In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 24, 2022

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Region Literary Competition: Feb. 25 at PACS
  • Varsity Boys Basketball Sweet 16: Feb. 25 (see below)
  • Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction: Feb. 26
  • Cheer Parent Meeting: Feb. 28 (see below)
  • Middle School Dance: March 4 @ 7 p.m.
  • Grandpirates' Day: March 18
  • Prom: March 18
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Programmed for Action

Mrs. Stapp’s spring semester Robotics class has been busy building their first VEX robot and testing joystick options. After building the first Clawbot, they are open to making any changes they’d like in order to practice the process of debugging and problem-solving. Next, they will create an obstacle course in the arena and have a class competition!

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Expository Writing

As GWA fourth graders dive into engaging topics, they are gaining research skills and improving their writing abilities. Students are learning to craft better paragraphs with the use of exciting verbs and correct grammar. During their six-week expository non-fiction writing unit, students have examined the contributions of famous Black Americans, the lives of U.S. presidents, and explored countries around the world through information gathering, essay writing and posters.


Fourth graders used online sources for research and learned how to organize their findings. One student commented, “Researching is so much fun, I didn’t know who Rutherford B. Hayes was before doing my research, but he was really interesting.” The students love learning about the lives of historical figures, “I thought it was really cool learning and writing about Harriet Tubman. She was a very brave person,” said Wade Thompson. Fourth graders have gained a wealth of knowledge and excellent skills through the expository non-fiction writing unit.

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Silent Auction Heats Up!

We have added a few last-minute items to the silent auction. Check back to make sure you don’t miss a spectacular late addition. Check HERE to browse and bid!


This year’s silent auction will close before the live auction kicks off. For those bidding online who are not attending the gala, start tuning in around 7:30 p.m. for notices. We will close the silent auction GRADE PROJECTS first (item numbers 70-78). Once the grade projects close out, we will give a two- minute warning for the closing of all other silent auction items. Thank you for supporting our GWA students!

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Stop the Presses!

Check out this original piece of art that just arrived for the silent auction! GWA's upper school art teacher Josh Jameson is not your average art teacher. He has been hired in the past by Atlanta firms for branding projects and as a practical effects sculptor and monster maker. Josh has contracted with various studios in the Atlanta Metro area for multimedia companies.


Josh has painted an original illustration of the poster for the GWA theatre company’s spring musical ‘Aladdin.’ He has combined a traditional mixed media approach used during the golden-age of poster illustration during the 1970’s and 80’s. $1,200 value


Check out this one-of-a-kind gallery piece along with our other silent auction items HERE.

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More About Mr. Jameson

Josh Jameson is a freelance artist & teacher specializing in editorial and branding illustration, portraiture, and hyper-realism sculpture. His work is primarily dimensional in nature, creating and developing highly detailed worlds that come to life in a multitude of mediums. His subjects can range from humorous and clever to dark and mysterious and his work is anchored by strong character development and solid story-telling. His clientele include: The Brick Store Pub, Leon’s Full Service, Creature Comforts Brewing Co., Krog Street Market, The Social Goat, and The Pinewood Tippling Room, just to name a few.

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Win a Fabulous Trip!

This year we have kicked our raffle up a notch and we are allowing you to pick from FOUR fabulous locations when you purchase a raffle ticket! Click HERE to download a flyer with rules and information. Forms need to be turned in to Jeanie Beach in the Advancement Office to be entered into the raffle. The drawing will be held at the Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction on Saturday, Feb. 26. You do not have to be present to win. Sales are limited to only 100 tickets - so don't delay and miss out on purchasing a ticket.

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Grant Benefits the PARC

George Walton Academy received a $1,000 grant from the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Golden Grants program. The funds will go towards a new specialized learning tool in the PARC (Place for Academic Reinforcement and Coaching) and help students struggling with dyslexia and learning differences. Thank you to the Mercer family for their support of GWA and their commitment to seeing students succeed!


Pictured: Damien Mercer, June Mercer, and Tonya Coe.

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Sweet Sixteen!

Our GWA boys' basketball team beat Mt. Pisgah last night 68-63! Led by senior guards Noah Hicks with 32 points and Kennedy Johnson with 15 points, it was the boys' first state win in GHSA state playoffs. The boys move on to the Sweet Sixteen and play The Heritage School tomorrow night at 6 p.m. You can buy tickets at the gate for $7 or buy tickets online at Gofan.co.
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Region Honors

Congratulations to Coach Matt Reynolds and our GHSA All-Region basketball players!


