News You Can Use - 09/05/2011

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
09/05/2011 - 09/11/2011

North Gwinnett High’s Air Force Junior ROTC unit has been designated a 2010-2011 “Distinguished Unit.” This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that perform above and beyond normal expectations, and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the AFJROTC mission of producing better citizens for America. Air Force Junior ROTC is located in 884 high schools across the United States and at selected schools in Europe, in the Pacific, and Puerto Rico. Junior ROTC enrollment includes more than 117,000 cadets. Major Bruce Bonds and Chief Michael Shannon were commended for their leadership and for their service to the students and to our country. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Arcado Elementary fourth grade student Ryan Tay won highest honors in the Blue Division of the WordMasters Challenge with a perfect score. Ryan is one of three students in the state and one of only 108 students in the nation to achieve this level. Dawson Williams, Peter Fitzsimons, and Jackie Pham also achieved outstanding results. The students were coached by Dr. Kathy Dean. The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words and challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. For more information, call Dr. Kathy A Dean, Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education Teacher, at 770-925-2100.

Dacula High student Morgan Lundy was selected to represent the state as a ‘senator’ in the Girls Nation program over the summer. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. The program teaches girls how government and democracy work on a national level. Participants toured the White House and Capitol Hill. Appointments with U.S. representatives and senators are also a part of the experience. For more information, call JoAn Adams, College/Career Coordinator at Dacula High, at 770-277-4466.

Karen Burnette Garner, administrative assistant, Teaching and Learning Support, has been published in the 2011 anthology of poetry, “The Reach of Song.” Three poems were selected for publication -- including two award winning entries. “Lowcountry Morning” placed 2nd in the Byron Herbert Reece International Competition, and “Manifest Destiny - the Cherokee Lament” placed 3rd in the Founders Competition. Also included was another work in a juried member section of the book. “The Reach of Song” is published yearly by the Georgia Poetry Society. For more information, call Ms. Burnette Garner at 678-301-7030.

The Brookwood High Boys Tennis team won the 2011 State Championship. This is the sixth time the Brookwood team has earned the state championship. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Parkview High Baseball team won their fourth state championship. For more information, call 770- 921-2874.

A group of 24 Gwinnett teachers of modern and classical language were recently recognized with PEAK Awards. The PEAK Award is an internal recognition program offered through the Foreign Language Office to recognize teachers for their professionalism, experience, achievement, and knowledge. Stevens Learning Systems sponsors awards for the winning teachers, which includes paying teacher dues to the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) as well as gift certificates for teachers who have received the award multiple times. This year’s PEAK teachers are:

4th time recipients (FLAG dues paid and $50 gift certificate to World of Reading)
Christy Belbey, French, Dacula High
Alexandra (Sandy) Boyle, French, Parkview High
Jaime Claymore, Latin, Mountain View High
Ingrid Crook, French, German and Spanish, Collins Hill High
Donna R. Johnson, French, Parkview High
Keith Toda, Latin, Brookwood High

3rd time recipients: (FLAG dues paid and $25 gift certificate to World of Reading)
Holly Brodnax, Spanish, Grayson High
Muriel Davison, French, Collins Hill High
Laura Droms, Spanish, Mountain View High
Anne Hawkins, French, Grayson High
Marcia Littlefield, Spanish, Crews Middle
Joe Frank Uriz, Spanish, Parsons Elementary
Kathy Wheeler, French, Pinckneyville Middle
Patrick Yaggy, Latin, North Gwinnett High

2nd time recipients: (FLAG dues paid and $10 gift certificate to World of Reading)
Sanja Knezovic, German, Parkview High
Julie Smith, Latin, Collins Hill High
1st time recipients: (FLAG dues paid)
Rhonda Archer, French, North Gwinnett High
Yvonne Boone, Latin, Berkmar High
Lindsey Campbell, Latin, Dacula High
Nicole D’Antonio, Spanish, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Mary Meyer, Spanish, Brookwood High
Kris Muir, Spanish, Brookwood High
Ashley Newman, Latin, Brookwood High
Sergio Parra, Spanish, Osborne Middle

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful recognized 77 GCPS schools with Green & Healthy Schools Program Awards based on the Green and Healthy Schools Assessment that schools submit each May. The schools are listed in one of four categories.

