News You Can Use - 02/15/2010

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
02/15/2010 - 02/21/2010

36 GCPS projects earned 1st place in regional competition, advancing to the state Science and Engineering Fair (March 31-April 4). Three projects advance directly to the International Science Fair-- Guivanni Righi and Emily Summerbell, both from Collins Hill High; and Peter Nelson and Michelle Lowe, both from Brookwood High. For more information, call Mary Elizabeth Davis, director of science, at 678-301-7036.

During the SkillsUSA Georgia Region III Competition, Grayson Technical Education Program students and Maxwell High students had nine 1st place winners, 13-2nd place winners and two 3rd place winners. 1st and 2nd place winners from Regional will compete at the State level in March. For more information, call Phyllis Lowe of technical education, computer science, and work-based learning at 678-301-6801.

GCPS had 100 works of art selected at the All-State Art Symposium (ASAS) competition from among more than 630 regional entries representing 43 Georgia high schools. The ASAS Exhibition takes place at Kennesaw State University through Feb.27. On Feb. 26, the ASAS Awards ceremony begins with a reception in the Visual Arts building from 5 to 6 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at which ASAS winners will be announced. There will be Symposium Workshops on Feb. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Complete information about the ASAS Exhibit and Symposium is available at For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of fine arts, at 678-301-7004. List of students available upon request.
Brookwood High
Central Gwinnett High
Collins Hill High
Grayson Technical Education Program
Mill Creek High
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Peachtree Ridge High

Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders Angie Bennett, Crystie Flynt, and Lisa Lang, presented at the 2010 National Reading Recovery and K-6 Classroom Literacy Conference in Ohio— the 25th anniversary of Reading Recovery in the U.S. The presentation, “Get Sassy and Sell the Program!” was given during the Implementation and Research portion of the conference. For more information, call Lisa Lang at 770-682-4196.

Seven GCPS Teachers attended the Little Kids Rock workshop and received 150 acoustic guitars to begin guitar instruction at individual schools. In addition, the teachers received a teacher’s manual, software, charts, and folders for students. GCPS also received grants from the Dr. Phil Foundation and the Quincy Jones Foundation. Teachers attending the conference were Jeff Peterson of Mountain Park Elementary, Jaime Krauss and Mike Urbanik of Meadowcreek Elementary, Kristin Gwaltney and Julie Hall of Lilburn Elementary, Beth Bryant of Corley Elementary, and Merle Soodyall of Stripling Elementary. For more information, call Brian Gellerstien of Little Kids Rock at 973-746-8248 ext. 111.

The Buice School will hold a Winter Olympics the week of Feb. 15-19. The Opening Ceremony, promoting the Olympic principle of friendship, will begin with a torch relay and cultural festivities showcasing 19 different countries. Each class will use math and graphing skills to follow a specific country’s participation and accomplishments during the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Students will also have the opportunity to experience a “warm weather” version of events such as free style skating, ice hockey, bobsled and skeleton racing. Winning students will be awarded a medal during the closing ceremonies at the end of the week. For more information, call 770-271-5060.

Norton Elementary is sponsoring a Writing Boot Camp for 5th grade students on Feb. 15 and 22. Students will report to “boot camp” to polish their writing skills in preparation for taking the Georgia State Writing Test. Administrators, counselors, teachers and other staff members assist the 5th grade teachers in presenting the lesson. For more information, call Laura Reed, Norton ES teacher at 770-985-1933.

The Auto Services and Collision Repair Department at Maxwell High School of Technology will host a “High Performance Homecoming” for alumni on Feb.18, from 3 to 7 p.m. The newly renovated automotive wing and new curriculum will be unveiled for second year automotive students. The program will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an award ceremony for business partners including Mercedes, Infiniti, Ferrari, and BMW and others. Vehicles will be on display. For more information, call Maxwell High School Auto Services Instructor Eliot Lawrence at 770-963-6838.

Gwinnett County’s most avid readers will be participating in the GCPS 5th Annual Gwinnett Readers Rally on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 Berkmar High. The Gwinnett Readers Rally is a quiz bowl competition for readers in grades 4 through 12. Schools prepare a team for the competition by having students read a preselected list of books. 86 GCPS teams are registered for the event. Berkmar High School’s Basketball Cheerleading Squads will be performing at the opening ceremonies. Author S. A. Harazin, “Blood Brothers,” a 2010 Georgia Peach Award nominee, will be attending the high school closing ceremony. The division winners from each school level will go on to compete in a Championship Readers Rally on Feb. 25 at the Instructional Resource Center. For more information, call Jamie Jones, Grayson High media specialist, at 770-554-7041; or Anne Chapman of Jackson Elementary at 770-682-4204.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation presents the Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant 2010 on Feb. 20. The theme of this year’s pageant is The Time of My Life - A Tribute to the music of the 80’s. For more information or tickets, contact Jane Denton at 678-957-3166 or

Duluth High is collecting pennies (or any type of currency) for Pennies For Patients on Feb. 26. Contributions from this fundraiser will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Level Creek Elementary students will participate in a project to benefit a local animal shelter with donations of money, supplies, sponsorships, adoptions, and caregivers. Team G-Force and Team Leopard will host a pet adoption day at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.) shelter on Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students may bring towels, blankets, litter, and animal toys, to school to be collected and delivered to the shelter. For more information, visit

Berkmar High will host the 2nd Annual Greater Lilburn Business Expo on March 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lilburn businesses will have an opportunity to promote their businesses to each other and the community at this event. More than 100 businesses are expected to participate in this event produced in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Lilburn Business Association, and the Lilburn Community Partnership. For more information, visit,or call Diana Preston, assistant principal, at 678-230-9058, or email

Berkmar Middle is participating in a Fundred Dollar Bill Project to collect as many as 4,000 original, hand-drawn interpretations of the U.S. hundred dollar bills between now and March 18. The Fundred Dollar Bill Project is raising nationwide awareness of the environmental threat of lead contamination and lead-poisoning by collecting the funds necessary for a model remediation effort in New Orleans. New Orleans is the initial focus of this project as 30-50% of inner city children are affected by elevated blood lead levels and at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems. For more information, visit

Members of the Lions Club of Georgia recently presented a Brailler (and paper) to a visually impaired student in Melanie Abad’s preschool class at Monarch School. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

READ ACROSS AMERICA—Dr. Seuss’ birthday
Berkeley Lake Elementary will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday during Read Across America Week March 1-5. Activities will include guest readers in classrooms. For more information, call Melinda O’Herron, media specialist, at 770-582-7520 or 678-291-4240.

