News You Can Use - 02/09/2009

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
02/09/2009 - 02/15/2009

More than 200 colleges and universities will be represented at a free national college fair in Atlanta on Feb. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia National Convention Center in College Park. Students can register online to receive an admittance pass to the schools they are interested in. Workshops will be presented on financing, admissions processes, choosing a college, a parent’s role in the selection process, and more. To pre-register visit

Sweetwater Middle Principal Georgann Eaton was featured in a national Visiting International Faculty Program (VIF) publication. Using international educators, she has built a faculty whose cultural backgrounds and experiences mirror those of her students where 93 percent of students are of a racial or ethnic minority. For more information, call Communication and Media Relations at 678-301-6020. To read the article, visit

Lanier Middle 8th grade orchestra and band recently performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association conference in Savannah. Both director Gloria Brown and Victoria Bethel received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence. For more information, call 770-945-8419.

Top honors go to these GCPS regional winners in the All State Art Symposium competition from among the more than 400 art entries.
Student Title of Work Medium School/Teacher
Christina Quintero Francios Clay Norcross High, Martha Cook
Mayra Perez Drawer Clay Norcross High, Martha Cook
Luke Kvashicka Hop Scotch Photography Norcross High, Carissa Griffin
Gunsil Choi Puzzled Mixed media Parkview High, Judy Nollner
Boya Zhang Holly Painting Parkview High, Judy Nollner
Heather Gubser In a Family’s Shoes Painting Brookwood High, Marie Thomas
Niara Parker Winter Painting North Gwinnett High, Debi West
Sidney Copeland Steer Photography North Gwinnett High, Bruce Bowman
M. Perez Precision Time Computer Art North Gwinnett High, Yvette Kim
Corina Oliveri Lonely Day Photography North Gwinnett High, Jack Foreman
Nicolle Robleto A Hankerin’ Photography Collins Hill High, Catherine Vatalaro
Jake Wegesin Suspended Pennies Photography Collins Hill High, Catherine Vatalaro
Susan Kang Guilty Pleasure Drawing Mill Creek High, Mike Lasseter

Shiloh Cluster school counselors will host a school and community Cluster Resource Fair on Feb.10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will have free pizza, soft drinks, and door prizes. The Shiloh Cluster Resource Fair business partners and community sponsors will offer services to empower families and support student success for all grade levels. Important high school information regarding graduation requirements, future careers, and college enrollment will be made available. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Taylor Elementary students will celebrate Black History Month with the school’s annual African-American Idol show on Feb. 20. For more information, call 770-338-4690.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host the Central Gwinnett Cluster Witzzle Pro Math Tournament on Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. in the cafeteria. Fourth and fifth grade students from Cedar Hill Elementary, Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, and Simonton Elementary schools will compete. A Witzzle (witty puzzle) is comprised of a unique 3- by-3 array of digits using two operations to equal a target number. Child care will be provided at Shiloh Middle. For more information, call Anne Foley, media specialist, at 770-962-5015.

The 6th Annual Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant, “Saturday Night Fever,” will be presented by the Peachtree Ridge Foundation, on Feb. 21. Miss Freshman and Miss Sophomore competition takes place at 3 p.m. Miss Junior and Miss Peachtree Ridge 2009 competition takes place at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase the week of Feb. 16, or call the Foundation office at 678-957-3138 for more information.

Grayson High will host the school’s first African-American History Celebration on Feb. 25. The program titled “The Many Faces of Me… Past, Present, and Future” will be held in the theatre. For more information, call Teacher Valerie Lewis at 770-554-1071.

Creekland Middle will host “College 101” for parents of GCPS middle school students on Feb. 26 from 6:30-8:30. Attendees should register by
Feb. 19 and may attend three of the following workshops designed to help parents prepare to send their children to college:
  • Athletics and College Admissions
  • Military Options
  • PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II-Why, When & Which Ones
  • Right Fit College: How to Find It
  • Technology in the College Admissions Process
  • Been There, Done That: Lessons Learned from Parents of College Students
Refreshments will be provided. To register, call 770-338-4700 by Feb. 19.

