In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 20, 2016

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A Message From Headmaster Mr. Nicholson

Our survey has launched, and there are just a few days left until it closes. If you haven’t responded yet, please do so. Your opinions and perceptions matter a great deal, and we need to hear from you. If you have not received an email asking you to participate, please contact Jeanie Beach at, and we will make sure you have a chance to contribute.

The survey should only take about eight minutes to complete, and the deadline is January 24, 2016. Thank you again for your time and participation.

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Cody Carrell is Rotary Student of the Month for January

Senior Cody Carrell has been selected as GWA’s Rotary Student of the Month for January. Cody is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. He has received Scholar recognition from UGA, Furman, and Wofford and is also a Presbyterian College Scholar. Cody is an AP Scholar and a Boys State Honor Graduate. He is an active participant in Literary and placed first in Region and third in State for Extemporaneous Speaking. Cody plans to attend Mercer University and has received Mercer’s Presidential Academic Scholarship. His current education plan is to become a Doctor of Medicine.

Cody has selected Dr. Debra Cook as the January Teacher of the Month. Congratulations, Cody and Dr. Cook.

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Lower School Chess Club

Third Grade Teacher Beth Mappes and Lower School Counselor Barbara Kutchback began a lower school chess club in November. They have 30 members in grades 3-5. They meet once a week on Mondays after school. Starting Monday, January 25th, they are welcoming new players in grades 3-5 who want to learn to play chess. Permission slips can be found outside of Mrs. Power's office in the 2nd-4th grade building.

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Creative Uses of Technology In Lower School

Teachers continue to integrate technology into their curriculum. Mrs. Canup's K5 class is now using the Osmo system. It is an iPad attachment that allows for more hands-on exploration by using games. They are using the program to make words as a small group and applying phonics rules learned in class while spelling. They also added an iPad app called EPIC that gives students access to an unlimited list of ebooks.

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High School Students Participate in the Georgia Ambassador Pilot Program

Sophomore, Junior, and Senior students at GWA were selected to be a part of the Georgia Secretary of State's Student Ambassador Pilot program. Students attended a training day at the Sloppy Floyd building that included a tour of the state capitol. Students will be responsible for creating voter awareness in their school and among their peers. This program allows students to grow as student leaders, engage with their communities, register people to vote, and learn more about Georgia government.

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AP Language and AP Literature Students Receive Writing Recognition and Publication

Congratulations to Peyton Hutchison, Hannah Arnold, Kate Hester, Jarod Schneider, students in Jo Taylor’s AP Language class, who published poems and prose in the “Me, During the Holidays” series of a blog dedicated to young writers. The blog published over 70 authors from nineteen states and eleven countries and gave its viewers a merry and bright holiday. Mrs. Taylor commented that she is proud of these four who are publishing at a young age. She is encouraged that the experience will instill a desire in them to be life-long contributors of their writings.

Kudos to Tanner Huff and Grace Pulliam, also now published writers. In November, they entered the NY Times’ student contest that called for them to write a review. The review could focus on anything - perhaps something new or something to stretch students’ cultural imaginations. They could “see a local art, design or fashion show; explore a building; watch a movie or TV show or dance performance or play; listen to an album; read a book; play a game or eat in a restaurant that is novel and interesting.” The Times quoted Oscar Wilde who wrote that “to the critic, the work of art is simply a suggestion for a new work of his own.” Tanner and Grace learned that they had the ability, through writing, to create that new work and that their writing was good! Their “Honorable Mention” publication in The New York Times meant that they were in the top 45 of the 1600 students who participated.

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Swim Team Making A Big Splash This Season!

Congratulations to our swim team state qualifiers! Chris Flessas qualified in the 100 yard breaststroke; Berkeley Hawks in the 500 yard freestyle the 200 yard freestyle and the 200 yard free relay; Abigail Bradley in the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle plus the 200 yard free relay; Grace Pulliam in the 200 yard free relay; and Sara Marchman in the 200 yard free relay.

These students will compete at the state swim meet on February 5th, 2016, at Georgia Tech.

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GWA Equestrian Team Off To A Great Start

GWA is excited to have a new equestrian team. We look forward to seeing them grow and develop this program for our students.
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Upcoming Booster Club Fundraisers

The Booster Club will be raffling off a 1971 Chevelle SS on February 27, 2016. Here is a link to the car: Tickets are $100 each. Limit 1,000 tickets. Contact Todd Shelnutt at or any baseball player to purchase a ticket.

There will be a Booster Club Spring Golf Tournament at Lake Lanier Islands on Saturday, March 19, 2016. The Booster Club is looking for sponsors and teams. Please contact Brett Bell at

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Box Tops Bring In The Bucks!

GWA received its December check from the Box Tops for Education program and earned $2,219.30. Way to go! We still need your help clipping and turning in Box Tops for us to reach this year’s goal of $3,500.00 The next submission deadline is February 24th. We will receive our last check of the school year in April. Let’s finish the school year strong!

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Make Plans to Attend the Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction

Friday, March 11th, 7pm

1050 Chancellors Drive

Statham, GA

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Link to online ticket sales:

GWA is currently testing for K4 & K5 Admissions for Fall 2016

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Get Your Spirit Wear!

The Dawg Shop will be selling spirit wear 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29th in the Nicholson Center during our basketball games against Prince Avenue Christian.

Come out to support our basketball teams and show your spirit! Let’s go Bulldogs!!

Important Dates at a Glance

January 22-23 Annie The Musical - High School Chorus

Full Calendar of Events

Click here to see all scheduled events and activities happening at GWA.