News You Can Use - 09/19/2003

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
09/19/2003 - 09/28/2003

The first step in selecting the 2004 Teacher of the Year (TOTY) for Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has been completed. All of the honorees will be considered for the districtwide honor. Twenty semifinalists for the honor will be announced later this month. Six finalists will be named in Oct. The annual TOTY banquet and the announcement of this year’s Gwinnett County TOTY will be held on Nov. 4, 2003. For a complete list of local school TOTYs for the 2003-04 school year contact Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) currently has eight students jointly enrolled between their high school and the Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES). GAMES is a very selective and specialized educational program on the campus of Middle Georgia College. Successful completion of this two year, residential program is designed to allow a student entering his/her high school junior year to complete a high school diploma and a college associates degree simultaneously. Five of these students are high school senior/college sophomores who will graduate from both high school and Middle Georgia College this spring. Participants include Andrea Murzea of Collins Hill; Derian Meyer, Rabeel Saleh, Travis Shepherd, and David Worsham of Dacula High; Irene Joseph of North Gwinnett; Fredrick Porter of Parkview High; and John Warren of Shiloh High. For more information, contact GAMES director Lisa D. Whitaker at 478-934-3471 or by email at

A number of GCPS students have been selected, by competitive audition, for the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony, Kendall Orchestra, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. For more information and a complete listing of students, contact Robert Andrews, Fine Arts coordinator, at 770-513-6788.

Of 46 GCPS entries in the International Student Media Festival, 36 entries emerged as winners. Individuals, groups, production crews, and classes were among the winning student producers. Winning entries include pieces in the following categories: sequential skills, animation, live action video, mixed media, and website. The festival is sponsored by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. For more information and a complete listing, contact Deborah Gray in Broadcast & Distance Learning at 770-822-6428.

Brookwood High Band Director Rudy Wilson was the guest conductor for the University of Georgia (UGA) Redcoat Marching Band on Sept. 13, before the UGA-South Carolina game. Mr. Wilson conducted the playing the National Anthem. For more information, contact Mr. Wilson at 770-972-7642.

Two programs produced by Brookwood High’s broadcasting department — “Brookwood Up”-Close and “Around Brookwood in Minutes”—won first-place awards at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA) Conference last May. “Around Brookwood in Minutes” won the General Excellence Award, the GSPA’s top award. For more information, contact Alayne Smith at 770-972-7642.

Brookwood High’s Academic Team won both junior varsity and varsity divisions of the Gwinnett County Scholars Bowl on Sept. 20. For more information, contact Rick Barry at 770-972-7642.

Rockbridge Elementary will host its 4th annual International Fair on Friday, Oct. 3, 6-8:30 p.m. Each grade level will provide themed activities from different locales, including Jamaica, Mexico, Kenya, Antarctica, India, and the U.S. Students and parents will visit different countries with a “passport.” In addition, the Rockbridge Honor Choir and Jump Rope Team will perform. There will be a cake walk event in the gym. Business partners, parents, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts will be assisting with additional activities and food. For more information, contact Linda Daniels, principal, at 770-448-9363.

Susan Stripling Elementary students will march in the Norcross Festival Parade on Saturday, Oct. 4. Students will line up at 8 a.m. at Rock Tenn and the parade begins at 9 a.m., finishing up at Thrasher Park. This is an annual event, which provides fun with a small town flavor. For more information, contact Julia Juechter at 770-582-7577.

Susan Stripling Elementary will sponsor a “Sports Night” on Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m. Parents will have an opportunity to participate in the activities that their children do in the physical education program. Activities include volleyball, tetherball, hula hoops, juggling, rope-climbing, scooter-riding, and balance stations. For more information, contact Pam Collins at 770-582-7577.

North Gwinnett High is sponsoring the Miss North Gwinnett Pageant on Oct. 4. The event for 9th and 10th grade students will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 11th and 12th graders will participate from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Bulldog cards will not be honored at this event as it is a fundraiser. Proceeds will support the competitive cheerleading program. For more information, contact Kathy Johnson at 770-945-9558.

North Gwinnett High’s Habitat for Humanity will host the third annual benefit car show on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Proceeds from the $20 entry fee will benefit the building of a Habitat home in the spring of 2004. All years, makes, and models of cars, are welcome. Prizes will be awarded for six categories. For more information, call Jinna Clark at 770-945-9558.

