News You Can Use - 05/01/2006

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
05/01/2006 - 05/07/2006

Thirty-three Maxwell High School of Technology students placed at the SkillsUSA Region competition. Students placing first and second are competing in state-level competition April 28. For a complete list of students, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Glenn C. Jones Middle will host the 2nd Annual Gwinnett County Scholastic Chess Tournament on April 29. More than 250 chess players in grades K-8 are expected to compete at this event. For more information, call Dr. Eddie Maresh at 770-904-5480.

Nine GCPS students posted perfect scores on the National Latin Exam. The students are:
· Amanda Hoffman Latin I Brookwood HS
· Jonathan Laime Latin I Brookwood HS
· Tangirala Reddy Latin I Brookwood HS
· Perrinh Savang Latin I Brookwood HS
· Carolyn Booth Latin II Brookwood HS
· Seth Herren Latin II North Gwinnett HS
· Kalin McHale Latin II North Gwinnett HS
· Karan Patel Latin II North Gwinnett HS
· Joe Fang Latin III North Gwinnett HS
For more information, call David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

The Parkview High Concert and Symphonic Bands, under the direction of Allan Beach and Richard Magner, received the Sudler Flag of Honor, presented by Dr. John Culvahouse, Interim Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Georgia. Parkview is one of two bands in the state to receive the award. Only 49 bands from the U.S., Canada, and Japan have received the honor. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Brookwood High art students Sara Adams, Sarah Beteag, Katie Brearley, Ben Leavitt, and William Taylor had their ceramic artworks exhibited in the state Georgia High School Ceramic Arts Awards and Symposium in Newnan. The show is a juried event held each year at the Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts of Coweta County. More than 200 pieces were submitted from schools across the state. Brookwood High had six of the 61 displayed. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Maxwell High School of Technology had two teams compete at the State Ford/AAA Student Challenge. Second year Auto Service students Salvadore Alarcon and Daniel Dawson won third place in the state. First-year students Justin Boland and Ho Vo won eighth place. The teams’ members are students of Ricky Bradford, Eliot Lawrence, and Paul Lunsford. Of the 10,000 Georgia automotive students eligible to participate, Maxwell produced four of the top 20 students. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Joe Fang of North Gwinnett High has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from Siemens Awards for receiving 5's (the highest score possible) on the most Advanced Placement exams. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The North Gwinnett High Reading Team won first place in the State Ruffin Reading Bowl competition. The team is coached by Carla Youmans and Sue Buckalew. Team members are Farhad Amani, Laura Ann Fowler, Laura Nesbit, and Kristin Restauri. For a photograph, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The North Gwinnett High Engineering Team recently won first place in state and ranked 6th in the nation in the TEAMS competition. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

GCPS Future Problem Solving teams did well in state competition in March. Simpson Elementary placed first in the Team Problem Solving category. Riverside Elementary teams placed second and third in that category. Riverside Elementary placed first and third in the Team Presentation of Action Plan category. Individual winners from Simpson Elementary include place for Eileen Dodd and Brittany Dubay. Pinckneyville Middle’s team will compete in international competition. Pinckneyville Middle won first place for Presentation of Action Plan, second place for Action Plan, and third place in overall booklet. Level Creek Elementary won place at state and will move to international competition. For more information, including a list of team members, call the schools.

The Peachtree Ridge High Jazz Ensemble won the Atlanta Youth Jazz Band Competition and will perform at the Atlanta Jazz Festival on May 29. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

As state winners, teams from Rock Springs Elementary and Lilburn Elementary will compete in Destination Imagination global competition in Knoxville in May. For more information, call the local schools.

Cedar Hill Elementary’s Odyssey of the Mind team competed at the state level. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

Berkmar High student Monica Huynh won the Girls’ Essay AAAAA Division at the State Literary Meet in March. Sean Moore placed fourth in Boys’ Dramatic Interpretation qualifying for state in the Region 8AAAAA Literary Meet competition, Monica Huynh placed first in girls’ essay. The boys’ quartet members— Scott Johnson, Matt Broggi, Aaron Sharp, and Shawn Martinez— placed second. Jonathan Walker placed second in boys’ essay, and Sean Moore placed first in boys’ dramatic interpretation. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Parsons Elementary will participate in The Clean Air Campaign’s Better Air School program in May. Students will be encouraged to walk to school. For more information, call 678-957-3050.

Level Creek Elementary will host the school’s 2nd Annual Student Art Exhibit—“'s got Art” on May 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. More than 5,000 pieces of student artwork will be displayed throughout the school. These pieces have been matted and framed by FirstArtWorks and are available for purchase. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Ruth Was of Shiloh Middle took her 8th grade students to Shiloh Elementary to interview 3rd grade students from Sara Browning's class. The students wrote children's books about the 3rd grade students' experiences. These books will be presented to Ms. Browning's students on May 3 at 10:45 a.m. For more information, call Sharyn Webber at 770-736-4565.

Grayson High students will create a display garden funded by a grant from the Captain Planet Foundation May 3. This joint project involves students from the Technical Education Program in Environmental Horticulture and Biotechnology with some assistance being provided by self-contained special needs students. The garden is located next to the greenhouse. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

The Central Gwinnett High Key Club is hosting a Child Safety Bicycle Rodeo on May 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. Central Gwinnett Cluster elementary students have been invited to participate in this event. Students can have their bicycle’s tire air pressure and brakes inspected; ride through a safety awareness obstacle course; and participate in stations on car safety, seat belt use, bicycle helmet safety, and water safety. First Bank of the South is sponsoring free T-shirts for the first 50 children attending. Instructional materials from Kohl’s and Indiana’s Car Safety Program will be available. For more information, call DeAnne Varitek, Key Club sponsor, at 770-963-8041.

