News You Can Use - 05/30/2011

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
05/30/2011 - 06/05/2011

May 30-June 5, 2011
News You Can Use… will return in August.
Grace Liu of Dacula High has been named the state winner for the National Honor Society Scholarship program. There are 53 state winners chosen from across the county who compete for a regional and national scholarship. Grace was awarded $1,500 for this honor. For more information, call Dacula High teacher Melodee Lackey at 770-963-6664.

GCPS teams took top honors at the Peachtree Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition. The North Gwinnett High Robotics Team was named State Champion for the second year in a row and winner of the Industrial Design Award. The Peachtree Ridge High Robotics Team won 2nd Place and was the winner of the Engineering Excellence Award. Finally, the Norcross High Robotics Team won the Judges Award.

Thirty six GCPS students placed 1st and 2nd at state DECA competition. DECA is an international association of high school and college students studying marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. GCPS has 16 active DECA chapters, with more than 1,600 students participating. Students from Brookwood High, Grayson High, Lanier High, Meadowcreek High, Mill Creek High, Norcross High, North Gwinnett High, Parkview High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High were honored. North Gwinnett High students Kelliann Morrisey and Hillary Cochran earned DECA scholarships as well. The North Gwinnett High "Dawg House" school-based enterprise earned Gold Level National Certification. For a list of student names, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

Gwinnett students won 1st and 2nd place in state FBLA competition. In addition, Stacia Burke of South Gwinnett High was elected to state office to serve as secretary. Parkview High was named Gold Chapter of the Year, and Berkmar High was named Silver Chapter of the Year.
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
Honoree (Student) Recognition / Event School Placed
Sara Beth Marchert Monty C. Rhodes Future Business Leader Archer High 1st
Sanya Pandit Accounting I Brookwood High 1st
Kourtney Chester Job Interview Grayson High 1st
Jason Vaughn Computer Game Programming Grayson High 2nd
Austin Wagoner Computer Game Programming Grayson High 2nd
Bradley Newton Help Desk Grayson High 2nd
Michael Green Entrepreneurship Mill Creek High 2nd
Tyler Kvietkus Entrepreneurship Mill Creek High 2nd
Lina Adams Management Decision Making – Team Parkview High 2nd
Mahek Virani Management Decision Making – Team Parkview High 2nd
Shakori Fletcher Impromptu Speaking South Gwinnett High 2nd

Gwinnett’s Georgia School Counselor Association Region II winners are Kim Geer, North Gwinnett High; Writer- David Young, Mountain Park Elementary; Sweetwater Middle Principal Dorothy Parker Jarrett- Counseling Advocate; and Counseling Supervisor - Dianne Thompson, Director of Advisement and Counseling. These recipients will move on to state competition.

Radloff Middle Teacher Caroline Raville has been selected by PBS to host “This American Land,” a series on the environment. The series will begin airing on August 5 nationwide, and explore natural resources in the U.S. including the landscape, waterways, and wildlife. For more information, visit For more information, call 678-245-3400.

Cathy Koon Harris Elementary is the recipient of a Special Teacher Award by Univision-Atlanta, a local television network. Ms. Koon’s dedication to students, staff and the community has won her a nomination. by the community. For more information, call 770-476-2241.

