News You Can Use - 03/24/2008

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
03/24/2008 - 03/30/2008

March 21 is a student and teacher holiday.

Students from Jonathan Clifton’s Economic class at Mill Creek High will sponsor a Car Show on March 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. A $15 donation to the American Cancer Society allows participants to show their car, truck, import, or bike. Trophies will be awarded to the Top 10 Favorites and prizes will be awarded-- including a car stereo. The event is free to spectators. Other activities include a silent auction and BBQ for sale. For more information, visit,or email

Duluth High senior and Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet Michelle Lanford received an appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Michelle begins her service in July after graduation.

10 GCPS high schools participated in the 2008 13th District Georgia Music Educators Association’s Large Performance Group Evaluation. The 20 different student groups, representing these 10 high schools, earned a final rating of Superior, with 11 groups earning straight Superiors from all judges. The students competed in symphonic bands, concert bands, and symphonic winds. The schools that earned superior ratings were from the following schools: Brookwood High, Collins Hill High, Grayson High, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Mill Creek High, Norcross High, North Gwinnett High, Parkview High, Peachtree Ridge High, and Shiloh High. For more information, call Fine Arts Director Robert Andrews at 678-301-7015.

GCPS will announce its School Bus Managers of the Year, and School Bus Monitor of the Year at its annual recognition banquet on Monday, March 31, 2008. The recognition will take place at the Winfield Hall in Duluth at 7:00 p.m. Media representatives interested in covering the event should notify Communication and Media Relations at 678-301-6020.

Two members of the Parkview High JROTC Rifle Team earned All State honors. Elizabeth Olivares and Melissa Quartarone will be recognized at the state rifle championships at Ft. Benning Georgia for finishing the season with two of the highest top-ten averages in the state. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

The Brookwood High Dance Department was one of 12 programs accepted to perform at the 9th National High School Dance Festival. A total of 165 performances from 74 schools from across the United States, Canada and Australia were reviewed in December by a seven-member adjudication committee. Brookwood performed a piece entitled “Intricacies,” choreographed by senior Katie Fletcher. Dance performers were Katie Fletcher, Lauren Ring, Sydney Brunelle, Nicole Ranieri, and Mallory Retter. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Georgia Department of Education invited the staff of North Gwinnett High to submit items to an online repository of lessons to support advisement programs around the state. The school was identified as a leader for participation in this statewide collaboration through data collected from the Spring 2007 High School Survey that indicates North Gwinnett is a leader in providing quality advisement services to students. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Students from K.E. Taylor Elementary and Five Forks Middle recently participated in World Math Day where more than three-quarters of a million students set a new world record for the most math questions answered in a day. By participating in the competition to answer the most math questions correctly, students from more than 20,000 schools in more than 100 countries answered a total of 182,455,169 questions during a 24-hour period, quickly eclipsing this year’s 50 million question goal and shattering last year’s record of 38,904,275. For more information, visit

Duluth Middle placed 1st and Trickum Middle placed 2nd at the Parkview High School Panther Bowl for Middle Schools, an academic competition. Both teams competed against 32 other schools in the state. For more information, call Teacher Linda Koch at 770-476-3372.

Teams from 48 middle schools across Georgia competed in 12 rounds of competition at the Georgia Academic Team Association (GATA) State Middle School Tournament. A team from Duluth Middle earned 4th place-- the only Gwinnett team to win an award. For more information, call Teacher Linda Koch at 770-476-3372.

Duluth High senior Meng Lee has been named Gifted Student of the Year at his school; in addition, he is the recipient of the Ruth Cowan $500 Scholarship. This is the third year in a row that a Duluth High student has won this scholarship. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Duluth High Mock Trial Team competed in the Gwinnett Region of the State Mock Trial Championship against 15 other schools from Georgia. The following students were honored with individual awards.
· Kameron Dawson was admitted to the Student State Bar of Georgia.
· Roger Ou was admitted to the Student Bar with Honors.
· Lexi Anderson and Kameron Dawson each received an Outstanding Attorney Award at State.
· Kayla McKenzie received an Outstanding Witness Award.
For more information, call 770-476-5206.

On March 25 from 3:15 to 5 p.m., teachers Lucy Strother and Jennie Virgin of Peachtree Elementary will take their students to a local business to participate in office work and learn about international relations with workers from other countries. Students will participate in community service and environmental education by learning how to keep their communities enviromentally-friendly as they walk to the business. For more information, call 770-447-2668.

