News You Can Use - 04/01/2013

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
04/01/2013 - 04/07/2013

The Maxwell High School of Technology Welding Program has been named a certified training center by the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER). NCCER is an industry driven training and certification initiative that offers a complete series of entry- and journey-level assessments to evaluate the knowledge and skill level of an individual in a specific craft area. The following students have completed the NCCER Level 1 Welder certification training in the areas of:
Welding safety Oxyfuel cutting
Base metal preparationWeld quality;
Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) – Equipment and setupSMAW – Electrodes and selection
SMAW – Beads and fillet welds SMAW – Groove welds with backing
Joint fit-up and alignment SMAW – Open V-groove welds
SMAW – Open-root pipe welds
Recipient students and their home high schools are:
Arnulfo Casco (Brookwood), Andrew Edwards (Archer), Defarra Gaymon (North Gwinnett), Tommy Givens (Duluth), Sean Heenie (North Gwinnett), Deion Hewitt (Dacula), Tommy King (North Gwinnett), Micah Lewis (Brookwood), Shirrahn McNair (Norcross), Christopher Monturo (Parkview), Shedric Moody (Shiloh), Justin Norris (Central Gwinnett), Mohini Persaud (South Gwinnett), Eddie Rincon (Meadowcreek), Joey Sarro (Collins Hill), Nicholas Sperling (Mill Creek), and Diante Scott (Hooper Renwick).

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) orchestra student Brandon Hou has been named concertmaster for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s 2013 All-State Orchestra. This designation identifies Brandon as the number-one violinist in the state as he competed with 44 of the best high school violinists to earn this designation. For more information, call Fine Arts Director Robert Andrews at 678-301-7015.

The Mountain View High DECA Chapter, a school-based student enterprise program, earned Gold Certification. Through DECA, an association of marketing students, Gwinnett students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities and to compete in a variety of events. The School-based Enterprise Certification Program (SBE) was developed to provide recognition for outstanding achievement by school-based enterprises and to motivate SBEs to strive for excellence and to grow. The program provides SBEs with standards for model school store operation and provides recognition for school-based enterprises at three levels: bronze, silver and gold. The number and type of activities a school-based enterprise completes in each of the twelve sections will determine the level of certification awarded. For more information, call 678-407-7600.

The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation awarded Norton Elementary with a $950 grant for a Student Response System. The Foundation’s mission is to establish partnerships with schools, residents, and business communities to promote the academic enrichment, growth and success of students within the South Gwinnett Cluster schools. For more information, call Jimmy Norton at 404-625-2114, or email, or visit

Nesbit Elementary Art Teacher Lauren C Phillips was recently published in the book “Aesthetics, Empathy and Education.” The chapter title is “Teaching What We Value: Care as an Outcome of Aesthetic Education,” co-authored with Richard Siegesmund of Northern Illinois University, was published in 2013. For more information, visit

The Woodruff Arts Center will recognize Gwinnett’s 2009 Teacher of the Year and Trickum Middle Visual Arts Teacher Dr. Aimee Burgamy on March 28 at the 5th Annual Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders recognition program. Virginia Hepner, President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, will honor Dr. Burgamy, along with Trickum Middle Principal Kay Sands. Dr. Burgamy was selected for creating dynamic whole-school art projects and advancing the cause of art education. She encourages students to master the techniques of art as a vehicle for personal expression, problem-solving and cultural understanding. Dr. Burgamy was awarded $2,500 by the Woodruff Salutes Program and will contribute these funds to the school for an outdoor theater. For more information, call the school at 770-921-2705.

