News You Can Use - 01/15/2007

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
01/15/2007 - 01/21/2007

The Peachtree Ridge High fencing team recently qualified to compete in the Georgia Division Qualifying Tournament for the 2007 Junior Olympics. The top 20 percent of fencers in the United States compete in this prestigious event. Angela Stamm defeated opponents in both U-17 Women's foil and U-17 Women's epee to become the first Peachtree Ridge High fencer qualifying to compete in two weapon events at the Junior Olympics. Angela also captured the bronze medal in U-17 Women's foil. Gina Torcivia won the right to compete in U-17 Women's epee. Halle Bulmer captured one of the coveted spots for U-17 Women's saber. Also competing were team captain Maggie Adams, who took the bronze medal for U-20 Women's foil; Erin Cook, who captured the bronze medal in U-17 Women's foil; Julie Tang, Lauren Connell, Evan Gilchrist, Alex Irwi, and Elizabeth Weber. This is the third consecutive year Peachteree Ridge students qualified to compete in the 2007 Junior Olympic fencing competition, which will be held in Denver, Co. on Feb. 16. In March, the Lions will compete in the North America Cup Championship which will be held in Atlanta at the World Congress Center. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

The Norcross High Philharmonic Orchestra has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on April 3 at 8 p.m. The orchestra won the National High School String Orchestra Championship at the National Orchestra Festival as part of the American String Teachers Association National Conference last spring in Kansas City. While in NY, students will rehearse daily, visit museums, see the sights, and may take in a Broadway show. Director, Catherine Hudnall and assistant director Allison Bates are working diligently with students to prepare a very difficult program and to raise the $1,500 per student cost of the trip. The orchestra has performed at the Thrasher Park in downtown Old Norcross, The Georgia Aquarium, the school, and holiday events around Norcross. They were honored last spring at a Gwinnett Philharmonic Orchestra chamber music performance. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Trickum Middle student Yikan Ge earned a perfect score in this year’s first WordMasters Challenge-- a national language arts competition with more than 225,000 student participants. Yikan competed in the Gold Division. The challenge holds 3 meets at intervals during the school year, with the first one taking place in December. Other team members achieving outstanding results at the meet were Mariah Bowen, Taylor Brown, Asaada Corely, Tami Feng, Leah Hodges, Aine Imbach, Lisa Liu, Maddi Miller, Connor McDonald, Natalie Neuman, Sarah Nay, Lydia Pearson, Suzanne Shorrosh, Elizabeth Trompeter, and Ben White. The team was coached by Cathy Alexander, Debra Moody, and Joanna Shakelford. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Students, teachers, and community members are invited to the Grayson High Technology Education Program Open House on Jan 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors may tour the building, meet instructors, and check out the program. Classes offered include Technical Theater (Scenery and Lighting or Costume and Makeup), Music Recording, Music Technology, Digital Media Design and Animation, Culinary Arts, Television Broadcast, Commercial Photography, Biotechnology, Veterinary Technology, Horticulture, Environmental and Conservation Science, Travel Planning/Hotel and Hospitality Management, Law Enforcement and Public Safety, and Computer Information Technology and Network Systems. The open house will be held in the Technical Education Program Building, located on the campus of Grayson High at 50 Hope Hollow Rd. in Loganville. For more information, call Kristie Martin at 770-554-7082.

The Brookwood High Symphonic Winds, directed by Rudy Wilson, is one of the three bands in the state invited to participate in the First Annual Champion Honor Band Clinic of Georgia at Columbus State University on Jan. 19-20. The students will receive instruction from the faculty of the Schwob School of Music and conductors Joe David and Dr. Robert Rumbelow. For more information, call 770-985-0352.

The 2007 Gwinnett County Spelling Bee will be held on Jan. 20 in the Mill Creek High Theater with registration from 8:15-8:50 a.m. One winner from each of the 83 GCPS elementary and middle schools will compete in the Written Bee beginning at 9 a.m. The top 11 winners will compete in the Oral Bee immediately following the Written Bee, and will also represent GCPS in the District 3 Bee on Feb. 24. Spectators may attend the Oral Bee. For more information Cindy Gaskins, the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, can be contacted at The Gwinnett County Spelling Bee is co-sponsored by the Gwinnett County Association of Educators and The Gwinnett Daily Post.

Duluth Middle will host the Gwinnett County Middle School Conference on Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students take classes in the morning in Improvisation, Audition Techniques, and Stage Movement from Atlanta professionals. After a pizza lunch, students will see student performances. The fee to attend is $25 per student which includes lunch and snacks. For more information, email kathy_gillcrist@gwinnett, or call Duluth Middle at 770-476-3372.

Bethesda Elementary is sponsoring an annual family literacy night on Jan. 23 at the school. The media center will host a Book Fair open house from 5-6:30 p.m., selling books priced from $2 to $4. A brief PTA meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Beginning at 7:15 p.m., literacy coaches Crystal Cooper and Nancy Childers will give parents tips on how to expand their children’s vocabulary at home. Literacy expert Iris Dodge will discuss how parents can help their children become stronger readers with home literacy activities. Parents and students will attend smaller sessions and participate in a family read-aloud time with a book led by staff members. Parents and students are invited to participate in a Literacy Walk throughout the school enjoying the students’ posted stories. The Book Fair will also be open for additional browsing time for families. For more information, call Nancy Childers at 770-921-2000.