South Gwinnett High will host a Spanish Speaking Parent Night on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the commons area. The Latin American Association and other community organizations will present opportunities available for parents to help students excel in school and enter college. For more information, call Teacher Donna Aker at 770-972-4840.

The Mill Creek High Orchestra will perform at the National Freedom Festival in New York City March 27-30. This is a national competition and the orchestra represents students from all three levels of the school orchestras. In addition, The Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band performed in the 2008 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Meadowcreek Elementary will hold a 10th Anniversary Celebration on March 28 at 3:15 p.m. in the Meadowcreek Cafe. A mural for the school will be dedicated during the celebration. For more information, call 770-931-5701.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host “International Night” on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate and highlight diversity in the student body. The evening will showcase a parade featuring students from the different countries represented at Lawrenceville Elementary. Entertainment will feature student performances, art and craft displays, and food samples from different countries. For more information, call Glenda Ramos, Parent Outreach Liaison, at 678-376-8634.

Corley Elementary will host a Math, Science, Technology Night on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and parents will take a Jurassic Journey participating in math, science and reading activities, perform science experiments, listen to stories and view presentations. Kindergarten students will perform dinosaur songs. For more information, call Dr. Angela Broughton at 678-924-5350.

Brookwood Elementary will hold a charity rock concert on March 28, to benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. Two bands featuring staff members Vicki Miller (The Vicki Miller Band), and David Young (The Amazing Mongooses), will perform. Pictures available upon request. For more information, call 770-736-4360.

Lanier Middle will relocate for the 2008-09 school year. A schoolwide celebration of the school’s history will take place on March 28 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-945-8419.

The Duluth High Center-Stage Alliance will present the student-written comedy “Saturday Night Live, The Best of Duluth High School: Every Child Left Behind” on March 28 and 29 at 7 p.m., and March 30 at 2:30 p.m., with an encore presentation on April 3rd at 6 p.m. Visit for more information on The Duluth Center-Stage Alliance. Tickets may be purchased for $6 and can be bought from Vanette Vedder at the school, or purchased at the door. Groups of ten or more will receive a group discount. For more information, call Vanette Vedder at 678-473-6249 or email

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation will host the 5th Annual Lions Golf Classic at the Tournament Players Club Sugarloaf on March 31. Activities include golf at 11 a.m., lunch on your cart, and an awards and dinner reception after the tournament. Foursomes are available, as well as sponsorships, by calling Foundation Executive Director Lynn Brunatti at 678-957-3166.

Norcross Elementary will host an Empty Bowls Ice Cream Social and Montage Arts Show on March 31, at 6 p.m. in the gym. Proceeds will benefit the Norcross Cooperative. For more information, call Art Teacher Lauren Phillips 770-448-2188.

The Meadowcreek High Band will visit Universal Studio’s “Lights, Camera, Music” April 7-11. This year, the Meadowcreek High band has participated in the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, The Atlanta Classic, and The Magic City Classic in Birmingham. The Mighty Marching Mustangs were featured in The Clark-Atlanta Homecoming Parade, whose band was in the Movie “Drum Line.” Other performances include the Garden City Invitational in Augusta, and the upcoming Chick-fil-a Bowl Pregame and Half time show. For more information, call Band Director Jimmie McKinley at 770-381-9680, or visit

The Mill Creek High mixed choir will perform in New York City. The dates and venues are: April 10, St. John the Divine Cathedral, and April 11, St. Paul’s Cathedral, For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Duluth High Soccer Booster Club will host the 1st annual Duluth Alumni Soccer games on April 19 at 5:30 (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) in the stadium. All former Duluth High players and coaches are invited to participate. Barbecue sandwiches will be sold during the game along with soccer spirit wear and concessions. There will be a gate fee of $5. All proceeds will benefit the Booster club. For more
information, call 770-476-5206.

The 4th annual Berkmar High Taste of Jazz Festival will take place on April 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. in the school parking lot— along with the 5th annual Taste of Berkmar High food sampling event. This year the featured jazz entertainment includes the “Carter McMullen Trio” and the “Sam Skelton Quintet.” Additionally the Berkmar jazz band and orchestra with show choir will perform. Taste of Berkmar will feature cuisine from more than 20 restaurants from the Lilburn-Lawrenceville-Duluth areas. Food tasting will take place from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The festival will feature games for all ages including bowling by Brunswick Lanes, dance lessons, an art show, and live/silent auction items. Funds raised will benefit student organizations. For more information, visit the Berkmar High web sites and

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.

