Volume 7 , Number 2 May 4, 2015


Peachtree Ridge HS first Georgia high school
to earn AdvancED STEM Certification

Recently, Peachtree Ridge HS earned AdvancED STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Certification. The first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, the certification elevates the importance and awareness of quality in STEM qualification.

“We are proud to be one of the first AdvancED STEM Certified Schools,” says Dr. Jeff Mathews, the school’s principal. “This certification exhibits Peachtree Ridge High School’s commitment to addressing workforce needs by preparing our students with the relevant skills and experiences to succeed while demonstrating to the private sector that we are committed to driving higher levels of student achievement for their STEM pipeline.”
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Peachtree Ridge HS’ Feldman inducted into
Educational Theatre Hall of Fame

Dean Feldman of Peachtree Ridge HS has been inducted into the Educational Theatre Hall of Fame. This international honor is extended to a limited number of recipients each year, and Mr. Feldman is one of only six honorees from Georgia to receive this recognition.

The Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame Award recognizes a maximum of five individuals annually who have dedicated themselves to the cause of theatre education. Any member of Educational Theatre Association (Thespian troupe director, emeritus, or other professional member) who has 20 years of service or more is eligible to apply or be nominated for this award.
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GCPS recognized among best communities
in U.S. for music education

Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) music program has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. In all, 388 school districts in 46 states are among those named as the “Best Communities for Music Education.” In its 16th year, this recognition program singles out districts for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who have made music education a curriculum priority.

“Strong fine arts programs are an indicator of a strong community,” says
GCPS Director of Fine Arts David DuBose. “Gwinnett County Public Schools is proud to provide the best in music education to support our students, their futures, and the quality of life in our communities.”  

In Gwinnett, approximately 142,000 students are participating in music education courses and programs this school year. All of Gwinnett’s traditional schools— 77 elementary schools, 27 middle schools, and 19 high schools— offer music education courses. These may include band, orchestra, general music, jazz band, marching band, chorus, piano, guitar, music technology, music recording, and music theory. In addition, several of the district’s special entities, such as its charter schools and technical education campuses, offer music courses. More than 250 Gwinnett educators are certified to teach music.

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GCPS schools top state, rank nationally
in U.S. on The Washington Post ‘Challenge Index’

The Washington Post’s list of most challenging U.S. high schools includes 19 Gwinnett schools, with Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) earning the top ranking in Georgia, 19th in the south, and 26th in the nation. The Post ranks schools using a “Challenge Index” that considers the number of students attempting tough courses as measured by enrollment and test-taking in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education courses. GSMST ranked 26th out of 2,300 schools nationwide. The only other Georgia school in the top 100 nationwide is St. Andrew’s, a private school in Savannah, which ranked 97th. Meadowcreek HS ranked 140th nationally.
Gwinnett high schools by rank in Georgia
on the The Washington Post Challenge Index
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, #1 in Georgia (ranked 19th in the South, 26th in the nation)
Meadowcreek HS, #5 (ranked 80th in the South, 140th in the nation)
North Gwinnett HS, #10
Archer HS, #21
Berkmar HS, #32
Parkview HS, #34
Brookwood HS, #35
Norcross HS, #43
Peachtree Ridge HS, #45
Mountain View HS, #56
Central Gwinnett HS, #57
Mill Creek HS, #61
Dacula HS, #62
Lanier HS, #64
Duluth HS, #65
Collins Hill HS, #72
South Gwinnett HS, #76
Grayson HS, #83
Shiloh HS, #115

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Mason ES earns national recognition
from U.S. DOE as Green Ribbon School


Mason ES’ “green initiatives” have earned the school national recognition from the U.S. Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School. This national recognition program inspires schools, districts, and institutions of higher education to strive for 21st century excellence, by highlighting exemplary practices and resources that all can employ. To that end, the award recognizes schools that:
-    Reduce environmental impact and costs;
-    Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and

-    Provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
Mason ES students participate in a “green day” activity.

