News You Can Use - 12/08/2003

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
12/08/2003 - 12/15/2003

Listed below are the 47 GCPS teachers for 2003 who have attained National Board Certification.
JoEllen Barnett of K.E. Taylor Elementary
Donna Barrett of Collins Hill High
Philip Belfrom of Norcross High
Sandi Bennett of Duluth Middle
Peggy Bergman of Parkview High
Jennifer Berry of Peachtree Ridge High
IV Bray of Berkmar High
Barbara Brown of Pinckneyville Middle
Melodie Cleckler of Parkview High
Diane Collin of Fort Daniel Elementary
Dr. Rick Creed of Parkview High
Kelly Edenfield of Peachtree Ridge High
Geri Flanary of Duluth High
Terrae Fogarty of Collins Hill High
Joe Garrison of Central Gwinnett High
Dr. Nelda Hadaway of South Gwinnett High
Walt Henry of the GIVE Center
Kathy Rivas Hodges of Rockbridge Elementary
Theresa Jarrell of Brookwood High
Ginger Jennings of Collins Hill High
Hill Jordan of Phoenix High
Carla King of Parkview High
Gail Kise of Parkview High
Garry Loveless of Central Gwinnett High
Ginger Lucas of Peachtree Ridge High
Greg Marr of North Gwinnett High
Sandi Martinez of Henry Partee Elementary
Mitzi Moorhead of Richards Middle
John Payne of North Gwinnett High
Meg Reed of McKendree Elementary
Jean Richardson of Parkview High
Carol Rothman of Chattahoochee Elementary
Lisa Rudowitz of Jackson Elementary
Caroline Ryan of Mountain Park Elementary
Sonya Sanchez of Dacula Elementary
Jack Sarfaty of Parkview High
Kim Seay of Dacula Middle
Diane Shumway of North Gwinnett High
Margaret Anne Thompson of Duluth High
Barbara Tillman of Summerour Middle
Diane Treuman of Jackson Elementary
Dr. Douglas Wagner of Parkview High
John Waller of Trickum Middle
Connie Wallingford of Five Forks Middle
Mickey Washburn of Parkview High
Alicia Webb of Berkmar High
Debi West of Rock Springs Elementary

Brookwood High students selected for the Georgia All-State Chorus include Scott Abraham, T.J. Austin, Kristin Barwick, Caitlin Bell, Stacey Cobb, Elizabeth Craven, Travis Smith, Jennifer Stephan, Amanda Vercher, and Sook Yoon. Ms. Cobb earned a perfect score. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

All-State Festival of Art and Design is a statewide juried exhibition of high school artwork by students in grades 9-12. Gwinnett County Public Schools has several winning entries in the exhibit. The show at Brenau University in Gainesville will run through December. All-State winners are Michael Paniccia, Jessica Sheridan, Justin Smith, and Jamie Tanner, (2 winning entries) all from North Gwinnett High; Whitney Barton from Collins Hill High; Laura McKellar from South Gwinnett High; and David Quintero (bronze award) from Norcross High.

Trickum Middle had 14 students accepted to the University of Georgia Midfest. They are Brittany Bell, Schyler Cain, Brian Duggan, Michelle Ferguson, Sarrah Gates, Grace Greenwood, Holland Hamilton, Alessandra Merriweather, Hope Rogers, Jessica Sargent, Jordan Smith, Tiffany Triplett, Leah Tsinajinnie, and Laura Wight. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Norcross High senior Jesse Dubberly was selected as one of the top 40 football players/scholar athletes in the state of Georgia. He also was selected as a recipient of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Scholarship. Mr. Dubberly will receive the $1,000 award at a Peach Bowl luncheon on Dec. 31. For more information, call Mike Emery at 770-447-2656.

The Brookwood High Special Olympics Basketball Team participated in regional competition at the Suwanee Sports Academy on Nov. 21. The team won second place in the senior division. The team will now move on to state competition to be held in Cobb County in January. For more information, call Jessica Houck at 770-972-7642.

