News You Can Use - 04/19/2004

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
04/19/2004 - 04/25/2004

Lilburn Middle has achieved national recognition as an Exemplary HOSTSLink Language Arts program for the school year 2002-03. For more information, call 770-921-1776.

Parkview High teacher Sandra Peterson and Central Gwinnett High teacher Garry Loveless presented “It’s a Material World” at the National Science Teacher’s Convention in Atlanta. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Alyson Roth, G.H. Hopkins Elementary music teacher, co-presented a session on diversity in music education at the convention of the National Association for Music Education in Minnesota on April 15. The session was titled "Barrier-free Music Education: Concepts of Inclusion." For more information, call 770-564-2661.

Karla Cuadra, Lilburn Elementary English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Title III Parent Outreach Liaison, was honored by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) on April 2 with the 2004 NASP “Outstanding Advocate Award.” For more information, call 770-921-7707.

Angela Scott Patrick, teacher on special assignment for K-12 mathematics, is one of two Georgia teachers awarded the Fulbright Scholarship. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will participate in a cultural exchange and professional development program for three weeks in Japan this summer. For more information, call 678-377-6104.

The 2004 National Achievement Scholarship Program recently announced winners for outstanding Black American high school students who earned $2,500 scholarships: Winfred Allen of Collins Hill High, Rashad Burroughs of Shiloh High, Ezinne Okwandu of South Gwinnett High, and Stephanie Stennett of Berkmar High.

Chris Gegen, technology support technician at Richard Hull Middle, won a prestigious CINE (Council on International Nontheatrical Events) Golden Eagle Award for a film he wrote and directed, “A Day in the Life.” The production is used as an orientation film for rising 5th graders to demonstrate a typical day in the life of a middle schooler. The CINE Golden Eagle awards, distinguishing excellence in professional and amateur works, are recognized internationally as symbols of the highest production standards in filmmaking and videography. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

A team of students representing Creekland Middle recently competed in the WordMasters Challenge, a national language arts competition. The team— coached by Susan Clymer, Rick Duncan, and David Ulkins— placed fourth nationally in the Gold Division of the Challenge. Students Sarah Nagy and Jonathan Nelson earned perfect scores at the meet. For more information, call 770-338-4700.

Walton EMC selected two Brookwood High students to participate in the 2004 Washington Youth Leadership Tour June 10-17. Julia Schuchard and Karen Ward are two of the four students who will represent the 10-county area served by Walton EMC. The Youth Tour is an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. that includes a luncheon with the Georgia congressional delegation. The students were selected based on their leadership and citizenship. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Pinckneyville Middle student Tyler Stinson represented GCPS at the state Geography Bee at the Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. For more information, call 770-263-0860.

Malcolm Brock, a kindergarten student in Stephanie Messler's class at G.H. Hopkins Elementary, was presented with an award by the Council for Exceptional Children in March. For more information, call 770-564-2661.

The Trickum Middle Algebra I Team earned first place and the Pre-Algebra Team earned second place at the GAC Math Tournament. The following Algebra II students ranked in Division AAAA: Yasmin Assar, Rachel DelGaudio, Victoria Jiang, Rita Mahadevia, Raheel Thobani, and Maylene Xie. The following Pre-Algebra students ranked in the AAAA Division: Caila Blanton, Jenny Dai, Charles Fong, Tom Hui, Alex Huston, Tom Mou, Timmy Phillip, Pranav Ramesh, Deep Datta Roy, Nihal Varkey, Wendy Xiao, and Han Zhang. Overall Algebra winners receiving honorable mention were Yasmin Assar and Maylene Xie. Overall Pre-Algebra winners were Deep Datta Roy, Charles Fang, and Alex Huston. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Lilburn Elementary Principal Jackie Beasley and GCPS Board Member Louise Radloff have been nominated by the Women’s Legacy of United Way in Gwinnett as Exemplary Women for their contributions of time, talent and treasure. They will be honored on April 30 at the Gwinnett Place Marriott.

Gloria Thomas of Lilburn Middle was selected for inclusion in Empire’s “Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals” registry. For more information, call 770-921-1776.

Nearly 300 middle school students from Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) are being recognized for achieving high scores on the SAT I or ACT through the Duke University Talent Identification Program’s (TIP) 7th Grade Talent Search. Twenty students qualified for Grand Recognition, the highest level of achievement, by scoring in the top 2 percent nationally among more than 78,000 students who took the tests. 286 Gwinnett 7th graders who qualified for State Recognition by scoring in the top 25 percent nationally. The GCPS students who qualified for Grand Recognition are Alejandro Velez of Creekland Middle; Donny Geldbach, Audra Loyd, and Vamsi Tata, all of Alton C. Crews Middle; Archit Bhise, Alice Li, Yanfeng Ou, Kendall Pletcher, and Yuanrui Zhang, all of Duluth Middle; Tyler Droll, Nicholas Keith, and Nancy Ouyang, all of Richard Hull Middle; Grayson Baum of Lanier Middle; Alexander D’Agostino and Felicia Yang, both of Pinckneyville Middle; Adrianna Carter and Owen Cox, both of Shiloh Middle; and Deep Datta Roy, Zachary Olson, and Hope Rogers, all of Trickum Middle. For more information, contact Dr. Annette Eger, gifted coordinator, at 770-513-6861.

