News You Can Use - 02/18/2013

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
02/18/2013 - 02/24/2013

At the Gwinnett Chamber’s 65th Annual Dinner and Awards evening, David McCleskey, Governmental Liaison/Community Ombudsman, and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, District III Board member, were honored with Public Service awards. “The Annual Dinner showcases the cooperative work of our leaders throughout the region which, in turn, comes back to benefit Gwinnett County,” explained Philip R. Wolfe, president and CEO, Gwinnett Medical Center and Gwinnett Chamber 2013 chairman. These leaders were recognized for their exceptional impact to Gwinnett and contribution to furthering the Gwinnett Chamber’s three core values of creating jobs, building businesses, and strengthening the community.

Fifth grade student Edwin Zenil, from Norcross Elementary, won the annual County Spanish Spelling Bee. Foreign Language Elementary Schools sponsored the event and invited Norcross Elementary to participate. In addition to the Bee competition, the Spanish Club performed a poem. Eight students competed for more than 10 rounds. For more information, call Teacher Rosa Escandell, Spanish Spelling Bee Sponsor, at 770-448-2188.

Norcross Elementary will commemorate Black History Month with the Annual Black History Program on Feb.22. The Primary Program (Kindergarten–2nd grade) will take place in the gym from 9 to 10 a.m. The Intermediate Program (3rd– 5th grades) will also be held in the gym from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. For more information, call Norcross Elementary at 770-447-2675.

Hull Middle will celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 22 with many student activities including performances by the Jazz band, chorus, drama club, 6th grade pianist, dance team, and 8th grader Sarah Cox will sing “Change is Gonna Come.” For more information, call Assistant Principal Scott Frandsen at 770-232-3263.

Dacula High will host a Diversity Program on Feb. 22 with the theme of “Keeping the Dream Alive!” during Black History Month. Dacula High’s diverse student body will share a view of history with performances by the chorus, drum line, cheerleaders and the Dacula High Sapphires. Historical presentations will be played throughout the day in the theater. Student tickets may be purchased for $2. For more information, call the Dacula High Social Studies Department at 770-963-6664.

Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an Open House on Feb. 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for sophomores and juniors interested in attending the school next year. Programs of study include Aircraft Flight Operations, Early Childhood Education, Architecture, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Services, Construction Welding, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Drawing and Design, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Interior Design, Law and Justice, Medical Services, Nursing, and Sciences: Diagnostics. For more information, call 770-963-6838 or visit to register online in February.

Meadowcreek Elementary will host Siemens Science Day on Feb. 22 from 9:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Siemens Corporation professionals will speak to students about the importance of math, science, and technology education and discuss the impact scientists and engineers have on society. Students will have the opportunity to perform hands-on science activities. Displays and experiments will be set up in three locations in the school for 5th grade students to participate in experiments with electrical circuitry and chemical and physical changes in matter and density. These activities allow students to discover that math and science are “cool” subjects that can lead to exciting career opportunities. For more information, call Holly Moore at the school at 770-638-2376.

Peachtree Ridge High will host a visit from Congressman Rob Woodall, Ga. 7th District, on Feb. 22 at 7:30 a.m. Students will have the opportunity to ask the congressman how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect them in the future, explain the Fair Tax bill, and discuss the cost of higher education and school loans. For more information, call Assistant Principal Lynne Best at 678-512-6066.

Author Sherry Dixon will visit Sweetwater Middle for a book signing during the morning and afternoon of Feb. 22. Ms. Dixon is the author of “Natural Destiny,” her first work of fiction. Ms. Dixon was born to parents of Guamanian and Sicilian descent. She is the second of seven children and lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Don. Sherry and Don have five children and eight grandchildren. Ms. Dixon will present her work and the story of her journey to become an author with students. For more information, call the school at 770-717-2160.

The 2013 Gwinnett Regional Science & Engineering Fair will take place on Feb. 22, at the Gwinnett Center, beginning at 9 a.m. An open house will be held at 4:00 p.m. and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate science and engineering and take part of inspiring the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett County. Call 678-301-7036 or visit the Science Fair website—— for more information or to sign up to support the 2013 Science and Engineering Fair as a sponsor or judge.

NFL player and guest speaker Rennie Curran and the GCPS Community-Based Mentoring Program Present a Career Summit for Youth titled “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The program will take place Feb. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brookwood High. Students are encouraged to dress for success to attend this career workshop for middle and high school males.(Students are asked to wear a suit, shirt and tie, or business casual attire.) Students will learn about careers in medicine, the legal field, law enforcement, business, technology, and entrepreneurship. At the conclusion of the workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn about colleges, business, and community organizations. Lunch will be provided. Participation is limited to 150 students, and registration is required. The event is open to male students in grades 6-12. Register online at, by phone at 678-301-7286, or by email at

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute and the Friends of Gwinnett Senior Services are sponsoring a Caregivers Conference on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville. The keynote speaker will be Maria Greene, consultant for the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. Fall prevention will be discussed by Ingrid Wedderburn of the Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center. Education will be addressed by
Georgann Eaton, Principal of Sweetwater Middle. Legal issues will be presented by Paul Black. And Grandparents will be the topic of Judy Perdue’s presentation. A ten dollar registration fee will cover a continental breakfast, a box lunch, and door prizes. Vendors from related organizations will provide information on aging. This Caregivers Conference is being supported by the Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services. To register, contact GNLI at For more information please call (678) 964-4838.

