News You Can Use - 09/15/2008

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
09/15/2008 - 09/21/2008

Puckett’s Mill Elementary will have 12 students’ artwork displayed in the new wing of the Gwinnett Medical Imaging Center at Hamilton Mill. Art Teacher Beau Pezoldt was asked by Gwinnett Medical Imaging Center to have students create art for the building. From the 1,132 entries, 12 were selected for display. The winners will be announced on Sept. 13 at 11:30 a.m. at the opening ceremony and receive a gift certificate. For more information, call 678-765-5110.

Meadowcreek High Head Coach Terrone Owens was named “Atlanta Falcons Coach of the Week” for an outstanding win at Friday’s game. Coach Owens will be recognized at the Atlanta Touchdown Club luncheon Sept. 15 at FOX Sports Grill at Atlantic Station. The Meadowcreek Football program will receive a $1,000 donation from the Falcons. For more information, call Chris Millman from the Atlanta Falcons at 770-965-2838. In addition, Meadowcreek High was selected as “Team of the Week” by Fox 5. The football team will receive a trophy and each player will receive a “player of the week” t-shirt.

The Gwinnett Braves plan to announce the name of its mascot, a portly cartoon groundhog, on Sept. 15 at Lawrenceville Elementary at 10 a.m. Chopper, Pop-Up, and Shadow were the three final names selected during the “Name the Mascot” contest. Modeled after the recent Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the students in Teacher Todd Langley’s class will use graphs for visuals and math implications for the mascot challenge to vote on the most popular name. Hosted by Tony Shiavone, the voice of the Gwinnett Braves, groups of students will cheer and lobby for their favorite mascot name. For more information, call Courtney Lawson at 678-277-0329 or email

Two GCPS schools will host visits from State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox on Sept 17. Ms. Cox will visit Charles Brant Chesney Elementary from 11:50 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. Activities at Chesney Elementary will include eating lunch with Principal Carlotta Rozzi and Dr. Jeff Mathews, principal of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology; reading to classes; and touring the school. Chesney 5th graders will be especially interested in asking questions about her TV appearance on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”? Ms. Cox will visit and tour Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology from 2 to 4 p.m. the same day. For more information, call the local school.

Harmony Elementary students will host an assembly on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. in the gym to celebrate Constitution Day. A flag that was flown over Afghanistan will be dedicated to the school. Fifth grade students will present a skit on the Constitution. The North Gwinnett High Air Force JROTC Color Guard will present the colors. In addition, a moment of silence will be observed in memory of the Sept. 11 victims, and the Harmony Elementary chorus will sing patriotic songs. Harmony students are participating in the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) “National Anthem Project” by learning the words to the national anthem. For more information, call Teacher Adrian Russell at 770-945-7272.

Berkmar High will host an Open House on Sept. 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Information regarding clubs, sports, and organizations will be presented from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; and parents can meet teachers and counselors from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Creekland Middle counselors and the PTA will co-host a college financial planning seminar for parents on Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Program topics will include the rising costs of attending college, different types of funding available, where to find grants and scholarships, and avoiding scholarship scams. Refreshments will be provided. For more information and to register, call 770-338-4735.

The Mill Creek High Interact Club and the Care Team will sponsor a “Kiss the Pig” contest during September. Students are asked to donate money to have their favorite teacher or administrator kiss a pig. Donations will be collected during lunch times next week, and the ‘winner’ will kiss the pig at the morning Homecoming Assembly on Sept. 19. Donations will benefit the student led United Way Challenge and the school’s Care Team, which helps students and families in the Mill Creek community. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Five Forks Middle Art Club students will invite students and staff members to participate in the “Pinwheels for Peace” project. Participants will decorate a pinwheel that will be displayed outside the school on Sept. 22, the Monday after International Peace Day. Students can write, draw, decoupage, or use images to display their thoughts and feelings regarding war and peace, tolerance, and living in harmony with others. A video will be broadcasted demonstrating ideas for decorating the pinwheels. For more information on the project, visit For more information contact Loria Crews, Merissa Bush, or Kelly Remick, Five Forks Middle teachers, at 770-972-1506.

Brookwood High will host “Heart Screens for Teens” on Sept.27. Ultrascan, Inc. has teamed up with Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine to offer an affordable, safe screening program to schools, sports teams, and other organizations interested this program. Please contact Gayla Malkiel at for registration dates and times and to schedule an appointment for screening. For more information, contact Stephanie Naus from Ultrascan, Inc. at 770-813-8323.

Third grade students at Chesney Elementary had the opportunity to vote in a mock election recently choosing their favorite Nickelodeon character. Regina Clark, Gwinnett County Election Assistant Director, met with students and explained the voting process and the importance of voting. Minnie Mouse won by a landslide. For more information, call Dr. Melissa Underwood, media specialist, at 678-542-2300.