Reaching Higher Schools:
Annistown ES, Arcado ES, Beaver Ridge ES, Berkeley Lake ES, Brookwood HS, Buice School, Camp Creek ES, Cedar Hill ES, Chesney ES, Corley ES, Craig ES, Duncan Creek ES, Duluth MS, Dyer ES, Fort Daniel ES, Five Forks MS, Grayson ES, GSMST, Harbins ES, Harris ES, Jackson ES, Lanier MS, Level Creek ES, Lovin ES, Mason ES, Maxwell High School of Technology, McKendree ES, Minor ES, Monarch School, Norcross HS, Parsons ES, Peachtree Ridge HS, Pinckneyville MS, Puckett’s Mill ES, Riverside ES, Roberts ES, Rosebud ES, Shiloh MS, Starling ES, Sugar Hill ES, Taylor ES, Trickum MS, Trip ES, Winn Holt ES

Taking Action Schools:
Alcova ES, Anderson-Livsey ES, Britt ES, Centerville ES, Collins Hill HS, Dacula ES, Gwin Oaks ES, Harmony ES, Head ES, Lanier HS, Lilburn MS, Meadowcreek ES, Mountain Park ES, Mountain View HS, Patrick ES, Pharr ES, Simpson ES, South Gwinnett HS, Sycamore ES, White Oak ES

Progressing Schools:
Bethesda ES, Dacula MS, Kanoheda ES, Nesbit ES, North Gwinnett HS, North Gwinnett MS, Oakland Meadow School, Parkview HS, Peachtree ES, Woodward Mill ES

Discovering Schools:
Ferguson ES, Phoenix HS, Snellville MS
For more information, visit

Gwinnett County Public Schools is the winner of the PACE Award Clean Air Schools District of the Year. The PACE Awards are presented to exemplary schools, school districts and individuals who achieved success through the Clean Air Schools program. Gwinnett County Schools was an early proponent of the Clean Air Schools program, joining in 2007. During the last school year, nearly 50 percent of schools in the county implemented one or more programs to improve air quality on school grounds. High participation from students and teachers coupled with the school system’s partnership with Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful helped the school district reduce idling by nearly 50 percent, the highest average of any school system during the 2010-2011 school year. For more information, visit

Meadowcreek Elementary received a $2,000 grant from Target and a $750 donation from Vulcan to support the school’s Book Tree program. The program also has received support from Barnes and Noble, Scholastic Book Fair, and Everybody Wins Atlanta. The Book Tree is a book “store” where students can “buy” new books with book bucks they earn through academic efforts in the classroom or at home. For more information, contact teachers Kelly Stopp ( or Kim Thames (

The Fine Arts Department at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology invites the community to an event — In Remembrance of 9/11: A Tribute to Resilience— on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria and atrium. Artwork will be displayed, the band and orchestra will perform, and there will be a special concert by the Air National Guard Rock Band “Space-A.” For more information, call 678-518-6700.

Oakland Meadow School will honor the lives of military personnel with a week-long event culminating with a “Patriot Day” celebration on Sept. 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. Faculty and staff members will focus on themes of patriotism, freedom, respect, diversity, flag etiquette, writings of what it means to be an American, books, videos, and history. Students will create a Freedom Wall and Freedom Fence at the school. Many branches of the service will attend along with the Mayor of Lawrenceville. For more information, call 770-513-6800.

The Dacula High Law and Contemporary Issues class is an elective for upperclassmen who are interested in law, legal issues, and current events. This semester, Teacher Alex Kesler has invited an all-star lineup of guest speakers to address real-world issues and how the law affects what we do. Students have already heard from civil litigator Jody Campbell, and they will hear from GCPS Executive Director of Administration and Policy Jorge Gomez on Sept. 12. Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks will address the students on October 27. For more information, call Alex Kesler at 770-513-0847.

Dacula High cheerleaders are participating in The Sparkle Effect Program. This innovative student-run program encourages students to include students with disabilities in high school cheerleading programs. The hope is that participants play a part in enhancing social, communication, and physical skills in students with disabilities. Through the program, students with disabilities will have the opportunity to experience acceptance and gain confidence in high school. The program slogan is “The Sparkle Effect - When everyone cheers, everyone wins!” Dacula cheerleaders will practice Sept. 6 and Thursday afternoons every week of home football games. All practices run from 2:45 to 4 p.m. The cheerleaders will be introduced for the first time at the Sept. 9 home game. For more information, call Jan Zeller or Stephanie Grant, at 770-963-6664, or visit

Falcons football players will visit Meadowcreek Elementary on September 13 at 9 a.m. to help kick off Falcons First Down for Fitness. The program is designed to challenge students to participate in fitness activities, eat healthy, and lead a healthy lifestyle. For more information, call Kelly Stopp, Meadowcreek Elementary teacher at 770-931-5701.

Puckett’s Mill Elementary fine arts teachers are participating in an international “Pinwheels for Peace” installation ( Students are creating pinwheels to house feelings and thoughts on Peace. The pinwheels will be “planted” in the ground in conjunction with international peace day on Sept. 21. Students in each grade level will be taught a song inspired by the thought of peace. Students will sing the songs outside the school while installing the pinwheels throughout the day. After 1 p.m., more than 1,100 student/faculty pinwheels will be displayed in the front of the school. For more information, call Beau Pezoldt, teacher at 678-765-5110.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation announces “Flicks for the Foundation”— a family movie night for Peachtree Ridge cluster schools. Movies will be shown on Sept. 30 on the high school practice field. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk. Guests can come early to view the silent auction booths filled with themed baskets donated by cluster schools and the Peachtree Ridge High booster clubs. Children can play in the bounce houses and families can enjoy dinner from the concession stand provided by the Touchdown Club. Donations of $5 per person will be accepted (children four and under are free). For more information contact Jane Denton, Executive Director, at 770-495-5415 or

Georgia Congressman Rob Woodall (7th District) will speak on the Flat Tax and events in Washington, D.C., including the national debt, to Peachtree Ridge High Teacher Linda Brimmer’s Financial Literacy class on Oct. 21 from 8-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Peachtree Ridge High at (678) 957-3100.

