News You Can Use - 08/16/2010

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
08/16/2010 - 08/22/2010

Riverside Elementary Teacher Marion Sabastian received the John Daughtrey Memorial Award from the Future Problem Solving Program International, honoring teachers with outstanding service to the program. Ms. Sabastian is a FOCUS teacher for gifted students. For more information, email Mike Johnson at

Jody Reeves, director of Technical Education, Computer Science and Work-Based Learning, and Christopher Wells, director of Information Technology Policies and Communications, were selected to serve on the National Council on Digital Citizenship and Creative Content. The program focuses on creative rights in the world of digital citizenship and raising student awareness about proper behavior with technology. For more information, call Ms. Reeves at 678-301-7050.

Sweetwater Middle student Stacey Moncoeur was a State Finalists in the Doodle 4 Google contest. Her doodle was chosen from among 33,000 entries from across the country. Visit to view her art work. For more information, call Teacher Shirelle Tubbs at 770-923-4131.

13 GCPS recent graduates were named Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholars. Byrd scholars are eligible for a $1,500 scholarship to be used for tuition costs at any college they choose to attend (with the exception of U.S. Military Service Academies and foreign schools). The following students have been named 2010 Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholars: Mihai Cirstea of Central Gwinnett High, Stephen Coy of Dacula High, Michael Crooks of Peachtree Ridge High, Gabe Cunningham of Duluth High, Avery Gardner of North Gwinnett High, Zakiya Haji of Parkview High, Patrick Klibanoff of Norcross High, Jessie Lukasik of Grayson High, Peter Luu of South Gwinnett High, Elizabeth McMillan of Mill Creek High, Kelly Saroff of Brookwood High, Samantha Shaw of Mountain View High, and Emily Summerbell of Collins Hill High. For more information, call Mike Emery, director of athletics, student activities, and community schools, at 678-301-7276.

Gabrielle Bray, Online Campus social studies teacher, is one of three finalists for the National Online Teacher of the Year Award. Teachers who have made exceptional contributions to K-12 online education are honored by the Southern Regional Education Board, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that advocates for education in Georgia and 15 other states. For more information, visit

GCPS’ School Nutrition Program received two Best Practices Awards from the Georgia Department of Education. The program’s aggressive menu planning has resulted in high levels of participation in both the breakfast and lunch programs available at all school levels, with lunch participation rates of 85% and 82%, respectively, for elementary and middle school, and a 4% jump in the rate at the high school level. For more information, call Lucy B. Balogun, MPA, RD, LD, Grants Program Consultant, School Nutrition Program, Georgia Department of Education, at 770-719-4541, or email

Eleven recent graduates of GCPS caught the attention of officials at the Georgia Department of Education, earning them recognition as “Georgia Scholars”. The Georgia Scholars program honors graduating high school seniors from across the state who demonstrate excellence both in the classroom and the community. This year’s Georgia Scholars from Gwinnett are: Justin Aspinwall – Norcross High, Justin Davis – Dacula High, Jane Jurma – Grayson High, Jessica Lukasik – Grayson High, Midhun Mathew – Mill Creek High, Sonia Mathew – Brookwood High, Alison McIntosh – Grayson High, Stephanie Millingen – Norcross High, Jarrett Morgan – Grayson High, Anna Simmons – Grayson High, and Steven Zwick – Mill Creek High. These 11 GCPS graduates, who represent five Gwinnett high schools, were selected based on a competitive application process which began early in their senior year. The Georgia Department of Education reviewed the students’ SAT and ACT college entrance exam scores, Grade Point Average (GPA), credits earned, along with their extracurricular activities and leadership initiatives in their local communities.

19 GCPS educators are among the Master Teachers certified by the state. The Gwinnett educators earned the certification based on a comprehensive application process, along with demonstrated student achievement gains. This year’s Gwinnett Master teachers are: Teresa Allen Bitterman of Osborne Middle, Lori H. Bowen of Mill Creek High, Patricia Ferguson Burgess of Pinckneyville Middle, Carolyn Sutton Cremer of Duluth Middle, Dana L. Griffith of Berkmar Middle, Angela Guthrie of Mason Elementary, Helon L. Hogan of Duluth Middle, Sally A. Hollyfield of Cedar Hill Elementary, Dillard Hood of Harbins Elementary, Susan Elyse Hyzer of Burnette Elementary, Linda Holloway LaPerre of Trickum Middle, Ann Loughman of Berkmar Middle, Jessica Marshall of Puckett’s Mill Elementary, William Mozley of Duluth Middle, Janice Willis Parker of Crews Middle, Shannon Sesco Penick of Osborne Middle, Kelly Ann Sloan of Osborne Middle, Rori Smith of North Gwinnett Middle, and Marian Joiner Stalvey of Osborne Middle. For more information, call Ginny Elliott, Ed.D. Program Director for Teacher Recognition Professional Standards Commission at 404-232-2601.

Several GCPS staff members and PTA units were recognized at the state level including Couch Middle, Outstanding Local Unit-Middle, PTSA 12, Area III Gwinnett; Couch Middle Principal Devon Williams, Outstanding Principal-Middle School, PTSA, 12 Area III Gwinnett; Carolyn Johnson Camp Creek Elementary, Outstanding School Nurse, PTA, 12, Area I Gwinnett; and Outstanding District, 12th District Carol Ranft, District Director.