Kanoheda Elementary is planning a storybook celebration for Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2). Students dressed as a favorite storybook characters will arrive at school on March 2. The hallways will be transformed into storybook settings by staff members who will also be dressed as a favorite character from a book. County office employees, business partners, parents, and other community members will be guest readers in classrooms. Later in the day, students and staff members will form a Reading Chain around the building to sit linked together and read for a period of time. For more information, call 770-682-4221.

North Gwinnett High’s Haiti House project raised $2,246 to date. The original goal of $1,000 was accomplished within a few days of the project beginning, so students set a new goal of $3,000. For more information, call Debi West, North Gwinnett High teacher, at 770-945-9558.

Lovin Elementary students are making “Haiti Houses, tiny houses that make a BIG difference”. These houses are offered for a $1 donation to benefit Haiti. For more information, visit,or call Jeannette Anthos, art teacher, at 678-518-6940.

Cedar Hill Elementary art teachers Joyce Dorian and Anna Murphy are leading their students in the “Homes for Haiti” program. Art Club members plan to create ‘tiny’ houses and sell them to the Cedar Hill community to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization. Currently they have raised $635. For more information, visit or call 770-962-5015.

Debbie Cornelison’s 5th grade class at Ivy Creek Elementary has been raising money for Haiti. Two students in her class have family members in Haiti, and one of the students has a relative who is still missing. The students are making a commercial for the morning announcements to inform students how to help earthquake survivors in Haiti by donating money. For more information, please contact Debbie Cornelison at 678-714-3655 or Tammy Glausier at 678-765-5245.

Pinckneyville Middle will sponsor “Healing Hearts for Haiti” in response to the need of the earthquake victims in Haiti. Staff and students will collect donations to benefit the American Red Cross. Each donation entitles participants to have their name printed on a paper heart and posted throughout the school. Pinckneyville has collected more than $1,000 for “Healing Hearts for Haiti.” As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Pinckneyville looks for programs to develop an understanding and sense of community for students. For more information, call Frau Shashoua, IB teacher, at 770- 263-0860.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/11/2010Twin Rivers MS and Brookwood HS: Ga.'s top science teachers (pdf)
02/10/2010Award-winning author to attend 2010 Readers Rally (pdf)
02/09/2010Sweetwater MS WordMasters among nation's top 10 (pdf)
02/08/2010$15K Wachovia Wells Fargo grant to support AP testing (pdf)
02/05/2010Parkview High's Kates Georgia's HS Art Teacher of Year (pdf)

“ArtStage - Gwinnett County 6th Grade Honor Chorus” Join GCPS TV for a special presentation of the inaugural Gwinnett County 6th Grade Honor Chorus. Tune in to hear the beautiful voices of over 140 GCPS 6th grade students as they perform a variety of songs including “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “How Can I Keep from Singing.” Program highlights also include a spirited performance by the Georgia Young Men’s Ensemble. This 60-minute program airs Feb.15-20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“The Slave Trade - Colonial Williamsburg” Beginning with the American Revolution, this program explores the U.S. law of 1807 that abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Meet the people who were involved in our influenced by this pivotal legislation: the slaves, plantation owners, slave-ship captains, common seamen, government officials, Navy officers, and anti-slavery activists. This 60-minute program airs this week at 10 a.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 and 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--

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February is National African American History Month.

Feb 14-20 is National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Week.

A Snow Make-up Day is scheduled for February 15.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 18, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

March is Music in Our Schools Month and National Nutrition Month.

March 1 begins Read Across America Week. March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

March 1-6 is Newspapers in Education Week.

March 7 is Girl Scout Sunday.

March 8-12 is National School Breakfast Week and National Foreign Language Week.

March 12 is a student holiday.

March 15 is a Flood Make-Up Day for Sept. 22, 2009.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in February. Call the local school for the time and location.
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Carl Buice School
Crews Middle
Duluth High
Duncan Creek Elementary
Dyer Elementary
Grayson Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Norton Elementary
Oakland School
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
South Gwinnett High
Summerour Middle
Trip Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary
Winn Holt Elementary
Woodward Mill Elementary

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (GEHC) is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are GCPS, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student field studies and activities Mon. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

February 16
Homeschool: HLS Pottery Making
Homeschool: LH: Did You See the Stars?
Homeschool: Rocks
Little Hands: Lunch for Bears
February 17
Homeschool: Rocks
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Guided Trail Hikes
February 19
Homeschool: Advance Science Process Skills
Friday Snack Pack
Homeschool: Chemistry II for High schoolers
Homeschool: Intro to Physical Science
February 20
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Turtle Feeding
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
February 22
Water S(our)ce Exhibition: Call to Artist Deadline
February 23
Homeschool: WGS: Birds
Homeschool: LH: Did You See the Stars?
Homeschool: Rocks
February 24
Homeschool: Rocks
Little Hands: Lunch for Bears
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Monthly Lab Extension