Principal David Jones is proud of this most recent accomplishment and what it says about their school and community. He explains, “Our school is dedicated to ensuring our students are prepared to take their place as leaders and successful citizens in the 21st century. A key to that is ensuring that they have a better understanding of the world we live in and the responsibility we all have in making it a better place. We could not do the programs we do without our committed teachers, supportive community, and eager students. So, while Mason Elementary may have been named the winner of this award, the real winners are our entire community!”
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Shiloh ES’ Engwall selected for
national Mickleson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy

Stephanie Engwall of Shiloh ES has been selected for the Mickleson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. The week-long, all-expenses-paid professional development program focuses on using real-world examples and hands-on experiments to build teacher and student excitement about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.

“I am looking forward to learning new and exciting ways to teach students math and science concepts,” says Ms. Engwall. “Also, I am very excited to collaborate with teachers from across the country to discover what they are doing in their school districts.”
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Phoenix HS’ Souvorin among
nationally honored PBS digital innovators

Pasha Souvorin of Phoenix HS has been selected as a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. As one of 100 tech-savvy educators from across the country, Mr. Souvorin will participate in a yearlong professional development program which will prepare him to act as a digital learning ambassador in his school learning community.

Despite some initial disbelief, Mr. Souvorin welcomes the recognition. “I’m proud of the tools I’ve built for my students, but I never thought my work could get recognized on this national level. I’m looking forward to learning how to implement the PBS LearningMedia tools into eCLASS so that I can help fellow Gwinnett teachers use these fantastic new tools together. This amazing opportunity is going to give me the chance to meet and learn from the most innovative teachers in the country. I can’t wait to learn about the latest innovations in digital learning, and to bring the best ideas back to Phoenix High School and Gwinnett County!”

Check out this video from Mr. Souvorin’s application which summarizes his digital innovation project.
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Parkview HS’ Patrick earns national teaching honor
from the Society for Classical Studies

Dr. Robert Patrick of Parkview HS has been honored with the 2014 Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Precollegiate Level by the Society for Classical Studies. Honorees for the award are selected based on the nomination of a colleague, administrator, or former student, who is thoroughly familiar with the educator’s work, and a detailed, supporting summary of teaching achievements and materials, a curriculum vitae, a personal statement from the honoree, and letters of recommendation.

Early in his career, Dr. Patrick was frustrated by traditional methods of teaching Latin, which he felt served only a small, self-selecting group of students. Inspired by linguistic and cognitive theories, he radically transformed his approach to teaching Latin and saw that student success and retention immediately improved. He says, “I have become convinced that all kinds of learners can acquire the Latin language.”

Dr. Patrick encourages his students to see Latin as a “living language,” and he has noted overall growth in the number of students studying the language each year.
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GCPS counselors achieve national recognition
Jennifer Diaz of White Oak ES and Andrea Hodgin of Lanier MS earned national recognition in the American School Counselor Association's 2015 School Counselor of the Year Awards. Ms. Diaz was honored as a finalist for 2015 School Counselor of the Year, and Ms. Hodgin was honored as a semifinalist.
The 2015 School Counselor of the Year, finalists, and semifinalists were honored in a ceremony at the White House, hosted by the First Lady and actress Connie Britton, who portrayed a school counselor on the TV series, “Friday Night Lights.”

Nominations for the School Counselor of the Year awards program were submitted by the state school counselor associations. The School Counselor of the Year awards panel was composed of representatives from AASA: The School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, No Kid Hungry and school counselors. The panel selected the finalists based on several criteria, including: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student advancement.

“School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well-being of students and their success,” said Dr. Richard Wong, executive director of the American School Counselor Association. “They have unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address students’ academic achievement, personal/social and career development needs.”
Read more about these two Gwinnett honorees in Communiqué.
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Counseling programs earn national honors
Annistown ES, Summerour MS, and Shiloh HS earned the national Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation. Annistown ES “re-RAMPed,” earning the designation for a second time (first earned in 2011).

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) awards this designation to schools that are committed to delivering comprehensive data-driven school counseling programs. This is the second time Annistown Elementary School has received the designation, the first time in 2011. Dianne Thompson, GCPS director of advisement and counseling, says the school district is proud of the counselors and educators who worked hard to achieve the designation. She says, “Earning the RAMP designation is a collaborative commitment between counselors and administrators. It signifies that these programs are the best of the best. It is a rigorous process, to say the least, and it takes commitment to earn and maintain the designation.”

