GCPS Board Meeting Summary for December 15, 2011

The following are highlights of the December 15, 2011, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Dr. Robert McClure, Louise Radloff, Carole Boyce, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Daniel D. Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board recognizes students, staff, and schools
- The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized members of the Gwinnett Kids Count! 2012 Education SPLOST Renewal Committee. This group of parents and citizens came together this past summer to lead the campaign for renewal of the one-cent special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) for Gwinnett County Public Schools and Buford City Schools. School Board members thanked the leaders and members of the committee for their successful efforts in securing an extension of the SPLOST for the two school districts in the November 8, 2011, election.
- The Board saluted three schools-- Brookwood HS, North Gwinnett HS, and Peachtree Ridge HS-- that recently earned industry certification for their Marketing Education programs. Industry certification is a formal process that strengthens Marketing programs through a rigorous review conducted by leaders from the American Marketing Association along with business and industry. During this process, curriculum and instruction are carefully aligned with current industry standards to help provide better career opportunities for students. In addition to curriculum and instructional alignment, the following program components also are evaluated and strengthened during the review process: lab areas, equipment, industry/community involvement, work-based learning opportunities, instructor qualifications, and program safety. The State Legislature and the Georgia Department of Education are committed to the industry certification process as a part of efforts to strengthen technical and academic standards for all Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 are provided to assist schools with the industry certification process. Industry certification is designed to promote high-quality instruction for students wishing to pursue postsecondary education and qualify for entry-level positions in industry. The teachers for these industry-certified programs are Cindy Bazzell of Brookwood HS, Dr. Jacqueline Huffman of North Gwinnett HS, and Yalanda Bell and Nicole Lassiter of Peachtree Ridge HS.
- Board members honored Director of Foreign Language David Jahner on his recent recognition from the Southern Conference of Language Teaching as the recipient of the Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education, K-12. The Florence Steiner Award honors the memory of Florence Steiner who was a department chair and professional speaker, widely known and appreciated for her professional knowledge, her ability to communicate with teachers, and her wit. Ms. Steiner inspired a generation of foreign language teachers and challenged them to improve their teaching through better communication of the goals and outcomes of second language education with the public, administrators, colleagues, and students. In introducing Mr. Jahner, Mary Elizabeth Davis, executive director for Curriculum and Instruction, shared that Mr. Jahner embodies the attributes identified with this award: communicator, collaborator, caring mentor, innovator, active learner, and all executed with a sense of wit and humor, genuine concern and a sense of collegial responsibility. She also commended Mr. Jahner for his work to foster an invigorating environment for educational excellence and leadership in our K-12 Foreign Language Department.
- The Board congratulated Dr. Bruce Bowman and Debi West of North Gwinnett HS as recipients of the 2012 Outstanding National Art Honor Society Sponsor Award. The Georgia Art Education Association gives this award to recognize outstanding achievement, contributions, and service to the field of art education to sponsors of a highly successful National Art Honor Society Chapter. North Gwinnett's National Art Honor Society completes 20 to 25 service projects each year and raises thousands of dollars for charities. In accepting the Board's recognition, Mrs. West credited the students with whom she and Dr. Bowman work, saying "They are amazing." Accompanying Dr. Bowman and Mrs. West were student leaders from the school's National Art Honor Society and Assistant Principal Liz Rieken.
- Kudos also were extended to Dr. Jackie Ellett of Duncan Creek ES on her selection as the 2012 Georgia Art Educator of the Year. The Georgia Art Education Association gives this award to honor an outstanding Georgia art educator for service and contributions to art education that merit recognition and acclaim. The committee was impressed with Ms. Ellett’s dissertation topic, "Examining Why Teachers with 20-Plus Years of Experience Choose to Stay in the Art Room." Accompanying Dr. Ellett was Duncan Creek ES Principal Debbie Chavannes.

Staff provides overview of budget outlook for FY2013
As part of its work session, the Gwinnett County Board of Education received information about the upcoming budget development process. Chief Financial Officer Rick Cost provided Board members with a review of where the district stands today in terms of its FY2012 budget along with what he and his budget team anticipate the district will face in FY2013 and looking even further out to FY2014. Click on the following link to learn more about the district's budget situation.

Board receives proposed meeting dates for 2012
At its January meeting each year the Gwinnett County Board of Education sets its Monthly Business Meeting calendar for the new year. Those dates are published in a legal advertisement and become the official calendar for the 12 monthly meetings of the Board. A list of proposed dates for Monthly Business Meetings in 2012 was shared at tonight's meeting for review in advance of the January meeting.

School Board honors Dr. Robert McClure for service as 2011 chair
The Board annually recognizes and thanks the outgoing chairman for his or her leadership and service during the year. Dr. Robert McClure was acknowledged during the meeting for his service as the 2011 chairman. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks presented Dr. McClure with several books. These books will be provided to the media centers in the District IV high schools (Brookwood, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett). In addition, a leadership book was presented to Dr. McClure.

Citizens addressing the Board
- Annette Davis Jackson