News You Can Use - 10/18/2004

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
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004

Berkmar Middle Assistant Principal John Wight has been awarded the Distinguished Clinician in Teacher Education award from the Georgia Association of Educators. Mr. Wight is a practitioner instructor at Georgia State University and has worked with the master’s and specialist’s Cohort Degree Programs in Early Childhood. For more information, call 770-638-2300.

Laura Baldree, a Berkmar High art teacher, is one of 10 high school teachers statewide to be accepted to the Professional Association of Georgia (PAGE) Teacher Academy. The PAGE Teacher Academy is a two-year program in which novice teachers partner with veteran teachers and specialists in their teaching fields. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Larry Highbauth, South Gwinnett High coach, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame at the 32nd induction ceremony. Coach Highbauth won numerous awards and honors throughout his 14-year Canadian Football League career playing for the BC Lions and Edmonton Eskimos. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Shiloh Middle 7th grade student Kelia Brown won first place in the state in the Fire Safety Essay Contest, sponsored by the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's office. Kelia was honored at the Annual Life, Fire, and Safety Awards Luncheon on Oct. 7, and received a $100 savings bond, a certificate, and other prizes. For more information, call 770-972-8471.

The division winners in the 2004 Gwinnett County School Bus Safety Poster Contest have been selected. The following students’ work will move on to state competition.
Division 1 (Grades K-2): Mehak Ahmed, Arcado Elementary
Division 2 (Grades 3-5): Ameer Rahim, Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
Division 3 (Grades 6-8): Dzenita (Jeny) Custovic, Shiloh Middle
For more information, call the local school.

During the annual GCPS School Nutrition Programs Award Banquet, the following awards were presented:
Polly Nichols, Dacula High Food Assistant of the Year
Carol Black, B.B. Harris Elementary Assistant Manager of the Year
Phyllis Kehoe, K.E. Taylor Elementary Manager of the Year
Terrie Greeson, Dacula Elementary Manager of the Year (Honorable Mention)
Nancy Bourke, Pinckneyville Middle Manager of the Year (Honorable Mention)
Brenda Perry, Berkmar High Manager of the Year (Honorable Mention)
Nancy Hammond, B.B. Harris Elementary Elementary School Principal
Thomas Trippany, Centerville Elementary Elementary School Assistant Principal
Lynne Davis, Trickum Middle Middle School Principal
Berry Simmons, South Gwinnett High High School Principal
For more information, call Beth Mills, director of school nutrition programs, at 770-822-6438.

The Peachtree Ridge High Roaring Lions Marching Band has performed recently at several competitions. At the Lassiter Marching Showcase, the band earned a superior rating and ranked third overall. At the Brookwood Marching Classic, the band again earned a superior, and ranked fifth. Numerous section honors and trophies were earned by the Roaring Lions at these events. The marching band is also one of 16 bands invited to participate in the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade in Washington, D.C., in the spring. For more information, call 678-957-3100.
Eleven GCPS teachers have been selected for the 2004-05 Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful school steering committee. The committee is charged with
· Incorporating environmental education materials into GCPS and the community
· Assisting with evaluating environmental education materials and lessons
· Making recommendations for current/new programs
· Facilitating meetings and classes for teacher and PTA representatives
· Developing methods of communication
· Disseminating information within the school community
For more information, call Brenda McDaniel, education coordinator for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, at 770-822-5187.

Henry Partee Elementary students are participating in a schoolwide mock election on Oct. 28. Presidential “candidate” interviews took place Oct. 14, and the candidates will debate on Oct. 21. Teachers will collect voter registration applications the week of Oct. 18 and conduct a sample voter poll. For more information, call 770-982-6920.

Walnut Grove Elementary’s top students in the annual PTA fundraiser will have the opportunity to enter a money machine to gather as much money as they can in one minute. Other students will ride in a Hummer limousine. These activities take place on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

The Glenn C. Jones Middle media center will host a celebrity guest reader event Oct 19-21 to celebrate Teen Read Week. Celebrities will include Ms. Georgia USA, Mrs. Georgia USA, Ms. UGA, the mayor of Sugar Hill, the Gwinnett Gladiators, 11 Alive investigators, a Creative Loafing writer, County Chairman Wayne Hill, and local college athletes. Each celebrity will read an excerpt from a favorite book, poem, or article and share information about his or her life. Contact Julie Richardson at 770-904-5484 for more information.

During Teen Read Week, Trickum Middle students will present “A Literary Night” on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., after the PTSA meeting. The event will include dramatic presentations of original scripts, poetry readings, a reading information center, classroom displays, and reading circles. The PTSA will set up a coffee shop in the media center. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Grayson High School Technical Education Program will hold an open house on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. For information, call 770-554-7082.