GCPS had several teachers who presented at the 2013 National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention in Texas. The following teachers represented their schools and GCPS at the event:
  • Amber Arnold, Level Creek Elementary: Growing a Creative Classroom
  • Debi West, North Gwinnett High: Art is the Answer: What are the Questions? (co-presenter); NAHS Sponsor of the Year-Best Practices (co-presenter); Creative Compelling Curricula: C3 Lessons for Intro to AP Creators; and Southeastern Leadership Meeting (co-presenter)
  • Dr. Aimee Burgamy, Trickum Middle: Level Medley I & II: Inspiring Ideas shared by the Middle Level Leadership Team (co-presenter); Middle Level Round Tables: Discussions about Middle Level Concerns (co-presenter)
  • Dr. Jackie Ellet, Duncan Creek Elementary: Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom....Oh My!; Connecting to our Past: Cultural Influences of North Georgia Pottery (co-presenter)
  • Lauren Christine Phillips, Nesbit Elementary: Layers of Learning: K-5 Fabric Art Lessons (co-presenter)
For more information, call Lauren C Phillips, Art Teacher at Nesbit Elementary, at 770-414-2740.

Works of six North Gwinnett High art students have been selected for a Women’s Art and Design Exhibition at Brenau University. These students are:
  • Jennifer Park, Despair, Award of Excellence: $5,000 scholarship, $100 cash prize
  • Anna Archer, Heart Above Physician, Award of Merit: $3000 scholarship, $50 cash prize
  • Molly Chap, Bipolar: Honorable Mention
  • Tiffany Gordon, Wolf of the Sea: Honorable Mention
  • Rae Dreyer, Self Portrait: Honorable Mention
  • Rachel Laroux, Moody Bottles: Honorable Mention
For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Gwinnett students recently earned recognition in the Istanbul Center essay and art contest. The students were offered the opportunity to travel to Turkey (airfare not included).
1stJuliana GuanNorth Gwinnett HighYvette KimphotoiPad for the student; and $100 gift card for the sponsoring teacher
2ndSunny SinNorth Gwinnett HighYvette Kimpainting$200 gift card for the student; and $75 gift card for the sponsoring teacher
3rdJiaying HongNorth Gwinnett HighDebi Westpainting$100 gift card for the student; and a $50 gift card for the sponsoring teacher
4thAshley PhamNorth Gwinnett HighDebi Westpainting$75 gift card
5thElizabeth HamiltonNorth Gwinnett HighYvette Kimphoto$50 gift card
Honorable MentionKenny LuuNorth Gwinnett HighDebi Westpainting$25 gift card
Honorable MentionJennifer SalcedoNorth Gwinnett HighDebi Westpainting$25 gift card
3rdJane L. ZenTrickum MiddleAimee Burgamypainting$50 gift card for the sponsoring teacher
Honorable MentionMadison JohnsonTrickum MiddleAimee Burgamypainting$25 gift card
Honorable MentionMiriam OrtizSummerour MiddleDeanna Harringtonpainting$25 gift card
Honorable MentionGrace Luo XuParkview HighSusan Netopski$25 gift card
5th Zoe Page ParkerTrickum MiddleNicole Melvin$50 gift card
Honorable MentionJeremy Isaac LevinTrickum MiddleLindsey Thiers$25 gift card
Honorable MentionRaya Marie WardPinckneyville MiddleKaren Wilson$25 gift card

Sweetwater Middle was selected to receive the Donors Choose grant, worth more than $500 dollars of materials. For more information, call Richard Tilford of Sweetwater Middle at 770-923-4131.

Sycamore Elementary has a couple of events taking place this spring. On April 1 at 10 a.m., there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a new swing set arriving at the school. This effort was made possible with help from the PTA and Home Depot. In addition, Sycamore Elementary will host a Community Kindergarten event. Students have been learning in an economics class how to run a business and what it takes to earn a salary. On April 3,4, and 5, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., students will be able to shop with the salary they have earned. Visitors from community businesses will also visit the school to participate in the event. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Norcross Elementary will host a Montage and Empty Bowls event on April 1 at 5:30 p.m. Performances by the chorus, fitness club, and drama and art clubs will take place in the gym. Ceramic bowls and ice cream may be purchased after the performances and proceeds will benefit a local food bank. For more information, call Parent Outreach Liaison Jeimy Soto-Leon at 770-448-3168.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology will host a visit from the State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge on April 2. Dr. Barge will visit the school to participate in filming a student led video and tour the school. For more information, call 678-518-6700.

