In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 13, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • State of the School Address: Feb. 13 @ 7 p.m.
  • Valentine's Day Parties: Feb. 14
  • Winter Break: Feb. 17 & 18
  • Spring Sports Photo Day: Feb. 20
  • Counselor Chat Guest Speaker: Feb. 20
  • MS Dance: Feb. 21
  • GWA Golden Gala: Feb. 22
  • Spring ACT: Feb. 25
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Childcare provided on campus, please email Ashley Short to reserve a spot at ashort@gwa.com.

State of the School

Dear Bulldog Families and Friends,

Tonight, the Board of Trustees will host the 3rd annual State of the School. I suspect some of you are wondering: “What is the State of the School address and why can’t they come up with a better name?”


The board introduced this event three years ago to ensure our community is fully informed on a range of issues that includes but are not limited to programs, budgets, governance, and facilities. The board recognizes that for most of us (and for them), GWA represents one of our greatest investments. This is an opportunity for you to see, on a macro level, how the school is making the most of that investment.


If your schedule allows, please consider joining us in the cafeteria at 7 p.m. tonight when I will share prepared remarks, followed by questions and light refreshments with the Board of Trustees.


Dan

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Timeline For Go Beyond

We are so grateful to all who have made pledges to support this campaign. Many people have asked about the timeline for completion of these new spaces. As you might expect, our ability to move forward on these exciting projects is tied directly to the timing of your donation. Our short-term goal is to realize $1.5M in donations this spring. If that benchmark is reached, we expect to break ground this summer and complete the new gym around Christmas or early spring 2021. Others have asked about the sequence of the projects. As noted above, the “new middle gym” is first on the list because we have to create a space to house current classes before any work can happen in the “old middle gym.” By the way, as catchy as “New Middle Gym” is, there is a naming opportunity for anyone interested. Please contact Jeanie Beach for details.


As for the timing of work to begin on the Christian Smith Band and Performing Arts Rehearsal Center, that too is dependent on how quickly pledges are realized. With any luck and a little tailwind, we would love to start this next spring to be ready for the fall 2021 school year. That may be a little optimistic, but if the greater community continues its current enthusiastic push, I think it is a time for great optimism at GWA!


The third leg of the campaign will focus on the much-needed improvements to the lower field. Please remember that all gifts and pledges received by February 22 will be matched! Please contact Jeanie Beach with any questions. Go Dawgs!

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Mary Grace Cowan is Student of the Month

Mary Grace Cowan has been named Rotary Student of the Month for February. She has chosen Jeff Lalaian as Teacher of the Month. Mary Grace has earned Best of the Best and the Headmaster’s Award throughout high school and served as Junior Marshal. She also received the Junior Fellow Scholar Award from Presbyterian College and the Congressional Recognition Award at the 10th District Congressional Art Show. Mary Grace is a Scholar Athlete and plays varsity soccer. She participates and holds leadership roles in Beta Club, National Honor Society, and TSA (Technology Student Association). Mary Grace is also a member of Socratic Circle, Latin Club and NG3. She serves the community through her club service projects. Mary Grace plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. Congratulations to Mary Grace and Mr. Lalaian!
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Beesearch

By Elle Pugh


Our Sustainable Living class has started a new lesson on bee keeping. The past couple of weeks we have been doing research about the bees and how they form their colonies, pick their queen, make honey, and more. We researched different types of beehives like the Langstroth and top bar hives and how to make them so we can begin our bee colonies. Our class has already started cutting recycled wood we collected from the old high school library, now known as the Commons.

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A Closer Look at Bacteria

By Sabrina Wardell, Fourth-grade Teacher


Fourth grade had a visit from three USDA scientists last week to conduct a “hands-on” classroom activities about bacteria, and how these microorganisms can affect the food we eat and our bodies. GWA parent, Joe Minicozzi, brought his team and set up three stations to allow the students to view different pathogens, view samples taken from around campus they had swabbed earlier in the week, and conduct an experiment to see if mock chicken strips tested positive or negative for any food borne illness.


The students learned a lot and were very interested and engaged. This was an excellent way to wrap up our science unit on the human body and the digestive system . Thanks again to Mr. Minicozzi and his team at the USDA for coming to our classrooms and for making learning fun!

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Got Books?

GWA student-led organizations – Interact Club, National Honor Society and Beta Club are partnering with nonprofit Books for Keeps ( http://booksforkeeps.org/) to collect books for elementary and middle school students in Athens-Clarke County. For each book donated, a student can send one free candygram to a friend! Books must be gently used.


When: Feb. 2 – Feb. 21. Candygrams will be delivered on Feb. 24.


Where: Drop off donations in the following classrooms-
Lower School: The rooms of Mrs. Hutter, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Rawlins, Mrs. McDevitt
6th Grade: Mrs. Grimsley’s room
7th Grade: Mrs. Croker’s room
8th Grade: Mr. Griffin’s room
Upper School: 7:10 – 7:50 a.m. in the Commons or during lunch in the cafeteria.

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Have You Signed Up?

Do you pay taxes for an LLC or C-Corp? By making a payment through GOAL, businesses may be eligible to receive a federal business expense deduction and, for the business owners, a 100% Georgia income tax credit. See tax benefit explanation here. Please contact Tara Gill at tgill@gwa.com in the Business Office to learn how you or your company can designate a portion of your tax liability to GWA and receive a dollar for dollar tax credit from the state.

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Get Your Raffle Tickets!

Our Three Trip Raffle tickets are still on sale! Remember, you do not have to attend the Gala to win!


