News You Can Use - 08/20/2007

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
08/20/2007 - 08/26/2007

GCPS had eight high schools named on Newsweek magazine’s 2007 Challenge Index list of America’s best high schools, ranking among the top 5% of high schools in the nation. Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Duluth, Mill Creek, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview, and Peachtree Ridge were among the more than 1,200 high schools listed for participation in college-level tests. For more information, call the local school or visit

North Gwinnett High art teacher and past recipient of the National Elementary Art Educator Award Debi West, was invited to exhibit her art for a national juried art show in New Orleans. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

W.C. Britt Elementary was one of 26 schools in the nation recently recognized by The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The school’s program promotes healthy eating habits and physical activity for students and staff. “Wayne’s World Workout,” developed by teacher Rodney Wayne, introduces students to games such as “Ultimate Frisbee” and “Wall Soccer.” For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Dr. Jacqueline Huffman of North Gwinnett High has been named 2007-08 Georgia Marketing Teacher of the Year. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Clent Chatham and Paul Sawyer of J.P. McConnell Middle presented at the National Model Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., over the summer. The title of their presentation was “Constant Change and Excellence: Is Coexistence Possible?” For more information, call 770-554-1000.

GCPS had a number of winning entries in the 2007 Publications and Electronic Media Contest, sponsored by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA):
· 2007 Awards of Excellence: Communiqué newsletter and the 2006 Area Board Meeting video
· 2007 Awards of Merit: Strategic Direction 2007 Update, GCPS e-Newsletter, work. learn. live. GCPS (human resource’s recruitment package), and Quality-Plus Teaching Strategies Flyer
· 2007 Award of Honorable Mention: GCPS World-Class, Information Flyer (information for the foundation)
· Golden Achievement Award: “Don’t Cross Your Fingers and HOPE You’re Ready for College”
For more information, call Laura Nurse, director of publications and public information at 678-301-6018.

Riverside Elementary Counselor Roshan Finch was the recipient of the 2007 Dr. Bob Clarke Memorial Scholarship named for a former GCPS psychologist. For more information, call Ms. Byrd at 678-482-1000.

Ten GCPS teachers have been honored as Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club local Teachers of the Year. These teachers receive a $1,000 educational grant for their schools and are eligible to apply for the state Teacher of the Year award. GCPS winners are Gerald Arnold of Peachtree Ridge High, Lisa Bradberry of Fort Daniel Elementary, Linda Davis of Gwin Oaks Elementary, Judi Donner of Chattahoochee Elementary, Gloria Jones of Duncan Creek Elementary, Melissa Kinard of Duluth High, Jennifer Lynch of Shiloh High, Susan Reinhart of J.G. Dyer Elementary, Polly Patterson of Berkmar High, and Elizabeth Still of Gwin Oaks Elementary. For more information, call the local school.

Mike Smith, school bus manager, was selected to participate in the State Regular Ed Road-e-o competition. Mr. Smith was selected as one of the top 45 participants on the written test to take part in the driving test. For more information, call Training Specialist Charlene Majors at 770-271-5056.

Gwinnett Federal Credit Union awarded $2,000 Legacy Scholarships to six GCPS graduates who plan on majoring in education and teaching in Georgia. These students are Heather Axt of Brookwood High, Megan Dunning of Collins Hill High, Peter Robertson of Collins Hill High, Holly Sorrells of Grayson High, Lindsey Turner of Brookwood High, and Sarah Williams of Duluth High. Also awarded, were $1,500 Career Advancement Founders Scholarships to eight GCPS staff members to assist them with continuing education expenses. These credit union members are Melissa M. Bowen of Five Forks Middle, Barbara Bucey of Knight Elementary, Heather Hayes of Sycamore Elementary, Dawn Helton of Riverside Elementary, Erin Jackson of Louise Radloff Middle, Kristal Johnson of Norcross Elementary, Rebecca McMillan of Creekland Middle, and Nonia Smith of GCPS Instructional Support Center (Special Education and Psychological Services). In addition, Dat Thanh Le, a graduate of Collins Hill High, received the $2,000 Louise Radloff lifetime achievement scholarship.

Peachtree Ridge High student Joy Choi received the 2007 Principal’s Award for her scholarship, leadership, citizenship, and community service. Ms. Choi will represent the school during her senior year. For more information, call 678-957-3138.

As part of a science project, Mill Creek High students in Jessica King’s classes will participate in a ‘crime scene investigation’ (CSI)— “How did Stan Smith Die?” On Aug. 23, students will use a CSI measurement lab assignment sheet to calculate time of death, body weight, and other details to help the district attorney obtain a ‘warrant.’ The lab covers critical thinking, measurement, characteristics of life, and scientific method skills. For more information call 678-714-5850.

