News You Can Use - 10/01/2012

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
10/01/2012 - 10/07/2012

SEPT. 28
On Friday, Sept. 28, more than 350 of Gwinnett County’s brightest young leaders will gather at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula for a district-wide peer leadership conference. As these students interact with fellow peer leaders from 14 of the county’s high schools, they will learn skills to implement leadership at their local school. Presenters include Dr. Mescon, president of Columbus State University, and Miss Georgia Peach. Information will be shared about testing and driving, college admissions, leadership opportunities in college, and much more. The event takes place from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology earned state certification as a STEM School. Dr. Martha Reichrath, Deputy State Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, will present the school with a banner at a ceremony on Sept. 28 at 11:45 a.m. For more information, call Gilda Lyon, at 404-463-1977, or visit

Hooper Renwick teacher Shawn Kilpatrick was awarded the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award. The company Symetra partners with the Atlanta Falcons to honor teachers across the state of Georgia. Ms. Kilpatrick received a $1,000 award for the school, two Falcon game tickets, VIP sideline access and recognition at the game, a $250 Office Max gift card, and a visit to the school from the Atlanta Falcon cheerleaders, mascot, and players to congratulate her. For more information, visit, or call Jennifer Paulett at 425-256-5361.

Alcova Elementary PTA Vice President Ayana Shepherd has been selected to serve on the 2013 State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. Ms. Shepherd is one of 30 parents from the state invited to serve on the council. For more information, call Michelle Sandrock, Parent Engagement Program Manager, at 404-232-1148.

At the 2012-2013 Academic Team tournament, Norcross High won 1st place and North Gwinnett High was runner up. Competing against 12 high schools, these two schools will represent GCPS at the state High Q Tournament. For more information, call the local school.

GCPS students and staff will support the annual Great Days of Service with donations Oct. 1-4 and service projects Oct. 5-6. Donations of canned goods, non-perishable food items, toiletries, and disposable diapers will be delivered to Gwinnett shelters, group homes, and food pantries. Items will be picked up from schools and offices on Oct. 5. School groups also are participating in service projects. Those wishing to volunteer may contact the local school for more information, or sign up by visiting
  • 15 Gwinnett schools have service projects scheduled for Oct. 5 or 6 and some still need volunteers: Anderson-Livsey ES, Beaver Ridge ES, Centerville ES, Central Gwinnett HS, Corley ES, GIVE Center West, Kanoheda ES, Lawrenceville ES, Lilburn MS, Lovin ES, Meadowcreek ES, Partee ES, Snellville MS, Summerour MS, and Sweetwater MS.

Peachtree Elementary students will have the opportunity to participate in Kids Vision for Life, a vision program designed for Title 1 schools . Kids Vision for Life offers vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses for students. Prevent Blindness Georgia trained Alcon employee volunteers who will provide vision screenings on October 3, 4 and 5. Eye exams and free glasses for students who need them will be provided by the Alcon Foundation and the Essilor Vision Foundation in conjunction with World Sight Day on Oct. 11. For more information, call the school at 770-448-8710 or Prevent Blindness Georgia at 770-309-0613.

On October 4, GCPS will join Jumpstart, The Pearson Foundation, and We Give Books to participate in Read for the Record, an international event to celebrate early literacy. Once again this year, the Pearson Foundation has provided books for every Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom in the district. Parent volunteers are encouraged to participate in the event at local schools throughout the county by volunteering to read the story aloud to students. This year’s book is “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad.” To learn more about Read for the Record, visit:
  • Alcova Elementary will participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on Oct. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. Chairman Nash of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will serve as a guest reader for K-1st grade students. For more information on this event, please contact Kia Henley at or 678-378-8500.
  • Trip Elementary will participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on Oct. 4 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Grayson High varsity football players will read to K-1st grade students. For more information, contact Trip Elementary at 678-639-3850.

Students in the Junior Leadership Corps at Summerour Middle will participle in a school beautification project on Oct. 6. The students will work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. painting the amphitheater. They will also volunteer their time to complete landscape projects in the same area. Parent volunteers will join in the activities with their students. For more information, call Andrea C. Steele, coordinator, at 678-301-7372.

Beaver Ridge Elementary is the recipient of five picnic tables donated from Gwinnett Technical College and furniture for the Media Center donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement through Gwinnett Great Days of Service. These items will arrive at the school and be put together on Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

GCPS’ Community-Based Mentoring Program invites the public to participate in the Third Annual Golf Tournament to benefit GCPS on Oct. 8 at the Legacy Golf Course at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. Sign-in is at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The deadline to enter is October 1. Registration is $100 per individual and $400 per foursome. Registration includes tournament entry, breakfast, entry in the Hole-In-One Contest, entry in the Longest Drive contest, lunch, snacks during the tournament, and participant gift bags. (The golf coordinator will assemble 4-person teams and assign overall handicaps if needed.) Collar shirts are required. No denim clothing or metal spike shoes will be allowed on the course. (Rules will be enforced.) Register online at

Brookwood High advanced theater students perform Dracula on Oct. 11 and 13, at 7 p.m. in the theater. Adult tickets may be purchased at the door for $7, and student and senior citizen tickets are $6. For more information, contact Donna Faulkner at or 770-736-2088.

