News You Can Use - 05/07/2007

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
05/07/2007 - 05/13/2007

Susan Stripling Elementary will sponsor the school’s annual Career Day on May 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will learn about “careers on wheels” from 9 to 11 a.m. when they experience being on a fire truck, police cruiser, a cherry picker ... or even the ice cream truck whose driver will pass out popsicles to students. Nurses, physicians, attorneys, and a community theatre director will speak to 2nd-5th grade students. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

Susan Stripling Elementary students along with a group of 25 volunteers from a local business will help build an outdoor classroom on May 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fifth-grade students will help the volunteers from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The project will allow students to visit a natural habitat where they can observe vegetation, study insects and wildlife attracted to plants, and the effects weather has on plants and wildlife. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

The Duluth High Chorus will perform their annual Peach Jam show on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 at 2:30 p.m., in the school’s auditorium. This year’s theme is “Duluth Laugh-In,” a celebration of the music of the 60’s and 70’s. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased at the door. For more information, call 770-623-6120.

Maxwell High School of Technology principal Donna Powers has been honored as a Patriotic Employer by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The award is presented to employers who significantly contribute to National Security by supporting employees enlisted in the U.S. Military Guard and Reserve. Ms. Powers was nominated by school counselor Chad Wilson, a member of the reserve. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

The National Honor Society inducted 24 Grayson High Technical Education Program students into the society. Students were recommended by their teacher, achieved a 90 or higher average in their technical class, and had an overall accumulative average of 85 or higher. The Grayson High Technical Education Program offers specialized programs to Gwinnett County students. The following students are new members of the National Technical Honor Society:
Brittany Alexander – Photography – South Gwinnett High
Gregory Baker – Culinary Arts – Shiloh High
Brandon Bellotte – Digital Media Design and Animation – South Gwinnett High
Elizabeth Carpenter – Digital Media Design and Animation – Collins Hill High
Ian Farrell – Music Recording – Grayson High
Katharine French – Horticulture – Grayson High
Joshua Garriss – Digital Media Design and Animation – Grayson High
Amber Guinn – Photography – Parkview High
Sarah Hanneken – Photography – Shiloh High
Kelley Henderson – Photography – South Gwinnett High
Amanda Herman – Horticulture – Grayson High
Bradley Hester – Digital Media Design and Animation – South Gwinnett High
Ilana Kroll – Technical Theater – Brookwood High
Michael Mankin – Digital Media Design and Animation – Collins Hill High
Zachary McDowell – IT Network – Shiloh High
Kiera Nelson – Music Technology – South Gwinnett High
Christina Newman – Law Enforcement – Grayson High
Sarah Nichols – Digital Media Design and Animation – Peachtree Ridge High
Paul Norvell – Music Recording – South Gwinnett High
Emily Osborne – Photography – South Gwinnett High
Allison Parker – Technical Theater – Brookwood High
Taylor Pool – Music Recording – Parkview High
Courtney Saye – Culinary – Parkview High
Stephen Washburn – Digital Media Design and Animation – Shiloh High
For more information, call Kristie Martin, assistant principal for Grayson High Technical Education Program at 770-554-7084.

The Brookwood High 12th grade WordMasters team placed 1st in a National Competition. The ninth grade team placed 4th in the nation, and the 11th grade team placed 8th. WordMasters Challenge is a national language arts competition. This year, 572 high school teams from all over the country competed. For more information, call 770-976-7642.

The Mill Creek High yearbook staff received the “General Excellence in Layout and Design” award from Interscholastic Yearbook for the student life division page designed by Brittany Durkee, Kelley Samples, Linda Tai, and Ashley Van Dittie. The competition showcased yearbook content, photography, and design from public and private schools in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Section editors Jessica Padden and Andie Tuggle received “General Excellence in Layout and Design” awards for electives and science pages. The 2007 “Accipiter” has been chosen to be included in the Jostens National Sample Pack. For more information, call Patricia Lowrie at the school at 678-714-5850, or visit

