News You Can Use - 10/09/2006

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
10/09/2006 - 10/15/2006

The North Gwinnett High Air Force Junior ROTC Unit and the Shiloh High Air Force Junior ROTC unit were honored by the Department of the Air Force as “Distinguished Units.” This award recognizes the personal growth and accomplishments of the cadets, the contributions of the instructors as mentors to the cadets, and the support of the school and community. The Distinguished Unit Award is limited to the best of the best of the nation's 794 Air Force Junior ROTC units. The North Gwinnett unit is led by Major Bruce Bonds and Master Chief Sergeant Mike Shannon, and the instructors for the Shiloh unit are Chief T.J. Held and Major Lourdes Trujillo.

Lawanda Titshaw, executive secretary for the Division of Teaching and Learning, is the 2006 recipient of the “Carolyn Abercrombie” Outstanding Educational Support Staff Award, sponsored by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

Dr. Angela Pringle, formerly Meadowcreek High principal and now GCPS director of elementary staffing for GCPS, recently received the NAACP Gwinnett Image Education award.

Maxwell High School of Technology sent a team of 39 students, four advisors, and the principal to the SkillsUSA Georgia Fall Leadership Conference in Jekyll Island. The team was recognized for the largest membership in Georgia and the most enthusiasm. Twenty-six students earned the Statesman Award, which is given to students with extensive knowledge of the organization. Principal Donna Powers is a member of the Board of Directors. For more information, call Tricia Floyd at 770-963-6838.

The Peachtree Ridge High fencing team won the Bronze medal in their first competition of the year at the Blades of Steel tournament in Rome. The tournament officials praised team members for their sportsmanship and conduct. Two student fencers, Evan Gilchrist and James Gregorie, renewed their national ranking at the meet. The team’s next competition against college teams will be at Vanderbilt University on Oct. 28. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

Registration for the 3rd annual Miss Mill Creek Scholarship Pageants will be held Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the school’s commons area. Late registration will be accepted until the first rehearsal; however, a $20 late fee will apply. For more information and to download required paperwork, visit The pageants will be held in the theater on Nov.10 and 11. The pageants are open for ages 3 to 12th grade. The middle school pageants will be held Nov. 10. The remainder of the pageants will be held on Nov. 11. High school interviews will take place on Nov. 5. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Collins Hill High theatre group will perform “The Actor’s Nightmare” on Oct. 12, 13, and 14, at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

Duluth High will host a Latin Community night on Oct. 12. For more information and planned activities, call 770-476-5206.

Berkmar High invites alumni, staff, and friends to help celebrate the school's 40th Anniversary Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 13. All are invited to attend a pre-game reception in the Main Lobby of the school at 5:30 p.m. and then gather on the field for a Parade of Classes at 7 p.m. RSVP to the school by calling 770-921-3636 or respond on the school's website.

Throughout the year, schools will host visits from authors. On October 17, Shiloh High will have a visit from Diane Z. Shore. For more information, call 770-972-8471.

The annual Duluth High Concert on the Diamond is scheduled for Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. This event is sponsored by the school’s baseball team and orchestras. Bring your picnic basket and blankets to sit under the stars and listen to good music. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call Coach Bobby Link at 770-232-5375 or send an email to

A Berkmar High community celebration is on the schedule for Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. Interested alumni are gathering regularly to plan the event. Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Berkmar High Media Center on these Tuesdays: Oct. 10, and 24; and Nov. 7. The planning committee is looking for memorabilia to be part of the “Berkmar over Time” display. For more information, call Diana Preston at 770-921-3636, or visit

The Grayson High Technical Education Program invites parents, students, teachers, and community members to the Fall Open House and Plant Sale on Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors may tour the building, meet the instructors, and check out the program. Classes offered include Technical Theater (scenery and lighting), Technical Theater (costume and makeup), Computer IT and Network Systems, Law Enforcement, Travel Planning and Hotel/Hospitality Management, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Veterinary Technology, Biotechnology, Commercial Photography, Television Broadcast, Culinary Arts, Digital Media Design and Animation, Music Technology, and Music Recording. During the Open House, you can
· Extract your own DNA and create a keepsake DNA necklace in Biotechnology;
· Buy fall plants from the Horticulture program -- pansies, snapdragons, dianthus, and violas on sale for $10 per flat;
· Create a Dingbat logo using Adobe Illustrator in Digital Media;
· Meet live animals that are studied in Veterinary Technology;
· See the amazing black box theater and costumes designed by Technical Theater students;
· Get your fall picture taken in the Commercial Photography studio; and
· Get a bite to eat from the Culinary Arts program.
The open house will be held in the Technical Education Program Building, located on the campus of Grayson High at 50 Hope Hollow Rd. in Loganville. For more information, call Kristie Martin at 770-554-7082.

On Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., GCPS will host a Child Find Screening and Information Fair at the Norcross Human Service Center located at 5030 Georgia Belle Court in Norcross. Working with the medical community and service agencies throughout the county, the school system seeks to identify children diagnosed with, or in need of, further evaluation for mental, physical, or emotional/behavioral disabilities. A Spanish interpreter will be available. Representatives will conduct developmental, vision, hearing, and speech screenings for Gwinnett children ages 0–21. Pass the word to others in the community about this opportunity. For more information, call 678-301-7244.

Instructional Materials Review runs through Oct. 31. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for social studies for grades 6–12. The review begins on Oct. 2 and runs through Oct. 31. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center, Building 200 Lobby, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee, or at the Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building, located at 40 Hope Hollow Road in Loganville. For information on the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson at 678-301-7011.
Instructional Support Center:
Monday–Friday, through Oct. 31, 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.
Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building:
Monday–Friday, through Oct. 31, 7 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.

Gwinnett County Public Schools invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett's Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members have until Friday, November 3, to submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS. The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions at their annual meeting. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2007-08 school year. Click here for the AKS Review Form.

Jackie Hardrick, a 2006 Georgia Peach Book Award winner, visited Mill Creek High to speak with small groups of students about books, her writing, and the writing process.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation recently named Lynn Brunatti as the Executive Director. Ms. Brunatti has spent countless hours volunteering at Peachtree Ridge High as well as in the community. She served as assistant to the Executive Director last year and was involved with the planning of all Foundation events. The Peachtree Ridge Foundation presented a check in the amount of $17,500 to Peachtree Ridge High’s athletic program. The Foundation supports the schools in the Peachtree Ridge cluster in the areas of arts, academics, and athletics. The Peachtree Ridge Foundation announced grants for Fall 2006 in the amount of $9,450 to support academics and $8,000 for the arts at Peachtree Ridge High. For more information about the foundation, please visit our website at www.prfoundation.netor call 678-957-3166.

Mill Creek High began the school’s 2006 United Way pledge drive Oct. 2. This year’s theme is “Use Your Superpowers for Good.” Mill Creek’s goal is $9,361, an increase of more than $3,000 over last year. The Interact Club, sponsored by Amanda Dominy, will be the student-driven force behind this year’s campaign. Many student activities are planned. Interact students will partner with Ray Boohr of the Braselton Rotary Club who will assist students in soliciting donations from the community. For more information, call 678-714-5850.
United Way kickoff.JPG

The Duluth High Chorus Advanced Women’s Ensemble has been selected by the Georgia Music Educators Association to perform at the 2007 State Music Teacher’s Conference in Savannah in January 2007. The chorus is asking the community for financial support. Please send donations made out to “DCBA”; to Greg Smith, choral director, Duluth High School, 3737 Brock Road, Duluth, GA 30096.

Several of the athletic teams, clubs, and organizations at Duluth High are mounting a schoolwide fundraiser in cooperation with Bogey’s Neighborhood Grill in Duluth. The fundraiser will run through Oct. 20. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

“GCPS Focus” Coming up this week on GCPS Focus... Growth in Gwinnett County Public Schools, The Plan for the future, and environmental education and preservation in Gwinnett. This 30-min. program airs Oct. 9-15 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.

“Math Rules!” This innovative and educational GCPS TV math series is designed especially for elementary students and their parents. The program combines games and activities that promote flexibility and fluency in mathematics. Elementary students demonstrate the games under the guidance of hosts Lisa Lee, K-12 mathematics coach, and Greta Loeber, math specialist at Simpson Elementary. It’s all fun and games, but the focus is on learning. This 30-min. program airs Oct. 9-15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This program, a valuable language resource and learning opportunity, is now airing on GCPS TV. The 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially to the needs of educators and other school employees. 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 Nov. 19. (A new class will air each week, beginning on Monday.)

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through Oct. 31 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see 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:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-6460, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
10/03/2006Announcement of TOTY semifinalists narrows field of educators vying for top Gwinnett teacher (pdf)
10/03/2006Computer learning month highlights at GCPS (pdf)
09/29/2006Gwinnett group among top students invited to UGA program (pdf)
09/29/200626 Gwinnett schools recognized by Governor for high achievement (pdf)
09/28/2006GCPS to work with community on review of middle and high school social studies instructional materials (pdf)

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

October is Computer Learning month.

October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) will be given October 9-13 for grades 1, 3, and 5.

National School Lunch Week is October 9-13.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 12, 2006, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

October 14 -21 is National School Bus Safety Week.

October 16 is a student holiday and teacher workday.

October 18 is a PSAT testing day for Grade 10.

Oct 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Oct 23 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

October 28 is Make A Difference Day.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during October. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.

Camp Creek Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Fort Daniel Elementary
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Parkview High
R.D. Head Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Snellville Middle
Suwanee Elementary