover a variety of themes including comedy and drama. Tickets may be purchased for $5. For more information, e-mail Vanette Vedder, drama teacher, at

During the month of December, Jennifer Klaas-Taylor's classes at Brookwood Elementary will do an indepth book study of the Charles Dicken's book “A Christmas Carol.” Activities during the book study include students making books about Charles Dickens, sampling plum pudding and wassail, playing Victorian parlor games, and writing songs about the story characters. Students will also listen to a 1930s radio version of the story and watch a movie of the story to compare to the book. For more information, call 770-736-4360.

Berkmar High students, staff, and community members are invited to participate in Project Warmth by decorating a “Giving Tree” with donations of mittens, socks, scarves, hats, and gloves throughout the month of December. Local charities will benefit from these donations. For more informaiton, call 770-921-3636.

Choruses from Level Creek, Riverside, and Suwanee elementary schools will perform at the annual Old Town Holiday Festival and Caboose Lighting on Dec. 1. Events begin at 5 p.m. in the historic Old Town commercial district on Main Street. For more information, visit

The Ivy Creek Elementary 5th grade chours will present a holiday musical “Twas One Crazy Night Before Christmas” on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. after a PTA meeting. Performances will also take place during the day on Dec. 6 at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. For more information, call Susan Eyring, assistant principal, at 678-714-3655.

Patrick Elementary will host a “Polar Express Night” on Dec. 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Parents, students and teachers are invited to wear their pajamas to school that night. Twenty-five staff members will read their favorite books. Chorus students will perform carols, and cookies and milk will be served in the cafeteria. In addition, on Dec. 13, kindergarten students will sing holiday songs at the PTA meeting at 7 p.m. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

Rock Springs Elementary will host a “Polar Express Night” on Dec. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Families are invited to visit the school to hear holiday stories and enjoy cookies and milk. Everyone wears their pajamas for this special night of fun. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Camp Creek Elementary 5th grade students will create a snow village on Dec. 10 and 11. Each student will design and build a house or business model. On Dec. 12, the models will come together on construction day in the Media Center to create a wintry wonderland. For more information, call Media Specialist Linda Houghton at 770-806-3778.

Level Creek Elementary will host a PTA meeting on Dec. 11 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Following the meeting, music teacher Adam Heidenreich will direct an original musical production he wrote called “The Big Chill.” For more information, call 770-904-7950.

The Fort Daniel Elementary Lion Cub Chorus will perform “Celebrate the Season” on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-932-7400.

Camp Creek Elementary 5th graders will perform a holiday musical on Dec. 17 and 18 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. both days. Each day will feature a different cast of students. For more information, call Media Specialist Linda Houghton at 770-806-3778.

Jessica Jones’s students at Chattahoochee Elementary will perform the holiday play “True Spirit of the Season” on Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Brookwood Elementary had a visit from Jason Bulger, relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. The visit was part of a goal setting/motivational guidance program sponsored by the school’s counseling department. The “Jason Bulger Challenge” is an activity that rewards students who have shown improvement. Photo available upon request. For more information, call Brookwood Elementary Counselor David S. Young at 770-736-4360.

Students in Carol Clyde’s class at Mill Creek High wrote letters to a soldier in Iraq. In return, they received individual letters with a flag patch in each, and a flag that was flown in Iraq. For more information, call Carol Clyde at 678-714-5850.

Level Creek Elementary hosted an Empty Bowls Dinner as a fundraiser. For a $3 donation, a small meal was served at the school. The PTA collected coats before the dinner. Proceeds from the meal and all the coats were donated to the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry in Buford. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

The Level Creek Elementary Heritage Program helped students learn about cultural diversity at the school. Students and staff members decorated paper dolls using information from their background and heritage. The dolls were displayed in the halls of the school. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

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 or call 770-904-3500.

