News You Can Use - 03/23/2009

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
03/23/2009 - 03/29/2009

Monarch School will sponsor a Relay For Life Spring Fashion Show on March 20 at 7 p.m. Parents, staff, and students will walk the runway to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Suggested donations are $4 for adults and $2 for children. For more information and to register, call Elizabeth Carlson or Kelly Gay at 678-542-2361.

GCPS and the Gwinnett Interagency Transition Council will present a Transition Fair for high school students with disabilities and their families on March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High, located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee, 678-957-3103. Attendees will be able to visit with representatives from various agencies and service providers from 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Boxed lunches will be sold. For more information, call Allison Vernon at 678-301-7137, Tamra Burnette at 678-301-7132, or Chiara Perry at 678-301-7115.

Mill Creek High Beta and Key Club members will sponsor a Car Show on March 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. A $15 donation to the American Cancer Society allows participants to show their car, truck, import, or bike. Trophies will be awarded to the four favorite vehicles, and prizes will be awarded throughout the day. The event is free to spectators. Other activities include a silent auction, Smash ‘n’ Bash, and a special offering of a Louisiana Low Country Boil as one of the luncheon offerings. For more information, visit,or email

Amy Evers, a graduate student at the University of Georgia along with GCPS staff members Sharon Smith and Lisa Lang, wrote the lead article in the March issue of Reading Teacher, an international peer reviewed journal published by the International Reading Association. Ms. Smith is a third grade teacher at Brookwood Elementary, and Ms. Lang is a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for GCPS. The article is titledAn ABC literacy journey: Anchoring in texts, bridging language, and creating stories.” In addition, Ms. Lang wrote a book review for a national education magazine published in this month’s Education Review: Review of “Fast Start: Getting Ready to Read.” New York: Scholastic. For more information, visit, or call Lisa Lang at 770-682-4196.

Meadowcreek High student Sandra Clavijo won the Best Teen Chef cook-off competition at the Art Institute of Atlanta Culinary Competition and was awarded a $15,000 scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta. She will compete at the national competition in Charlotte in May. Her teacher, Debbie Grant, was named Georgia ProStart Teacher of the Year. Ms. Grant is Meadowcreek High’s Family and Consumer Science Teacher/ProStart instructor, FCCLA advisor, and certified ServSafe instructor. In addition, the Meadowcreek High ProStart Culinary Team won 1st place in state competition and will advance to national competition this summer in San Diego. The team also earned 3rd place in the state culinary management competition.

Maxwell High School of Technology students competed in the 9th Annual HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) State Leadership Conference in Athens earlier this month. Kaitlyn McLaughlin and Justin Ditty earned 1st place in Emergency Medical Technician, and Maranda Smith earned 2nd place in Epidemiology. These students will compete at the National Leadership Conference in June in Nashville. For more information, visit

Carol Gilbert was named 2009 Parapro of the Year by her peers at Monarch School. Ms. Gilbert has been a special education paraprofessional for 6 years, working in the ADAPT Program for young adults 18-22 years of age. She has three daughters and she is raising two grandchildren. Ms. Gilbert has more than 20 years experience in the day-care pre-kindergarten field. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

The following GCPS visual arts students will have their artwork on display in the Georgia Watercolor Society Scholarship Juried Exhibition April 6 through April 26 at the Binder’s Limelight Gallery, 3330 Piedmont Road in Buckhead. This art competition was open to all high school students in the state of Georgia. The Georgia Watercolor Society will award $10,000 in scholarships.
Heather YuSoliloquy in the AbyssHonorable MentionCollins Hill High
Heather YuUpstream through ChaosCollins Hill High
Soo KimThe Invitation1st placeCollins Hill High
Soo KimMorningCollins Hill High
Hannah AdairArmadillo SkullCollins Hill High
Erin CookChristinePeachtree Ridge High
Erin CookCrazy Cinderella Story3rd placePeachtree Ridge High
Erin CookLip GlossPeachtree Ridge High
Emmanuel RojasStruggle2nd placePeachtree Ridge High
Heather GubserDistantly Near DreamPeachtree Ridge High
Keri KarlsenAutumn RoadPeachtree Ridge High
Linda SohCelebrationNorth Gwinnett High
Ana GardinerMaelstromNorth Gwinnett High
Veronica BaitaHouse of ArtNorth Gwinnett High
Vanessa JenningsSunflowerishHonorable MentionNorth Gwinnett High
Alison EddyStemware RainbowsNorth Gwinnett High
Tina KimLandscapeNorth Gwinnett High

The R.D. Head Elementary PTA will host author Deborah Wiles on March 23. Ms. Wiles will meet with students and engage them in reading and writing exercises. Students may purchase a copy of her autographed books. For more information, call 770-972-8050.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host a Family Math Night— “Partnering for Success,” on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and parents will learn to play games that strengthen the understanding of math concepts. Free take-home math game kits are available to the first 200 families that arrive for the event. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host a Scholastic Spring Book Fair March 27 through April 1. This fair will offer students and parents an opportunity to buy books for summer reading. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

Alton C. Crews Middle will sponsor the school’s 11th Annual Instructional Technology Fair, “Yellow Brick Road of Technology, Learning, and Excellence,” on April 2 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Visitors may view more than 100 student demonstrations and examples demonstrating the use of technology and media to enhance learning throughout the curriculum, including a virtual tour of Latin American landscape, Latin American pen pals, an out-to-dinner cost analysis, Idiom Challenge and many more. Special events include “Are You Smarter Than a Middle Schooler?” color souvenir snapshots, media festival entries, an online trivia contest, food court, a silent auction, jazz band performances and more. For more information, visit,or call 770-982-6962.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 7. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2009, are invited to register their children for the 2009–10 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times. The Planning Department phone number is 678-301-7085 and may be called to find out which school a child will attend.

North Gwinnett High visual art students and the school’s Relay For Life Team will host a 2nd Annual Art Auction on March 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. More than 400 works of art will be offered for sale. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Gwinnett County residents will experience the ambiance of an art gallery next time they visit the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee, as hundreds of pieces of student art work will be on display in the district headquarters’ welcome area. Gwinnett County Public Schools students enrolled in K-12 fine arts programs will exhibit what they have learned and created in the classroom, during the annual “Tapestry Display.” Gwinnett County parents, community members, students, and staff are welcome to view the pieces of art through March 24 at the ISC, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, in Suwanee. The artwork on display is from the following schools in the Collins Hill, Dacula, Grayson, North Gwinnett, and Shiloh clusters, including Grayson Technical Education Program, GIVE Center East, GIVE Center West, and Maxwell High School of Technology.

Maxwell High School of Technology will offer a Summer Career Camp June 8 through 12 for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders interested in exploring careers. This week-long session with hands-on learning activities will include a variety of programs such as Graphic Design, Automotive Services, Cosmetology, Health Care and Medical Services, Early Childhood Education, Georgia Pre-K Camp Counselors, Public Safety, and Welding. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration before April 15 is $35 and $40 after April 15. For more information and to register, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4625.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/17/2009Dacula High’s Belbey named a Georgia top French teacher (pdf)
03/16/2009Parkview High’s Knezovic Georgia’s top German teacher (pdf)
03/13/2009Principals for R.L. Norton Elementary and Pinckneyville Middle named by Gwinnett BOE (pdf)

“GCPS Focus” This week, GCPS Focus spotlights a partnership between schools and communities spanning the globe, recognizes student innovations at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and shares in the celebration of Music in our Schools month…join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. 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.

“ArtStage: 12 Dancing Princesses” Tune into GCPS TV for a special presentation of ArtStage, featuring Brookwood High’s dance program combining language arts, music technology, and fencing with a production fit for a princess… make that 12 dancing princesses. This 60-min. program airs March 23-28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through April 12 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 2” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through April 12 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon to 4 p.m.

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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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March is National Nutrition Month.

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day.

April 6-10 is Spring break for schools.

April 10 is a systemwide spring holiday for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 16, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
B.B. Harris Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Harmony Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee 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 or call 770-904-3500.

March 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bird Watching Walk and Book Signing Cost: free, (center admission is extra)
Bird lovers, come hear author John Yow read from his new book “The Armchair Birder.” Participate in a bird walk lead by Jim Wilson on the GEHC campus. Books will be available for purchase. GEHC will also present “Birds in the Backyard.”

March 28, 10:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m., Listening to the Past-- Brownie Girl Scouts, Cost: $8 per Girl Scout (center admission is extra)
Become a History Hero and participate in fun activities to earn your Listening to the Past Try-It. Activities include visiting a local archaeological site, looking at artifacts, listening to an elders story of growing up in the community, and playing games from the past.

March 28, 1 to 2 p.m., Pioneers to the Present, Cost: family $10, individual $5, GEHC members free (includes center admission)
Take a walk back in time for Women’s History Month 2009 at GEHC. Regardless of the era, women have worked and played hard over the centuries, accomplishing and aspiring to do better for the environment, fellow man, and themselves. We have many women to be proud of here in Georgia, so come celebrate with us and learn through a brief presentation, as well as learn a traditional game and craft.

March 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Archaeology Merit Badge, Cost: $15 per Boy Scout (center admission is extra)
Come experience a dig and complete the requirements for this badge. Before you come please do requirements 4, 5, and 10 and bring them with you to share. Pack a lunch and wear comfortable clothing.

March 30, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Little Hands: Camouflage, Cost: $5 per child/$2 each additional sibling (for 3-5 year olds)
It’s not easy being green, or is it? Why are animals different colors? We will explore the world of camouflage. We will make an animal and see where it can hide safely, play games, sing songs, read stories and see if we can use what we have learned on the trail.