News You Can Use - 02/28/2005

During the school year, the Department of Communication & Media Relations produces a media tip sheet called "News You Can Use, which is distributed to metro Atlanta news outlets electronically. This publication provides school and system news, including recent honors, upcoming events, calendar items, and photo opportunities at local schools and central office locations. The tip sheet is sent out at the end of each week, and covers news and GCPS items of interest for the coming 7-10 days.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
02/28/2005 - 03/06/2005

The PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) Georgia Academic Decathlon State Championship Super-Quiz Oral Relay will take place on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Berkmar High Auditorium. Twenty-seven Georgia high school decathlon district-level winning teams will compete. For more information, call Lynn Varner at 800-334-6261.

Walnut Grove Elementary teacher Funmi Oke has been selected as a finalist for the Visiting International Faculty Program’s 2005 Cultural Educator of the Year Award for Georgia. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

Mike Emery of Norcross High has been selected as State 5AAAAA Athletic Director of the Year.

Nearly 300 GCPS band, chorus, and orchestra students were selected for All-State competition. For a full list of student names, contact Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

GCPS named its top school counselors at the annual breakfast on Feb. 11. This year’s winners are Brenda Zellner of Freeman’s Mill Elementary, 2004-05 Elementary School Counselor of the Year; Margaret Cheeley of Creekland Middle, 2004-05 Middle School Counselor of the Year; Kay Holleman of Peachtree Ridge High, 2004-05 High School Counselor of the Year; Margaret Ackerman, principal of Meadowcreek Elementary, 2004-05 Counseling Advocate of the Year; and Gina Vines of J.E. Richards Middle, 2004-05 Writer of the Year. For more information call Dr. Carrie Booher, director of academic support and advisement, at 770-822-6454.

Seven Gwinnett County students and their teachers will move on to the regional STAR competition. Gwinnett’s top academic seniors include Joseph Bowen Song of Brookwood High, Ginger Tanton of Collins Hill High, Shuo Zhang of Duluth High, Lucas Bermudez and Saranya Selvaraj of Parkview High, and Sarah Richards of South Gwinnett High. These top academic seniors, along with the Buford City Schools’ STAR student, will represent Gwinnett County for district wide honors in the STAR Regional. Regional winners and their STAR teachers will then compete for the state STAR awards, which will be announced April 29. For a complete list of GCPS STAR students and their teachers, visit the system Web site at

More than 300 metro Atlanta students took part in the 2005 Metro Language Forum on Feb. 19 at Douglas County High. Of the 45 GCPS students competing, 33 earned a superior rating, eight earned an excellent rating, and four earned a good rating. For a complete list of winners, call Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

Central Gwinnett Cluster held its first annual Witzzle Pro Math Tournament on Feb. 19, at Margaret Winn Holt Elementary. Cedar Hill Elementary 5th grade winners were Terri Lynn Cunningham, 1st place; Casey Chan, 2nd place; and Nia Hardy, 3rd place. 4th-grade winners include Brianna Lively, 1st place; Bailey Brown, 2nd place; and Nicholas Kayea, 3rd place. Winners from Margaret Winn Holt Elementary were Adrian Sain, 1st place; Ben Llena, 2nd place; and Anand Devila tied with Beatriz Maliszewski for 3rd place. 5th-grade winners from Simonton Elementary were Kiet Bui, 1st place; Kimberly Abuajah, 2nd place; and George Thekkedath, 3rd place. Fourth grade winners include Sam Willis, 1st place; Brian Egejuru, 2nd place; and Marissa Jordan, 3rd place.

Chattahoochee Elementary teacher Kay Collins was published in the March/April 2005 edition of Music K-8 Magazine.Ms. Collins wrote a St. Patrick’s Day story.

Lanier Middle chorus teacher Josh Sass won the STAR 94 FM Valentine’s Idol Competition.

The Simonton Elementary PTA will sponsor an International Night on Feb. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students and their families will share food, wear costumes, present artifacts, and showcase their talent. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

On Feb. 28, G.H. Hopkins Elementary students will present the achievements of various African Americans of the past and present. The program will begin at 8:40 a.m. for K–2nd grade classes, and at 10 a.m. for 3rd–5th grade classes. For more information, call Premlata Stephens at 770-564-2661.

The Grayson Elementary PTA will have its next meeting on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Chris Rumble, also known as the “Reading Guitar Man.” Mr. Rumble promotes literacy through music. He is a singer, musician, author, and illustrator. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

There will be a college fair for college bound students with special needs on Feb. 28 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. For more info, call 678-377-4010. The College Fair runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Representatives from the following schools will be in attendance: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Andrew College, Gainesville College, Georgia Perimeter College, Gwinnett Technical College Middle Georgia College, Reinhardt College, The Horizons School, and The University of Georgia (UGA). The Learning Disability Association and the Gwinnett County Public Library will be available to assist students with disabilities. A panel of UGA students will talk about what college life is like for students with a disability.

The Frank N. Osborne Middle PTA is sponsoring an Internet safety education session for the community on March 1, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., and again in the evening from 7 to 8 p.m. in the media center. For more information, contact Louise Doughty, media specialist, at 770-904-5416.

