In Focus @ GWA
A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy
Paws for a Cause
In conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the senior class loaded buses on Fri., Jan. 12, and headed out into the community. Students were able to serve in a variety of locations and in different capacities. One stop was Great Oaks where students played games, served meals and shared conversations with the residents. Audrey Bradley said that her time spent visiting with one of the patients was “enjoyable and fun”. She said the woman was “singing songs to me the whole time, and I asked her about her family.”
Other students assisted the three Faith In Serving Humanity (F.I.S.H.) locations which helps those in need in Walton County. At the F.I.S.H locations, students sorted clothing, stocked shelves and distributed food to the needy. “I helped organize a huge room with a lot of canned food for people in need,” said Grant McDonel. “I enjoyed it; I had a lot of fun. My favorite part was being able to help people and being with my friends.”
At the end of the day, Karen Hammond, the Volunteer Coordinator for F.I.S.H. stated, “ We never have enough hands to help with organizing and distributing food at our pantry; however, today was an exception to that.” Other students gave their time to the Walton County Senior Citizens Center. Students visited with residents, prepared meals for the “Meals on Wheels” program and delivered meals to shut-ins. While others were making their rounds in the community, one group of volunteers stayed on campus to assist the American Red Cross Blood Drive; some students even donated blood. The Paws for a Cause service day was well received in our community and among our senior class. Tori Zanders spoke of his day, saying, “It was something different; it was something new. I loved doing it because I liked to see the smile on their faces. It brightened up their day, and that brightened up mine.” At the end of the day, GWA seniors exemplified this famous quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”
All Parents Encouraged to Attend State of the School
Share the GWA Experience!
Dear GWA Families,
Admissions season is upon us! We have two prospective family events coming up this week and hope that you will consider helping us spread the word. Current families are our number one marketing tool.
The advertisement included in this newsletter is also posted on our social media outlets, feel free to share it with your friends, family and anyone you know who is considering the academic options for the upcoming school year or just wants to learn more about the George Walton community. Anyone who is interested in attending is welcome to come. I am also happy to personally reach out to any contacts you have – simply share the information with me!
Thank you for all that you do to help GWA shine! If you have interest in serving on our Parent Ambassador Committee, please let me know. We are currently working to formalize this program and would love to hear from you. I can be reached by phone: 678-635-3810 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s great to be a GWA Bulldog!
Wisdom from the Hundred Acre Woods
Drama. Sacrifice. Heroism. All of these things can be found in the upcoming GWA Winter Production of “Winnie-the-Pooh” by Kristin Sergal. Come join your favorite residents of the Hundred Acre Woods as they encounter a new twist on a classic story in this special arrangement of “Winnie-the-Pooh”. The play will feature seniors Riley Watkins, Summer Haag, Wallis Lucas and Neal Dave, as well as several younger supporting actors and actresses. The play is scheduled to be performed on the GWA campus on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 at 7:00 and on Feb. 1 at 7:30.
Support The Lucky Dawg Gala Silent Auction With a Donation!
Enjoy a special night out with other parents! We are pleased to announce the first of several creative evening classes for adults taught by our talented faculty. Here's your chance to create a beautiful work of art as Cortney Pickens presents a "Painting on Canvas" class. Your $20 class fee includes all materials. Each student will complete an 11x14 birch tree painting with a gilded initial carving on one of the tree trunks - see an example at right. All supplies will be set-up, and step-by-step instructions will be provided during this fun evening for the grown-ups!
Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m., in the cafeteria.
"I Did it For You"
The next several weeks will bring some fascinating experiences for our students as GWA's Vietnam War Intensive titled "I Did It For You" continues. We have special speakers visiting classrooms, as well as lessons and activities in many subjects including:
Field Trip to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning
Feb. 7 from 8:00AM to 6:00PM
High school students will learn more about the important role played by infantrymen through interactive exhibits and living history demonstrations as they visit the museum in Columbus, Ga. This learning journey is limited to just 100 high school students, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible next week. To reserve their spot: students should stop by the Media Center, Monday – Wednesday, and be sure to bring the $5 payment for their lunch.
“Science in the Sixties”
GWA studies the role science played during the Vietnam war with a full day of focus on topics including NASA and the Moon Walk, Medicines of War, M.A.S.H. units, and much more.
Huey Helicopter On Campus
It will be an exciting day as a Huey helicopter lands on campus! Details to follow, but you can learn more about the aircraft of the Vietnam War and the Sky Soldiers who flew and maintained them in this video from the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. And read more about the Huey helicopter here. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled for Feb. 16.
