In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 17, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Counselor Chat: Jan. 17
  • Yearbook Order Deadline TOMORROW: Jan. 18
  • Blood Drive: Jan. 18
  • K4/K5 Student Holiday: Jan. 18
  • School Holiday: Jan. 21
  • Prospective Family Open House: Jan.27
  • Chili Cookoff & Bingo Night: Jan. 31
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This January, GWA introduced a unique opportunity for upper school students to gain real-world experience or study non-traditional topics during a three-week intensive Winter Term called “Dawg Days.” During this time, students are taking a departure from their regular courses and are participating in a program of their choosing. More than 40 have opted for the internship program, which provides 11th and 12th graders the opportunity to learn about a particular profession during their normal daily operations.


These students are learning from professionals in a variety of fields including healthcare, government, communications, manufacturing, construction and more. When asked to reflect upon their individual intern experiences thus far, the feedback has been nothing short of inspirational. Many report that they believe GWA has equipped them with solid foundational skills to successfully integrate into their internship role within these organizations. Others feel that this program has enlightened them enough to influence their anticipated career paths. Junior Torie Johnson even declared that “this internship has changed my outlook on my future and I could not be more excited for these next two weeks!”


Overall, the inaugural semester of GWA “Dawg Days” has been a tremendous success and our students have embraced the experience. Our students are truly reaping the benefits of GWA’s ongoing efforts to expand educational horizons and offer such unique and enriching opportunities.

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New MS Study Hall is Officially Open!

GWA is now offering a new proctored study hall for all middle school students! The session is held in the cafeteria Monday through Thursday from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please encourage your student to take advantage of this valuable opportunity!

Sixth Graders "Flip" Over Social Studies

Mrs. Behnke's sixth-grade students were busy this week assembling "flip grids" to present historical broadcasts in social studies class. They were tasked with putting on their creative hats in order to write and film a news broadcast that included news stories, a commercial, an interview, and even a sports and weather segment. Each broadcast had to reflect upon the specific events and details of a time period they have studied so far.
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Healthy Boundaries

By Lynn Robinson, Middle and High School Counselor


Several years ago, a parent said to me, “I want my daughter to live with her phone, not live on her phone.” I understood exactly what he meant by that. We want our children to use their phones, tablets and laptops as tools. We want them to balance their time between the real world and cyberspace. We want them to appreciate the people and places that surround them.


So, as parents and teachers, how can we help our students use their electronics in a healthy way? We set healthy boundaries for electronic device use.


Tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium, Ellen Carrington, a Parenting the Love and Logic Way instructor and the mother of twin boys, will present a program entitled, “Electronics: Helping Your Student Have Healthy Boundaries.” During the presentation, she will discuss how we can help our students develop healthy habits for electronic use.


We have a few seats still available, so if you did not R.S.V.P, please join us!

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The State of the School meeting is an opportunity for GWA families to hear directly on how the school is doing on a number of fronts. This year’s meeting will include an update on the strategic plan as well as a review of the accreditation report – both the commendations and recommendations from the visiting team. The presentation will be followed by light refreshments. It is also one the few times per year that the Board of Trustees are present as a group. If you don’t know who they are or haven’t met them yet, this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce yourself.

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We Are Looking for More Families Just Like Yours!

Spread the word! Our next Prospective Family Open House is coming up. We can’t wait to show interested families all that GWA has to offer! Contact Cari Bailey at cbailey@gwa.com with questions or prospective family referrals.
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Our Fifth Graders are CHAMPS!

GWA fifth graders have graduated from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office CHAMPS program! They learned how to resist peer pressure that tries to influence the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs while gaining the skills and knowledge to make smart, safe decisions. The students completed their classroom lessons over a 12-week period and wrote essays on the topics of bullying, drug/alcohol use, and internet safety. The top essay winners, overall CHAMPS winners and graduates received their awards during last Friday’s ceremony- complete with an appearance by the CHAMPS mascot! Thanks to Deputy Grail Hall for his guidance and to the Walton County GA Sheriff’s Office and American Legion Post 233 for their support of this important program.

