News You Can Use - 01/19/2004

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
01/19/2004 - 01/25/2004

Recently, a number of Gwinnett counselors earned certification through the National Board of Certified Counselors, including Meg Barry of Meadowcreek Elementary, Margaret Cheeley of Creekland Middle, Martha Holt of J. C. Magill Elementary, Carol Loveless Snellville Middle, Mary Pederson of Peachtree Elementary, Nancy Phillips of Duluth High, Samela Reid of Parkview High, Barbara Rozier of Alton C. Crews Middle, Anna Stafford of Snellville Middle, Loree Stovall of Lanier Middle, Gina Vines of J.E. Richards Middle, and Amy Wittstruck of Meadowcreek Elementary.

South Gwinnett High had four artists selected for the 2004 Scholastic Art Awards competition. The judges chose 146 works to receive awards from among the 700 submissions from Georgia. South Gwinnett High winners include India Davis, Aaron Marsh, Mattie Matakis, and Rick McGibben. The student’s work is currently on display at the Atlanta College of Art in the main gallery, the building next door to the High Museum. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

The quarter finals for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Academic Bowl for Middle Grades, a regional competition, were held Saturday, Jan. 10. The qualifying middle schools that represented Gwinnett County in this tournament were Duluth Middle, Richard Hull Middle, J.P. McConnell Middle, and Trickum Middle. The top four Fulton County academic teams (Autrey Mill, Crabapple, Haynes Bridge, and Webb Bridge) as well as private schools including Christ the King, Wesleyan School, Woodward Academy, and Lovett School, also attended the PAGE quarterfinals. The final results were as follows: first-place trophies were awarded to Trickum Middle and Haynes Bridge Middle. Runner-up trophies were awarded to Duluth Middle and McConnell Middle. The first-place teams will move on to the PAGE semifinals, which will be held in Macon on Jan. 24. Representing Duluth Middle at the Jan. 16 competition were Will Herald, Kent Kercher, Meng Lee, Caterina Li, Albert Liao, Roger Ou, Aditya Shrivastava, Sean Valentine, Chris Wang, and Kyle Wilson. Richard Hull Middle students were Jimmy Cai, Joy Choi, Andrew Dicks, Tyler Droll, Zach Imam, Kanav Jain, Charlene Lo, Liz Robison, and David Torcivia. Trickum Middle students include Caroline Bass, Glenn Branscomb, Deep Datta-roy, Kristen Jolley, Buck McClure, Ian Nurse, Zack Olson, Sanjay Srivatson, James Taylor, Raheel Thobani, and Josh Wong. J.P. McConnell Middle students include Graham Custar, Grant Garner, Trevor Goodyear, Kristy Kemp, and Zach Snyder. The Duluth Middle Academic team, along with Webb Bridge Middle, had the additional honor of being selected by PAGE to appear in a promotional video filmed Saturday. This video will be shown as part of a commercial, and it will be shown to corporate leaders and the legislature. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

McKendree Elementary will host “Passport to the World,” an international festival celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the community. The festival will be held on Jan. 26, following the 6 p.m. PTA meeting. Students and parents from Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Yugoslavia, and other countries will walk in the traditional dress of their native countries to the tune of the many different national anthems. Following the parade, students and parents will “visit” each continent and experience crafts, games, food, songs, artifacts, and dances from the different countries represented. Guests will have their passports stamped as they enter each continent through beautiful displays created by the McKendree Art department. International folktales will be shared in the Media Center, and the Meadowcreek High Mexican folk dancers will perform in the cafeteria. This event is hosted by the McKendree PTA and English to Speakers of Other Languages department. The festival is open to the public. For more information, call Judy Rice at 678-377-8931.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Britt Elementary students will have the opportunity to participate in many activities. Students may participate in a writing contest sponsored by the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County. The subject is “Keeping the Dream Alive....What Does It Mean to Me?” All students who submit an essay will receive a certificate and essays will be displayed and read at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. In addition, a bulletin board explaining Martin Luther King, Jr., Day will be displayed at the school. Teachers and students also have the opportunity to watch the video “My Friend Martin.” Counselors will give guidance lessons on the goals of Dr. King in the areas of nonviolence, helping others, and respect for all people. For more information, call 770-982-4500.

The Leadership Roundtable at Norcross High will meet on Jan. 20 at 11:30 a.m. Dr. Frances Davis, chief human resources officer for Gwinnett County Public Schools, will be the guest speaker. The Leadership Roundtable consists of 22 African-American students that have been selected by the administrative team to serve in an advisory capacity to the leadership team at Norcross High. The Roundtable meets on a monthly basis to discuss issues and concerns that relate to the African-American student population at Norcross High. For more information, call LaShawn McMillan at 770-448-3674.

