News You Can Use - 11/07/2005

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
11/07/2005 - 11/13/2005

The Mill Creek High robotics team will compete in the Southeast Region competition in Auburn, Ala., on Nov. 4. The team won the state competition in October. Several companies have contributed to the team’s effort to build a competitive robot including Metals and Materials Engineering Lab, Falletta Engineering, Kroger, Smock Enterprises, Wood Specialists, Inc., and Automotive Traditions. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

A GCPS Certified Teacher Job Fair will be held on November 5 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Mill Creek High School, 4400 Braselton Hwy./Hwy. 124, in Hoschton. Applications may be obtained at or by calling the GCPS Application Line at 678-377-8909.

Berkmar Middle has been awarded a $5,000 grant to expand the Physical Education department of the school. The “Let’s Just Play Giveaway” is Nickelodeon’s new initiative empowering kids to bring fitness resources to their schools and communities. The funds will be used to purchase a computerized treadmill and fitness bikes for the fitness room, which is used by students during PE classes and is available for use before school through the intramural program. For more information, call Dana Griffith at 770-638-2334.

The Peachtree Ridge High Fencing Team competed at Vanderbilt University Oct. 29 as one of only two high schools in the tournament. John Choi won the Gold Medal and earned “E” national ranking in foil. Women's team captain Emma Affholter won the Gold Medal in women's foil competition. Anna Simpson won the Silver Medal. Anna is one of only 15 high school fencers who will train with the U.S. National Women's Epee team in December in Pittsburgh. For more information, call Diane Clausen at 678-957-3166.

During the annual GCPS School Nutrition Programs Award Banquet, the following awards were presented:
Doris Brewer, R.D. Head Elementary, Food Assistant of the Year
Terrie Greeson, Dacula Elementary, Manager of the Year
Bernie Warner, J.E. Richards Middle, Manager of the Year (Honorable Mention)
Nutrition Education Leaders of the Year were Cheryl Phillips of J.G. Dyer Elementary; Karen Johnson and DeeAnn Brown of Lilburn Middle; and Doris Sells of Central Gwinnett High. Administrators of the Year were Christopher Ray of Grayson Elementary; Dr. Kay Harvey of Duluth Middle; and Glenn McFall of Collins Hill High. For more information, call Sarah E. Willette, at 678-377-3955.

The Collins Hill High girl’s softball team won the 2005 state championship for fast pitch softball. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

Grayson Elementary will sponsor a Community Outreach Holiday Charity Drive Nov. 7. Each grade level may donate assigned items. The grade level bringing in the most items will win an ice cream party at the end of the school year. Items may be dropped off at bus and car pool drop-off locations at the school. For more information, call Margie Peden at 770-338-2733 or e-mail

The Grayson Elementary PTA will sponsor a Reflections Awards Ceremony at its general meeting, which will be held on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The Reflections entries will be on display in the school, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The PTA meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the gym. For more information, call Pam Jackson, PTA President, at 770-962-7732 or e-mail

Berkmar High will honor veterans in the Lilburn community by hosting Patriot Pride Night on Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. A reception with refreshments will begin at 6:30 in the theater lobby. This year’s program will include a performance of patriotic music by the Berkmar High band and choir, an art gallery of student work honoring heroes, and special readings of original essays with the theme “Heroes in Everyday Life.” The featured speaker this year will be Earle Graham, a veteran and teacher at Berkmar High. This event is open to the public. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

R.L. Norton Elementary has several Veterans’ Day activities planned. One class of 2nd graders will sing to veterans at the Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Decatur on Nov. 8 at 10:30 a.m. The 4th and 5th grade chorus will perform a Veterans’ Day concert on Nov.10 at 7 p.m. Chorus members will be dressed in authentic military uniforms the chorus director has collected. For more information, call 770-985-1933.

Lawrenceville Elementary will sponsor a Parent Fair on Nov. 9 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Parents will have the opportunity to explore available community resources. Several community organizations will be available to answer questions and distribute information about their services. Participating organizations and businesses include Fidelity Bank, Wachovia Bank, the YMCA, United International Mortgage, the Gwinnett County Fire Department, Kool Smiles, Georgia Peachcare, MALDEF, Latin American Association, NAACP, School Box, Boys & Girls Club, and Singin Bean. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Simpson Elementary will sponsor a Veterans’ Day Celebration on Nov. 11 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. in the cafeteria. Two veterans will speak to students, and songs and music will be performed by 3rd grade students. For more information, call Dr. Nancy Kiel, at 770-417-2400.

