News You Can Use - 08/17/2009

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
08/17/2009 - 08/23/2009

Maxwell High School of Technology construction teacher Tony Shore was honored by the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia during the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Educators conference in July. Mr. Shore reported the most Contren modules per capita from his industry accredited program. For more information, call Carolyn Harvey of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia at 678-889-4445 ext. 305, or visit

Maxwell High School of Technology electronics students have been selected to participate in Aggreko Corporation’s SelecTech program. Thaddeus Bowman from Duluth High and Rayshawn Holmes from South Gwinnett High were two of only 25 students nationwide who will receive job training for operating temporary power and refrigeration systems. They also will complete an associate’s degree from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Harbins Elementary Teacher Chris Rogers has been selected by the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy at the Liberty Science Center. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

South Gwinnett High Teacher Kristina Cabral and Bethesda Elementary Teacher Jody Sanchez recently participated in Oxford College’s Institute for Environmental Education. Sherry Abts, GCPS science specialist, served as master teacher for the institute. Teachers learn the basic principles of ecology in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, methods for applying this knowledge to lesson plans, and ways to develop their own schoolyards for environmental education. For more information, call Cathy Wooten, Director of Communications at Oxford College of Emory University at 770-784-8331, or visit

From the nearly 800 nominations received, the Gwinnet Chamber of Commerce chose four GCPS leaders to participate in the 25th class of Leadership Gwinnett. Participants include Mary Elizabeth Davis, Director of Science, K-12; Bob Jackson, Principal at Meadowcreek High; Dr. Jeff Mathew, Principal at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, and Dr. Gene Taylor, Principal at Lilburn Middle. The program covers infrastructure, economics, education, health and human services, justice and regional relations. For more information, call Gail Macrenaris, director of Leadership and Education, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, at 770-232-8803.

Twelve GCPS educators were certified as Master Teachers, earning certification through a statewide program that honors experienced teachers who have made a difference in student achievement. Gwinnett Master Teachers for the 2008-09 school year are: Mandee Jablonski of Berkmar Middle, Angela D. Moore of Creekland Middle, Jennifer Burley of Duluth Middle, Katharine Page of Craig Elementary, Kimberly M. Griffin of Berkmar Middle, Laura Daly Gordon of Creekland Middle, Lauren Elizabeth Pressley of Berkmar Middle, Lisa L. Williams of Alton C. Crews Middle, Nikole Davis of Glenn C. Jones Middle, Tiffany Tatum of Trickum Middle, Dr. Tim Mullen of J.E. Richards Middle, and Wendy McDonald of G.H. Hopkins Elementary.

Administrative Assistant Karen Burnette Garner of the Division of Teaching and Learning was awarded 2nd place for her entry in the Langston Hughes National Poetry contest sponsored by the Georgia Poetry Society. The winning entry, “Here One Day,” will be published by the Georgia Poetry Society in the yearly anthology “Reach of Song”.

The following GCPS students have been named 2009 Georgia Scholars: Rachel French of Grayson High, Kelly Knowles of Norcross High, Yea Nam of Mill Creek High, and Nicole Sorrells and Lucy Zhang, both of Grayson High. The Georgia Scholars Program recognizes graduating seniors who have met strict academic requirements based on the classes they have taken throughout high school, their SAT/ACT score and their GPA. The students must also be registered voters (if eligible), they must participate in a minimum of three different competitive interscholastic activities, they must have held a minimum of two appointed or elected leadership positions and held leadership positions in at least two different youth activities outside of school. For more information, call Mike Emery, director of athletics, activities, and community schools at 678-301-7274.

