News You Can Use - 04/30/2007

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
04/30/2007 - 05/06/2007

The Duluth High Center Stage Alliance presents “Steel Magnolias” on April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m., and April 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the school theater. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $6. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Norcross High Players present the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Performances at the school are on April 26, 27, and 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will be a 2 p.m. performance on April 29. General admission tickets may be purchased for $7. Preferred seating tickets are $10. Tickets may be purchased in the cafeteria or at the door. For more information, call the Norcross Drama Hotline at 770-447-2667.

The Peachtree Ridge High Playhouse will present the Broadway hit musical “Footloose” on April 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and on April 29 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $8. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

Two Parkview High teams competed in the Heartland Region Economics Challenge in Minneapolis, Minn. Both teams qualified for this event by winning the Georgia Economics Challenge. In one division known as the David Ricardo division, team members Brian Goodrow, Thomas Izzo, Zia Johnson, and Matt Saari placed 4th out of 8 teams. In a second one, the Adam Smith division, team members William Drobny, Archana Kumar, Linda Liu, and Elliot Strumlauf placed 2nd out of 8 teams. In addition, Linda Liu won 1st place overall economic student, and William Drobny won 2nd place overall. For more information, call team coach Gary Petmecky at 770-921-2874.

Nesbit Elementary teacher Kara Goggins was recently awarded a Fulbright-Hayes grant to study native and foreign language instruction in China. This summer Ms. Goggins will spend a month visiting schools from Shanghai to Beijing to learn how language is taught. For more information, call 770-414-2740.

The Duluth High Concert Band earned 2nd place in Division 5 at the Adjudicators National Invitational in Chicago, IL. Students competed against bands from Indiana, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Illinois. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Several GCPS art teachers made presentations at National Art Education Association conferences this spring: Level Creek Elementary art teacher Debi West, presented at the National Art Education Association in New York City this past March. Her presentations were: “'s got ART” and “Autism + Art = Creative Teaching Solutions.” Ms. West also presented at the Georgia Art Education Association last weekend at the Spring Conference in St. Simon’s. Her presentation was titled, “Creative Collaborations.” Norcross Elementary art teacher Lauren Christine Phillips presented “Fiesta de Colores” at the National Art Education Association in New York City. Cedar Hill Elementary art teacher Elizabeth Hill presented Literature and Art Lessons at the National Art Education Association in Chicago. For more information, call the school.

GCPS Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Lisa Lang presented at the 38th Annual Children’s Literature Conference in Athens. Ms. Lang’s presentation was titled “A Literacy Journey: A is for Anchoring in Alphabet Text; B is for Bridging Reading and Writing; C is for Creating Your Own Story.” Presenters utilized a bibliography of multigenre alphabet books as anchor texts for a literacy journey leading K-8 students to create their own alphabet books in a study driven reading and writing workshop. For more information, call 770-682-4196.

Eleven GCPS high schools and one middle school participated in the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Middle & High School Spoken Language Contest for 2007. This is an annual event where hundreds of students from across Georgia demonstrate their ability to use the target language in oral communication. Speaking in French, German, Latin, and Spanish, 54 GCPS students earned ratings of superior, 39 earned excellent, and 11 earned notable. Participating high school students were from Berkmar, Brookwood, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Norcross, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett. Creekland Middle also sent students to the competition. For more information, call Gloria Ernest in the foreign language department, at 678-301-7020.

A team of Lanier Middle students participated in the Continental Math League Competition with students from all over the U.S. The team won the Pythagorean Division of the Southeastern Regional Competition by earning higher scores than all other schools in the county, state, and Southeastern Region. John Koh earned a perfect score. Wylene Hayes and Pamela Woodward are the team advisors. The following students earned the 12 highest scores in this competition: Alec Cook, Abhishek Goswami, Sally Han, Alexis Hedges, Alykhan Kaba, John Koh, Rachel Konovalova, Craig Owenby, David Pitt, Christian Thai, Ha Troung, and Amanda Wall. For more information, call 770-945-8419.

Sixteen GCPS students were awarded Gold Keys (national qualifying works) from among 5,000 submissions to the Region-at-Large of the Scholastic Art Awards. Their work will move to national competition in May. Brookwood High students include Pam Barba, Laura Conner, Ashley DelVentura, Adam Edwards, Sarah Foley, Alyssa Martini, and Maria Nozzi. Grayson High’s Gold Key winner was Alison Shepherd. Emily Beck from Mill Creek High was a Gold Key winner. Parkview High Gold Key winners are Chris Barfield. Phoenix High’s winners are Seth Hodge, Natoya McClure, Shawn Roberts, Russell Drew, Heather Taylor, and Malorie Summers. In addition, Olivia Ollinger and Mandie Mills from Brookwood High, had work accepted by the Georgia High School Ceramic symposium. For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of fine arts, at 678-301-6075.

W.C. Britt Elementary students won the spring 2007 Gwinnett County Elementary School Volleyball League championship. Team members are Cal Haines, Michelle Martinez, Leah Seffernick, Trisha Voiles, and Rodney Wayne. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

At the Northeast Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Rally, Creekland Middle won first place, advancing to state competition, where they placed 4th. North Gwinnett High placed 1st in the regional competition, advancing to state where they also placed 4th. The competition tests students’ knowledge in reading. For more information, call the school.

Level Creek Elementary will host “Opening Night...Masterpieces” the school’s 3rd annual student art exhibit and musical performance on April 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. More than 3,000 student works of art will be on display in the gym and throughout the building. There will be a PTA meeting beginning at 7 p.m. The Level Creek Chorus will perform selections from Broadway musicals from 7:30 to 8 p.m. in the Level Creek Café. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Rock Springs Elementary will host a visit from Author Michael White on May 1. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

The Duluth High Chorus will perform their annual Peach Jam show on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 at 2:30 p.m., in the school’s auditorium. This year’s theme is “Duluth Laugh-In,” a celebration of the music of the 60’s and 70’s. Tickets are $8 and can be ordered by calling 770-623-6120. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the door.

The Grayson High School Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) organization and local law enforcement officials recently conducted a seat-belt check at Grayson High. Each person wearing a seat-belt received a coupon for a sandwich. Students not wearing seat-belts were given a “Click It or Ticket” brochure emphasizing safe driving and accident statistics. For more information, call Lawrence Finocchi, Grayson High teacher at 770-544-1071.

Duluth High students belonging to Student Government and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes raised money for the American Diabetes Association by taking pledge donations and walking for an hour at the school. For more information call William ‘Bo’ Ford at 770-476-5206 or email

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student Field Studies and activities weekday mornings and is open to the public weekday afternoons Monday - Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

April 28, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Greenway Gurus Club (3rd-5th graders) $10 per student
Learn cool things about birds at this fun environmental club. To register, email, call 770-904-3500, or visit to register online.

April 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sustainability Mini-Conference Going Green: What Does It Mean?
Attendees will learn about sustainability in the construction, academic, and design fields. Professionals explore the way they encounter and use these innovations in projects. Green building design concepts including highlights of the new Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. GEHC is the county’s first “green building" designated for a Silver LEED Rating with the U.S. Green Building Council. Conference is $10 for adults, $8 for American Institute of Architects members, and $5 for students. To register, call 770-904-3500, email, or purchase tickets at the door.

“International Connections Forum - North Gwinnett High School” Representatives from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Israel, Korea, Japan, Peru, the Philippines, and Turkey were welcomed by North Gwinnett High students at their first International Connections Forum. This historic event, held in February, was an opportunity to establish connections between high school students and the countries represented by GCPS students and staff through the consulates of Atlanta. The purpose of the forum was to explore education and business opportunities for both parties, and for students to experience the richness of these countries’ cultural, societal and political environments. This 90-minute program airs April 30 - May 5 at 12:30 p.m. and May 4-6 at 9 p.m.

“Contemporary Playwrights: August Wilson” PW/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series. Recorded in 2001, the late August Wilson discusses his playwriting career through the production of King Hedley II. In this enlightening session with high school students, Mr. Wilson talks about his early life, discusses the process of playwriting, and elucidates the characters, themes, and issues in several of his plays. Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Professor of Theatre at American University, moderates this discussion with one of America’s greatest playwrights (rebroadcast). This 60-minute program airs April 30-May 5 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 1” This video telecourse 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. This series airs in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday through July 1. (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through May 24 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 for the most current News Releases.
GCPS student elected to state level leadership role (pdf)
Rebecca Minor Elementary earns third outdoor classroom certification (pdf)
Five GCPS students earn national corporate-sponsored scholarship (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2008 include:
May 3, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 11, 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

For graduation dates, visit

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month.

Registration for high school summer school begins May 1.

May 1-7 is National Physical Education and Sports Week.

May 3 is Kindergarten registration.

May 6-12 is Teacher Appreciation Week and Custodian Appreciation Week.

May 8 is National Teacher Day.

May 9 is Georgia Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 10, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 13-19 is Reading is Fun Week.

May 21-22 is early release for high school exams.

May 23 is early release for high school exams and the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

Memorial Day on May 28 is a systemwide holiday and all locations are closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April and May. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Craig Elementary4/30Alford Elementary5/10
Simonton Elementary4/30Alton C. Crews Middle5/8
Arcado Elementary5/7
Benefield Elementary5/10
Berkmar Middle5/8
Bethesda Elementary5/8
Brookwood Elementary5/14
Camp Creek Elementary5/11
Cedar Hill Elementary5/14
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary5/18
Corley Elementary5/15
Dacula Elementary5/18
Duncan Creek Elementary5/10
Five Forks Middle5/11
Fort Daniel Elementary5/4
Frank N. Osborne Middle5/4
GIVE Center5/1
Glenn C. Jones Middle5/17
Harbins Elementary5/15
Henry Partee Elementary5/10
Ivy Creek Elementary5/11
J.C. Magill Elementary5/4
Knight Elementary5/11
Lawrenceville Elementary5/8
Lilburn Elementary5/17
Lilburn Middle5/17
Louise Radloff Middle5/3
Mill Creek High5/7
Mountain Park Elementary5/14
Norcross High5/10
North Gwinnett High5/15
Oakland School5/3
Peachtree Elementary5/17
Pharr Elementary5/17
Pinckneyville Middle5/10
R.D. Head Elementary5/9
Richard Hull Middle5/11
Riverside Elementary5/8
Rock Springs Elementary5/17
Rockbridge Elementary5/10
Shiloh High5/7
Snellville Middle5/10
South Gwinnett High5/15
Summerour Middle5/8
Susan Stripling Elementary5/3
Sweetwater Middle5/17
Sycamore Elementary5/3
Trickum Middle5/8
Walnut Grove Elementary5/10