Coach of the Year - Matt Reynolds, varsity coach - boys

Boys First Team - Noah Hicks, Reese Gelsthorpe

Boys Second Team - Kennedy Johnson

Boys Honorable Mention - Chase Jocelyn, Will Herren

Girls All-Region - Leila Mathis, Ashley Hill

Girls Honorable Mention - Emmie Mitchell, Caroline Conner, Hannah McDonel

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Second Home Meet TODAY

Come out to cheer on our middle and high school track and field athletes today starting at 4 p.m.!
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GWA at Twirl Mania

GWA majorettes Taylor Grossman, Blakeney Sewell, and Cheyanne Romer attended their first competition of the year this past weekend at Twirl Mania, an international majorette competition that takes place at Disney World.


We are thrilled to announce that Taylor came away with a first place win in Freestyle Solo and was Champion Solo Winner! Among numerous other awards, Taylor also placed third in Duet with Blakeney and fourth in the Twirl Maniac Challenge. Blakeney also received numerous awards including second place in Independent Strut, third in Duet with Taylor and fifth in Miss Twirl Mania Solo! Among Cheyanne’s winnings were a fourth place win in Basic Novice and sixth place in Beginner 3 Baton! These three very talented and amazing majorettes certainly represented GWA very well at Twirl Mania!

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Cute & Colorful

Mrs. Dyer’s Pre-K3 and K4 music students presented their delightful musical program before an audience of family and friends this morning as they performed “The Day the Crayons Quit,” based on the book of the same name by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Congratulations to our youngest Bulldogs on a wonderful show!

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Honor Band Performs

Congratulations to our high school District Honor Band attendees! These 15 super talented students auditioned along with 600 other high school students for the opportunity to perform at this year’s GMEA Honor Band. They performed as part of the District Honor Band last weekend at Jefferson High School.


Congratulations to our GWA Band Dawgs!


Gracie Wood - Clarinet

Will Bowick- Percussion

Charlie Duke- Euphonium

Keith Mims- Euphonium

Julian Brown- Trumpet

Philip Mashburn- Euphonium

Ren Grimsley- Horn

Michael Mealor- Tuba

Nicole Volk- Clarinet

Blakeney Sewell- Horn

Ella Smith- Horn

Jackson Wimberly- Percussion

Jack Boyle- Trombone

Ada Hicks- Horn

Julia Tanase- Flute

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Spring Musical

Mark your calendar for this year's high school musical production, "Cinderella"!
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School Counseling Update

This month in the Middle School we have been focusing on kindness and bullying behaviors through activities in LINX and Study Hall. During LINX, we celebrated The Great Kindness Challenge and the benefits of being kind. The students split into small groups and discussed ways that they can show kindness and respect to those around us. We put together a long chain with our examples that is now hanging in our cafeteria as a reminder to always be kind.


In study hall, we have been talking about the definition of bullying and how our feelings often lead us to treat people unkindly. Our students worked to identify strategies to help them make healthy choices in conflict so we continue to exhibit qualities of kindness and respect even when we are having a rough day.


On February 16 during LINX, our middle and upper school students worked with advisors to complete campus clean-up projects for Random Acts of Kindness Day. They all did such a great job helping our school to sparkle a little extra and give a hand to our janitorial staff who work diligently every day to make our campus a wonderful place to be.


On March 18, while our upperclassmen will be off campus for prom, we are offering a chance for the ninth-grade class to sign up to participate in off-campus community service as an alternative to a Parent Work Shadow Day. Community service can give them service hours to put on their college resumes, help build and foster empathy, build a positive self-image through contribution to the community we live in. Please keep an eye out for an email with information about the day and a place to sign up. This is being held on a non-academic day and is by volunteer only.


All the best,

Mrs. Thomason

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In the Know

By Luke Yoder


George Walton Academy competed in a regional history quiz bowl competition on Saturday, Feb. 5 in Calhoun, GA. Thirteen students competed in four different teams against schools from the surrounding area. The Varsity A team won first place in the team competition and earned a spot at the national competition in April. Likewise, our top JV placed second overall in the JV division and also earned the right to compete in nationals. Two George Walton students also competed in the individual competition. Cassie Culver won the Varsity division which not only earned her a spot in the individual competition at nationals but a chance to compete internationally as well. Brady Boyle placed third in the JV division and earned a spot at nationals as well.


List of Participants:


Varsity A:

Cassie Culver

Jackson Harrison


Varsity B:

Mac Geoffroy

Philip Mashburn

Keith Mims

Ren Grimsley


JV A:

Brady Boyle

Jack Boyle

Micheal Mealor

Kameron Atkins


JV B:

Ada Hicks

Matthew Shackelford

Ty O'Lenick

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A Grand Day!

GWA (lower school) grandparents and special friends are invited to join us on Friday, March 18 in the Nicholson Center for music and entertainment at appointed times according to your student's grade.


Pre-K3 - Second Grade 8:30 a.m.

Third - Fifth Grade 9:30 a.m.


Refreshments and activities in the cafeteria will follow the programs.

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Athens Orthopedic Clinic (www.athensorthopedicclinic.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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