Norcross Elementary will host a Kindergarten Math in Motion/Community Project beginning April 1. Each classroom will run several “businesses” allowing students to hold a job and earn a salary they can spend in the community. Students will complete written applications for positions at the businesses where they want to work. When hired, they help build the business, create storefronts, compile inventory, and learn the art of customer service as it relates to the job. Students will participate in activities April 1-5. On April 3, local businesses are invited to represent their companies at the school. For more information, call 770-448-2188.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a 2nd annual GCPS College and Career Education Fair on April 4 from 4 to 7 p.m., open to all GCPS high schools. College and Career Education prepares students for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities. Students learn core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in daily activities; employability skills such as critical thinking and responsibility that are essential in any career area; and job-specific, technical skills related to a specific career pathway. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Cooper Elementary will sponsor a Career Fair in the gym on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Brandy Bortak, school counselor, at 770-554-7386.

Simon’s Fund, a Philadelphia-based non-profit, is funding heart screens for 300 Gwinnett middle and high school students in an event on April 7 at the offices of the Cardiovascular Group in Lawrenceville. The free screenings look for undetected heart conditions through an ECG exam and a physical. If needed, students will receive an echocardiogram, and may be referred to a cardiologist for follow-up. Based on past screenings, one out of every 100 students will discover an undetected heart condition. Registration opens March 6 online at Participation is limited to 300 students. Students and their families must complete paperwork as part of the registration process. For more information, visit Simon Fund at

The Greater Gwinnett Championship, the county’s new Champions Tour golf tourney, is scheduled for April 15-21 at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The tournament will benefit a number of local charities, including the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund. This 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. The event will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. To purchase tickets or volunteer for Greater Gwinnett Championship, visit

The PGA Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf, April 15-21 has volunteer opportunities available for students age 13 and up, and for adults. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Shuttle drivers to transport volunteers and players from parking lot to events, seven passenger van, no special license needed
  • Each hole needs at least 16 volunteers, assuming each volunteer works only the minimum three shifts
  • Volunteers are required to purchase a uniform packet which includes meal tickets, a high-quality golf shirt, wind jacket and a hat or visor. The total cost is $75 per adult or $25 per student.
For more information, and to register, visit and click on “Volunteer.” The PGA will allocate a portion of advance ticket purchases (for one day passes and weekly badges only) to GCPS if noted when ordering online at

Registration is going now for the 4th Annual GCPS “I See A Cure” Relay for Life 5K Run/Walk scheduled for April 27 at 8 a.m. GCPS is the largest supporter of Gwinnett Relay for Life. This event is a great opportunity for GCPS employees, faculty, and students, as well as the community, to support this important cause. Participants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag, and participate in a pre-race warm-up to live music at the 200 building of the Instructional Support Center (ISC). Raffle prizes and age group awards will be presented. The school or team with the most participants will be recognized at the awards presentation. Visit to register. If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 or Diane Cribb at 678-301-6121. Visit for more information.

Call the local school for more information.

Name of Event: GCPS Honor Orchestras Spring Concert
Teacher: Shawn Morton, Sarah Black, Bernadette Scruggs, Peter Lemonds
Date: Tuesday, April 2
Location: Peachtree Ridge HS
Time: 7:30 PM

Harbins Elementary School
Linda Wood, Teacher
PTA meeting, “Broadway Beat”
April 18
Presented in the Harbins Cafe at 6:30
In addition, we will have a tribute to our parents and friends who have volunteered at Harbins during the 2012-2013 year.
9:00 am in the Harbins Cafe also on April 18. Our Solo Singers will perform.

North Gwinnett High School
Teacher: Reyna O’Leary
Name of Event: Turn It Up
Date: April 18 and 19
Location: North Gwinnett H.S. Theater
Time: 7:00 pm

Duluth High Chorus will finish out the year with performances on April 19 and 20 in the auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Students will perform the variety show “Peach Jam” for the community. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Mill Creek High
Name of Event: “Beauty and the Beast” - Non Musical Children's Show
Date: April 19 & 20
Time: 7 PM

Archer High
Teacher: Brian Wolfe, Meghan Bawcum, Todd Ferguson, Ken Johnson (Principal)
Name of Event: AHS 1st Annual Jazz Festival
Date: Saturday, April 20
Location: Archer High
Time: 5-9 (could be slightly altered)

Grayson Tech Black Box Theatre
Teacher: Laura Heckman and all MS Drama Teachers
Name of Event: Dramarama
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: All-Day event

South Gwinnett High is performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare...Abridged
April 24-26 at 7 pm

Brookwood High
Name of Event: Musical “Pippin”
Date: April 25, 26
Time: 7 p.m.

School: Mill Creek High School
Teacher: Suzanne Kross
Name of Event: Spring Dance Concert: “Broadway”
Date: April 25, 26, 27
Location: MCHS Theatre
Time: 7 pm

Mountain View High
Dr. Beverly Johnston
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera
April 25, 26, 27
Mountain View High Theatre
7 p.m.

Collins Hill High
Penny Brown
Spring Musical: “GODSPELL”
Date: April 26 and 27
Location: Collins Hill High Theatre
Time: 7 p.m.

Beginning in March, the Gwinnett County Board of Education will go on the road, as it does each year, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public. They also are an opportunity to hear CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks’ annual address on the state of the school district, focusing on the district’s strategic direction, recent successes and new initiatives, and current budget challenges. Below are the remaining meeting dates.
March 28District IIMill Creek High
April 2District IVParkview High
April 4
April 16
District I
District V
Archer High
Meadowcreek High

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 2. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. If you are not sure of which school your child will attend, call the Planning Department at 678-301-7085. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2013, are invited to register their children for the 2013-14 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times and should bring the following documents for registering your child; an official document showing proof of birth date; evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year (a current Georgia Form #3300); a valid certificate of immunization (Georgia Form #3231); proof that you live in the attendance zone; proof of custody or guardianship, if not the birth parent; the child’s social security number (or you may sign a waiver at the school); and a photo ID for the adult registering the child. Additional information may be viewed on the system website

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) offers high school students two ways to learn for credit this summer.
  • Face-to-face summer classes (June 11–July 10) will be offered at three locations— Archer, Lanier, and Meadowcreek high schools. Online registration is now open for face-to-face classes. Students may register online ( for face-to-face summer classes through June 3, or register in person on May 30 at Meadowcreek High. Find course offerings and frequently asked questions on the face-to-face summer school website. (
  • Online summer classes (June 10–July 8) will be offered through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). Registration for online classes will open March 1. (Find course offerings and frequently asked questions online, along with registration information on the GOC website. (

Dates for GCPS 2013 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 have been set. Students may attend a 15-day session with no classes on Fridays. The first day of class is June 10, and last day is July 3. Summer school will not be provided at every school, due to maintenance and construction at some schools and plans for combined “cluster” summer school sites. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school sessions at a later date.
  • Parents of eligible students will be notified that their student may participate in the free session and given specifics about location and hours.
  • Most summer school sites will not offer transportation. Those schools with additional federal funding to offer transportation will notify parents regarding availability.
  • The free academic summer school is for students who were not successful on tests required for promotion or who did not meet promotion criteria at their grade level.
  • Students are given an opportunity to retake the CRCT subtest(s) at the end of summer school in order to meet promotion criteria and earn promotion to the next grade.

