News You Can Use - 04/02/2007

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
04/02/2007 - 04/15/2007

News You Can Use… will return April 12, 2006 - after spring break.
Gwinnett Culinary Arts Students participated in the 2007 Georgia ProStart State Championships in March at Le Cordon Bleu. Meadowcreek High students placed 3rd in the Culinary Competition and 4th in the Management Competition. Team members include Lisa Cherry, Evelyn Narvaez, Camly Nguyen, and Silva Southavong and were led by instructor Debbie Grant and chef mentor Richard Hurst from the Compass Group at Lenbrook Square. Management team members were Jia Yi Liu, Loreal Mapson, and Thanh Tang. Mill Creek High students placed 4th in the Culinary Competition. Team members include Dustin Edwards, Crystal Gaddis, Becca Maier, Brooke Mobley, and Aeron Wilson. They were led by instructor Beth Autrey and Chef Mentor Tony Schmidt from the Marriott. This event is sponsored by the Hospitality Foundation of Georgia. For more information, call Jody Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships, at 678-301-7050.

Three Brookwood High teams earned high honors at the WordMasters Challenge, a national competition requiring close reading and analysis of different kinds of prose and poetry. The twelfth-grade team tied for 2nd place, the ninth-grade team tied for 3rd place, and the eleventh-grade team tied for 12th place. Several Brookwood students won high honors for individual achievement as well. These students are Haley Adams, Victoria Anderson, Uzma Chowdhury, Aerin DeJarnette, Leah Jung, Coco Keevan, Aimee Plauche, and Julie Reynolds. Students will compete in one more meet before awards are presented in May. For more information, call 770-978-5075.

GCPS will send 10 students to Leadership Unplugged, a week-long summer leadership program for high school students. The mission of the 21st Century Leaders program is to increase the number, skills, and diversity of Georgia’s future leaders by delivering world-class business leadership training to Georgia high school students with high leadership aptitude and diverse backgrounds. Only 100 Georgia students were chosen to receive a full scholarship to the Leadership Unplugged program this summer. Leadership Unplugged is sponsored by CNN, Turner Broadcasting, and the Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). Highlights of the week include tours of CNN headquarters and Turner Studios, workshops and panels with CNN and Turner executives, and a business etiquette dinner hosted by the President of CNN. Student winners are:
Sequioa Bates, South Gwinnett High
Ashlyn DiNardo, Brookwood High
William Lee, South Gwinnett High
Brandon Lewis, South Gwinnett High
Juan Quintero, Duluth High
Jia Xu, Parkview High
Allison Rikard, South Gwinnett High
Alexis Roman, Brookwood High
Brandon Tucker, South Gwinnett High
Mary White, Peachtree Ridge High
For more information, visit

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students participated in the state Leadership Competition in March. Gwinnett will send 38 first- and second-place winners to compete in the International Career Development Conference in Orlando April 28-May 2. In addition, North Gwinnett High student Tanja Ardalic was elected Georgia DECA President and Dr. Jacqueline Huffman, North Gwinnett High teacher, was named Most Outstanding DECA Chapter Sponsor. For a complete list of winners, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call Jody Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships at 678-301-7050.

GCPS will send six 1st and 2nd place Future Business Leaders of America winners from the State Leadership meeting in March to the National Leadership Conference in Chicago Ill. in June. For a complete list of winners, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call Jody Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships at 678-301-7050.

North Gwinnett High recently had 26 students meet national standards for the Marketing Credentialing Program. This program is a component of the Industry Certification Program whereby students are evaluated for knowledge and skills acquired as a result of enrollment in an Industry Certified Program. For a complete list of winners, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call Jody Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships at 678-301-7050.

