News You Can Use - 02/18/2008









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
02/18/2008 - 02/24/2008


FRIDAY, SATURDAY
Kanoheda Elementary will host a visit from the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. in the gym. The Hawks will promote the “Read to Succeed” program at the school. For more information, call Melanie Wibble at 770-682-4221.

Peachtree Ridge High will sponsor the 2nd Annual Black History Month Oratory Contest on Feb. 15. Students will recite a notable, historically significant speech to a panel of judges. The top three winners will receive prizes. For more information, call Seth Hersch, teacher, at 678-957-3138.

The Berkmar High Deaf Academic Bowl team will travel to Talladega, Ala., to compete in the South Eastern Deaf Academic Bowl on Feb. 15 and 16. Sixteen teams from Southeastern states will compete.
Berkmar established its team in 2004 and has had great success over the past 4 years. Team members are Tiffany Slieff, Michael Gibson, and Justin Malone. Tiffany is captain and a fourth year player. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

HONORS
Peachtree Ridge High Athletic Director and Head Soccer Coach Bill Holleman is being inducted into the Capital Area Soccer League’s Hall of Fame in February. The Capital Area Soccer League is located in Raleigh, NC. The league was founded in 1974 and is home to more than 800 men’s, women’s and youth clubs from the Raleigh area. For more information, call 678-957-3108.

Parkview High student Kate Hardin has been named state German Student of the Year. In addition, during state competition in 60 events, Gwinnett schools/students finished with 21 individual 1st places and 1 team 1st place, 25 individual 2nd places, 18 individual 3rd places, and 1 team 4th place. For more information, call David Jahner, director of foreign language at 678-301-7020.

The All-State Festival of Art and Design accepted the work of 13 GCPS students, from among 109 entries. For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of fine arts at 678-301-7015.

Nearly 300 GCPS band, chorus, and orchestra students were selected for All-State competition. For more information, call Director of Fine Arts Robert Andrews at 678-301-7004. For a full list of student names, contact Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

Trickum Middle won 1st Runner-up honors and Duluth Middle won 2nd Runner-up honors in the 2008 PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) Academic Bowl for Middle Grades state championship. For more information, call PAGE Manager Lynn Varner at 770-216-8555, ext. 130.

Jake Walters of the Grayson High Technical Education Program earned junior certification by passing the Georgia Green Industry Association exam. This exam is a modified version of the test used to certify professionals in the green industry. For more information, call Teacher Leslie Bevan at 770-554-7093.

The top two middle and high school winning teams from the Gwinnett Readers Rally participated in the Eastern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Competition on Feb. 9 in Augusta. Mill Creek High and Frank N. Osborne Middle earned 1st place at their respective level. These two winning teams will proceed to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Finals in Athens. Collins Hill High placed second, and Creekland Middle placed third. The state playoffs will be held March 1 during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. For more information, call B.B. Harris Elementary Media Specialist Leslie Greer at 770-476-2241.

The Duluth High literary magazine, “Epiphany,” has been awarded an excellent rating by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). For more information, call Teacher Kellie Cardelino at 770-232-3336.

GCPS will advance 65 student winners from the PTA Reflections Program to the National PTA Reflections Program competition representing the state of Georgia. Each winner will receive an invitation from the Georgia PTA to attend the State Reception on March 30 at the Atlanta History Center. For more information, call PTA Co-Presidents Holly Melton at 770-638-0727 or Angela Monetta at 678-395-5870.

UPCOMING
Duluth Middle will host the school’s 2nd Annual Heritage Night on Feb. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Staff, community members, and students are encouraged to dress in cultural attire and bring a dish representative of their heritage. Heritage Night will include food, fun, and student entertainment. Student cultural exhibits will be on display. This event is free and open to the community. For more information, call Counselor Nicole Colbert at 770- 476-3372.

The Duluth High Student Council will sponsor “Support the Troops” campaign through Feb. 22. Donations of handy wipes, hand sanitizer, lip balm, beef jerky, and individually wrapped hard candy will be distributed to the troops. The class collecting the most items will win a pizza party. For more information, contact Teacher Jerry Hancock, at jerry_hancock@gwinnett.k12.ga.us or call 770-476-5206.

