News You Can Use - 12/10/2007

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
12/10/2007 - 12/16/2007

Brookwood High student Colin Manko was chosen as a member of the Georgia All State Jazz Band. He was selected as the only guitar member from the state. For more information, call Ken Simpson, Brookwood High director of jazz studies and music technology at 770-985-0352 Ext. 21.

Duluth High Senior Michelle Lanford received an appointment to the United States Navy Academy. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Duluth High NJROTC students participated in a regional competition that included academics (history and science), physical fitness, and drill. The competition tested the 16 best JROTC programs in the state of Georgia. The top 3 teams advance to the Area 12 championship in Brunswick, Georgia, which would include the 16 best schools from Georgia, Florida, and eastern Alabama. The Duluth team qualified to advance to the tri-state championship. In doing so, the unit earned 9 trophies, including the coveted spirit award. The top 3 teams at Tri-state will be invited to the National Competition. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Duluth High Model United Nations (UN) team earned several honors at the Georgia State Model UN Conference. Alice Li and Silki Modi won an Honorable Mention for their position paper in the General Assembly (United Arab Emirates); Mary Thumaty won Outstanding Delegate at the conference on trade and development (Afgahnistan); Muneeb Ahmed and Cindy Piedra won an Honorable Mention for their delegation in the General Assembly (Afghanistan); Duluth High won Distinguished Delegation (Afghanistan) at the Georgia State Model United Nations Conference. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Rebecca Minor Elementary Teacher Laura Magner presented at the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented conference in November. Her sessions were titled “Tactile Tricks,” “Creativity Refresher,” “Researching Adventures,” and “The Scientific Method with Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, and Fables.” In addition, Ms. Magner has written a fourth book-- “The 2*5*8 Plan: Reaching All Children Through Differentiated Assessment.” For more information, call 770-925-9543.

Creekland Middle’s Technology Student Association club, comprised of Farhan Charania, Booker Harrison, Maninder Japra, Giovanni Righi, and Matthew Stotter, competed in a FIRST Lego League Robotics qualifying tournament in Conyers. By placing 3rd in the robot performance category, the team qualified to advance to the State Finals Tournament at Georgia Tech on Feb. 9. For more information, call Brenda Whiting, technology coordinator, at 770-338-4700.

Level Creek Elementary music teacher and Teacher of the Year Adam Heidenreich will direct an original holiday musical production he wrote called “The Big Chill.” The performance will take place after a 6:30 p.m. PTA meeting on Dec. 11. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology will host an International Potluck Day on Dec. 14 to celebrate different cultures from around the world. Each student will bring a dish that is unique to their own cultural background, or from a country the student researched. The dishes will be labeled with the country of origin, and the recipe. Students also will listen to music from around the world. For more information, call 678-473-6292.

Duluth High Media Specialist Dr. Marsha Hunter joined the cast of the Christmas production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as Mother Bailey. Performances will take place at the Duluth Red Clay Theater by the New Dawn Theater Company through Dec. 23. For more information on show times and dates call 770-622-1777.

The Duluth Chamber Orchestra is going to the 61st annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. The orchestra will compete with approximately 13,000 band and orchestra teachers in attendance representing 50 states. The chamber Orchestra is directed by Dr. Peter Lemonds, and Ms. Shawn Morton with guest conductor Ms. Danelle Keck. For more information, call 770-476-5206. (Photograph available upon request)

During the month of December, Jennifer Klaas-Taylor’s classes at Brookwood Elementary will do a detailed book study of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” Student activities for the book study include making books about Charles Dickens, sampling plum pudding and wassail, playing Victorian parlor games, and writing songs about the story characters. Students also will 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 information, call 770-921-3636.

Mill Creek High Peer Leaders and Key Club members will sponsor the 4th annual toy drive during the month of December. The toys will be donated to The Bread of Life ministry in Lawrenceville. Last year more than 1,000 children received toys. For more information, call the school at 678-714-5850.

Culinary Arts students in the Grayson Technical Education Program will collect donations to make goodie baskets for the Partnership Against Domestic Violence. For more information, call Teacher Jennifer Booker at 770-554-1071.

Maxwell High students and staff are collecting items and gifts to donate to the Lawrenceville Quinn House. This is the 12th year Maxwell students have worked with the Quinn House. For more information call Jessica Stallings or Tricia Floyd at 770-963-6838.

Sheila Baird’s 5th grade students at Ivy Creek Elementary are making calendars for parents using writing and poetry skills. The writings will be illustrated and bound and presented to parents. For more information, call 678-714-3655.

Dr. Jacqueline Huffman’s North Gwinnett High DECA chapter is sponsoring Toys for Tots, a community service project, for schools in the North Gwinnett cluster and local businesses in the community. Last year, more than 5,000 toys were collected and distributed. This year’s goal is to collect 6,000 toys. Students work with the U.S. Marines on this project. DECA students are also working with the Buford Business Alliance to plan and host the Holiday Parade in downtown Buford. For more information, call 678-428-1025.

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.

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.

Mountain Park Elementary will host “North Pole Exposure,” a musical performed by students on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Students have transformed the school cafeteria into the North Pole by decorating with winter scenes. For more information, call Teacher Mandy Papenbrock at 770-921-2224.

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.

Ivy Creek Elementary students will host a Colonial Christmas celebration on Dec. 18 beginning at 8:45 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Students will dress in period clothing and rotate to different activities that include making braided Christmas ornaments, designing a colonial toy, writing with a quill pen, making butter, creating stencil art, making spiced tea and marbled paper, and decorating gingerbread cookies. For more information, call Jackie Bullard at 678-714-3655.

Jessica Jones 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.

Ivy Creek Elementary students in Sheila Baird’s class recently participated in a gratitude breakfast by writing and reading letters to parents at a breakfast event. Parents were then asked to share what they were grateful for about their children. Students performed for the parents by singing and playing kazoos. For more information, call 687-714-3655.

Brookwood High held the annual Helping Hands and Hearts fund raiser to benefit needy families within the Brookwood Cluster. Sponsor and Brookwood Teacher of the Year Libby Atwell organized this fund raiser that raised $24,000. This year’s theme is “We Believe!” For more information, call Libby Atwell at 770-978-5088.

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 www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

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 determine the 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

“Math Rules - MR6” Learn the rules of “Counting Stars” and “Connect Four” 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, Simpson Elementary math specialist, and special guest students as they problem-solve their way through these fun and educational games. AKS objectives and program resources are available online at the GCPS TV website, This 30 min. program airs Dec. 10-15 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Encouraging Words: Print Awareness - Beyond the Spoken Word, Part 3” An early childhood educator, a speech and language professional, and a pediatric neurologist discuss how childhood development prepares children to read from birth; and language development milestones in the process of learning to read and write. This 30 min. program airs Dec. 10-15 at 2:30 and 7:30 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--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

12/06/2007GCPS’ Lunch Tray Recycling Program nationally recognized
12/05/2007Partnership between Verizon and GCPSF benefits Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
12/04/200711 GCPS teachers earn National Board Certification
12/03/2007Duluth High principal assumes role on national board
12/03/2007Community partnership leads to Parsons Elementary student exhibit
11/30/2007Two Gwinnett schools named Georgia Schools of Excellence

Dec. 3-20 is the Georgia End-of-Course Test Window.

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

Dec. 21-Jan. 2 students will be on Winter Break, with holidays Jan. 1 and 2. (Gwinnett offices closed Dec. 21-Jan. 2)

Students return to school Jan. 3.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Jan. 10, 2008, 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 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