News You Can Use - 01/12/2004

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
01/12/2004 - 01/18/2004

Sue Nelson, G.H. Hopkins Elementary teacher, and Holley Nelson, Five Forks Middle teacher, presented “Remember the Myth Your Mother Taught You? Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones but Names Will Never Hurt You.” at the National Middle School Association Conference in November.

A group from Henry Partee Elementary— Stephanie Greacen, Regina Hackett, Sharissa Owens, Jennie Tate, and John Wright— presented “Teacher Researchers in a Learning Community” at the National Staff Development Council Conference in December.

Arcado Elementary earned top honors in the eighth annual “Best of the Best” national yearbook contest in the category of best cover design. Heidi Creed, Arcado Elementary teacher, designed the cover for the yearbook. The contest is sponsored by Lifetouch Publishing. Each of the 20 winning schools will receive a certificate and $100. For more information, call Jennifer Stein from Lifetouch Publishing at 952-826-4637.

The Grayson High varsity and junior varsity teams both placed first in the State Science Problem Solving Bowl held at Middle Georgia College and State University. Junior varsity members include James Oguntebi, Chip Tyndale, and Logan Weaver. Varsity team members included Anne Miller, Mike Warren, and Wryen Meek. For more information, call Billy Jones at 770-554-1071.

The Lions Club Student of the Month from the Norcross chapter is senior Shylin McClain of Norcross High. Shylin and her parents will attend the Lions Club meeting in January for recognition and awards. For more information, call LaShawn McMillan at 770-447-2644

Loretta Mirandola’s AP Government students at Berkmar High competed in a statewide competition, “We the People,” and earned second place. We the People focuses on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. This is the first time Berkmar High has competed. For more information, call Debbie Daniell at 770-921-3636.

The following Norcross High students were selected as National Merit Semifinalists: Vicky Chau, Joyce Chen, Jonathon Fu, Steven Hensey, Jennifer Kim, Joseph Kuo, Alan Rodriguez, Alex Shank, Sara Swart, and Julie Xu. For more information, call Dorothy Lewis at 770-448-3674.

Joseph Abrahamson, Rebecca Damren, Laura McDonald, Stephanie Olivier, and Shanon Rodden of North Gwinnett High, have been selected to participate in the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership community workshop on Jan. 17. Participants from Gwinnett County will have the opportunity to improve and use their leadership skills. The program emphasizes the importance of contributing to the community, and students are encouraged to participate in local service projects. For more information, call Kimberly Stewart at 770-945-9558.

Cedar Hill Elementary won the America Recycles Day collection event at the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett by donating the largest number of aluminum cans for an organization. America Recycles Day is an annual event organized to educate and encourage citizens across the country to recycle and buy recycled products.

Zackary Winne was voted Citizen of the Week at Oakland Center. Zack is in Holly Jones’ preschool class. He is doing a wonderful job communicating using activating devices. Zack enjoys art and cooking activities and is very creative. He always smiles and is a joy to have at school. Zack is the son of Patti and Ross Winne of Snellville. For more information, call 770-513-6800.

Cedar Hill Elementary will sponsor their second annual International Night on Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Student heritage will be represented with native costumes, information, artifacts, and international food. For more information, call Laura Hayes or Anne Foley at 770-962-5015.

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, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Yugoslavia, and other countries will walk in the traditional dress of their native country 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 being hosted throughout the building. Passports will be stamped as they enter each continent through beautiful displays created by the McKendree Art Department. International folktales will be shared in the Media Center. The Meadowcreek High Mexican Folk Dancers will perform in the cafeteria. This event is hosted by the McKendree PTA and English Speakers of Other Languages Department. The festival is open to the public. For more information, call Judy Rice at 678-377-8931.

W.C. Britt Elementary is sponsoring a “Moms’ Breakfast” in the school cafeteria. Kindergarten students and 1st graders will participate on Jan. 14, 2nd and 3rd graders will participate on Jan. 15, and 4th and 5th graders will participate on Jan. 16. The times are from 8:15-8:45 a.m. The cost is $1.25 for adults and $1 for children. No reservation is required. For more information, call PTA President Deanna Chastain at 770-972-4500.

Beaver Ridge Elementary P.E. teachers Nancy Luker and J.T. Stewart will start an after-school intramural sports enrichment program Jan. 12. Immediately following afternoon dismissal, a variety of programs will be offered for students, including volleyball, soccer, floor hockey, basketball, and jump rope. The program will use technology to help students understand their own cardiovascular system while exercising. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

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 students. 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

Juniors are invited to register to take a practice SAT, which will be held in the Brookwood High theater on Jan. 24 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A strategy session for parents and students will be held immediately after the exam with tips on how to improve students’ scores. Light snacks will be available for purchase. Test scores will be returned to students beginning Jan. 28. Registration runs Jan. 8 through Jan. 16. The cost is $5 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Brookwood High Care Team. For more information, call 770-978-5060.

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 come 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, Creekland Middle, Duluth Middle, and Lanier Middle students 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 770-476-3372.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for “GCPS Best of Focus” this week (Jan. 12-18). 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). To help viewers extend their learning, GCPS TV has produced the next level class of English instruction. The class will be aired in hour-long segments four nights a week between Jan. 12 and Feb. 12. The shows will be aired 9-10 p.m., then repeated 1-2 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:
Adelphia on Channel 20
BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Charter Communications on Channel 22
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, Inc., 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

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., a systemwide holiday. All locations will be closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Jan. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.