Brookwood High math teacher, Chris Michael, won 2nd place in Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Intern Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) Action Plan Achievement Awards Program and a $750 prize. Mr. Michael participated in the paid summer internship that offers teachers real world application of the subjects they teach. Mr. Michael was recognized as an outstanding teacher who effectively implemented the GIFT Action Plan into his teaching practice. The GIFT program was founded in 1991and has been recognized for innovative teacher professional development. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

42 GCPS cafeterias earned a perfect score on their 2010 health inspections. These schools are: Alford, Annistown, Arcado, Camp Creek, Centerville, Chattahoochee, Corley, Craig, Dyer, Fort Daniel, Head, Hopkins, Kanoheda, Knight, Lilburn, McKendree, Meadowcreek, Monarch, Mountain Park, Nesbit, Norton, Partee, Patrick, Rock Springs, Shiloh, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, White Oak, and Woodward Mill elementary schools; Bay Creek, Berkmar, Creekland, Crews, Five Forks, Lanier, Trickum, and Twin Rivers middle schools; and Archer, Berkmar, Meadowcreek, Mountain View, and Parkview high schools. For more information, call Karen Crawford, nutrition education coordinator, at 678-301-6245.

Karen Burnette Garner, administrative assistant to the associate superintendent, Teaching and Learning Support, authored poetry published in “The Reach of Song”, a yearly anthology of works published by the Georgia Poetry Society. Ms. Garner’s poem, “Eighty,” placed third in the national Founders Award Competition and was published among other award winning entries. Her poem, “Beach Chair Library,” was published among juried submissions. The Georgia Poetry Society is a chapter of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and provides workshop and educational opportunities for youth and adults. For more information, call Ms. Burnette Garner at 678-301-7030.

Jones Middle Counselor Karen Bevak has an article featured in the August 2010 issue of Atlanta Parent magazine titled “How Can My Child Have A SUCCESSFUL School Year?” Ms. Bevak’s wisdom and ideas represent the middle school perspective in this article. For more information, call 770-904-5465.

The Taylor Elementary student running club was recently featured in an issue of Wingfoot magazine. Students ran in the AJC Peachtree Jr. race. To view the article, visit For more information, call Lisa Rhodes, assistant principal, at 770-338-4680.

Sweetwater Middle Principal Georgann Eaton has been named “10th Man of the Game” for the Aug. 1 Gwinnett Braves game. The 10th Man is an award to honor community leaders, local heroes, outstanding volunteers and dedicated employees who “Best Embody the Spirit of Gwinnett.” For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Brookwood High will host the Women’s National Basketball Association Atlanta Dream’s “Take the Show on the Road” on Aug. 19. The event will honor the memory of Amanda Riley, a former member of the Brookwood High Lady Broncos basketball team who lost her battle with cancer in April of this year. Amanda’s #22 jersey will be retired during a special ceremony. Fans are invited to watch the Dream practice from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Brookwood Maroon Gym. Other activities include giveaways, prizes, autographs and more. Tickets are $15 and include a ticket to the Dream-Mystics game on August 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Natalie White from the Atlanta Dream at 678-510-7466 or

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: About the Gwinnett County Board of Education ... (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: Gwinnett school buses to start rolling first week in August (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: Maxwell HS of Technology converts to a charter school (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: School Nutrition Program launches Farm to School initiative (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: Several GCPS schools to open new year with new leaders (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: Gwinnett readies for first day of school on August 9 (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: GCPS to operate 130 facilities as it welcomes 1600 new students (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: GCPS uses web tools to connect with parents and community (pdf)
07/21/2010Back to School 2010: New Gwinnett educators to attend July 30 welcome (pdf)
07/20/2010Class project on Georgia earns Jones Middle students spot to represent home state (pdf)
07/20/2010Gwinnett County businesses support students in going back to school (pdf)
07/19/2010National Merit names two more college-sponsored winners (pdf)
07/19/2010105 Gwinnett schools make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (pdf)
07/09/2010New GCPS schools welcome students, parents, and community (pdf)
07/08/2010GCPS TV wins EMMY Award adding to list of recent honors (pdf)
07/07/2010Eleven 2010 graduates earn Georgia Scholars title (pdf)

“GCPS Focus” This month’s program salutes the inaugural class of the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, welcomes new teachers and leaders to a new school year, and celebrates an extraordinary act of giving at Lilburn Middle. Join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week 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.

Gwinnett Prep Rally” Gwinnett County’s original high school sports television program, featuring high school sport highlights from across the county, returns exclusively to GCPS TV this week. This 30-minute program airs Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Wed.-Fri. at 7:30 a.m., 7 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.

Spanish for Educators - Level 1” A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers will learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Each Monday through August 29, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot.

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--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., August 19, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 6 is Labor Day, a systemwide holiday.

Patriots Day is September 11.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., September 16, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 17 is Citizenship Day.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in August. Call the local school for the time and location.
Bay Creek Middle
Camp Creek Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Craig Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Lanier Middle
Mill Creek High
Norcross High
Parkview High
Rosebud Elementary
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Stripling Elementary
Summerour Middle
Sweetwater Middle
Sycamore Elementary
W.J. Cooper Elementary
Walnut Grove 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.
15 BBQ Joints and the Good Folks Who Own Them
23 Red Moon Hike

1 through the 15 MODA’s Atlanta: Beyond Bricks & Sticks