Since the program’s inception, nearly 600 schools have received the RAMP designation. This year 62 schools were selected nationally; eight of those are from Georgia; and three of those, nearly half of the state’s honorees, were from Gwinnett.

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Three GCPS students and teachers share in
2015 Gwinnett STAR honors, regional kudos

This year, Chris Michael of Brookwood HS, Geri Flanary of Duluth HS, and Phil Heier of Parkview HS shared the spotlight as Gwinnett County 2015 STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) teachers at the county level. (Two private school teachers also won at the county level.) The county winners— both students and teachers— also won region honors. The STAR program recognizes Georgia’s outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development.

Each high school honors its local STAR student, the senior in the top 10% of his or her class with the highest SAT score. Congratulations to the following GCPS educators honored as 2015 STAR Teachers:

2015 Local School STAR Teachers in GCPS
Kristen Carter of Archer HS
Nikki Toombs of Meadowcreek HS
Donna Fisher of Berkmar HS
Julee Impara* and Gregory Marr* of Mill Creek HS
Chris Michael of Brookwood HS
(County and Region STAR Teacher winner)
Brad Blackmon of Mountain View HS
Lindsay Bates of Central Gwinnett HS
Dr. James Glenn of Norcross HS
David Tullis of Collins Hill HS
Anne-Rose Baker of
North Gwinnett HS
Lyle Cruse of Dacula HS
Phil Heier of Parkview HS
(County and Region
STAR Teacher winner)
Geri Flanary of Duluth HS
(County and Region
STAR Teacher winner)
Chris Keyser of Peachtree Ridge HS
Mary Stimmel of Grayson HS
Pheletta Kayea of Shiloh HS
Jeff Burmester of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Susan Healey of South Gwinnett HS
Ursula Jones of Lanier HS
*Note: Two teachers were named when two students tied for the local school honor.

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Chattahoochee ES’ Ittner honored
with Innovation in Teaching Award by GOSA

Kudos are in order to Jenny Ittner of Chattahoochee ES for earning recognition in the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s “Innovation in Teaching Competition: Beyond the Textbook.”

The Innovation in Teaching Competition: Beyond the Textbook began as part of Georgia’s Race to the Top plan to create and support highly effective teachers. The competition has two main goals. First, to recognize and reward educators from across our state who are using innovative strategies in teaching the CCGPS. And second, to make videos of the winning teachers, along with their unit plans and supplementary materials, available to all Georgia educators. Learn more about Ms. Ittner’s impressive classroom activity.

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Georgia DOE honors 19 GCPS high schools
as AP Honor Schools in one or more categories

The 2015 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools are named in six categories, based on the results of AP exams, including one new category recognizing achievement in the Humanities. Many Gwinnett schools are recognized in one of more categories.
2015 AP Challenge Schools
Schools with fewer than 900 students with students
testing in the four core areas of English, Mathematics,
Social Studies and Science
GCPS no longer has any schools small enough
to qualify in this category.
2015 AP Access and Support Schools
Schools with 30% of AP test takers that are African-American or Hispanic and at least 30% of all AP exams scoring 3 or higher
Archer HS
Berkmar HS
Central Gwinnett HS
Dacula HS
Grayson HS
Norcross HS
2015 AP Merit Schools
Schools with at least 20% of students taking AP exams
and at least half of the AP exams scoring a 3 or higher
Brookwood HS
Collins Hill HS
Duluth HS
Grayson HS
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Mill Creek HS
Mountain View HS
Norcross HS
North Gwinnett HS
Parkview HS
Peachtree Ridge HS
2015 AP STEM Schools
Schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics) and two AP science courses (AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science)
Archer HS
Berkmar HS
Brookwood HS
Central Gwinnett HS
Collins Hill HS
Dacula HS
Duluth HS
Grayson HS
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Lanier HS
Meadowcreek HS
Mill Creek HS
Mountain View HS
Norcross HS
North Gwinnett HS
Parkview HS
Peachtree Ridge HS
Shiloh HS
South Gwinnett HS
2015 AP STEM Achievement Schools
Schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses and at least 40% of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher.
Archer HS
Brookwood HS
Collins Hill HS
Duluth HS
Grayson HS
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Lanier HS
Mill Creek HS
Mountain View HS
Norcross HS
North Gwinnett HS
Parkview HS
Peachtree Ridge HS
Shiloh HS
NEW Category: 2015 AP Humanities Schools
Schools with students testing in at least one AP language arts course, two AP social science courses, one AP fine arts course, and one AP world language course.
Berkmar HS
Brookwood HS
Collins Hill HS
Dacula HS
Duluth HS
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Lanier HS
Meadowcreek HS
Mill Creek HS
Mountain View HS
Norcross HS
North Gwinnett HS
Parkview HS
Peachtree Ridge HS
Shiloh HS
South Gwinnett HS