The Peachtree Ridge High Roaring Lions Marching Band completed two weeks of Band Camp during the summer— one at the school and the other at LaGrange College. Band members, colorguard, percussion, and horn line worked through the summer, both individually and in sectional rehearsals, laying the groundwork for the camps. This group of students has worked countless hours to rehearse music, practice marching fundamentals, and learn drill for their 2007 show “The Art of Sports: Train, Compete, Succeed,” which will debut at a football game on Aug. 31st. In addition to performing at all Peachtree Ridge High football games, the Roaring Lions Marching Band will perform in the Duluth Fall Festival parade Sept. 29, and compete in three marching competitions. The schedule may be viewed at For more information, call Giesela Zavodny, communication officer, at 770-476-1299 or email

During the summer, Venus Parker of Snellville Middle, Norman Bernal of South Gwinnett High, Stephanie Dickerson of Five Forks Middle, and former GCPS Teacher Linda Williams visited Honduras on a musical mission trip. The quartet worked with the students at the music school and toured Honduras to perform and share their love of music with people. It was a musical mission of hope and enjoyment by four accomplished professional performers who combine teaching and performing in their profession everyday. For more information, call Mr. Bernal at 770-972-4840.

Grayson Elementary students from Letha Kelly’s Computer Art Class represented the school at the National Educational Computer Conference in Atlanta. The presentation titled “No Bugs 4 U: Graphic Design for Elementary Learners” was demonstrated by the students. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

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 on weekday mornings and is open to the public weekday afternoons, Monday - Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

August 18, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Heritage Hike, Free with paid admission & to GEHC members
Meet at the ticket counter to join the staff on beautiful, wooded acreage to explore the lives of early inhabitants and settlers of Gwinnett County. Hikes with young children will be shorter, strollers are welcome. Wearing appropriate footwear is recommended.

August 18, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Club Method (middle and high school students)
Join classmates and bring your friends for the 411 on the exciting world of science. Receive help with science fair projects, learn to be a leader, and participate in volunteer opportunities.

August 25, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Science in Action Badge, $6 per Brownie
Participate in fun, hands-on activities, including a science and technology hunt, balloon blowing, make a butterfly of many colors, and construct a magnetic box. Come learn about science. (Minimum participants - 15, maximum - 30.) Spots fill quickly, pre-registration strongly recommended. Call 770-904-3500 to register.

“Achieving Excellence - Achievement in Education” This GPB program focuses on some of the achievements and honors earned by Georgia educators and students. How achievement is defined, measured and rewarded, are the key talking points for this episode of Achieving Excellence. This 30-min. program airs August 20-26 at 10:30 a.m.

“ArtStage - Tapestry” Join GCPS TV for a 2nd look at the 2007 Tapestry Art Exhibit, featuring dynamic student art work from schools across Gwinnett County. Hosted by North Gwinnett High Art Teacher Debi West, this GCPS TV student-intern produced program is sure to delight your senses. Prepare to be inspired. This 60-min. program airs August 20-26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“The Expanding Canon - Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School” This Annenberg professional development workshop for high school teachers is an exploration of the richness of multicultural literature shown through four educational approaches to teaching it: reader response, inquiry, cultural studies, and critical teaching. Eight one-hour video programs feature classroom footage illustrating these approaches, using background information on featured authors and analysis of their works by leading scholars, educators, and the authors themselves. Included are a print guide, which includes discussion questions and activities, and the web site, which shares resources about literature and teaching strategies. Programs 5-8 of this 8-part workshop air August 20-23 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 1” This 10-part 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. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, through October 21. A new class will air each week, beginning on Monday.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through August 21 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily 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:
AT&T on Channel 21 Comcast (formerly Adelphia) on Channel 20
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24

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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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
· Gwinnett ACT scores set new record, topping state and national averages
· Atlanta Toyota Scholarship Honorees: GCPS Graduates receive financial assistance from area business
· Maxwell High School of Technology Automotive Collision and Repair Program Receives National Certification
· GCPS technical education students earn top spots in national competition
· Superintendent's Message
· Gwinnett readies for Aug. 13
· Projected enrollment
· GCPS welcomes new educators
· New school leaders
· GCPS Board of Education
· MS Counseling program adds graduation coaches
· GCPS School Nutrition Program
· GCPS School buses to hit the road soon
· View slide show featuring new principals

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 4 is Labor Day, a systemwide holiday.

Patriot Day is September 11.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., September 13, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.