News You Can Use - 10/06/2003

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
10/06/2003 - 10/12/2003

Six Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) students were among more than 1,600 students selected as semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program’s 40th annual academic competition for Black American high school students. The 775 Achievement Scholarship awards announced in spring 2004 are supported by corporate organizations, professional associations, higher education institutions, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students are Winfred E. Allen of Collins Hill High, Rashad N. Burroughs of Shiloh High, Nathaniel J. Minott of North Gwinnett High, Ezinne A. Okwandu of South Gwinnett High, DeAngelo C. Scott-Jones of Collins Hill High, and Stephanie Stennett of Berkmar High. For more information, contact Gloria Davis of the National Merit School Corporation at 847-866-5100.

Lawanda Titshaw, executive secretary for Organizational Advancement, recently wrote about great ways readers work with their bosses in an article “Enlist the boss for efficient filing,” published in the magazine “Administrative Professional,” a national publication.

Lynnette Swanson of Oakland Center has been named Georgia Special Olympics coordinator of the Year. She has been the Special Olympics Coordinator for GCPS for the past four years. In addition to her duties as Special Olympics Coordinator, she is the coach for the Special Olympics Volleyball Team that went to Ireland for the World Summer Games this summer. Ms. Swanson also works with athletes on horseback riding and track. For more information, contact Ms. Swanson at 770-513-6800.

The Georgia School Counselor Association Region 2 “Counselors of the Year” winners are from GCPS.
    • Elementary School Counselor of the Year: Carol Lane, Bethesda Elementary
    • Middle School Counselor of the Year: Gina Vines, Richards Middle
    • High School Counselor of the Year: Marianne Pugh, Shiloh High
    • Advocate of the Year: Brenda Anderson, Sycamore Elementary principal
The statewide awards ceremony will be held Nov. 19, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel. For more information, contact Dr. Carrie Booher at 770-513-6792.

Twenty GCPS teachers have been named semifinalists in this year’s Teacher of the Year (TOTY) competition, selected from among 88 local representatives. Six finalists will be selected from among the semifinalists, based on their TOTY applications and answers to a set of additional questions. The 2004 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year will be announced at a banquet on Nov. 4. The semifinalists are:
    • Annistown ES, Pat Buttram, Mathematics Specialist (Grades 2–5)
    • Brookwood ES, Dawn Henning, Special Education (Grades K–5)
    • Collins Hill HS, Judson B. Bridges, Spanish (Grades 9–12)
    • Alton C. Crews MS, Chip Seidel, Social Studies (Grade 8)
    • J. G. Dyer ES, Beth Threlkeld, English to Speakers of Other Languages (Grades 1–5)
    • Five Forks MS, Colleen Ulrich, Science (Gifted, 7th Grade)
    • Grayson HS, Rick Wood, Science (Grades 9–12)
    • Harbins ES, Gaye McNeil, 5th Grade
    • Harmony ES, Elaine Bishop, 5th Grade
    • J. P. McConnell MS, Patti Orsi, Special Education (Grades 7–8)
    • Mountain Park ES, Shelley Graham, Kindergarten
    • Norcross ES, Judy Stubbs, Mathematics Specialist (Grades K–5)
    • Parkview HS, Sandra Peterson, Science (10th Grade)
    • Parsons ES, Jinny Hayden, Mathematics Specialist (Grades K–5)
    • Peachtree ES, Maureen Taylor, 5th Grade
    • Pinckneyville MS, Linda Flagler, Science and Mathematics (6th Grade)
    • Riverside ES, Dr. Joyce Nelson, Mathematics Specialist (Grades 1–5)
    • Simonton ES, Kathy Ramos, Reading Recovery (1st Grade)
    • Simpson ES, Elisa Brown, Spanish (Grades K–5)
    • South Gwinnett HS, William Nye, Science (Grades 9–12)
For more information about the Teacher of the Year program, contact Dr. Lea Arnau at 770-513-6652.

The Lanier Middle 8th Grade Orchestra performed as the “featured” orchestra at the University of Georgia Middle School Orchestra Festival in September. The Orchestra—led by directors Sarah Black, Prescilla Garcia, and Allaina Burgess—performed six selections of music during a 30-minute program for a full house at Hodgson Hall. For more information, contact Sarah Black at 770-945-8419.

The Grayson High School Marching Band competed Sept. 27, 2003, in the Greater Atlanta Marching Festival in Class AA. Overall, the Band and Drum Line received a rating of “Excellent.” Drum Major Danny Tundidor earned a “Superior” rating, continuing a tradition of straight superior ratings for Grayson Drum Majors since the band’s inception. For the first time, the Grayson High Color Guard earned a “Superior” rating. The Grayson High Marching Band will compete in two more competitions this season—one in Shelby, N.C., on Oct. 18, and another at Forsyth Central High on Oct. 25. For more information, contact Robert Barnes at 770-554-1071.

