News You Can Use - 11/10/2003

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
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003

Winning Reflections entries will be displayed during the Reflections Exhibition on Nov. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts. The Reflections Program is an arts recognition and achievement program for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The Reflections Program was established in 1969 by National PTA Board Member Mary Lou Anderson. It was developed to interest students, parents, teachers, and communities in the arts in education. About one-half million students participate annually and more than 10 million students have participated in the program through the years. For more information, call Diane Casey at 770-972-7292.

Judson B. Bridges of Collins Hill High has earned the title of 2004 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY.) The announcement came at a Nov. 4 banquet celebrating all of the school system’s local school winners. Also honored were Pat Buttram of Annistown Elementary as the county’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Colleen Ulrich of Five Forks Middle as the county’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. Before being named the county winner, Mr. Bridges was honored as Gwinnett County High School Teacher of the Year. Mr. Bridges was chosen from a field of 88 local school nominees, which had been narrowed to six finalists through a two-phase selection process. As Gwinnett’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. Bridges will represent the county in state competition. For more information, call Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

Robert Wise, a Berkmar High student, and Christina Barrett, a Brookwood High student, were selected to take part in the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. More than 300 students from across the state applied to participate on this council. Thirty five students will meet with the State Superintendent of Schools the discuss education issues. For more information, call 404-656-2598.

The Clean Water Campaign waterSmart 2003 Essay Contest selected Caroline Mellard from Alton C. Crews Middle as the winner for Gwinnett County in this year’s contests sponsored by the Georgia Clean Water Campaign. Wayne Hill, Gwinnett County Commission Chairman, will present Caroline with her award at a ceremony held at the school on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. Dee Waters, Caroline’s teacher, will speak on water education. For more information on the school ceremony, call Principal Jonathan Patterson at 770-982-6940. For more information the program, call Tiffany Fell, waterSmart representative, at 404-266-2600.

Recently the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Team and several members of the Thrashers front office staff recognized Lawrenceville Elementary for their creative use of the Atlanta Thrashers “Score for Schools Educational Achievement Program” and received a 27 inch television. The Atlanta Thrashers “Score for Schools” program uses elements of hockey to assist in teaching science, math, history, geography, language arts, and physical education. For more information call Lawanda Caudle at 770-513-6744 and visit the Thrasher Web site

The Duluth High Choral Department will present the Seventh Annual Olde Madrigal Dinner Nov. 21 and 22. This celebration of a 16th century Madrigal Dinner will include a four course meal. Seating begins Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Duluth. Tickets are $18. For reservations or more information, call 770-232-3354.

Sycamore Elementary has a variety of activities planned during the week of Nov. 17-21 for American Education Week. Parents are invited to participate in activities during the week including volunteer in a classroom or the media center, or reading to students. A “Lunch and Learn” session will be offered for parents each day of the week. Topics will include:
Ÿ Nov. 17, “Brain Games,” hosted by Leanne Luttrell
Ÿ Nov. 18, Deb Murphy and Mary Zaharis will provide an overview of the Gateway Assessment, the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test, the IOWA Test of Basic Skills, the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program, and the Cognitive Abilities Test
Ÿ Nov. 19, Kindra Walker will host strategies for ESOL
Ÿ Nov. 20, Technology and the Curriculum for Elementary Students
Ÿ Nov. 21, Pam Wilson will host Read, Read, Read
Also, teachers will be recognized at a special ceremony on Nov. 17 for their contributions to education. A Thanksgiving luncheon will be held Nov. 20 for business partners and community members. School Board Member Daniel Seckinger, Sycamore’s representative, will attend the luncheon. Sycamore students will also celebrate National Children's Book Week by focusing on reading. Students will dress up as their favorite book character on Nov. 21, and prepare bookmarks in the computer lab. Students in the Sycamore Technology Club will prepare computer animated projects to shared with students on the morning news show. Finally, students will create a “Sycamore” tree outside the media center with leaves representing each book read by the students during the week. For more information, call Brenda Anderson, principal at 678-714-5770.