The Grayson High Technical Education Program National FFA Landscape Team recently won 2nd place in a Reality Landscape Competition at the Athens Home and Garden Show at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga. The team members created and executed their design in 4 hours in the outdoor courtyard at the Classic Center. Leslie Bevan is the landscape design teacher and advisor at the school. In the landscape competition students demonstrate their knowledge and decision making skills by selecting plants, mulch, ground covers, stone and garden ornaments (such as birdbaths and statuary) to use in designing a 10-foot by 10-foot display. The plants, all in containers, are arranged to appear as if they are planted. This is the same technique professional landscape and nursery exhibitors’ use in the Home & Garden Show. The Athens Home & Garden Show is presented annually by the Athens Area Home Builders Association. For more information, call Leslie Bevan at 770-554-7082.

Several GCPS teams competed in the Odyssey of the Mind Lilburn Regional Tournament in March. Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students to apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Students bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Division winners (1st and 2nd place) will represent their region at the state tournament April 20 and 21 at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. Regional winners are:
Grayson Elementary 1st Place Problem I Division I
Trickum Middle 3rd Place Problem I Division II
Jackson Elementary 1st Place Problem II Division I
Knight Elementary 3rd Place Problem II Division I
Richard Hull Middle 1st Place Problem II Division II (also won the Ranatra Fusca Award for creativity)
Duncan Creek Elementary 2nd Place Problem III Division I
Sugar Hill Elementary (B) 2nd Place Problem III Division II
Richard Hull Middle (A) 1st Place Problem III Division II
Peachtree Ridge High 1st Place Problem III Division III
Parkview High 2nd Place Problem III Division III
Parsons Elementary (A) 1st Place Problem IV Division I
Trickum Middle 1st Place Problem IV Division II
Richard Hull Middle 1st Place Problem V Division I
Parkview High 1st Place Problem V Division III
Norcross High 2nd Place Problem V Division III
For more information, visit

Gwin Oaks Elementary will host a visit from children’s book author Deborah Wiles on April 11, 12, and 13. For more information, call 770-972-3110.

The Duluth High Interact Club, in cooperation with the City of Duluth, will sponsor the third annual Battle of the Bands competition on April 14 at the Town Green in downtown Duluth. Eight Duluth High student bands will compete for a grand prize. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Duluth High Care Team, the Gwinnett Center for Sexual Assault (GSAC), the Foster Children’s Organization, and Rainbow Village. Last year’s event raised more than $6,000 for the charities. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

Duluth High will recognize eight Latino students on April 15, for their leadership skills and character. The Latino Citizenship Awards are part of the Juntos/CLASE Latino Community Family Fun Day. The event will take place at Shorty Howell Park Pavilion from 2 to 5 p.m. Participants will be able to enjoy a taste of Latin American cuisine served at 2 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 3 p.m., highlighting the achievements of the Duluth High Hispanic students and their parents. Two students will be selected per grade level. Additional activities will be part of the event. In case of rain, the event will take place in the Duluth High cafeteria. Juntos/Clase is a committee made up of students, their parents, teachers and administrators. Juntos, meaning together, in Spanish, is the name chosen by the committee as it works together (Juntos) for the Hispanic community. CLASE is a program at UGA which stands for Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

The Mill Creek High PTSA will sponsor a safe driving program for students, parents, and community members at 6:45 p.m. on April 16. The program will provide information on parent’s involvement in teen driving education, promote seat belt use, and address other safety issues. Speakers will include an accident survivor. In addition, the PTSA will sponsor a drawing for a prom night VIP Package which includes a limousine and dinner for two; and four Driver Education Courses valued at $150 each. For more information, call 678-714-5850

Dacula High Marketing students will sponsor “Before the Dice Fall... Fashion Royale Prom Fashion Show 007” on April 17 at 7 p.m. in the school theater. Students will model 2007 prom fashions. Student models were selected from the student body. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in advance or $7 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. Refreshments will be served, and fashion vendors will be available following the show. The Fashion Marketing students are responsible for planning and organizing the show. The Promotion Marketing students will promote it. For more information, call Tammi Maness, marketing and apprenticeship coordinator, at 770-338-4748.