GCPS will host a leadership conference for elementary peer leaders on Oct. 11. The conference will be held at Hebron Church in Dacula. Speakers for the conference include a GCPS principal, counselor, teachers, and many more informative leaders. For more information, call Mason Elementary Counselor Robin Zorn at 770-232-3370.

Central Gwinnett High theater students return to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrenceville for an exciting afternoon of theater games Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and Dec. 7. The Central Theater students are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS), and volunteer by teaching theater in the community to earn ITS honor points. This group is led by Central Gwinnett High senior Skylar Jackson. For more information, call teacher Lisa Bell at 404-861-5066, or email

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep. 15 - Oct 15) with a special event on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Students from the concert orchestra, symphonic orchestra, and honor orchestra will perform compositions from Latin American countries at an Orchestra Concert titled “Mundo Latino.” For more information, call the school at 678-518-6700.

Jones Middle Public Speaking and Journalism teacher Catalina Kreider will take the student mentors on a field trip to Four Oaks Manor for a formal luncheon on Oct. 23. Students will share their etiquette projects and experience a formal meal using the knowledge they gained during class. Nearly 90 students and parents will attend this event. Ms. Kreider leads the Student Leadership Academy and is the Student Mentor Advisor. For more information, call 770-904-5450.

The Dr. Jim L. Markham Golf Classic at Chateau Elan Golf Club has been re scheduled for Nov. 6. The event, named in honor of Mill Creek High’s retiring principal, is an 18-hole Foursome Golf Scramble benefitting Relay for Life. The schedule of events includes registration, breakfast, silent auction, and practice. Golf begins at 9 a.m. and there will be awards and prizes. The deadline for registration is Oct. 30. For more information about registration, email

Two Atlanta Falcons football players recently visited Arcado Elementary to present game tickets to 20 students to the Sept.30 game. Atlanta Falcons football player and former Arcado Elementary student, Michael Palmer, was one of the recent visitors. Students were selected based on their daily work ethic and consistently displaying the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. For more information, call Penny Young at 770-925-2100.

Brookwood and Parkview high schools will participate in the Gwinnett CAN Challenge this fall during varsity football games by collecting supplies to fill food bank shelves. Last year, nearly 10,000 cans were donated. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at Brookwood High at 770-972-7642. For more information on last year’s event, visit

Meet the Author: Eoin ColferAfter selling twenty million books, the adventures of Artemis Fowl come to an end with the publication of “The Last Guardian.” Author Eoin Colfer, a rock star of fantasy fiction, talks to his fans about fairy magic, Irish inspiration, and why Artemis and Captain Holly Short are such endearing characters. This 30-minute program airs this week at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

“GCPS FOCUS” This year, GCPS FOCUS brings a new format to the show. Comprised of shorter “Focus Moment” stories, the new FOCUS provides timely coverage on a wide variety of topics relating to Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 20-minute program airs this week at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6p.m. and 11 p.m. Watch this week’s Focus Moment featuring a Mulberry Elementary literacy event at

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--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
09/26/2012Mill Creek High students receive royal invitation (pdf)
09/25/2012The honoring of top technical education students earns Gwinnett County a nod from employer community (pdf)
09/24/2012GCPS SAT scores up 7 points in 2012: Gwinnett results continue to top state, national averages (pdf)
09/21/2012Snellville Middle welcomes its new principal (pdf)

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October is Computer learning Month® and Physical Therapy Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through October 15.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., October 18, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

October 1 and 2 are Early Release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

October 1-5 is National Technology Student Association Week.

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week.

October 8 is a Student Holiday and Planned Furlough Day.

October 14-20 is Teen Read Week and National Teen Driver Safety Week.

October 15 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

October 15-19 is Georgia School Bus Safety Week, National School Bus Safety Week; and National School Lunch Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Arcado Elementary
Archer High School
Benefield Elementary
Berkmar High
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood Elementary
Buice School
Cooper Elementary
Craig Elementary
Crews Middle
Five Forks Middle
GIVE Center West
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Lanier High
Lanier Middle
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Magill Elementary
Mill Creek High
Moore Middle
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
North Gwinnett High
North Gwinnett Middle
Oakland School
Osborne Middle
Parkview High
Partee Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Sycamore Elementary
Trickum Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary
White Oak 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.

Rivers Alive Stream CleanupsOct. 6, 20, Nov. 3
Harvest Season – Nature’s Fall BountyOct. 6, 13, 20, 27
Green Living SeriesOct. 8, Nov. 18, Dec. 21
Crime Lab Detective ExhibitThrough Oct. 15
FestivalsOct. 19, 20
Harvest Moon Night Hike in SeptemberNov. 26

Sue Peterson
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Communication and Media Relations
Instructional Support Center
Superintendent’s Office 1.288
437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW
Suwanee, GA 30024
(P) 678-301-6020
(F) 678-301-6030