"I Did It For You" Exhibit
GWA’s exhibit will open at the Walton County Government building on March 18th. This meaningful display of our students' work will run throughout the week, culminating on March 25th with a special ceremony honoring our Vietnam veterans. Details to follow in upcoming newsletters. This will be an exceptional exhibit and we encourage you to make plans to visit.
History Isn't a Mystery to These GWA Students!
The History Quiz Bowl team ended its season at the East Georgia Region competition on Monday. Although they didn’t win the top prize, they represented GWA well with high scoring matches. “It is always exciting to have the opportunity to watch our students demonstrate competitively just how much they know and have learned about history. There is great joy in watching them have so much fun after so many weeks of early morning practice,” said their coach, Mrs. Karen Barrett.
Nationally-Ranked GWA Swimmer Captures Olympic Attention
Charlie Stout, an eighth grade GWA swimmer, has been invited to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in May. While in Colorado, Charlie will train for eight days, twice a day in the water in addition to dryland workouts. He will even have access to a nutritionist and chef prepared meals. Selection criteria includes age and national ranking. Charlie is currently ranked first in the state in his age group in the 200 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle and 1,000 yard freestyle; he is also ranked in the top 20 nationally in several events. GWA is excited for Charlie as he embarks on this exciting opportunity to advance his swimming career!
Basketball Teams Dominate
Over the past week, GWA basketball overpowered their opponents! The high school teams defeated three Providence Christian Academy teams. The varsity boys won 68-58; the varsity girls won 31-24; and the junior varsity boys won 39-32. This past Saturday, the middle school girls beat Athens Christian with a final score of 25-10. This weekend, they will play in the Athens Area Basketball Tournament hosted by Oglethorpe County Middle School.
An Eye for Design
Brandi Dempsey Schaefer (GWA '01) is celebrating her five-year anniversary with the interior design and purchasing firm, Carver & Associates. Brandi attended Valdosta State University and Gwinnett Technical College, and since graduating with a degree in interiors in 2006, Schaefer has been pursuing a career in design. She has truly found her niche in designing mid to luxury brand hotels, doing design work for hundreds of hotels throughout the United States.
While she works with most major hotel brands, she specializes as the Marriott liaison for her company. A few recently custom designed projects of Schaefer’s include Fairfield Inn & Suites in Denver, Colorado, and Hilton Garden Inn in the downtown area of Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also currently working on two exciting historical restoration projects that are slated to open next year; one is the Courtyard in Meridian, Mississippi’s Threefoot Building, and the other can be found at a Springhill Suites in the Bishop Parker Building in Montgomery, Alabama.
So, the next time you check into a hotel, take a look at the design – a GWA alumna may have just been the mastermind behind it all!
One Stop for All Your College Counseling Needs
by Michael Clancy
Director of College Counseling
The College Counseling section of the GWA website has undergone some renovations. Numerous links, videos and articles related to college admissions have been added and continue to be added. The goal is to make the College Counseling page a comprehensive resource for students and parents. For example, if you need to register for the SAT, there is a link to the College Board. If you want to know the admissions requirements for UGA, there is link to the admissions page of their website. If you want to read an article about how universities view extracurricular activities in their college admissions decision, you can read all about it.
Perhaps the most valuable enhancement is a series of short videos produced by the University of Pennsylvania entitled "Applying to U.S. Universities". These videos take students or their parents step-by-step through the college application process. There are also interviews with admissions professionals from different types of institutions discussing their unique admissions policies and procedures. The beauty of the video library is that families can learn about the process in general at their own pace, at times that are convenient for them, and then meet with the counselor to help with their specific questions.
College Trip Week Deadline
January 25th is the deadline to register for College Visits during Trip Week.
On Mon., March 5, GWA students will visit both campuses of Emory University; the cost for this day trip is $30.00. On Tues., March 6th, we will visit Kennesaw State University and a College Fair at Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula; the cost for this day trip is $40.00. From Wed., March 7 to Fri., March 9, GWA will visit several schools: Georgia College on Wednesday, Auburn University on Thursday, and the University of West Georgia on Friday. The cost of this trip is $180.00 and includes two overnights. Families can sign up for all five destinations for $240.00. Registration is a two-step process:
Step One: Click here to visit the College Counseling page and click on the link at the top of the page to register.
Step Two: Make Payment (by check made out to GWA, turn it into Ms. Pam Lampe in the Upper School Counseling Office.)
Juniors & Parents: Mark Your Calendars!
There is an important presentation on researching and applying to college scheduled for 6:00 p. m. on Tues., Feb. 13 in the Auditorium. Ms. Brenda Vaughan from GA Futures will be speaking about the many features GA Futures has to offer in terms of searching for college programs and applying to college, state aid and scholarships. Mr. Clancy will also speak about the college search/research and the process and the scheduling of Junior meetings.