The 2011-2012 Teachers As Leaders Class has been selected by Teachers As Leaders, Inc. These teachers will participate in quality teacher leadership development.
Brittany AarestadNorcross HighAshley KirklandChattahoochee Elementary
Nelldra AllenDuluth MiddleAnna LawrenceDacula Middle
Jennifer BahrBrookwood HighAmy LopezMulberry Elementary
Sharon BlackWalnut Grove ElementaryApril MitchellRadloff Middle
Mandi BurgessLovin ElementaryDr. Vickie NashArcado Elementary
Lindsey CafarellaPeachtree Ridge HighGary NeffPinckneyville Middle
Doug CallahanJones MiddleLisa NoelPartee Elementary
Shannon CarterBeaver Ridge ElementaryJill ReidMason Elementary
Mary ClellandRiverside ElementaryAmber RussellAnderson-Livsey Elementary
Jacquelyn DargonBenefield ElementaryLeslie SazeraBuford Middle School
Robin DavisNorth Gwinnett MiddleLeslie SheppardBuford Academy
Cappy DouglassShiloh HighMary SilerMinor Elementary
Mandy GoodwinLawrenceville ElementaryDonna StimpsonCentral Gwinnett High
Tarcida HernandezCreekland MiddleCandace SwordsShiloh Elementary
Venice HindsNorcross ElementaryLori VanBuskirkBerkeley Lake Elementary
Brenda HitchcockBethesda ElementaryMeaghan WagarParsons Elementary
Bernita Houston-CravenRosebud ElementaryKatie WalkerHarbins Elementary
Mandee JablonskiBerkmar MiddleLauren WhitingHopkins Elementary
Eve JonesHarris ElementaryGinger WhitleyCamp Creek Elementary
Rosalita KennedyJenkins ElementaryJohn WillisGwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Staci KinslerIvy Creek Elementary
Grayson Technical Education Program will offer a Middle School Summer Career Academy for rising 7th and 8th graders attending GCPS. Students are invited to explore careers in cooking, law enforcement, photography, robotics, sports medicine, digital media and web design, TV broadcast production, and music technology. The four-day camp takes place at Grayson High during the week of June 27-30. Students may choose three hour morning (9 a.m.) or afternoon (1 p.m.) sessions. One exception is the Robotics program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Transportation and meals are not provided. For more information, visit Applications and payment can be mailed to the Grayson High School Community School office at 50 Hope Hollow Road, Loganville, GA 30052. The registration deadline is June 13. For more information, call Lisa Daenen at 770–554-7082.

Minor Elementary students participated in career activities during a recent career day. Students rotated through career centers and were visited by guest speakers. Activities throughout the week included wearing a shirt from a favorite college, dressing for an interview, awards day for future graduates, and dress up for a career of your choice day. For more information, call Beth Peterson, Parent Instructional Support Coordinator, at 770-806-2227.

Head Elementary students built a bridge to economics know-how with a toothpick project. Building Economic Bridges is an annual event that helps students learn about checks, balances, writing a company slogan and jingle, and building the strongest and best budgeted bridge. For more information, call Teacher Joann Morse at 770-972-8050.

Sweetwater Middle is the latest addition to Computers For Youth (CFY)-Atlanta with a school partnership for the “Take IT Home” program. Sweetwater is the 2nd GCPS school CFY-Atlanta has partnered with. Six half-day workshops were held at the school for 422 sixth grade students and their parents. Each student received a free home-learning center loaded with fun and engaging educational. Parents received training on how to be learning partners with their children. The Jackson EMC Foundation recently awarded CFY a $15,000 grant for the Take IT Home program at Sweetwater Middle.

Norcross Elementary spearheaded the Alabama Relief Drive for two weeks. Parents, students and staff members donated canned goods, clothing, bedding items, baby items, and other miscellaneous items. The community sent a total of 25 boxes to Alabama.

“GCPS Focus - Rebroadcast of August 2010 program This month, GCPS Focus salutes the inaugural class of the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, welcomes new teachers and leaders to a new school year, and celebrates an extraordinary act of giving at Lilburn Middle...join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week 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.