The following Trickum Middle students were recognized in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot's Pen writing competition are:
First-place winner Morgan Peterson will receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.
Second-place winner Jessica Drun will receive a $75 Savings Bond.
Third-place winner Maylene Xie will receive a $50 Savings Bond.
Fourth-place winner Valeria Median also will receive a $50 Savings Bond.
For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Norcross High received a $5,000 grant from Nordson and a $2,000 grant from EMS Technologies to support the school’s robotics team in the FIRST Robotics competition. Both companies will provide engineering support for the Norcross High robotics team. For more information, call Graham Ginn at 770-448-3674.

Creekland Middle student council representatives are working with “Holiday Helpers” for their December community service project. Holiday Helpers is an organization at Discover Mills that provide needy individuals with holidays gifts. Thirteen students are going to Wal-Mart on Collins Hill Rd. to purchase gifts for middle school children and senior citizens on Dec. 9. For more information, call Jeannine Crowe at 770-338-4700.

Lanier Middle’s Junior Beta Club will sponsor a toy drive in December. The new toys will be donated to the North Gwinnett Co-op to distribute to needy families. For more information, call Mary Sanders at 770-945-8419.

The faculty at Summerour Middle is participating in a toy drive to assist the community. Staff members will share unwrapped toys, which will be donated to the Norcross Co-op for distribution to needy families in the community. For more information, contact a school counselor at 770-448-3045.

Arcado Elementary will sponsor “Helping Families in our Community” from Dec. 8 to Dec.12. Brown paper bags were sent home with students. The donations will go to the Lilburn Co-op. For more information, with specific grade-level donation suggestions, call 678-924-5300.

The North Gwinnett High chorus, orchestra, and concert band will perform a holiday concert, “Hearts, Hands and Voices,” to raise funds for the North Gwinnett High Care Team on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Donations for the Care Team will be accepted at the end of the evening. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The Trickum Middle Teen Impact Club's theme this holiday season is “Make a Child Smile.” The club will collect clothing, toys, and toiletry items through Dec. 19 for infants through age 17. The items will be donated to organizations that help needy families. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Brookwood High students and faculty contributed more than $32,060 during their Helping Hands and Hearts campaign held the week before Thanksgiving. This campaign was a schoolwide effort to raise money for needy families in the Brookwood Cluster. The money will be used to help families pay utility bills and medical bills, buy groceries, and provide gifts at holiday time for young children. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

K.E. Taylor Elementary is helping families in need of holiday assistance. Interested volunteers may stop by the lobby in December and pick up an ornament that lists gifts to purchase for a needy family. For more information, call a counselor at 770-338-4680.

Each grade level at Sycamore Elementary will adopt a family for the holidays. The Sycamore Care Team will assist teachers in collecting items needed for each family. For more information, call Robin Zorn at 678-714-5770.

The Grayson Elementary Student Council is participating with the U.S. Marines in their annual Toys for Tots campaign this year. Students will donate toys for the drive during the first two weeks of December. The Marines will be at Grayson Elementary to pick up the toys the morning of Dec. 15. For more information, call Dr. Jim Curtiss at 770-963-7189.

Arcado Elementary will sponsor the school’s annual holiday show on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Reindeers, elves, snowmen, and Santa Claus will make an appearance in the production, “North Pole Exposure.” For more information, call 770-925-2100.

Trickum Middle’s 7th and 8th grade strings concert will be held Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., and the school’s chorus concert will be held Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., both in the school cafeteria. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

The Sycamore Elementary band and chorus will perform the school’s first ever holiday concert on Dec. 9. The performance will follow a brief PTA meeting at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Band and chorus members will perform a number of ensemble and solo selections consisting of traditional and seasonal music. An additional duet selection will be performed by Seth Kuehn, music teacher, and Mary Zaharis, assistant principal. The 4th and 5th grade chorus will begin the evening concert followed by the 5th grade band. The concert should last approximately 30 minutes. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Summerour Middle’s holiday concert is scheduled for Dec. 9, beginning with the band’s performance at 7 p.m. in the Summerour cafeteria. In addition, band students Anahi Garcia, Noe Gonzalez, Eric Mackey, Jay Nash, Jasmine Oliver, Lindsey Sumner, Tavonie Tatum, Kanicius Washington, D.J. Watkins, and Jeanette Won will perform at the Governor’s Mansion on Dec. 11. A second holiday performance by the chorus and orchestra will take place on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-448-3045.

