News You Can Use - 02/13/2006

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
02/13/2006 - 02/19/2006

Lilburn Middle, led by Principal James Rayford, received the HOST Learning National Exemplary Award in Language Arts and Math and was recognized as a national exemplary HOSTSLink Math and Language Arts program for school year 2004-05. For more information, call 770-921-1776.

Dr. Elaine Homestead of J.P. McConnell Middle was published in the new “Encyclopedia of Middle Grades Education—Instructional Methods/Strategies.” For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Simone Dreifuss, 5th grade teacher at Lilburn Elementary, was awarded a mini grant by the Georgia Science Teachers Association. As a recipient of this grant, Ms. Dreifuss will collaborate with Laura Flaherty, gifted teacher at Lilburn Elementary, on the project “Gizmo goes to Mars.” The award will be presented at a reception in Columbus, Ga., on Feb. 18. For more information, call 770-921-7707.

Ann Dobrow of Peachtree Ridge High was named Assistant Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

Alton C. Crews Middle teachers Susan LaViola and Phyllis Owen presented “Real Life Problem Solving Strategies for Middle School Math” at the National Learning Focused Conference in Atlanta. For more information, call 770-982-6940.

Eighth grader Justin James of Richards Middle won the grand prize in the Atlanta Hawks Black History Month Art Contest sponsored by Wendy’s International. For more information, call 770-995-7133.

In January, more than 135 GCPS students participated in the Region II DECA competition, in the areas of marketing and other business related events. The top 16 first-place region winners will compete at the State level conference in March. For a list of the winners, e-mail Sue Peterson at

Brandon Welch of J.P. McConnell Middle is attending the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 19 to Feb. 24. The event is sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. For more information, call 202-638-0008 or visit

Mykala Walker of the Duluth High has been named to the Gwinnett County TopOff Club Girls Team of the Month. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Lawrenceville Elementary Parent Center will sponsor several parent activities during the month of February.
· A math night for second grade students and parents will be held on Feb. 16, beginning at 6 p.m.
· Parents can attend an interactive African-American Heritage workshop on Feb. 24 from 10 to 11 a.m.
· Technology Night will be held on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.
For more information on any of these events, call 770-963-1813.

K.E. Taylor Elementary will host guest author Tedd Arnold Feb. 13-15. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

The North Gwinnett High Art Honor Society will present “Shuttersense & (Nonsense)” a lightly juried exhibition of photographic images from GCPS high school students. The event will take place Feb.18-24 at Carisma Gallery in Buford. An awards ceremony and reception will be held at the gallery on Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. For more information, call Ren Hullender at 770-945-9558.

Alton C. Crews Middle will host a Curriculum Night on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. Parents of sixth and seventh graders will hear information on testing, while eighth grade parents will learn about the transition to high school. For more information, call 770-982-6942.

On Feb. 14, pre-K students will visit Harbins Elementary and make Valentine cards. Fourth grade students will assist them. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Duluth High will perform “Saving Grace” on Feb. 17 and 18 beginning at 7 p.m. in the theater. For more information, call Vanette Vedder at 678-473-6249.

Trickum Middle will host the school’s second annual International Expo on Feb. 23, beginning with a Parade of Nations. Students and parents are encouraged to wear their national dress. Activities will include student performances and displays, and food tasting. For more information and to volunteer, contact Lana Berry at 770-279-2295, or e-mail or Radha Vettraino at

Grayson Elementary will host the school’s annual Father-Daughter Dance on Feb. 24. Magic Moment Photographs will be set up for photos at 5:30 p.m. The dance is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

The Mill Creek High academic decathlon team received a wild card invitation to the state competition on Feb. 24 and 25. After two days of competition, they will join teams from around the state at an awards ceremony and banquet. Team members are Alex Giardina, Ameenay Khan, Destin Loo, Samuel Soto, Kenneth Tagajanan, Jeff Tatum, and Maurice Williams. Lee Hayes and Ian Martin coach the team. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The District 3 Spelling Bee will be held at Collins Hill High on Feb. 25. The top two spellers from the District 3 competition will go on to the state bee at Georgia State University on March 24. For a complete list of GCPS county participants, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

The Grayson Elementary PTA will host Game Show Night on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. “Who Wants To Be A Ram-Millionaire?” will be played. One “contestant” from each grade level will be picked to answer 10 questions and win prizes. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

A college fair— Accessing Resources for College-Bound Special Needs Students— will be held at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Feb. 27 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The college fair will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a general program from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Information will be presented on SAT, college admissions, and graduation requirements. A panel of current University of Georgia college students with disabilities will share their college experiences. Co-sponsors of the event are the Gwinnett PTA Council, the Gwinnett Extension Service, and Gwinnett County Public Schools. For more information, call the extension service at 678-377-4010.

