GCPS Board Meeting Summary for March 13, 2003

          The following are highlights of the March 13, 2003, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

          Board of Education recognizes students and staff
          The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized the following students and educators at its March meeting:
          • Brookwood High girls' swim team was honored for winning its third state championship. Principal Jane Stegall congratulated the team on its championship swims. Coach Greg Puckett introduced his team members, saying they stepped up to the challenge by bettering their times, outscoring their competition, and doing a tremendous job. Coach Puckett introduced Assistant Coach Cindy Schairer and two team members who won two individual state championship titles.
          • School Board members recognized Bill Holleman of Shiloh High, who recently earned certification from the National Federation of High Schools as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. Dr. Jim Kahrs, formerly the principal of Shiloh High and currently the principal of Peachtree Ridge High which will open in the fall, introduced Mr. Holleman who will be the athletic director of Peachtree Ridge. Dr. Kahrs applauded Mr. Holleman's leadership ability and described him as a very special individual.
          • The Board honored 21 middle school students who earned the opportunity to participate in the 2003 Georgia Middle School All-State Band. Fine Arts Coordinator Robert Andrews explained that these students were selected through an audition process. Five Forks MS Band Director Joe Bader described all-state band participation as "a once in a lifetime experience." The honored student musicians, listed by school, are: Alton C. Crews Middle: David Kilgore- trumpet and Ji Young Kim- flute; Five Forks Middle: Robert Dama- trumpet; Jared Kaufman- trumpet, David Walker- tenor sax, and Rebecca Frazer - flute; Lanier Middle: Josh Allen- trombone, Michelle Hwang- clarinet, Christine An- clarinet, Monique Antoine- clarinet, and Ashlee Davis- snare; McConnell Middle: Shane Birtwistle- bassoon and Jessie Lederman- percussion; Richards Middle: Holly Tinkey- timpani and Tyler Shank- clarinet; Shiloh Middle: Kyle Sargent- tuba; Sweetwater Middle: Tonya Mitchell- trombone and Max Watson- baritone saxophone; and Trickum Middle: Amanda Hyde- clarinet, Austin Rowan- trumpet, and Leah Palmer- bass clarinet.
          • The School Board congratulated Parkview High's science bowl team on winning its fifth consecutive state championship. Principal Dale Robbins pointed out that this team is a wonderful example of student achievement. The team will now advance for the fifth consecutive year to the National Science Bowl Tournament in Washington, D.C. Only nine other schools in the nation have participated in the national competition five times. In introducing his team, Coach Ryan Queen said his team's record speaks for itself. Team members include Ana Catalina Posada (senior), Hemant Ramachandran (junior), Lucas Bermudez (sophomore), Henry Xu (sophomore), and Travis Board (senior). Jennifer Brown is the team's assistant coach.
          • School Board members honored Gwinnett County Public Schools' 2003 STAR (Student/Teacher Achievement Recognition) system winners-- Shawn Michelle Sims of Duluth HS and her teacher Carole Hunter, Kristin Elizabeth Knox of Norcross HS and her teacher Lynn Freeland, and Laura Croft of Parkview HS and her teacher Marsha Jackson. The STAR program honors each high school's senior with the highest score on the SAT. Each STAR student selects a teacher who has most influenced his or her education to be honored as well. The three students recognized at the county level tied for the honor by earning perfect 1600-point scores on the SAT.

          GCPS names five new schools
          In January, GCPS began the school naming process for five new schools opening in August 2004. In making his recommendation to the Board of Education, Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks explained what a difficult task this process proved to be this time as all of the names submitted by the School Naming Committees were well-researched, well-documented, and certainly worthy. Taking into account community input and the recommendations of the committees representing the schools that ultimately will send students to the new schools, Mr. Wilbanks recommended and the Board approved the following names:
          • Berkmar Middle School, located at 4355 Lawrenceville Hwy., Lilburn, GA 30047 [at Dogwood Dr.]-- This name represents the Berkmar Cluster.
          • Margaret Winn Holt Elementary School, located at 588 Old Snellville Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30045 [at Moon Road]-- Margaret Holt was a lifelong resident of Lawrenceville and a descendent of Elisha Winn. She taught Spanish and English at Lawrenceville High School. She helped establish the PTA at Lawrenceville Elementary School in the 1950’s and was active in many volunteer organizations in Gwinnett.
          • Alcova Elementary School, located at 770 Ewing Chapel Rd., Dacula, GA 30019 [at Alcovy Rd.]-- The location of the new school is very near the site of the old Alcova School and it is near the Alcovy River, originally spelled Alcova which is believed to come from a Native American tribe.
          • Charles Brant Chesney Elementary School, located at 3878 Old Norcross Rd., Duluth, GA 30096 [west of Steve Reynolds Blvd.]-- Brant Chesney was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 1996, while fighting a fire on Lake Lanier. He was responsible for teaching hundreds of school children in Gwinnett County about fire safety and burn prevention.
          • Level Creek Elementary School, located at 4488 Tench Rd., Suwanee, GA 30024 [between Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Suwanee Dam Rd.]-- Level Creek was one of the old schools in this area and defines the geographical area where the school is being built.

