News You Can Use - 12/10/2012

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
12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012

Stripling Elementary families and students have been the recipient of the generosity of the Georgia Compassion Project, a non-profit organization. Community members and founders Tim and Amber Vojta and Ted Pappas have donated $15,000 to the school to support homeless and needy families during the holiday season. Thirty families will each receive $500 worth of gift cards. Stripling Elementary will honor the founders with a plaque on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. For more information, contact the school at 770-582-7584.

Simpson Elementary hosted a visit from State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John D. Barge for being named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Dr. Barge recognized the Principal Bron Gayna Schmit, teachers, and students for their success, and surprised the school with an ice cream party and awarded the school with a certificate. For more information, call 770-417-2400.

The Brookwood High Science Olympiad team earned 18 first place, 12 second place, and 12 third place wins at the Shades Valley Invitational Science Olympiad Tournament. Students also placed first in 17 of 23 events. For more information, call Brookwood High Teacher Joe Cox at 770-972-7642. The Brookwood High students and the categories in which they won their awards are:
Anatomy and Physiology:Gravity Vehicle:
1st Place - Laboni Hoque and Corey Zheng1st Place - Ryan Whitfield and Iris Liu
3rd Place - Holly Gunder and Jenny Truong2nd Place - Emily Ruengvivatpant and Corey Zheng
Astronomy:Mag Lev (?)
1st Place – Luke Matkovic and Emma DeJarnette4th Place – Adarsh Suresh and Laboni Hoque
3rd Place – Mitchell Johnson and Heath MurphyMaterials Science:
Boomilever:1st Place - Greg Cooke and Bowen Yang
1st Place - Emily Ruengvivatpant and Laboni Hoque4th Place - Neil Goel and Joseph Lee
2nd Place - PJ Collins and Brittany VoRemote Sensing:
Chemistry Lab:1st Place - Bowen Yang and PJ Collins
1st Place Luke Matkovic and Anthony Choo2nd Place - Susan Zhang and Emily Ruengvivatpant
3rd Place - Bowen Yang and Justin DumrongkulraksaRobot Arm:
Circuit Lab:1st Place - Susan Zhang and Wayne Kung
1st Place - Luke Matkovic and Joey Calicchio2nd Place - Corey Zheng and Vamsi Reddy
3rd Place - Greg Cooke and Justin DumrongkulraksaRocks and Minerals:
Designer Genes:1st Place - Neil Goel and Joseph Lee
1st Place - Adarsh Suresh and Laboni Hoque3rd Place - Heath Murphy and Arnelle Obode
2nd Place - Cindy Nguyen and Ryan Phanor4th Place - Moya Tomlin and Nikki Puvvada
3rd Place - Justin Dumrongkulraksa and Jenny TruongTechnical Problem Solving:
Disease Detectives:1st Place - Neil Goel and Joseph Lee
2nd Place - Lamiyah Mussaji and Paul Wakim4th Place - Greg Cooke and Rohit Ganesan
3rd Place - Holly Gunder and Jenny TruongThermodynamics:
Dynamic Planet:1st Place - Neil Goel and Joseph Lee
2nd Place - Kathryn McKibben and Vamsi Reddy2nd Place - Jenny Truong and Bowen Yang
Elastic Launched Glider:Water Quality:
1st Place - Susan Zhang and Joseph Lee1st Place - Adarsh Suresh and Jin Kim
2nd Place - PJ Collins and Heath Murphy2nd Place - Rohit Ganesan and Nam Kim
3rd Place - Emma Dejarnette and Vamsi Reddy4th Place - Nikki Puvvada and Ye Tian
Experimental Design:Write It Do It:
1st Place - Greg Cooke, Justin Dumrongkulraksa, and Mitchell Johnson3rd Place - Laboni Hoque and Emily Ruengvivatpant
3rd Place - Sanah Aslam, Susan Zhang, and Sidd MekaForestry:
Fermi Questions:1st Place - Kathryn McKibben and Emma DeJarnette
2nd Place - Neil Goel and Joseph Lee3rd Place - Corey Zheng and Yusra Asif
1st Place - Corey Zheng and Wayne Kung
2nd Place - Tiffany Suwoto and PJ Collins
3rd Place - Carleigh Brisendine and Anthony Choo

Maxwell High School of Technology Healthcare Science Teachers Monica Collins, Linda Fisher, Dr. Jade Gillispie, Barbara Hoag, and Nancy Knight were honored with the “Corporate Achievement in Healthcare” award at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Excellent Awards ceremony. The award honors an individual or group for their role in improving healthcare. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Georgia Gwinnett College students will bring Science Night to McKendree Elementary students and parents on Dec. 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Georgia Gwinnett College Teacher Dana McGraw will use her service learning class to share with students an exciting evening of science. Ms. McGraw has chosen to hold a Science Night event for McKendree Elementary families for the class project. There will be much to be discovered at the event including hovercrafts, mysterious mixtures, air cannons, film can rockets, and magnetic “magic.” For more information, call 678-377-8933.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology will host a silent auction of decorated wreaths along with a talent competition on Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. during the Festival of Trees event at the school. Proceeds from this event will benefit Street Grace and bring awareness to the organization and human trafficking. For more information, call Teacher Jeni Prince at 678-518-6700.

Alcova Elementary 1st graders learned about meteorology from the CBS Atlanta Weather Tracker Team. Each school year the Weather Tracker Team visits thousands of students at dozens of local schools. Alcova Elementary learned about meteorology and how TV meteorologists forecast the weather on air. For more information on this event, contact Kia Henley at or call 678-378-8508.

The Brookwood High Visual Art Department will exhibit student art in the Community Room of Snellville City Hall. This is the first showing of its kind in City Hall, but the City of Snellville expects that these exhibitions will be ongoing and open to high school students in the Snellville Area. Student artwork from Brookwood will be on display through Dec. 30, and the exhibition is open to the public. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-736-2088 or email

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold information sessions around the district on Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), the district’s STEM-focused charter high school, will hold informational meetings for interested 8th graders on Dec. 13 and Jan. 15. The registration packet is available for download with a Feb. 1 deadline. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery on Feb. 11.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology begins online registration on Feb. 1. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High School Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson HS. An information session for the 2013–14 school year is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Registration applications will be available online Feb. 1.
  • New Life Academy of Excellence, a system-approved charter school with two locations, will serve grades K–8 next year. Kindergarten families may register Jan. 7–11 at the Norcross campus. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery.

“Meet the Author - Erica Perl” You know what? What? Chicken butt! This joke is now a humorous picture book by Erica S. Perl. According to Kirkus Reviews, the book is “an unhinged piece of slap-happy rhyming.” In addition to Chicken Butt!, Perl is the author of “Dotty” and “Chicken Bedtime is really Early.” Students will find counting and math fun when they add up all the family member in Perl’s hilarious book “Ninety-Three in My Family.” This 30 minute program airs this week at 1p.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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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 TV web site--

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A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., December 13, 2012, at the ISC, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

December 17-19 are early release days for high school exams.

December 20-31 is Winter Break for schools.

December 21 is a planned furlough day for 12-month staff, and December 24-31 is winter break for 12-month staff, all Gwinnett central offices will be closed.

January 1 is New Year’s Day and a systemwide holiday for all employees.

January 2 is a student holiday/teacher planning staff development day.

The following schools will hold Local School Council dates in December. Call the local school for the time and location.
Camp Creek Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Rock Springs Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Taylor 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. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 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.
Green Living SeriesDec. 21
Green Living Kids: Become A Waste Warrior-Fighting Waste Through The Power Of RecyclingDec. 21
Young Architect: Designing the FutureJan. 13