The Level Creek Elementary PTA will host the school’s first Academic Fair on March 1 and 2. This fair will include projects in the academic areas of science, social studies, and mathematics. Each class will have the opportunity to enter a class project in any of the subject areas. The projects may be viewed on March 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. Judges will include members of the community, county teachers, and administrators. Winners will be announced at the end of the day on March 2. For more information, call 770-904-7950 or visit the school Web site at

Kanoheda Elementary will hold the school’s 2005 Science Fair on March 3. Approximately 300 science projects will be displayed. Families are invited to view student work on March 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided by The Varsity. For more information, call Chad Webb at 770-678-4221.

Annistown Elementary 5th grade Focus students will present the play “Midsummer Night's Dream,” on March 3 at 2 p.m. for students in the 4th and 5th grades, and at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria for parents and community. There is no charge. Please call Brent Nieman or Kathe Gowland at 770-979-2950 for more information.

The Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus will present a concert on March 12 at Mount Carmel Christian Church, 6015 Old Stone Mountain Road, Stone Mountain, at 3 p.m. The Elementary Honor Chorus is a select group of 5th grade students from schools throughout Gwinnett County. Karen Blooding, an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University, will conduct the 156-member chorus. The Brookwood High Choir also will perform under the direction of Kim Peeples. The GCPS’ Fine Arts Coordinator Robert Andrews and the school system’s music teachers invite you to attend. For more information, call Rebecca Smith at 770-972-4500.

SAT tests will take place at Buchanan High School of Technology throughout the academic year. The next SAT I test will be administered on March 12 in building F. Preregistration is required. This is the first administration of the new SAT, which includes a writing portion. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

Alcova Elementary math students in Patty Cincotta’s class will participate in Pi Day activities in the math lab on March 14. Activities include hearing stories about pi, singing songs about pi, making necklaces, and eating pie. Students who have a “pi day” birthday will be honored on the school news and the hall outside the math room is decorated for the event. For more information, call Patty Cincotta at 678-376-8500.

The Norcross High Players will present the musical “Footloose” March 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 20 at 2 p.m. Preferred seating tickets are $9 and general seating tickets are $6. Call the Norcross High Drama Hotline at 770-447-2667 for more information.

Simonton Elementary will host a Community Night on March 17 at 5 p.m. The Local School Advisory Council will meet in the cafeteria. Simonton parents are welcome to join this group. While visiting the Media Center, students may check out books, use the computer, read stories, and play board games. The following classes will be offered: Parenting with Love and Logic; Promotion Requirements for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Students; and Nurturing Intelligence in Your Child: Questions You May Ask When You Feel That Your Child is Gifted and Talented. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Grayson Elementary will host a Summer Computer Camp at the school from June 27 to July 1. Cathy Clements and Lisa Davis will facilitate the morning and afternoon sessions. The cost is $90 for each session. Maximum class size is 25 students. Students will explore the use of technology for reading and writing, use technology for research and information, create compositions, explore the Internet, and make math flashcards. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

Frank N. Osborne Middle will celebrate “Read Across America Day” on March 2 with author/teacher Cheryl Ritzel. Ms. Ritzel is the author of the mystery “Beginner's Luck,” and is currently working on her second book in the Paul Grey series. Students from all grade levels will be attending a creative writing session with Ms. Ritzel in the media center. The sessions will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., and 2:50 to 3:50 p.m. Students will enjoy birthday cake that day in celebration of the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. For more information, contact Louise Doughty, media specialist, at 770-904-5416.

On March 2, K. E. Taylor Elementary students and staff will celebrate “Read Across America Day.” Special guests have been invited to come read their favorite books to students throughout the day. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Parsons Elementary will celebrate “Read Across America Day” on March 4. Special guests have been invited to read their favorite books to students. For more information, call 678-957-3050.

Simonton Elementary is offering English classes for adults. The two sessions are held on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. and Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. Both sessions are held in the media center and will run through the remainder of the school year. Snacks and free childcare are provided. Call Biljana Cepic at 678-985-4913 or Maria Minue at 770-513-6681 for more information.

Simonton Elementary families are invited to eat dinner at Steak ‘n Shake located at 1610 Scenic Highway in Snellville on March 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. Ten percent of all sales will be donated back to our school.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host a Relay for Life Spring Cleaning Yard Sale on March 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

“GCPS Focus” This week’s Focus program will feature hands-on science learning in GCPS schools, the changing role of the school media center, and this year's Media Specialist of the Year. Program airs daily at 30-minute intervals beginning at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“The Author in You–Helen Lester” Inspired by her former 2nd grade students, author Helen Lester has written more than a dozen funny and popular books for children. Armed with messages such as “Being edited isn't fun but it's good for you,” Ms. Lester discusses how humor inspires her writing and helps her create wonderful characters such as Wodney Wat and Tacky the Penguin. This original GCPS TV program airs Feb. 28 through March 5 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Lewis Latimer: Renaissance Man– Smithsonian Institution” Brad Brewer's “Crowtations” presents a puppet play that tells the story of African American inventor Lewis Latimer. Program airs Feb. 28 through March 5 at 1 and 8 p.m.

