News You Can Use - 01/11/2010

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
01/11/2010 - 01/17/2010

The Shutter Sense and Non-Sense, a high school photography exhibit, is currently on display at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. It began as a way to showcase Gwinnett County Public Schools photography students’ work in a professional gallery space. Photographs in the exhibit are judged by professional photographers. Middle school students will exhibit their photographs for the first time in this year’s Shutter Sense and Non-Sense Photography Exhibit. There are approximately 50 photographs at the middle school level. A reception and awards presentation for the middle and high school photography students will be held on Jan. 9, 2010, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. For more information, call Alexandra Kates, Parkview High teacher, at 770-921-2874.

Alexandra Kates of Parkview High was named 2009 Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Georgia Art Education Association. Ms. Kates has presented at the National Art Education Conference and has chaired the High Museum of Art Metro Atlanta High School Exhibition for the past seven years. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Jamilya Maoy of Shiloh High has been named Teacher of the Year by Junior Achievement of Georgia. Ms. Maoy will be honored in the Junior Achievement Atlanta Business Hall of Fame insert in the Atlanta Business Chronicleand during the black tie gala on March 13, at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead. For more information, call 770-972-8471.

The Georgia Athletic Directors Association recently named Roland Wallace of Collins Hill High Region 7AAAAA Athletic Director of the Year and Mark Whitney of Parkview High 8AAAAA Athletic Director of the Year. They will be honored on March 20-23 at the annual conference. For more information, call the local school.

GCPS teams have won several state championships recently including the Brookwood High boys cross country team, the Collins Hill High softball team, the Mill Creek High cheerleading team, the North Gwinnett High girls cross country team, and the Peachtree Ridge High co-ed cheerleading team. For more information, call Mike Emery, director of athletics, activities and community schools, at 678-301-7274.

Amber Griffith of Minor Elementary has partnered with a youth group in San Salvador, El Salvador with Vision 2 Hear. On Jan. 11, Minor Elementary will host a group of deaf and hearing high school and college students from El Salvador who will perform sign language to music and share their culture and language with students. For more information, call 770-925-9543.

Parents of students with special needs are invited to Duncan Creek Elementary events during Exceptional Children’s Week (Jan. 11-15). Duncan Creek Elementary has fun activities planned for each day of the week to celebrate children with special needs and the professionals who work with them. The three events listed below are open to all Gwinnett County residents.
  • Jan. 11, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Gwinnett Parent Mentors present “Effective Communication between the home and school”
  • Jan. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Parent to Parent workshop on “Making the IEP Count: Focusing on a Vision and Strengths to Get to Measurable Goals.” IEP room 1.126. Participants should RSVP to
  • Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: “Healthy Living for Children with Special Needs” by Debbie Underwood, a former physical therapist and special needs parent
For more information, call 678-714-5800.

Atlanta will host a National College Fair open to middle school and high school students on Jan. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center, Halls A and B. Students should register for this free event at Students are invited to watch a video at for a complete overview of the fair. For more information, contact local event Chairperson Judy Lowder, Trickum Middle counselor, at 770-921-2705.

Berkmar High will host the 2nd Annual Greater Lilburn Business Expo on March 4, 2010, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lilburn businesses will have an opportunity to promote their businesses to each other and the community at this event. Spaces may be rented through Jan. 28, 2010, for $35. Event sponsorships are also available and include a premium space. More than 100 businesses are expected to participate in this event produced in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Lilburn Business Association, and the Lilburn Community Partnership. Gail Macrenaris, Director of Leadership and Education for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, will conduct a pre-event seminar on February 11 at Berkmar High, advising participants on how to maximize business exposure at the Expo. For more information, visit,or call Diana Preston, assistant principal, at 678-230-9058, or email

Ivy Creek Elementary 3rd grade classes will host the annual Family Feast on Jan. 29 from 1:45 to 2:25 p.m. Families are invited to bring a special dish to share with their child’s class. Some dishes are old favorites that have been handed down from generation to generation and others are simply a tasty new dish that everyone enjoys. Since classrooms are a “home away from home,” this is an opportunity to share family traditions. The recipes are compiled into a cookbook and given out to each child. For more information, please contact