At a recent awards ceremony for the Georgia Council on Economic Education, a number of GCPS students and staff members were recognized for their success in the fall 2006 and spring 2007 rounds of the Georgia Stock Market Game, an online economics game, sponsored by the Council. GCPS received recognition for six of 10 awards presented at the event. Each team begins the game with an initial investment of $100,000. The winning Gwinnett teams and the value of their portfolios at the end of the 10-week game were:
Fall 2006
Parkview High, 1st place overall state winner; Final portfolio of $186,902; Team members Leslie Fowler, Titus Fuller, and Adrenis Hooks; Advisor Mark Leviton
Central Gwinnett High, 2nd place overall state winner; Final portfolio of $181,840; Team members Noble Rogers, Colin Crawford, Devin Sabina, Brett Davis, and Sarah Miller; Advisor Jerry Brimberry
Lilburn Elementary, 1st place ES state winner and 3rd place overall (all levels); Final portfolio of $175,609; Team members Ivan Valencia and Mateo James; Advisor Vincent Vilello
Spring 2007
Parkview High, 1st place overall state winner; Final portfolio of $224,000; Team members Nikil Kashyap, Daniel Kreisler, and Marcus Lostracco; Advisor Gary Petmecky
Parkview High, 2nd place overall state winner; Final portfolio of $190,301; Team members Lindsay McCurdy, Rebecca Welsh, and Noorin Khorasi; Advisor Gary Petmecky
Julie McClellan of Camp Creek Elementary, 1st place teacher division state winner; Final portfolio of $110,221
For more information, visit

Grayson, Parkview, and Peachtree Ridge high schools were among the 16 finalists who had their public service announcement videos reviewed by a panel of judges from the Governor’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each participating school submitted a 30-second public service announcement addressing the dangers and consequences of impaired driving among teens. For more information, visit

Brookwood Elementary teacher Nailah Carty, Lilburn Middle teacher Nykki Starr, and Meadowcreek High teacher Kelly Walter were named AT&T and Braves Teachers of the Year Finalist for 2007. They were chosen from teachers in metro Atlanta school districts. These teachers will be honored for their outstanding achievements and dedication on May 7 at 7:05 p.m. before the Braves game at Turner Field. For more information, visit

GCPS will host the “Third Regional Conference of the Partnership for Hispanic Family Learning and 9th Latino Summit.” The three-day conference is organized and sponsored by the Latin American Association and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. The event will take place May 10 and 11 at the school system’s Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, and May 12 at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center. For more information, call 404-638-1815 or visit the Latin American Association at

“Children First at Harmony”-- a song written by music teacher Adrian Alpert-- will debut at the May 10 Harmony Elementary PTA meeting where students, parents, and staff will learn the song and participate in a sing-along in the gym. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-945-7272.

Fort Daniel Elementary will host a Cultural Arts Night on May 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. Student art work will be on display at the annual art show in the gym. For more information, email PTA president Jennifer Davidson at

Peachtree Ridge High will host a visit from Colonel Ben Purcell, a relative of math teacher Karen Purcell, and his wife on May 11 in the afternoon. Col. Purcell and his wife will speak to students and faculty of his experiences as a Vietnam War POW for more than five years. For more information, call teacher Seth Hersch at 678-957-3100.

Walnut Grove Elementary recently received a grant from the Collins Hill Education Foundation and Home Depot to improve the school’s Sensorimotor room. Special education students use the room to learn to self modulate their sensory systems, develop improved motor skills, and increase positive social and behavioral skills. This impacts their ability to function within school, home, and community settings. Several pieces of equipment including a loft with a slide, a quiet visually stimulating area, a large ball pit, a new swing, and a scooter board ramp have been added to the room. This equipment will help improve motor skills so students can function within their classrooms. The reopening of the room will take place on May 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the school. For more information, call Keri Carpenter, occupational therapist at 678-301-7187.

The South Gwinnett High Language Arts Department will host a visit from author Jeannette Walls on May 18. Ms. Walls’ book, “The Glass Castle,” has been on the best-seller list and is a memoir of resilience and redemption. The book is listed on the GCPS high school summer reading list. Approximately 1,000 South Gwinnett students will have the opportunity to hear Ms. Walls speak. For more information, call 770-736-4239.

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student Field Studies and activities weekday mornings and is open to the public weekday afternoons Monday - Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

May is Teacher Appreciation Month
Free admission for teachers (with school ID) -- Win a free Field Study Program or Annual Family Membership.

May 5, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Clean Air Campaign, Free with paid admission & GEHC members
Learn how to protect the air we breathe, reduce air pollution, and about alternative modes of transportation. Bring your kids for hands-on activities and a fun visit with “BAIR,” the Clean Air Campaign’s mascot (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Email to register, or pay at the door.

May 5, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Boy Scouts Archaeology Merit Badge, $7 per scout
Can you dig it? Bring a brown bag lunch and join us as we work on this badge. Please complete pre-requisite numbers 4 and 11 in the Merit Badge booklet before coming. Some follow-up will be needed to complete the Merit Badge. Register at or call 770-904-3500. Limited to 15 participants. Admission to the center is free.

May 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 2nd Saturday, Archaeology Festival, $5 per person, $12 per family of four
Celebrate Archaeology Month. Fun activities for all ages include: Ask an Archaeologist, Primitive Tool Making, Deciphering the Documents, It’s in the Dirt, Making Pottery and much more. Come learn about the fascinating world of archaeology and how you can protect Georgia's past. Additional charge for admission to the EHC.

May 19, 8 a.m., EcoRun (5K and 1K Fun Run), $20 if registered by May 5, $25 to register on Race Day
Love to run? Then this is for you. Experience beautiful scenery and a challenging race course through the multi-surface trails. Race Times: 5K- 8 a.m., 1K Fun Run - 9:30 a.m. Download registration form at Registration includes a T-shirt for all runners. Additional charge for admission to the EHC.

May 19, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Club Method (Middle and High School)
Get Wacko with Macros. Join Club Method for fun in the sun catching bugs and wetland antics.

“GCPS Focus” Coming up on GCPS Focus... Gwinnett’s Class of 2007 is prepared for bright futures, the Special Needs College Fair and the new Transition Fair smooth the road beyond high school for a special group of students, and for some of our youngest students, the fire to succeed begins with a SPARK. This 30-minute program airs May 7-13 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.

“Listening to Our Ancestors” Ball State University Live EFT. Your trip starts with a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. where you will hear stories of eleven different Native communities from the North Pacific Coast. Then, with the help of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, take a trip to Juneau, Alaska! Students can enjoy the abundance of the rich Alaskan environment and will learn about the importance of family in Alaska Native communities. This 60-minute program airs live on Tuesday, May 8 at 11 a.m.

“Slavery at Mt. Vernon” Fairfax Network Live EFT. This 45-minute program, presented in partnership with George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, will examine the lives of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon as well as George Washington’s changing attitudes toward slavery. This 45-minute program airs live on Tuesday, May 8 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 1” This video telecourse is an advanced Spanish Language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. This series airs in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday through July 1. (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“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 through May 24 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.
05/03/2007Gwinnett’s Louise Radloff Middle honored for excellence in international education (pdf)
05/02/200711 GCPS students honored with national scholarship (pdf)
05/01/2007Susan Stripling Elementary students and volunteers to build outdoor classroom (pdf)
04/30/2007Duluth High CLAW squad cheers its way to a national spot (pdf)
04/27/2007Metro-Atlanta Hispanic community service organization honors GCPS superintendent Wilbanks (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2008 include:
May 3, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 11, 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education

For graduation dates, visit

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month.

Registration for high school summer school begins May 1.

May 1-7 is National Physical Education and Sports Week.

May 3 is Kindergarten registration.

May 6-12 is Teacher Appreciation Week and Custodian Appreciation Week.

May 8 is National Teacher Day.

May 9 is Georgia Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 10, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 13-19 is Reading is Fun Week.

May 21-22 is early release for high school exams.

May 23 is early release for high school exams and the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

Memorial Day on May 28 is a systemwide holiday and all locations are closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during May. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary5/10
Alton C. Crews Middle5/8
Arcado Elementary5/7
Benefield Elementary5/10
Berkmar Middle5/8
Bethesda Elementary5/8
Brookwood Elementary5/14
Camp Creek Elementary5/11
Cedar Hill Elementary5/14
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary5/18
Corley Elementary5/15
Dacula Elementary5/18
Duncan Creek Elementary5/10
Five Forks Middle5/11
Fort Daniel Elementary5/4
Frank N. Osborne Middle5/4
GIVE Center5/1
Glenn C. Jones Middle5/17
Harbins Elementary5/15
Henry Partee Elementary5/10
Ivy Creek Elementary5/11
J.C. Magill Elementary5/4
Knight Elementary5/11
Lawrenceville Elementary5/8
Lilburn Elementary5/17
Lilburn Middle5/17
Louise Radloff Middle5/3
Mill Creek High5/7
Mountain Park Elementary5/14
Norcross High5/10
North Gwinnett High5/15
Oakland School5/3
Peachtree Elementary5/17
Pharr Elementary5/17
Pinckneyville Middle5/10
R.D. Head Elementary5/9
Richard Hull Middle5/11
Riverside Elementary5/8
Rock Springs Elementary5/17
Rockbridge Elementary5/10
Shiloh High5/7
Snellville Middle5/10
South Gwinnett High5/15
Summerour Middle5/8
Susan Stripling Elementary5/3
Sweetwater Middle5/17
Sycamore Elementary5/3
Trickum Middle5/8
Walnut Grove Elementary5/10