The Collins Hill Education Foundation (CHEF) will sponsor a Hometown Hoedown on Feb. 23 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, located at 2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford. Tickets are $45 per person (tax deductible) and include all of the following activities: Tex-Mex fare, line dancing, a DJ, live and silent auctions, Texas Hold’em tables, caricatures, old time photographer, and lasso lessons. Proceeds will support grant funding for innovative programs at the schools in the Collins Hill Cluster. Tickets may be purchased by visiting www.collinshilleducationfoundation.com.

The 2008 GCPS Spelling Bee competition narrowed the field to 12 finalists. From those twelve, Asad Ladhani of Suwanee Elementary prevailed as the winner. All 12 participants will advance to the District 3 Spelling Bee on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in the Collins Hill High theater. Approximately 32 students from area school systems will compete with the winner and alternate of the District 3 Bee moving on to the State Spelling Bee in Atlanta on March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Georgia State University Student Center. For more information, contact Carey McDurmon, the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, at carey_mcdurmon@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

During “Read Across America Week,” Representative Tom Rice will visit Monarch School and read to students. Rep. Rice will read on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

Students in the Dacula Middle Multicultural Club will sponsor a Multicultural Night on Feb. 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Activities include food tasting, a tour of artifacts from around the world, and performances by Dacula Middle students. For more information, call Nicole Anderson-Irish or Elethia Rhoden at 770-963-1110.

Pharr Elementary will sponsor the school’s fourth annual “Empty Bowls Dinner” on Feb. 28 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. A suggested donation of $7 for adults and $3 for children will purchase a meal of soup, bread, salad, a drink, and dessert, served by volunteers. Guests are encouraged to take home an empty bowl made by the students, as a reminder of people in the community who have “empty bowls.” Donations will benefit the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the Southeast Cooperative Ministry to help fight hunger in the local community. For more information, call 770-985-0244.

The Gwinnett County Youth Symphony and Kendall Orchestras will perform with the Gwinnett Philharmonic on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at the Gwinnett Center. Tickets may be purchased for $28 for adult, $24 for seniors, $22 members, and $12 for students, on the Philharmonic website, through Ticketmaster at 404-249-6400, through any Ticketmaster outlet, or at the Box Office of the Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway— Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.gwinnettphilharmonic.org.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary will host an International Festival on Feb. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food and entertainment from different cultures will be available. A Chinese dragon will also perform during the festival. For more information, call Parent Outreach Liasion Adriana Ledon at 678-957-0863.

Pinckneyville Middle Girls As Leaders (GALs) will sponsor a three-part event with proceeds benefiting Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. A luncheon, fashion show, and silent auction will take place at the school beginning at 11 a.m. on March 1. Luncheon tickets may be purchased for $7 and fashion show tickets for $5; or a combined ticket to both may be purchased for $10. For more information, email Pinckneyville Middle Teacher Bridget_Guenthner@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

Rock Springs Elementary PTA will host a Family Literacy Night on March 3 at 7 p.m. Families are invited to participate in several activities celebrating literacy at “The Rock!” Clayborn Knight, a literacy expert, will act as guest speaker offering strategies on how to support and encourage reading and writing at home using his storytelling abilities. Activities will include performances by the Readers’ Rally Team, square dancing, and the after school-student group. Student writings will be on display throughout the building. More information, call Media Specialist Kathy Schmidt, or Assistant Principal Nancy Childers at 770-932-7474.

Middle and high school students served in GCPS’ special education program— along with their families, teachers, and counselors— are invited to a college fair and program from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 3 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. Participants will explore diploma and college options, the SAT, admissions, and graduation requirements. Event sponsors are GCPS, the Gwinnett PTA Council, and the Gwinnett County Extension Service. Call 678-377-4010 to learn more.

Mill Creek High will host a job fair on March 5 from 8:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. for students taking Junior Language Arts. This job fair will provide students with the opportunity to practice interviewing skills, complete applications, write a resume, as well as the possibility of obtaining future employment. The job fair, allows students to interview in a non-threatening environment, and businesses the opportunity to interview some of the best students in the area. The Language Arts teachers are working together with the Business Education department to recruit businesses to participate in the job fair. For more information, call Mill Creek Teachers Beth Knight, Ramona Avery, or Chesley Cypert at 678-714-5850.