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Georgia DOE recognizes 28 GCPS schools
for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has published the list of Georgia schools earning Operational or Emerging status for the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The GaDOE recognized 28 GCPS schools for the 2013-14 school year as schools implementing PBIS with fidelity. GCPS had more Operational and Emerging PBIS schools than any other district in the state. The school district has 15% of the Operational and Emerging PBIS schools in the state.

PBIS is NOT a curriculum, intervention, or practice, but  IS a decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.

During the 2010-11 school year, the Office of Student Discipline and Behavioral Interventions supported the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in 17 GCPS schools. Since the first year of implementation, 21 more schools are implementing PBIS, and 22 additional GCPS schools will begin implementing the PBIS framework in August 2015.
2013-14 Operational PBIS Schools
Archer HS
Bethesda ES
Corley ES
Couch MS
Creekland MS
Dacula MS
Ferguson ES
Hooper Renwick School
Hull MS
Lawrenceville ES
Lilburn ES
McConnell MS
Moore MS
Mountain View HS
Partee ES
Peachtree ES
Pinckneyville MS
Richards MS
Simonton ES
Sweetwater MS
Trickum MS
2013-14 Emerging PBIS Schools
Cedar Hill ES
GIVE Center East
GIVE Center West
Grayson HS
Lilburn MS
Radloff MS
Snellville MS


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Harris ES earns customer service honor, Moore MS a finalist
Harris ES is one of five Georgia schools selected to receive the 2015 Family-Friendly Partnership School Award from the GaDOE. The winning schools represent the best in customer service for Georgia families, whether it’s on the phone, in the front office, or online. The schools have welcoming staff members, comfortable waiting areas, clear signage, and engaging student work throughout the building. They have easy-to-navigate websites and are forging partnerships with parents to help improve student achievement. The schools also provide unique, engaging, and innovative parent engagement programming that is successful in reaching all families in the school. Moore MS also was a finalist for the award.

“The schools that won this award are truly models for the entire state regarding parent engagement,” says State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “They open the door for other schools to see the positive results that can be achieved when families are seen as true partners in their child’s education. I offer my congratulations and thanks to all of the winners and finalists.”
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Meadowcreek HS’ Griffin-Kimber earns state award
Jeanette Griffin-Kimber of Meadowcreek HS earned the 2015 Annie Hutchison Educational Support Professional of the Year Award from the Georgia Association of Educators. Aside from her role as Educational Support Professional (ESP), Ms. Griffin-Kimber serves as Co-President of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators (GCAE).

She says, “Enhancing the image of ESPs is part of my role as Co-President of GCAE. Never in the history of GCAE has an ESP attained this role of leadership. I dream that the prospect of this achievement would encourage and motivate other ESPs to take notice of their importance to the organization. Being an ESP in leadership is an opportunity and example of a ‘true partnership’ internally and externally. It is an honor to serve!”
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88 Gwinnett schools recognized as Green & Healthy Schools
This year, a total of 88 schools earned Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s Environmental Achievement Award, which recognizes schools for documenting their planning and implementation of environmental programs, practices, and education efforts in seven specific earth-friendly areas: waste reduction, education and stewardship, water conservation and watershed protection, air quality, energy conservation, beautification and green space preservation, and community outreach.

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful honors “green schools” at the levels of Discovering, Progressing, Taking Action, Reaching Higher, and Reaching Higher with Sustaining Excellence in Environmental Education (five or more years at the top level).

