GCPS Board Meeting Summary for April 13, 2006

The following are highlights of the April 13, 2006, 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 recognizes students, teachers, and schools
-- During the April meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education, a number of foreign language students and teachers were recognized by the Board.
  • The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized Beth Guilbert, a French teacher at Norcross HS, for her selection as the winner of the K-12 Teacher of Promise Award by the Foreign Language Association of Georgia. The award recognizes an educator with three or fewer years of teaching experience who shows tremendous potential to contribute to the profession.
  • Collins Hill HS Senior Lorena Cazares is Georgia German Student of the Year, selected by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. As the state's top German student, Ms. Cazares will attend a three-week study course in Germany, courtesy of Lufthansa Airlines and the Goethe-Institut.
  • Two Gwinnett students had the highest score in Georgia on the National German Exam at their respective levels of study. Patrick Najjar, a 2nd-year German student at Parkview HS, had the highest score among the 275 students in Georgia who took the Level 2 exam. Of the 203 Georgia students who took the Level 3 exam, Stephen Joiner, a 3rd-year German student at Collins Hill HS, had the highest score in the state and one of only 23 perfect scores in the nation. This year, the German exam (for Levels 2-4) was administered to more than 26,000 students in the United States, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German.
  • Collins Hill HS' Jill Tweedy is the state's German Teacher of the Year, honored by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. Ms. Tweedy was selected for demonstrating excellence in classroom teaching and her commitment to continual professional growth. Lufthansa is providing her with a flight to Germany in recognition of her award.
-- The Board also saluted the players and coaches of the Norcross HS Boys Basketball Team, AAAAA state champions. The team is led by Head Coach Eddie Martin and assistant coaches Keenan Temple, Jesse McMillan, Greg Phillips, Brent Martin, and Reggie Anderson. Players attending the meeting included team captains Brenton Butler and Charles Jundt (both seniors); seniors Brandon Chambers, Johnny Curry, and Tim Rodgers; juniors Jordan DeMercy, Gani Lawal, and Tony Neysmith; sophomores Zamien Alston, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Jarrett Stokes; and freshman Prince Kent. In honoring the team and its members, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, District III School Board member, read a resolution prepared by the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association that congratulated the team and the Norcross HS community on this recent success.
-- The Norcross HS Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Cathie Hudnall and Allison Bates, was honored by the Board for its recognition as the best high school string orchestra in the nation at the 2006 American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival Competition. The event was held in Kansas City, Mo., last month. Prior to the meeting, the orchestra performed, entertaining and inspiring the audience, while demonstrating their prowess. On behalf of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association, School Board member Dr. Mary Kay Murphy shared a resolution honoring the orchestra and its directors on this national achievement.
-- The School Board recognized the members of the J.P. McConnell MS Scholars Bowl Team and the team's coach, Dennis Turnham, for winning 1st place at the Georgia Academic Team Association (GATA) state tournament. Team members attending the meeting included Mfon Atakpa, Nick Cortez, Scott Eldridge, Jarrett Morgan, and Brandon Welch. Thirty-six teams in the state competed in the tournament. Mr. Turnham thanked the team's assistant coaches-- Anne Haddox and Anne Thompson-- for their dedication.
-- Board of Education members recognized five North Gwinnett HS students who have earned credentials in Marketing through a state program. The students-- Kristen Carney, Courtney Kennedy, Christian Morris, Alexandra Steeves, and Karen Wieloch-- took a test, presented a comprehensive project in marketing, and were interviewed by marketing professionals in earning their credentialed status. The program is a joint venture of the Georgia Department of Education, the Institute for the Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (A*S*K) for Business, and the Sales and Marketing Executives of Atlanta.
-- The Board honored 44 students who placed first or second in statewide events in the areas of business, computer science, marketing, and technology education. They earned recognition out of thousands of students throughout the state, with many qualifying to participate at the next level of competition in their respective categories:

Gwinnett students who placed in state marketing competition for Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) include…
Dacula HS
-- Lindsey Miles, 1st in Apparel and Accessories
Grayson HS-- The team of Brooke Avera, Shanna Fogelman, and Ali Schultz, 2nd in Hospitality and Recreation Market Research; and Lauren Scaffa, 2nd in Retail Merchandising
Norcross HS-- The team of Ethan Edgerton and Justin Gorski, 2nd in E-Commerce
North Gwinnett HS-- The team of Tanja Ardalic and Hannah Degallasby, 1st in Business/Financial Service Research; the team of Marleigh Brooks, Courtney Kennedy, and Katie Martin, 1st in Civic Consciousness; the team of Amber Bethune, Hannah Degallasby, and Chelsea Kievet, 1st in E-commerce Business Plan; the team of Christina Lomba and Alice Serres, 1st in Travel and Tourism Marketing Management Decision Making Event; the team of Kristen Carney, Kristin Turner, and Karen Wieloch, 2nd in Learn and Earn Project; the team of Emily Bechtold, Katie Hardaway, and Alexandra Steeves, 2nd in Public Relations; and Adam Geil, 2nd in Quick Serve Restaurant Marketing
Parkview HS-- Katie Kellogg, 1st in Apparel and Accessories; Zia Johnson, 1st in Business Service Marketing; Lauren Chandley, 1st in Job Interview; Caylee Bale, 1st in Marketing and Business Fundamentals; Hunter Smiley, 2nd in Accounting Applications; and Danielle O’Conner, 2nd in Marketing Management
Peachtree Ridge HS-- The team of Julian Austin and Ryan Morawski, 1st in Sports and Marketing Management; the team of David Bogner and Jesse Long, 2nd in Hospitality Services Management; and the team of Jennifer Aina and Harrison Smith, 2nd in Travel and Tourism Management
South Gwinnett HS-- Jessica Widner, 2nd in Vehicles and Petroleum Marketing
In addition, the Board recognized Chris Morris of North Gwinnett HS who is the Georgia DECA President-Candidate for National DECA President.

Top-placing students in state Future Business Leaders of America competition include…
Brookwood HS
-- James Oguntebi, 1st in Business Calculations
Central Gwinnett HS-- Jimmy Zhong, 1st in Visual Basic Programming
Maxwell HS of Technology-- Ashley White, 2nd in Multimedia
Parkview HS-- Linda Liu, 2nd in Business Calculations; Tim Soo, 2nd in Economics; and Arch King, 2nd in Technology Concepts

Board adopts curriculum changes recommended by GEMS Oversight Committee
The Board of Education adopted the Superintendent's recommendation of revisions and additions to the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum, based on the recommendations made by the Gwinnett Educational Management System (GEMS) Oversight Committee. These recommendations were formulated based on the committee's review of the current AKS and proposed AKS, as well as input gathered from educators and community members through AKS surveys and written feedback. Dr. Cindy Loe, associate superintendent for Organizational Advancement, reviewed the work of the committee and updated the Board of Education on this year's annual meeting of the GEMS Oversight Committee. Since 1996, this group has met annually for three ongoing purposes:
- Understand the Board and Superintendent's goals and Superintendent's direction.
- Analyze data received on the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) through the annual review process.
- Validate, then recommend the AKS to the Superintendent.

Gwinnett schools receive accreditation
The Council on Accreditation and School Improvement gives special recognition to those districts in which all eligible elementary, middle, and secondary schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the southern region, 549 school districts qualified for this special recognition. A certificate of accreditation acknowledges that accomplishment. In Georgia, Gwinnett is one of 81 school systems that earned this distinction. SACS accreditation ensures benefits to a school and its community, including:
- a mission and goals focused on improving student performance and the school's capacity to improve teaching and learning;
- a collaboratively developed improvement plan that includes methods for measuring student progress and involves key stakeholders;
- an effective framework that integrates all types of school planning and evaluation requirements;
- qualified staffing and limited class size;
- regular review of the school's programs by a team of outside peer professionals;
- accountability and value for tax dollars spent; and
- regional, national, and international recognition as an accredited school.

System renews IBM strategic partnership through 2012
The Board of Education approved the renewal of the system's strategic partnership with IBM through 2012. Through this partnership, IBM provides input on process and technology improvements throughout the school district. IBM resources also are used to identify and evaluate effective instructional support using technology in other school districts in Georgia and throughout the United States.

School Board authorizes tax anticipation notes
The Board of Education approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $150,000,000 in principal of tax anticipation notes for calendar year 2006. The notes are to be issued as a temporary loan in anticipation of the 2006 property tax revenues. Note proceeds will be used to pay current expenses to be incurred by the school district during the year.

Board member to attend GSBA Delegate Assembly
School Board members appointed Dr. Mary Kay Murphy as their delegate and Carole Boyce as an alternate to represent the Gwinnett County Board of Education at the Georgia School Boards Association's Delegate Assembly on June 23, 2006, in Savannah.

Citizens addressing the Board
Stephanie Curry
Jeffery Berry