Fort Daniel Elementary will host the 2nd Annual Science fair on March 6. Projects will be on display throughout the day. Interviews and judging will take place around 4 p.m. For more information, call 770-932-7400.

The Duluth High Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will host a Charity Dodge Ball Tournament on March 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Duluth FBLA chapter at the school. Faculty, middle school and high school students will compete in the tournament. In addition to the game, there will be music and food. Tickets may be purchased for $5 for adults, $2 for students. There is no charge for children under the age of 5. For more information contact FBLA Advisor Jo Anne Woods at Joanne_s_woodsa@gwinnett.k12.ga.us, or call 770-476-5206 or770-232-3339.

Norcross Elementary will host a free Health Fair on March 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information will be shared on how to become healthy and stay healthy. Screenings will be offered for vision, diabetes, blood pressure, nutritional assessments, and safety and security practices for home and school. Other activities include a bike rodeo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and child safety seat inspections from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school teamed up with the Latin American Association, State Farm, the Norcross Police Department, Safe Kids Georgia and other community providers for the event. Food will be available for purchase and proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. For more information, call 770-448-2740.

Students with disabilities, their parents, and educators are invited to the GCPS’ Transition Fair to learn more about services and programs to prepare special education students for the transition from high school to adulthood. Participants may review information from local providers in the areas of employment options, residential services, day-habilitation, and recreation and leisure. Speakers will address topics such as Medicaid waivers, using Benefits Navigator to help maximize benefits, Transition 101 for students and parents, and accessing employment supports, including vocational rehabilitation. The Fair is set for March 15 at Monarch School. Call Cathy Schmidt at 678-301-7107 with questions.

RECENTLY
Freeman’s Mill Elementary recently held a variety show— “When the Stars Come Out”— celebrating the talents of the student body. More than $2,000 was raised to benefit Relay-for-Life. For more information, call Media Specialist Kelly Fitzpatrick at 678-377-8963.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT GWINNETT ENVIRONMENTAL & HERITAGE CENTER
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.com or call 770-904-3500.

Feb. 23, 1 - 4 p.m., Girl Scout Program: Listening to the Past, $6 per person, center admission not included
This program introduces participants to the importance of understanding history. Activities include visiting a local archaeological site, looking at artifacts, and interviewing an older individual in the community. Badge is included. Pre-register and pay by February 8.

March 1, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Rain Barrel Workshop, $40 per barrel, center admission not included
Make a rain barrel and take it home the same day. Participants will receive a 55 gallon barrel, complete with screening and a spigot, ready to collect water. Each session limited to 20 participants. Call 770-904-3500 to pre-register by Feb. 27.

March 8. How to Attract Birds in Your Backyard, Co-sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society
Ages 16 and up, 8 a.m. walk, 9:30 a.m. presentation, $3/person, GEHC Members free
Join David Decker, volunteer at the Atlanta Audubon Society, as we learn how you can bring birds into your backyard. Pre-register by February 23.

Family Events
March 8, 1 p.m., Brer Rabbit: “Tales From the Briar Patch,” combination tickets available: family of four-$25, adults $10, children $6
Professional Storyteller Chetter Galloway will entertain and educate with the Brer Rabbit tales that make you laugh out loud and teach important lessons in life. Guests may pre-register and pay until 5 p.m. on Feb. 29.

March 8, 2 to 3 p.m., Little Sprouts (Ages 5-8)
Visit with author Grady Thrasher and illustrator Elaine Hearn Rabon of “Tim and Sally’s Vegetable Garden,” a book that introduces children to gardening. Students will plant a garden in a cup to take home. This program is an engaging way to introduce your children to the world of gardening. Pre-register by Feb. 29.

Scout Programs
March 15, 1 to 3 p.m., Webelos Naturalist, $7/scout
Get in to your natural world as work on the Naturalist Activity Badge, with an emphasis on the requirements that are harder to complete at home. Be prepared to spend time outdoors. Pre-register by March 1.

