GCPS Board Meeting Summary for March 12, 2009

The following are highlights of the March 12, 2009, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Daniel D. Seckinger, Vice Chairman Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Carole Boyce, Dr. Robert McClure, and Louise Radloff. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Students and staff members earn Board recognition
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored Tamara Candis of Parsons ES on her recent recognition by the Georgia Council of Teachers of English as the 2009 Elementary Language Arts Teacher of the Year. Ms. Candis has been teaching for eight years and currently teaches 3rd grade. As a Master Teacher, Ms. Candis is dedicated, resourceful, and goal-oriented, with a solid commitment to the social and academic development of every student. She is always willing to help other teachers with lesson planning, assessments, scheduling, and using technology to improve classroom instruction. Ms. Candis is a professional educator who has engaged in numerous professional growth and development opportunities, which have afforded her the ability to serve as a mentor, take part on collaborative teams, and play a role in curriculum implementation. She always seeks ways to continue her education and improve her skills and currently is pursuing her educational specialist's degree in Leadership and Administration. Dr. Charlotte Sadler, principal of Parsons ES, accompanied Ms. Candis.
-- Every year, thousands of Gwinnett high school students participate in extracurricular athletic activities through their schools. In addition to coaches and school staff, a number of community members contribute to the well-being of student-athletes. Team doctors are an example of such a group. Thirteen physicians share their time and talents with Gwinnett County Public Schools, dedicating countless hours to support the student-athletes who represent Gwinnett County Public Schools in sporting events. At this month's meeting, School Board members expressed their appreciation to these individuals:
Dr. Jeff Traub, Berkmar HS, Collins Hill HS, and Grayson HS
Dr. Gary Levengood
, Brookwood HS and Norcross HS
Dr. Mike Mathers
, Central Gwinnett HS
Dr. Mark Cullen
, Dacula HS and North Gwinnett HS
Dr. Snehal Dalal
, Duluth HS
Dr. Robert DuVall
, Meadowcreek HS
Dr. John Buchanan
, Mill Creek HS
Dr. Mike Sampson
, Norcross HS
Dr. Maurice Jove
, Parkview HS
Dr. Michael Morris
and Dr. Scott Quisling, Peachtree Ridge HS
Dr. Matt Pombo
, Shiloh HS
Dr. Craig Mines
, South Gwinnett HS

BOE names seven new schools
The Gwinnett Board of Education approved names for seven new schools scheduled to open in 2010 and 2011. Superintendent/CEO J. Alvin Wilbanks recommended names based on recommendations submitted by the School Naming Committees established for each of the seven new schools. Through the school naming process, these committees met with and received input from community members, educators, and the Gwinnett Historical Society. In compiling their lists of proposed names for the Superintendent’s consideration, committee members reviewed a variety of materials, including research, petitions, and letters. The following names were approved by the Board.