Click HERE to secure your tickets today. Quantities are limited.

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Resolve to be S.M.A.R.T.

By Lindsey Bailey, Lower School Counselor


Now that it’s February, how is that new year’s resolution going? I am going to guess that most of you have abandoned it by now. There is a reason: resolutions are good in theory, but in practicality they are often too lofty and non-specific to ever be completed. For example, you might resolve “to be healthier” this year. That sounds great at first, but what exactly does “healthier” mean to you, and how do you know when you have fully accomplished this goal? You might give up pretty quickly if you don’t feel like you are making any progress.


If you want to make positive changes in your life, I suggest replacing resolutions with S.M.A.R.T. goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s change our resolution “to be healthier” into a S.M.A.R.T. goal:


Specific: make it clear and detailed…………….…......S: I want to exercise more often.

Measurable: make it quantifiable ………………….…..M: 2 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Achievable: make it challenging but do-able………....A: I do this once a week now.

Relevant: make it important to you and your life…......R: I will feel healthier and less stressed.

Time-bound: set a deadline or time limit………….......T: I can do this for one month.


We went from this resolution: “I want to be healthier” to this S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I will work out twice a week for 30 minutes during the month of March.”


Do you see the difference that makes? Just imagine how much you can accomplish when you set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Try this with your kids or for yourself and see how much it helps.

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Mark Your Calendar for Feb. 20

Please join us for Counselor Chats next month to learn the most up-to-date information on vaping and Juuling from Dr. Brian Dew. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. Dr. Dew’s research has focused on substance use, primarily on the topics of methamphetamine use and treatment, opioid use, and more recently, the use of vaping/e-cigarettes. This event is open to parents and students in middle and high school as well as the greater community - so invite your friends and neighbors. To attend, please click HERE to RSVP.
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GWA Hosts Relay for Life

We invite our entire community to get involved with Relay for Life: volunteer, donate, honor a loved one affected by cancer and help raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. To be part of this life-changing event, please contact Director of Dawgs 360 Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com. Click HERE to access team registration.


Survivor Dinner:

GWA is partnering with First Baptist to host this special dinner on Friday, April 17. If you are a cancer survivor and/or know someone who is please fill out the FORM by April 1 to receive an invitation to dinner.


Dedicate a Luminaria:

Light up your community and honor every life touched by cancer. Dedicate a luminaria to a loved one lost, someone currently battling, or anyone who has overcome cancer. Dawgs 360 is selling luminaria bags with all proceeds going to American Cancer at the price of two for $10.00. If you are interested contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com for more information. If you would like a student from our art department to decorate your bag for you, please let her know. Please click HERE for the order form.

Volunteer:

We are in need of 100 volunteers in different areas, from unloading to loading tents, traffic marshalls, joining GWA Relay Team, helping at the survivor dinner, as well as providing and driving golf carts! If you are interested, please email emcdonel@gwa.com.

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Tickets For Sale

Stop by the Dawgs 360 house to purchase tickets for the upcoming Daddy Daughter Dance, sponsored by the Monroe Rotary Club.
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Flagfest is February 22!

GWA Flagfest will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Learn to dance, spin flag, spin rifle and perform with us. ALL students (guys and girls) from grades 1-11 welcome

  • Register on site in the Nicholson Center.
  • Wear comfortable athletic clothes and tennis shoes. No experience is necessary.


We look forward to seeing you in the Nicholson Center on February 22 at 10 a.m.!

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State Bound Grapplers

GWA wrestlers - Perry Jake Stone, Beau Mitchell, Ryan Denhardt, Chris Sperin, Michael Dagenhart, Angus Bateman, Patrick Morris, and Bradyn Sorrow, head to the GHSA State Tournament in Macon. We are cheering you on! Go Bulldogs!

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State Champ!

Congratulations to GWA swimmer Charlie Stout on his outstanding performance at the GHSA Swimming and Diving State Championship at Georgia Tech last weekend! Charlie won FIRST in 100 breast and THIRD in 200 free!
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Dawgs Take It on the Road

Our varsity baseball team will play the following games at the Lakepoint Sports Complex in Emerson, Georgia this weekend:


  • Friday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. vs. Campbell
  • Saturday, Feb. 15 at 12 p.m. vs. Union Grove
  • Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. vs. Creekview


Go Bulldogs!

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Youth Cheer Information

There will be a youth cheer uniform pick up March 17 and March 19 from 2:30-3:15 p.m. in the Nicholson Center concession area for used youth cheer uniforms. Parents can bring their used uniforms that are too small for their daughter or that they simply don't want anymore to Michelle Bowen during car pool on these dates. They need to be in a bag that is labeled with their name and contact. We will sell them at registration on 3/23 and 3/24 for $45. Money will be collected at registration and given to the seller.


Youth cheer sign ups will be March 23 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the cafeteria and March 24 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Registration for youth cheer will be $75. Checks can be made out to GWA.

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Be in the Know!

GWA spring sports are in full swing! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events. Go Bulldogs!

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Calling All Alumni!

GWA Alumni - we want to hear from you! We are currently gathering alumni information for our upcoming Bulldog Magazine and we are looking forward to publishing a comprehensive “Alumni Roll Call.” Please complete the short survey HERE and let us know what’s new in your life! Our Advancement department interns, Patrick Morris (’20) and Ben Howard (’20), have been tasked with making this effort a success and we hope to gather more great information on our alumni than ever before. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @georgewaltonalumni and join our George Walton Academy Alumni group on Facebook as Patrick and Ben will take to social media for their endeavor. The survey will be active through Feb. 28. Anyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card!

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

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