Recruiters from colleges and universities will visit North Gwinnett High to provide students with registration information on the school’s programs. Piedmont College representatives will visit North Gwinnett on Nov. 10, Western Carolina University on Nov. 12, and Georgia State University on Nov. 17. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The Susan Stripling Elementary PTA will sponsor a Harvest Dance on Nov. 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the school gym for parents and their students. Tickets are $2 and refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information, call Anne Newhouse at 770-582-7577.

Susan Stripling Elementary’s Winter Chorus Family Night will be held Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. A light dinner may be purchased before the performance for $1.50 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. For more information, call Anne Newhouse at 770-582-7577.

In honor of Veterans' Day R.L. Norton Elementary’s chorus will perform patriotic songs on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Also, the second grade classes will perform a program of patriotic songs on Nov. 11 at 1:45 p.m. More than 40 veterans, who are relatives of the second graders, will each be presented with a medal at the performance. For more information, call 770-985-1933.

Thirty select members of Brookwood High’s advanced choruses will perform on Thanksgiving Day with “America Sings” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. “America Sings” is a group of students from across the U.S. who will come together for the performance. For more information, call Kim Peeples at 770-972-7642.

Knight Elementary is sponsoring a book fair through Nov. 14. For more information, call 770-921-2400.

The Brookwood High drama department will perform “Our Town” Nov. 13 and Nov. 15. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call Ken Lindahl at 770-972-7642.

Knight Elementary parents are invited to attend 30-minute sessions for NCSLearn Parent Training, which will be held Nov. 12 and Nov. 13. Session times are 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. The NCSLearn computer programs include language arts and math activities for children up through eighth grade. Attendance is required to checkout the software. For reservations or more information, email Dr. Bernice Parrott at

Berkmar High is honoring U.S. service men and women during Patriot Pride Night on Nov. 11. A reception featuring student artwork will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a USO type show at 7 p.m., featuring performances by the Berkmar High drama club, orchestra, and band. The celebration is open to the public and free of charge. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “Teachers Up Close” this week (Nov. 10-16). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
Ÿ Adelphia on Channel 20 (or Channel 97 without converter)
Ÿ Comcast on Channel 24
Ÿ BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Ÿ Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS website--

Shiloh Middle’s eighth grade science classes will experience a Space Shuttle simulation through Nov. 10. Student pilots, commanders, mission specialists, and a medical science director will be on board a school bus which has been outfitted to resemble the space shuttle Orbiter. Other students will man “mission control” from the school computer lab. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Summerour Middle’s PTA will present the “P.R.O. Kids Program” featuring Tyrone Hollywood Brown, formerly of the Harlem Globetrotters, for seventh and eighth grade students and their parents. Topics include: not giving into peer pressure, following your dream, and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The program date is Nov. 12, at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Buchannon High School gym. For more information, call Toni Myles at 678-518-2389.

On Nov.13, the Summerour Middle PTA will present Joyce and Jacque’s “Character Building Lessons Through Music, Song and Audience Participation” for sixth grade students and their parents. Topics will include respect, courage, forgiveness, and perseverance. The program date is Nov. 13, at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. in the Buchannon High School gym. For more information, call Toni Myles at 678-518-2389.

The Simpson Elementary kindergarten students will have a Thanksgiving feast in the cafeteria on Nov. 21 from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m.. Students will learn about pilgrims and Native Americans and come together to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The students will dress as pilgrims and Native Americans. For more information, call Kathy Thomas at 770-417-2400.

The BETA Club at Summerour Middle is sponsoring a canned food drive through Nov. 20. Students may donate nonperishable food items to help needy families during this holiday season. Norcross Cooperative Ministries will distribute the food items throughout the Norcross community. Sponsors for this drive include Sherri Whittier and Kayla McCarthy, Summerour Middle teachers. For more information, call Ms. Whittier at 770-448-3045.

