GCPS Board Meeting Summary for October 18, 2012

The following are highlights of the October 18, 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 and staff
- Members of the Board of Education congratulated the Parkview HS Marine Corps Junior ROTC on its recognition as a Naval Honor School by the Commanding General Training and Education Command, MCCDC, in Quantico, Va. This designation is earned by 20% of the JROTC units in the nation in recognition of a unit’s exemplary performance during the area Commander’s inspection. In addition, the unit must show exemplary performance in drill competitions, community service, and marksmanship competitions. The JROTC unit also must demonstrate exemplary performance in unit administration, training, supply, facilities, armory management, cadet citizenship, school and community involvement, scholastic achievement, and extracurricular events according to Training and Education Command guidelines. Parkview HS has achieved Naval Honor School recognition for five consecutive years. Parkview Principal David Smith expressed his appreciation to Major Ronald Tootle, USMC retired, and Dave Erwin, USMC retired, Gunnery Sergeant and Marine Instructor. He shared with the Board a sampling of the corps' achievements. Several members of the Parkview corps were in attendance to receive the Board's recognition. In addition, these students presented the colors and led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the meeting.
- The Board saluted Brian Wilkerson, a 9th grader at Dacula HS, on his 1st place finish in the Jimmy Carter "Digging Peanuts in Plains" Postcard Contest, sponsored by the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Education Program. This program is a curriculum-based program for organized school groups visiting the historic sites in Plains, Ga. Students have the opportunity to explore the historic resources through interactive activities at Plains High School Museum, the Depot, and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm. Each year, K-12 students participate in the Poster Art Contest. Entries are judged on their creativity in work and neatness in drawing an image that represents Jimmy Carter, Plains, and peanuts. More than 8,000 entries were submitted statewide this year. As this year's winning entry, Brian’s postcard will be on display in the Plains High School Museum and will be posted on the Jimmy Carter Historic Site website.  Brian's poster also was on display at the Peanut Festival in September where Former President Jimmy Carter personally gave him his award. Accompanying Brian were Dacula HS Principal Dr. Bryan Long and Teacher Dimitra Hill.
- Former Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year and Trickum MS Teacher Dr. Aimeé Burgamy gained the School Board's attention once again for her recognition by the Woodruff Arts Center as its 2012 Visual Arts Educator. She was honored as part of a program, entitled “Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders.” Contributing to her selection was her established reputation for creating dynamic whole-school art projects, for making art relevant, and for advancing the cause of art education as the Georgia Art Education Association Middle School Division Director and as Coordinator of the Georgia Art Educators Association of  Youth Art Galleries at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Dr. Burgamy received a $2,500 award to be used for an arts project at her school and a $500 award to be used for her professional development. Accompanying Dr. Burgamy were Fine Arts Director Robert Andrews and Trickum MS Principal Kay Sands. In her remarks to the Board, Ms. Sands described Dr. Burgamy as an "art teacher extraordinaire" and as an advocate for all of the arts. She shared that Dr. Burgamy's award will help fund the school's new outdoor theatre.
- Simpson ES Principal Bron Gayna Schmidt was proud to accept the Board's congratulatory remarks about Simpson's selection as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence on behalf of her school community. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Simpson as a winner of this prestigious national title that honors public and private K-12 schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in terms of student achievement. Simpson ES is one of only 269 schools nationally to be honored this year. The Peachtree Corners school was recognized in the “Exemplary High Performing” category, meaning that it is recognized among Georgia’s highest performing schools, as measured by state or national assessments. The U.S. Department of Education will honor Simpson Elementary and the other 218 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony November 12-13 in Washington, D.C. Since it opened in 1993, Simpson ES has consistently been recognized for its students' high performance. The school was recognized as a platinum award winner last year at the state level for student achievement. A number of students, parents, and teachers were in the audience for the evening's recognition.
- Board members continued their trend of welcoming state championship teams as they honored the Parkview HS Baseball Team on its 2012 Georgia High School Association AAAAA Baseball State Championship. This is the second consecutive state championship for the team. The team also was named National Team of the Year by Baseball American and the National High School Baseball Coaches Association. Principal David Smith congratulated Activities Director Mark Whitley and Head Coach Chan Brown on the team's accomplishments and thanked them for their dedication to the program. In presenting the team, Coach Brown shared his pride in the team's accomplishments on the field and in the classroom.
- Collins Hill HS' Boys Soccer Team also earned kudos on their 2012 state championship season. This is the third state championship for the school's boys soccer team. Accompanying the team was Activities Director Jason Dopson. Former Head Coach Drew Prentice thanked the Board on behalf of the team and the Collins Hill community. He said his experience at Collins Hill was a "true blessing" as the team made it to the state championship five years, bringing home the title three of those years. Mr. Prentice reviewed the team's stats and some of the individual player accomplishments. Four members of the state championship team are now playing at the collegiate level.
- Rounding out the state champions honored at this month's School Board meeting was Brookwood HS' Boys Track Team. This is the second state championship the team has won in the last three years. Principal Debbie Dees and Activities Director Mark Kimbro congratulated the team on its success and expressed their appreciation to Head Track Coach Mark Kelly.
- The Board recognized a number of students on their 1st and 2nd place finishes in the Georgia Future Problem Solving Program and in the International Future Problem Solving Program. In addition, the state's "Coach of the Year"--Kathy Russo, who recently retired from Simpson ES--is from Gwinnett. Simpson ES student Anna Steingruber placed 1st at the international level and a team from Norcross HS-- comprised of students Julien Gelly, Claire Della Mahon, and Elizabeth Waid-- placed 2nd internationally. Click here for a list of this year's winners. The Future Problem Solving Program (FPS) was founded by creativity pioneer Dr. E. Paul Torrance, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia. It provides multiple opportunities to engage students in problem solving, including Global Issues Problem Solving, Community Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, and Action-based Problem Solving. Students or teams compete in one of three divisions: junior division, grades 4-6; middle division, grades 7-9; and senior division, grades 10-12. Each year, FPS topics are selected from three strands: business and economics, science and technology, and social and political issues. Using both primary and secondary resources, students conduct research on selected topics and then use the six-step problem solving model to address the problem or need area. Representing the schools and students at this month's meeting were principals Bron Gayna Schmit of Simpson ES, Wanda Yeargin of Pinckneyville MS and Will Bishop of Norcross HS, along with Simpson ES teacher Kathy Russo, and Pinckneyville MS teachers Mercedes Fleischman and Jessica Petronis.
- Gwinnett County Public Schools takes pride in its involvement in Gwinnett County's successful Relay For Life event. Among the 119 school system teams participating in Relay in May 2012, a total of 25 school teams and three central office teams each raised $10,000 or more. Board members recognized the following teams for this accomplishment: Berkmar HS, Brookwood HS, Collins Hill HS, Couch MS, Creekland MS, Crews MS, Duluth HS, GCPS IMD CDs, GCPS ISC Relay Team, GCPS Transportation, Grayson HS, Mason ES, McConnell MS, Mill Creek HS, Minor ES, Norcross HS, North Gwinnett HS, North Gwinnett MS, Parkview HS, Peachtree Ridge HS, Pharr ES, Pinckneyville MS, Puckett's Mill ES, Riverside ES, Shiloh MS, Simpson ES, Snellville MS, and Trickum MS. All of the teams were introduced to the Board, with three teams-- Peachtree Ridge HS, Norcross HS, and North Gwinnett HS-- earning special honors. These three teams raised a total of $210,882.57 (Peachtree Ridge HS raised $32,189, Norcross HS raised $73,214.13, and North Gwinnett HS raised $105,479.44). Accompanying the Relay For Life teams were Linda Cerjan, Senior Income Manager with the American Cancer Society, and McCall Grosso of North Gwinnett HS. The total amount raised by Gwinnett County Public Schools for the American Cancer Society through Relay For Life was $1,021,357.43. Once again, GCPS played a leading role in making Gwinnett's Relay event great, raising more than half of the county's total of $1,804,602.

