News You Can Use - 03/12/2012

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
03/12/2012 - 03/18/2012

Brookwood High will host the Harlem Legends in a charity event for the Amanda Riley Foundation on March 10 at 3 p.m. The Legends team members are former Harlem Globetrotters and these players will compete in a game against the Amanda Riley All-Stars— Brookwood coaches and teachers and other members of the community. The Amanda Riley Foundation was created to honor a Brookwood High student who lost her battle against cancer. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-736-2088, or email

Jenkins Elementary student artist Carolyn Phung won “My Math,” a national art contest and $15K for her school. Carolyn’s artwork will appear on the cover of McGraw-Hill’s My Math textbook. The school held a celebration to honor the 4th grader, and she received a copy of the cover of the book to hang in her home. The school also will display a poster-sized version of the cover.

Three GCPS high schools have been selected as finalists in the Web Challenge 2012 “Engage Students in STEM Learning” competition. These finalists were carefully chosen from a pool of 57 entries:
  • Meadowcreek High (finalist in 3 areas)- EvoMobile, Mountain Lions, and XquiSiTe
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (finalist in 2 areas) - ICE Neuroscience, and The Allotroupe
  • Lanier High School - Team CDAT
As a finalist, the teams will be recognized at the 4th Annual Web Challenge Awards Reception held at Cisco in Lawrenceville on March 22 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Category and Grand Prize winners will be announced and scholarship awards presented at the reception. For more information, call Michael Robertson, Executive Driector of TAG Education Collaborative, at 404-920-2038 or email

The scientific discovery of several Berkmar Middle students and science teacher Ryan Manning is now officially on the record books. The “Gwinnett Archaeology Research Society” (GARS) recorded the Berkmar Mystery Site, which is located near Berkmar Middle in Lilburn. The site was at one time part of the historic Wynne-Russell Plantation. GARS featured the students and their discovery on a recent newsletter at and For more information about the science project, call the local school.

GCPS teams placed among the winners at the Regional Mock Trial competition. Brookwood High was a regional finalist, and Duluth High and Shiloh High teams earned semi-finalist titles. In addition the following schools took honors for outstanding attorneys and witnesses in the competition.
  • Brookwood High Outstanding Attorneys: Robert Cunningham, Sharon Kumi, William Ortiz, Sydni Tillman
  • Outstanding Witnesses: Victoria Cossey, Caleigh Derreberry
  • Duluth High Outstanding Attorneys: Ashwinii Guruswami, Pedro Stewart (won twice)
  • Outstanding Witnesses: Daniella Guzman, Nadia Khan
  • Lanier High Outstanding Attorneys: Marly Alcide, Jack Samuels
  • Outstanding Witnesses: James Hughes, Eric Jorgensen
  • North Gwinnett High Outstanding Attorneys: Joshua Metcalf, Amanda Wall
  • Outstanding Witnesses: Jennifer Guilarte, Sonia Patel:
  • Meadowcreek High Outstanding Witnesses: Kyle Ebanks, Miguel Valdez
  • Mill Creek High Outstanding Witnesses: Caterina Kurz (won twice), Jordan McLaren, Stephanie Watson
  • Duluth High Outstanding Attorneys: Ashwinii Guruswami, Pedro Stewart (won twice)
  • Outstanding Witnesses: Daniella Guzman, Nadia Khan
  • The state honored Duluth High Mock Trial Coach Mary Ann Meeks for 23 years of service in working with students in Mock Trial competition.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a Mosaic of Writing Presentations on March 13 at 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to be a part of a wonderful evening full of writing. Students will showcase their writing skills. In addition, there will be door prizes awarded. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

North Gwinnett High French Teacher Rhonda Archer has been selected to participant in an exchange program through the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Tech. North Gwinnett High partners with a school in France as an element of this program. North Gwinnett High is one of only six schools selected from Georgia to participate in the program. Sixteen students and one teacher from France will be hosted by North Gwinnett High students the week of March 8-14. The students will be at the school March 13, and 14. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Duluth High students will perform “Footloose” on March 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. and March 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $10 for adults and $8 for a student or children. For more information, call Theater Director Gwyn Jones at 770-476-5206.

Pinckneyville Middle students will perform the musical “Oklahoma” on March 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. for more information; call Theater Arts Director and Drama Club Sponsor Tracey Buchner at 770-263-0860.

The 2012 Gwinnett Transition Fair is scheduled to take place on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High. The event is for students with disabilities, their parents, and educators. Topics will include Medicaid Waivers, Navigating Social Security Benefits, Estate Planning and Guardianship Options, Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Assistive Technology, and Vocational and Community programs after high school. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet with representatives from agencies and organizations in the Metro Atlanta area. For more information, contact Allison Vernon or Tamara King at 678-301-7121.

Minor Elementary will celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary on March 18. Community members have donated a collection of memories that will be shared at the event. For more information, and to RSVP, call the school at 770-925-9543.

To kick-off Exceptional Children’s Week, Winn Holt Elementary will host a visit from GCPS graduate Kyle Maynard, who has successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as a quadriplegic. Mr. Maynard will speak on motivation and inspiration for all students, specifically those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. The event will take place on March 19 with one presentation from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m., and another session from 9:30 to 10 a.m., followed by classroom visits. For more information, call Teacher Pam Dietz at 678-372-6566.

On March 20 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., 5th grade parents and their students are invited to Beaver Ridge Elementary’s “Transition to Middle School,” an informative hour about what parents and their children need to know as they transition to middle school. Summerour Middle Principal Dorothy Parker-Jarrett will be on hand and the School Box Store will be open for business with resources to prepare students for 6th grade. For more information, call Assistant Principal Nury Crawford at 770-447-6307.

The Dacula Cluster Choral Concert is scheduled for March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hebron Worship Center. Performances will be from Alcova, Dacula, and Mulberry elementary schools, Dacula Middle, and Dacula High. Admission is free. Participants are invited to donate a non-perishable food item for the local food bank. For more information, call Music Teacher Beth Warzon at 678-376-8500.

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hosting a 5K race to benefit Relay for Life. The race is scheduled for April 14 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the ISC (Instructional Support Center), Building 200 in Suwanee. Participants registering by April 2 will receive a race t-shirt. Warm-up begins at 7:45 a.m. on the day of the race in front of Building 200 and the 5K Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to age group winners. For more information, call Patrice Pendergast or CoTinna Harris at 678-301-6076. To register visit

Maxwell High School of Technology is holding a Middle School Summer Camp for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students interested in exploring careers in Architecture Drawing and Design, Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Law and Justice, and Pre-K Camp Counseling. The camp is scheduled for the week of June 11-14 from 8 to 11 a.m. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration is March 15 through May 7 and the registration fee is $50. For more information and to register, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603 or Sherri Stephenson at 770-338-4625. Don’t miss this unique opportunity for your student.

In support of the school’s soccer program, Dacula High has an Adopt-a-Player program where faculty members sponsor a team member for the entire soccer season. Dacula has participated in this program for several years to help the community support the team. For more information, call Amanda Sailors, assistant principal, at 770-513-0847.

Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC), Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option, has extended registration for the 2012–13 school year through March 15 for students in grades 6–12. Students can get more information through the counselor’s office at the local middle or high school and on the GOC. This charter school opened its doors as a fulltime school in August of 2011. It will expand to include the middle school level starting this coming fall. Learn more at

High school students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders may take designated classes during the summer. Registration is ongoing at the following locations and online.
Face-to-Face ClassesOnline Classes
When: June 12 to July 11 (July 4 holiday)
  • 1st Period: 7:30-11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 2nd Period: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High.
How: Learn more about face-to-face summer school. Students may register online for face-to-face classes through June 4 or register in person on May 31 at Peachtree Ridge High.
When: June 11 to July 10 (July 4 holiday)
Where: Offered through Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC).
How: Register online. Online registration closes June 4.
Face-to-face meeting required for final exams and for selected classes (health, PE, and science labs).
Important information for face-to-face and Online Campus summer school students:
  • Transportation is not provided for face-to-face summer school classes or for the face-to-face sessions required for Online Campus courses.
  • A student should take no more than two summer classes: two face-to-face classes, two online classes, or a combination.
  • All tuition fees are due at the time of registration.
  • Any student planning to participate in the summer school graduation ceremony must take all summer classes with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
  • Both the Face-to-Face classes and the online programs will follow a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Face-to-face and online summer classes will not meet on Fridays.

The Norcross Elementary Chess Team placed in the top five winners at the Gwinnett County School Chess Tournament and will move to state competition. Captain Ron Verplaetse, a Norcross community member and local businessman, recognized the team and Coach Ken Almon, the PTA president, and Principal Dr. Dora Hill through the Norcross Cluster Partnership.

