News You Can Use - 04/28/2008

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
04/28/2008 - 05/04/2008

Maxwell High School of Technology students will compete at the Georgia SkillsUSA Leadership Conference on April 25 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school. Additional locations for the conference include Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett, DeVry University, Gwinnett County Airport, Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, and Gwinnett Technical College. For more information, call Teacher Tricia Floyd at 770-963-6838.

The Norcross High Players will perform “Guys and Dolls” April 24, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and April 27 at 2 p.m. in the school theatre. More than 60 talented Norcross High students, under the direction of teachers Gina Parrish and Randy Kemper, will appear in the performance. General admission tickets may be purchased for $7 and preferred seating for $10. For more information, call 770-447-2667.

The Monarch School raised $900 for Relay for Life during a recent fundraiser. Principal Barbara Martin, as part of the fundraiser, will be made into a “human sundae” topped with chocolate, whipped cream, and marshmallows on April 25 at 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 678-542-2332.

Central Gwinnett High robotics teams will compete in the regional robotics meet April 26 in Savannah. These students designed a robot to accomplish three tasks underwater using an underwater camera to view the progress. Bilge pumps fitted with propellers are used for propulsion on the robots. Cameras have been waterproofed and wired to the surface. Team Sponsors Jennifer Benton and Lauren Ferguson can be reached by calling 770-963-8041. For more information, visit

Berkmar Middle Teacher Sean Casey was named Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) News for Kids (NFK) Teacher of the Month in April. The program is devoted to providing newspapers in Metro Atlanta classrooms to promote literacy. The NFK program is dedicated to creating life long reading habits and providing resources that inform, involve and inspire students and teachers. For more information, call 770-921-3771.

The Brookwood High Jazz Combo received the Outstanding Combo Award during festival competition in Port Orange, Fla., recently. For more information, call Teacher Ken Simpson at 770-972-7642.

Sweetwater Middle students earned Superior rating at the 2008 Central Georgia Middle School One-Act Festival competition. Moneice Watson won Best Actress and Justin Kennedy, Onik Obu, and Elizabeth Trent won Best Duets. Louise Radloff Middle students earned an Excellent rating in the same competition. For more information, call Sweeteater Middle Teacher Brandy Meadows at 770-923-4131.

Mill Creek High Junior Camille Marmolejo has been named Cheerleader of the Month by American Cheerleader magazine. She is pictured on the cover of the June issue of the magazine. Camille is a varsity cheerleader for football and basketball at the school. Camille received a $2,500 scholarship and will advance to national competition for Cheerleader of the Year. For more information, visit

Georgia Federal Credit Union (GFCU) recently awarded scholarships to six students and eight staff members. Staff members awarded $1,500 GFCU Career Advancement Founder’s Scholarship Recipients include:
Robert Maffeo, Collins Hill High, Teacher
Ingrid Smyrna, Beaver Ridge Elementary, Paraprofessional
Amanda Shirah, Meadowcreek Elementary, Paraprofessional
Denise Nelson, R.D. Head Elementary, Technology Support Technician
Erica Dwinell, Rock Springs Elementary, Teacher
Ann Hamner, Gwin Oaks Elementary, School Nutrition Program
Robin Aubrey, Duluth High, Teacher
Asa Valente, Berkeley Lake Elementary, Paraprofessional
To be considered for this scholarship, the applicant must be a credit union member in good standing to apply for this scholarship and must be enrolled in an accredited program of study at a college, university or technical institute with the goal of career advancement. Applicants submit a supervisor or principal recommendation.
The $2,000 GFCU Legacy Scholarship Recipients are:
Stephanie Griffiths, Central Gwinnett High
Caitlin Moyer, Central Gwinnett High
Catherine Williams, Grayson High
Daryan Rahimzadeh, Grayson High
Carly Kurdelmeier, North Gwinnett High
Tyler Rogers, Brookwood High
To be considered for this scholarship, the applicant must be a Gwinnett high school senior who wishes to pursue an education degree. Applicants submit SAT scores, transcript, a two-page essay expressing the student's desire to be a public school teacher and why, and two letters of reference.

The Norcross Elementary MARS Kids Club will visit the Atlanta Symphony April 27. Students will hear Tchaikovsky: “The Voyevode” (The Provincial Governor), Beethoven: “Piano Concerto No. 2,” and Rachmaninov: “Symphony No. 2.” Prior to the trip, the students will learn about the music, discuss what happens to prepare for a performance, and learn about the different parts of the symphony. For more information, contact Teacher Robert Fortenbery at 770-448-2188.

