News You Can Use - 05/03/2004

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
05/03/2004 - 05/09/2004

Five GCPS students have received $2,500 National Merit Scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. These students are among 2,500 seniors chosen from a group of approximately 15,000 finalists from throughout the country. The scholarship winners are Kathleen Booth and Chang Shu, both from Brookwood High; Yasamin Vojdani from Duluth High; Jonathan Fu, Steven Hensey, and Alan Rodriguez, all from Norcross High; and Kelli Parker from Parkview High. For more information, call 847-866-5100.

Three GCPS students are among 15 Georgia students named as 2004 U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalists. The students are Jonathan Fu of Norcross High, Anna Greenwood of Parkview High, and Travis Mushett of Brookwood High. These students were selected, based on their accomplishments. For more information, call Kirk Englehardt with the Georgia Department of Education at 404-656-0966.

Jay Chang from Duluth High has been selected as the 2004 State Champion Court Artist for the Mock Trial Competition. Court artist competitors sketch rounds in which their schools' teams are on trial. Artists submit their best two sketches for judging. A team from Savannah College of Art & Design judged the drawings. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

During the 2003-04 school year, Teachers Laura Moates of Brookwood High, Patricia Spencer of Harmony Elementary, Jonathan Stroud of Berkmar High, and Pam Webb of Lilburn Middle have been selected by 11 Alive News as recipients of the station’s "Class Act Award" for teachers. For more information, call Bob Walker, station president and general manager, at 404-892-1611.

Several Gwinnett schools have been recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Elementary and Middle Schools for maintaining accreditation and membership in the Association for 25 years.
Lawrenceville Elementary (Call Principal Dorothy Hines at 770-963-1813 for more information.)
Centerville Elementary (Call Principal Barbara Schmich at 770-972-2220 for more information.)
Bethesda Elementary (Call Principal Nancy Morrison at 770-921-2000 for more information.)

Leslie Aiken, Dacula Middle PROBE teacher, has been selected by Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education as Gifted Program Teacher of the Year. For more information, call 770-963-1110.

The Trickum Middle Science Olympiad team earned fifth place in the state tournament. The following students also won awards:
First place Category
Zainl Gillani and Michelle Jenkins Storm the Castle
Second Place
Chris Oberste and Chitra Sampth Science of Fitness
Dipesh Patel and Ryan Smith Wheeled Vehicle
Third Place
Andrew Gabrielsen and Chris Oberste Bottle Rockets
Michele Jenkins and Will Hendricks Science Crime Busters

Arcado Elementary's Community Future Problem Solving Team—The Healthy Eating and Exercise Team — placed third in the state Future Problem Solving Competition. The team goal was to help children in the school eat healthier and exercise more. Students created a “Sugar-o-Meter” to keep track of students' daily intake of sugar. One of the most exciting parts of the project was the creation of jump rope cards, a jump rope wall of fame, and the school’s first “Jump Rope-A-Thon,” which will be held May 5. For more information, call 770-925-2100.

The Trickum Middle Academic Bowl team traveled to Eatonton to compete in the Uncle Remus Invitational Competition. Trickum's A-team earned third place out of 30 teams. A-team members include Kristen Jolley, A-team captain Ian Nurse, Deep Datta Roy, Sanjay Srivatsin, and James Taylor. B-team members include Whitley Bacon, Caroline Bass, B-team captain Glenn Branscomb, Buck McClure, Raheel Thobani, and Joshua Wong.

Trickum Middle's Odyssey of the Mind teams had a great showing at the state competition. The structure team earned third place with Balancing Act. Team members include Schyler Cain, Annie Ori, Timmy Philip, My-Ngoc To, Tiffany Triplett, and Gerhardt Slwitschka. The Classics team earned sixth place with Fantatic Art. Team members include Whitney Dekle, Elisabeth Leake, Lauren Minar, Lindsey Minar, Kelsey Tayor, Rachel Taylor, and Lucy Xu.

The Creekland Middle Odyssey of the Mind team earned second place at the state finals and will advance to world finals in College Park, Md., at the end of May. Team members include Will Carter, Mandy Corriveau, Alex Miller, Rebecca Norton, Ben Shaia, and Adam Szaruga. The team will participate with more than 700 teams from around the world. Teams from Central Gwinnett High and Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary also are state finalists and will compete in the world finals.

Kelsey Kopro, a junior at Collins Hill High, was elected president of the Georgia Association of National Honor Societies. Kelsey will serve as president during the 2004-05 school year. Other awards for the Collins Hill chapter of National Honor Society include first place in Service Project, first place in Chapter Report, and second place in Scrapbook. Student Noelle Teh also won a Peach Award for her outstanding contributions to her school and community. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

Grayson High student Nick Jones' "The Braille Edition of Funniest Home Videos: An Essay" has been accepted by Readers Digest for publication. He received a check for $300 for this submission. The date of publication has not been determined. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

The following GCPS teachers presented at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta: Suzanne Best, teacher on special assignment in the GCPS Science Office at Lawrenceville East; Lynda Flage and Tim Yoder, both of McConnell Middle; Sandra Peterson of Parkview High; Garry Loveless of Central Gwinnett High; Kathy Barrett and Patty Grindo, both of Rebecca Minor Elementary; Greg Marr, Kim Wimpey, and Clyde Wylie, all of North Gwinnett High; Donna Ahlswede and Laura Herbig, both of Collins Hill High; Rosemarie Placek of Peachtree Ridge High; and Stephen Beall, Loren Hauck, Mike Heyes, and Bronwyn Hogan, of Meadowcreek High.