Dec. 1, noon to 4 p.m., Science with Santa, $12 per child, $8 per adult (13 and over), advanced registration required
Join Santa and his “elves” for this unique holiday celebration. Fun games, prizes and special activities in Santa’s Secret Lab. Call 770-904-3500 to register. Limited to the first 300 children. $15 per child, $10 per adult at the door.

Dec. 8, 1 to 3 p.m., Beeswax Ornaments-Great Gift Idea, $20 per participant
Limited to 10 students ages 12 and up. Using natural beeswax, we will melt, pour, and form ornaments to decorate and scent your home. Students will learn about beeswax, its various uses, and enjoy some natural honey with crackers. Pre-register for this event by Dec. 1.

Dec. 8, 3 to 3:45 p.m., Where’s the North Pole?, free with paid admission
Staff explores and teaches how to make a homemade compass. Can you find the North Pole? This activity is appropriate for young scientists.

Dec. 15, 3 p.m., Back-To-Basics Bird Feeder-Family Activity, $5 per family
Make your own bird feeder for your feathered friends to enjoy during winter. GEHC staff will help with assembly of the bird feeders and participants will receive a free poster.

Dec. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Adopt-A-Stream Introduction/Chemical Monitoring Workshop, free
Have you ever wondered what might be lurking in your nearby stream? Find out all about the creepy crawly critters that live in streams and indicate water quality. Bring your lunch and boots if you have them. Call 770-904-3505 to register.

Dec. 26-29, Winter activities, free with paid admission
Water Pressure Gauge 11 a.m. -- Gravity works its force on everything on earth. In this activity gravity puts the pressure on water. Ages 7-10
Winter Walk 2 p.m. -- Ever wonder what is going on outside during the colder months? Join an educator as they explore trails during this seasonal change and see what you can find. Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing. Meet at the ticket counter. Great for families! Walks will be adjusted according to audience.
Making Paper 3-4 p.m. -- Join us as we learn how to make paper by reusing scraps of paper. Be prepared to get a little messy during this experience. Ages 6-10.

“The Nine Who Made a Difference - Ball State Electronic Field Trip (EFT)” It has been 50 years since the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock. Join the rangers and other special guests of this national historic site to examine the issues and compelling stories that have evolved from the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. This 60 min. program airs live on Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.

“Founders or Traitors - Colonial Williamsburg EFT” The months of late 1776 were “the times that try men’s souls.” Join Edward Tutledge, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams as they attend a conference with British admiral Lord Howe, hoping to end the American rebellion peacefully. Discover the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the risks they took. This 60 min. program airs live on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 2” This 10-part advanced Spanish language series is designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday - Sunday, through January 6. A new class will air each week beginning on Monday.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through Dec. 25 on GCPS TV. This 60-minute program airs Mon.–Thurs. at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. 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: 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.
11/28/2007Foundation instrumental in establishment of DECA Scholarship (pdf)
11/27/2007GCPS elementary schools presented with donation of materials on autism (pdf)
11/26/2007Parkview High teacher named 2007 Georgia Social Studies Teacher of the Year (pdf)
11/21/2007GCPS recognized with 19th consecutive “Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting” (pdf)
11/20/20077 Gwinnett educators earn Master Teacher certification (pdf)

Dec. 3-20 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. 13, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Early release for high school exams is Dec. 18-20.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Dec. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Annistown Elementary12/11
Brookwood High12/4
Camp Creek Elementary12/14
Dacula High12/7
Fort Daniel Elementary12/7
Glenn C. Jones Middle12/13
Ivy Creek Elementary12/7
Kanoheda Elementary12/7
Mill Creek High12/11
Norcross Elementary12/7
Patrick Elementary12/7
R.L. Norton Elementary12/7
Riverside Elementary12/11
Rock Springs Elementary12/6
Rockbridge Elementary12/12
Suwanee Elementary12/10
Sweetwater Middle12/13

Sue Peterson
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Instructional Support Center
Superintendent's Office 1.288
437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW
Suwanee, GA 30024-2978
Phone 678-301-6020
Fax 678-301-6030