B.B. Harris Elementary will hold a candlelight luncheon Dec. 9-11. The cafeteria will be transformed into a formal dining room and a special holiday meal will be served. For more information and to make a reservation, call 770-476-2241.

North Gwinnett High will hold its holiday concert on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

The Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary PTA will host its 7th annual candlelight luncheon On Dec. 10-12. This is a special event that allows students to enjoy a formal luncheon by candlelight with parents, grandparents, or other guests. The cafeteria staff will plan a menu of turkey and ham with all the trimmings and the Richard Hull Middle orchestra will provide festive holiday music during the luncheon. For more information, call Stacy Mitchell at 678-417-6805.

The W.C. Britt Elementary 5th grade chorus will present its holiday concert Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Students will perform Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs. A faculty chorus will sing “Peace on Earth.” For more information, call Carol Ann Chapman at 770-972-4500.

The Beaver Ridge Elementary chorus will present its winter concert, entitled “Sounds of the Season,” at the Buchanan Fine Arts Auditorium on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The Beaver Ridge Chorus is comprised of 4th and 5th graders. Several second grade classes also will perform at this concert. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

The Arcado Elementary cafeteria will sponsor a candlelight luncheon on Dec. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call Terrie Jordan at 770-925-2100.

K.E. Taylor Elementary will host breakfast with Santa on Dec.13 from 9 a.m. to noon. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 9 a.m. A donation of a canned good is requested to visit Santa. Other activities will include a performance by the chorus, face painting by Girl Scouts, craft items for sale, and school cookbooks for sale. Donations of used coats and new toys will be accepted. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Camp Creek Elementary’s PTA will transform the school’s cafeteria into a Holiday Secret Shop on Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Elves” will assist students as they shop for gifts for family and friends. The Secret Shop will provide students with a safe place to shop as they build budgeting and decision-making skills. Parents may purchase Chick-fil-A biscuits the media center while their children shop. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

The K.E. Taylor Elementary PTA holiday program will be held on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. Nine kindergarten classes will perform. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Knight Elementary 5th grade students will present “Paint the Town December” at the Dec. 15 PTA meeting. The program will be held in the Starlight Dining Room under the direction of Sandy Snyder. For more information, call 770-921-2400.

The 5th grade classes at Camp Creek Elementary will perform a holiday musical program on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. in the gym. The concert will be held in conjunction with the Camp Creek Elementary PTA meeting. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

The Grayson Elementary Parent Academy (GPA) will host its second session of the year on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The topic for the evening will be mathematics. The GPA is a joint effort between Grayson Elementary and its PTA to educate parents about how children are taught core subjects. The Jan. 13 session will be on writing, and the Mar. 2 session will be on standardized testing. For more information, call Dr. Jim Curtiss at 770-963-7189.

The Technical Confederation at Phoenix High will host Portfolio Night on Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the presentation room at the school. Technical Art students will present graduation portfolios in the areas of computer art, fine art, video production, and commercial photography. Students will present digital portfolios for all attendees. For more information, call 770-513-6862.

Camp Creek Elementary’s PTA will honor students who participated in the Sunshine Math program with an ice cream party on Dec. 11 for grades 3–5 and Dec. 12 for grades K–2. Sunshine Math is an enrichment program of weekly worksheets designed to challenge students beyond the normal math curriculum through problem-solving exercises. Although participation is optional and scores on the worksheets are not recorded, a significant number of the students have chosen to participate. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

Sycamore Elementary will hold its charter year National Junior Beta Club induction on Dec. 16 in the school lunchroom. Sycamore’s Junior Beta Club members met the following criteria: grade point average of 3.5 or higher, outstanding behavior, responsible, cooperative, and honest. Sycamore Elementary will be induct its 30 fifth-grade members. For more information, call Carissa Bull at 678-714-5770.

Jone Cross of Chattahoochee Elementary is one of two teachers in the country who will travel with students to Antarctica Dec. 16 through Dec. 30. Ms. Cross was selected by People to People Student Ambassadors, an organization Ms. Cross has been involved with as a teacher-leader since 1993. When she makes this journey, Ms. Cross will be the first member of the organization to travel with students to all seven continents. Amelia Sims, a Duluth High student, also will make the expedition. Ms. Sims has been traveling with this overseas educational program since she was a sixth grader. Ms. Sims has traveled with Ms. Cross to China and Africa and with three other GCPS teachers to Europe and Australia and will be the first student in the history of the organization to visit all seven continents. Ms. Cross and Ms. Sims will spend four days in South America before traveling to Antarctica. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “GCPS Teachers Up Close” this week (Dec. 8-14). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV will debut “ArtStage,” a new program fine arts program on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. This new series features music, dance, theater, and visual fine arts programs and performances conducted in schools across Gwinnett County.
GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20
Comcast on Channel 24
BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

On Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Duluth Middle is hosting its second annual family reading night, called “Wildcats are Wild Over Words” (WOW). This event offers families an opportunity to share in various literacy activities. Families may attend the book fair. Professional storyteller Renee Hanna will perform her rendition of “A Single Shard,” by Linda Sue Park. In addition, students’ literacy projects will be on display and families will participate in an old-fashioned book walk. Entertainment includes a presentation of “Reader’s Theatre” by the drama department. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. Hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, and drinks from the Varsity will be available. Tickets may be purchased during lunch the week before the event. For more information, call 770-963-1110.

Each month, Beverly Todd-Lee, W.C. Britt Elementary principal, sponsors a program called “Popcorn with the Principal.” The students are selected based on good things they have done to help others, improvements they have made in academics, or just general good citizenship. The children earn popcorn and juice with the principal and receive a certificate. The next “Popcorn with the Principal” at W.C. Britt is scheduled for Dec. 12 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

North Gwinnett High’s Touchdown Club will sponsor a “Holiday Tour of Homes” on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will visit homes in Wild Timber, Edinburgh, Rivermoore Park, and Settles Cove subdivisions. Proceeds will support the end-of-season football banquet. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

North Gwinnett High’s Dugout Club will sponsor an annual Christmas tree sale during the month of December. Trees may be purchased at the corner of Alton Turner and Peachtree Industrial, one block from Ga.-20. All proceeds go to support the North Gwinnett Baseball Team. For more information, call Vicki Otting at 770-318-3625 or Ron Walton at 770-945-3458. 

Duluth Middle students, who are participating in the Presidential Fitness Tests, are using innovative ways to increase their overall flexibility and strength. Billy Richards, Duluth Middle P.E. instructor, invented “Pow-R-Stretch Bands,” an isometric device to increase students’ flexibility. Mr. Richards’ inventions were featured in a “President’s Council on Physical Fitness” publication. For more information, call Mr. Richards at 770-476-3372.

Duluth Middle is offering a dance team course for 7th and 8th grade students. Fifty-eight girls are enrolled in the dance team course working together to build teams, select music, develop choreography, and choose costumes. Duluth Middle teachers Linda Arshinkoff and Nancy Howard are working with the students, periodically grading the girls on their progress, both individually and as a group, with the goal of performing their routines for the Duluth Middle basketball season. For more information, call Susan Dugan at 770-476-3372.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 11, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.

Dec. 17-19 are early release days for high school exams.

Dec. 19 is the last day of school before the Winter Break. Students return to school Jan. 7, 2004.

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