GCPS Board Meeting Summary for May 17, 2012

The following are highlights of the May 17, 2012, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Board Chairman Louise Radloff, Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, Dr. Robert McClure, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Daniel Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board recognizes students, teachers, and schools
- Board members saluted a number of individual students and school teams for their outstanding performance in the Continental Mathematics League. Continental Math League is a high-level problem-solving competition which allows students to compete with other students on the same grade level from schools all over the United States. The competition consists of five tests given during the school day at various times throughout the year. Each test consists of six questions and students have 30 minutes in which to complete the questions. All students can participate. The top six scores from each school for each test are sent to the Continental Math League Office in New York. Recognitions included:
  • Luke Hancharik of Pinckneyville MS and Shruthi Santhanam of North Gwinnett MS as the Regional Student Leaders in the 6th Grade Pythagorean Division of the Continental Mathematics League.
  • Six elementary school students were recognized as Continental Mathematics League National Student Leaders. These students are Nicholas Couchara of Duncan Creek ES- National Student Leader for the Year, 5th Grade Euclidean Division; Cade Holland of Fort Daniel ES- National Student Leader for the Year, 2nd Grade; Andrew Mallard of Puckett's Mill ES- National Student Leader for the Year, 3rd Grade; Nolan Scourtis of Simpson ES- National Student Leader for the Year, 5th Grade Pythagorean Division; James Terry of Puckett's Mill ES- National Student Leader for the Year, 3rd Grade; and Leo Xu of Arcado ES- National Student Leader for the Year- 3rd Grade.
  • Additionally, 11 Gwinnett teams placed 1st or 2nd in state competition. A team from Chattahoochee ES was the state champion in the 5th Grade Euclidean Division. A team from Fort Daniel ES took the state championship in 2nd grade. A group from Jones MS won the state championship in the 6th Grade Euclidean Division. A Puckett's Mill ES team was the regional and state champion in 4th grade. One team from Hull MS won the state championship in the 6th Grade Pythagorean Division while another Hull MS team was the regional and state champion in the 7th Grade Pythagorean Division. A Simpson ES team rounds out the list of champions, winning the 4th and 5th Grade Pythagorean Divisions. Teams winning 2nd place represented Duncan Creek ES (2nd, 4th, and 5th grades), Puckett's Mill ES (3rd grade), Hull MS (8th Grade Pythagorean Division), and Sugar Hill ES (4th Grade Pythagorean Division).
- Board members honored a number of Gwinnett students who took top honors at the 2012 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. This annual competition features the research of middle and high school students in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Students qualify for the state competition by placing first at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The following students earned first place at the state competition: Ryan Bhowmik of Trickum MS, Aprotim Bhowmik of Parkview HS, William Bowling of Collins Hill HS, Katelyn Leka of Collins Hill HS, Sergio Parra of Mill Creek HS, and Vivek Patel of Collins Hill HS. In addition, Aprotim Bhowmik of Parkview HS, Vivek Patel of Collins Hill HS, and Christina To of Grayson HS were selected as Grand Prize Winners, qualifying for the 2012 International Science and Engineering Fair that is being held in Pittsburgh, Pa.

- The Board of Education honored a number of Peachtree Ridge HS students who earned recognition from the Future Educators Association (FEA). FEA is an extracurricular program designed to provide middle and high school students with the opportunity to explore careers in education. Future Georgia Educators (FGE) chapters have been established in several GCPS high schools. FEA chapters sponsor activities to allow their members to gain experience in working with students (such as serving as teacher aides or tutoring younger students) and to see teaching “from the other side of the desk” by shadowing teachers or helping them on teacher work days. FEA members have the opportunity to attend state and national conferences where they participate in professional learning and competitive events designed to enhance skills that will be valuable in their chosen profession of education. The students honored at the state level by FEA are Sirenia Gill for Chapter Web Page; Sarah Basher for Essay; I'Jaaz Kingston, Sarah Schor, and Julia Wharton for Knowledge Bowl Competition; and Tyler Perini for Lesson Plan.

- School Board members congratulated seven Meadowcreek HS students on their first and second place finishes in the Technology Association of Georgia's (TAG) WEBChallenge 2012. Erick Salgado, Jose Santiago, and Quang Vo earned the "Grand Prize" for Best Overall Entry and Best Concept. Viet Dang and Osama Sakhi finished 1st in the "Judges Prize" category. While Rigoberto Cisneros and Francisco Ozuna finished 2nd in the "Judges Prize" category. TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), a charitable organization established by TAG is dedicated to preparing the next-generation workforce through better education and real-life job experiences. TAG-Ed sponsors a WEBChallenge Scholarship Competition to showcase a student’s web development talent. Students build an application of their choosing (simple game, tutorial, etc.) that will teach other students about a topic of the team’s choice related to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in a new and engaging way. One component of this year's WEBChallenge was Mobile Website in which students develop a traditional website, but also earn “extra credit” by developing their solution optimized for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface available on a mobile device. Another component was the Marketing Challenge in which students must design and implement a plan to bring their application to market.