Norcross Elementary Counselor Amy Crapo will take 38 fourth and fifth-grade students on a field trip to Georgia Gwinnett College on Feb. 26. Students will tour the campus, and learn about math, science and technology and what it means to be a college student. For more information, call 770-447-2628.

Step groups from 12 Gwinnett middle schools and high schools will be among the groups participating in the Annual High School Step Show on Feb. 28 in the old Shiloh High gym. The show, sponsored by the Gwinnett County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Coca Cola Company. The program starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 687-318-1831 for more information.

Last month, a team of Creekland Middle teachers met with more than 65 students and their parents for breakfast at a local restaurant. The event was designed to promote eating a healthy breakfast before the students participated in the 8th Grade Gateway/Georgia Grade 8 Writing Assessment later that morning. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks happened to be having breakfast at the restaurant as well, and took a few minutes to greet the students and teachers and encourage the students to do their best. For more information, call Teachers Denise Buckelew, Bill Lewis, Sandra Kitchen, or David Ulkins at 770-338-4700.

GCPS invites the community to participate in the school-naming process taking place through Feb. 25. Seven new schools scheduled to open August of 2010 and 2011 will be named through this process. The school system invites Gwinnett community members and organizations to participate in the school naming process by providing their input. For more information and to print a school naming input form, visit the system website at

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/05/2009Five educators selected as Gwinnett’s top counseling professionals (pdf)
02/02/2009Naming process kicks off for seven new Gwinnett school learning communities (pdf)
01/30/2009Gwinnett school counselors recognized as national finalists (pdf)
01/30/2009Gwinnett County Public Schools announces mascots for newest high schools: Archer HS Tigers and Mountain View HS Bears (pdf)

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original 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. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through April 12 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 1” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 15 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can seek 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, 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--

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The English Language Learners ACCESS Test Administration Window runs through Feb. 27.

February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 2-6.

February 11-12 is early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in December. Call the local school for the time and location.

Alton C. Crews Middle2/13
Annistown Elementary2/10
Arcado Elementary2/9
Berkeley Lake Elementary2/19
Berkmar High2/10
Berkmar Middle2/12
Bethesda Elementary2/16
Brookwood Elementary2/23
Brookwood High2/10
Central Gwinnett High2/10
Creekland Middle2/12
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary2/20
Duluth High2/17
Duluth Middle2/24
Freeman's Mill Elementary2/13
GIVE Center East2/10
GIVE Center West2/12
Glenn C. Jones Middle2/19
Grayson High2/15
Harmony Elementary2/27
Ivy Creek Elementary2/20
J.G. Dyer Elementary2/25
K.E. Taylor Elementary2/20
Level Creek Elementary2/24
Louise Radloff Middle2/12
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary2/26
Meadowcreek Elementary2/9
Mountain Park Elementary2/23
Mulberry Elementary2/19
Norcross High2/12
North Gwinnett High2/10
Oakland School2/15
Parkview High2/24
Parsons Elementary2/25
Peachree Ridge High2/23
Peachtree Elementary2/17
R.D. Head Elementary2/13
R.L. Norton Elementary2/27
Rock Springs Elementary2/12
Rockbridge Elementary2/12
Snellville Middle2/12
Susan Stripling Elementary2/14
Suwanee Elementary2/16
Sweetwater Middle2/13
Trickum Middle2/10
W.J. Cooper Elementary2/9
Walnut Grove Elementary2/19

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 or call 770-904-3500.

Feb. 11, 3-5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 11 & 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Webelo Forester Program, $8 per scout
Unravel the mysteries of life in the forest. Is it really more than just a bunch of trees? Find out how trees grow, what makes the forest tick, and how you can improve where you live with trees by creating an urban forestry plan.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Environmental Science Merit Badge, $10 per scout
Conduct experiments and learn about your impact on the natural environment in this four-hour session. Complete or start the experiments in requirement three of this merit badge that is required to become an Eagle Scout. Please register by Feb. 13 by calling 770-904-3500.