Debra Lassiter from Perfectly Polished will be the guest speaker at the GCPS Work-Based Learning kick-off meeting on April 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Instructional Support Center. Ms. Lassiter will share information about how to prepare for an interview, business attire, body language during an interview, what to do after the interview, and employer expectations. The event will give students an opportunity to prepare for entering the workforce and learn the necessary skills and confidence to gain employment and keep it. For more information, call Carla Steele, apprenticeship coordinator for technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships, at 678-301-7044.

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 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

March 31, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Boy Scout Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge, $7 per Boy Scout
Come dressed in comfortable attire and bring a sack lunch. Pre-register at

April 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Girl Scout Water Drop Patch Class, $10 per Girl Scout
Girl Scouts have fun while earning their Water Drop Patch. For registration information please contact Sabrina Jones at or call 678-420-6870.

Saturday, April 7, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Etowah Indian Mounds Trip, $16 per person
Join us as Archaeologist Dr. Adam King explains the latest research at the Etowah Indian Mounds. We will eat lunch at The Meeting Place. Cost includes transportation and ticket admission to Etowah, including the Native American Tools and Weapons event. Meet at the Center at 8 a.m. Register at or call 770-904-3500

April 14, 2 p.m., 2nd Saturday at EHC, free with paid admission
Shannon Pable of Shannon's Garden Gallery speaking on Made in the Shade, Designing a Woodland Garden. Parents and children will learn about native plants and complete an activity.

April 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Green Scene: An Earth Day Event, Free, (Center Admission not included)
Kids will complete a circuit of fun, educational hands-on activities to earn their Environmental Passport and get a free water bottle. Eco Expo for adults features a hybrid car, EarthCraft Homes, Biomass Energy, Hydrogen Fuel, Georgia GEMS Project Groundbreaking, and much more. Also available are exterior building tours and native plant walks. Concessions available.

April 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Club Method-Middle and High School Students
Club members volunteer in shifts at The Green Scene: An Earth Day Event. Contact Catherine Long at 770-904-3500.

“The Penguin Story - Shamu TV” When a giant oil spill threatens a population of penguins off the coast of Africa, Sea World aviculturists travel halfway around the world to come to the rescue. This is a story of teamwork, determination and dedication as the rescuers work to save thousands of oiled penguins and their stranded chicks. This 30-minute program airs April 2-8 at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“A Musical Journey: Imani Winds” Prince William/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series. This Grammy-nominated wind quartet is known not only for its expert musicianship and ensemble playing but also for its ability to mix classical, jazz, spirituals, and contemporary music into a lively and fun performance. This 60-minute program airs April 2-7 at 1 p.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through April 3 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.
3/27/07 School system selects top bus managers and monitor (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:
April 14, 2007-- Board budget work session
April 17, 2007-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
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

Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member's district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system's budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the meetings.
· April 10—District III meeting, Norcross High-host, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, (Duluth and Norcross Clusters)
· April 17—District V meeting, Meadowcreek High-host, Louise Radloff, (Berkmar, Meadowcreek, and Parkview Clusters)
· April 19—District IV meeting, Shiloh High-host, Dr. Robert McClure, (Brookwood, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett Clusters)
· April 24—District I meeting, Grayson High-host, Carole Boyce, (Central Gwinnett, Dacula, and Grayson Clusters)
· April 26— District II meeting, Collins Hill High-host, Daniel Seckinger, (Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge Clusters)

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day.

Schools will be closed for spring break April 2-6.

April 6 is a systemwide spring holiday for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 12, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

April 15-21 is National Library Week, National Student Leadership Week, and Public School Volunteer Week.

April 16-22 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

The High School Gateway will be given April 16-18. (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies subtests)

For graduation dates, visit

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during March and April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Berkmar High
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood High
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Monarch School
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.D. Head Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
4/12 & 26
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
T. Carl Buice School
W.C. Britt Elementary