News You Can Use - 01/19/2009

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
01/19/2009 - 01/25/2009

GCPS will send two Special Olympic teams to state competition in Marietta on Jan. 16-18. Margaret Winn Holt Elementary will be represented by a basketball team skills team, and Brookwood High will send a basketball team and two basketball team skills teams. In addition, the “Gwinnett Bull Dogs”— comprised of students from different GCPS schools— will compete in basketball; other students will participate in bowling and gymnastics. For more information, call Lynnette Swanson, Oakland Meadow School teacher, at 687-226-7700.

GCPS will be represented by 80 elementary and middle school students in the GCPS Spelling Bee on Jan. 17 in the Central Gwinnett High Theater. Registration will be held from 7:15-8:15 a.m. The Written Bee begins at 8:30 a.m. (only contestants will be allowed in the theater during this event.) The Oral Bee runs for about 30-45 minutes after the written bee (between 10 and 10:30 a.m.) This event is open to the public. The top twelve spellers from the written bee will advance to the oral bee. All twelve of these spellers will advance to the District 3 Bee to be held at Collins Hill High on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in the theater. Leslie Treat, reading recovery teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary, will be the word caller. Spelling Bee judges are Todd Cline of the Gwinnett Daily Post; Lisa Eubanks, local school technology coordinator at Patrick Elementary; and Melanie Mount, reading specialist at Duncan Creek Elementary. The Gwinnett Daily Post will award all winners with a trophy. In addition, the 1st place winner receives $200; Runner-up receives $75, and 3rd-12th place winners receive $25.

GCPS was well represented by finalists in the 2009 Georgia High School Drawing Competition sponsored by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)-Atlanta. GCPS has 11 of the 50 finalists selected from among 499 entries received. The following 11th and 12th-grade finalists were selected based on their aesthetic awareness, composition, technique, design, spatial perception, originality, quality of presentation and color perception, where applicable.
Brookwood High: Alexander Berenyi, Lindsay Dady, and Anna Schoenbaechler
Collins Hill High: Soo Kim
Mill Creek High: Emily Beck, Susan Kang, and Ye-Ji Kang
North Gwinnett High: Moses Lee, Lina Soh
South Gwinnett High: Charlotte Dillard— won a Gold Award and a $3,000 scholarship to SCAD; and Katheryne Flake— won Juror’s Choice and a $1,500 scholarship to SCAD
Student participants, families and teachers are invited to attend an exhibition of the finalists’ works at SCAD through Jan. 9. Exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Gwinnett County High School Photography Competition-- Shutter Sense & Non-Sense-- will take place at Carisma Gallery, in Buford. The exhibition of student photography from eight area high schools will be on display from Jan. 25 through Jan. 31. An award ceremony and reception, open to the public, will take place on Jan. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. Organized by Parkview High Art Teacher, Alexandra Kates, the competition drew more than 300 entries this year. For more information, call Margaret Kolk at 770-271-7501 or 770-595-2337.

Brookwood Elementary and Norcross High will host visits from State School Superintendent Kathy Cox on Jan. 26. Ms. Cox will visit Norcross High from 8:30 to 11:30 and Brookwood Elementary from noon to 3 p.m. Both visits include time spent with students and teachers in classrooms, and visits with administrators. For more information, call the local school.

Chattahoochee Elementary will host an International Festival on Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents will work together to create displays that share information about their country of origin. Students are given a passport to get stamped as they visit each of the different displays. For more information, call ESOL Teacher Allison Ogburn at 770-497-9907.

The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation has its first major fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 5 at Summit Chase Country Club. The event will feature an evening of socializing, hors d’oeuvres, music, an auction, and an informative program that will introduce local business and community leaders to the organization. For more information on the fundraiser or to reserve tickets, please visit the foundation’s web site at

Shiloh Cluster school counselors invite families to a school and community Cluster Resource Fair on Feb.10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Shiloh Middle. The event will have free pizza, soft drinks, and door prizes. Child care will be provided. The Shiloh Cluster Resource Fair business partners and community sponsors will offer services to empower families and support student success for all grade levels. Important high school information regarding graduation requirements, future careers, and college enrollment will be made available. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host the Central Gwinnett Cluster Witzzle Pro Math Tournament on Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. in the cafeteria. Fourth and fifth grade students from Cedar Hill Elementary, Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, and Simonton Elementary schools will compete. A Witzzle (witty puzzle) is comprised of a unique 3- by-3 array of digits 1 through using two operations to equal a target number. For more information, call Anne Foley, media specialist at 770-962-5015.

The 6th Annual Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant, “Saturday Night Fever,” will be presented by the Peachtree Ridge Foundation, on Feb. 21. Miss Freshman and Miss Sophomore competition takes place at 3 p.m. Miss Junior and Miss Peachtree Ridge 2009 competition take place at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase the week of Feb. 16 or call the Foundation office at 678-957-3138 for more information.

In what has become a Parkview High tradition, social studies juniors and seniors will attend the Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC. Students, teachers, and administrative chaperones, will board busses on Jan. 17. Students will tour Arlington Cemetery, the Smithsonian, and attend a student Inaugural ball, along with many other activities. Students will walk to the National Mall to watch the Presidential Inauguration and some of the parade. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Collins Hill High Student Dorian DeRamus has been accepted into the People to People Presidential Inauguration program. Dorian is part of a delegation of student ambassadors that will witness the swearing in of Barack Obama, the 44th president and the first African American president, of the United States. Dorian will listen to the inaugural address. While in Washington, Dorian will gain insights into American leaders throughout history, during discussions with political experts, have access to the U.S. Capitol and National Archives, explore the newly reopened National Museum of American History, and visit Washington’s monuments and memorials. For more information, visit

Mill Creek High Student Brandon Ona has been invited by the Congressional Leadership Council to attend the Presidential Inauguration Jan. 17-21. Brandon will listen to keynote speakers, visit memorials in our nation’s capitol, tour museums, and attend the Inaugural Ball. For more information, visit

Charles Brant Chesney Elementary will host a mock Inauguration on Jan. 20 in the gym. The swearing in of the “president elect” will take place at 10 a.m. accompanied by balloons, ribbons, banners, and the playing of “Hail to the Chief.” Students will sing patriotic songs to celebrate this moment. For more information, call 678-542-2300.

James Bryan, Rockbridge Elementary paraprofessional, will be attending the inauguration with his wife.

Meadowcreek High students will have an opportunity to witness history as they view the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in their Social Studies classes. Students will discuss interesting inaugural facts throughout the day. After President Obama delivers his speech, students will have an opportunity to complete an analysis outlining his plan for the future of this nation. Teachers will allow discussion of the inauguration ceremony and floor questions relating to the foundation of government and the significance of this moment in history. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Gwinnett Technical College and Toyota T-TEN group donated an automotive vehicle, and Subaru donated an engine to Maxwell High School of Technology’s Auto Repair/Services programs. The program is a member of Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), a model for providing additional local and national industry manufacturing support for schools. The AYES model partners a highly qualified school with an automotive manufacturer, (who provides technical resources for instructors and students and new vehicles and equipment), and locally owned dealers who host week-long shadowing experiences for students and hire them as interns while they are in school. Many such AYES Interns continue their education at Gwinnett Technical College, where they may choose a factory curriculum and stay with their sponsoring dealership in their new career. For more information, call 678-773-7844 or visit

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

01/13/2009Gwinnett students to take part in MLK, Jr. Day celebration (pdf)
01/12/2009Award-winning Shiloh High concert choir takes center stage in nation’s capital (pdf)
01/09/200980 Gwinnett students to compete in 2009 spelling bee (pdf)
01/09/2009Gwinnett BOE names eight school leaders (pdf)

“ArtStage: Aladdin and his Enchanted Lamp” Join GCPS TV for a special presentation of “Aladdin and His Enchanted Lamp” performed by the Peachtree Ridge High Dance Department and Chamber Orchestra. This classic tale, loved by many, is the story of Aladdin, a boy who is poor and often hungry. One day he finds an old lamp and soon discovers that a magical genie lives inside it. With the genie’s help, Aladdin becomes rich and has fine food to eat. Can he win the love of the beautiful princess? Tune in and find out. This 60-min. program airs Jan. 19-25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Meet the Author: Moira Rose” Punctuation counts! “That's why I decided to tell people about the secret personalities of punctuation marks,” says Moira Rose Donohue as she describes why she wrote “Alfie the Apstrophe and Penny and the Punctuation Bee.” Targeted for young writers, this special edition of “Meet the Author” will provide an overview of her books and a few mini-lessons on the importance of punctuation and grammar. This 30-min. program airs Jan.19-25 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“Tech Savvy Girls” This program begins with the premise that girls are too often being left behind when it comes to technology education. Produced in conjunction with the American Association of University Women, “Tech Savvy Girls” provides key recommendations to combat what is perceived to be an emerging technology gender gap. This 30-min. program airs Jan. 19-25 at 7:30 p.m.

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 1” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 15 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can seek the week’s programs from noon to 4 p.m.

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--

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Jan. 20-Feb. 27 is the English Language Learners ACCESS Test administration Window.

Jan. 21 is the middle school Georgia Writing Assessment.

On Jan. 22, Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an Open House.

January 23 is the registration deadline for the freshman class of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 1 is Scout Sunday.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 2-6.

February 11-12 is early release for 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., Feb. 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in January. Call the local school for the time and location.

B.B. Harris Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Nesbit Elementary
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.L. Norton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
T. Carl Buice School

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 or call 770-904-3500.

Feb. 11, 3-5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 11, 3 to 5 p.m., Webelo Forester Program, $8 per scout
Unravel the mysteries of life in the forest. Is it really more than just a bunch of trees? Find out how trees grow, what makes the forest tick, and how you can improve where you live with trees by creating an urban forestry plan.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Webelo Naturalist Program, $8 per scout
Are you curious about the natural world? Join us as we investigate our grounds in search of plants and signs of animals to complete the requirements of this activity pin.

Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Environmental Science Merit Badge, $10 per scout
Conduct experiments and learn about your impact on the natural environment in this four-hour session. Complete or start the experiments in requirement three of this merit badge that is required to become an Eagle Scout. Please register by Feb. 13 by calling 770-904-3500.