The schools include:
Sustaining Excellence in Environmental Education
Green & Healthy Schools
Arcado ES
Berkeley Lake ES
Craig ES
Dyer ES
Jackson ES
Lanier MS
Level Creek ES
Lovin ES
McKendree ES
Minor ES
Monarch School
Parsons ES
Pinckneyville MS
Rosebud ES
Starling ES
Trip ES
Reaching Higher Green & Healthy Schools
Alcova ES
Arcado ES
Beaver Ridge ES

Berkeley Lake ES
Bethesda ES
Britt ES
Brookwood HS
Buice School
Burnette ES
Camp Creek ES
Centerville ES
Corley ES
Craig ES
Duluth MS
Duncan Creek ES
Dyer ES
Five Forks MS
Fort Daniel ES
Freeman’s Mill ES
Gwin Oaks ES
Harbins ES
Hull MS
Ivy Creek ES
Jackson ES
Lanier HS
Lanier MS
Lawrenceville ES
Level Creek ES
Lovin ES
Mason ES
Maxwell HS of Technology
McKendree ES
Mill Creek HS
Minor ES
Mulberry ES
Norcross HS
North Gwinnett MS
Oakland Meadow School
Parsons ES
Pharr ES
Pinckneyville MS
Puckett’s Mill ES
Radloff MS
Rosebud ES
Shiloh MS
Simpson ES
South Gwinnett HS
Starling ES
Stripling ES
Sugar Hill ES
Sycamore ES
Taylor ES
Trip ES
White Oak ES
Winn Holt ES
Taking Action Green & Healthy Schools
Alford ES
Anderson-Livsey ES
Berkmar HS
Brookwood ES
Chesney ES
Collins Hill HS
Dacula MS
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Harmony ES
Hopkins ES
Kanoheda ES
Lilburn MS
Norcross ES
Patrick ES
Peachtree ES

Peachtree Ridge HS
Riverside ES
Roberts ES
Summerour MS
Walnut Grove ES
Progressing Green & Healthy Schools
Annistown ES
Benefield ES
Centerville ES
Gwinnett Online Campus
Meadowcreek ES
McConnell MS
Nesbit ES
Richards MS
Rock Springs ES
Parkview HS
Phoenix HS
Discovering Green & Healthy Schools
Moore MS
Suwanee ES

Click here to find out more about these honored schools.
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GCPS honors first-ever library advocate and top media clerk
Kim F. Holland of Buice School is the recipient of the 2015 GCPS School Library Advocate Award. Sponsored by Media Services and Technology Training, this award honors administrators outside the library profession who have made noteworthy contributions to the operations of effective library services in their school and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program. As a recipient of the GCPS School Library Advocate Award, Ms. Holland will be nominated by the district for the Distinguished School Administrators Award sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

Patti Bramblett of North Gwinnett HS is GCPS’ first-ever Media Clerk of the Year. The award was developed to honor a media clerk, who through individual leadership and sustained effort, has made significant contributions to the operations of effective school library programs. As the 2015 GCPS Media Clerk of the Year, Ms. Bramblett will be nominated for consideration in the Library Journal’s Paralibrarian of the Year competition.
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Gwinnett celebrates its top school counselors
During National School Counseling Week, GCPS celebrated the key role school counselors play in the academic success and overall well-being of all Gwinnett children during National Counseling Week in February. The school district named its 2015 top counseling professionals of the year and named the recipients of the 21st Century Comprehensive Counseling (21C3) Program Award. The 21C3 award recognizes outstanding, innovative programs that show evidence of counseling program advocacy and goals that use data to guide program design, delivery, and evaluation. 
2015 GCPS Top Counseling Professionals and Programs
2015 Gwinnett County
Elementary School
Counselor of the Year

Danielle Graff of Jenkins ES

L to r: Principal Dr. Dot Schoeller, Danielle Graff, and Dr. Kevin Tashlein, Associate Superintendent.
2015 Gwinnett County Middle School
Counselor of the Year

Dr. Vanita Moon of Snellville ES

L to r: Dr. Vanita Moon, Dr. Kevin Tashlein, and Principal Katise Menchan of Snellville MS.