Parkview High will host the 2003 Miss Parkview Pageant on Oct. 4, at 7 p.m in the new gym. This is the PTSA fundraiser for the year. Tickets are $8. There will be 90 contestants participating. For more information, contact Bethany Cowan at 770-921-8125.

Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for grades 6–8 language arts, grades K–8 health and physical education, and three high school electives. The review will begin Oct. 7 and will run through Nov. 7. All materials may be reviewed at the following locations and times:
Buchanan HS of Technology: Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturdays on Oct. 18 and 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and evenings on Oct. 14 and 28, 5 to 8 p.m. Buchanan HS of Technology is located at 2595 Beaver Ruin Rd. in Norcross (770-326-8000).
Lawrenceville East: Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays on Oct. 18 and 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and evenings on Oct. 14 and 28, 5 to 8 p.m. Lawrenceville East is located at 723 Hi-Hope Rd. in Lawrenceville (770-338-4832).
For more about the review process, contact Lisa Burleson of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 770-338-4832.

Brookwood High’s fine arts department will perform “Lend Me a Tenor” Oct. 2-3. The performance will be in the Brookwood High theater. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.. For more information, contact the Brookwood Fine Arts department at 770-985-0653.

Last spring, GCPS TV, in partnership with Gwinnett Technical College, produced and aired a televised, beginning English class for adult learners, called "English… Yes, I Can!" (Series 1). The class will be rebroadcast this fall, airing hour-long segments Monday through Thursday between Oct. 6 and Dec. 2. (The shows will be aired at 9 p.m. and at 1 a.m. later the same night. Weekly shows will be run again as a four-hour block on Sundays.) In addition, this entry-level telecourse is available free to local schools as a set of 34 VHS videotapes, including a facilitator's guide. Community groups, churches, employers, and civic organizations may order the video set for $90, the cost of dubbing the tapes. Schools or community members interested in the "English... Yes, I Can!" video set should contact Kolinda Scialabba by phone at 678-985-5228. For more information, visit, and look for “What’s New.”

Harbins Elementary will sponsor Literary Night on Oct. 2, at 6:30 p.m. The theme is “Literacy, What a Way to Travel!” Celebrations of literacy will take place as one travels through the halls of the school. Demonstrations of reading, drama, and music will take place in classrooms. For more information, contact Sue Holt at 770-682-4270.

Beaver Ridge Elementary’s PTA will host's it's 18th annual Fall Family Cookout on Oct. 3. Families are invited to join their students for an outdoor lunch featuring hamburgers, baked beans, and cookies from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PTA members will prepare and serve food. Families are encouraged to spread blankets on the lawn and enjoy a fall afternoon at school. For more information, contact Linda McMahon at 770-447-6307.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a book fair starting Oct. 2. The Scholastic Book Fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every week day from Oct. 2 through Oct. 10, and from 5 to 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 9. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the school media center. For more information, contact Linda McMahon at 770-447-6307.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “GCPS Focus” this week (Sept. 29-Oct. 5). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
- Adelphia on Channel 20 (or Channel 97 without converter)
- Comcast on Channel 24
- BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
- Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS website--

The National PTA annual Reflections competition in underway through mid-October. The competition, sponsored by local PTAs and PTSAs, is open to students at all grade levels. The 2003-04 theme is “I’m Really Happy When...” Students may enter in four different categories: visual arts, photography, literature, and music. School winners will receive awards and be eligible to compete in the county Reflections competition. For more information, contact Gwinnett PTA Reflections Chair Diane Casey at 770-972-7292.

“Shhh-Railroad Crossing” is this year’s theme for the Georgia School Bus Poster Contest. All entries are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, to the Suwanee Safety and Training facility. For more information, contact Linda Eidson at 770-271-5054.

Buchanan High School of Technology is offering the second semester of Algebra II as a seventh period class, beginning Oct. 20. In addition, other online offerings include Web Page Design, Business Law, Computer Applications I, Visual Basic I, Java I, and SAT Prep. Registration is open through Oct. 15. For more information, call the school at 770-326-8000. To register, visit


Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

Upcoming testing dates:
Sept. 22-October 1, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades 3, 5, and 8
Sept. 30, High School Graduation Writing Test

October is Computer Learning Month.

October includes heritage celebrations for Americans of Italian, German, and Polish ancestry.

Oct. 3 is National Community Education Day.

Oct. 5-11 is Fire Prevention Week and National Metric Week.

Oct. 13-14 are student holidays.

Oct. 13-17 is National School Lunch Week.

National School Bus Safety Week starts Oct. 19.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 9, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.