News You Can Use - 02/04/2008

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
02/04/2008 - 02/10/2008

The Duluth Center Stage Alliance will perform “Godspell” on Feb. 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. and on Feb. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in the Duluth High Theatre. Tickets may be purchased for $8 at the school and at the door. For more information, visit

One hundred students from the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology will visit the Microelectronics Research Center and Nanotechnology Education Center at Georgia Tech on Feb. 1. Students will learn about physics and atomic force. For more information, call Teacher Sheila Hughes at 678-473-6292.

GCPS student photographers will display their work on Feb. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the 2008 Shutter Sense and Non-sense exhibit at the Carisma Gallery in Buford. For more information, call Teacher Carisa Griffin at 770-448-3674.

GCPS will host the 3rd annual Readers Rally on Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m. at Collins Hill High. The Gwinnett Readers Rally is a quiz-bowl competition for students in grades 4-12. Registration will be followed by an opening ceremony and recognition of teams. Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris (a former GCPS principal) will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The two winning middle and high school teams will move on to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a regional competition, scheduled for Feb. 9 in Augusta. State playoffs will take place March 1 during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. For more information, call Media Specialist Leslie Greer at 770-232-3255.

Duluth Middle and Trickum Middle will advance to state finals of the PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) state academic competition on Feb. 9 at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. The PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades features teams of middle school students fielding questions on subjects ranging from Georgia history to mathematics, science, literature, and the performing arts. For more information, call Linda Koch, coach, at 770-978-8810.

Ashley Donau has been named Duluth High’s Business and Computer Science Education Student of the Year for the Gwinnett Education Career Partnership Consortium Award. She will accept this award at a banquet on February 25 hosted by Gwinnett Technical College. Ashley was chosen from more than 300 Business and Computer Science students to speak to the Advisory Committee for State Industry Certification on behalf of Duluth High. Ashley selected Teacher Lisa Dangler as the Business and Computer Science Teacher of the Year for coaching her through the Industry Certification presentation. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

For the second time this year, the Duluth NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) has advanced to the Area 12 championship― this time for academic excellence. The Duluth NJROTC Academic Team competed against 19 other NJROTC programs in the state in academic competition. Using a Jeopardy format, the Duluth cadets came in second place overall, missing first place by a single question. This placing earned Duluth a berth in the Area 12 Academic Championship, to be held in Brunswick, Georgia. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Duncan Creek Elementary P.E. classes will participate in “Jump Rope for Heart” in during the week of Feb. 4-8 to honor two students who had successful heart surgeries. Donations will benefit the American Heart Association. For more information, call Teacher Dayna Alkire at 678-714-5800. *News media representatives interested in covering the event should notify Communication and Media Relations at 678-301-6020.

Dacula Middle Starfleet cadets will host a visit from Specialist Nicholas Breeding, currently serving in the army, on Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Specialist Breeding is one of two soldiers adopted by 7th grade students at the school. He will share his experiences as a soldier. This 23-year-old young man, a true American hero, will be leaving this spring for his second tour of duty in Iraq. For more information, call Teacher Jayne Lawson or Commander Celisa Edwards at 770-963-7174.

Peachtree Ridge High recently sponsored a Science Fair at the school. Of the 97 projects that competed, 30 earned 1st place awards and will advance to District level competition on Feb. 8 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. Archit Bhise earned the top honor for his project. For more information, call Teacher Rosemarie Placek at 678-957-3100.

South Gwinnett High will hold the school’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the commons area. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

GCPS elementary students will decorate posters to hang at the Atlanta Veterans Medical Center on Clairmont Rd. during the week of Feb. 10-16. Vulcan Materials Co. is providing personalized posters to each school to decorate for the veterans as part of the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans event.

Georgia’s first lady will visit Mill Creek High on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. Student Tory Rodriguez received the “Champion for Children Award,” which is sponsored by Ms. Perdue. Tory was honored for her work with the Prom-o-rama program, which collects prom dresses, shoes, and jewelry and donates them to a foster shelter so young girls can attend a prom. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Duluth High Juntos Committee will host an open house for Latino students and their parents on Feb. 12 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the cafeteria. Latin American cuisine, entertainment, and helpful information about the community will be presented. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Charles Brant Chesney Elementary will hold a garage sale on Feb. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. during early release. Proceeds will be used to purchase Scholastic books for classroom libraries. Parents are invited to shop before and after student-teacher conferences. Donations for the sale may be dropped off at the school between 8 and 10 a.m. For more information, call 678-542-2300.

The Peachtree Ridge High Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club will sell cakes for Valentine’s Day in February at the Mane Event school store. They may be purchased for $7. This student-run business will bake and ice cakes every Monday after school. The goal is to support organizational needs, while empowering students to participate in a real business world endeavor. For more information, call Linda Brimmer at 678-957-3100.