2015 Gwinnett County Secondary School
Counselor of the Year


Kim Tepker of Duluth HS

L to r: Dianne Thompson, executive director of Advisement and Counseling, Kim Tepker, and Principal Anthony Smith of Duluth HS
2015 Gwinnett County
Mary Joe Hannaford
Counseling Advocate of the Year

Dr. Dion Jones,
Principal of Roberts ES

Dr. Dion Jones and Dr. Kevin Tashlein.
21C3 Program of the Year Award recipients
Mulberry ES
Counselor: Darcy Long
Parkview HS
Counselors: Dr. Judy Days-Dee,
Brenda LaManque, Dr. Mark Manning,
Dr. Samela Reid, Kim Salo, and Leigh Wilkinson
Jones MS
Counselors: Karen Bevak, Natalie Enter, and Ashley White
Shiloh HS
Counselors: Vameker Banks, Dinaia Crumbley, Erica Dailey, Kenton Johnson, and Devin Jones.
Finalist and Semifinalist for National Counselor of the Year Awards
2015 National Finalist
Jennier Diaz of White Oak ES
2015 National Semifinalist
Andrea Hodgin of Lanier MS

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Top bus managers, monitor honored by GCPS
Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) district leaders and School Board members recently recognized the district’s transportation professionals for their commitment to serving Gwinnett students and their families. Dee Walls, Emi Redman, and Dori Puckett were named as the districts top bus managers and monitor for the 2014-15 year. 

Pictured l to r: Dee Walls, Emi Redman, and Dori Puckett.

Dee Walls, 2014-15 Regular Education Bus Manager of the Year
Having joined the school district in 2001, Dee Walls is a team leader in the Archer area. She loves the job and being on the same schedule as her children.

Emi Redman, 2014-15 Special Education Bus Manager of the Year
Emi Redman is a breakdown driver in the Dacula, Mill Creek, and Mountain View clusters. As a breakdown driver, Ms. Redman is always on call and ready to serve students in these clusters. She joined GCPS in 2006. 

Dori Puckett, 2014-15 Special Education Bus Monitor of the Year
Dori Puckett monitors special needs students who travel in the Central Gwinnett Cluster. She began her employment in GCPS in 1997.  

The selection of the 2014-15 winners is the result of an extensive process. First, they were nominated by their colleagues in their transportation zone. Nominees from the 27 regular education zones and the nine special education zones, then were given a written and driving skills test. Eleven finalists were selected— five regular education bus managers, three special education bus managers, and three special education bus monitors. A judging committee selected the winners from the finalists.

2014-15 Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year
Nominees and Finalists
Regular Education Nominees
Gretchen Arnold*
Duane Culp*
Joanne Schafer*
Lynne Walker*
Dee Walls*
Idere Anderson
Leianne Barber
Bobbie Cissner
Cosha Clark
Candy Arie Danner
Soulouque Dorisme
Christa Faircloth
Linda Grissom
John Hearle
Zandria Milton
Susan Moon
Linda Parker
Teresa Parker
Sara Reed
Rose Rutlege
Lenora Smith
Tammy Steele
Catherine Symonds
Elijah Troupe
Tonja Walker
Todd Walls
Laurie Wexel
Special Needs Nominees
Lisa DeKranes*
Robin Poss*
Jerry Hembree
Linda Jacoby
Kirk Lowe
Heather Mack
Cathy Petty
Annette Pittman

Bus Monitor Nominees
Jean Armbruster
Chris Cantrell
Alina Culp
Donna Gagne
Darlena McGee
Debbie Miller
Jan Murphy
Jenny Patterson
*Denotes award finalists

Transportation Director Grant Reppert applauded the efforts of all the staff who safely transport Gwinnett students to and from school. In recognizing this year’s winners, he said, “These outstanding professionals exhibit the passion, commitment, and excellence found throughout our operations. They are the best of the best and we appreciate all that they do for the school system and the students we serve.”
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School district names sixth cohort of Aspiring Leader Program
GCPS selected 45 educators to participate in the sixth cohort of the district’s Quality-Plus Leader Academy (QPLA) Aspiring Leader Program (ALP). ALP develops a pool of future assistant principals during a six-month program. Teaching methods include case studies, role-playing activities, panel discussions, and collaborative adult learning. After completing the coursework, each participant will complete a three-week residency during summer school.

