News You Can Use - 09/25/2006

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
09/25/2006 - 10/01/2006

The Duluth High Varsity Football Cheerleaders will perform cheers on the Cindy and Ray Show on the STAR94 radio station at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. The team placed first at the Mill Creek Competition this past weekend. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Dr. LaVern Watkins, principal of Norcross Elementary, recently was recognized by Norcross Mayor Lillian Webb for being a High Performance Principal as defined by SB 468, which was passed and funded during the last session of the General Assembly. This grant program provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the achievements of high-performing educators.

On Sept. 13, Casey Coffey of Gwinnett Place Ford presented cars to two individuals at Peachtree Ridge High. The honorees, each receiving a Ford Focus, were Sarah Skinner, the school’s Teacher of the Year, and senior Eric Wang, who was recognized with the Principal's Award. Eric was selected for the honor based on his qualities of leadership, scholarship, citizenship, and community service. The Principal’s Award winner speaks to incoming freshmen and serves on various school committees. This is the second year that Gwinnett Place Ford has awarded cars to the school’s top teacher and top student. The dealership is a Partner in Education with Peachtree Ridge. For more information call 678-957-3100.

The Duluth High Tip Off Club will host an annual Charity Golf Classic on Sept. 25 at Northwood Country Club beginning at 8 a.m. Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, a Duluth High graduate, will play in the tournament. Proceeds from the tournament benefit Duluth area youth and high school basketball programs. For more information, call Jeff Eckard at 770-497-0812, or email

Mill Creek High will host a visit from award-winning author Jackie Hardrick on Sept. 29. Ms. Hardrick will visit with small groups of students in the media center, and be available for book signing after school. For more information on this author, visit For more information about the meeting, call Patricia Lowrie at 678-714-5850.

The public is invited to “Soak Up the Science” at the Sept. 30 Open House for the new Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Performers include the Dacula High Chamber Choir, Skillet Lickers Bluegrass Band, the Gwinnett Choral Guild, and the Clog Squad. There also will be Critters, Cooters, and Creatures Storytime and a Reptile Demonstration. For more information, visit

The Duluth High Media Department is planning an Internet Safety Night for parents and students in the Duluth Cluster on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the theater. A panel of local officials and school personnel will discuss safety issues associated with student Internet use. Panel members include Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, Duluth Police Officer Scott Parrish, Duluth school resource officer Tony Williams, Duluth High media specialists Dr. Marsha Hunter and Paula Flageolle, and Principal Pat Blenke. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Collins Hill High theatre group will perform “The Actor’s Nightmare” on Oct. 12, 13, and 14, at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

Berkmar High invites alumni, staff, and friends to help celebrate the school's 40th Anniversary Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 13. All are invited to attend a pre-game reception in the Main Lobby of the school at 5:30 p.m. and then gather on the field for a Parade of Classes at 7 p.m. RSVP to the school by calling 770-921-3636 or respond on the school's website.

A Berkmar High community celebration is on the schedule for Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. Interested alumni are gathering regularly to plan the event. Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Berkmar High Media Center on these Tuesdays: Sept. 19 and 26; Oct. 3, 10, and 24; and Nov. 7. The planning committee is looking for memorabilia to be part of the “Berkmar over Time” display. For more information, call Diana Preston at 770-921-3636, or visit

The Grayson High Technology Education Program invites parents, students, teachers, and community members to the Fall Open House and Plant Sale on Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors may tour the building, meet the instructors, and check out the program. Classes offered include Technical Theater (scenery and lighting), Technical Theater (costume and makeup), Computer IT and Network Systems, Law Enforcement, Travel Planning and Hotel/Hospitality Management, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Veterinary Technology, Biotechnology, Commercial Photography, Television Broadcast, Culinary Arts, Digital Media Design and Animation, Music Technology, and Music Recording. During the Open House, you can
  • Extract your own DNA and create a keepsake DNA necklace in Biotechnology;
  • Buy fall plants from the Horticulture program-- pansies, snapdragons, dianthus, and violas on sale for $10 per flat;
  • Create a Dingbat logo using Adobe Illustrator in Digital Media;
  • Meet live animals that are studied in Veterinary Technology;
  • See the amazing black box theater and costumes designed by Technical Theater students;
  • Get your fall picture taken in the Commercial Photography studio; and
  • Get a bite to eat from the Culinary Arts program.
The open house will be held in the Technical Education Program Building, located on the campus of Grayson High at 50 Hope Hollow Rd. in Loganville. For more information, call Kristie Martin at 770-554-7082.