The Parkview High Science Olympiad team won first place at the state competition. The team competed against teams from 28 Georgia schools, and will receive a $500 award from the Motorola company. The following students received medals in their events:
Leo Chen and Shantanu Talapatra: first place in Practical Data Gathering
Shantanu Talapatra and Kenter Wu: first place in Storm the Castle
Andrew McDowell: first place in Mission Possible
Leo Chen and Archana Kumar: second place in Disease Detectives
Andrew McDowell and Sherri Sheu: third place in Bottle Rockets
Leo Chen and Saranya Selvarez: third place in Qualitative Analysis
The students will compete in national competition in May. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

The following Berkmar High students were recently inducted into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (Spanish Honor Society): Katherine Giraldo, Spencer Nettleton, Katherine Pulgarin, Tyler Russell, and Alexandra Smalls. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

Berkmar High student Ashiq Lakhani participated in the state literary meet and earned fourth place in the state in spelling. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

The Lilburn City Council honored the Berkmar High Academic Decathlon Team during the April council meeting. The team won its second consecutive state championship and will compete at the national level. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Duluth Middle’s Academic Team participated in the Georgia Academic Team Association’s Middle School State Tournament in Macon. Duluth Middle’s A team competed against their B team in the quarterfinals. Team A earned the third place trophy in the state tournament. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

Chan “Jay” Chang of Duluth High won the State Bar of Georgia's 2004 Craig Harding Court Artist Contest. Jay will receive a plaque and compete in a National Mock Trial competition in May. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Brookwood High teacher Greg Puckett was selected by his peers in the Georgia High School Swim Coaches (GHSSCA) Association as the Girls AAAAA Swim/Dive Coach of the Year for Georgia. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Brookwood High’s weightlifting team won first place in the Area 2 State Tournament on March 6. The team is coached by Tom Jones. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution selected Meadowcreek High as one of six high schools in the state to be an inaugural member of the Young Journalists Development Project, new partnership between the AJC and Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Gwinnett Schools had two state winners in the Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarship program. Yuji Huang of Collins Hill High won the Gold I Arts and Humanities Studies award. Zenobia Azeem of Duluth High won a Gold II Science, Business and Technology Studies award. Both awards carry a $2,500 scholarship. For more information, visit

Richard Hull Middle’s 7th and 8th grade math teams competed in the Dwight Love Memorial Math Tournament at Greater Atlanta Christian School. The 8th grade team won the second place trophy in the Algebra division and the 7th grade team won fourth place in the Pre-Algebra Competition. Four students won individual awards. Andrew Dicks and Sarah Vakili won honorable mention in the Algebra division. Tyler Droll placed fifth and Nicholas Keith placed 15th out of 169 students in the Pre-Algebra division. For additional information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

GCPS had 92 students selected as finalists from the 207 names submitted for consideration in the 2004 Governor’s Honors Program. Last year 10% of the students at Governor’s Honors were from Gwinnett, This year 13% of the students at Governor’s Honors will be from Gwinnett. For a list of finalists and alternates call Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

Berkmar High students recently competed in the 8AAAAA literary. Ashiq Lakhani took first place in spelling and will go on to state competition. Jon Dees earned third place in extemporaneous speaking. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Berkmar High students participated in the Georgia State Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference. John Bottley earned first place in Public Speaking II. Kevin Tan earned first place in Visual Basic Programming. Akeen Badger took 10 place in Intro to Business Communications. Both students will compete in the national competition this summer in Denver, Co. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Bekmar High teachers Victoria Conway and Carrie Deem have been selected to receive “Best Practices in Teaching” awards. The awards are sponsored by Georgia Association of Educators. The teachers will receive $1,000 to enhance the teaching of their students. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Laura Moates of Brookwood High has been selected by 11 Alive News as a recipient of the station’s "Class Act Award" for teachers. Ms. Moates was nominated by her student, Katie Nackers. 11 Alive will visit Brookwood High to film Ms. Moates’ class and talk with her students. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

G.H. Hopkins Elementary 5th grader John Le received the Gwinnett Association of Gifted Educators Outstanding Gifted Student Award. His teachers are Cindy Parker and Jennifer Scyoc. For more information, call 770-564-2661.

Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education honored Leslie Aiken of Dacula Middle as the Gifted Program Teacher of the Year, and Paula Deweese of Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary as the Administrator of the Year. Both received their awards at the annual ceremony at Berkmar High on April 14. For more information, call Brenda Sizemore at 678-482-1000.

For the sixth consecutive year, teams from Gwinnett middle schools squared off for the title of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Environmental IQ Bowl Winner. This year's competition took place on March 27 at Shiloh Middle. Pinckneyville Middle earned first place. Snellville Middle earned second place, Five Forks Middle earned third place, and Richard Hull Middle earned fourth place For more information about the Environmental IQ Bowl or Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, call 770-822-5187.

Lydia Brambila and Joy Choi both of Richard Hull Middle earned the 2004 Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition. This competition has only one winner per grade level countywide. These students entries will compete at the state level. For additional information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

Kendall Pletcher’s entry placed first in the system-level 2004 Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition. His entry will go to state competition. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

Berkmar High student L’Anita Weiler has been selected as county winner in the 2004 Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition for her writing, titled “A Real Education.” For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Sandra Peterson of Parkview High was awarded a $750 grant from the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association. The grant will be used to purchase supplies for the Forensic Science course. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

On March 2, the North Gwinnett Schools Foundation announced the approval of 13 grants, totaling more than $9,000. These grants will be used to enrich the educational opportunities for students in North Gwinnett schools by supporting academic projects and programs throughout the cluster. Grants were awarded during the Foundation’s fourth annual recognition dinner in March. The event was held at North Gwinnett High.

Nancy Khashan and her Meadowcreek High journalism students recently shadowed a news crew at Fox 5, based on a grant application. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Walnut Grove Elementary students are participating in the “Moo-ve the Cow for a Cure” program, from now through April 30 to raise money for Relay for Life. If the school collects $1,000 or more, Principal Bron Gayna Schmit will kiss a real cow at the Hoedown on April 30. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

South Gwinnett High’s Interact Club purchased baskets, candy and toys and assembled them for the Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children Services’ Easter assistance program. Interact students also hosted a spring party for the after-school program at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Snellville. Students volunteer weekly at the church as tutors and homework helpers. Jan Wilson is the club’s sponsor. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

"Rally' from the Atlanta Braves will visit Beaver Ridge Elementary on April 19 for a PREP rally to kick off CRCT week at the school. Students, teachers, and administrators will gather in the gym for thirty minutes of spirit-building, test-taking tips and Brain Gym activities. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

Mountain Park Elementary will hold a Volunteer Tea on April 19 at 9:15 a.m. This is an appreciation tea for the parents and community members who spend countless hours volunteering at the school. The Cougar Chorus will perform and goodies will be served. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

Mountain Park Elementary will hold a Math Carnival on April 19 after a brief parent meeting. Students will participate in math games in classrooms and the gym. In addition, math and science books will be displayed in the media center, and Science Fair projects will be displayed around the school. Faces will be painted mathematically in the art room. Refreshments will be served in the cafeteria. All proceeds will benefit the Mountain Park Relay for Life team. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

Brookwood High will celebrate National Library Week April 19-23. Activities include: a book fair, guest speakers, staff appreciation, and top reader awards. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Brookwood High dance department will host a spring show titled “Tuned In.” The show is based on a radio station format and features familiar music. The show will be held in the Brookwood theater on April 22-24. Tickets are $5, and all performances begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Gwinnett Reading Council will present the annual Awards Night Celebration on April 29 at Lawrenceville East in the Grayson Room. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Student winners include Stefanie Carter of Grayson High, Andrew Ferrarone of Simpson Elementary, Bolin Niu of Berkmar High, Erin Ochs of Five Forks Trickum Middle, John Ortiz of Central Gwinnett High, Ryan Puszewski of J.G. Dyer Elementary, and Bob Yoon of Alton C. Crews Middle. For more information, call Karen Walker at 770-544-1071.

The Mountain Park Elementary Cougar Chorus will perform at the Sunrise Senior Assisted Living home on Five Forks Trickum Road on April 26 at 6 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

Parkview High will sponsor a student health fair and panel discussion, titled “Taking Charge Of Your Health,” on April 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Topics include:
A message of abstinence, presented by Cheryl Camp
“It Won’t Happen to Me” (teenage car crash deaths in Gwinnett County) presented by Corporal Richardson, Gwinnett County Police Dept.
Teenagers and Drugs and Alcohol, presented by Adam Crump, The Gwinnett Coalition
Cardio-Kickboxing, demonstrated by Myra Steart, fitness expert
Smoke-Free Gwinnett Coalition, presented by Steve Coldiron
Nutrition, Eating Disorders, and Steroids
The panel discussion “Students Against Violence Everywhere/Students Against Destructive Decisions” includes the following members: a police officer from the Gwinnett County Crime Prevention Unit, a Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center representative, Christy Cardina, UGA Sophomore and Parkview High Graduate, Kristen Medwick and the UGA Campus Police: (Mother/Daughter Safety Night Panel) from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

The Mountain Park Elementary Spring Carnival will be held on April 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. Games, prizes, entertainment, and food will be available. Proceeds will benefit PTA projects at the school. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

The Creekland Middle media center sponsored an Accelerated Reading (AR) Café for 265 Atomic Champion Readers on March 25. Creekland Middle staff members and PTA volunteers served students pizza, drinks, chips, and dessert during lunch. Creekland students are encouraged to spend time reading every day and participate in the final AR Café on May 20. For more information, call 770-338-4700.