On May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., GCPS will host a Child Find Screening and Information Fair in the Central Gwinnett Room (Building 200) at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee. Working with the medical community and service agencies throughout the county, the school system seeks to identify children diagnosed with, or in need of, further evaluation for mental, physical, or emotional/behavioral disabilities. A Spanish interpreter will be available. Representatives will conduct developmental, vision, hearing, and speech screenings for Gwinnett children ages 0–21. Pass the word to others in the community about this opportunity. For more information, call 678-301-7110.

The Berkmar Middle PTA will host a performance by Full Radial Dance Company on May 17 at 2:30 p.m. This innovative dance company offers professional dance by performers with physical disabilities, demonstrating for the audience the limitless determination of the human spirit. Douglas Scott, Radial Dance founder, received his inspiration while volunteering at the Atlanta’s Shepherd Center teaching dance. The program is designed for middle school students. For more information, call 770-638-2800.

Math students at Creekland Middle participated in the St. Jude's Math-A-Thon to Fight Childhood Diseases last month. Students raised $3,939.73. Students in the classes of the following teachers participated: Steven Abbott, Beth Carter, Avis Hayes, Marnelle Lax, Scott McDonald, and Paula Nocera. David Bayles of Ms. Hayes’ class and Taylor Diaz of Mr. McDonald’s class raised the most money, $260.00 each, and they received a digital MP3 player for their efforts. For more information, call 770-338-4700.

The Mill Creek High National Art Honor Society and the Art Club donated $500 to the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. Students raised the funds by sponsoring a bake sale and a pottery sale. For more information, call Kelly Guyotte at 678-714-5850.

Last month, Mill Creek High became part of the statewide “Sun Power for Schools” program, supported by Georgia Electric cooperative members to promote the benefits of solar power generation and incorporate renewable energy in the classroom. Mill Creek was selected by Jackson EMC to have a 12-foot-tall solar panel installed. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Norcross High student Stephen McKenzie completed the installation of a 12-foot outdoor sculpture he created. “The Blue Devil Arch” is on the patio outside the Norcross High art rooms in a spot designated for a sculpture garden. To have a picture emailed, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call Martha Cook at 770-448-3674.

“Exploring the Carlsbad Caverns - E3 Electronic Field Trip” Viewers will explore Carlsbad Caverns and other National Parks caves, experience life below the surface, and learn about this fascinating ecosystem. Come discover a different world as you go underground with the National Parks Service and see where the caves lead you. This 90-min. program airs May 1-6 at 12:30 p.m.

“Rewind” Coming up this week on “Rewind”— a video-magazine format show created, directed and anchored by high school students for high school students— a look at Relay for Life and how Gwinnett County high schools support the cause, dangers in teen driving if the right safety precautions aren't taken, and a glimpse at several award-winning 2006 Media Festival entries. This 30-min. program airs May 1-6 at noon and 7 p.m.

“English...YES, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through May 23 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute program airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., with the week’s shows rebroadcast on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This GCPS TV original series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. However, the community is invited to watch and learn as well. The 10-part series will air in hour-long segments through May 28. Each week, a new show will premiere at 8 p.m. on Monday, then be rebroadcast in that same time slot Tuesday through Sunday.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, National Sight-Saving Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

National PE and Sports Week is set for May 1–7.

GCPS high school students may register online (May 1-June 3) for both face-to-face Summer School classes and the summer session of Gwinnett County Online Campus. The 2006 face-to-face summer school session for high school students will take place June 7-July 11. Classes are available at Brookwood High, Collins Hill High, and Norcross High. Online classes will be conducted June 6-July 12. Check the GCPS Web site for more information on dates, fees, and available classes.

Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 4 at the local school. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2006, are invited to register their children for the 2006–07 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times. The Planning Department number is 678-301-7085 and may e called to find out which school a child will attend.

Remaining Dates in the FY2007 Budget Process
Thursday, May 4 First public hearing on budget, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 11 Second public hearing on budget and final adoption, 7 p.m., Board Room, ISC
Monday, June 5 First public hearing on millage rate, 7 p.m., Board Room, ISC
Monday, June 12 2nd public hearing on millage rate, 11:45 a.m., Board Room, ISC
Monday, June 12 3rd public hearing on millage rate and final adoption, 7 p.m., Board Room, ISC, 7 p.m., Board Room, ISC

Visit for information on GCPS prom dates, graduation dates, high school summer school registration (beginning online May 1), and kindergarten registration (May 4).

May 7-14 is teacher appreciation week.

Custodian Appreciation Week begins May 8.

National School Nurse Day is May 10.

May 11 is Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held May 11, 2006, at 7 p.m., at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

May 14–20 is Reading is Fun Week.

State Board of Education Member José Perez, serving the 7th Congressional District, will hold a listening session on May 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Norcross HS. Students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to the event to air concerns or offer suggestions to improve student achievement for Georgia’s students. Those wishing to speak at the public forum are asked to sign in when they arrive. For more information or to request auxiliary aids, contact Lynn Roberts of the state Department of Education at 404-657-7410 or by e-mail at

May 24 is the last day of school for students.

Memorial Day on May 29 is a systemwide holiday and all locations are closed.

June 2 is the deadline to apply for openings on the GEMS Oversight Committee. The committee meets annually for one to two days to review input from educators and community members on suggested revisions, deletions, and additions to the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. The group’s recommendations are presented to the superintendent for adoption by the Board of Education. Applications are available online.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during May. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Bethesda Elementary
Britt Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Corley Elementary
Creekland Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Give Center
Grayson High
Harbins Elementary
Lanier Middle
Mason Elementary
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
North Gwinnett
Osborne Elementary
Radloff Middle
Riverside Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett
Stripling Elementary
Sweetwater Middle