Peachtree Elementary will participate in Gwinnett Great Days of Service on Oct. 23. Organizers will work with Peachtree Elementary parents and students to clean up the grounds during the annual Hands on Peachtree workday. Workers will clean up the outdoor classroom area and playground, and lay ground cover and plant flowers in the garden areas around the school. Volunteers will distribute new and “gently used” children’s books to foster homes, shelters, and hospitals. For more information, call 770-448-8710.

Maxwell High School of Technology will have its fall open house on Oct. 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Parents will meet teachers, view labs and curriculum materials, and have questions answered. Maxwell is located at 990 McElvaney Lane in Lawrenceville. For more information, call Donna Powers at 770-338-4609.

The Peachtree Elementary PTA Academic Boosters and Science committee will sponsor “Science Mania” on Oct. 28. This year, the event will include health- and science-related activities.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a Relay for Life pizza dinner fundraiser. Hands-on experiments, science- and health-related exhibits, and video presentations will begin at 6 p.m. This year’s class topics include Animals from Around the World, Ladybugs, Germ Busters, Volcanoes, Mini-Monsters, Pollinators on Parade, Fossils, Rocks & Minerals, and Electricity. Speaker Rick Bradley of The Georgia Reptile and Amphibian Rescue Effort, Inc., will present a class on camouflage in reptiles and amphibians. For more information, call 770-448-8710.

K.E. Taylor Elementary students will learn about the presidential election by reading books explaining the president’s job, completing elections activities, making campaign posters, and singing patriotic songs. After registering to vote, students will participate in a schoolwide mock election on Nov. 1. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

SAT tests will take place at Buchanan High School of Technology throughout the academic year. The SAT I test will be administered on the following Saturdays in building F: Nov. 6, Dec. 4, and Jan. 22. Preregistration is required. The new SAT, which will include a writing portion, will be administered beginning in the spring of 2005. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

Brookwood High Music Technology Club interviewed Disney film composer J.A.C. Redford on Oct. 13. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

“ArtStage - 2004 Gwinnett County High School Marching Band Exhibition: Part One” This program features Gwinnett County high school marching bands performing their 2004 half-time shows. This 60-minute GCPS TV original program airs Oct. 18-24 at 2 p.m and 8 p.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use - Supplemental Services: Helping All Students Achieve” This program from the U.S. Department of Education explores how supplemental services help students achieve academic success. This 60-minute program airs Oct. 20-21 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Oct. 22-24 at 1 p.m.

“BookTales Student Author/Illustrator Series: Part One, Celebrating ‘Teen Read Week,’” This three-part series features teen writers and illustrators. Host Aimee Buckner, Brookwood Elementary teacher and co-founder of the Brookwood Cluster Writing Institute, interviews students and explores the writing process and illustration techniques. This 30-minute GCPS TV original program airs Oct. 18-19 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Oct. 20-24 at 7 p.m.

“Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Exchange: A Parent-Primer, Part 1: Pre-School” Part one of this two-part series will explore practical ways parents can support and foster the literacy development of children before they enter school. This 30-minute program airs daily at 8 a.m. and 6:30 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 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

October is Computer Learning Month. October also includes heritage and cultural celebrations for Americans of Polish, Italian, and Czech heritage.

October 17-23 is National School Bus Safety Week.

October 25 is Georgia School Bus Drivers Appreciation Day.

November 2 is Election Day, and a student and teacher holiday.

New schools will host dedication ceremonies on the dates and times listed below. Call the local school to RSVP.
School Name Date Time RSVP
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary October 24 1:30 p.m. 678-542-2300
Duluth Middle October 24 3:30 p.m. 770-476-3372

Instructional materials are available for public review through Oct. 30 at the following locations:
Buchanan HS of Technology— 2595 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross, 770-326-8000
Lawrenceville East— 723 Hi-Hope Road, Lawrenceville, 770-338-4832
Materials may be reviewed Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Thursday evening, Oct. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. Materials up for review are Language Arts, grades 9-12; Foreign Language, grades 6-12; High School Science, two electives; and materials for the Grayson High Technical Education Program.

Gwinnett County Public Schools invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett's Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members have until Friday, Oct. 29, to submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS. Visit the GCPS Web site at for a review form. Submit this Word document as an attachment by e-mail to or mail a printed copy to:
Curriculum Development Office
Lawrenceville East
P.O. Box 343
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0343

The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions when members meet in February. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2005-2006 school year.

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