Creekland Middle will host the 2nd Annual “Think College Early Fair” on April 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Eighth graders interested in attending a four-year college, a two-year institution, a technical school, or joining the military after they graduate from high school are invited to attend the free event along with their families. The fair will focus on why college is important, how to plan for college, how to choose a college, and how to pay for college. Colleges and universities from across Georgia will be represented. Parents and students will have the opportunity to attend informative workshops as well. Free refreshments and free “Preparing for College” resources will be available for parents and students. For more information, please contact Maria Grovner 770-338-4735.

Susan Stripling Elementary will host a celebration “Everybody Wins When Children Read” honoring the 40 community volunteers who read to 3rd grade students throughout the school year. On April 29 at 1:30 p.m. students will enjoy entertainment and receive certificates. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

Susan Stripling Elementary will host a college fair for elementary students on April 30 at 8:30 a.m. Students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and their parents will begin the day at Georgia Gwinnett College learning about what it takes to get to college and what college is all about. The group will travel to Gwinnett Technical College to learn about the technical education programs. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

Nesbit Elementary will host an International Night on May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Entertainment will include a parade with students dressed in ethnic clothing, art projects, and ethnic food. For more information, call Teacher Allyson Hepburn at 770-414-2740.

The Duluth High Juntos Committee will host an end-of-year Fiesta and Cookout on May 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Field House parking lot and practice football field. There will be student awards, food, and music. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the cafeteria. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The 12th annual Duluth High Peach Jam will be held in the auditorium on May 3 and May 4 at 7 p.m. The event features professionally choreographed musical acts from soloist, ensembles, and choirs. A combined choir of 250 students will open and close the show. The theme for the show is “We’re All in This Together” and celebrates the school’s 50th anniversary. “Razzle Dazzle” -- a female barbershop quartet-- will also perform. Tickets may be purchased for $6.50 from any chorus student through April 25, or for $8 at the door. For more information, call Greg Smith, choral director, at 770-232-3354.

Duluth High will celebrate a 50 year anniversary on May 8. A reception in the 600 building lobby will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a program in the auditorium at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Gwinnett families are invited on May 10 to learn more about nutrition and making healthy choices at the Peachtree Ridge Cluster Nutrition Fair, a free community event open to parents of all clusters. A chef will be on hand cooking two easy and nutritious recipes that can be made in any home with a minimal amount of culinary skill. Participants also can enjoy free samples of fruit, veggies and vegetarian products, information on specific nutritional and health topics, a fitness program, access to "Nutri-Cafe," and more. The free event takes place Saturday, May 10, in the Peachtree Ridge High Commons Area from 10 a.m. to noon.

Corley Elementary will sponsor a Career Fair on May 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. A Police officer, fireman, reporter, professor, teacher, cosmetologist, nurse, lawyer, and others will share information about their careers with the students. For more information, call 678-924-5330.

Corley Elementary will partner with the Seimens Corp. for a hands-on science event for 4th grade students on May 13. Sixteen employees will conduct science experiments helping students learn about gravity, water filtration, and lung power. Students will receive prizes and certificates for their participation. For more information, call 678-924-5330.

Berkmar Middle will host a Career Fair on May 16 from 9:30 to 11:50 a.m. Students will have the opportunity to circulate through career booths and gather information to fill out a questionnaire they bring with them to the fair. For more information, call Graduation Coach Lisa Hunt at 770-638-2328.

Beaver Ridge Elementary recently partnered with Western Solutions for a “Make a Difference Earth Day Event.” Weston Solutions is an environmental consulting, remediation, and redevelopment firm specializing in sustainable solutions. The Earth Day event taught students the importance of recycling, and water/energy conservation. Activities included making water cycle bracelets, creating a biodegradable birdfeeder, learning the functions and benefits of green roofs, planting a GreenGrid module for the school, installing a rain barrel at the school, learning about solar energy, and more. For more information, call Teacher Nancy Koehler at 770-447-6307.

During the month of March, Arcado Elementary students held a fundraiser to benefit the school’s outdoor classroom and celebrate Earth Day. For more information, call Teacher Jennifer Warren at 770-925-2100.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.

04/24/2008North Gwinnett High student’s artwork flies over nation’s capital (pdf)
04/23/2008Berkmar High to represent the peach state during national academic competition (pdf)
04/23/2008Gwinnett students receive college financial assistance from service organization (pdf)
04/21/2008Five Gwinnett students named among National Achievement Scholarship Program winners (pdf)
04/18/2008School Board names Lane to lead Duluth High (pdf)

“Time for Three - Prince William/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” Time for Three is a youthful and engaging trio of musicians who play a widely diverse repertoire that transcends traditional performance genres. These classically trained string players perform an eclectic mix of bluegrass, Hungarian gypsy, jazz, country-western fiddling, classical, and improvisatory music. This 60 min. program airs April 28 - May 3 at 1 p.m.

