News You Can Use - 03/01/2004

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
03/01/2004 - 03/07/2004

Gregory Newberry, a Brookwood High senior, is one of two college-bound students in Georgia and one of 38 nationally to achieve a 36, the highest possible composite score, on the Dec. 2003, national test administration of the ACT Assessment. For more information, call 770-982-7642.

The Gwinnett Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held Feb. 20, at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. More than 120 students participated, with more than 90 judges evaluating their projects. Thirty first-place winners from the regional fair will participate in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair on April 15-17, with four alternates on standby. For a complete list of winners, contact Nikki Mouton at 770-513-6629.

Berkmar High German students excelled at the state German Language Competition. Charlotte Carlstrom earned first place in the Story Telling competition and second place in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition in German IV/V. Maria Nguyen earned second place in the Poetry Recitation category. For German V, and a Certificate of Recognition for her Superior rating on the Written Test. Rey Pineda earned first place on the German Written test and top marks in the Designed T-shirt competition. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

Berkmar High students performed well at the recent Georgia Foreign Language Association competition. The following German students earned superior ratings: Mubina Beato, Alexandra Berrios, Charlotte Carlstorm, Leslie Diez, and Almedina Karimanovic. The following Latin student received a superior rating: Vy Ngo, and John Bottley, Steven Horzewski, Abigail Moon and Tiffany Waters received excellent ratings. The following French students received superior ratings:Karina Ibanez, Cindy Ledesma, and Laura Morena. Ashley Creek, Veronica Frank, and Jamir Mathewson received excellent ratings, and Bolin Niu received notable. The followint Spanish students received superior ratings: Aneeth Geetha, Alina Ilie, and L’Anita Weiler, and Seth Weiler received notable. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

Two Dr. M.H. Mason Jr., Elementary Odyssey of the Mind teams competed in Jefferson, Ga. on Feb. 21. The "Featured Creature" team came in second place out of nine teams. The "Fantastic Art" team came in first place out of seven teams. Both teams will advance to the state finals. For more information, call Charlotte Bankston at 770-232-3370.

Berkmar High students Lucrecia Quezada and Fatima Zepeda earned second place at the Gwinnett County Level One Culinary Competition. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

Berkmar High student Vernie Cincotta will receive the Georgia Reading Association's Bob Jerrolds Reading Achievement Award at an awards brunch on Feb. 27 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. For more information, call Diana Preston at 678-924-5328 or Sandra Martinez at 678-924-5380.

Berkmar High DECA students competed at Region 2 competitive events Feb. 5 at North Gwinnett High. The following students placed at region and will compete at state level March 12-13: Whitney Resko earned third-place in Job Interview, Alberto Ponce earned third-place in the Selling Test, and Zain Sohani earned fourth-place in Retail Merchandising Management Level. For more information, call 678-924-5328.

Centerville Elementary students entered two winning projects in the annual 4-H County Project Achievement competition. Isabelle Cadorette earned first place in History and Molly Mullholland earned first place in the Food for the Family category. These students will participate in the state 4-H competition at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. For more information, call Kimberly Adcock at 770-982-6976.

The Richard Hull Middle math team placed third in the Math Counts Bowl held Feb. 21. The team members include Chelsea Bailey, Christina Carroll, Joy Choi, and Jason Herman. In the Math Counts individual competition, Kanaz Jain earned fifth-place. Jason Herman will join Kanaz at state competition. Students Andrew Dicks, David Torciia, and Cody Winn also competed in the individual competition. The team is coached by 8th grade gifted teacher Donna Gwyn. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

Richard Hull Middle will send its top five scorers from the Georgia Math League Competition to the statewide competition. The students representing Richard Hull Middle are Tyler Droll, first place;
Nicholas Keith, second place; Priyanka Gandhi and Nancy Ouyang, tied for third place; and Huy Nguyen, fifth place. These students turned in a team score of 182 out of a possible 200. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

Six Duluth Middle students represented the school in January at the North Springs Math Invitational at North Springs High in Fulton County. The invitational is a middle school math competition, testing students for their knowledge and ability in Geometry, Algebra, problem-solving, probability, and other math concepts. Team members include Alexis Anderson, Shilpa Darivemula, Rebecca Leo, Caterina Li, Silki Modi, and Serena Zhang. Duluth Middle placed eighth among 20 schools. Caterina Li scored in the top 20 percent. Duluth Middle scored first among the four GCPS schools represented. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

The following Collins Hill High students had their artwork selected for “Visual Vibes,” the high school art show affiliated with the Atlanta Dogwood Festival:
Whitney Barton, “Still-Life,” placed eighth overall
Graham Barland, “0% Fat,” photograph
James Ford, “Fiskemanen (The Fish Moon),” cut-paper collage
Ralph Mylie, “Americana,” painting
Jen Shagren, “Grand Avenue,” painting
Laura Simpson, “Shadows in the Sand,” photograph
Silvia Tulei, “Standing Alone,” pencil drawing
This competition is open to all high schools in the state. The Dogwood Festival takes place the first week of April.

Berkmar High students won the January Newspaper Recycling Contest, sponsored by SP Recycling. The school recycled 4,182 pounds of newsprint during the month.

Registration for the new Grayson High School Technical Education Program will begin in early March for rising GCPS juniors and seniors who are pursuing college prep. Registration takes place at local high schools. Specialized classes in 14 curriculum areas are planned for August 2004, including Biotechnology, Commercial Photography, Culinary Arts, Digital Media and Design, and Music Technology. Classes are offered in a half-day or evening format. For more information, call Principal Keith Chaney at 770-554-1071.

This week (March 1-7), tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for:
"Teachers Up Close,” about transitioning from elementary school to middle school, airing 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. each day.
“In Five,” a five-minute news update, airing at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily.
“BookTales,” featuring nominees for the 2003-2004 Georgia Children's Picture Book Award, and airing daily at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“Seussentennial Imagination Tour Highlights,” airing at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 2-4.
“English...Yes, I Can,” (Series 1), an encore broadcast of programs 1-4 of this 34-part series, airing at 9 p.m. March 1-4, 1 a.m. March 2-5, and in a four-hour block, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 7.
GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
Charter Communications on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an e-mail to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

K. E. Taylor Elementary will celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth, students will feast on green eggs and birthday cake in the cafeteria. More than 100 guest readers will visit the school. These readers include parents, high school students, Gwinnett County firemen, and others from the community. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Berkmar High students belonging to Future Business Leaders will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss' Read Across America Day by reading to Corley Elementary students on March 2. The students will discuss the importance of reading, engage students in reading activities, distribute copies of "The Cat in The Hat--The Movie," and share a birthday cake. For more information, call 678-924-5328.

Richard Hull Middle will celebrate Read Across America during the month of March. Students will begin their second annual "trip" reading across America. Each grade level will start at a location on the East Coast moving one mile for every point earned. Points are earned for successfully completing a test on each book. The goal this year is to be the first class to reach Hollywood. For more information, call 770-232-3200.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr., Elementary will celebrate Read Across America Day throughout the week of March 1-5. The PTA reading and literacy committee planned several special events for students. Parents and community volunteers will read to students in the media center throughout the week, and a special lunch in honor of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birthday will be served in the cafeteria. For more information, call Sheryl Croy at 770-623-4815.

To celebrate Read Across America Day, Rebecca Minor Elementary will invite students to participate in a reading chain in the school hall after morning announcements. On March 2, students will spend approximately 15 minutes reading. Also, throughout the day, a variety of faculty and staff will read for several classrooms. The volunteers will share their favorite Dr. Seuss book. For more information, call 770-925-9543.

Duluth Middle has many events planned to celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2. Students participating in the read-a-thon will collect pledges from parents and relatives for the number of pages they read (proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life cancer research). Guest readers include Duluth City Council members, parent volunteers, Duluth High students, local church representatives, area business representatives, and Duluth Middle administrators. The school will sponsor a Dr. Seuss trivia contest with door prizes for students and a birthday cake in honor of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth. Students will make presentations to go with their book reports. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

The staff at Centerville Elementary will sponsor a “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast on March 2 at 8 a.m. Students and parents are invited to breakfast in honor of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birth. The Centerville Celebrity Readers will be on hand to entertain, and door prizes will be awarded to each student who attends. For more information, call Kimberly Adcock at 770-982-6976.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will celebrate Read Across America Day with “A Dr. Seuss Sleep-over” on March 2. For more information, call Linda McMahon at 770-447-2691.

