In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

September 3, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • MS Softball vs. PCA: today, 4:45 p.m. at home
  • Fall Sports Senior Night: Sept. 4 (details below)
  • V Football vs. Social Circle: live stream at gwa.com
  • School Holiday: Monday, Sept. 7
  • Deadline to submit student council application: Sept. 9
  • School Pictures: Sept. 16 & 17 (details below)
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Staying in the Game

As we enter this year of uncertain times, I’m excited for our student athletes, as well as our community, to be in person on campus and to be able to participate in extracurricular activities.


The softball season is off to a great start. We are currently 8-1 and the girls are playing the best softball of the year. With the new guidelines in place for the softball venue, we have had great crowds and all our spectators have done a terrific job social distancing and wearing their masks. Cross country and volleyball have also started their seasons and are performing great each time they compete.


As we approach Friday night and the first time under the lights this year, the football players are so excited that they finally get to get on the field. As late as yesterday, several schools in surrounding counties have shut down and will miss at least two games. With the new GHSA COVID guidelines for re-acclimation, they may miss three. Our players are so thankful that we are working hard as a school and community to stay on campus. Since June 1, all our fall sports have been operating under these guidelines, so the new norm is not as difficult for us now. I hope we continue to work hard to get the chance to stay on campus and play the sports that we work so hard at every day at practice. Together we can do this.


Mark Whitley

Associate Head of School

Athletic Director, Upper School Athletics

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We Are All (Truly) in This Together!

Please be safe over the holiday weekend by wearing a face covering when you are unable to socially distance. We are thrilled to be together on campus, to be learning in person, participating in extracurricular activities and enjoying our favorite GWA traditions. Please don't let your guard down over the long weekend! Stay safe, Bulldogs!


Special shout out to senior Natalia Chapar for her input on this issue!

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Stoked About STEM!

Mrs. Bishop will share her enthusiasm for STEM with students in K5 through fifth grade. She will teach each class on a weekly basis with a focus on scientific inquiry through running experiments as well as engineering and design. Students will be given a design problem to solve and then brainstorm, design, build, test, and improve their design for a final test. Overall, Mrs. Bishop’s lessons help students develop a curiosity for how things work, foster critical thinking, problem solving skills, imagination, and creativity.


This week our fifth-grade STEM students learned how to implement the scientific method to answer a scientific question. Using dissolvable sponge capsules, they hypothesized whether hot or cold water would dissolve the capsule the fastest and release the sponge animal. Learning to use a thermometer, a graduated cylinder, and a timer to make accurate measurements was all part of the fun.

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Kids Who Code

Mr. Gasaway’s first-grade classes are learning the basics of creating code. Students were paired up and given the role of programmer or robot. The programmer created the code and gave the directions for the robot to follow. The other student (the robot) followed the directions given by the programmer and moved to the buried treasure. This lesson offered a fun and interactive way to learn how to write code and learning outside was also a plus!


Please note: students in grades Pre-K3 through first grade are not required to wear masks on campus.

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Musical Inspiration

By Lindsay Ferris

Assistant Director of Bands


This year’s halftime show is titled “Resurgence… From the Ashes.” It is a musical and visual representation of the story of the mythical creature, the phoenix. We wanted to do something, uplifting and inspiring, in the year of 2020, and this show is just that! Like a phoenix, we rise! Music featuring, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony No. 2, Bulgarian Women’s Choir, and Tchaikovsky's Firebird Suite, tell a tumultuous and dark story of the pheonix burned up, yet to be reborn, before transitioning into two triumphant musical moments, “Fire of Eternal Glory” and the 5th Symphony by Shostakovich. We hope to bring joy and excitement through our performance this season!

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The Piano Lab Has Openings!

Would your child like to sign up for piano class at GWA? It’s not too late! There are a few remaining spots left in our middle and lower school piano classes. Classes are $6 a session, and typically meet once a week for 45 minutes during the school day. If you are interested or have more questions about this exciting program, please contact our piano teacher, Corrie Beth Noll at cnoll@gwa.com
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Fun Friday is TOMORROW!

Everyone loves a theme - so why not have some fun with face coverings! On the first Friday of each month, students and faculty/staff are invited to wear a face covering for the theme listed above. We will have extra days in October in December to celebrate holidays.
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There’s an App for That!