Working Name
Peachtree Ridge Cluster ES
3221 Burnette Road
Burnette ES
(Opening 2010)
The Burnette family settled in Suwanee in the 1800s and farmed on land near the school site. Burnette Road is named for the family. Over the years, many family members have served in civic, educational, and social roles in Suwanee and continue to do so today.
North Gwinnett Cluster ES
251 Buford Highway
Roberts ES
(Opening 2010)
The Roberts family is one of the “First Families” of Gwinnett, as documented by the Gwinnett Historical Society. The school site is reported to be part of the original Roberts estate. Many descendents have devoted their careers to education in Gwinnett.
Shiloh Cluster ES
4521 Centerville Highway
Snell ES (Grace)
(Opening 2010)
Grace Brooks Snell was a long-time teacher and a member of the prominent Snell family. The Snellville community bears the name of this family. Called “The First Lady of Snellville” by many citizens, Mrs. Snell began her 30-year teaching career in Gwinnett in 1920. For 26 years, she authored “The Snellville News” column, published in The News Herald. Throughout her life, Mrs. Snell received numerous awards for her work in the classroom and her service to the Snellville community.
Central Gwinnett Cluster ES
12 Village Way
Jenkins ES (Bartow)
(Opening 2010)
Bartow Jenkins was a long-time Gwinnett County Public Schools employee. He taught and coached athletics at Central Gwinnett HS for 20 years before moving into an administrative position at the school. In 1976, Mr. Jenkins opened Parkview HS as its principal. He subsequently served as the school district's Director of Athletics until his retirement. In the wider community, Mr. Jenkins was elected to the Gwinnett County Commission and also served as a Lawrenceville City Councilman for three terms. In addition, he was mayor of Lawrenceville for 14 years. In February 2009, he was honored with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's Legacy Award for his years of service to the county.
Berkmar/Meadowcreek ES
1755 Centerview Drive
Ferguson ES (Dartha)
(Opening 2010)
Dartha Ferguson touched many lives in her career as a teacher and counselor at Norcross HS. Born and raised in Norcross, Ms. Ferguson served students for 33 years at her alma mater, Norcross HS. An English teacher, she was honored as “Teacher of the Year” four times and was named “STAR Teacher” six times. She also excelled in her role as a counselor at the school, earning the “Counselor of the Year” recognition twice.
South Gwinnett Cluster MS
3800 Brushy Fork Road
Midway MS
(Opening 2010)
This geographic name has special significance for this area of the county, which is still known to many as the Midway community. Midway Road intersects with Rosebud and Brushy Fork roads. The old Midway School once sat in the triangle formed by the intersection of these roads.
Central Gwinnett Cluster MS
1221 Lawrenceville Highway
Moore MS
(Robbie Susan)
(Opening 2011)
For 45 years, Robbie S. Moore worked to make a difference in the community, celebrating the diversity of Gwinnett County and working diligently to improve race relations. A civil rights activist and community leader, she had a passion for people and community-related issues. She organized the Miss Black Gwinnett pageants during the 1970s and 1980s to help empower young African-American girls and looked to address community issues through the organization of The Concerned Citizens Group. A founder of the United Ebony Society in Gwinnett, she started an annual march and program celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that remains the centerpiece of Gwinnett County's King Day activities today.

Brookwood HS basketball court named in honor of former coach
Acting on behalf of the school and community, Brookwood HS Principal Debbie Dees and the School Council requested that the basketball court in the main gym at Brookwood be named after retiring Coach Eddie Martin and be called “Martin Court.” The Brookwood HS School Council, along with the PTSA, Tip-Off Club, and Athletic Department, submitted a proposal unanimously endorsing this recommendation. Coach Martin, who recently retired, worked for GCPS for 29 years. The Board of Education unanimously approved the recommendation of the Brookwood community to name the main gym basketball court at Brookwood HS “Martin Court” in honor of Coach Martin’s distinguished career as a high school player and coach in Gwinnett County.

Board adopts proposed changes to the AKS
The Gwinnett Educational Management System (GEMS) Oversight Committee held its annual meeting on February 26, 2009, to review and recommend changes to the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Associate Superintendent Dale Robbins reviewed GEMS meeting highlights, as well as the suggested revisions to the AKS, based on input received from educators and citizens. The Board of Education approved all of the recommended changes.

Gwinnett acknowledges Georgia School Board Appreciation Week
The Georgia School Boards Association has proclaimed March 9-13, 2009, as School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks recognized the members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education for their service on behalf of the students, employees, and citizens of Gwinnett County Public Schools, in conjunction with School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia.

Board member travel approved for GSBA events
The Board designated Dr. Mary Kay Murphy (voting delegate) and Carole Boyce (alternate) as its representatives to the 2009 Georgia School Boards Association's Summer Conference and Delegate Assembly in Savannah, Georgia. Each GSBA member school district selects one delegate to vote on its behalf in the Delegate Assembly and one alternate. In addition, the Board tapped Louise Radloff to serve on GSBA's Governmental Operations Committee, representing GCPS at committee meetings.

Board reviews annual financial report
Board members received and had the opportunity to review the district's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This annual report is prepared each year in accordance with standards set by the Government Accounting Standards Board and the Association of School Business Officers. It includes detailed financial information for the most recently completed fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2008. This annual report has been audited by the school district's external auditors, Mauldin and Jenkins.

School Board continues its policy work
As part of its ongoing policy work, the School Board tabled the following proposed policy change until next month's meeting, allowing for further input:
Policy JR- Student Records-- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.

Citizens addressing the Board
-- Renee Rogers, General Manager of Shred-It Atlanta