News You Can Use - 05/05/2008

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
05/05/2008 - 05/11/2008

Creekland Middle 6th graders will join more than 500 other schools around the world to gather signatures for a space flight for Space Day 2008. For more information, call Jane Ann Buturff at 770-338-4717.

Nesbit Elementary will host an International Night on May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Entertainment will include a parade with students dressed in ethnic clothing, art projects, and ethnic food. For more information, call Teacher Allyson Hepburn at 770-414-2740.

The Duluth High Juntos Committee will host an end-of-year Fiesta and Cookout on May 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Field House parking lot and practice football field. There will be student awards, food, and music. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the cafeteria. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The 12th annual Duluth High Peach Jam will be held in the auditorium on May 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. The event features professionally choreographed musical acts from soloist, ensembles, and choirs. A combined choir of 250 students will open and close the show. The theme for the show is “We’re All in This Together” and celebrates the school’s 50th anniversary. “Razzle Dazzle” -- a female barbershop quartet-- will also perform. Tickets may be purchased for $6.50 from any chorus student through April 25, or for $8 at the door. For more information, call Greg Smith, choral director, at 770-232-3354.

Chattahoochee Elementary 5th grader Lindsey Sharpe has been accepted to attend the Interlochen Arts Center this summer. Lindsey will travel to Interlochen, Michigan to study under the world renowned cellist, Astrid Schween for four weeks. Lindsey was awarded merit scholarships from both Interlochen and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra which will cover 90% of her camp costs. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Peachtree Ridge High Orchestra Teacher Bernadette Scruggs was elected president of the state music association-- Georgia Music Educators Association. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

The Snellville Commerce Club will award its 2008 FBLA/DECA $1000 Scholarship to Bessy Baby of South Gwinnett High and David Pruitt of Brookwood High. Each recipient has demonstrated academic achievement while giving time to the Snellville Community. Funds will be paid to the college of their choice to assist their respective academic pursuits. The award will be presented on May 6 at the regular Club meeting inside City Hall at noon. For more information on the Clubs mission and philanthropic history, visit

Kristin Lofgren of Norcross High is one of 35 students selected throughout the state to attend the University of Georgia’s Accounting Residency Program this summer. The Program is sponsored by the Georgia Society of CPA’s who pay the student fees. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Law Day, which was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958. This year the theme is "The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity." The Gwinnett County Bar Associations sponsored several activities for Education Law Day. Four outstanding students were recognized and they are Jenna Vento, a senior at Dacula High; Keyne Villert, a senior at Norcross High; Perpetua Udekigbo, a sophomore at Meadowcreek High; and Alexis Anderson, a senior at Duluth High. The Bar Association also awarded two scholarships, one to Joshua Johnson of Mill Creek High and one to Julian Cullum of Norcross High. Duluth High Teacher Mary Ann Meeks and these students will be recognized at the Gwinnett Bar Association’s luncheon on May 16. In addition, winning entries from the Bar Association essay contests for middle and high school students, and poster contest for elementary school students will be displayed at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center through May 9. For more information, call Theresa A. Cox at 770-822-8700.

GCPS students excelled in the FLAG (Foreign Language Association of Georgia) Spoken Language Contest. Nearly 600 Georgia foreign language students participated. Gwinnett students brought home 47 Superior Ratings, 22 Excellent ratings, and 9 Notable ratings. For more information, call Foreign Language Director David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

GCPS students performed well on the National French Exam having 37 students place among the top 10 in the state, and 26 were ranked in the top 10 nationally. For more information, call Foreign Language Director David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

At the Georgia Ceramic Art Awards and Symposium Brookwood High student William Taylor placed first for his ceramic vessel, and Tracy Reyes-Palacios of Mill Creek High earned honorable Mention for her work. For more information, call the school.

Grayson High School Technical Education Program students Sophia Sanford and Xavier Lewis won 2nd Place in the Occupational Creative Thinking category at the 27th annual Career and Technical Instruction State Leadership Conference held at Jekyll Island. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

Dr. Barbara Martin, principal of Monarch School, presented at the Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities held in Hawaii. The presentation was titled “Southern States Collaborate: Autism Needs and Research-based Solutions.” For more information, call 678-542-2330.

Nesbit Elementary will host a visit from storyteller and author Carmen Agra Deedy May 8 at 1 p.m. in the media center. Ms. Deedy will autograph any books that are purchased. For more information, call 770-414-2740.

Duluth High will celebrate a 50th anniversary on May 8. A reception in the 600 building lobby will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a program in the auditorium at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

On May 10 in the Peachtree Ridge High Commons Area from 10 a.m. to noon, Gwinnett families are invited to learn more about nutrition and making healthy choices at the Peachtree Ridge Cluster Nutrition Fair, a free community event open to parents of all clusters. A chef will prepare two easy and nutritious recipes that can be made in any home with a minimal amount of culinary skill. Participants also can enjoy free samples of fruit, veggies and vegetarian products, information on specific nutritional and health topics, a fitness program, access to “Nutri-Cafe,” and more. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

Corley Elementary will sponsor a Career Fair on May 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. A Police officer, fireman, reporter, professor, teacher, cosmetologist, nurse, lawyer, and others will share information about their careers with the students. For more information, call 678-924-5330.