Ivy Creek Elementary Kids Reaching Out to the Community (K-ROC) leadership club opened a clothes closet with the help of faculty members, parent volunteers, and the support of Kids Reaching Out Leading Leaders (K-ROLL). The clothes closet will benefit Ivy Creek families and community members to purchase gently used clothing at inexpensive prices. In addition, proceeds from sales will benefit the homeless and military personnel. The clothes closet will be open Feb. 3rd from 1 to 3:30 p.m. For more information, email

Registration information for Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) for the 2010-11 freshman class is available on the GCPS web site. The registration deadline is Jan. 22, 2010. GSMST is a charter school and therefore enrollment is open to all current Gwinnett County 8th grade students who complete the 8th grade requirements and who reside in Gwinnett County. The school focuses on advanced and challenging studies in the fields of engineering, biosciences, and emerging technology. The rigorous course work at GSMST may not meet the needs of all students. As this is a school of choice, it is highly recommended that parents and students review the GSMST curriculum and learn more about the school’s offerings before making a decision to register.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
01/07/2010Middle school photography students participate in competition (pdf)
01/06/2010BOE adjusts meeting dates as of 2010 (pdf)
12/18/200918 GCPS students among 50 Georgia artists (pdf)
12/17/2009Nordson Corporation grant funds GSMST technology initiative (pdf)
12/16/2009Gwinnett students shine with state recognitions (pdf)
12/15/2009Parkview High selected as Naval Honors School (pdf)
12/14/2009Riverside Elementary's Jeffers named Georgia's top social studies teacher (pdf)
12/14/2009Gwinnett students earn scholarships with essays (pdf)
12/11/2009BOE approves Wing as principal of Lanier High (pdf)

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus follows participants in this year’s Principal for a Day program, takes a closer look at the impact of Title I, and celebrates the state’s first nationally certified culinary arts program, right here in Gwinnett… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week 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.

“Stefon Harris and Blackout – Prince William/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” During this session, vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris, along with his band Blackout, teaches students what to listen for in jazz. Heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (Los Angeles Times), Harris leads students through a series of listening exercises as the ensemble demonstrates their eclectic sound - a hybrid of acoustic music and progressive sounds. In this program, students develop a heightened awareness for jazz music while learning the art of active listening. This 60-minute program airs Jan. 11-17 at 11 a.m.

“ParenTVision - Good Kids, Bad Choices” This month’s program features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program “Good Kids, Bad Choices.” All kids make mistakes … but some bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. As parents, we need to do everything in our power to help our children learn to make smart decisions. How do you help your kids learn about the consequences of a split-second decision? How do you help them avoid dangerous and risky situations? Learn what leads kids to make bad decisions… and how parents can help with “Good Kids, Bad Choices.” This 60-min program airs Jan. 11-17 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: 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 GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--

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January 18 is a system holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., January 21, 2010, at the Instruction al Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee. Beginning in January, GCPS Board meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the ISC.

February is National African American History Month.

February 1-7 is National School Counseling Week.

February 3-4 is early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

February 7 is Scout Sunday.

February 7-13 is National SkillsUSA Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in January. Call the local school for the time and location.
B.B. Harris ES
Benefield ES
Berkmar HS
Berkmar MS
Camp Creek ES
Cedar Hill ES
Central Gwinnett HS
Chattahoochee ES
Collins Hill HS
Corley ES
Couch MS
Craig ES
Dacula ES
Dacula HS
Duluth MS
Frank N. Osborne MS
G.H. Hopkins ES
Harbins ES
Harmony ES
Henry Partee ES
J.G. Dyer ES
J.P. McConnell MS
Lanier MS
Lawrenceville ES
Level Creek ES
Lilburn ES
Lilburn MS
Meadowcreek HS
Mountain View HS
Mulberry ES
North Gwinnett MS
Parkview HS
Patrick ES
Peachree Ridge HS
Peachtree ES
Pharr ES
Pinckneyville MS
Puckett's Mill ES
R.L. Norton ES
Riverside ES
Simonton ES
Simpson ES
Snellville MS
Sugar Hill ES
Summerour MS
Suwanee ES
Sweetwater MS
Sycamore ES
T. Carl Buice School
Walnut Grove ES

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. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 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.

January 9
Green Living Series

January 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
Homeschool: Volcanoes