The North Gwinnett High Key Club will sponsor an annual turkey drive through Nov. 14. Club members plan to collect food for more than 500 people. The students and their families will deliver food baskets on Thanksgiving in the morning. Donations of money to buy turkeys may be made by students. The class donating the most money per student will be rewarded with a pizza lunch. Donations may be made to the North Gwinnett High Key Club For more information, call 770-945-9558.

The Susan Stripling Elementary Care Team is sponsoring a used clothing sale on Nov. 12 from noon to 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. All items are $1 and the proceeds will be used to help needy families at Stripling. For more information, call Anne Newhouse at 770-582-7577.

Trickum Middle volunteers filled 21 trash bags cleaning up the school campus on Gwinnett’s Great Day of Service, in Oct. Martha Bowed and Marion Jones, Trickum Middle teachers, supported this effort. Student volunteers include: Laura Barber, Alec Chosewood, Emily Chosewood, Cyril Elakatt, Matthew Elakatt, Christina Holt, Jordan Horner, Victoria Jaing, Melissa Kelly, Jo-Ann Thomas, and Maylene Xie. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

The students of Joan Martin, a Trickum Middle teacher, will write and deliver appreciation letters to the patients at the Veterans Hospital Nov. 11, Veteran's Day. The students will discuss the importance of serving in the armed forces. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Craig Elementary’s Care Team and PTA sponsored “Coats for a Cause” Oct. 22 through Nov. 3. New and gently used coats were collected for donation to Gwinnett families in need. For more information, call Jill Bassett at 770-736-6572.

Craig Elementary is sponsoring a holiday food drive through Nov. 21. Nonperishable goods are being collected for distribution to Gwinnett families in need. For more information, call Jill Bassett at 770-736-6572.

Peachtree Ridge High is the only public high school in the state of Georgia to have a fencing club. Members are currently conducting fund raising activities to help purchase equipment for the club. The club sponsor is Dr. Robert Fryman who began fencing in college and still actively participates in fencing on the state and national level. The club meets on Mondays and Wednesdays after school for practices. On Oct. 25, the Peachtree Ridge High Lions Fencing Club held its first tournament. Fencers from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Georgia State University, Alabama, and metro-Atlanta participated in the event. A total of 140 bouts were fenced with all proceeds going towards the purchase of equipment for the club. The next tournament hosted by the Peachtree Ridge High Lions Fencing Club will be held Feb. 7. For more information, call Robert Fryman at 678-957-3100.

North Gwinnett High, the PTSA, and the North Gwinnett community have created the “Partnership for Academic Achievement.” Volunteers will meet with students during lunch to assist with a guided study program. Subject-specific tutoring opportunities are also available. Contact Mary Jane Hamre at 678-482-8543 for more information.

The televised beginning English class for adult learners, called “English… Yes, I Can!” airs hour-long segments Monday through Thursday through Dec. 2. (The shows will be aired at 9 p.m. and at 1 a.m. later the same night. Weekly shows will be run again as a four-hour block on Sundays.) Schools or community members interested in the “English... Yes, I Can!” video set should contact Kolinda Scialabba by phone at 678-985-5228. For more information, visit

The following events will take place at Taylor Elementary:
Nov. 12 - Blood Drive, 2-5 p.m. in the cafeteria
Nov. 13 - Charm Club Dinner at Chateau Elan, 5 p.m.
Nov. 14 - Family Fun Bingo Night, 7 p.m. in the cafeteria
Nov. 18 - Public Holiday Fest featuring the Taylor Chorus, 6 p.m. at the Publix on Old Peachtree Rd and Hwy. 20

Nov. 10-16 is Youth Appreciation Week.

Nov. 12 and 13 are early release days for GCPS elementary and middle schools for parent teacher conferences.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Nov. 13, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.

Nov. 16-22 is American Education week.

Nov. 17-23 is National Children’s Book Week.

Nov. 19 is Education Support Professionals Day.

Nov. 20 is National Parental Involvement Day.