News You Can Use - 03/03/2008

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
03/03/2008 - 03/09/2008

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 events may be purchased for $10. For more information, email Pinckneyville Middle Teacher

The Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Elementary Honor Chorus will perform on March 1 at 3 p.m. at Mount Carmel Christian Church in Stone Mountain. For more information, call music teachers Mandy Gunter at 770-513-6892, or Tiffany English at 770-945-5735.

Three GCPS students earned a Little Carnegie Hall Showcase Concert and Scholarship Award, presented by the Gainesville ProMusica Concert Series, Inc. GCPS competition winners are pianist Brandon Hou from Pickneyville Middle, violinist Emily Jackson from Collins Hill High, and pianist Mark Hadden from Parkview High. The Gainesville ProMusica Concert Series, Inc. is a non-profit organization that encourages and celebrates the commitment of young people to music and the arts. Through the Little Carnegie Hall Showcase Concert and Scholarship Awards program, Gainesville ProMusica provides a platform for young artists to present themselves, and to share their passion for music with the community. This year’s Little Carnegie Hall Scholarship recipients were selected from an initial applicant pool of 42 students from across North Georgia. The nine competition winners will be featured in a special showcase concert on March 18 at 8 p.m. in Pearce Auditorium on the Brenau University campus. For more information, visit

The following GCPS visual art teachers’ artwork is on exhibit at the Georgia Art Institute Art Teacher Appreciation Show: Mike Lasseter, Mill Creek High; Eleanor Neal, Shiloh High; Becky Raffalovich, Phoenix High; Pasha Souverin, Phoenix High, and Debi West, North Gwinnett High. For more information, call Debbie West at 770-945-9558.

GCPS had four art students place in the top 10 at the 2008 Dogwood Festival. Libby Lukens of Parkview High placed 3rd for her digital photo, Anna Riccetti of Phoenix High placed 4th for her digital photo collage, Jenna Pallansch of Brookwood High placed 5th for her mixed media piece, and Erik Helms of Phoenix High placed 10th for his digital photo. For more information, call Parkview High Teacher Alexandra Kates at 770-921-2874.

The Duluth High Mock Trial Team won the Regional Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition. The team will advance to State Competition on March 15 and 16. The following members won individual awards: Lexi Anderson, Roger Ou, and Kearstin Sale were awarded “Outstanding Attorney” certificates. In addition, Kayla McKenzie and Jeff Tinsley received “Outstanding Witness” certificates. For more information, call Coach Mary Anne Meeks at 770-476-5206.

The Duluth High Science Olympiad Team qualified for its 12th consecutive State Olympiad by finishing 2nd at the Georgia Perimeter Science Olympiad Regional competition. The 15-member team finished in the top five in 15 of 23 events, receiving medals in 12 events. In addition, Duluth High had a second team with only 11 members that finished 10th place overall among 15 teams. Combined, the two teams collected medals in 16 of the 23 events. Duluth High collected gold medals in Astronomy, Boomilever, and Robot Ramble. The teams earned silver medals in Boomilever, Circuit Lab, Experimental Design, Oceanography, and Sounds of Music. The bronze medal events were Cell Biology, Disease Detectives, Food Science, Forensics, Herpetology, Physics Lab, and Remote Sensing. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist at 770-232-3336.

Harmony Elementary will celebrate Read Across America Day with visits from guest readers. On March 3, TNT Sportcaster Ernie Johnson and "Voice of the Hawks" and Gladiator player Bob Rathbun will visit and read to students. In addition, on March 4, two Georgia Force players and a Falcon cheerleader will read to students. For more information, call Marie Kennedy, media specialist, at 770-932-7461.

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. For more information, call Media Specialist Kathy Schmidt, or Assistant Principal Nancy Childers at 770-932-7474

Harbins Elementary will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 3. Parents and community members are invited to come by the school and have birthday cake with the Cat in the Hat on Read Across America Day. In addition, on each day of the week, a different mystery reader will share a story with students. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Middle and high school students who are 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.

The K.E. Taylor Elementary Innovative Math Model (IMM) class will work towards setting a world record in math to celebrate World Math Day on March 5. Students from all over the world will go on-line to compete head-to-head with their global peers in 60-second math matches. For more information, visit

The public is invited to join Brookwood High on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate “An Evening with Living Black History” in the theater. Tuskegee Airman Lt. Colonel Charles W. Dryden, USAF (retired) will visit the school. Admission is free. Lt. Col. Dryden has received numerous awards for his military service, including the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Lt. Col. Dryden captures his fascinating life and career in his autobiography “A-Train: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman.” Autographed copies of the Lt. Col. Dryden’s autobiography will be available for purchase following the program. For more information, call Lisa Harrison at 770-985-7474 or email

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. More than 800 juniors will participate in the job fair providing them 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. Mill Creek High engineering classes have contributed to the event by making corporate signs, directional signs, and a Mill Creek High memento pen for each corporate participant. More than 40 interviewers will participate. 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 High FBLA chapter. 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,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.

The Brookwood High Dance Team has been invited to perform at the 9th National High School Dance Festival at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on March 12-14. The dance team will perform a piece choreographed by senior Katie Fletcher. For more information, call Teacher Anna D’Antonio at 770-972-7642.

Susan Stripling Elementary will hold a fashion show to benefit Relay for Life on March 13 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Student and staff models have been asked to pick their favorite outfit from their closet to model for the show. Tickets may be purchased for $3 for adults, $1 for students, and admission is free for children younger kindergarten age. In addition, there will be entertainment from students and staff members. For more information, call Teacher LaRae Trummell at 770-582-7575.

Meadowcreek High will sponsor the “2008 Creek Mustangs Love to Read Festival” on March 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and on March 14 from 9:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local authors, journalists, storytellers, poets, and parents will share their stories and poems with students. For more information, email,or call 770-931-7122.

The Parkview High, SAVE/SADD (Students Against Violence Everywhere/Students Against Drunk Driving) chapter is the recipient of a $2,000 Highway Safety Grant awarded by the Governor’ office of Highway Safety. The chapter used the funds last semester to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, promote safe driving and seat belt use through workshops. This semester the funds will be used to implement a safe driving campaign encouraging teens to turn off their cell phones while driving and buckle up at all times. In addition, the chapter will host a town hall meeting March 13 in the school’s theater, entitled “Is it Worth the Risk”. Last but not least, the grant will also support both the Prom Promise and Good-Bye Prom campaigns. For more information, call Teacher Margaret Shortreed at 770-921-2874.

Duluth Middle will host the school’s 1st annual Flea Market on March 15th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the bus parking lot. Spaces are available to rent for $25 by individuals and school clubs. Proceeds will benefit school programs including academic and student clubs and organizations. For more information, email,, or

K.E. Taylor Elementary will host the school’s 2nd Annual Taylor RocketFest competition on March 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the playground. The competition is for K.E. Taylor Elementary students. The safety briefing begins promptly at 10:45 a.m. Student will be introduced to some basic principles of rocketry, aerodynamics, physics (Newton’s Third Law of Motion) by designing, constructing, and launching a rocket using a plastic 2-liter bottle. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

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.

The Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band has been selected to perform in the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City on March 17 at 11 a.m. The parade will end at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host “International Night” on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate and highlight the diversity of the student body. The evening will showcase a parade featuring students from the different countries represented at Lawrenceville Elementary. Entertainment will feature student performances, arts and crafts displays, and food samples from different countries. For more information, call Glenda Ramos, Parent Outreach Liaison, at 678-376-8634.

Corley Elementary will host a Math, Science, Technology Night on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call Dr. Angela Broughton at 678-924-5350.

Brookwood Elementary will hold a charity rock concert on March 28, to benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. Two bands featuring staff members Vicki Miller (The Vicki Miller Band), and David Young (The Amazing Mongooses) will perform. Pictures available upon request. For more information, call 770-736-4360.

Norcross Elementary will host an Empty Bowls Ice Cream Social and Montage Arts Show on March 31, at 6 p.m. in the gym. Proceeds will benefit the Norcross Cooperative. For more information, call Art Teacher Lauren Phillips 770-448-2188.

The Gwinnett Chamber is initiating a new program called Schoolink as part of their Education Forum. The Chamber collaborated with Lilburn Middle to recruit mentors from the business community to work with students in their HOSTS program. For more information, call 770-921-1776.

Seventy four Maxwell High School of Technology students volunteered at the Bowling Special Olympics for elementary-age Gwinnett students at Brunswick Zone on Lawrenceville Highway. Maxwell High School of Technology students provided physical assistance and enthusiastic cheering for more than 300 young Olympians who bowled their way to blue, red, and yellow ribbons. The volunteers kept score, distributed awards, and made sure that all competitors had a winning experience. Pictures are available upon request. For more information, contact Maxwell High School of Technology teacher Eleanor Green at 770-963-6838.

North Gwinnett DECA’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Development Seminar was recently televised. The Cisco-Sponsored 2008 Summit (Working for the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education) may be viewed on the National Consortium for Education web site at more information, call Dr. Jacqueline Huffman at 770-945-9558.

Rockbridge Elementary held many events to celebrate Read Across America Week including a visit from the story character Amelia Bedelia and Fox5 Meteorologist Steve Milone. In addition, many stories were acted out. For more information, call Media Specialist Stacie Gadlage at 770-417-2427.

In honor of Black History Month, Henry Partee Elementary hosted a visit from the Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. A reception with refreshments was held in the Media Center. This event was sponsored by the Partee PTA and the Partee SGA (Student Government Association).

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.

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 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
Learn about the natural world while working 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 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.

“Treasure Keepers: Colonial Williamsburg Live (electronic field trip)” You’ve seen their work in every museum, but what do conservators really do? Learn how conservators prevent or slow the damage caused by “agents of destruction.” Explore how and why preserving history is important for future generations. This 60-minute program airs live on March 6 at 1 p.m.

“Meet the Author - Sneed Collard” Sneed B. Collard III is an author of more than 40 books for young people. His first novel, “Dog Sense,” was inspired by his frisbee-catching border collie, Mattie. Collard’s novel “Flash Point” fits well into the nature and science curriculums. This 30-minute program airs March 3-9 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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

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

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

02/28/2008Gwinnett County Public Schools makes parent driver education a priority (pdf)
02/28/2008Gwinnett County Public Schools partners with relocation firm to recruit the nation’s brightest and best to Gwinnett (pdf)
02/27/2008Gwinnett honors Technical Education Student/Teacher of the Year (pdf)
02/26/2008GCPS to co-host college fair for special needs students and their parents (pdf)
02/21/2008Gwinnett’s Jackson Elementary recognized for community partnership geared towards student success (pdf)

March is National Nutrition Month.

March 3 is Read Across America Day (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.

March 17-28 is the Grade 3 Writing Assessment Evaluation.

March 21 is a student and teacher holiday.

The Georgia High School Graduation Test for 11th grade students is scheduled for March 31 through April 3.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during and March. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alcova Elementary3/4
Alford Elementary3/11
Alton C. Crews Middle3/7
B.B. Harris Elementary3/27
Berkeley Lake Elementary3/6
Berkmar High3/25
Brookwood Elementary3/3
Brookwood High3/25
Camp Creek Elementary3/28
Cedar Hill Elementary3/6
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary3/14
Collins Hill High3/18
Dacula Elementary3/14
Dacula High3/14
Dacula Middle3/11
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary3/14
Duncan Creek Elementary3/6
Fort Daniel Elementary3/7
Frank N. Osborne Middle3/7
GIVE Center West3/13
Glenn C. Jones Middle3/20
Grayson Elementary3/14
Gwin Oaks Elementary3/7
Harbins Elementary3/20
Harmony Elementary3/28
Henry Partee Elementary3/6
J.C. Magill Elementary3/14
J.E. Richards Middle3/25
J.G. Dyer Elementary3/26
J.P. McConnell Middle3/3
Jackson Elementary3/13
K.E. Taylor Elementary3/20
Lanier Middle3/6
Lawrenceville Elementary3/4
Lovin Elementary3/27
Mulberry Elementary3/6
Norcross High3/13
North Gwinnett High3/18
Parsons Elementary3/3
Peachree Ridge High3/24
Peachtree Elementary3/13
Pinckneyville Middle3/27
R.L. Norton Elementary3/7
Richard Hull Middle3/14
Riverside Elementary3/11
Rock Springs Elementary3/6
Rockbridge Elementary3/12
Shiloh Elementary3/13
Simpson Elementary3/7
Snellville Middle3/13
South Gwinnett High3/11
Sugar Hill Elementary3/17
Suwanee Elementary3/7
Sweetwater Middle3/20
Sycamore Elementary3/6
T. Carl Buice School3/20
Trickum Middle3/25
Walnut Grove Elementary3/20