Do you need some quick links for school info. at your fingertips? There’s an app for that! Download the GWA App (GWApp) at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-gwapp/id1458384466 to have quick access to the school calendar, RenWeb, In Focus, and more!

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Smile!

Yearbook portraits will be taken on September 16 (6 - 11th grade) and September 17 (Pre-K3 – 5th Grade). Order forms will go home with your children the week before!

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2021 YEARBOOKS ARE ON SALE NOW!


This price is the lowest price you’ll pay - $75! (the price will go up to $85 on September 19!). For easy online ordering, go to yearbookordercenter.com and enter 14485 (or enter school name instead – George Walton Academy). Or you can send in a check with your child - $75 per book and make sure to include your child’s name and grade on the envelope and attn: Liz Jones and/or YEARBOOK. We sold out of books last year. Don’t miss your opportunity to place your order for the 2021 book!


The deadline to purchase a senior page is Oct. 1. Please email Liz Jones at ljones@gwa.com for further details.

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Virtual Visits Are the New Craze

By Jon Terrell, Director of College Counseling


It’s that time of year again and visit season is upon us. It is time for college reps to visit with our students and do their best to recruit their future incoming classes.


We are doing things a bit differently this year. All visits scheduled, so far, are virtual visits and will begin at 2 pm. We will send out email links each week for the visits. As always, we strongly encourage juniors and seniors to attend and happily welcome sophomores and freshmen.


This year, we currently have 26 scheduled visits with colleges and universities hailing from 12 different states (and we expect more as the semester progresses). Check out the schedule below to see our current list of visitors!


Wednesday, 8/26 – Full Sail University

Thursday, 8/27 – University of Chicago

Monday, 8/31 – Middle Georgia State University

Tuesday, 9/1 – Georgia College

Wednesday, 9/2 – Davidson College

Thursday, 9/3 – Georgia State University

Tuesday, 9/8 – Kennesaw State University

Wednesday, 9/9 – University of Alabama

Thursday, 9/10 – University of Tampa

Friday, 9/11 – Pace University (New York)

Tuesday, 9/15 – Vanderbilt University

Wednesday, 9/16 – Purdue University

Thursday, 9/17 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday, 9/18 – Georgia Southwestern State University

Monday, 9/21 – The University of Arizona

Tuesday, 9/22 – Chapman University

Wednesday, 9/23 – University of North Georgia

Thursday, 9/24 – Berry College

Monday, 9/28 – Mississippi State University

Tuesday, 9/29 – University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Wednesday, 9/30 – Wake Forest University

Thursday, 10/1 – High Point University

Friday, 10/2 – Furman University

Monday, 10/5 – Agnes Scott College

Friday, 10/9 – University of Kentucky

Tuesday, 10/13 – Samford University

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Are You a Member?

There is still time to sign up for a Dawgs 360 membership! Click HERE to learn about membership benefits and print an application.
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Tune In to Cheer on the Bulldogs!

Not able to attend the game? No problem- our Tech Dept. has you covered! We will live stream Senior Night festivities, the crowning of Miss Bulldog, the entire game and performances by the GWA Marching Band and our majorettes. Go to gwa.com, our Facebook page or click HERE at 6:50 p.m. to tune in.
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Senior Night is Tomorrow!

We will recognize all senior athletic team members and senior band members on Friday, Sept. 4 prior to the home varsity football game vs. Social Circle. We will also crown Miss Bulldog before the game. Please refer to the email from Coach Whitley for information on pre-tickets and attendance at the game.
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The Lady Dawgs Have Their Day!

Saturday was a spectacular day on the softball field for the Lady Dawgs! They swept the defending state champs, Mount de Sales, 6-1 and 7-2. Pitcher Taylor Tinsley got strike out number 500 - striking out 11 batters! Game highlights included two triples, three doubles and four RBI from Riley Wilson, Caroline Conner hit a home run and struck out 10 and Reign Williams was four of six and guided both pitchers through excellent games. The team stands at 8-1 on the season! Congratulations to Taylor and the Lady Dawgs!
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Top Runners

GWA middle school cross country earns the top spot for a second week - placing first at Saturday's Rick Boulis Invitational in Madison. Congrats to all!

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Pure Talk USA (www.puretalkusa.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

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Please click HERE for a pdf version of the Quick Reference Guide.