The 2013 Miss Peachtree Ridge High Scholarship Pageant will be held on Feb. 23. This year’s theme is “Pretty in Pink” and will honor contestants’ friends and family members by making a donation to the American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High Pageant will begin at 7 p.m. in the school theater. For more information, visit the school website at

The Duluth High Chorus will perform a concert on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. This performance will take place in the school auditorium. Call the school at 770-476-5206 for more information.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) will host the AAASP Wheelchair Basketball State Tournament at Duluth High on March 2. The tournament will feature 5 teams from Georgia competing in the following format: Game 1—11 a.m.: Junior Varsity Semi-final game; Game 2—3 p.m.: Varsity Semi-final game; and Game 3: Junior Varsity Championship game. Duluth Athletic Director Bill Navis and his staff will provide support personnel for the tournament. GCPS Food and Nutrition staff will provide team lunches to all participating teams and coaches. The varsity final will be played at the Macon Coliseum prior to the GHSA state basketball finals. For more information, call Mike Phillips, Coordinator for Adapted Sports at 678-301-6885.

The Greater Gwinnett Championship, the county’s new Champions Tour golf tourney, is scheduled for April 15-21 at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The tournament will benefit a number of local charities, including the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund. This 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. The event will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. To purchase tickets or volunteer for Greater Gwinnett Championship, visit

Registration is going now for the 4th Annual GCPS “I See A Cure” Relay for Life 5K Run/Walk scheduled for April 27 at 8 a.m. GCPS is the largest supporter of Gwinnett Relay for Life. This event is a great opportunity for GCPS employees, faculty, and students, as well as the community, to support this important cause. Participants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag, and participate in a pre-race warm-up to live music at the 200 building of the Instructional Support Center (ISC). Raffle prizes and age group awards will be presented. The school or team with the most participants will be recognized at the awards presentation. Visit to register. If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 or Diane Cribb at 678-301-6121. Visit for more information.

The Hull Middle PTSA will host a Read Across America event for student readers at the school. A Read Across Hull Middle contest will run through Feb. 22 with prizes being awarded on March 1. Students will read each week and record their minutes. Students reading at least 180 minutes in that 3 week period, earn a Hershey chocolate bar. Additional prizes will be awarded to top readers in the school. Students may dress up in red and white, or dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character on March 1. In addition, children can bring a gently used Dr. Seuss book that will be collected and donated to a local charity. For more information, call Chrissy Wise-Cooper, literary committee member, at 678-227-9158; or Media Specialist Carol Bates at 770-232-3200.

Minor Elementary will celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 1 with a Pajama Party. Community members including a fire fighter, a police officer, and Board Member Louise Radloff will read to classes. A reading cafe will be set up in the Media Center where students can gather to read a good book. Teachers have also planned some fun activities using many of Dr. Seuss’s wonderful books. We will close out the day with a school-wide reading chain in the hallway. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. and last throughout the day. For more information, call Brooke Treadwell at 678-245-3166, or email

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold the final information session on and Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology online registration is currently taking place. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson High. Registration applications are available online in February.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites parents and members of the community to join GCPS staff members by participating in a review of proposed curriculum materials. Parents may provide input on the proposed materials by participating in the public review. GCPS holds an extensive review before adopting materials for classroom use. Materials submitted by publishers are reviewed by teachers, administrators, and parents for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review that runs through Feb. 23, GCPS staff and members of the Gwinnett community will review mathematics materials for grades 6-12 and non-fiction books for grades K-5. Reviews are scheduled as follows:

Instructional Support Center
Hallway between Buildings 100 and 200, 437 Old Peachtree Road NW, Suwanee
  • Monday–Friday, through Feb. 22, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 5–8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Based on all input gathered from this review, a recommendation will be made to the Gwinnett County Board of Education for adoption of materials. For more information about the instructional review process, please contact Ryan Queen, Director of Instructional Materials, at 678-301-6828.

“Colonial Williamsburg: The Slave Trade” 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 or influenced by this pivotal legislation: slaves, plantation owners, slave-ship captains, common seamen, government officials, Navy officers, and anti-slavery activists. This 60-minute program airs Feb. 18-24 at 1 p.m.

“artSTAGE - Sixth Grade Honor Chorus” Join GCPS TV for a special presentation of artSTAGE spotlighting the Gwinnett County Schools Sixth Grade Honor Chorus. This 60-minuite program airs Feb. 18-24 at 2 p.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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/11/2013Peach State Federal Credit Union supports scholarship fund (pdf)
02/08/2013Gwinnett highlights the work of its counselors (pdf)

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February is National African American History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 18 is a Student Teacher Holiday.

February 25 and 26 are Early Release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., February 28, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

March is Music in our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month®, Women in History Month, and Youth Art Month.

On March 2, Read Across America is celebrated along with Dr. Suess’ birthday.

March 4-8 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 4-10 is National Foreign Language Week.

March 10 is Girl Scout Sunday.

March 10-16 is Girl Scout Week.

March 11 is a student holiday and planned furlough day.

March 12 is Girl Scout Sabbath.

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day and Camp Fire USA Birthday.

The first day of spring is March 20.

The following schools will hold Local School Council Dates in February. Call the local school for the time and location.
Archer High School
Bay Creek Middle
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Crews Middle
Duluth High
Dyer Elementary
Grayson Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
McConnell Middle
Monarch School
North Gwinnett Middle
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
Puckett’s Mill Elementary
Radloff Middle
Rockbridge Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Trip 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.

Exhibits Education