The following school communities, student-athletes, and coaches won AAAAA state athletic championships this past spring:
Collins Hill High Boys Soccer Team— Stan Carpenter, head coach, assisted by Jim Gassman, JV coach
Mill Creek High Girls Golf Team— Ben Hanes, head coach, assisted by Bob Nelson and Tim Keag
Parkview High Girls Soccer Team— Judson Hamby, head coach, assisted by Mark Leviton, JV coach
Parkview High Boys Track Team— Mark Whitley, head coach, assisted by Josh Alexander, Richard King, Bobby Robinett, Bjorn Thornton, James Tigue, and Lisa Winters
Peachtree Ridge High Boys Golf Team— Bert Green, head coach, assisted by Bo Lumpkin
For more information, call Mike Emery, director of athletics, activities, and community schools at 678-301-7274.

Taylor Elementary students placed 3rd in the Elementary School Division of State Science Olympiad at Kennesaw State last spring. Students competed against 63 teams (1200 students) in 18 events. The team is led by Teacher Beverly Klein. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Peachtree Ridge High junior Caitlin Siracusa was the recipient of the 2009 Principal’s Award last spring. This award is sponsored by one of Peachtree Ridge High’s business partners—Gwinnett Place Ford— and is presented to a member of the Junior Class who exemplifies the highest standards in academics, leadership, citizenship, and community service. Applicants for this prestigious award must complete several essays, provide community service references, and teacher references. A panel of 14 teachers, administrators, business community leaders, and former teachers of the year reviews each applicant to select the top four candidates. The Principal of Peachtree Ridge High School then makes the final selection. The Principal's Award winner receives a new Ford Focus courtesy of Gwinnett Place Ford in conjunction with their Focus on Education program. For more information, call Diane Clausen at Peachtree Ridge High at 678-957-3138.

Jane Denton was named to the post of Executive Director for the Peachtree Ridge Foundation. Jane is a former teacher and brings vast experience in fundraising and community work to the Foundation. For information on the Foundation, contributing to the Foundation, and news on upcoming events, please contact Ms. Denton at 678-957-3166.

Freeman’s Mill Elementary received a $20,000 grant from AT&T. The grant will be facilitated through the GCPS Foundation. The school plans on using the Excellence in Education grant to add a Science Lab to the school. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the school on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. Representative Mike Coan (R-Lawrenceville) and an AT&T representative will be in attendance. For more information, call 678-377-8955.

Britt Elementary will commemorate the schools 40th anniversary with a celebration on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

07/21/2009Back to School: Gwinnett readies for August 10 first day of school (pdf)
07/21/2009Back to School: Gwinnett to operate 123 educational facilities in 2009-10 (pdf)
07/21/2009Back to School: New school leaders for 2009-10 (pdf)
07/21/2009Back to School: GCPS welcomes its newest educators at a July 31 orientation (pdf)
07/21/2009Back to School: GCPS school nutrition program in 2009-10 (pdf)
07/21/2009Back to School: Gwinnett BOE to adjust meeting dates during new school year (pdf)

“The Author in You – Writer’s Toolbox: Ralph Fletcher” GCPS TV traveled on location to the 2009 Gwinnett County Summer Literacy Institute for a special interview with author Ralph Fletcher. Fletcher talks with students about the importance of keeping a writer’s notebook and shares tips on how to come up with ideas to write about. This 15-minute season premier airs this week at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Gwinnett Prep Rally” Get ready to watch your favorite high school sports teams. Gwinnett Prep Rally, Gwinnett County’s original sports television program featuring high school sport highlights from across the county, returns exclusively to GCPS TV this week. The 30-min. program airs 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” This 10-part GCPS TV original series, 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. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through October 18 (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: 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 Web site--
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September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 7 is Labor Day, a systemwide holiday.

Patriot Day is September 11.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., September 10, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in August. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alford Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Craig Elementary
Duluth High
Fort Daniel Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Mill Creek High
Norcross Elementary
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
Peachtree Elementary
R.D. Head Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Summerour Middle
Suwanee 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.-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.

August 7 Night Hike, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
August 8 Going Green Neighborhood, 11 a.m. to noon
August 22 Rainbarrel Workshop, 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m.