News You Can Use - 05/26/2008

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
05/26/2008 - 06/06/2008

This is the last issue of “News You Can Use…” for the 2007-08 school year. The publication will return in August.

GCPS had 26 students rank in the top 10 spots on the National French Exam, among students at their class and experience level in the nation. At the state level, 37 GCPS students ranked in the top 10 spots. Parkview High student Jessica Hernandez had a perfect paper, ranking #1 in the state and the nation in French I. More than 100,000 students from across the nation take this exam every year. For more information, call Foreign Language Director David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

Brookwood High student Ben Townsend has been awarded one of 30 trips to Germany, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German (ATTG/PAD). Ben qualified to interview for the trip competition by posting a high score on the National German Exam. Outstanding secondary students compete for a three- to four-week study trip to Germany, with a family stay and attendance at a Gymnasium (high school) and participation in various excursions to places of cultural significance.

Duluth High student Roger Ou received honorable mention at the national level for his essay in the Council for America's First Freedom essay contest. This contest was open to students in grades 9-12 across the country, in which only 10 students were recognized. The students write about an assigned topic in which they examine religious freedom, its history, current importance, and relevance in their lives. The contest was judged by college professors, ambassadors, and various legal experts on religious freedom.

Two Sweetwater Middle students earned perfect scores in the National WordMasters Challenge-Gold Division. Both students, Dakota Waters and Yaro Ioseliani, are 6th graders at Sweetwater Middle.

GCPS will send 175 high school technical education instructors to a “Back to Industry Summit” on June 2 at the Gwinnett Place Marriott. This summit will provide information to instructors about Economic Development and the importance of a well-trained workforce. Training will be provided on specific skills that employers are requiring workers to possess when they enter the workforce. Keynote speakers will include Nick Masino, vice president of Economic Development for Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce; Michael Thurmond, Georgia Labor Commissioner; and Sarah Hawthorn, Illustra Image Consulting. Instructors will participate in a Job Shadowing Day on June 3. Teachers have been paired with a business and industry partner allowing them to see first hand what happens in the workplace. For more information, call Jodi Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships, at 678-301-7050.

A Collins Hill High student will travel to Washington, D.C. this summer to visit the Holocaust museum. Sea Young Hwang earned first place in the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust writing contest, earning the June 18th trip and $100. The student will visit the museum with other state winners from around the country. Sea was honored during the Georgia Days of Remembrance ceremony in May, along with a second Collins Hill High student. Alex Paul placed third in the writing contest. He won $50, a medal, and a certificate.

Seven GCPS students have qualified to be in Kansas City in late June to compete in the National SkillsUSA Championships. The Maxwell High School of Technology and Grayson High School Technical Education Program students qualified for the national competition after earning first place during the state championships held this year in Gwinnett County. The participating students are:
Ancelet Abraham -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Technical Computer Apps
Nathan Kodilla -- Grayson High School Technical Education Program
Computer Programming
Zack Meanor -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Electronics Technology
Karolyn Michaels -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Practical Nursing
Jhonathan Moreno -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Job Skill Demo Open
Rebekah Phillips -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Sam Rogers -- Maxwell High School of Technology
Collision Repair
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives; working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. For more information, contact Michael Gary 770.554.7091 at the Georgia High School Technical Education Program.

Three GCPS student projects will compete in the National History Day contest, which will be held at the University of Maryland campus, June 15-19. The projects qualified to participate in the national competition after earning the top two spots during the National History Day in Georgia contest, sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council. Projects consist of papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites, all on topics that relate to the annual theme “Conflict and Compromise in History.” The following projects advance to nationals in June: “Causes of the Boxer Rebellion” (senior historical paper) James Alin, Norcross High, teacher Neal Nichols; “Women in the U.S. Military” (senior group exhibit) Kate Fosse, Emily Summerbell, Shelby Vold, Lauren Yanochik, and Caitlyn Askew, Collins Hill High, teacher Terrae Fogarty; “Communication between Families During War,” (senior group performance) Kaitlin Torke, Margaret Derby, and Ashley Westpheling, Collins Hill High, teacher Terrae Fogarty. For more information, about the program in Georgia, contact Laura McCarty at 404-523-6220 or or visit the National History Day at

The Susan Stripling Elementary Parent Center brought a group of Susan Stripling parents to CNN Center for a tour of the Cable News Network. Parents learned about how the network operates and how to engage their children in quality, hands-on, real-world learning. Education and career goals were also discussed. Parents had the opportunity to read from a teleprompter, and were shown on-air in a live broadcast.

The ADVANCE program, sponsored by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department, recently held graduation ceremonies at J.C. McGill Elementary. ADVANCE stands for avoiding drugs violence and negative choices early, and is taught to 5th grade students by deputies. This program helps students withstand peer pressure in middle school. For more information, call ADVANCE Coordinator Lynda Kane at 770-554-1030.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.

05/21/2008Public hearings scheduled in preparation of millage rate adoption (pdf)

Gwinnett School Board recognizes students for earning state and national honors Simpson Elementary, Collins Hill High, Meadowcreek High, and Parkview High students saluted (pdf)

“Education News Parents Can Use: High Performing Teachers-Leading Students to Success in the 21st Century” The month’s edition will explore how effective teaching is at the core of America’s long-term economic competitiveness; highlight progressive strategies to recruit, train, and reward effective teachers; and, feature award-winning educators from across the country who are dedicated to improving student achievement and ensuring student success in today’s global economy. This 60 minute program airs May 26-June 1 at 6:30 p.m.

“French in Action” This Annenberg Media series uses active participation to increase fluency in French, while introducing French culture. Pierre Capretz's proven language-immersion method is presented within a humorous teleplay with native speakers of all ages and background. The storyline of an American student and a young French woman’s adventures in Paris and the French countryside is reinforced by Dr. Capretz’s on-camera instruction. This 60-min. program airs May 30-June 1 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, through June 29 (a new class airs each week, beginning on Monday).

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, 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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... 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.

Memorial Day on May 26 is a system holiday and all locations are closed.

Remaining dates for the FY 2009 Budget Process
June 2-- First public hearing on tax millage rate
June 9-- Second and third public hearing on tax millage rate and adoption of millage rate
(All meetings will be held at the Instructional Support Center)

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., June 19, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during June. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
W.J. Cooper Elementary6/1
Parkview High6/23

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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

June 7, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m., Nature Kids, $5/child
Calling all 2-4 grade kids -- track down prints that animals leave behind as they travel through the woods. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please pre-register by calling 770-904-3500 by May 24. Enjoy the Center while you’re here for an additional fee.

June 21, 11 a.m. - noon, and 3 p.m. - 4 p.m., Going Green Neighborhood, Free with center admission and to members
Build a streetscape model to learn about “green” building. Kids will compare their neighborhood to a neighborhood that doesn't use eco-friendly practices. Great for kids 6 and up. Please pre-register by calling 770-904-3500 by June 7.

June 27, 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Exploring the Night Sky, Adults $10, Kids $5, Family of 4-$25
Explore the beautiful night sky with a guided walk and tour of the summer constellations and listen to the stories surrounding them. Learn about the three planets visible in our summer skies--Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In case of clouds or rain, the program is rescheduled for Friday, July 11. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Call 770-904-3500 to pre-register and pay by June 13.