The K.E. Taylor Elementary Chorus will present the musical "We Haz Jazz" on May 3 at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Fort Daniel Elementary will hold an outdoor celebration May 4 at 8:15 a.m. in honor of the school’s 10th anniversary. The program will begin with a closed-circuit program, followed by an outdoor birthday celebration. A rain date has been scheduled for May 7. For more information, call 770-932-7400.

A Sycamore Elementary PTA meeting is scheduled for May 4 at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria. PTA officers for the 2004-05 school year will be installed. Following the installation ceremony, Sycamore Elementary students will demonstrate jump rope techniques, under the direction of P.E. teacher Jason Draper. The band will perform its final concert of the year, under the direction of music teacher Seth Kuehn. For more information contact Principal Brenda Anderson, at 678-714-5770.

The first meeting for the PTA of Louise Radloff Middle will be held on May 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lilburn Middle cafeteria. Officers for the PTA will be elected. Parents of students attending Louise Radloff Middle for the upcoming school year are encouraged to attend this meeting, join the PTA, and hear more about the plans for both the PTA and the opening of the new middle school. In addition, Louise Radloff Middle will hold a parent orientation meeting for rising 6th graders coming from G.H. Hopkins Elementary and Meadowcreek Elementary on May 10. The meeting will be held in the Meadowcreek Elementary cafeteria at 7 p.m. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

The Brookwood High Performing Arts department will present “Fiddler on the Roof ” May 6-8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Norcross High will recognize students for their achievements during Academic Excellence Week May 10-14. Events will include a breakfast for honor students. All students with a cumulative average of 90% or higher will be recognized. For more information, call Karen Vargo at 770-449-3861.

The art department of Phoenix High will sponsor the school's 10th Portfolio Night presentation on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 272. Eighteen students will present in two different groups. The first group will start at 6:30, and the second group will begin at 8 p.m. Portfolio Night is an evening of digital presentations by graduating seniors earning a technical seal in art, photography, fine art, computer art, or video production. For more information, call 770-513-6862.

Oakland Center will sponsor a 2004 Recognition of Program Completion and Student Achievement on May 11 from 7 to 8 p.m. The program will be held at 950 McElvaney Lane in Lawrenceville. For more information, call 770-513-6800.

North Gwinnett High will sponsor a golf tournament May 11 at Emerald Pointe Golf Club. Proceeds will support the North Gwinnett High Athletic Department. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The K.E. Taylor Elementary student council will sponsor a talent show, titled "Taylor Idols." On May 11, 4th and 5th grade students will showcase their talents. The show is from 6 to 8 p.m.. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

The Sycamore Elementary PTA will host its final Chick-fil-A spirit night May 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Mall of Georgia Chick-fil-A. Receipts will be collected at the restaurant by PTA representatives. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the school. For more information, contact Principal Brenda Anderson, at 678-714-5770.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary is sponsoring Camp Invention, a week-long summer enrichment day camp, for rising 2nd through 6th graders. The camp is scheduled for July 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The fee is $199. The camp will foster creativity, teamwork, inventive thinking skills, and science. Call Genie Quinn, camp director, at 770-232-3370, or email Ms. Quinn at For more information, visit

Ivy Creek Elementary is sponsoring a welcome home event for a soldier returning from a yearlong deployment in Iraq. Teacher Mary Albretch's husband, Gary, will be honored May 18 at 9:45 a.m. The school chorus will sing and the Gwinnett County Firemen's color guard will present colors. For more information, call 678-714-3655.

Meadowcreek Elementary will distribute books purchased through the Reading is Fundamental grant for the third and final time May 24. Each child in the school receives a book of his or her choice. The school received the grant last year. In addition, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a sponsor of Reading is Fundamental, will award the school 14 classroom book collections in August. For more information, call 770-931-5701.

Web registration for online courses through Buchanan High School of Technology will be open from now until June 3. Online courses are open to high school students and adult learners. The cost for online courses is $285 per course. For summer course offerings and registration, visit the Web site at

This week (May 3-9), tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Charter Communications on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an e-mail to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness Sports Month.

May 2-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 2-9 is National Music Week and Reading is Fun Week.

May 3-7 is Child Nutrition Appreciation Week.

May 4 is National Teacher Day.

May 6 is National Employee Health Fitness Day.

Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 6 for parents of new kindergarteners beginning classes next school year in GCPS.

May 12 is National School Nurse Day.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during May. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.