News You Can Use - 02/20/2012

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
02/20/2012 - 02/26/2012

Dacula High sophomore Will Hinton qualified for the 2012 Junior Olympic Team in sporting clays (shooting). Will is a two-time National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) Junior National Champion and three-time NSCA All-American. For more information, call the school at 770-963-6664.

Osborne Middle was recently honored at the State Capitol for earning top writing scores in the state for two consecutive years. Principal John Campbell, along with four Osborne faculty members, visited the Capitol on Feb. 8 to receive the honor. For more information, call 770-904-5400.

The Norcross Elementary chess team will compete at the state championship competition after earning 4th place overall at the Eastern Metro Regional Chess Tournament. The top five teams automatically qualify for the State Tournament in March. The Eastern Metro Tournament is the most difficult of three Regional Tournaments that take place in Gwinnett and DeKalb county schools. Norcross Elementary was declared the Gwinnett County Champion in the K-5 division, finishing 1st among the 10 GCPS schools. Veteran teacher Ken Almon has coached the Norcross Elementary Chess Team for more than 10 years. For more information, call 770-447-2675.

North Gwinnett High art students competed at the National Art Honor Society State Conference for scholarship opportunities in Valdosta. Winners included Elizabeth Hamilton, 2nd place- 3D push pin; Michael Huh, 3rd place- 3D push pin; Suzie Lee, 2nd place- Helen Fleming Stone Portfolio; and Michael Huh, 1st place- Outstanding Portfolio as well as the 1st place Helen Fleming Stone Portfolio award winner. For more information, contact North Gwinnett Visual Art Department Chair Debi West at, or visit

Trickum Middle students won 1st Runner-up honors at the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Academic Bowl for Middle Grades state championship. The team is coached by Trickum Middle teachers Linda LaPerre and Cary Sell. This year’s competition was sponsored by PAGE, the PAGE Foundation and Georgia College & State University, with the Collegiate Middle Level Association serving as host. The PAGE Academic Bowl features teams of middle school students fielding questions on subjects ranging from Georgia history to mathematics, science, literature and the performing arts. Opposing teams compete against the clock to answer toss-up and bonus questions in order to earn points. The goal of the program is to inspire students to excel academically, to enhance student self-confidence and self-esteem through high achievement, and to encourage both a team and competitive spirit. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Parkview High is beginning a school-wide campaign headed by the Environmental Science classes to help reduce the number of water bottles being used and thrown away at Parkview High. During lunch, volunteers will ask students to give up their water bottles, and in return, receive a reusable, orange water bottle. Students will be encouraged to sign a pledge promising not to use disposable water bottles in the future, and to be more aware of their impact on the environment. For more information, call Teacher Michael Tolmich at 770-921-2874.

The Duluth High Chorus will perform a spring concert in the school auditorium on March 1 at 7 p.m. The concert is open to the public. For more information, call the school at 770-476-5206.

More than 100 GCPS school teams will participate in the Gwinnett Readers Rally on March 3 at Berkmar High. Students from grades 4-12 will compete on ten-man teams in a quiz bowl type competition. Students will read books from a pre-determined list and will answer questions about those books. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. The competition will conclude at 2 p.m. The top four elementary teams will compete in the Championship Event on March 8, at the GCPS-TV studio at the Instructional Support Center (ISC). The top two middle and high school teams will participate in a Championship Bowl on March 8 at the ISC. The Championship Competition will be televised on GCPS-TV at a later date. For more information, call Kimberly Thames, Meadowceek Elementary media specialist at 770-381-4239.

The First Annual Gwinnett County Junior Leadership Corps Drill Competition will be held March 3 at Summerour Middle. For more information, call Andrea Steele, Junior Leadership Corps Coordinator, at 678-301-7372.

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. Sixteen students and one teacher from France will be hosted by NGHS students the week of March 8-14. They will be at school March 9, 13, and 14. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Duluth High students will perform the show “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 Theatre 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 Theatre Arts Director and Drama Club Sponsor Tracey Buchner at 770-263-0860.

Stripling Elementary has teamed up with Corus360 to sponsor a running fundraiser to benefit students by providing more equipment for the school playground. Corus360 dedicated the Spring 2012 project, “Help Ted Run 4 Playground Equipment,” to the children at Stripling Elementary. Beginning in February, an employee of Corus360 (Ted) has agreed to run to and from the corporate office building every day during the month-- a daily commute of approximately 12 miles, for a total of 252 miles. For more information, visit Visit the Corus360 website at

Minor Elementary will collect ‘school memories’ now through Feb. 27 for a 25th anniversary celebration on March 18. Contributions may be made by coming to the school on any Friday morning between 9 and 11 a.m., setting an appointment by calling the school, or recording a memory and emailing it to A memory could be in the form of a note, video, a picture or any other memorabilia. Please contact the school at 770-925-9543 for more information.

Registration for Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option, is holding registration for the 2012-13 school year through Feb. 29. Students can get more information through the counselor’s office at the local middle or high school and on the GOC website. 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.

The Suwanee Elementary Philanthropy team organized a 100 day food drive, allowing students the opportunity to donate more than 3,000 cans of food to benefit the North Gwinnett Co-op. Other activities to help community members include a kids clothing drive to “Keep ’em Warm”, signs for Scottish Rite Children’s hospital for those children hospitalized over the winter holidays; and charity fundraisers to benefit Relay for Life. For more information contact teachers Wendy Leo and Dana Vines at 770-945-5763.

Gwinnett County schools are celebrating Black History Month throughout the month of February. News media representatives interested in learning about the celebrations at a specific school, can contact the Department of Communication and Media Relations by calling 678-301-6020.

The Southeast ADA Center, Nesbit Elementary, the Nesbit Elementary PTA and several other local organizations joined together to celebrate National Parental Engagement Week Feb.13-17. The school hosted a breakfast briefing on Feb. 15 with several speakers. The parental engagement activities and breakfast briefing are part of the year-long “I Have a Dream: Creating Your Life Portfolio” pilot program at Nesbit Elementary to break down barriers and encourage students with and without disabilities to reach for their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. The Feb. 15 breakfast briefing had state and local speakers and parents share effective strategies and stories on being actively engaged in a child’s education. The time parents dedicate now, makes a lifetime difference in their student's success. In addition to the breakfast briefing, parents and children were encouraged to participate in a week of activities at home designed to inspire conversation and meaningful family and educational engagement. Activities included taking a walk together, enjoying a meal, reading, giving to others by contributing to a canned food drive, and dreaming together by writing a dream for their family on a paper heart for display on a school bulletin board. For more information, call 770-414-2740.

Camp Creek Elementary celebrated “GOLDen Day” by recognizing the schools “gold medal” received by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for “highest performance” on the CRCT. This is Camp Creek's seventh consecutive medal and second gold medal received from the Governor’s office for high performance. Students “decked out” in gold attire, and special refreshments were served at lunch. Each student and teacher was awarded a “gold medal” for outstanding effort and success in academics. For more information contact Principal Kathy Jones at Camp Creek Elementary at 770-921-1626.

Meet the Author - Michelle Y. Green” Michelle Green is a writer who likes learning about “holes in history” - her term for parts of African American history and culture that aren’t well known. Green wrote the true story of a female baseball player in “A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Marnie “Peanut” Johnson.” She also wrote about a young girl living during the depression in the Willie Pearl series - fictional stories, but Green based the stories on her mother’s childhood. This 30 minute program airs Feb. 20-26 at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

“ArtSTAGE - 2012 County Dance Day Performance” This year’s County Dance Day event, recorded on Feb. 4 at Archer High, features the performances of talented student dancers from across the county. More than 200 dancers are represented in the broadcast. Dance routines included in the program range from ballet to modern dance, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. This 90-minute program airs Feb. 20-26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, 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--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/14/2012Scholastic Press presents top awards to Brookwood High (pdf)
02/13/2012Shiloh MS and Give Center West to welcome new leaders (pdf)
02/10/2012Gwinnett celebrates its counseling professionals of 2012 (pdf)
02/10/2012GSMST to hold lottery on Monday, Feb. 13 after receiving 696 registrations (pdf)

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February is National African American History Month and National Technical Education Month.

February 20 is a student and teacher holiday.

February 27 and 28 are early release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

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

March 2 is Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

March 5-9 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 5-11 is National Foreign Language Week.

Daylight Savings Time begins March 11.

Girl Scout Sunday is March 11.

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 February. Call the local school for the time and location.
Anderson-Livsey 21-Feb
Archer High School27-Feb
Bay Creek Middle24-Feb
Berkmar Middle23-Feb
Camp Creek Elementary24-Feb
Couch Middle24-Feb
Dacula Middle21-Feb
Duluth High21-Feb
Five Forks Middle23-Feb
Head Elementary22-Feb
Knight Elementary24-Feb
McConnell Middle21-Feb
North Gwinnett Middle28-Feb
Norton Elementary24-Feb
Parkview High21-Feb
Patrick Elementary24-Feb
South Gwinnett High21-Feb
Trip Elementary24-Feb

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.

Arbor Day Feb 25
World Thinking DayFeb 25
Funday Sundays In FebruaryFeb 26
e-PlanetariumFeb 26
Bring A Classic To Life SeriesFeb 28
Forensics Science Lab Feb 29
Spring Equinox – let the flowers grow!March 3, 10, 12, 17
Green Living Kids: Backyard Wildlife HabitatMarch 10
Girl Scout Tea at the Lawrenceville Female SeminaryMarch 10, 17