Selected through a rigorous screening process, the QPLA ALP Cohort VI members include:
Class of 2014-15 - Cohort VI
Sheryl Ackers of Dacula HS
Amanda Acres or Harbins ES
Christine Austin
of Gwinnett Online Campus
Jennifer Bahr of Brookwood HS
Amanda Beier of Bethesda ES
Tania Bethel of Grace Snell MS
Kim Booth of Duluth MS
Lisa Bragg of Lawrenceville ES
Aleshia Brown of Jenkins ES
Naomi Bullock of Shiloh MS
Theresa Consorti of Arcado ES
Jennifer Disney of Stripling ES
Karen Dougherty of Jackson ES
Joseph Gillard of Shiloh ES
Jade Gillispie of
Maxwell HS of Technology
Stephanie Grant of Dacula HS
Patrice Graves of Rosebud ES
Brittany Haddock of Lanier HS
Charles Hawk of GIVE Center West
Altonise Henfield of Knight ES
Bernita Houston-Craven
of Hopkins ES
Dr. Kenyada Jackson of Grayson HS
Mary Jahntz of Bethesda ES
Deborah Kupperbusch of Magill ES
Katrina Larmond of Annistown ES
Dr. Phil Lawal of South Gwinnett HS
Kim Lee of Magill ES
Stacy Lord of Lawrenceville ES
Mark Moon of Osborne MS
Rasheedra Nelson of Collins Hill HS
Heather Parkerson of Brookwood HS
Joe Paul of GIVE Center East
Dr. John Peterson of Lilburn MS
Emily Russell of Norcross HS
Dawn Sanders of Gwin Oaks ES
Michael Savage
of Curriculum & Instruction
Dr. Lori Singleton of Hopkins ES
Michael Urbanik of Beaver Ridge ES
Dr. Lisa Watts of Suwanee ES
Toni Weir of Summerour MS
Andrew Whatley of Radloff MS
Deborah White of Mountain View HS
Candace Williams of Beaver Ridge ES
Ryan Wilson of Northbrook MS
Jennifer L. Wright of Hull MS

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Need-to-know highlights in Spotlight:
Learn more about…
  • System, School, and Staff Honors

  • Degrees

  • Presentations

  • Publications

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  • Grants/Scholarships.

  • Something to celebrate?


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    System, School, and Staff Honors
  • Dr. Kathleen McKenzie of Collins Hill HS, Loretta Mirandola of Grayson HS, and Dr. Robert Patrick of Parkview HS— renewed their National Board Certification during the 2014-15 school year.
  • Vicky Smith of Brookwood HS— honored with the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.
  • Maryanne Grimes of Central Gwinnett HS— recognized as the 2015 High School Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. Ms. Grimes also was honored with the 2015 Georgia State University College of Education Distinguished Alumnus Award.
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools— honored with the 2014 Partnership Gwinnett Award in the category of “Influence,” in recognition of the school district’s “extraordinary contributions to the community in support of economic development.”
  • Andrew Toney of Academic Support— recognized with Georgia Senate Resolution 364, commending Mr. Toney for his work with at-risk students through Project Reconnect.
  • Pictured l to r: Kellie Brownlow, director of Economic Development for Partnership Gwinnett, Sloan Roach, executive director of Communication and Media Relations, Rick Cost, Chief Financial Officer, and Nick Masino, senior vice president, Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett.