          Employment fair nets quality teaching candidates
          Calling this year's spring job fair, the system's best ever, Chief Human Resources Officer Frances Davis provided School Board members with information on this major employment initiative. GCPS anticipates needing to hire more than 1,400 new teachers for the 2003-04 school year. The Spring Teacher Employment Fair was held March 3 at the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center. Director of Recruitment and Retention Kelly Herndon briefed the Board on the efforts that led to this year's successful fair. During the daylong event, approximately 1,300 certified applicants were interviewed by Gwinnett administrators. Ms. Herndon expressed excitement about the coming year saying, "We have wonderful teaching candidates and we are in very good shape for the coming school year."

          Board continues review of policies
          Having been tabled since the February 13, 2003, Board of Education meeting, the following policies were brought before the Board for action:
          Policy JRA – Textbooks/Library books—This policy was rescinded as information contained in this policy has been incorporated into Policy JS “Student Contributions and Charges” or is already included in Procedure P.JS “Student Contributions and Charges (Textbooks and Library Books.)”
          Policy JS – Student Contributions and Charges – Changes to this policy were approved to comply with current practice. Information previously contained in Policy JRA “Textbooks/Library Books” has now been incorporated into this policy.

          Citizens address the Board of Education
          The following citizens addressed the Board:
          - Michael Wright
          - Marilyn Davis
          - Pierce Hulsey

          The School Board approved the following appointments at its meeting on March 13, 2003.

          Name-- Current Position
          Pagie Ryals-- Assistant Principal, Camp Creek ESPrincipal, G.H. Hopkins ES
          Terry Ann Watlington-- Principal, Pleasant Grove ES, Alamance/Burlington Schools (N.C.)Principal, Kanoheda ES
          Loretta Denmark-- Administrative Assistant, Fort Daniel ESAssistant Principal, Fort Daniel ES
          Barbara McKinney-- Social Worker, Office of Health Services and School Social WorkersAssistant Principal, Lilburn MS
          Paula Everett-Truppi-- Administrative Assistant, Five Forks MSAssistant Principal, Five Forks MS
          Wayne Rikard-- School Resource OfficerChief of Safety and Security, Educational Leadership
          Ralph DeKemper-- Human Resources Manager, GKN Aerospace (Tallassee, Ala.)Assistant Director of Benefits Administration, Human Resources
          Saul Hernandez-- Translator and ESOL Tutor, Tift County Public Schools (Ga.)Senior Domino Application Developer, Information Management
          Patricia Balzer-- Director, Physical Therapy Assistant Program, Kent State University (Ohio)Program Director, Health Sciences-Physical Therapy Assistant, Gwinnett Technical College

          The principal appointments are effective July 1. Ms. Denmark and Ms. Everett-Truppi also will take their new posts in July. The other appointments are now effective or will be effective next week.
            In addition, the following organizational changes involving existing positions were presented to Board members for their information:

            Name-- Current Position
            Miranda Brand-- Assistant Principal, B.B. Harris ESAssistant Principal, Parsons ES
            Ann Izadi-- Assistant Principal, Jackson ESAssistant Principal, Duncan Creek ES
            Roger Johns-- Assistant Principal, G.H. Hopkins ESAssistant Principal, J.A. Alford ES
            Debra Scott-- Assistant Principal, Lawrenceville ESAssistant Principal, Corley ES
            Mary Zaharis-- Assistant Principal, Bethesda ESAssistant Principal, Sycamore ES
            Julie Peyton-- Administrative Assistant, Jackson ESAdministrative Assistant, J.A. Alford ES
            Gary Bahn-- Principal, J.E. Richards MSSocial Studies Teacher, Grayson HS
            Dennis Foster-- Director, Office of Safety and Security, Educational LeadershipDirector of Training, Office of Safety and Security, Educational Leadership

            The school-based transfers are effective for the new school year. Mr. Foster's new duties begin March 15.