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

09/10/2008Parkview High's Datta Roy achieves perfection on college entrance exam (pdf)
09/09/2008Nine Gwinnett schools earn Distinguished Achievement Awards (pdf)
09/05/2008"Parentvision" premiers on GCPS TV (pdf)

Parentvision: Teen Issues for Concerned Parents” This new series of programs, hosted by counselor and graduation coach Margaret Cheeley, explores topics relating to raising teens in the 21st century. Each episode takes an in-depth look at this “millennial” generation, and helps parents understand the issues facing teens today. The second program in this series, based upon the Connect With Kids (CWK) Network program “The Internet Generation,” airs Sept. 15-21 at 7 p.m

“Education News Parents Can Use: Back to School Special - Measuring Progress, Realizing Results” The September edition of Education News will profile key strategies for improving student academic achievement; showcase schools that have proven successful in closing the achievement gap and helping all students reach and exceed grade level proficiency; and spotlight the Department’s Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program. The Fellows— classroom teachers on leave from their schools to work on policy at the U.S. Department of Education— will discuss their perspectives on improving learning and helping all students achieve. This U.S. Department of Education program will air live on Sept. 16 at 8 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 Sept 19-21 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” A GCPS 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. and 8 p.m. repeating daily through Sunday in those time slots. The series runs through October 26.

“GCPS Focus” This month’s Focus will take a look at mentoring program in our schools, celebrate Gwinnett’s AYP success stories, and take a fantastic journey through the human body. This 30-min. program airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 11 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, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 and 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--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( to check out the e-News archives.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

Citizenship day is Sept. 17.

Constitution Week runs Sept. 17-23.

Elementary and middle students will take the Cognative Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of Sept. 23-26.

Juniors will take the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test on Sept. 24.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., October 9, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in September. Call the local school for the time and location.
    Annistown Elementary
    B.B. Harris Elementary
    Beaver Ridge Elementary
    Benefield Elementary
    Bethesda Elementary
    Brookwood Elementary
    Brookwood High
    Camp Creek Elementary
    Centerville Elementary
    Chattahoochee Elementary
    Collins Hill High
    Corley Elementary
    Dacula High
    Dacula Middle
    Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
    Frank N. Osborne Middle
    Freeman's Mill Elementary
    GIVE Center West
    Glenn C. Jones Middle
    Grayson High
    Harmony Elementary
    Ivy Creek Elementary
    J.E. Richards Middle
    J.G. Dyer Elementary
    K.E. Taylor Elementary
    Knight Elementary
    Level Creek Elementary
    Lovin Elementary
    Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
    Meadowcreek Elementary
    Mountain Park Elementary
    Mulberry Elementary
    Nesbit Elementary
    North Gwinnett High
    Oakland School
    Parkview High
    Peachree Ridge High
    Peachtree Elementary
    Pinckneyville Middle
    R.L. Norton Elementary
    Riverside Elementary
    Shiloh High
    Snellville Middle
    Suwanee Elementary
    W.C. Britt Elementary
    Walnut Grove Elementary

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 or call 770-904-3500.

Sept. 20, 11 a.m. to noon or 2 to 3 p.m. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products, $5 per person
Participants will learn how to use everyday items found in the kitchen to make cleaning products. They will discover what makes these an alternative to traditional cleaning products. Participants will also learn how to read eco-labels on store-bought products--what do they really mean and how are they beneficial to the environment?

Oct. 4, 11 to 11:45 a.m. or 2 to 2:45 p.m., Rain Barrel Workshop, $40/barrel
Learn how rain barrels can help you lower water bills and provide chemical-free water for your gardens, ponds, bird baths and flower beds during water restrictions and year round. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to make their own Rain Barrel. Registration required by Sept. 13 for an 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. session, limited to 20 participants at each session. This is part of the Green Living Series, teachers may receive PLU credit.

Oct. 4, 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m., Heritage Hike, $9 per adult, $5 per student (includes center admission)
Join our program specialist as you are led on a hike along trails to learn about the inhabitants of this area. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

October 11, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Composting Workshop, $5 per person
Participants have the opportunity to learn more about composting, how to make it, and the different methods that can be used. Composting is an effective way to naturally feed your lawn and plants and reuse the leaves and other matter you may currently dispose of. There are several benefits including soil improvement which leads to smaller use of chemicals, retains moisture in soil and alleviates the amount of waste going to landfills. Kids can participant in Compost in a Cup. Please register by September 20. This program is limited to 30 participants. This is part of our Green Living Series, teachers may receive PLU credit.

October 11, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Club Method, $5 per student
Spend your Saturday with Club Method taking an exciting approach to environmental involvement. Through the use of environmental challenges, teens will gain valuable team-building skills, develop problem solving skills, and have the opportunity to participate in club only programs such as job training, off trail hikes, and community service hours. Registration is required by September 20, limited to 25 students.

October 11, 1 to 2 p.m., Nature Kids- Up and Down Hike, $5 per kid
Hike up and down our hilly trails and enjoy the seasonal changes in the environment. While we wander, we’ll borrow a few leaves to make a leaf print. Registration is required by September 20 and is limited to 15 kids.