News You Can Use - 04/26/2004

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
04/26/2004 - 05/02/2004

The Berkmar High Academic Decathlon Team competed at the National Academic Decathlon Championships in Boise, Idaho. The team finished 19th out of 41 competing teams from other states. Student Patrick Harazin collected the $500 scholarship as high scorer for the Berkmar team. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

All 32 Berkmar High French students who recently took the National French exam placed in the top third in the state. Laura Morena placed in the top 4% for level III, and Cindy Ledesma placed in the top 10% for level I. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

The following Berkmar High students were school winners in the Rotary Club’s “Laws of Life” essay contest: Ahmed Bakir, Natalia N. Farrer, Laura Pekkalainen, and Abby Vaughn. Laura also is a state finalist. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

The following South Gwinnett High students took the National Latin Exam and earned honors.
Latin 1, Summa Cum Laude: Blake Hoffmeyer, Kyle Michalowski, and Margaret Redditt
Latin 1, Maxima Cum Laude: April Bolden, Raymond Brewer, and Thanhuyen Nguyen
Latin 1, Cum Laude: Stephanie Humber, Amy McEachin, and Weston Snyder
Latin 2, Summa Cum Laude: Peter Heisler, Rebecca McDaniel, and Natalie Owens
Latin 2, Maxima Cum Laude: Matthew Campbell, Raphael Coleman, and Christopher Durgan
Latin 2, Cum Laude: Nicole Bowser and Sharon Simpson
For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Simpson Elementary students submitted artwork that earned the Original Works Program honor roll. The Original Works Art Institute reviewed hundreds of thousands of pieces of student artwork from across the country. Winning artwork was selected based on design, consistency, creativity, and overall artistic excellence across all grade levels. Fewer than 100 school entries selected by the Institute earned placement in the top 5%. For more information, call Tracy Callas or Heather Silver at 770-417-2400.

Gwinnett high school students recently competed in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. For a complete listing of Gwinnett students and their placement in the fair, contact Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

A team of six 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Lilburn Elementary earned first place in the “UpBeat Improv” challenge at the Destination Imagination State Tournament. The Lil’ Mozart team is now preparing for an exciting trip to the D2k.4 Global Finals to be held May 26-30 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Teams from around the globe will be competing in this year’s five challenges. First-place team members are Austin Bernard, Julie Duong, Malinda Inthirath, Yonnatan Manmektew, Peter Nguyen, and Emily Tang. Teams from Lilburn Elementary also earned second and third place in the Improv challenge. For more information, call 770-921-7707.

Lilburn Elementary had a winning team in the fall Georgia Stock Market Game. The five-member team was the elementary regional winner for the online Georgia Stock Market Game, and will attend the Stock Market Game luncheon scheduled for May 4 at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. Team members are Joanna Flores, Michelle Lunn, Mimi Phan, Emily Tang, and Araya Zaesim. Team advisors are Simone Dreifuss and Laura Flaherty. For more information, call 770-921-7707.

The students and staff of Berkmar High have compiled a cookbook to raise funds for an electronic message board for the front of the school. The cookbook goes on sale April 27 and may be purchased for $20 in the front office of the school. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

The Mountain Park Elementary Spring Carnival will be held April 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. Games, prizes, entertainment, and food will be available. Proceeds will benefit PTA projects at the school. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

The Gwinnett Reading Council will present the annual Awards Night Celebration on April 29 at Lawrenceville East in the Grayson Room. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Student winners include Stefanie Carter of Grayson High, Andrew Ferrarone of Simpson Elementary, Bolin Niu of Berkmar High, Erin Ochs of Five Forks Middle, John Ortiz of Central Gwinnett High, Ryan Puszewski of J.G. Dyer Elementary, and Bob Yoon of Alton C. Crews Middle. For more information, call Karen Walker at 770-544-1071.

The Mountain Park Elementary Cougar Chorus will perform at the Sunrise Senior Assisted Living Home on Five Forks Trickum Road on April 26 at 6 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

Parkview High will sponsor a student health fair and panel discussion, titled “Taking Charge Of Your Health,” on April 27. The fair will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Topics include:
A message of abstinence, presented by Cheryl Camp
“It Won’t Happen to Me” (teenage car crash deaths in Gwinnett County), presented by Corporal Richardson, Gwinnett County Police Dept.
Teenagers and Drugs and Alcohol, presented by Adam Crump, The Gwinnett Coalition
Cardio-Kickboxing, demonstrated by Myra Steart, fitness expert
Smoke-Free Gwinnett Coalition, presented by Steve Coldiron
Nutrition, Eating Disorders, and Steroids
The panel discussion, “Students Against Violence Everywhere/Students Against Destructive Decisions,” includes a police officer from the Gwinnett County Crime Prevention Unit; Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center representative, Christy Cardina; UGA sophomore and Parkview High graduate, Kristen Medwick; and the UGA Campus Police: (Mother/Daughter Safety Night Panel). The panel will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

The Duluth High Choral department will sponsor the school’s 3rd Annual Peach Jam production, titled "Hooray for Hollywood." The event takes place May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Joe Marelle Gymnasium at Duluth High. Admission is free. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Fort Daniel Elementary will hold an outdoor celebration in honor of the school’s 10th anniversary on May 4 at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call 770-932-7400.

The Brookwood High Performing Arts department will present “Fiddler on the Roof ” May 6-8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary is sponsoring Camp Invention, a weeklong summer enrichment day camp for boys and girls who will be going into grades 2-6 next year. 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

Attorney General Thurbert Baker spoke to the 9th and 10th grade students at South Gwinnett High on April 13. The motivational talk focused on the importance of being committed to academic excellence. Mr. Baker encouraged students to take advantage of the tremendous educational, athletic, and other extracurricular opportunities available at South Gwinnett. He praised Gwinnett County Public Schools as home of some of the best schools in the nation. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Deputy John Arvin and Lt. Nick Neil from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department are conducting weekly tutoring session for students at Centerville Elementary. The officers began conducting sessions in March. Each week these officers meet with small groups to cover topics such as life skills, reading, and good decision-making. For more information, call 770-921-2220.

Fifteen special needs students at Collins Hill High are working their way toward black belts by participating in Tae Kwon Do classes offered exclusively for students with disabilities. For more information, call Vicki McCreary at 770-682-4100.

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

Knight Elementary students are participating in "Math Madness" as part of their regular lunch period. Each table in the lunchroom has a tin containing math games and materials. Students can play math games each day after they finish their lunch. For more information, call Dr. Burrelle Meeks at 770-806-3889.

This week (April 26-May 2), tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for:
“Teachers Up Close,” on the transition from middle school to high school, 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.
“ArtStage,” featuring the 2004 Tapestry Art Exhibit, airing at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. (Note: Program will not air at 1 p.m. on April 29.)
“In Five,” a five-minute news update, airing at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily.
“English...Yes, I Can,” (Series 1) Programs 33-34 of a 34-part series, airing at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m Monday and Tuesday, or in a two-hour block from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
TV cable channels and providers include:
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, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness Sports Month.

May 2-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 4 is National Teacher Day.

May 6 is National Employee Health Fitness Day.

GCPS’ Area Board Meetings will be held in April. The meetings are held in each of the Board member’s districts and give staff and community members an opportunity to get an update on school system issues. In addition, a public forum at each meeting allows for participants to discuss education topics with their elected officials. The remainder of the meeting dates are listed below. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m. Remaining meetings on the schedule include: April 27-- District II at Peachier Ridge HS
April 29-- District V at Meadowcreek HS

Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 6 for parents of new kindergarteners beginning classes next school year in GCPS.

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

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