News You Can Use - 05/24/2004

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
05/24/2004 - 05/30/2004

U.S. Presidential Scholar Travis Mushett named Rick Barry of Brookwood High as his most influential teacher. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Debi West of Rock Springs Elementary presented at the National Art Education Association Convention in Denver this spring. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Lori Draper of Suwanee Elementary received the Bob Clarke Scholarship in the amount of $800 for 2004-05. Ms. Draper is furthering her studies in human behavior at Georgia State University. For more information, call 770-945-5763.

Two Gwinnett County teachers and a Gwinnett elementary school were honored at the 2003-04 Visiting International Faculty awards ceremony. Michael Heyes of Meadowcreek High was the Georgia Cultural Educator of the Year winner, and Deborah McNally of Richard Hull Middle was a finalist. In addition, Knight Elementary received the School of the Year Award. For more information, call Diana Baird at 770-513-6661.

Dr. Tiffany Coleman of Simonton Elementary received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the College of Education at Georgia State. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Kathy Barrett of Rebecca Minor Elementary published three model environmental education lesson plans on the Georgia Environmental Education and Georgia Learning Connections web sites. These lesson plans are accessible to teachers across the state through www.eeingeorgia.organd more information, call 770-925-9543.

The Trickum Middle Science Olympiad team competed on April 17 at Georgia State University. The team placed fifth out of 29 teams. Michelle Jenkins and Zain Gillani earned first-place medals for “Storm the Castle.” Second-place medals were awarded to Ryan Smith and Dipesh Patel for “Wheeled Vehicles,” and to Chitra Sampath and Christopher Oberste for “Science of Fitness.” Third-place medals were awarded to Andrew Gabrielsen and Christopher Oberste for “Bottle Rockets,” and to Michelle Jenkins and Will Hendricks for “Science Crime Busters.” In the ecology trial event, Han Zhang and Tom Mou earned third-place medals. Other team members include Anik Das, Mehreen Iqbal, Song-Keun Kim, Gargi Mukherjee, Niranjana Rengarajan, and Sumi Selvaraj. For more information, call 770-921-2705

The Georgia Drinking Water Week Committee named several GCPS students as winners in the Georgia Drinking Water Week Poster Contest. Gwinnett students won eight of nine awards. The K–2 division winners are Pharr Elementary’s Savannah Selby, first place; Josh Rosenberg, second place; and Payton Billingsley, third place. In the grade 3–5 division Brian Hardie won first place, and Katie Rousseau won third place. Both students are from Pharr Elementary. The grade 6–8 division winners are Kory Gabriel of J.E. Richards Middle in first place, Randy Howington of Richard Hull Middle in second place, and Giovanna Melguizo of J.E. Richards Middle in third place.
For more information on the poster contest, contact Michael O'Shield, Gwinnett County Department of Public Utilities, at 678-376-7157.

Maxwell High School of Technology hosted the State SkillsUSA competition in April. More than 200 students from across Georgia competed in the event. Four of the first-place winners are Maxwell students who will compete at the National SkillsUSA-VICA competition in Kansas City, Missouri, this summer.
First place Robert Anglin, Cosmetology
First place Aaron Garrett, Residential Wiring
First place Charlie Reed, Welding
First place Hadasa Vasquez, Nail Care
Second place Robert Iseley, Precision Machining Technology
Second place David Kingsada, Ricardo Lopez, Thomas Page, David Panuska, Construction–Team Works
Third place Sonny Doby, Criminal Justice
Third place Ashley Nixon, First Aid/CPR

Three Maxwell High School of Technology students have been awarded scholarships to Gwinnett Technical College. These scholarships are being offered to Maxwell students through the Gwinnett Tech Foundation. Adam Loman received the Howard Maxwell Scholarship, given in honor of Maxwell's namesake and former principal. Felicia Bryant received the Bob Talley Scholarship. Brittane Samuel received the Hudgens Scholarship. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Maggie Hunter of North Gwinnett High was a national winner in the Fashion Merchandising Plan event in Nashville. The following North Gwinnett students were named "Top 20 Percent" in their events:
Chris Morris, Quick-Serve Restaurant Management
Parker Norman and Stephanie Arias, Civic Consciousness Project
Amanda Robbins, Entrepreneurship Participating Event
Emily Knight and Lindsay Brotherton, Entrepreneurship Written Event
For more information, call Jacqueline Huffman at 770-945-9558.

GCPS honored the top 20 head custodians for their professionalism and exemplary job performance at the 16th annual Head Custodian Appreciation Breakfast on May 11. These individuals were selected as the system’s top professionals from among the school system’s 97 head custodians. The following head custodians were recognized for their performance: Senada Ajanic of McKendree Elementary, Julie Beverly of Alton C. Crews Middle, Travis Blalock of J.A. Alford Elementary, Loretta English of Bethesda Elementary, Loyd Eubanks of Grayson Elementary, Connie Fulcher of Sycamore Elementary, Lisa Hodge of W.J. Cooper Elementary, Jeffery Jarrell of Duluth Middle, Ron Johnston of Grayson High, Carol Logan of Walnut Grove Elementary, Chris MacArthur of Peachtree Ridge High, Debra McGaha of Dacula High, Dan Murphy of Pharr Elementary, Steve Nunley of J.P. McConnell Middle, Carl Reese of Collins Hill High, Rose Rogers of J.C. Magill Elementary,
Ana Sanchez of Hooper Renwick and the GIVE Center, Kathy Shewbert of Snellville Middle, Joe Wimmer of Fort Daniel Elementary, and Sandra Woodyard of Berkmar High.

Trickum Middle will hold its 8th grade honors night on May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Park United Methodist Church. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

G.H. Hopkins Elementary will hold a volunteer tea on May 24 at 10 a.m. to recognize volunteers who supported the school during the year. For more information, call 770-564-2661.

Meadowcreek Elementary will distribute books purchased through the Reading is Fundamental grant for the third and final time May 24. Through the grant, each child in the school receives a book of his or her choice. The school received the grant last year. In addition, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a sponsor of Reading is Fundamental, will award the school 14 classroom book collections in August. For more information, call 770-931-5701.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary is sponsoring Camp Invention, a week-long summer enrichment day camp, for rising 2nd through 6th graders. The camp is scheduled for July 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The fee is $199. The camp will foster creativity, teamwork, inventive thinking skills, and science. Call Genie Quinn, camp director, at 770-232-3370, or email Ms. Quinn at For more information, visit

Sallie Barrett, Richard Hull Middle gifted program teacher, and Lauren Baggett, a former Richard Hull Middle student and current 9th grader at Peachtree Ridge High, have been selected by the Girl Scouts of the USA for the “Natural Science in the Tetons” program to be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, June 24-30. Every year, Girl Scout councils around the world offer a variety of trips to Girl Scouts through a program called “Destinations.” Lauren and Ms. Barrett will participate in a national bird-banding effort while hiking through the Grand Teton National Park. For more information, call 770-232-3200.

Barbara Brown’s science classes at Pinckneyville Middle participated in a space mission with NASA. Working with Earthkam (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students), students were able to communicate with astronauts on the International Space Station for four days. Students coordinated latitude and longitude with the position of the Space Station its speed, and the rotation of the earth before entering data for a picture to be taken from space. For more information, call 770-263-0860.

Sixty-six students were recognized at Project Rescue’s 2004 GED Awards Ceremony. Six students received GED diplomas and eight students were recommended for GED diploma testing. For more information, call Penny Reliford, program coordinator, or Cynthia McKinney, at 770-513-6644.

Richard Hull Middle PTSA members elected officers for the 2004-05 school year during the May 11 meeting. The new officers are Co-Presidents Kathy Anderson and Mary Eisenhardt, Co-Vice Presidents Laura Ridderhof and Leslie Winfrey, Treasurer Jackie Pray, and Secretary Judy Niemonen. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

The Brookwood High National Honor Society is collecting items to make care packages for the troops in Iraq. Community members are invited to donate money for postage or additional items. For more information, call Kristine Halcomb at 770-978-5099.

Ben Clark, a Meadowcreek High student and member of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Lilburn, organized a used-book drive to benefit Rockbridge Elementary students. Ben is working to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. Ben and others in his troop collected 2,000 used children's books to donate to Rockbridge students. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

New immunization laws will be in effect for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Immunizations must be recorded on a Department of Human Resources Form 3231 and on file in the student's Georgia permanent school record. This information must be documented by the Health Department or your personal physician. Documentation of the following immunizations is mandatory for all 6th, 7th and 8th graders for school attendance:
All students must have a three-part series Hepatitis B (three shots).
All students must show that they have received the Varicella/Chickenpox vaccination or show proof of immunity, which indicates that they have already had chickenpox. All students must have at least two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine).
This information must be recorded on the proper Georgia Form (#3231). For more information, contact one of the local health departments: Buford at 770-614-2401, Lawrenceville at 770-339-4283, or Norcross at 770-638-5700.

Web registration for online courses through Buchanan High School of Technology will be open from now until June 3. Online courses are open to high school students and adult learners. The cost for online courses is $285 per course. For summer course offerings and registration, visit the Web site at

This week (May 24-30), tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
“GCPS Focus,” airing 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. each day.
“In Five,” a five-minute news update, airing at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily.
Adelphia on Channel 20 BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Charter Communications on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an e-mail to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness Sports Month.

May 25 is the last day of school.

May 31 is Memorial Day and a GCPS systemwide holiday.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., June 17, 2004, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.

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