Duluth High sponsors a school store run by Lori Wreyford’s special education students. School supplies, spirit wear, and snacks may be purchased by students, parents, and staff. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Peachtree Ridge High Roaring Lions Marching Band has a new member...WWII veteran Mac Abbott joined the band while they performed in the Suwanee Day Parade. Mr. Abbott spoke at the student luncheon following the parade about his experiences at Pearl Harbor. He has been invited to join the Peachtree Ridge Roaring Lions as they travel to Hawaii in November. The band will spend a week in Hawaii, perform at the USS Missouri, and march in the Waikiki Holiday Parade in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. For more information, call Giesela Zavodny at 770-476-1299. See attached picture below.

Duluth High’s Navy JROTC remains very active in the community. In addition to providing Color Guards at the football games, the cadets performed a Color Guard for a Norcross organization, and that afternoon, picked up trash as part of the adopt a highway campaign. Nineteen cadets recently volunteered at the Chesney Elementary “Fun Day,” helping the students. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Creekland Middle had 15 students participate in this year’s Latin American Association’s Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference held at Georgia State University. The keynote speaker for the conference was Ralph de la Vega, chief operating officer of Cingular Wireless and a Cuba native. For more information, visit

“GCPS Focus” This week on GCPS Focus... Quality-plus teaching in Gwinnett schools, an international professional learning experience, planning for growth, and a look at Gwinnett’s newest students. This 30-min. program airs Sept. 27-Oct. 1 at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use - Back to School Special: American Competitiveness and a Changing World” The September broadcast of this U.S. Department of Education program will answer these questions: “What does ‘global competitiveness’ mean, and why is it important to schools and families?” “Why is it critical that students take more mathematics, science, and language courses in high school?”, and “How will the American Competitiveness Initiative help to prepare students for academic and career success in the fields, of math, science, and engineering?” This 60-min. program airs Sept. 27-30 at 1 p.m.

“The Author in You - Peter Parente” Author Peter Parente’s “Peeper and Friends” series has helped to educate and entertain children across the country about rainforest animals. These stories are designed to instill a love of nature and an awareness of animal conservation needs around the world. Tune in for a special introduction to Peeper the kinkajou and Mo the sloth. This 30-min. program airs Sept. 27-30 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This program, a valuable language resource and learning opportunity, is now airing on GCPS TV. The 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially to the needs of educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday–Sunday, through Nov. 19 (A new class will air each week, beginning each 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 Oct. 31 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon 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:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-6460, 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.

09/18/2006Gwinnett students recognized among top 10 nationwide in future business leaders competition (pdf)
09/15/2006‘Teacher of the Year’ at local schools named (pdf)

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

Juniors will take the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test on Sept. 27.

October is Computer Learning month.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 12, 2006, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Instructional Materials Review runs Oct. 2-31. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for social studies for grades 6–12. The review begins on Oct. 2 and runs through Oct. 31. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center, Building 200 Lobby, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee, or at the Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building, located at 40 Hope Hollow Road in Loganville. For information on the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson at 678-301-7011.
Instructional Support Center:
Monday–Friday, Oct. 2–31, 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.

Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building:
Monday–Friday, Oct. 2–31, 7 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.

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

Camp Creek Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Duncan Creek Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Craig Elementary
Parkview High
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Duluth High
W.C. Britt Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Parkview High
R.D. Head Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Snellville Middle
Suwanee Elementary