Norcross Elementary staff and students participated in “Give to the Troops,” a nation-wide letter and card writing activity. More than 400 cards and letters were written by K-5th grade classes. These cards and letters will be sent to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for Valentine’s Day. For more information, call Minnie Tee at 770-982-9238.

The Berkmar High Deaf Academic Bowl team will travel to Talladega, Ala. to compete in the South Eastern Deaf Academic Bowl on Feb. 15 and 16. Sixteen teams from Southeastern states will compete. Berkmar established the team in 2004 and has had great success over the past 4 years. Team members are Tiffany Slieff, Michael Gibson, and Justin Malone. Tiffany is captain and a fourth year player. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Duluth Middle will host the school’s 2nd Annual Heritage Night on Feb. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Staff, community members and students are encouraged to dress in cultural attire and bring a dish representative of their heritage. Heritage Night will include food, fun, and student entertainment. Student cultural exhibits will be on display. This event is free and open to the community. For more information, call Counselor Nicole Colbert at 770- 476-3372.

The Duluth High Student Council will sponsor a “Support the Troops” campaign through Feb. 22. Donations of handy wipes, hand sanitizer, lip balm, beef jerky, and individually wrapped hard candy will be distributed to the troops. The class collecting the most items will win a pizza party. For more information, contact Teacher Jerry Hancock, at or call 770-476-5206.

The District 3 Spelling Bee will be held on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in the Collins Hill High theater. Approximately 32 students from area school systems will compete for the top 2 slots. Twelve of those students will represent GCPS schools. Both the winner and alternate of the District 3 Bee will compete in the State Spelling Bee in Atlanta on March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Georgia State University Student Center. For more information, contact Carey McDurmon, the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, at

Students in the Dacula Middle Multicultural Club will sponsor a Multicultural Night on Feb. 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Activities include food tasting, viewing artifacts from around the world, and performances by Dacula Middle students. For more information, call Nicole Anderson-Irish or Elethia Rhoden at 770-963-1110.

Level Creek Elementary held an International Night Celebration on January 31. Activities included a cultural showcase of dolls created by students and staff members, a display of flags from many countries, a pageant of attire from more than 30 countries, food samples from around the world, and more. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Brookwood Elementary hosted “Literacy for a Cure,” a literacy conference, in January. More than 125 teachers from around the state participated in this literacy conference. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Several education publishers and area vendors donated materials and food for the event. Photos available upon request. For more information, call Teacher Aimee Buckner at 770-736-4360.

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.

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - noon, and 3-4 p.m., Family Program: Going Green Neighborhood, ages: 8-10, included with center admission
Build a paper neighborhood model where participants will learn about “Going Green” practices and responsible resource management. Participants will be able to compare their “Going Green” neighborhood to a neighborhood that doesn’t use the environmentally friendly practices.

Feb. 16, 1 - 2:30 p.m., Environmental Club: Club Method (Middle and High School Club), free
Participants will have the opportunity to gain work and team-building skills for future resumes, develop problem-solving skills, and participate in environmental challenges and earn community service hours. Becoming a Club Method member will allow you the opportunity to expose yourself to the outdoors. Please call the center to register.

Feb. 23, 1 - 4 p.m., Scout Program: Listening to the Past, $6 per girl, center admission not included
This program introduces participants to the importance of understanding history. Activities include visiting a local archaeological site, looking at artifacts, and interviewing an older individual in the community. Badge is included. Pre-register and pay by February 8.

March 8, 1 p.m., Brer Rabbit: “Tales From the Briar Patch,” combination tickets available: family of four-$25, adults $10, children $6
Professional Storyteller Chetter Galloway will entertain and educate with the Brer Rabbit tales that make you laugh out loud and teach important lessons in life. Registration required.

“No Master Over Me - Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip” Ann Ashby tells the story of her life during the days of slavery. Discover how she and her husband, Matthew, made a life for their family. Matthew purchased his wife and children and had them freed. This is the story of balancing between slave and free communities in a poignant reminder of what our freedom is really worth. This 60-minute program airs live at 1 p.m. on Feb. 7th.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air February 4 through March 9 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.
01/28/2008GCPS students to participate in Gwinnett Readers Rally (pdf)
01/25/2008GCPS to host review of technology-based materials for K-8 mathematics (pdf)

February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 4-8.

Feb. 10 is South Gwinnett High's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences is Feb. 13-14.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 14, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Feb. 18 is a student/teacher holiday.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Feb. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alton C. Crews Middle
Annistown Elementary
Arcado Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Berkmar Middle
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood High
Central Gwinnett High
Creekland Middle
Dacula Middle
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
GIVE Center East
GIVE Center West
Grayson High
Harmony Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Jackson Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pharr Elementary
R.D. Head Elementary
R.L. Norton Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
W.C. Britt Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary