News You Can Use - 11/03/2003

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
11/03/2003 - 11/09/2003

Meadowcreek Elementary achieved national recognition as an Exemplary HOSTSLink Language Arts program for 2002-03. For more information, call 770-931-5701 or visit

Six programs from Maxwell High School of Technology have been selected to be part of the Programs of Study Clearinghouse. The programs selected are auto collision, taught by Don Henderson and Burth Luther; auto services, taught by Eliot Lawrence and Paul Lunsford; commercial arts, taught by Mark Jones; computer-aided drafting and design, taught by Elizabeth Pharr; construction, taught by Tony Shore and Marc White; and welding, taught by John Jacobs. Maxwell High was featured at the 2003 National Tech Prep Network Conference in Nashville on Oct. 10. The schools were recognized by Dr. Susan Sclafani, acting assistant secretary of education; Hans Meeder, deputy assistant secretary of education; and Dan Hull, President and CEO of CORD and founder of the National Tech Prep Network. Principal Roy Rucks went to Nashville represent the school. For more information, call Donna Powers at 770-963-6838.

Kady Litwer, a 4th grade student at Arcado Elementary, wrote a book review that was published in the Oct. 20 issue of “Scholastic News.” For more information, call Reneé Whaley at 770-925-2100.

Brenda Anderson, principal of Sycamore Elementary, has been selected as Georgia’s School Counseling Advocate of the Year by the Georgia School Counselors Association Professional Recognition Selection Committee (GSCA.) Gina Vines, of J.E. Richards Middle was named state Middle School Counselor of the Year. Ms. Anderson and Ms. Vines will be recognized at the GSCA award ceremony and reception on Nov. 19 in Atlanta. Ms. Anderson is also Region II Advocate of the Year for 2003-04. For more information, call Dr. Carrie Booher at 770-513-6792.

Meadowcreek High was awarded second place at the One-Act Play regional competition. Meadowcreek High students wrote and performed “95 MPH Without a Seat Belt.” The play is based on the students’ perception of high school life in the current century. This is the school’s second student-written and developed piece. The first piece written was the play “Indivisible,” based on the events of Sept. 11, 2001. For more information, call Richard Mitchem at 770-381-9680.

Three Brookwood High freshmen were semifinalists in the annual 2003 Ayn Rand Institute's Essay Contest. Devin Goure, Robert Sale, and Curtis Stephens each received cash awards for their essays on Ayn Rand’s novel, “Anthem.” For more information, call Linda Wrigley at 770-972-7642.

More than 500 poems were submitted for the Gwinnett County Library's Teen Read Week 2003 Poetry Contest. The winners are: Marie Agnello, Kelly Ford, Bria Rose, and Richard Williams, all of Brookwood High; Lauren Tamara Stanaland, of Central Gwinnett High; Corey Austin, of Five Forks Middle; Kathleen Quinn, of Grayson High; Jessica Carson, of North Gwinnett High; Vesna Ikanovic, of Shiloh High; Holly Harris, Josh Levine, and Kelsie Royal, all of Trickum Middle. For more information, visit

Brookwood High senior, Christina Barrett has been selected by Superintendent Kathy Cox to serve as one of 35 statewide student representatives on the newly formed Student Advisory Council. By serving on this council, Christina will have input as the state addresses educational concerns of students. Christina is also serving as president of Brookwood's first Future Educators of America chapter. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

The Collins Hill High Marching Band placed 9th in the preliminaries and 8th in the finals of the Atlanta Bands of America competition. This is the first time a GCPS band made it to the top 10 in this competition. For more information, call Richard Marshall at 770-682-4100.

The Brookwood High Marching Band recently participated in two competitions and brought home several honors: 30th annual Peach State Marching Festival and Competition in Rome, Ga.-- Straight superiors in all categories; band, 6th overall; drum majors, 1st in Class AAAA and 2nd overall; and percussion, 1st in class and overall. Smoky Mountain Invitational Marching Band Competition in Tennessee-- Straight superiors in all categories; band, 2nd in class AAAA; color guard, 2nd in class; drum majors, 1st in class and 2nd overall; and drum line, 1st in class and 1st overall. For more information, call Rudy Wilson at 770-972-7642.

Pam Wilson and Tiffany Flanders, two Sycamore Elementary teachers, were awarded grants from the North Gwinnett Cluster Foundation—in the amounts of $900 and $1,100, respectively— to support reading projects in their classrooms. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

In honor of Veterans' Day, the R.L. Norton Elementary chorus will perform on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Norton Elementary’s second grade classes will perform a program of patriotic songs On Nov. 11 at 1:45 p.m. Students will present medals to veterans attending the program. The school is expecting over 40 veterans who are relatives of the second graders. For more information, call 770-985-1933.

The Shiloh Middle Counseling Department is sponsoring a parent education night on Nov. 6. Parents are invited to meet in the cafeteria at 6 p.m. for a pizza dinner. The cost will be $1 per slice. Free childcare will be provided for children from ages 3 to 10. The sessions are:
  • “Am I the Only Parent With Rules?”— Linda Anderson, a licensed marriage and family therapist from Behavioral Solutions in Snellville, will speak on how to set limits with your children and prevent behavior problems in these difficult middle school years.
  • “Risky Business”— Ari Russell, from Gwinnett United In Drug Education will speak on building resiliency and preventing risky behaviors in our young people. She will show parents how to provide the assets youth need in order to be successful.
  • “My Middle Schooler Doesn’t Talk To Me Anymore!”— Dr. Mary Gordon will present ways to open up communication with middle school students who often don’t talk to parents as much as they used to.
  • “Homework Headache Relief’— Carol Wood, the director of Total Learning Concepts, will present wonderful tips and ideas to help parents get their middle school students motivated for success and organized for school.
  • For more information and to register, call Gay Madden at 770-736-4569.

Middle school and high school peer leaders from GCPS will gather at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula for the annual Peer Leadership Conference Nov. 6. The theme for the conference is “Keep Dreaming... Start Believing.” Students will listen to a keynote address and attend the following sessions: Cliques and Bullying, Effective Public Speaking, Tobacco Usage Prevention, Volunteerism, and Depression and Suicide. For more information, call Cathy Gill at 770-972-3224.

Thirty select members of Brookwood High’s advanced choruses will perform Thanksgiving day with “America Sings” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. “America Sings” is a large group of singers from across the U.S. who come together two days before the parade to practice their performance together for the TV broadcast. For more information, call Kim Peeples at 770-972-7642.

Knight Elementary is sponsoring a book fair Nov. 7-14. For more information, call 770-921-2400.

The Brookwood High drama department will perform “Our Town” Nov. 13 and Nov. 15. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call Ken Lindahl at 770-972-7642.

The North Gwinnett High Players will present a musical review Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The musical review will include selections from the ’40s through the ’80s. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Point Park College will hold auditions at Brookwood High on Nov. 3 for scholarships for summer dance intensive and for those seniors interested in majoring at Point Park College in dance, musical theater, theater, or technical theater. For more information, call Anna D'Antonio at 770-972-7642.

Knight Elementary parents are invited to attend any of the 30-minute sessions for NCSLearn Parent Training, which will be held Nov. 12 and Nov. 13. Session times are 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. The NCSLearn computer programs include language arts and math activities for children up through 8th grade students. Attendance is required to checkout the software. To reserve a space in the training, email Dr. Bernice Parrott at

Berkmar High is honoring U.S. service men and women by celebrating Patriot Pride Night on Nov. 11. A reception featuring student artwork will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a USO show at 7 p.m., featuring performances by the Berkmar High drama club, orchestra, and band. There is no charge for this special Veterans Day event. For more information, call 770-921-3636.

Brookwood High is sponsoring the 13th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival at the school on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 100 crafters will display a variety of handmade items for sale. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Brookwood High basketball program. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “Teachers Up Close” this week (Nov. 3-9). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
  • Adelphia on Channel 20 (or Channel 97 without converter)
  • Comcast on Channel 24
  • BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
  • Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS website--

The Sycamore Elementary 5th grade will host Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kyst and their llamas on Nov. 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The Kysts will teach students all about llamas and how they adapt to their surroundings. In the study of the Living World, a 5th grade science unit, the students have been comparing different kinds of animals and their protective adaptations, and identifying species and their positions in the food chain. The llama showing will directly reinforce the 5th grade Science AKS: predict why species survive (QCC) (5SC_B2003 – 4.) For more information, call Carissa Bull at 678-714-5770.
As an extension to Bethesda Elementary’s Red Ribbon Week celebration, Tyrone “Hollywood” Brown, a 10 year veteran of the Harlem Globetrotters will visit the school on Nov. 5. Hollywood will perform tricks and teach a few basketball moves to some of the kids, followed by a motivational talk. For more information, call Carol Lane at 770-921-2000.

Lawrenceville Elementary business partner Gwinnett Health System will visit students and staff during the week of Nov. 3 as part of the Junior Achievement Program. Students will be taught the basics of city planning and business structures through hands-on experiences. For more information, call Lawanna Caudle at 770-513-6744.

Shiloh Middle eighth grade science classes will experience a Space Shuttle simulation through Nov. 10. Student pilots, commanders, mission specialists, and a medical science director will be on board a school bus which has been outfitted to resemble the space shuttle Orbiter. Other students will man “mission control” from the school computer lab. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Knight Elementary will begin a schoolwide food drive on Nov. 3 to help the community’s needy families. Donated food will be distributed to local co-ops. The theme for the project will be “The Giving Tree.” For every three items donated, students will receive a paper leaf inscribed with their name to put on the school “Giving Tree.” All canned and package foods may be donated. Suggested donations include canned meat, dry beans, canned milk, fruit juices, chili, and personal care items (soap, deodorant, shampoos, etc.) For more information, call Diane LaCharite at 770-921-2400.

Sycamore Elementary will conduct its first canned food drive the week of Nov. 3-7. Students will bring canned food items to their classrooms each day. The Student Council will assist with the food drive and inform students each day on morning announcements how many cans have been collected by grade level. All donations go to the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, which serves the local community. For more information, call Erma McNeal at 678-714-5770.

Arcado Elementary will sponsor a food drive “Feeding Families in our Community” Nov. 3-7. Students will receive a grocery bag and are asked to return it to the school filled with groceries by Nov. 7. Donations go to the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services and the Lilburn Co-Op. For more information, call 678-925-2100.

The PTA Environmental Committee at Arcado Elementary will participate in a tennis shoe recycling program with Nike. During the week of Nov. 10-14, students will to bring in old tennis shoes to be recycled into play pads and basketball courts for children in disadvantaged locations. For more information, call 770-925-2100.

The service club at J.C. Magill Elementary–Magill Aiding Good in the Community (M.A.G.I.C)– participated in the Great Day of Service by layering dry soup ingredients in quart-size canning jars to distribute to families in need. The jars were delivered to the South Gwinnett Cooperative. For more information, call Debbie Riley at 770-554-1030.

The “I care” fundraising drive ran at Harbins Elementary through October. Almost $700 was raised from the scarecrow auction. Dr. Patty Heitmuller, principal, was honored by one of the classes with a scarecrow designed in her likeness. This “Dr. H.” scarecrow now greets students each morning at the front door to the school. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

The televised beginning English class for adult learners, called “English… Yes, I Can!” airs hour-long segments Monday through Thursday through Dec. 2. (The shows will be aired at 9 p.m. and at 1 a.m. later the same night. Weekly shows will be run again as a four-hour block on Sundays.) Schools or community members interested in the “English... Yes, I Can!” video set should contact Kolinda Scialabba by phone at 678-985-5228. For more information, visit


North Gwinnett High is holding a financial aid workshop Nov. 4.

Nov. 8 is the certified teacher job fair at Berkmar High from 9 a.m. to noon.

Nov. 9-15 is School Psychology Week in Georgia.

Nov. 10-16 is Youth Appreciation Week.

Nov. 12 and 13 are early release days for GCPS 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., Nov. 13, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.

Nov. 16-22 is American Education week.

Nov. 17-23 is National Children’s Book Week.

Nov. 19 is Education Support Professionals Day.

Nov. 20 is National Parental Involvement Day.

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