  • Dustin Davis of Brookwood HS— earned recognition as FBLA Advisor of the Year for the region.
  • Jon Weyher of Peachtree Ridge HS— named Region 7 AAAAAA Athletic Director of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association.
  • Mike Cammack of Shiloh HS— named Region 8 AAAAAA Athletic Director of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association.
  • Norcross HS recognized as the 2015 Best Art Department by the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition. The Norcross HS art teachers include Alisia Cannon, Angela Cronon, Chelsea Deleon, Ashley Getz, and Laura Insixiengmay.
  • Stripling ES featured as the Georgia SHAPE School of the Month for January 2015.
  • David McCleskey of the CEO/Superintendent’s Office— named a recipient of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Excellence Awards.
  • Kyle Lineberry of Duluth MS— named Arts Educator of the Year by ArtWorks! Gwinnett. Eleanor Neal of Shiloh HS also was nominated for the award, and the Fine Arts Leadership Team from Peachtree Ridge HS was nominated for the Community Impact Award for Community Arts Program honor.
  • Dr. Richard Holland of Jones MS— recognized with the Mill Creek Cluster Education Foundation’s Partner in Education Award for his leadership and support for the cluster schools.
  • Kirsten Baker of North Gwinnett HS— honored by the American Cancer Society for her volunteer work with Relay For Life.
  • Amelia Haynes of Duluth HS, Rachel McConnell of Lilburn ES, and Mallory Sosebee of McKendree ES— initiates of Beta Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honorary society of women educators that promotes professional and personal growth of its members and excellence in education.
  • Louise Radloff, District V Board Member— presented with an honorary membership in Beta Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. In addition, the chapter named its annual book drive the “Louise Radloff Literary Project.” The drive will raise money to buy books for kindergarten students at Alcova ES.
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  • Degrees
  • Dr. Monica Batiste, HR Staffing Director— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Mercer University.
  • Dr. Kelli McCain, Assistant Superintendent— earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Mercer University.
  • Tara Finco of Parkview HS— earned a specialist’s degree in Learning, Design, and Technology with a focus on Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia.
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  • Presentations
  • Dr. Stacy Byous of Partee ES and Anne Hodgskiss of Mason ES— presented “Common Core Visual Literacy with Thinglink and Padlet” at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference.
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  • Publications
  • Brittany Grant of Burnette ES— published a review of Red Sled by Lita Judge in the quarterly national music education journal, The Orff Echo.
  • Dr. Stefanie Steele, Christopher Carter, and Dr. Wisteria Williams, all of Lilburn MS, Carla Clark of Meadowcreek HS, and Michael Richie of Norcross HS— contributed to a published case highlighting Lilburn MS in Job-Embedded Professional Development by Sally J. Zepeda.
  • Bishonna Jones of Shiloh MS— featured in the Georgia Department of Education’s Parent Involvement Coordinators (PIC) Spotlight for November 2014.
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  • Participants
  • Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, GCPS School Board Chairman, Dr. Tim Mullen of Bay Creek MS, and Kerensa Wing, Principal at Collins Hill HS— named to serve on one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Advisory Boards. Dr. Mullen will serve on the Educators’ Advisory Board, Ms. Wing will serve on the Principals’ Advisory Board, and Dr. Murphy will serve on the School Board Members’ Advisory Board. These Boards will meet with the governor and his staff over the next year to provide input on education policy issues facing the state.
  • Dustin Davis of Brookwood HS— elected as treasurer of his professional organization, the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education.
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  • Grants/Scholarships
  • Congratulations to the following educators for grants received from the Mill Creek Cluster Education Foundation to support projects and initiatives in their learning communities:
    Karen Ona of Duncan Creek ES received $2,580 for computer-aided instruction to support level 3 autism spectrum disorder learners;
    Shawn Stevens of Duncan Creek ES received $486 to continue creative communications;
    Heather Stonecypher of Fort Daniel ES received $480 for “Peep Peep Go the Chicks;”
    Dr. Patty Baxter at Ivy Creek ES received $533.40 for science dissections;
    Samantha Carr at Ivy Creek ES received $418 for owl pellets for dissection;
    Jones MS received $335.98 for the school’s Starbooks Cafe;
    Christopher Reese of Osborne MS received $1,000 for the HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Others) Club;
    Jennifer Frame of Patrick ES received $1,382.40 for a kindergarten STEM lab; and
    Julie Hitt of Puckett’s Mill ES received $2,600 for the Hands on Habitat Part 2 project.
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  • Something to Celebrate?
    Share your good news with your colleagues in the Spotlight publication. If you have earned a state or national award, earned a degree, made a presentation, or had work published, send the information to the Spotlight mailbox via Lotus Notes, or to the Communication and Media Relations department through the courier. Click here to send all submissions to Spotlight to be included in the back-to-school issue of the 2015-16 school year.
    Share your feedback on Spotlight!

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        Last modified on 09/01/2015