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06/02/2017

Several Gwinnett schools recently earned STEM and STEAM certification from the Georgia Department of Education, and one cluster made history.

Lanier Middle and Mason Elementary received STEM certification for work related to science, technology, engineering and math. And STEAM certification, which adds the arts to STEM, went to Coleman Middle. Mason and Coleman earned school certifications, while Lanier’s TWIST program earned a program certification. TWIST stands for Teamwork With Innovative Skills and Technology.

Gwinnett County Public Schools now has seven schools that have earned STEM or STEAM certification.

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06/02/2017

It was a festive scene inside Jenkins Elementary on Wednesday afternoon as students, teachers and administrators were minutes away from summer.

The halls were lined with students, several with posters that said things such as, “Good luck in middle school,” “Happy last day,” and “Congratulations fifth-graders.” Teachers held tambourines and maracas, and in between tears, some recorded the festivities on cell phone videos.

It was all a buildup to the fifth-grade parade, an annual event where Jenkins’ fifth-graders said their final goodbyes as they walk out into the double line of buses and into summer. The last day of school meant they’d soon be known as Jordan Middle sixth-graders, and walk in the doors up the hill.

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06/02/2017

Writing at least five letters a day, it didn’t take long for the the hand cramps to set in.

For Megan Hawes, a soft-spoken but caring member of the Brookwood High Class of 2017, that writing turned into a burst of smiles Wednesday morning as she was mobbed with hugs and well wishes from dozens of classmates.
Hawes, who plans to enroll at Kennesaw State University in the fall and eventually become a pilot, took on a daunting task this school year to ensure that every member of her graduating class would receive a letter.
 
“It was a lot of hand cramps,” Hawes said. “I had to write at least five a day, and some days I’d do the whole weekend, or I’d have to go to my grandmother’s so I didn’t have any distractions. … It takes a lot of time to think about what to say.”

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05/24/2017

More than 12,000 students plan to graduate in the coming days from Gwinnett County Public Schools as the district described the class of 2017 as the largest and most decorated to date.

“They are among the best prepared of any graduating class and are prepared for the next chapter in their lives,” CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said in a press release. “We wish them well and congratulate them on their hard work and persistence, knowing they are ready for the future. And, while the focus is on the graduates at this time of year, I also would like to thank their families, the thousands of dedicated teachers, and the committed administrators who provided support and guidance to them throughout the years.”

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05/24/2017

Gwinnett’s reigning Teacher of the Year on Thursday was named among the top 10 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Department of Education.

The 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 150 applicants, and all were previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others.

The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.
Gwinnett County Public Schools’ TOTY, Jamie Lynn McFarland, who teaches third through fifth grade Severe/Profound Intellectual Disabilities at Rock Springs Elementary, was given the district award in November.

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05/21/2017

Like a lot of previous induction classes from the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, the five-person Class of 2017 spanned a vast range of generations and backgrounds.

From the athletic and coaching career of Jack Britt in the the post-World War II years to Tony Akins’ basketball career in the late 1990s to the more recent heydays of Courtney Puckett-Oros, Chad Hall and Kyle Maynard, Friday night’s induction ceremony — hosted by South Gwinnett grad and Fox 5 Atlanta TV personality Buck Lanford with Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn as the keynote speaker — for this year’s class was in some ways a Gwinnett County history lesson.

 

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