Gwinnett County Public Schools educators recently kicked off Teaching American History with an event highlighting keynote speaker Ambassador Andrew Young at the historic courthouse in Lawrenceville. Educators who teach U.S. History have additional resources to make sure their students master the subject thanks to a $1.4 million grant the school system earned from the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that GCPS is one of only four school districts in Georgia selected for the Teaching American History grant. The funding will support more than 150 high school social studies teachers as they work to raise the achievement of Gwinnett students. The following 67 teachers are part of the first two cohorts. For more information, call Debbie Daniell, K-12 Social Studies Director, at 678-301-7028.
TAH Cohort #1Participants 2011.docx TAH Cohort #2 Participants.docx

The Author in You - Michael Austin” This illustrator’s energetic, edgy and breathtakingly vivid drawings illuminate the pages of several award-winning books, including the Children’s Choice winner “Late for School” and Georgia Children’s Picture Book nominee “The Horned Toad Prince.” Learn how Mr. Austin balances a full-time career as a local art director and children’s book author and illustrator. This 30-minute program airs this week at 6:30 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., 7:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” Spanish for Educators is a valuable language resource and learning opportunity provided by GCPS TV. This 10-part series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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--

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
08/29/2011Supplemental Educational Services for Berkmar High students (pdf)

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter, GCPS eNews... 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.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 5 is Labor Day, a systemwide holiday.

September 11 is Patriots Day.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., September 15, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 17 is Citizenship Day.

September 17-23 is Constitution Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in September. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alford Elementary16-Sep
Annistown Elementary27-Sep
Arcado Elementary12-Sep
Archer High School19-Sep
B.B. Harris Elementary29-Sep
Beaver Ridge Elementary29-Sep
Berkmar Middle22-Sep
Bethesda Elementary12-Sep
Brookwood Elementary19-Sep
Brookwood High20-Sep
Burnette ES16-Sep
Camp Creek Elementary30-Sep
Cedar Hill Elementary8-Sep
Centerville Elementary9-Sep
Chattahoochee Elementary20-Sep
Chesney Elementary9-Sep
Collins Hill High20-Sep
Creekland Middle15-Sep
Dacula Middle20-Sep
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary16-Sep
Duluth High20-Sep
Duluth Middle13-Sep
Duncan Creek Elementary21-Sep
Ferguson Elementary16-Sep
Frank N. Osborne Middle9-Sep
G.H. Hopkins Elementary30-Sep
GIVE Center East20-Sep
GIVE Center West29-Sep
Glenn C. Jones Middle15-Sep
Grace Snell MS12-Sep
Grayson Elementary9-Sep
Grayson High16-Sep
Ivy Creek Elementary16-Sep
J.E. Richards Middle26-Sep
J.G. Dyer Elementary28-Sep
Jackson Elementary8-Sep
Kanoheda Elementary10-Sep
Knight Elementary16-Sep
Lanier High20-Sep
Louise Radloff Middle15-Sep
Meadowcreek Elementary12-Sep
Monarch School23-Sep
Mountain Park Elementary19-Sep
Mountain View High School16-Sep
Mulberry Elementary14-Sep
Nesbit Elementary20-Sep
Norcross High8-Sep
North Gwinnett Middle15-Sep
Peachree Ridge High22-Sep
Pinckneyville Middle8-Sep
Puckett's Mill Elementary8-Sep
R.D. Head Elementary15-Sep
R.L. Norton Elementary30-Sep
Rebecca Minor Elementary22-Sep
Riverside Elementary13-Sep
Roberts Elementary9-Sep
Rockbridge Elementary13-Sep
Shiloh High27-Sep
Shiloh Middle9-Sep
Simonton Elementary8-Sep
Starling Elementary30-Sep
Sugar Hill Elementary13-Sep
Summerour Middle8-Sep
Suwanee Elementary20-Sep
Sycamore Elementary16-Sep
T. Carl Buice School9-Sep
Trickum Middle13-Sep
Trip Elementary30-Sep
Twin Rivers Middle16-Sep
W.C. Britt Elementary13-Sep
Walnut Grove Elementary29-Sep
White Oak Elementary14-Sep

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.
Beauty on the WingSep 10
Farmtastic Friday: All About BirdsSep 9
Grandparents Day TeaSep 10
Living In Space ExhibitSep 12, 13, 14, 15
Moon Light Monday: Harvest Moon HikeSep 12