The Shiloh Cluster school counselors will sponsor a parent education night entitled “No Parent Left Behind” on Jan. 23 at Shiloh High. Parenting classes begin at 6:45 p.m. and include Maximizing Your Child’s Chances for Success by Ari Russell, Executive Director for GUIDE (Gwinnett United in Drug Education). Ms. Russell will discuss 40 developmental tools to help successfully raise children. Assistant principal Connie Wright will discuss promotion criteria in GCPS. A free pizza dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Child care will be provided at no charge for youngsters ages three to ten, allowing parents to attend the parenting workshops. Local school PTAs and area businesses have donated door prizes. This topic includes the necessary classes and testing requirements students must successfully pass for promotion to the next grade. For more information, call 770-972-8471.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host an open house on Jan. 25 from 2:30 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Visitors may tour the building and check out the program. Classes offered include:
Auto Collision Repair Electronics
Automotive Services Graphic Communications
Commercial Art Healthcare Sciences
Computer aided Drafting Horticulture
Computer Technology Public Safety
Construction Technical Apprenticeship
Cosmetology Welding
Early Childhood Education
Rising GCPS juniors and seniors who have earned eight units of credit may participate in the spring application process. Maxwell offers students advanced training in preparation for postsecondary education and the work force. Visit for more information.

The Duluth High Chorus Advanced Women’s Ensemble (AWE) has been selected to perform at the Georgia Music Educator's Association (GMEA) Conference in Savannah on Jan. 26. The Duluth community will have the opportunity to see the performance together with the Duluth Middle Boys Choir on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Duluth High Auditorium, followed by a reception. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Brookwood High Dance Department will host the Nu Delta Alpha “Dance for Health” project on Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. Girls are invited to learn about dance with “Girl Scouts Love to Dance” workshops. These workshops are open to local girl scouts in the brownie, junior, or cadet levels. The scouts come with their troop to have fun while completing several requirements for their Try-Its, badges and Interest Project Patches. For more information, call 770-978-5075.

Chattahoochee Elementary will host an International Night on Jan. 29 from 6-8 p.m. Participants will enjoy an evening of international music, food, and student displays. Parents are asked to bring food from their native country, and dress in clothing native to the country. There will be a parade of students dressed in costumes. Students can also bring a flag or write the name of their country on a banner to carry. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Lilburn Elementary Visiting International Faculty (VIF) members will host activities for International Education Week, which runs from Jan 29-Feb. 2. Videos will be shown every day of the week highlighting different countries. VIF teachers will invite students to research their home countries. There will be an after-school international cooking and dancing event on Jan. 31. Music from different countries will be played while students try to guess the country of origin and win a sticker on Feb. 1. Students and teachers are invited to dress in native costumes on Feb. 2. For more informaion, call 770-921-7707.

Trickum Middle will host a visit from author Neal Shusterman on Feb. 5. Mr. Shusterman will answer questions from students while visiting classes. His presentation is interactive, informing students about his writing and the process of writing. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Peachtree Ridge High hosted a Science Fair on Jan. 9 where 106 projects were displayed. From those projects, 48 earned 1st place awards and will go on to compete at the District level on Feb. 9 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. For more information, call Diane Clausen at 678-957-3132.

The Mill Creek High Redhotz Dance Team is collecting donations for servicemen and women stationed overseas. Students are being asked to bring in cards of appreciation, and items such as lip balm, hand sanitizer, dental floss, games, candy, and snacks which will be distributed as “bags of love” to honor and show appreciation for service to our country. For more information, call Lisa Henderson at 678-714-5850.

“Influenced by None - Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip” Freedom of the press is a principle that Americans sometimes take for granted. Eighteenth-century printers, though, were not free to express independent points of view. Explore the world of Clementina Rind, printer of the Virginia Gazette in pre-Revolutionary War America. This 60-min. program airs live, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m.

“The Re-Making of Mame- PW/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” In this intimate studio session, meet cast members Harriet Harris, Alan Muraoka, Parker Esse, and 13-year-old Harrison Chad as they discuss their roles and methods of preparation for the Kennedy Center’s recent production of “Mame” and offer students insights into the professional world of musical theater. American University Professor of Theatre Caleen Sinnette Jennings moderates this program that provides a unique perspective on reviving a cornerstone of American musical theater. This 60-min. program airs Jan.15-18 at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Jan. 19-21 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 2” 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 hour-long series airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday - Sunday through March 18 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

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.
01/11/2007GCPS participating in MLK Jr. Day events (pdf)
01/09/2007GCPS students earn national honors for Advanced Placement results (pdf)
01/05/2007GCPS launches “Quality-Plus Leader Academy”… growing its own (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:
Feb. 2, 2007-- Central Office budget managers submit proposed budget requests
Feb. 26 and 27, 2007-- Superintendent and Cabinet meet to discuss FY 2008 requests
March 29 and 30, 2007-- Superintendent’s Recommended budget to Board
April 14, 2007-- Board budget work session
April 17, 2007-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
May 4, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education

Jan. 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and a systemwide holiday.

February is Black History Month, and National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Feb. 5-9 is National School Counseling Week.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 8, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during January. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
B.B. Harris Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Brookwood High
Camp Creek Elementary
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Duncan Creek Elementary
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Grayson Elementary
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
Lilburn Elementary
Lilburn Middle
McKendree Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross High
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
Richard Hull Middle
Rock Springs Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Susan Stripling Elementary
Trickum Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary