GCPS Board Meeting Summary for April 15, 2010

The following are highlights of the April 15, 2010, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Vice Chairman Dr. Robert McClure, Carole Boyce, Louise Radloff, and Daniel D. Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board honors award-winning students and staff
  • The Board saluted the Gwinnett Heat Adapted Sports Basketball Team, which ended its first year of varsity competition as the 2010 Adapted Sports Basketball State Runner Up. Mike Emery, Director of Athletics, Student Services, and Community Schools, introduced Mike Phillips, who coordinates the adapted sports program in Gwinnett. Mr. Phillips thanked the Board members for their support of the adapted sports program and shared how much a difference this program is making in the lives of these student-athletes. The team's coaches are Jennifer Elinburg, Brian Elinburg, and Michaela Istone-Haupt.
  • Board members honored the Collins Hill HS Wrestling Team on its championship season. The Collins Hill team earned state championships in both the Dual and Traditional state meets. This is the program's third consecutive title in both Duals and Traditional and the ninth state championship that Collins Hill HS has won. Accompanying the team were Principal Glenn McFall, Athletic Director Roland Wallace, and Head Coach Cliff Ramos. In introducing the team, Mr. Wallace stated that this Collins Hill team is recognized as one of the best programs in the Southeast and is one of the top 10 programs in the country. He expressed his appreciation to Mr. Ramos, who was named 2010 Coach of the Year and who is retiring after this school year.
  • Brookwood HS Boys Swim and Dive Team also had a state championship season, taking the state title for the third consecutive year. Accompanying the honorees were Principal Debbie Dees, Athletic Director Mark Kimbro, Head Coach Greg Puckett, and Assistant Coach Michelle Golden. Ms. Dees complimented the team on their achievements in the pool and in the classroom. Mr. Puckett thanked the Board members for their support of swim and dive teams across the county. He shared that six of the top 10 teams at the state meet for 2010 were from Gwinnett. This marks the 11th straight year that a Gwinnett high school has won the state championship for swimming/diving.
  • The School Board also congratulated the Norcross HS Girls Basketball Team, the 2010 AAAAA State Champions. This is the first state championship in girl’s basketball for Norcross HS. Accompanying the honorees were Jonathan Patterson, Principal; Kirk Barton, Athletic Director; and Angie Hembree, Head Coach. In his remarks, Mr. Patterson expressed his pride in the team and their contributions to their community. During her remarks, Coach Hembree, this year's AAAAA State Coach of the Year, introduced her team and her assistant coaches. She said, "The best basketball in the state of Georgia is played in Gwinnett County. This team gets it done on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. These young ladies carry themselves with tremendous class and represent us all well." This Norcross team was named the 13th top team in the nation by USA Today and was ranked 8th in the U.S. by ESPN.
  • The Gwinnett County Board of Education congratulated the 2010 winners of three scholarships awarded each year by Gwinnett Federal Credit Union (GFCU). Each of the following winners will receive a $2,500 award:

-- Alex Reed of Mill Creek HS, winner of the 2010 Alton C. Crews Teaching Scholarship. Since 2002, donations made to the Alton C. Crews Scholarship Fund have made it possible each year to award a one-time scholarship to a GCPS senior pursuing a career in education. Dr. Crews served as superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools from 1977 to 1989.

-- Deserae Jones of Dacula HS, this year's Louise Radloff Scholarship recipient. The Louise Radloff Scholarship Program provides funds for a Gwinnett County high school senior who has overcome a significant personal challenge in order to graduate and who is pursuing postsecondary study through a four-year, two-year, or certificate program. This fund was established in 2004 by the Gwinnett Federal Credit Union (GFCU) in honor of three decades of service by Gwinnett County Board of Education member Louise Radloff, and in recognition of her tireless work on behalf of those most in need.

-- Eric Michael Wright of North Gwinnett HS, 2010 recipient of the J. Alvin Wilbanks Scholarship. This scholarship fund was established in 2007 by the Gwinnett Federal Credit Union in honor of more than four decades of service to public education by CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, and in recognition of his leadership in guiding the district to state and national prominence as superintendent since 1996. The fund provides a one-time scholarship, awarded each year to a GCPS senior pursuing a career in education.

In his remarks to the Board of Education, GFCU President/CEO Marshall Boutwell announced that the credit union would begin making an annual $5,000 donation to the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, in addition to funding these annual scholarships, a total of $74,000 for the year. He challenged the business community to join GFCU in their support of the Foundation, saying, " It's time for the business community to step up. You are educating the future and they deserve our support."