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful honors "green" schools with "Sustaining Excellence in Environmental Education" awards
The Green and Healthy School Program, a joint venture of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and Gwinnett County Public Schools, was established in 1999. The program is a holistic approach that provides a framework for making environmental awareness and action an integrated part of the school culture; for integrating teaching and learning into all subject areas; and for helping students develop 21st century knowledge and skills that foster life-long attitudes and positive behaviors toward protecting the environment. Participation has grown from 20 schools in 1999 to 83 in 2012. Participating schools are grouped into four categories based on their years in the program and their level of activity. This year, a new level of recognition was established to honor schools that have qualified for the top level (Reaching Higher Green & Healthy Schools) for five consecutive years. These schools receive the "Sustaining Excellence in Environmental Education" Award. This year's honorees are: Arcado ES, Cedar Hill ES, Craig ES, Dyer ES, Lanier MS, Level Creek ES, McKendree ES, Minor ES, Parsons ES, and Pinckneyville MS.

School Board approves calendar for FY2014 budget development process
The Board annually adopts a calendar of critical activities and dates that comprise the budget development cycle for the coming fiscal year. The Board of Education reviewed the proposed calendar of activities and dates associated with adoption of the FY2014 budget last month. Key dates included in the approved budget calendar are:
October 18, 2012
– Adopt budget development calendar for Fiscal Year 2014
December 21, 201
2–January 31, 2013 – Prepare FY2014 program budget requests
February 1, 2013
– Central Office budget managers submit completed proposed budget requests to Budget Office
March 11-22, 2013
– Preparation and printing of Superintendent's recommended budget
April 6, 2013
– Board budget work session (Saturday)
April 16, 2013
– Board budget work session; adoption of tentative budget; (Area Board Meeting)
April 22, 2013
– Copies of Superintendent’s recommended budget available for public
May 1
and May 5, 2013 – Publish budget advertisement in newspaper
May 9, 2013
– First public hearing on budget
May 16, 2013
– Second public budget hearing; final budget adoption; and adoption of tentative millage rate
June TBD, 2013 –
Final adoption of millage rate

Citizens Addressing the Board
- Dorothy Aaron
- Lorna Bledsoe
- Selena Brand