Head Elementary’s winter session of the After School Skills Development program (ASSD) will begin on Jan. 20. The ASSD program meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m. through Feb. 17. Reading, writing, and math tutorials and many enrichment classes are offered for every grade level. In addition, a session for parents on helping their children with homework will be offered for Head Elementary families on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the school's Media Center. For more information, call 770-972-8050.

Rock Springs Elementary will offer a community “Wellness Fair” on Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is for students, parents, and the community. Participants include nutritionists, disease specialists, nurses, police officers, and athletes. The focus will be on the importance of being active, good nutrition, and using other strategies to live a healthy life. For more information, call Kelly Murdock at 770-932-7474.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host several parenting workshops on selected Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Material will be available for parents to use at home with their children. Lunch and childcare will be provided. Following are the dates and topics. For more information, call 770-963-1813.
January 24 Reading Strategies
February 7 Math Strategies
February 21 Homework Help
March 20 Testing Strategies
March 27 Fitness and Nutrition
April 24 Building Self-Esteem/Discipline
May 15 Summer Learning Strategies

Duluth Middle will hold the fourth annual Middle School Drama Conference on Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students from Gwinnett County middle schools are invited to take classes in audition techniques, improvisation, and stage choreography. Classes are taught by theater professionals from the Atlanta area. After lunch, students will watch plays presented by students from Creekland Middle, Duluth Middle, and Lanier Middle and be entertained by professional storyteller John Goss. The cost of the event is $20, and applications are available from Kathy Gillcrist, Duluth Middle drama teacher. For more information, call Ms. Gillcrist at 404-354-9909.

Arcado Elementary 4th graders will have a visit from David Mark Lopez, a children’s book author, on Jan. 30 at 9:15 a.m. Mr. Lopez has written two books and is planning ten more, all with historical references and all with female role models. For more information, call Gail Handler at 770-925-2100.

The Brookwood High Fine Arts department will be presenting an encore performance of “Les Miserables” on Jan. 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. in the Brookwood High theater. For more information, call Ken Lindahl at 770-985-0653.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for “Teachers Up Close” this week (Jan. 19-25.) The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV airs “ArtStage,” a new fine arts program, daily at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. This new series features music, dance, theater, and visual fine arts programs and performances conducted in schools across Gwinnett County. Last Fall, GCPS TV, in partnership with Gwinnett Technical College, produced and aired a televised, beginning English class for adult learners, called “ English. . . Yes, I Can!” (Series 1). GCPS TV has produced the second part of the series, “English...Yes, I Can!” The class will be aired in hour-long segments four nights a week between Jan. 12 and Feb. 12. The shows will be aired 9 p.m., and repeated at 1 a.m. the same night. The week’s programs will be reaired in a four-hour block from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
Ÿ Adelphia on Channel 20
Ÿ BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Ÿ Charter Communications on Channel 22
Ÿ Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, and the Gwinnett County Human Relations Commission will sponsor a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 75th birthday on Jan. 19. A parade will start at 10 a.m. at the historic Gwinnett County courthouse at 185 Crogan St. in downtown Lawrenceville. The program will follow at noon at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center at 75 Langley Dr. For more information, call 770-963-9356 or 770-995-7329.

Berkmar High will sponsor its first “Taste of Berkmar” event on Jan. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. Participants are invited to taste food items from local restaurants. Student performances and a silent auction will run throughout the day. Food tickets may be purchased at the door for $10. Proceeds will benefit the Berkmar High baseball team. For more information, call 678-549-6773, or visit

Collins Hill High’s advanced word processing class raised $2,000 for PALS (Reaching Every Child Through Parent And Literacy Support). The class also won a $1,000 grant from Paymentech. Students mailed letters to businesses in the community asking for donations. The money collected will purchase books for mothers and new babies at Gwinnett Medical Hospital. For more information, call Stacy Byous at 770-682-4100.

Students may register online for 3rd and 4th mini-sessions at Buchanan High School of Technology at The 3rd mini-session begins Jan. 20, and the 4th mini-session begins Mar. 22. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

January 19 is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, a systemwide holiday. All locations will be closed.

January 21 is a Gateway and Georgia Writing Test date for 8th grade.

January 21 & 22 are Gateway and Georgia Writing Test dates for 5th grade.

February 2-6 is National School Counseling Week.

February 11-12 are early release days for elementary and middle schools.
The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during January. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.