Sycamore Elementary staff and students will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birth and Read Across America Day with a variety of activities during the week of March 1-5. Business partners, School Board members, and other guests, including GCPS CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, have been invited to read to students on March 5. In addition, students will celebrate with a lunch of green eggs and ham and birthday cake. Principal Brenda Anderson will read “Hooray for Diffendorfer Day” to the entire student body on closed-circuit television. Students will provide book reviews each day on the morning news show. A variety of classroom activities are planned to take place throughout the week. For more information, contact Pam Wilson at 678-714-5770.

Bethesda Elementary students will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth on March 2 with a variety of planned activities. The cafeteria will serve "green eggs and ham." Students and teachers are encouraged to dress in their favorite Dr. Seuss attire. A visit from the "Cat in the Hat" and the Berkmar High football team is planned. The celebration will end with a birthday card contest. For more information, call 770-921-2000.

Susan Stripling Elementary will hold a Technology Family Night on March 2. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a chili dinner (nominal cost), sponsored by Fire Mountain Restaurant. The program will begin at 7 p.m. Other activities include a tour of the news studio and computer labs, a presentation of digital photos, and more. In honor of Read Across America Day, the Parent Center will give away one free book to each of the first 50 families to visit the Parent Center that night. Guest readers include GCPS Board members Dr. Mary Kay Murphy and Louise Radloff (reading as Miss Frizzle). “Reading Tips for Parents” will be presented during the program. The Center will be open until 8 p.m. on Technology Family Night. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

March 1-5 is Exceptional Children’s Week, and two receptions will be held to honor outstanding students in GCPS special education classes. The first reception will be held at Meadowcreek High on March 2 at 7 p.m. Collins Hill High will hold a reception on March 4 at 7 p.m. For more information, call Mary O’Connell at 770-979-2950.

The Brookwood High Performing Arts Department will present the following plays in the theater. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on the designated nights.
“Alice in Wonderland” March 3 and 5
“Noises Off” March 24-27
“You Can't Take It With You” April 14-17
“Fiddler on the Roof” May 6-8
Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Jackson Elementary will hold its annual Curriculum Art Show on March 4. The first session for grades K-2 will run from 4 to 6 p.m. The second session for grades 3-5 will run from 6 to 8 p.m. The theme for the show is Swamp Math. Each grade will have a mathematical theme and will display desktop art related to the swamp and to the grade’s theme. In addition, the gym will be decorated with swamp decor for movement and square dancing activities. Other highlights include a story teller, origami art, and math snacks for sale. For more information, call 770-682-4200.

Math Night at Harbins Elementary is set for March 4, and the theme is "Revving it Up for Math." Various "pit stops" will be set up around the school with math demonstrations and examples. There will be a PTA meeting at 6:30 p.m. and Math Nascar fun from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

J.C. Magill Elementary will hold its second annual Evening of the Arts on March 4 in celebration of Youth Art Month and Music in Our Schools Month. This year's theme is "A Taste of Art" and the music theme is “Connect with Music.” There will be a variety of fine arts activities for families, including a treasure hunt, folk dancing, weaving, and performances by the choir and signing choir. Student art work will be displayed throughout the school. For more information, call 770-554-1030.

Duluth Middle will host its second Annual Talent Show on March 5 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Students and faculty members will showcase their talent, with proceeds from ticket sales going to Relay for Life. Entertainment will include singers, dancers, piano players, skits, jokes, and even a special screening of a movie made by a student with faculty assistance. There also will be an "American Idol" skit. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

March 1-5 is National Beta Club week. As part of the celebration, Sycamore Elementary's Junior Beta Club members will write thank-you notes to all teachers and staff members for their support and hard work throughout the school year. For more information, contact Carissa Bull at 678-714-5770.

The Peachtree Ridge High School Foundation is hosting the “Lions Classic Golf Tournament ” at the Tournament Players Club at Sugarloaf on March 8. This tournament serves as a vehicle to provide funding to further the vision of Peachtree Ridge High. The foundation was created to encourage support for the school, ensure academic excellence, and provide the necessary facilities to enable our young adults to compete and excel in Gwinnett County. The Peachtree Ridge High School Foundation is a Georgia nonprofit corporation recognized as tax exempt under IRS Sec. 501(c)3. For more information on this event, contact Diane Clausen at 678-957-3166.

The Arcado Elementary Community Theater will present “My Fair Lady” March 11–14 at Parkview High theater. Ticket forms and information are available at the Arcado Elementary office. For more information, call 770-925-2100.

The Brookwood High dance team will perform the swing number “Sing Sing Sing” in the National High School Dance Competition. Of the 162 choreographic works submitted from 72 schools in the United States, Canada, Australia and Bermuda, 60 were accepted. The Gala Performance will be held at the Merriam Theater at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia from March 11-14. For more information, call Anna D'Antonio at 770-972-7642.

The third Annual Centerville Elementary Parent/Teacher Basketball Game will be held March 12 at 7 p.m. in the Shiloh High gym. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $6, or $5 with a PTA membership. Everyone is invited to come early and attend the Slice and Dunk Pizza Social, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Shiloh High cafeteria. Tickets include one slice of pizza and a drink. For more information, call Kimberly Adcock at 770-982-6976.

Dr. Ronnie Akers, assistant professor and chair of Reinhardt College’s Physical Education Department, will provide a dance presentation to all Duluth Middle physical education classes on Friday, March 12. In addition to introducing a variety of dances to the students, Dr. Akers will teach each class several dance steps. Dr. Akers has taught various classes in physical education, personal wellness, tennis, line and social dancing, and weight training at Reinhardt College, the State University of West Georgia, and Jacksonville State University. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

Pam Alexander, illustrator and co-publisher of the Yumion books, will visit Beaver Ridge Elementary on March 16. The Yumion books include “The Onion Ambassador,” “Yumion Goes to the City,” and, most recently, “Yumion Goes to the Mountains.” The series is written for grades K-2 and provides factual information about Georgia. For more information, call Linda McMahon at 770-447-2691.

Alton C. Crews Middle will perform “The Music Man” for its spring musical March 18-20. Tickets go on sale March 10. For more information, call 770-982-6940.

Berkmar High is making its 2004 Georgia High School Graduation Test a community event. Berkmar High is enlisting area businesses to help fund a series of events and incentives to encourage students to do their best during testing. On March 19, Berkmar High juniors will attend a motivational pep rally to raise awareness for 100% attendance during testing. Students will be provided nutritional snacks during testing days March 22-25. Prior to the week of testing, local businesses are asked to place support messages on their marquees. This year’s test results are critical as Berkmar High strives to meet adequate yearly progress goals mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Arcado Elementary will host a Bicycle Rodeo March 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. A helmet and bicycle are required equipment, and parents must accompany children. Community members are welcome to attend. The rodeo will be conducted by the Gwinnett County Public Safety department. Participants must register by March 5. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place on April 17. Registration forms may be obtained by calling 770-925-2100.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host several parenting workshops on selected Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Material will be available for parents to use at home with their students. Lunch and childcare will be provided. Following are the dates and topics. For more information, call 770-963-1813.
March 20 Testing Strategies
March 27 Fitness and Nutrition
April 24 Building Self-Esteem/Discipline
May 15 Summer Learning Strategies

Beaver Ridge Elementary will hold a Scholastic Book Fair on March 25. This also is the date for the second Annual International Heritage Night and the school’s Science Fair. For more information, call Linda McMahon at 770-447-2691.

A new after-school club for 4th and 5th grade girls will be offered at J.C. Magill Elementary, beginning in March. The club will promote cooperation, team building, self-esteem, social skills, and “girl pride,” with games using physical activities and running. Culmination of the club will be a 5K run for the Gwinnett community in May. For more information, call 770-554-1030.

Lanier Middle gifted students are finding that learning can be fun and beneficial as they participate in a new program titled “Problem Solving in the Real World,” The 9-week classes are "Building Homes of Our Own" and “Stock Market.” The program promotes higher-level and critical thinking in the context of real world, problem-solving situations. For more information, call Susan Hall at 770-393-3360, or email her at

Sweetwater Middle is sponsoring a reading enhancement program which incorporates reading strategies and skills with computer technology in a small-group setting. Sweetwater Middle is able to offer this class as a result of a $37,000 after-school Reading Challenge Grant, awarded in November 2003. Transportation is not provided. These sessions will be held on most Saturdays through May 1. Students in the program must report to Sweetwater at 8:30 a.m. and be picked-up promptly at 1 p.m. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Students may register online through March 17 for the fourth mini-session at Buchanan High School of Technology at The fourth mini-session begins Mar. 22. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Middle Level Education Month, National Nutrition Month, Women’s History Month, Social Work Month, and Youth Art Month.

Newspaper in Education Week and Exceptional Children’s Week start March 1.

March 2 is Read Across America Day.

National School Breakfast Week starts March 8.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 11, 2004, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public hearing will be held on GCPS’ proposed lease/purchase agreement. The hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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