News You Can Use - 04/13/2006

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
04/13/2006 - 04/23/2006

Harbins Elementary will host an Art Show and Cultural Arts Night on April 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gym. Student artwork has been framed and may be purchased by family members during the event. Purchases also may be made by visiting the FirstART works Web site at Professional musicians and dancers also will perform during the event. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Duluth High is one of 50 high schools in the nation to be recognized with the 2005-06 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement for math, science, and technology. Duluth High is being recognized as the top school in Georgia for student participation and performance in Advanced Placement studies. The school will receive a $1,000 grant to support science and math education. For more information, visit

Ninety-one GCPS students were selected to participate in the 2006 Governor’s Honors Program. More than 10% of the Governor’ Honors participants this summer will be from GCPS. For a list of participants, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

Of the 737 GCPS 7th graders participating in the Duke University Talent Identification Program, 16 earned Grand Recognition by scoring in the top 2% nationally on the SAT or ACT test, while 293 qualified for State Recognition by scoring in the top 25% on the SAT or ACT. For more information, visit

Maya Moore, a Collins Hill High student and a member of the school’s championship basketball team, has earned high school basketball's highest honor, the Naismith Award, which recognizes the nation's best female basketball player. A national panel selects the award winner from nominations from around the country. Miss Moore received her award at a recent event sponsored by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Alton C. Crews Middle is one of 48 national finalists for the Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards for its professional development program that has a significant impact on the professional growth and development of staff and on student achievement. For more information, call 770-982-6940.

Heidi Downs' 8th grade gifted algebra students at J.P. McConnell Middle were national winners at the Continental Math League competition. The McConnell Middle was one of four schools nationally, and the only Georgia school, to earn a perfect score of the 236 schools participating. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Carol Issa, of Meadowcreek High and Melissa Lawley, of Taylor Elementary, have been awarded the Great Teachers…Great Kids! Award from the Pearson Learning Group. Both teachers will receive a grant of $150 towards instructional materials from the group. For more information, call Pamela Musick, National Literacy Director, at 800-435-3499.

Six Gwinnett students are winners in the 2006 National Achievement Scholarship Program, which recognizes outstanding black American high school students. More than 130,000 students nationwide were considered for the awards, with 1,300 students recognized as finalists and 800 students chosen as scholarship winners. The GCPS students are:
· John Riley of Dacula High, National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC) Achievement Scholarship
· Jasmine Ford of Mill Creek High, NMSC Achievement Scholarship
· Andrea Solomon of Collins Hill High, National Achievement Scholarship
· Corrine Harris of Parkview High, National Achievement Scholarship
· Moses Soyoola of Shiloh High, National Achievement Scholarship
· Joel Thompson of Brookwood High, National Achievement Scholarship
For more information, call Elaine Detweiler of National Merit Scholarship Corporation at 847-866-5100.

Valerie Mickish of Creekland Middle was named State Secondary Reading Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Reading Association. For more information, call 770-338-4703.

Dr. Terry Williams of Meadowcreek High presented “Teaching English Language Arts to English Language Learners” at the International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Conference. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Chris Fail of Meadowcreek High will represent the Atlanta Region of the English-Speaking Union at the National Shakespeare Competition in New York. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Chris Morris of North Gwinnett High, was recently honored by the state Board of Education for his accomplishments as the 2005-06 Georgia DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) President. He is a candidate for national president. For a picture, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call Jody Reeves at 678-3001-7050.

Grayson High’s Team Woodpecker placed among the top four teams at regional Envirothon competition and went to state competition last month, placing 8th. Team Woodpecker members are Michael Coté, Joel Marquis, Eric Martin, Bruce Self, Justin Smith, and Austin Waters. For more information, call 770-554-7093.

GCPS winners of the State Young Authors competition are listed below, with one student winning at each grade level. The student work will compete at the state level. For more information, call the local school.
KCarrington MooreWalnut Grove Elementary
1Jennifer WangSimpson Elementary
2Taji JacksonNorcross Elementary
3Marian TrainorSugar Hill Elementary
4Mehul BhagatParsons Elementary
5Supriya SajjaGwin Oaks Elementary
6Gabriele HickmanShiloh Middle
7Chloe BrownShiloh Middle
8Katherine NykanenHull Middle
9William CarsonSouth Gwinnett High
10Brenda LuoParkview High
11Katherine LiuDuluth High
12Monica HuynhBerkmar High

Berkmar High students competed at the Gwinnett County Science Fair in February. Garrett Rutland, Jonathan Walker, and Bryn Trussel earned first place for their projects. All three students will compete in state competition in April. Dongduy Nguyen received a first place for his project at the county level and will be an alternate at state. Walker and Trussel have also been invited to the Intel International Science Fair in May. Lyndsey Davis, Kelley Hodge, Penny Nguyen, Nicole Pineda, Henry Posso, and Lina Tan received Honorable Mention awards at the county level in February. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Five North Gwinnett HS students earned credentials in Marketing through a state program. The students— Kristen Carney, Courtney Kennedy, Christian Morris, Alexandra Steeves, and Karen Wieloch— took a test, presented a comprehensive project in marketing, and were interviewed by marketing professionals in earning their credential status. The program is a joint venture of the Georgia Department of Education, the Institute for the Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (A*S*K) for Business, and the Sales and Marketing Executives of Atlanta.

Holly Day of Mill Creek High was accepted as a fellow of the 2006 American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. The Institute is a two-week, all-expense-paid summer program that helps ground attendees in how daily newspapers and professional journalists work. The journalism program at Mill Creek also will receive several books, professional journals subscriptions, and memberships as a result of Ms. Day’s fellowship. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Gina Sheper, a psychologist serving Cedar Hill and Margaret Winn Holt elementary schools, presented “The Effects of Social Competence on Social Problem Solving” at the recent conference of the National Association of School Psychologists in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, call 678-301-7140.

Berkmar High will host Heart Screenings for Teens, offering echocardiograms for students on April 15. A charge of $58 covers the cost of the test. A Board-certified pediatric cardiologist will read the results. Visit for more information and to download registration and consent forms. Appointments may be made by calling Candy Stanford at 770-638-8391.

Arcado Elementary will host a 25th Anniversary celebration on April 17, beginning at 7 p.m. in the gym. Former Arcado students— especially families with a second or third generation student at the school— are invited to contact the school to become a part of the celebration. For more information, call Koki Horner at 770-925-2100 or by email at

Duluth High will host a visit from Mark O’Connor and Appalachia Waltz Trio on April 17. This internationally acclaimed string trio will perform selections from their original compositions of American music. The Duluth Wildcat Fiddlers will perform before the main act. Tickets are $15, and checks may be made out to the Duluth Symphony and Orchestra Association. For information on how to purchase a ticket, call Reid Smith at 770-232-3393.

Cedar Hill Elementary’s Relay for Life team will hold a yard sale on April 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

The Norcross High Players will perform “West Side Story” on April 20, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m., and on April 23 at 2 p.m. in the theatre. The musical will be directed by Gina Parris, Norcross High theatre director. Tickets are $7 for general admission, and $10 for preferred seating. Tickets also will be sold at the door one hour before the performance begins. For more information, call 770-447-2667.

Meadowcreek High will host “Arts by the Creek,” the second annual Meadowcreek Cluster Fine Arts Gala, on April 21 at 7 p.m. in the theatre. Admission is $3 and there is no charge for children five and under. Proceeds will support the Gala Foundation Scholarship Fund which creates a community of advocacy and support for the fine arts (visual arts, music, dance, and drama) within the Meadowcreek Cluster of schools, encouraging students to pursue excellence in the fine arts. Scholarship awards will be announced at the conclusion of the performances. For more information, call 770-806-2230.

Annistown Elementary will sponsor a Garage Sale on Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m. until noon. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. For more information, call 770-979-2950.

Students in the classes of Dr. Michael Brasel, who teaches U.S. history, European history, and macroeconomics at Mill Creek High, will create a display of the Holocaust in time for viewing by Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 25 at 7 p.m. in the school theater. Students will act as curators, producers, and guides to the display. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Meadowcreek High is looking for local authors, storytellers, book enthusiasts, journalists, community service personnel, parents, and community members to participate in the 2006 Creek Mustangs Love to Read Festival, an event to promote and celebrate reading and literacy. The event will be held April 27-29 in the school’s media center. Events will include authors reading and signing their books, writers critiquing student work, story telling, and student poetry recitations. Book vendors will be present, and authors are invited to bring copies of their own books to sell. To volunteer for the event or for more information, call Angela Reid at 770-806-2236 or 404-435-3873, or email Ms. Reid at

Michelle Jones’ gifted 4th graders at Level Creek Elementary are tutoring younger students in a Narnian-style FOREST (Focus On Reading Every Single Thursday) room that students developed. Each Thursday after school students practice reading, writing, and skill building. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Berkeley Lake Elementary kindergarten students attended the Atlanta Opera “Little Red Riding Hood” last month. This trip was made possible by a contribution from the Gallagher Electric and Engineering Company. For more information, call 770-582-7514.

“GCPS Focus” This week on GCPS Focus... an innovative learning environment at the T. Carl Buice School, coverage of Gwinnett’s Special Olympics, the system’s first-ever Reading Rally, students put their culinary skills to the test, and a look into the future of GCPS. This 30-min. program airs April 17-22 at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“ArtStage - Elementary Honor Chorus” Join GCPS TV and the elementary music teachers of Gwinnett County for a special program featuring the Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus. Students representing schools from across Gwinnett County showcased their talents at Mt. Carmel Christian Church for this delightful performance. This 60-min. program airs April 17-22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“The Rare Breeds - Colonial Williamsburg” Discover how work animals were used in colonial Virginia and the importance Colonial Williamsburg places on preserving rare breeds to recreate the life and times of early America. This 60-min. program airs April 17-22 at 1 p.m.

“English...YES, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through May 23 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute program airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., with the week’s shows broadcast again on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This GCPS TV original series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. However, the community is invited to watch and learn as well. The 10-part series will air in hour-long segments through May 28. Each week, a new show will premiere at 8 p.m. on Monday, then be rebroadcast in that same time slot Tuesday through Sunday.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Employees and citizens have five opportunities in April to hear about proposed budget plans for 2006–07 and discuss education topics with their elected officials in a public forum. One meeting is scheduled in each of the School Board members’ districts. The remaining Area Board Meetings are scheduled for:
• April 18, Carole Boyce’s District I meeting (for Dacula and Grayson clusters), hosted at Central Gwinnett High;
• April 20, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy’s District III meeting (for Duluth and Norcross clusters), hosted at Duluth High;
• April 25, Dr. Robert McClure’s District IV meeting (for Brookwood, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett clusters), hosted at Brookwood High; and
• April 27, Louise Radloff’s District V meeting (for Berkmar, Meadowcreek, and Parkview clusters), hosted at Parkview High.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Visit for information on GCPS prom dates, graduation dates, high school summer school registration (beginning online May 1), and kindergarten registration (May 4).

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 10-16 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

April 19-25 The Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) are administered in grades 3–5.

April 25-27 The Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) are administered in grades 1 and 2.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held May 11, 2006, at 7 p.m., at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alcova Elementary
Berkmar Middle
Cedar Hill Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula High
Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harris Elementary
Jones Middle
McConnell Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Sweetwater Middle