On March 26, Richard Hull Middle was honored with a visit from state Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. Superintendent Cox was introduced to students during morning announcements. Superintendent Cox presented the Hornet of the Day award to an outstanding student from each grade level. Cox also taught a social studies lesson in Jennifer Gillis’ 6th grade class on government systems. For more information, call 770-232-3200.

Duluth Middle had a visit from Tom Reed, a Holocaust survivor. Mr. Reed recounted his personal story about life in a concentration camp. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

Ann Marie Scrudato's 6th grade science class at Duluth Middle ended its unit on motion with Mousetrap Car Races. Each of the students built a car to race. Students collected data and created graphs showing distance, speed, and time. Prizes were given to the students with the longest distance, highest speed, and shortest time to travel three meters. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

J.C. Magill Elementary’s Junior Beta Club hosted its induction ceremony April 1. Club members offer peer tutoring services, maintain the school's marquee, and host bake sales to support the school's Relay for Life team. The students have raised over $450. For more information, call 770-554-1030.

Trickum Middle’s 6th grade Probe math students, taught by Karen Francoeur and Linda LaPerre, at hosted guest speaker Steve Mazda. Mr. Mazda— who manages his own investment group as well as individual accounts— played a key role in saving the 401(k) from congressional extinction in the early 1980s. Mr. Mazda played simulation investment games with the students and discussed some of his own philosophies for becoming financially successful. Students are currently participating in the Stock Market Game, sponsored by the Georgia Council on Economic Education. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Brookwood High hosted the second annual Charity Master's Exhibition on March 20, sponsored by Major Tak Kwon Do Academy, and benefiting Brookwood Special Olympics. The event attracted 12 Masters throughout the U.S. Three years ago, the self-contained special education students became involved with Major Tae Kwon Do Academy when Master Seong Young Ji and Rick Seymour offered to teach lessons. At the demonstration, each student was presented with a certificate and trophy. Major Tae Kwon Do donated $1,500 to Brookwood Special Olympics. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Kanoheda Elementary kicked off April’s Gateway and CRCT testing by holding an academic pep rally on April 12. Eugene Brooks from radio station 97.1 was Master of Ceremonies. The Berkmar High School Band, under the direction of Allan Kirkland, performed, as did Kanoheda’s Jump Rope and Gumboot teams. The Berkmar community was invited to attend the event. For more information, call 770- 682-4221.

Peachtree Elementary held an international block party on April 15. Entertainment included Irish dancers, step dancers, a Salsa band, and Peachtree Elementary’s dance squad. Foods from different countries were served. For more information, call 770-448-8710.

W.C. Britt Elementary formed a math club for 5th graders to practice for the school’s first Witzzle Pro math tournament. W.C. Britt Elementary hosted the event on April 17 for Gwin Oaks Elementary and Brookwood Elementary. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Buchannan High School of Technology Online course offerings are open to high school students and adult learners. Web registration will be open from now until June 3. The cost for online courses is $285 per course. For summer course offerings and registration, visit the Website

Knight Elementary students are participating in "Math Madness" as part of their regular lunch period. Each table in the lunchroom has a tin containing math games and materials. Students can play math games each day after they finish their lunch. For more information, call Dr. Burrelle Meeks at 770-806-3889.

This week (April 19-25), tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for:
“GCPS Focus,” airing at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m. each day.
“In Five,” a five-minute news update, airing at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily.
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 e-mail to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

April is School Library Media Month, National Poetry Month, and Keep America Beautiful Month.

April 18-24 is Public School Volunteer Week, National Library Week, and Week of the Young Child.

April 22 is Earth Day USA.

GCPS’ Area Board Meetings will be held in April. The meetings are held in each of the Board member’s districts and give staff and community members an opportunity to get an update on school system issues. In addition, a public forum at each meeting allows for participants to discuss education topics with their elected officials. The remainder of the meeting dates are listed below. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m. Remaining meetings on the schedule include:
April 20-- District IV at Shiloh HS
April 22-- District I at Dacula HS
April 27-- District II at Peachier Ridge HS
April 29-- District V at Meadowcreek HS

Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 6 for parents of new kindergarteners in GCPS.

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