In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 31, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Chili Cook Off & Bingo Night: Jan. 31
  • State of the School Address: Feb. 7
  • Open House: Feb. 12
  • Spring Sports Picture Day: Feb. 13
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Dawgs 360 embodies the GWA spirit and encompasses Bulldog life in so many meaningful ways. With over 400 members and an army of 500 volunteers, Dawgs 360 gives our community the opportunity to get involved, enjoy fellowship, support students and teachers, welcome new GWA families and much more. There are plenty of Dawgs 360 events on the horizon and we invite all to participate as we strive to make the George Walton experience even better.


Tonight’s second annual Chili Cook Off and Bingo Night is a guaranteed good time! Festivities begin at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. Sample more than 20 varieties of chili, enjoy music by DJ Mike McKinney, snap a selfie with our Bulldog mascot and get ready to play bingo to win incredible prizes. Pizza, drinks and bingo cards will be sold for $1 each.


George Walton Academy is honored to host this year’s Walton County Relay for Life event on May 3 on our campus. This event offers our families another way to get involved, make a difference in our greater community and support those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Dawgs 360 is seeking volunteers to host the survivor dinner as well as set up and clean up.


A big Bulldog thank you to each volunteer for rolling up your sleeves, jumping in and answering the call for help. You are the key to making our events a success! Your contributions of time, talent, energy and resources make GWA much more than a school – we are a thriving community!


For more information regarding Dawgs 360 or to learn how you can get involved, please contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.

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Rotary Student of the Month

Tatiana Bolds has been selected as Rotary Student of the Month for January. She chose Cortney Pickens as the Rotary Teacher of the Month. Tatiana is a member National Honor Society, Beta Club, Torch and Laurel Society, Student Council, Gavel Club and the Recycling Club. Tatiana has been awarded GWA’s Best of the Best, Magna Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam and served as a Junior Marshal. She also serves as Student Ambassador and volunteers in the community through her club affiliations. Tatiana plans to attend Emory University in the fall and follow a pre-med track. Congratulations, Tatiana and Ms. Pickens!
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Continue Benefitting from Dawg Days

By Michael Clancy, Director of College Counseling


George Walton’s first upper school winter term, Dawg Days, wrapped up last week, but students can continue to benefit from the experience. You have probably seen articles in previous issues of In Focus or in the Walton Tribune featuring GWA upper school students meeting with members of Congress in Washington, DC or helping medical students in Belize. Others stayed closer to home where they learned Japanese, built trebuchets and ukuleles, did Downward Facing Dog and pitched ideas for gadgets they invented. One student, Jenna Lo, even wrote some of the articles you read in the Tribune. She and 40 juniors and seniors made the most of those three weeks by interning in offices, hospitals and courtrooms around the state...READ MORE.

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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 recommendations.
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Dawgs 360 is ready to serve up the fun tonight at the second annual Chili Cook Off and Bingo Night! There will 20 varieties of chili to taste, music by DJ Mike McKinney, pizza and drinks, bingo games, a visit from our Bulldog mascot and prizes galore. Don’t miss this evening of family fun and friendly competition! May the best chili win!
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Class of 2019 Winter Athletes Recognized

Winter Sports Senior Night 2019 was a great success last Friday! Congratulations and best wishes to these dedicated student athletes!
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Join the GWA Chess Club!

The GWA chess club is currently recruiting members! It’s open to students in third through eighth grade and meets on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. New and experienced players are welcome! Students will help each other learn rules, techniques, and strategies of the game. The chess club will attend the Georgia Independent School Association Chess Tournament on March 14 at Atlanta Academy in Roswell. For more information or to sign up please contact Brian Stephens at bstephens@gwa.com.

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Launching Up a Lesson

Upper school students in Mr. Cole’s Trebuchet 101 course built and engineered catapults during Winter Term, and enjoyed launching payloads and tweaking their machines for maximum accuracy and distance. The trebuchets will also be used later this semester at the GWA Renaissance Fair. This course is another example of the unique and creative experiences offered to students through Winter Term!

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The GWA wrestling team placed in the top ten at the Archer Invitational last weekend. Chris Sperin was tournament champion at 138 pounds and Patrick Morris was runner-up at 160 pounds. Beau Mitchell at 126 pounds and Perry Jake Stone at 120 pounds both placed fifth while Angus Bateman placed eighth at 145 pounds. The team heads to Commerce this Saturday for Area Traditional. Good luck, Bulldogs!

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Spring Sports photo day will be on February 13. Have your child bring their uniform to school (and any sports equipment that they might want in the picture). It will take place during school so we can make sure we include everyone (youth track and youth lacrosse photos will be after school so parents can be present to help with uniforms and equipment).


PLEASE TELL YOUR CHILD TO CHECK WITH THE COACH ABOUT AN APPROXIMATE PICTURE TIME, BUT TO LISTEN TO THE INTERCOM THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T MISS THEIR TEAM PICTURES!!! We have notified coaches about this date. Spring sports photo day will include pictures for the following sports: Boys and Girls Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Track and Field, Baseball, and Lacrosse.


Prepaid picture envelopes will be given out to coaches and extras will be available in the front office. For spring sports, we will do preorders only!


ALL SENIORS will need to have their photo taken on Feb. 13 if they wish to have a senior banner made and to be included on the cover of the spring sports program. If your senior isn't sure about whether or not they might want to participate in a spring sport, they may have their picture made on the 13th, just in case they will want a banner. WE CANNOT PLACE A SECOND BANNER ORDER – THEY ALL NEED TO BE SENT IN ONE ORDER!

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We are excited to announce the first ever youth track program at GWA! Students in first through fifth grade are invited to lace up their running shoes and race to the start of a brand new season with us! Lower school track team practice will begin on Monday, Feb. 4. For more information please contact Grace Martin at gmartin@gwa.com.
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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 don't want to miss!

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Can You Picture Yourself in One of these Beautiful Destinations?

One of these amazing trips can be YOURS! Raffle tickets are currently available for purchase and cost $125 each. Simply complete the entry form including your desired destination and return with payment to the Development Office. The drawing will take place at the auction on February 23, and you do not have to be present to win. Raffle forms are available at the front office, or you may download the form by clicking HERE.

The Silent Auction Items are Rolling In!

We are still accepting items. Please contact Jessica Otts at jotts@gwa.com if you have something you would like to donate to the gala. Items such as overnight stays in vacation homes, artwork, jewelry, business services, tickets to sporting events, and autographed items are just a few examples of items that sell well at the gala.

Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing

Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing has proudly served the Snellville, Georgia area since 1988. Click HERE to learn more. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.