March 22, 1 to 4 p.m., Brownies - Eco-Explorer (Ages 6-8), Center admission not included
This event introduces girls to ecology, and how plants and animals live together in the environment. Come and learn how to explore nature around you. The badge is included. For registration information please contact Sabrina Jones at PSMetro2@girlscoutsnwga.org or call 678-420-6870.

March 29, 1 to 4 p.m., Jr. Girl Scouts - Ready for Tomorrow Badge, Center admission not included
Participants will complete 6 requirements for this badge. Learn how to cook with the sun using a solar oven, how you can help endangered species, develop your own personal credo for the environment, design a seal of approval for products, and participate in a trash pickup along the center’s trails. Prepayment is required for this event. Call 770-904-3500 for more information. Registration deadline is March 15.

GCPS TV
“Meet the Author - T.A. Baron” Building on the popular “Lost Years of Merlin” tales, fantasy adventure readers will be thrilled with T.A Barron’s “The Great Tree of Avalon” trilogy, a New York Times bestseller. Barron’s passion for the wonders of nature, his deep concern for humanity, and our fragile planet, and his belief in the heroic potential of every person, radiate through his books. This 30-minute program airs at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 18-24.

“ArtStage-Kendall Honor Orchestra” The Kendall Honor Orchestra and professional violinist James Graseck are featured this week on “ArtStage.” Program highlights include Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from “The Four Seasons” and “Concerto in A Minor,” as well as interviews with student musicians and orchestra directors. This 60-minute program airs at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 18-23.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through March 9 on GCPS TV. This 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program 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, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot. The series runs through April 6.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail gcpstv@gwinnett.k12.ga.us. A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site-- www.gcpstv.org.

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CALENDAR
February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

Feb. 18 is a student/teacher holiday.

March is National Nutrition Month.

March 3 is Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

March 5 is the Grade 5 Writing Assessment.

March 3-7 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, National Foreign Language Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 10 is a student holiday.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 13, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Feb. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
School
Feb
School
March
Berkmar High
2/26
Alcova Elementary
3/4
Berkmar Middle
2/28
Alford Elementary
3/11
Central Gwinnett High
2/25
Alton C. Crews Middle
3/7
J.G. Dyer Elementary
2/27
B.B. Harris Elementary
3/27
Lovin Elementary
2/28
Berkeley Lake Elementary
3/6
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
2/27
Berkmar High
3/25
Mountain Park Elementary
2/25
Brookwood Elementary
3/3
Nesbit Elementary
2/28
Brookwood High
3/25
Parkview High
2/26
Camp Creek Elementary
3/28
Peachree Ridge High
2/25
Cedar Hill Elementary
3/6
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
3/14
Collins Hill High
3/18
Dacula Elementary
3/14
Dacula High
3/14
Dacula Middle
3/11
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
3/14
Duncan Creek Elementary
3/6
Fort Daniel Elementary
3/7
Frank N. Osborne Middle
3/7
GIVE Center West
3/13
Glenn C. Jones Middle
3/20
Grayson Elementary
3/14
Gwin Oaks Elementary
3/7
Harbins Elementary
3/20
Harmony Elementary
3/28
Henry Partee Elementary
3/6
J.C. Magill Elementary
3/14
J.E. Richards Middle
3/25
J.G. Dyer Elementary
3/26
J.P. McConnell Middle
3/3
Jackson Elementary
3/13
K.E. Taylor Elementary
3/20
Lanier Middle
3/6
Lawrenceville Elementary
3/4
Lovin Elementary
3/27
Mulberry Elementary
3/6
Norcross High
3/13
North Gwinnett High
3/18
Parsons Elementary
3/3
Peachree Ridge High
3/24
Peachtree Elementary
3/13
Pinckneyville Middle
3/27
R.L. Norton Elementary
3/7
Richard Hull Middle
3/14
Riverside Elementary
3/11
Rock Springs Elementary
3/6
Rockbridge Elementary
3/12
Shiloh Elementary
3/13
Simpson Elementary
3/7
Snellville Middle
3/13
South Gwinnett High
3/11
Sugar Hill Elementary
3/17
Suwanee Elementary
3/7
Sweetwater Middle
3/20
Sycamore Elementary
3/6
T. Carl Buice School
3/20
Trickum Middle
3/25
Walnut Grove Elementary
3/20