“Gwinnett Prep Rally” Gwinnett County’s original high school sports television program, featuring high school sport highlights from across the county, airs exclusively on GCPS TV this week. This 30-minute program airs Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Wednesday-Friday at 7:30 a.m., 7 p.m., and 10:30 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, 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 GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter, GCPS eNews... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
05/23/2011Gwinnett students earn top scores in Spanish language (pdf)
05/20/2011Two GCPS educators to lead schools in new year (pdf)
05/18/2011Four GCPS schools problem solve to the top (pdf)
05/18/2011GCPS students take top two spots on State Writing Test (pdf)
05/13/201151 Gwinnett students to share in $1 million Broad Prize (pdf)
05/12/2011Seven named Gates Millennium Scholars (pdf)
05/12/2011Gwinnett 11th graders improve already high marks on Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) (pdf)

General information on high school summer school registration
Summer session is available for students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders who may take designated classes. All classes have a fee. Learn more about summer school on the GCPS website,
Face-to-Face Classes
Dates: June 14–July 13 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Locations: Central Gwinnett High, Mill Creek High, and Shiloh High
Register: Online registration (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) will be held through June 7 at attending face-to-face classes also may register in person (cash or money order only) at Central Gwinnett High on June 4. All out-of-county students must register on June 4 at Central Gwinnett.
Online Classes
Dates: June 13–July 11 or 12 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Location: A reliable computer with an Internet connection (daily access required). Note: Final exams require face-to-face meeting. Some courses require materials pick-up June 8 or 9. Health, PE, and science classes require face-to-face meetings for labs and/or tests.
Register: Register online (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) at through June 3.

Elementary and Middle School Summer School…
Elementary and middle school students who need more time and opportunity to learn will have that option during Gwinnett’s free Academic Summer School. Qualifying students in grades 3–8 would be recommended for the 15-day session if they have not met requirements for promotion to the next grade— passing required sections of the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8; or passing core classes for 6th graders. Participating students will take a retest at the end of summer school to determine placement for 2011–12. Students will attend summer classes Monday through Thursday for three weeks, starting June 20 and ending July 14, with July 4 as a holiday. Summer school students will not attend classes on Fridays. Parents of qualifying students will receive additional information from their student’s school later this spring.

Gwinnett County Summer Remediation and Testing Program -- Summer 2011
Students who must retake one or more sections of the state-required Georgia High School Graduation Tests/Georgia High School Writing Test (GHighGT/GHighWT) are encouraged to participate in free remediation classes prior to the retest opportunity in mid-July. Both remediation classes and summer retests will be held at Phoenix High. Information on registering for remediation classes and taking GHighGT/GHighWT retests follows:
Summer Remediation Classes:
Classes will be held Monday, June 27, through Friday, July 8. Monday, July 4, is a Student/Teacher Holiday. Classes meet daily, Monday through Friday, and are available at the following times:
1st Period
8 – 10:15 a.m.
2nd Period
10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
3rd Period
1:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies

Registering for Summer Remediation Classes:
Students will come to Phoenix High School on either Wednesday, June 22, or Thursday, June 23, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to register for classes.
GHighGT Summer Testing:
Social StudiesMonday, July 118 a.m.
ScienceTuesday, July 128 a.m.
MathWednesday, July 138 a.m.
WritingWednesday, July 132 p.m.
English/Language ArtsThursday, July 148 a.m.
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled testing start time. Student results will be sent to the student’s home school, not Phoenix High.
· Students are required to present a valid picture I.D. in order to be admitted to testing. This may be a driver’s license, passport, student I.D., or state I.D.
· This is the only GHighGT/GHighWT state testing window during the summer. The next administration will be given in September at each local high school. For more information, call Tracy Robertson, coordinator of assessment for high school students, at 678-301-7057.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools have been scheduled from May 23-May 30. Visit the GCPS website to view dates, times, and locations.

May 30 is memorial Day, a systemwide holiday.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., June 16, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council meetings in May and June. Call the local school for the time and location.
Cooper Elementary
May 31
Parkview High
June 21
South Gwinnett High
June 21

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.
Gwinnett Historic Bus Tour
Jun 4
Discover your Inner Naturalist with Aldo Leopold
Jun 4
Renaissance Camp at Lawrenceville Female Seminary
Jun 6
Summer Camps this Week at the GEHC
Jun 6
Green Fire-Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
Jun 10