  • Also recognized at the April Board meeting were this year's Atlanta Toyota Scholarship winners. This program recognizes one student from each high school in Gwinnett County Public Schools and the educators these students selected as their most inspiring teachers. The 2010 student recipients will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and their inspiring teachers each will receive $750, for a total of $40,500 awarded by Atlanta Toyota this year. The program has awarded more than $300,000 to students and teachers in Gwinnett since 2004. The 2010 Atlanta Toyota Scholarship honorees include:

Archer HS
Courtney Mulkey
Cheryl Copeland (Couch MS)
Berkmar HS
Phillip Hughes
Kelly Evers
Brookwood HS
John Truong
Cary Kennedy
Central Gwinnett HS
Nina Le
Eric Blachly
Collins Hill HS
Emily Summerbell
Laura Herbig
Dacula HS
Jack Y. Ma
Peg Alton (Twin Rivers MS)
Duluth HS
Adrienne Jones
Trissa Luftig (Duluth MS)
Grayson HS
Jessica Lukasik
Scott Wiley
Meadowcreek HS
Geeci Reuel Marque Collins
Jimmie Lee McKinley, Jr. (South Gwinnett HS)
Mill Creek HS
Megan Pinter
Tim Kiep
Mountain View HS
Lauren Como
Garin Berry
Norcross HS
Samrat Sinharoy
Casey Weeks
North Gwinnett HS
Shelly Tait
Serge Laguerre
Parkview HS
My Ngoc Chan To
Mary Lynn Huie
Peachtree Ridge HS
Charles Wesley Faulkinberry
Seth Hersch (Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology)
Phoenix HS
Sarah Baker
Jenny Cooper (McConnell MS)
Shiloh HS
Jordan Conner
Pheletta White-Kayea
South Gwinnett HS
Kia Jones-Walker
Derrick Burchette

(Unless otherwise noted, the honored educator teaches at the honored student's high school.)
  • Kudos to a number of Dacula MS students who took 1st or 2nd place honors in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition. The work of these students helped the Dacula MS chapter earn a 2nd Place Chapter Award and an FBLA Gold Status Award. FBLA is the largest student business organization in the world, with more than 250,000 members. Georgia is the largest FBLA State Chapter in the nation with more than 17,500 members. FBLA is an important partner in business education and student leadership development. It 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. Principal Kellye Riggins highlighted many of the accomplishments of the chapter and thanked the FBLA advisor, Keri Beth Tidmore. She also congratulated Ms. Tidmore on her recognition as the state's FBLA Middle Level Advisor of the Year. Dacula's winning students include:
    Natalie Leonard
    , 1st Place, Proofreading and Editing
    Travis Williams
    , 1st Place, Computer Literacy
    Patrick Barrett
    , 1st Place, Impromptu Speaking
    Patrick Barrett
    , 2nd Place, Business Concepts
    Travis Williams
    , Middle Level Member of the Year
    Keri Beth Tidmore
    , Middle Level Advisor of the Year
    Cole Gower
    , Middle Level State President
    Dacula MS FBLA Chapter
    , 2nd Place, Chapter Award
    Dacula MS FBLA Chapter
    , FBLA Gold Status Award
  • The School Board also recognized 31 students who placed 1st or 2nd in the state Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition. DECA is an international association of high school and college students studying marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. Gwinnett County Public Schools' DECA chapters provide opportunities for more than 1,400 students to participate in leadership development activities and compete in a variety of events. Students recognized at this Board meeting will compete at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California, April 29-May 3. Click here for a full list of DECA students advancing to international competition.
  • Also honored were 31 Gwinnett students who placed 1st or 2nd in the SkillsUSA State Technology Competition. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization that partners with high school and college students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce that is prepared for careers in trade, technical, and skilled-service occupations. Click here for a full list of GCPS students winning honors in the SkillsUSA State Technology Competition.

Board continues updates to policies
The School Board approved the following policy changes after tabling them last month to allow for public input:
Policy JBCB- Acceptance of Transfer Credits- Changes have been proposed that align policy with improvements in system processes.

As part of its ongoing policy work, the School Board tabled the following policy change to allow for public input prior to next month's meeting:
Policy IDE- Competitive Interscholastic Activities, Grades 6-12- Minor changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with the update in state board rule.
Policy JCAB- Interrogations and Searches- Changes have been proposed that align policy with improvements in system processes.
Policy JCD- Student Conduct Behavior Code- Changes have been proposed that align policy with improvements in system processes.
Policy JDD- Consequences for Offenses- Changes have been proposed that align policy with improvements in system processes.