The Author in You - Ian Ogilvy and Cynthia Kanohata” While on location at the Children’s Literature Conference at the University of Georgia, GCPS TV had the opportunity to interview award-winning authors Ian Ogilvy and Cynthia Kanohata. Tune in to hear them discuss their careers as authors and their thoughts on the writing process. This 30-minute program airs April 28 - May 3 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“French in Action” This Annenberg Media series uses active participation to increase fluency in French, while introducing French culture. Pierre Capretz’s proven language-immersion method is presented within a humorous teleplay with native speakers of all ages and background. The storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman's adventures in Paris and the French countryside is reinforced by Dr. Capretz’s on-camera instruction. This 60-min. program airs May 2-4 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, April 21-June 29 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 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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Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system’s budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the remaining meetings.
· April 24-District V, Berkmar High
· April 29-District III, Duluth High

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2009 include:
May 5-- First public hearing on budget
May 8-- Second public hearing on budget, final adoption of budget, tentative millage rate set
June 2-- First public hearing on tax millage rate
June 9-- Second and third public hearing on tax millage rate and adoption of millage rate

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and Better Hearing and Speech Month.

May 1 is Kindergarten registration.

May 4-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Advanced placement Exams and the Georgia End-of-Course Test are scheduled for May 5-16.

May 6 is National Teacher Day.

May 7 is Georgia Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 8, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 12-16 is Reading is Fun Week.

May 19-21 is early release for high school exams.

May 21 is the last day of school.

Memorial Day on May 26 is a system holiday and all locations are closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
    B.B. Harris Elementary
4/29Alford Elementary5/12
    Berkeley Lake Elementary
4/29Alton C. Crews Middle5/16
    Chattahoochee Elementary
4/29Arcado Elementary5/5
    Craig Elementary
4/28Berkmar Middle5/15
    Harmony Elementary
4/29Brookwood Elementary5/5
    Pinckneyville Middle
4/29Camp Creek Elementary5/16
    Simpson Elementary
4/29Charles Brant Chesney Elementary5/16
    Walnut Grove Elementary
4/28Dacula Elementary5/16
Duncan Creek Elementary5/8
Five Forks Middle5/2
Fort Daniel Elementary5/2
GIVE Center East5/13
GIVE Center West5/15
Glenn C. Jones Middle5/15
Grayson Elementary5/9
Grayson High5/9
Harbins Elementary5/15
Henry Partee Elementary5/19
J.P. McConnell Middle5/5
Jackson Elementary5/8
K.E. Taylor Elementary5/16
Knight Elementary5/9
Lanier Middle5/8
Lilburn Elementary5/8
Lovin Elementary5/8
Mountain Park Elementary5/12
Mulberry Elementary5/8
Norcross High5/8
North Gwinnett High5/13
Patrick Elementary5/16
Peachree Ridge High5/12
R.D. Head Elementary5/14
Riverside Elementary5/6
Rock Springs Elementary5/5
Rockbridge Elementary5/14
Shiloh High5/5
Shiloh Middle5/8
Simonton Elementary5/5
Snellville Middle5/8
South Gwinnett High5/6
Suwanee Elementary5/12
Sweetwater Middle5/15
Sycamore Elementary5/8
Trickum Middle5/15
W.J. Cooper Elementary5/19

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 www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

Saturdays in April, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Scavenger Hunt Frame, $5 per frame
Meet at the Central Pavilion, head to the woods, hike a trail and gather natural elements to decorate a frame! We’ll provide all the supplies you’ll need for a beautiful, wooden picture frame. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limited to 12 participants per session. Register one week in advance. Center admission is additional fee. (Program will not be held Saturday, April 19-Earth Day).

April 26, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Environmental Health, $5/Girl Scout, center admission additional fee
Taking care of the environment is an important responsibility for everyone. We will complete six requirements; bring items for requirement #1. Badge is included. Pre-register by April 5.

April 26, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Architecture and Environmental Design, Girl Scouts Interest Project Award (Ages 11-17), $7/Girl Scout
As architectural technologies continue to change, careful consideration is given to the impact on the environment. Come see an example of this architecture as our building is constructed following the LEED design (badge included). Pre-register by April 12 by calling 770-904-3500 or online at