“Saving a Species: A Shark Story–Shamu TV” Sharks have been around millions of years, but now they face a serious struggle for existence. Students watching this program will learn about the variety of shark species, their amazing adaptations, and what's being done to protect and preserve sharks worldwide. Program airs Feb. 28 through March 5 at 1:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 22 on GCPS TV. The 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Middle Level Education Month, National Nutrition Month, Women’s History Month, Social Work Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 2 is Read Across America Day.

Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, and Newspaper in Education Week start March 7.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 10, 2005, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during March. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Name of schoolMarPhone numberName of schoolMarPhone number
Alford Elementary17-Mar678-924-5300Lanier MiddleMarch770/945-8419
Alton C. Crews Middle7-Mar770/982-6940Lawrenceville ElementaryMarch770/963-1813
Annistown Elementary770/979-2950Lilburn ElementaryMarch770/921-7707
Arcado ElementaryMarch770/925-2100Lilburn MiddleMarch770/921-1776
B. B. Harris Elementary770/476-2241Mason Elementary11-Mar770/232-3370
Beaver Ridge ElementaryMarch770/447-6307McConnell Middle28-Mar770/554-1000
Benefield ElementaryMarch770/962-3771McKendree Elementary4-Mar678/377-8933
Berkeley Lake Elementary17-Mar770/446-0947Meadowcreek Elementary770/931-5701
Berkmar HighMarch770/921-3636Meadowcreek HighMarch770/381-9680
Bethesda Elementary15-Mar770/921-2000Mountain Park Elementary770/921-2224
Brookwood Elementary28-Mar770/736-4360Nesbit ElementaryMarch770/414-2740
Brookwood High24-Mar770/972-7642Norcross ElementaryMarch770/448-2188
Camp Creek Elementary11-Mar770/921-1626Norcross High10-Mar770/448-3674
Cedar Hill Elementary3-Mar770/962-5015North Gwinnett High15-Mar770/945-9558
Centerville Elementary770/972-2220Norton ElementaryMarch770/985-1933
Central Gwinnett High14-Mar770/963-8041Oakland CenterMarch770/513-6800
Chattahoochee ElementaryMarch770/497-9907Parkview High770/921-2874
Chesney Elementary4-Mar678-542-2300Parsons Elementary30-Mar678/957-3050
Collins Hill HighMarch770/682-4100Partee ElementaryMarch770/982-6920
Cooper Elementary770/554-7050Peachtree ElementaryMarch770/448-8710
Corley Elementary678-924-5330Peachtree Ridge HighMarch678/957-3100
Craig Elementary770/978-5560Pharr Elementary770/985-0244
Creekland Middle24-Mar770/338-4700Pinckneyville Middle15-Mar770/263-0860
Dacula Elementary4-Mar770/963-7174R.D. Head Elementary9-Mar770/972-8050
Dacula High18-Mar770/963-6664Rebecca Minor ElementaryMarch770/925-9543
Dacula MiddleMarch770/963-1110Richard Hull Middle11-Mar770/232-3200
Duluth High770/476-5206Riverside Elementary8-Mar678/482-1000
Duluth Middle8-Mar770/476-3372Rock Springs ElementaryMarch770/932-7474
Duncan Creek Elementary10-Mar678/714-5800Rockbridge Elementary10-Mar770/448-9363
Five Forks Middle770/972-1506Shiloh ElementaryMarch770/985-6883
Fort Daniel Elementary4-Mar770/932-7400Shiloh High15-Mar770/972-8471
Freeman's Mill ElementaryMarch678/377-8955Shiloh MiddleMarch770/972-3224
GIVE CenterMarch770/338-4898Simonton ElementaryMarch770/513-6637
Grayson ElementaryMarch770/963-7189Simpson Elementary7-Mar770/417-2400
Grayson HighMarch770/554-1071Snellville MiddleMarch770/972-1530
Gwin Oaks Elementary11-Mar770/972-3110South Gwinnett High15-Mar770/972-4840
Harbins Elementary15-Mar770/682-4270Stripling Elementary770/582-7577
Harmony Elementary770/945-7272Sugar Hill Elementary3-Mar770/945-5735
Hopkins ElementaryMarch770/564-2661Summerour Middle5-Mar770/448-3045
Ivy Creek Elementary678/714-3655Suwanee Elementary770/945-5763
J. G. Dyer Elementary14-Mar770/963-6214Sweetwater MiddleMarch770/923-4131
J.C. Magill ElementaryMarch770/554-1030Sycamore Elementary8-Mar678/714-5770
J.E. Richards Middle770/995-7133T. Carl Buice CenterMarch770/271-5060
Jackson Elementary20-Mar770/682-4200Trickum Middle9-Mar770/921-2705
K. E. Taylor ElementaryMarch770/338-4680W. C. Britt Elementary24-Mar770/972-4500
Kanoheda Elementary770/682-4221Walnut Grove Elementary31-Mar770/513-6892
Knight Elementary770/921-2400