The Atlanta Area Chapter of the Orff-Schulwerk Association has selected members for the 2005 Honors Chorus to perform at the 2005 National Convention of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. The Honors Chorus includes students from nine diverse communities around the Atlanta Area, including four schools from Gwinnett County. These GCPS schools, their music specialists, and their participants include:
Dacula Elementary-- Karen Leamon, music specialist; and Samantha Hickey, Sara Beth Marchert, Katherine McBroom, Emmanuel Nkoloagu, and Larissa Parr, participants.
Lilburn Elementary-- Julie Hall and Kristen Gwaltney, music specialists; and Destiny Babb, Maria Banuelos, Linda Cisneros, and Brianna Furey, participants.
Partee Elementary-- Joyce Hunt, music specialist; and Austin Agar, Taryn Connelly, Sharzah Bhuiyan, Quinyauna Buford, and Kaitlyn Gray, participants.
Sugar Hill Elementary­­ Tiffany English, music specialist; and Kirk Sands, Valentina Urrego, Shelby Cannaday, Alison Rogers, and Allison Lyle, participants.
The Atlanta Area Honor Orff Ensemble will perform at the National American Orff-Schulwerk Conference in Birmingham on Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m. Photos available upon request. For more information, call Robert Andrews at 770-513-6788.

Simpson Elementary will have a visit from children's book author Helen Lester on Nov. 15. For assembly times and more information, call Dr. Nancy Kiel at 770-417-2400.

The Gwinnett County Teen Driving Expo will take place at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds on Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine. The free event is open to all. For more information, call 770-823-7823 or visit

Bethesda Elementary will celebrate a rededication of the school as it marks 100 years on Nov. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. Special guests attending include Ralph Thompson, 90 years old and Bethesda's oldest living student; Agnes Wells, 89 years old and Bethesda's oldest living teacher; and J.W. Benefield, Bethesda's second oldest living teacher. Former Bethesda students, staff, and community members are invited to attend the Bethesda School Rededication to celebrate 100 years of serving children in our community. Old photographs and school items to include in a historical museum will be part of the event, entitled “A Walk Down Cardinal Lane.” Please contact Martha Tyndall at Bethesda Elementary 770-921-2000 for more information.

J.P. McConnell Middle will sponsor a parent resource seminar entitled “Being a Savvy Internet Parent” on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the staff development room in the front office. The program will include tips and information for parents on students and the Internet. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Sycamore Elementary will host a visit from North Carolina author Paul M. Howey on Nov. 16. Mr. Howey will talk with students about being an author, the writing and editing process, and publishing books. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Lawrenceville Elementary will celebrate National Parent Involvement Day on Nov. 17 from 10 to 11 a.m. Parents are invited to spend time volunteering in classrooms and participating in an activity to explore different ways to volunteer. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Lawrenceville Elementary’s Parent Center will host a Technology and Mathematics night on Nov. 18 from 10 to 11 am. Parents will meet in the Castle Computer Lab and explore math-based instructional Web sites geared to support children using technology. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

The Cedar Hill Elementary health and PE teachers and PTA will host a Family Fun Health and Fitness Day on Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Centers will be set up to learn about health, nutrition, and fun and inexpensive ways of incorporating physical activities into daily life. Each center will include instructions in English and Spanish. Take-home materials, such as sidewalk chalk and jump ropes, will be available. Cedar Hill recently received a Georgia PTA Grant that will be used to fund this event. Also, on Nov. 18, a committee made up of staff and parents will complete a School Health Index. This self-assessment tool will guide staff in supporting wellness at the school. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

The Peachtree Ridge High band was selected from among 70 bands to participate in the 7th Annual 2006 Waikiki Holiday Parade on Nov. 24 in Hawaii. Students will perform at the USS Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial. For more information, call Eric Willoughby, band director, at 678-957-3100.

“Soldier of Liberty” Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip. Enlist in the 2nd Virginia Regiment with a young recruit, Nathaniel Hutcheson, and experience the everyday life of a soldier on the eve of the American Revolution. March with him into battle for his first encounter with the noise, confusion, and horrors of war. This 60-min. program airs live, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. and reairs at 1 p.m.

“Reactions in Chemistry” Annenberg/CPB. This video workshop blends chemistry content, history, and technological applications with a range of classroom lessons to provide high school teachers with updated knowledge and new approaches. This 60-min. program airs Nov. 7 through Nov. 10 at 11 a.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air November 7 through January 3 on GCPS TV. The 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 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--

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Nov. is American Indian Heritage Month.

Nov. 7-11 is School Psychologist Week.

Nov. 8 is Election Day.

Nov. 9-10 are early release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Nov. 10, 2005, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.

Veterans’ Day is Nov. 11.

Nov. 13-19 is American Education Week.

National Children’s Book Week and Youth Appreciation Week begin Nov. 14.

National Community Education Day is Nov. 15.

Nov. 16 is Educational Support Professionals Day.

Nov. 17 is National Parental involvement Day.

National Family Week begins Nov. 20.

Nov. 23-25 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

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