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GCPS honors top bus managers, staff

Monday, March 27th, 2017

This year’s bus drivers and other transportation staff for GCPS were honored recently at an annual banquet for their contributions to one of the largest fleets in the county.

This year’s top bus drivers and other transportation staff for Gwinnett County Public Schools were honored recently at an annual banquet for their contributions to one of the largest fleets in the country.

District officials have said that about 130,000 students ride school buses each day, and those 1,900 buses travel more than 23.5 million miles per year. GCPS is the third-largest transporter of students in the country, and district officials said the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute calls that transportation department among the five best in the country.

Earlier this month, senior district leaders and School Board members recognized this year’s top transportation staff members at the 19th annual awards banquet. Mechelle Stewart, Lloyd Breck and Dixie Bridger were named School Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year. Continue reading

CTE banquet honors Archer student with presidential aspirations

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Matthew McDaniel of Archer High poses for a picture on Wednesday with Jody Reeves, far left, executive director of Academies and Career and Technical Education for GCPS , Ann Sechrist, director of State Workforce Programs and Economic Development with Gwinnett Technical College, and Cindy Williamson of Arch High School. McDaniel was named the overall winner at the annual Career and Technical Education banquet. (Gwinnett Daily Post Staff Photo: Keith Farner)

When Matthew McDaniel tells people he wants to be president one day, he gets the kind of reaction that Jon Valentine received Wednesday night during an annual banquet.

Valentine, the director of foreign languages with Gwinnett County Public Schools, said he considers politics a noble profession, and he received a low murmur of laughter from a room of students, parents, administrators and other people from the education industry at Gwinnett Technical College.

But for McDaniel, an Archer High student who plans to enroll in the fall at the University of Georgia, the recent political climate makes him want to pursue that profession even more.

“Jump in and change the climate of it now,” McDaniel said. “We’re in a changing world and be able to add what I believe, and what the majority of this country believes, is really the direction we need to go.”

McDaniel plans to study law and accounting and begin working as a civil rights attorney before he steps into politics. continue reading

Aurora Theatre’s satellite office officially opens at Central Gwinnett High

Monday, March 20th, 2017

CGHS-and-Aurora-TheaterThe Fine Arts and Communications Academy at Central Gwinnett High in Lawrenceville will further its mission to engage students and reach the community with the opening of its Aurora Theatre satellite office.

The academy celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony in a small building behind the school at 564 W. Crogan St. on Thursday. The meeting place allows for collaborative projects between the school, theater and community.

The Aurora Theatre is a performing arts organization that has been thriving for more than 20 seasons.

 “Without the arts, our lives are really empty and enriching the lives of our children is huge,” Principal Maryanne Grimes said, as she thanked participants and supporters.

The aim is to provide a place where students can learn about careers and college and university programs in the fine arts. Also, the program offers opportunities for students to take advantage of what the Aurora Theatre, based in downtown Lawrenceville, has to offer through volunteering, internships, shadowing and jobs.

“We are so thrilled to devoting this space to our partnership. Our goal is to transfer learning by teaching through the academy lens, so we want to utilize you as our very significant resource throughout our curriculum,” academy coordinator Megan Rose-Houchins to attendees with the Aurora Theatre. Continue reading


Peach State FCU offering $161,000 in scholarships, grants

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Rick Cost, middle, a retired chief financial officer with Gwinnett County Public Schools, has one of the scholarships offered by Peach State Federal Credit Union named after him.

Applications are being accepted by Peach State Federal

Credit Union for its 2017 scholarship program, which will award more than $161,000 in scholarships and educational grants.

The program was established to honor the credit union’s founders, past and present board members and employees, as well as the lifetime achievements of several notable school system and community leaders. Peach State has added six new scholarships for 2017.

Many deadlines are March 17, but visit for application requirements and instructions.

Peach State also supports educational institutions with a combined total of $62,200 in scholarships and educational grants: Athens Technical College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett Technical College and the University of North Georgia.  Continue reading

GCPS receives national award for developing great teachers

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The National Council on Teacher Quality at an education conference in Austin, Texas, revealed what the organization described at “great districts for great teachers” when it honored eight systems across the country, including Gwinnett County Public Schools. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, far right , represented GCPS at the event.

An 18-month evaluation by the National Council on Teacher Quality revealed what the organization described on Tuesday as “great districts for great teachers” when it honored eight systems across the country, including Gwinnett County Public Schools.

What’s more, Gwinnett was picked as one of the two best in the group at the South by South West Education Expo in Austin, Texas.

The first-time award was meant to recognize districts for exceptional programs and policies on recruiting, encouraging, supporting and retaining great teachers.

 Gwinnett was honored alongside Boston Public Schools, Broward County (Fla.) Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, the New York City Department of Education, Pinellas County (Fla.) Schools and Pittsburgh Public Schools. The original pool considered for the awards was 123 school districts.

The NCTQ, which is a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, said these districts develop great teachers, so that they can deliver great instruction to their students. Continue reading

GCPS cafeteria workers gather toiletries for homeless

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Venessa Norris, who works in school cafeterias across Gwinnett County Public Schools, helps sort toiletries to be donatted to homeless shelters at Sweetwater Middle as Nichole Payne of Harmony elementary looks on. (Gwinnett Daily Post Staff Photo: Keith Farner)

Working hand-in-hand with nutrition, Dee Baum understands that personal hygiene is as important to overall health.

That’s why Baum made it the year-long project of the Gwinnett County School Nutrition Association to collect personal hygiene supplies, including shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, shaving cream and razors, to donate to local co-operative ministries, homeless shelters and women’s shelters.

Members of the GCSNA met for their monthly meeting on Tuesday at Sweetwater Middle School to sort the supplies and fill some 200 bags to deliver to the shelters.

“Why not do toiletries,” said Baum, who works in the cafeteria at Britt Elementary. “People have these at home and they sit there in bags and bags and bags. They go on trips and bring it home from the hotel because you’re already paying for it.” Continue reading

Special guests stir up excitement for reading during Alcova’s Read Across America

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Author Stephanie Davis poses with a first-grade class in Alcova Elementary School as part of Read Acreoss America week. (Gwinnett Daily Post Staff Photo: Cailin O’Brien)

DACULA — The kids sitting on the floor of Kim Sutton’s first-grade classroom at Alcova Elementary could barely keep from hopping to their feet to interact with the children’s author in front of them.

“Did you paint the book red,” one boy asked as Author Stephanie Davis held up a copy of her book Kayla the Great and the Magic Red Dress. It had a red cover.

Other members of the class asked her how she found her illustrator, how the book got published and whether she could stick around to read another book in her Kayla the Great series.

That’s the kind of excitement Alcova Assistant Principal Kia Henley hoped to drum up with the 45 to 50 guest readers she brought to the school Thursday as part of the school’s Read Across America day, a celebration of reading awareness in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

“We make a huge deal about reading all year long,” Henley said. “Then, we really drum this week up.”

She said about 50 percent of the school dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters. Teachers decorated their doors with Seuss-themed scenes. Sutton taught her class wearing a Cat in the Hat costume complete with fluffy tutu. Continue reading

Luncheon honors top Gwinnett STAR students with near perfect SATs

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Students from 27 public and private high schools across Gwinnett pose for pictures following a luncheon for the students who had the highest SAT score among the top 10 percent of students in their graduating class (Gwinnett Daily Post Staff Photo: Keith Farner)

Sabarish Sainathan and Eric Yan were in a class by themselves even among the elite students in the Class of 2017.

Sainathan, a Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology student, spent 14 hours on Sunday working to solve a math challenge for recreation.

“It was really fun,” he said.

 Yan, a Peachtree Ridge High student, who in his free time plays ultimate frisbee, recently studied neuropathways in Syrian hamsters. While results are still pending, Yan looked at how their the hamsters’ brains are organized to control different social behaviors.

After high school, Yan is considering Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, University of California-Berkeley, Duke and Columbia universities to study neuroscience or engineering. Sainathan is looking to major in computer science at Princeton University or Georgia Tech.

Sainathan and Yan were each honored on Monday at a luncheon at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast hotel put on by the Gwinnett Chamber to recognize students who had the highest SAT score among the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Sainathan and Yan tied with SAT scores of 2390 on a scale of 2400. Continue reading

Dyer Elementary chorus receives honor at Gold Dome

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Members of the Dyer Elementary chorus recently visited the Gold Dome and met with state lawmakers and other leaders at he Capitol. Here they posed for a picture with State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

Members of the Dyer Elementary chorus recently visited the Gold Dome and met with state lawmakers and other leaders at the Capitol.

Gwinnett School Board member Carole Boyce, and Professional Association of Georgia Educators legislative liaison Margaret Ciccarelli accompanied music teacher Sherry Coulombe and the students.

Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula, wrote a resolution for Dyer being named one of two elementary schools in the state to perform at the annual Georgia Music Educators Association conference in January. Last year, Dyer was performed for President Jimmy Carter and his wife.

 As part of the Gold Dome visit, the Dyer students met with State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

“He was so gracious and kind,” Coulombe said. “He (talked) with my students about education and his own life. He answered all questions and spent a whopping hour and a half with us.” Read more

Annual regional science fair, 650 projects, return to Gwinnett

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Anthony Piazza, a teacher at Creekland Middle, left, talks with Breanna Carter, a thrid-grader at Anderson-Livsey Elementary at the 36th annual Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair in 2014 at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth. Carter’s project was to determine if the number of blades on a pinwheel affects its speed.

Students from across Gwinnett have reached the pinnacle of local science and engineering success: They have a spot in the 39th annual Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The annual late February event is set for Friday at the Infinite Energy Center, and will include students from all 19 clusters, two Gwinnett County Public Schools special entities and six non-GCPS schools in Gwinnett. Overall, 101 schools will be represented at the event where awards ceremonies starting at 6:30 p.m. will honor students from third grade through high school.

The event includes more than 650 projects that cover science, engineering and innovation made by more than 865 students. To arrive at this event, the projects already won first place at the local school level.

While they’re on display, the projects will be judged by Georgia professionals and scientists who will assess them on scientific quality, accuracy, creativity and experimental design. Continue reading