- Kudos to the Video Broadcast Journalism programs at Meadowcreek HS and Phoenix HS on earning industry certification. The certification process strengthens this Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program through a rigorous review conducted by leaders from the New Media Education Foundation of Georgia along with business and industry. During this process, curriculum and instruction are carefully interfaced and aligned with current industry standards to assist with providing better career opportunities for students. In addition to curriculum and instructional alignment, the following CTAE program components also are evaluated and strengthened during the review process: lab areas, equipment, industry/community involvement, work-based learning opportunities, career technical student organizations, instructor qualifications, and program safety. The Georgia State Legislature and the Georgia Department of Education are committed to the industry certification process as a part of its efforts to strengthen technical and academic standards for all CTAE programs. Industry certification is designed to promote high-quality instruction for students wishing to pursue postsecondary education and qualify for entry-level positions in industry.

- Six students involved in the district's technical education program also earned recognition on their 1st and 2nd place finishes in the Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Founded in 1945, FCCLA is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and addresses important personal, family, work, and societal issues through family and consumer science education. Chapter projects focus on a variety of youth concerns, including teen pregnancy, parenting, family relationships, substance abuse, peer pressure, environment, nutrition and fitness, inter-generational communication, and career education. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life-- planning, goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal communication-- necessary in the home and workplace. Gwinnett's honorees and their achievements include Khadijah Allen of Maxwell HS of Technology- 1st place in Chicken Fabrication; Emily Phillips of Mountain View HS- 1st place in Safety and Sanitation; Allison Wrathall and Jacqueline Wytanis of North Gwinnett HS- 1st place in Food Innovation; Briana Pope Pettis of Maxwell HS of Technology- 2nd place in Knife Skills; and Kaitlin Stoeher of North Gwinnett HS- 2nd place in Job Interview.

- Board members congratulated 11 students on their 1st and 2nd place finishes in the state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition. FBLA is the largest student business organization in the world, with more than 250,000 members. FBLA is an important partner in business education and student leadership development. FBLA is recognized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor as an integral part of a co-curricular approach to business and leadership education. The FBLA mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The students recognized below will compete at the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, June 29-July 2.
1st Place in Business Law: Manay Dutta of Collins Hill HS
1st Place in Personal Finance: Manay Dutta of Collins Hill HS
1st Place in Computer Applications: Jed Kim of Peachtree Ridge HS
1st Place in Public Speaking II: Shakori Fletcher of South Gwinnett HS
1st Place in Cyber Security: Charles Hollenbeck of South Gwinnett HS
2nd Place in E-Business: Rigoberto Cisneros, Francisco Ozuna, and Erick Salgado of Meadowcreek HS
2nd Place in Healthcare Administration: Krishan Suhagia of Parkview HS
2nd Place in Entrepreneurship: Michael Green and Tyler Kvietkus of Mill Creek HS
2nd Place in Future Business Leader: Stacia Burke of South Gwinnett HS

- A number of Parkview HS students earned recognition in the recent state Technology Student Association (TSA) competition and were unable to attend last month's meeting when many of the other TSA state winners were recognized by the Gwinnett School Board. GCPS has seven active TSA chapters. Through TSA, students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities and compete in a variety of events related to technology. These 1st and 2nd place winners will have the opportunity to compete at the National TSA Conference, set for June 21-25 in Nashville, TN.
1st Place in Architectural Model: Kush Bhatia, Jonathan Cabrera, Elaine Duong, Conor Flynn, Linh Nguyen, Mizaan Pirani, Tung-Hung Tsai, and Meh-Ki White
1st Place in Manufacturing Prototype: Demitri Autrey, Zachary King, Mitch Rikard, Greg Romeu, Justin Shanks, Armaan Velji, Meh-Ki White, and Gabe Williams
1st Place in Technology Bowl- Oral and Written: Jonathan Cabrera, Ross Cunningham, and Jeremy Stephens
1st Place in Webmaster: Luiza Chelaru, Huijae Choi, Ross Cunningham, Sam Gauspohl, and Jeremy Stephens
2nd Place in Electronic Research and Experimentation: Mitch Rikard
2nd Place in Flight Endurance: Jonathan Cabrera
2nd Place in Technical Sketching and Application: Tung-Hung Tsai
2nd Place in VEX1356A Robotics: Demitri Autrey, Huijae Choi, Ross Cunningham, Julia Ding, Jack Fontana, Mitch Rikard, Greg Romeu, Armaan Velji, and Meh-Ki White

School Board approves FY2013 budget
The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted the FY2013 budget in the expenditure amount of $1,730,278,359. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks provided his FY2013 budget recommendations to the members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education the week of March 26, 2012. The Board met in work sessions to discuss the budget on April 14 and April 17. School Board members tentatively adopted the FY2013 budget and subsequently held public hearings on May 10 and May 17. Click here to view budget documents on the GCPS website. As part of the budget process, the Board of Education is required to tentatively adopt a millage rate to support the budget. Board members tentatively adopted a millage rate of 19.25 mills for maintenance and operations and 1.30 mills for debt service to support the FY2013 budget.

BOE tables policies for review
Board members tabled the following policies until the Board's June meeting to allow for public input.
Policy IFBG- Responsible Use of Electronic Media: Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy EG- Risk Management and Insurance: Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.