March 29, 1 to 4 p.m., Jr. Girl Scouts - Ready for Tomorrow Badge, Center admission not included
Participants will complete 6 requirements for this badge. Learn how to cook with the sun using a solar oven, how you can help endangered species, develop your own personal credo for the environment, design a seal of approval for products, and participate in a trash pickup along the center’s trails. Prepayment is required for this event. Call 770-904-3500 for more information. Registration deadline is March 15.

April 5, 8 a.m. Walk, 9:30 a.m. Presentation - How to Attract Birds in Your Backyard
Co-sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society, $3/person, GEHC Members Free
Join David Decker, volunteer at the Atlanta Audubon Society, as we learn how to bring birds into your backyard. Pre-register by April 1.

April 5, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 3 p.m., Scavenger Hunt Frame, $5/frame
Looking for something fun to do during Spring Break? Join us as we make a fun and memorable gift. First we will head out to the woods on a trail hike. We will pick up natural objects to decorate wooden picture frames. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-register by March 15.

April 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Earth Day Event, Free, EcoRun 5K - 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., preregister $20, on race day $25, Fun Run $15
Come start your day off on the right foot by participating in the EcoRun, then stay for a variety of hands-on activities including a Kid Zone, native plant walk, vendors, and building tour. Food will be available for purchase.

April 19, 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., Environmental Club - Club Method (Middle and High School)
Earn community service hours by supporting our Earth Day event. We will need assistance with set up and break down of stations and with hands-on activities in Kids Zone.

“The Author in You - Mo Willems” “New York Times” best selling author and illustrator Mo Willems is best known for his Caldecott Honor wining picture books “Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”, “Knuffle Bunny”, a cautionary tale, and “Knuffle Bunny Too”, a case of mistaken identity. While on location at the Children’s Literature Conference at the University of Georgia, GCPS TV had the opportunity to interview Mr. Willems and to congratulate him as the recipient of the 2006-07 Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award. This 30-minute program airs March 25 and 26 at 2 and 7 p.m., and March 27-28 at 7 p.m.

“The Real Martha Washington” Step back in time and meet The Real Martha Washington, America’s 1st first lady. Mrs. Washington’s full and vibrant life will be portrayed during this program by historical interpreters. Living biographer Mary Wisemand will show students what the First Lady’s life was like after the Revolutionary War. This 30-minute program airs live at 1 p.m. on March 25.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 3)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 3) is a video telecourse designed to teach advanced English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 3 is scheduled to air through April 3 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.
03/20/2008Mill Creek High media specialist selected as Gwinnett’s best (pdf)
03/14/2008Gwinnett County BOE honors five teachers for recent accomplishments (pdf)
03/14/2008Gwinnett names principals for three schools, effective July 2008 (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system’s budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the meetings.
· April 3-District I meeting, Dacula High
· April 15-District IV, South Gwinnett High
· April 22-District II, Peachtree Ridge High
· April 24-District V, Berkmar High
· April 29-District III, Duluth High

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2009 include:
April 19-- Board budget work session
April 22-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
April 23-- Recommended budget available for public review
May 5-- First public hearing on budget
May 8-- Second public hearing on budget, final adoption of budget, tentative millage rate set
June 9-- Adoption of millage rage

March is National Nutrition Month.

Grade 3 Writing Assessment Evaluation runs through March 28.

The Georgia High School Graduation Test for 11th grade students is scheduled for March 31 through April 3.

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 2 is International Children’s book Day.

April 7-11 is Spring Break for schools.

April 10-11 are systemwide spring holidays for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 12, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

April 13-19 is National Library Week.

April 14-18 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

April 14-20 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during and March and April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
B.B. Harris Elementary3/27Alcova Elementary
Berkmar High3/25Alford Elementary
Brookwood High3/25Annistown Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary3/28B.B. Harris Elementary
Collins Hill High3/18Berkeley Lake Elementary
Glenn C. Jones Middle3/20Bethesda Elementary
Harbins Elementary3/20Brookwood High
Harmony Elementary3/28Camp Creek Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle3/25Cedar Hill Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary3/26Centerville Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary3/20Central Gwinnett High
Lovin Elementary3/27Chattahoochee Elementary
North Gwinnett High3/18Corley Elementary
Peachree Ridge High3/24Craig Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle3/27Creekland Middle
Sugar Hill Elementary3/17Dacula High
Sweetwater Middle3/20Dacula Middle
T. Carl Buice School3/20Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Trickum Middle3/25Five Forks Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary3/20Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
4/21 & 4/24
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Mulberry Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pharr Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.D. Head Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh High
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
W.C. Britt Elementary
W.J. Cooper Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary