News You Can Use - 04/06/2009

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
04/06/2009 - 04/23/2009

News You Can Use… will return April 16 for the week of April 20-26.
The Peachtree Ridge High Playhouse presents “Manuscript” by Paul Grellong in conjunction with the Red Clay Performing Arts Center in Duluth. Peachtree Ridge students Anna Pugel, Lee Romaniw, and Brad Coggin will perform on April 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. and April 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased by calling 678-407-0772 or order online at “Manuscript” is rated PG-13 and intended for a high school audience. For more information, visit

GCPS had 315 student musicians selected for All-State chorus, orchestra, and band honors. Chorus had 48 middle school students and 145 high school students participate for a total of 193. Orchestra had 19 middle school students and 41 high school students participate for a total of 60. Band had a total of 18 middle school students and 44 high school students participate for a total of 62. For more information and a complete listing of names call Fine Arts Assistant Donna Cravens at 678-301-7015.

The Parkview High Varsity Air Rifle team won the semi-final competition recently. They are rated as one of the top 12 teams in the state. The team will compete on April 4 for the state championship at Fort Benning. Team members are: Elisabeth Allen, Jacob Jesenski, Shahzaib Jiwani, Amanda Korb, and Melissa Quartarone. For more information, contact Captain M. Silverio, USMC, retired, SMI Parkview High, MCJROTC, at 770-921-2874.

GCPS students were well represented at the 2009 Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education (GAGE) Awards with the following honors:
Laura Magner, Sycamore Elementary, Gifted Program Teacher of the Year
Debbie Wyatt, assistant principal, Shiloh Elementary, Hughes Award Winner
Dion Jones, principal, Rockbridge Elementary, Outstanding Administrator of the Year
Marjorie Simpson, Sycamore Elementary, Outstanding Parent of the Year
Senior Scholarship Recipients
Yanfeng (Roger) Ou, Duluth High
Rae “Sharon” Ra, Central Gwinnett High
Sumathee (Sumi) Selvaraj, Parkview High
Manonh Soumahoro, Meadowcreek High
Leah Wadkins, South Gwinnett High
Taylor Welch, Peachtree Ridge High
Yuanrui (Serena) Zhang, Duluth High
Elementary and Middle Summer Scholarship Recipients
Francisco Flores, Rockbridge Elementary
Sienna McKellar, Rosebud Elementary
Shamon Breon Orie, R.L. Norton Elementary
Anima Shrestha, Arcado Elementary
Adebisi Thompson, B. B. Harris Elementary
Rachel Konovalova, Lanier Middle
Lizbeth Pena, Sweetwater Middle

Fifty Cedar Hill Elementary students competed and won the Georgia Math Fest at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. Math Fest is a statewide competition created to provide motivation and excitement for mathematics. Fifth grader Nhi Ho is the Chexagon state champion. Third grader Hollyann Widay placed 3rd in the large group. For more information contact Jane Moore at Cedar Hill Elementary at 770 962-5015.

Duluth High’s Mykala Walker was named to the Atlanta Tip-Off Club All-Metro Team for the second year in a row. Mykala and her family will be honored at the Naismith Awards Banquet in two weeks. In addition, Mykala and Daphne Adebayo were named 1st Team All-Region. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist, 770-232-3336.

R.L. Norton Elementary student Thomas Coltrain will attend the summer People to People World Leadership Forum in D.C. June 20 through July 4. Thomas was nominated by his teacher Jennifer Dionne based on outstanding scholastic merit, civic involvement, and promising leadership potential. Thomas will join a select group of students in order to study leadership and explore some prominent monuments and institutions such as Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution, Gettysburg National Military Park, and the International Spy Museum. Thomas will also participate in small-group discussions and exercises to experience first-hand how successful leaders develop strategies, make decisions, build consensus, and foster change.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host a CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests) pep rally on April 13 at 2 p.m. The Central Gwinnett High Cheerleaders and the Gwinnett Braves Mascot—Chopper— will be in attendance for the event. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Parkview High Performing Arts program presents the musical “Annie Get your Gun” on April 16-18 at 7:30 p.m., and April 19 at 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets may be purchased for $7 and student tickets for $5. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

The Berkmar High Jazz and Arts Festival will take place April 18, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the school. The Festival features performances by the Berkmar Jazz Band and Choir. Jazz ensembles will perform beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for the Taste of Berkmar may be purchased to sample food from area restaurants including BBQ, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, American, desserts, and beverages. There will be a silent auction and activities for children such as face painting, moonwalk, bowling, and fast pitch. The festival is free. Food/activity tickets may be purchased for $10 by calling the school at 770-921-3636. For more information, check the web site at www.berkmarband.comor Ticket sales will benefit student organizations.

Former students and staff members of J.G. Dyer Elementary are invited to the “Retire Dyer Celebration” as the school moves to a new building for the 2009-10 school year. The event takes place at the school on April 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. The retirement celebration will be an opportunity to share memories and visit with past administrators, faculty, and staff. The Dyer Elementary Spring Festival will follow the retirement event from noon to 4 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, call 770-963-6214, or email

Norcross High will host Sandra Cisneros, author of “The House on Mango Street” on April 27 for the county library program. For more information, contact Michelle Long, director of public relations, at , or call 770-822-5326.

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.

Gwinnett high schools will hold graduation ceremonies May 18-23, 2009. The GCPS graduation schedule may be viewed on the system website.

GCPS’ Area Board Meetings will be held in April. The meetings are held in each of the Board member’s districts and give staff and community members an opportunity to get an update on school system issues. In addition, a public forum at each meeting allows for participants to discuss education topics with their elected officials. Following is a listing of the meeting dates. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m.
April 14-- District IV at
Brookwood High – Clusters: Brookwood, Shiloh, South Gwinnett
April 21-- District I at
Central Gwinnett High – Clusters: Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Grayson
April 23-- District III at
Norcross High – Clusters: Duluth, Norcross
April 28-- District V at
Parkview High – Clusters: Berkmar, Meadowcreek, Parkview
April 30-- District II at Mill Creek High – Clusters: Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge

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.

Duncan Creek Elementary recently held a CRCT pep rally “C-Cruising R- Right along the C- Championship T-Track.” After a month of CRCT preparation for grades 1-5, a school wide pep rally showcased student performances and a special appearance by a race car and driver from Lanier Motor Speedway. For more information, call 678-714-5800.

The Duluth High Red Cross Club collected 70 pints of blood in March. The collection of 70 pints will save 210 lives. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Trickum Middle’s Green Team PTSA invite parents and students from the Parkview Cluster schools to participate in the school’s Earth Day project on April 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to create a giant ground sculpture made entirely out of aluminum cans. The Earth Day Ground Sculpture project will be created on the field behind the school and will hold approximately 20,000 cans. Volunteers including a local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will be on hand to organize the project that will create a heart shape with the words “love your planet” spelled out beneath the heart. For more information, call Ginger Criswell, PTSA environmental chair at 678-910-3182 or 770-923-5693.

Berkmar High will host the 5th annual Jazz Festival on April 18. Activities include a car show, the Taste of Berkmar event, and Jazz performances. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

“Eco-Force” members from Brookwood Elementary, J.C. Magill Elementary, and Craig Elementary will host an Earth Day Fun Fest on April 18 from 11 to 2 p.m. at Brookwood Elementary. The community event is free and will showcase sustainable practices, demonstrate Eco-Force members’ environmental awareness projects, while providing fun activities for children that include inflatable playgrounds, the REI tent maze, carnival games, a recycled art show, and a recycle parade. Food will be available for purchase. Community members are invited to donate recyclable items such as tennis shoes, printers, batteries, cartridges, laptops, toner, cell phones, paper, cardboard, plastic bags, computer mice, monitors, PC’s, scanners, PDAs, and CFL’s to exchange for a “fun ticket.” (For more information on the ticket system, visit Greening Youth Foundation at Tickets will also be available for purchase. The schedule of events is as follows:
11:00- 11:40 Recycled Art Show
12:00- 12:45 Recycle Parade
1:00- 1:30 3R’s Eco-Force Performance
To learn more about The Greening Youth Foundation visit
Volunteers may contact Angelou Ezeilo at, or call 770-225-1216.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
04/01/2009Gwinnett community invited to GCPS area Board meetings (pdf)
03/31/2009Gwinnett well represented during upcoming science challenge (pdf)
03/30/2009Meadowcreek High’s Grant selected as Georgia’s best Culinary Arts teacher (pdf)
03/27/2009Three GCPS students selected as 2009 Technical Education Students of the Year (pdf)
03/26/2009Glenn C. Jones Middle's media specialist best of Gwinnett (pdf)
03/25/2009Gwinnett honors school bus managers and monitor of year (pdf)

“Ball State University: Field of Colors - Flying Objects on the National Mall” The Smithsonian Kite Festival is a spectacular event that is traditionally part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Kite flyers from the U.S. and all over the world, fill the skies around the Washington Monument with color and beauty. This 60-min. program airs this week at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS 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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April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 6-10 is Spring break for schools.

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

April 12-18 is National Library Week.

April 13-19 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

April 14-20 is the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test for Grades 3-5 and 6-8.

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 10th Grade High School Gateway will be given on April 20 and 22.

April 20-24 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) testing dates are April 21-23 for grades 1 and 2.

April 22 is Earth Day.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Annistown Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Craig Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula High
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
4/20 4/28
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
Monarch School
Mountain Park Elementary
Mulberry Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
4/1, 4/30
Pharr Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.D. Head Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Shiloh High
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Susan Stripling Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Sycamore Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
Trickum Middle
W.C. Britt 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 or call 770-904-3500.

GEHC will sponsor an Earth Day Event on April 18. There will be an EcoRun at 8 a.m., Family E vents from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., an Eco Expo— vendors and community organizations, Earth Day parade We will also have great hands-on activities including make your own litter bug, Cargo for Conservation, recycle pots, scavenger hunts, and more. Experience REI’s PEAK maze and make your own pledge for the environment. Don’t forget to bring your used electronics to recycle and your plastic bags to recycle. Come meet the mascots include the Center’s GwinnAnt as well as Buster the Brown Thrasher. Join us for a family nature walk, native plant walk and learn about our unique architecture by participating in our LEED building tour. Experience the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center at its best. This event is free to the community.