Norton Elementary students participated in the United Ebony Society’s 2006 King Day Celebration which included an essay writing activity, a parade, and a reading event. The multicultural committee has planned activities including a trivia contest, an art and literature display bulletin board, and a teacher activity calendar. For more information, call Sabrina Ackerman at 770-985-1933.

Second grade students at Annistown Elementary will showcase their research of famous African Americans at the “Wax Museum of Americans.” The display will be exhibited at the Feb. 16 PTA meeting beginning at 7 p.m. at the school. Students will share information concerning the individual and they will be dressed in the appropriate costume. For more information, call 770-979-2950.

Peachtree Elementary will host a celebration of African American History from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. Visitors can tour a “museum” of African American Inventions in the media center, have dinner “from and for the soul” in the cafeteria, and be entertained. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. For more information, contact Laquanda Bruce at 770-448-8710.

Grayson Elementary will celebrate Black History Month in February. School activities include daily facts presented during the morning announcements, research and class discussions on African American inventors, a student essay contest, and presentations of information on African American music and movies. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

Sweetwater Middle has many activities planned to commemorate Black History Month. Activities include:
· A Black History bulletin board display.
· A Black Awareness Night program set for Feb. 28, starting at 6 p.m., with a performance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with students from all levels and a Parade of Fashions showcasing fashions from different cultures.
· A Black Inventors Exhibit Fair scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28.
· A luncheon served in the cafeteria Feb. 28 for parents, students, and staff.
Sweetwater Middle has a Power Over Prejudice (POP) Club that will assist with these activities. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Harbins Elementary 3rd graders have joined the Reading Express, a program made possible by a grant from the Dacula Academic Community Foundation. Students have committed to reading 10,000 books by May 1. If they succeed, Dr. Cindy Truett, Harbins Elementary principal, has agreed to kiss a pig. To date, more than 4,000 books have been read. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

“Rewind” February 13 marks the premiere of “Rewind,” a GCPS TV original production - produced, directed, and anchored by Gwinnett County high school students. Fast-paced and energetic, “Rewind” delivers stories from student perspectives on important issues relating to high school. Featured stories on the first broadcast include “Mix it Up at Lunch Day at Shiloh High School” and “Scholarships: Can you get one without a 4.0 average?” This 30-min. program airs Feb. 13-19 at 12:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“Voices and Visions: Langston Hughes” Hughes wrote of the beauty, dignity, and heritage of Black Americans. Interviews, music, and dance performances convey his work and influence, discussed by James Baldwin and biographer Arnold Rampersad. This 60-min. program airs Feb. 13-16 at 9 p.m. and Feb. 17-19 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” 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 March 19.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. in Suwanee.

Feb. 20 is a snow make-up day and school will be in session.

The GCPS' Certified Teacher Employment Fair will be held on March 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Gwinnett Center. Interviews are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call:
Elementary School Staffing at 678-301-6122, 678-301-6085, or 678-301-6121
Middle School Staffing at 678-301-6058 or 678-301-5052
High School Staffing at 678-301-6125 or 678-301-6082
Special Education Staffing at 678-301-6068 or 678-301-6050
Applications are available online at the GCPS Web site or by calling 678-301-6073.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held March 9 at 7 p.m., at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. in Suwanee.

March 10 is a student holiday and teacher planning/professional learning day.

March 13 is a snow make-up day and school will be in session.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during February. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alton C. Crews Middle
Arcado Elementary
Berkmar High
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Corley Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Freeman's Mill Elementary
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
GIVE Center
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harbins Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.C. Magill Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Jackson Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Monarch School
Mountain Park Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross High
Parkview High
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.D. Head Elementary
R.L. Norton Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Susan Stripling Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
T. Carl Buice School
W.J. Cooper Elementary