In partnership with Invent Now, Gwinnett County is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program for students entering grades one through six this summer. This weeklong adventure in creativity immerses children in imaginative play that reinforces and supplements school-year learning in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Students work together to seek innovative solutions to real-world challenges and sharpen learning skills such as teamwork and creative problem solving as they rotate through four modules each day. The camp runs from June 10-14. Dr. Gloria Elliott will direct the Camp Invention Geo-Quest program at Shiloh Elementary. Local educators will facilitate program modules, and high school and college students will serve as Leadership Interns. Register by March 28 for a $25 discount off the $225 tuition. Register online using Camp Code: C-GA22-11352-13 for a $195 tuition. Every registration includes a free Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800-968-4332 to register.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a four day technical education summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders (current middle school students) on June 3- 6 from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will explore careers in programs such as: Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Early Childhood Ed.–Babysitting Certification, Flash 2-D Game Animation, GA Pre-K Early Childhood Ed – Counselor, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare Science, Law and Justice, and Welding. All camp programs are led by GCPS instructors assisted by enthusiastic high school student aides.
The camp fee is $80 and is non-refundable. Registration runs through May 3 at
All forms must be completed before registration is complete. Each program must have a minimum of 10 students to be offered. For more information, call Sherri Stephenson at 678-518-6630 or Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603.

The Manilow Music Project will partner with Gwinnett County Public Schools to collect instruments to benefit music programs in the district’s schools. Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow initiated the instrument drive by donating a Yamaha piano to GCPS. Mr. Manilow will perform at a concert at the Gwinnett Center on April 27. Music lovers who donate new or gently used instruments will receive two tickets to the show, while supplies last. Instruments may be dropped off at the Center box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and after noon on weekend days with an event at the Center. More than 97,000 K-12 Gwinnett students are enrolled in music programs. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Gwinnett Center box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Grayson High Technical Education Program will host a tech ed summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th grade GCPS students from June 10-13. Programs include Digital Media and Animation; Video Broadcast journalism, Photography, Culinary, Music Technology and Robotics. The three time options for those attending include two half-day sessions from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. or from noon to 3 p.m. A full day option is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Robotics session only. To register, visit from April 1to May 15. For more information, call 770-554-7083.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/27/2013Maxwell HS of Technology invites students to attend College and Career Education Fair (pdf)
03/26/2013Sweetwater MS’ WordMasters attempt to set a national record (pdf)
03/25/2013Gwinnett community invited to attend 2013 Area Board meetings (pdf)
03/25/2013GCPS 8th graders improve already high scores on 2013 writing test (pdf)

“Love That Book - Hooray for Heroes!” Join New York Times best-selling author, Carmen Agra Deedy, this week on the newest episode of Love That Book! In this special “modern hero” themed program, Carmen highlights the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” and helps out James, a young neighbor searching for an idea to write about. This 10-minute program airs this week at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies” This program, moderated by Cokie Roberts, explores the struggles to establish a nation as seen through the eyes its early first ladies - Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison. Share their behind-the-scenes insights into the challenges faced by their husbands, as well as learn about the often overlooked contributions of these essential founding women. This 60-minuite program airs this week at 2 p.m. 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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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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The following schools will hold Local School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Arcado Elementary
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Britt Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood High
Craig Elementary
Crews Middle
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Dyer Elementary
Ferguson Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Grace Snell MS
Grayson Elementary
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harris Elementary
Head Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Lanier High
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Middle
Louise Radloff Middle
Magill Elementary
McConnell Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
Monarch School
Norcross Elementary
Norton Elementary
Oakland School
Parkview High
Partee Elementary
Patrick Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Richards Middle
Rockbridge Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Stripling Elementary
Trickum Middle
Trip Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary
Winn Holt Elementary
Woodward Mill Elementary

April is National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day.

April 8-12 is Spring break (school holidays).

April 12 is a Spring holiday for 12-month staff.

The week of April 14-20 is National Environmental Education Week, National Library Week, and Week of the Young Child.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 18, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

April 21-27 is National Student leadership Week.

April 22 is Earth Day.

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.