Corley Elementary will partner with the Seimens Corp. for a hands-on science event for 4th grade students on May 13. Sixteen employees will conduct science experiments helping students learn about gravity, water filtration, and lung power. Students will receive prizes and certificates for their participation. For more information, call 678-924-5330.

Berkmar Middle will host a Career Fair on May 16 from 9:30 to 11:50 a.m. Students will have the opportunity to circulate through career booths and gather information to fill out a questionnaire they bring with them to the fair. For more information, call Graduation Coach Lisa Hunt at 770-638-2328.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
04/30/2008Berkmar High one of three schools nationwide honored with “College Board Inspiration Award” (pdf)
04/30/2008High School summer school registration in Gwinnett begins May 1 (pdf)
04/30/2008“Iron Chef” challenge kicks-off Culinary Arts industry certification application for Grayson High Technical Education Program (pdf)
04/29/2008GCPS honors top school custodians (pdf)
04/29/2008GCPS receives highest bond rating from nation's top two ratings agencies (pdf)
04/28/2008North Gwinnett High principal named 2008 Georgia High School Distinguished Principal (pdf)
04/25/2008Gwinnett ninth grade engineering students win robotics tournament (pdf)

“Meet the Author: James Howe” As an author of more than 70 books, including the popular series, “Bunnicula, Howe says, “Back in the Olden Days, before there were such things as cable television or DVDs, I loved staying up late at night to watch old horror movies on TV. Chester’s story of how Bunnicula traveled from Transylvania to America is a spoof of just about every old horror movie I ever saw!” Howe has also written several series for young readers, including the “Sebastian Barth” mystery series and the “Pinky and Rex” series, and picture books like “There’s a Monster Under My Bed.” This 30 min. program airs May 5 - 11 at 10:30 a.m.

“Flight School - Blast Off” Three, two, one...blast off! “Flight School” lifts off again. The third of four live and interactive electronic field trips, “Blast Off!!!” will examine the history of rocket-propelled flight, the space race, lunar landing, and the space shuttle program. Along the way, viewers will learn about the pioneering men and women who made the dream of space flight possible, meet astronauts, find out about the science of piloting a space craft, and much more. This 45 min. program airs May 5-10 at 2 p.m.

“French in Action” This Annenberg Media series uses active participation to increase fluency in French, while introducing French culture. Pierre Capretz’s proven language-immersion method is presented within a humorous teleplay with native speakers of all ages and background. The storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman's adventures in Paris and the French countryside is reinforced by Dr. Capretz’s on-camera instruction. This 60-min. program airs May 9-11 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, April 21-June 29 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2009 include:
May 5-- First public hearing on budget
May 8-- Second public hearing on budget, final adoption of budget, tentative millage rate set
June 2-- First public hearing on tax millage rate
June 9-- Second and third public hearing on tax millage rate and adoption of millage rate

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and Better Hearing and Speech Month.

May 4-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Advanced placement Exams and the Georgia End-of-Course Test are scheduled for May 5-16.

May 6 is National Teacher Day.

May 7 is Georgia Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 8, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 12-16 is Reading is Fun Week.

May 19-21 is early release for high school exams.

May 21 is the last day of school.

Memorial Day on May 26 is a system holiday and all locations are closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary5/12
Alton C. Crews Middle5/16
Arcado Elementary5/5
Berkmar Middle5/15
Brookwood Elementary5/5
Camp Creek Elementary5/16
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary5/16
Dacula Elementary5/16
Duncan Creek Elementary5/8
GIVE Center East5/13
GIVE Center West5/15
Glenn C. Jones Middle5/15
Grayson Elementary5/9
Grayson High5/9
Harbins Elementary5/15
Henry Partee Elementary5/19
J.P. McConnell Middle5/5
Jackson Elementary5/8
K.E. Taylor Elementary5/16
Knight Elementary5/9
Lanier Middle5/8
Lilburn Elementary5/8
Lovin Elementary5/8
Mountain Park Elementary5/12
Mulberry Elementary5/8
Norcross High5/8
North Gwinnett High5/13
Patrick Elementary5/16
Peachree Ridge High5/12
R.D. Head Elementary5/14
Riverside Elementary5/6
Rock Springs Elementary5/5
Rockbridge Elementary5/14
Shiloh High5/5
Shiloh Middle5/8
Simonton Elementary5/5
Snellville Middle5/8
South Gwinnett High5/6
Suwanee Elementary5/12
Sweetwater Middle5/15
Sycamore Elementary5/8
Trickum Middle5/15
W.J. Cooper Elementary5/19

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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.