North Gwinnett High recently sponsored “Operation Drive Smart/In a Split Second.” Several emergency vehicles were on campus for the re-enactment of a car crash. The assembly served as a memorial service for a “former student.” For more information, call North Gwinnett High at 770-271-5161.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus learns more about how to become a substitute teacher in Gwinnett, celebrates the achievement of the Berkmar High Questbridge Scholars, and takes a closer look at the process involving the school district’s accreditation process. 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., and 11 p.m.

“2012 Gwinnett Readers Rally Championship” Tune in to GCPS TV for play-by-play action of the Gwinnett Readers Rally Championship competition. Eight teams - four elementary school quarter-finalists: Chattahoochee, Gwin Oaks, Head, and Jackson; two middle school semi-finalists: Crews and Sweetwater; and two high school semi-finalists: Berkmar and Brookwood; test their literary knowledge in this fast-paced quiz bowl program. This 60-minute program airs this week at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Hopkins Elementary Assistant Principal Elisa Brown, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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 website--

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.

Each spring, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. New this year, the meetings will be organized by Board electoral districts, reflecting the new district lines, rather than by school clusters. However, citizens may attend any of the five meetings. All Area Board Meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater, with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. The change in Board district lines prompted a venue change for two of the meetings. Meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations.
March 27 District IV, represented by Dr. Robert McClure, South Gwinnett HS
March 29 District I, represented by 2012 Board Vice Chair Carole Boyce, Dacula HS
April 10 District II, represented by Daniel Seckinger Collins Hill HS
April 12 District V, represented by 2012 Board Chair Louise Radloff, Meadowcreek HS
April 17 District III, represented by Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Duluth HS

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/07/2012High honors for father-daughter Latin teacher duo (pdf)
03/05/2012GCPS to equip special needs students with additional support at Transition Fair (pdf)
03/01/2012Gwinnett Online Campus registration period extended through March 15 (pdf)

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 12 is a student holiday.

March 17 is Camp Fire USA Birthday, Girl Scout Sabbath, and St. Patrick’s Day.

March 20 is the first day of spring.

March 30 is a Student/Teacher Holiday or Snow Make-Up Day.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 15, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary29-Mar
Anderson-Livsey 27-Mar
Annistown Elementary27-Mar
Archer High School19-Mar
Berkmar High27-Mar
Britt Elementary27-Mar
Brookwood Elementary27-Mar
Brookwood High27-Mar
Burnette ES27-Mar
Camp Creek Elementary23-Mar
Cedar Hill Elementary29-Mar
Centerville Elementary27-Mar
Central Gwinnett High21-Mar
Collins Hill High13-Mar
Corley Elementary29-Mar
Crews Middle15-Mar
Dacula High16-Mar
Dacula Middle29-Mar
Duncan Creek Elementary21-Mar
Five Forks Middle22-Mar
Grace Snell MS27-Mar
Grayson Elementary27-Mar
Grayson High29-Mar
Harbins Elementary15-Mar
Harris Elementary29-Mar
Head Elementary27-Mar
Henry Partee Elementary27-Mar
Jenkins Elementary29-Mar
Jones Middle22-Mar
Kanoheda Elementary15-Mar
Lanier Middle20-Mar
Lawrenceville Elementary29-Mar
Lovin Elementary29-Mar
Magill Elementary12-Mar
McConnell Middle29-Mar
Meadowcreek Elementary19-Mar
Moore Middle School29-Mar
Mulberry Elementary29-Mar
North Gwinnett High22-Mar
Norton Elementary23-Mar
Parkview High20-Mar
Pharr Elementary29-Mar
Phoenix HS13-Mar
Shiloh Elementary27-Mar
Shiloh High27-Mar
Shiloh Middle27-Mar
Simonton Elementary29-Mar
Snellville Middle20-Mar
Starling Elementary23-Mar
Stripling Elementary15-Mar
Taylor Elementary16-Mar
Trip Elementary29-Mar
Walnut Grove Elementary22-Mar
White Oak Elementary14-Mar
Winn Holt Elementary29-Mar

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.

Spring Equinox – let the flowers grow!March 12, 17, 24
Girl Scout Tea at the Lawrenceville Female SeminaryMarch 17, 24
e-Planetarium March 17, 24, 31
Earth Day Every Day-April Visitor ServiceApril 2-6, 14, 21
Off the Hook: Exploring Our Rug Hooking HeritageApril 9, 14
Full Moon Hike-Egg MoonApril 9
Green Living Kids: Gardening For The Kids, By The KidsApril 14,