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Help support the American Red Cross! GWA is hosting a blood drive on Friday, Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and we need volunteers to donate blood. Please make an appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code gwa, or call 1-800-2767. Photo ID will be required to participate. Do your part to help save lives!

The GWA Beyond the Bell after school program offers more enrichment opportunities for students! Guitar begins on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and is open to all first through 12th graders. Students meet every Wednesday immediately after school dismissal and the cost is $250 for the semester. Taekwondo begins on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and is open to all first through fifth graders. Students meet every Tuesday immediately after school dismissal and the cost is $60 per month plus a one time fee of $30 for the uniform. Please contact Stacy May at smay@gwa.com to register or acquire further information.
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Internship Creates Artful Opportunity

Senior Caroline May is putting her talents to work during the Dawg Days Winter Term! She chose to participate in an art internship, and is assisting lower school art teacher Chelsea Carver with her classes. Caroline has embraced the opportunity and Mrs. Carver believes she is an exceptional asset to her program. "Because she has a strong art background, she is able to help students struggling with art concepts," said Mrs. Carver.

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Last chance to buy a yearbook! You can order one here or send a check made out to GWA ($75 per book - deadline is TOMORROW, Jan. 18) to Liz Jones in the front office. Don’t forget to include your child’s name, grade and homeroom.


And if you have any questions regarding school photography, please contact our school photographer, Elena De La Rosa at elena@elenadelarosaphotography.com or give her a call at 770-861-5890.

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Bulldogs sweep!

JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys all get the win over Athens Christian Tuesday night! What a tremendous accomplishment for all of our basketball players on the court. Well done, Bulldogs!

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Riding for the Win!

The GWA equestrian team competed very well this past weekend at Idlewild Equestrian in Buckhead, Georgia. The high school team won the championship- making for an undefeated season! The middle school team placed fifth and third in their division over the two days of competition. Also, ninth grader Mac Geoffroy won the sportsmanship award on Saturday. Congratulations, GWA riders!

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Wrestling Take Down

The GWA middle school Mat Dogs competed in the Peach State League Individual Championship this past weekend, and all our grapplers represented GWA with pride! Evan Newsom went 2-2 on the day and was one round away from placing in this year end tournament. This completes the season for MS, and Coach Matlack is proud of the team's successful season.


The varsity wrestling team also competed strong this past weekend with a fourth place win at the Area Duals! They defeated both Towns County and Athens Christian and only lost three matches all day! Several wrestlers went undefeated including: Beau Mitchell, Chris Sperin, Laythan Folgman, and Patrick Morris. The next tournament for the varsity Mat Dogs is the Archer Invitational on January 26.

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George Walton Academy is excited to introduce the brand new lacrosse program for students of all ages and experience levels. Please join us this Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. or Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria to learn more about the opportunity to play lacrosse in lower and middle school. A meeting for upper school players is scheduled for January 30 at 7 p.m.
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We are excited to announce the first ever youth track program at GWA! Students in grades first through fifth grade are invited to lace up their running shoes and race to the start of a brand new season with us! Want to learn more? A parent information session will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Lower school track team practice will begin on Monday, Feb. 4.
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The GWA Bulldog Baseball program is hosting a three-session camp for students in first through sixth grades. Each session focuses on a specific skill, and is divided into age groups. Contact Todd Shelnutt at tshelnutt@gwa.com for more information and click here for the schedule and registration form. It's open to the community, so sign up and bring a friend!
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It’s the “CAN’T MISS” event of the year... and tickets are going quickly!

This delightful evening includes a delicious dinner, silent and live auctions, and concludes on the dance floor! It's our largest fundraising event of the year with proceeds making a lasting difference in the lives of our students. Please join us for an event you won't want to miss!

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Register to Win the Trip of a Lifetime!

Click HERE to download a raffle flier. You do not have to be present to win! Turn in your raffle forms with payment to the Development Office.

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Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by Willco Electric

Willco Electric is a FULL SERVICE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. They provide professional, high quality electrical service to homeowners, business owners as well as general contractors. Learn more HERE. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.