Head Elementary’s PTA will sponsor Bingo Night Oct. 3. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a pizza dinner. Bingo begins at 7 p.m. Tickets will be on sale before school during the week. The cost is $3, which includes dinner. Principal Michelle Farmer and Assistant Principal Suzanne Pierce will call numbers for the games. For more information, contact the school at 770-972-8050.

Head Elementary will sponsor “Helping Hearts, Helping Kids,” a community outreach program, during the week of Oct. 6. Theme days are planned to encourage students and their families to contribute to this fund, which directly supports needy students within the school. For more information, contact the school at 770-972-8050.

Lilburn Elementary students raised approximately $2,000 for the United Way. On Sept. 11, students observed “Patriot’s Day” as a theme for helping the community through The United Way. Students dressed in red, white and blue, and ribbons were distributed. For more information, contact Marlene Reilly at 770-921-7707.

North Gwinnett High’s Habitat for Humanity club will host its third annual benefit car show on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Proceeds from the $20 entry fee will benefit the building of a Habitat home in the spring of 2004. All years, makes, and models of cars are welcome. Prizes will be awarded for six categories. For more information, call Jinna Clark at 770-945-9558.

Trickum Middle 7th and 8th grade bands will perform for parents on Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. The concert is open to all. For more information, contact the school at 770-921-2705.

Last spring, GCPS TV, in partnership with Gwinnett Technical College, produced and aired a televised, beginning English class for adult learners, called "English… Yes, I Can!" (Series 1). The class will be rebroadcast this fall, airing hour-long segments Monday through Thursday between Oct. 6 and 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.) In addition, this entry-level telecourse is available free to local schools as a set of 34 VHS videotapes, including a facilitator's guide. Community groups, churches, employers, and civic organizations may order the video set for $90, the cost of dubbing the tapes. 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 and look for the link from the home page.

Kanoheda Elementary will sponsor a PTA and Parent Involvement Reading Night on Oct. 9. The evening will begin at 5:15 p.m. with Bingo for Books in the media center. The evening will continue with classroom presentations for parents, while school-age students go to the cafeteria for a Snack Supper from Moe’s Southwest Grill. Students will move to designated classrooms for childcare, while parents move to the cafeteria for their Snack Supper from Moe’s and a 7 p.m. PTA meeting. Reservations are required. Please call the school at 770-682-4221 for more information and to make reservations.

Beaver Ridge Elementary’s book fair runs through Oct. 10. The Scholastic Book Fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday through Oct. 10, and from 5 to 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 9. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the school media center. For more information, contact Linda McMahon at 770-447-6307.

Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for grades 6–8 language arts, grades K–8 health and physical education, and three high school electives. The review will begin Oct. 7 and will run through Nov. 7. All materials may be reviewed at the following locations and times:
Buchanan HS of Technology: Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturdays on Oct. 18 and 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and evenings on Oct. 14 and 28, 5 to 8 p.m. Buchanan HS of Technology is located at 2595 Beaver Ruin Rd. in Norcross (770-326-8000).
Lawrenceville East: Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays on Oct. 18 and 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and evenings on Oct. 14 and 28, 5 to 8 p.m. Lawrenceville East is located at 723 Hi-Hope Rd. in Lawrenceville (770-338-4832).
For more about the review process, contact Lisa Burleson 770-338-4832.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “GCPS Focus” this week (Oct. 6-12). 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-- in “Quick Links.”

The Lanier Middle Environmental Club will hold its first meeting Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. Projects will include school-wide recycling, campus cleanups, “Be Kind to Animals Week” project, and participation in the County Environmental IQ Bowl competition. The club is open to all Lanier students. For more information, contact Sharon Pitman at 770-945-8419.

Mason Elementary celebrates reading with its reading program “Fall Into a Good Book.” Students are rewarded for each hour they spend reading with a parent. The students receive a leaf to be hung in the school’s entrance hallway. The grade level with the most leaves wins the competition. The program runs through the month of October. For more information, contact Sheryl Croy, PTA chairperson at 770-623-4815.

Knight Elementary is offering English classes on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. in the media center and the Starlight Dining Room at the school. For more information and to receive a registration form, contact the school at 770-921-2400.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

October is Computer Learning Month.

October includes heritage celebrations for Americans of Italian, German, and Polish ancestry.

Oct. 5-11 is Fire Prevention Week and National Metric Week.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 9, 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.

Oct. 13-14 are student holidays.

Oct. 13-17 is National School Lunch Week.

National School Bus Safety Week and Teen Read Week start Oct. 19.

GCPS 9th and 10th graders take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test on Oct. 21.

Red Ribbon Week celebrations run Oct. 23-31.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Oct. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.