In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 10, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Counselor Chat: Jan. 17
  • Yearbook Order Deadline EXTENDED: Jan. 18
  • Blood Drive: Jan. 18
  • K4/K5 Student Holiday: Jan. 18
  • School Holiday: Jan. 21
  • Chili Cookoff & Bingo Night: Jan. 31
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Our GWA families may have noticed a new addition to our beautiful campus! The new construction and re-positioning of the Spring Street gates are part of our ongoing effort to improve campus security. The gatehouse will help better monitor traffic coming and going through campus. GWA families will be issued a sticker to allow seamless entry and all other visitors will be required to register upon arrival. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this week, and should be fully operational by the beginning of February. Stickers and instructions will be sent to families soon.

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We Proudly Introduce...

GWA welcomes Cathrine Shepard as our new upper school physics teacher. Cathrine has a broad background in the sciences and will be a strong fit for our physics program. She earned a master’s degree in science education from the University of Georgia, and is now completing her master’s work in marine science and holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with a minor in sustainability.


Cathrine said she chose George Walton Academy because she likes the style of teaching and creativity that is allowed. Her goals while at GWA are to “try to implement more of my own teaching by using phenomenon-based learning.” She wants students to understand why and how things work instead of simply memorizing facts and formulas.

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Dawg Days Presents Exciting Opportunities

Winter Term Dawg Days are in full swing on campus! Upper school students are embracing the classics and going “old school” in a variety of Cool Courses. They are discovering the art of fine photography by using a large format camera, listening to vinyl recordings while learning the history of decades old music and breaking out classic games like Dungeons and Dragons. Others are utilizing 14th century engineering principles to build trebuchets and compete for prizes based on launch accuracy and distance. These mini-courses give students a chance to leave the everyday routines behind and follow their own curiosities!

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Terrific Job, Super Readers!

Pictured above are the top girl and boy from each grade level who had the highest number of Accelerated Reader (AR) points for December. These winners are selected based on the total number of AR points earned during the month. Monthly winners’ names are displayed in the lower school library and on the lower school library blog each month (www.gwalsl.blogspot.com). Fantastic work, readers!


Back row (L to R): Lucie Pulliam, Maisen Rogers, Phillip Akin, Lucy Harrison, Oliver Reid

Front Row (L to R): Andy Harkins, Ryver Bailey, Addie Trinh, Jaxi Hicks, Benton Yeater

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From social media to gaming, today’s kids have unprecedented access to all that the internet has to offer. Parenting on this new digital frontier requires logic, patience, consistency, and lots of love. In this workshop, skills and strategies will be presented that will help parents set and enforce digital boundaries to help children make wise decisions about their use of digital media. To attend, please RSVP to Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.
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Heavy Machinery at Work!

You may have noticed a crane hanging around campus, which is just another sign of our continued improvements! The heavy lifter was on site in order to install the new HVAC system in the cafeteria. Stay tuned for more upgrades in the near future!
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Spread the word! Our next Prospective Family Open House is coming up. We can’t wait to show interested families all that GWA has to offer! Contact Cari Bailey at cbailey@gwa.com with questions or prospective family referrals.
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Congratulations #gwaproud winner!

GWA parent Ginna Moore is the winner of our #gwaproud contest! Her December 23 Facebook post featuring GWA students Christmas Caroling for church-goers was selected using randomresult.com. She wins a $25 Dawg Shop gift card! Please be sure to use #gwaproud when you are out and about in your GWA attire. Our next winner will be announced in the February 7 issue of In Focus.
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Winter Term Adventures

Despite a government shutdown, several GWA students are staying busy in Washington D.C. this week as they participate in the Close Up program with six other schools. The group has been engaging in meaningful conversation and debate while getting a first-hand look at national memorials, monuments and our political system. They even had the opportunity to visit the offices of U.S. Senator David Perdue and U.S. Representative Jody Hice (both of Georgia), stopped by a well-known cupcake bakery in Georgetown, and saw the Newseum.
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Help support the American Red Cross! GWA is hosting a blood drive on Friday, Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and we need volunteers to donate blood. Please make an appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code gwa, or call 1-800-2767. Photo ID will be required to participate. Do your part to help save lives!

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Congratulations to our hard-working marching bulldogs! The following GWA students have qualified to represent George Walton with the All-State band at the District level-Jolie Lanier, Gabie Cason, Alex Carrillo, Gracie Wood, Barbara Hammons, Julie Cato, Mason Lee, Julian Brown, Daniel Harkins, Russel Moore, Claire Volk, Madison Smith, Brooks Dokes, Mac Geoffroy, Mike Pulliam, Eli Scornik, Emma Barley & Will Bowick for the ninth-10th grade level; Lydia Akin, Alex Aull, Brody Lindsey & Bailey Croker for the 11th-12th grade level.


We also had 20 students who scored high enough to advance to the second-round auditions! These students try out for the All-State Band against the entire state of Georgia's best high school players from every school program, which is already a tremendous accomplishment.


We had seven diligent young students who made the final cut and will be representing George Walton in this year's All-State Band-Brody Lindsey, Alex Aull, Eli Scornik, Brooks Dokes, Mike Pulliam, Alex Carrillo, and Gracie Wood.


We are proud of these students for their above and beyond accomplishments!

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Last chance to buy a yearbook! You can order one here or send a check made out to GWA ($75 per book - deadline extended to Jan. 18) to Liz Jones in the front office. Don’t forget to include your child’s name, grade and homeroom.


And if you have any questions regarding school photography, please contact our school photographer, Elena De La Rosa at elena@elenadelarosaphotography.com or give her a call at 770-861-5890.

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Welcome to GWA, Coach Jackson!

We are pleased to introduce our new lacrosse coach Scott Jackson.


Coach Jackson grew up in Milford, Delaware. He played a variety of sports before discovering lacrosse at age 10. He graduated from Sussex Technical High School in 2004. While at Sussex Tech he was a four-year varsity letterman and earned an invitation to the North-South Senior All-Star Game. After graduation Coach Jackson spent a year at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was named the team's most valuable freshman after scoring 28 points. He moved back home to Delaware after his freshman year and began coaching at his alma mater working with both the JV and Varsity teams in 2006 & 2007...Read More.

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The GWA Bulldog Baseball program is hosting a three-session camp for students in first through sixth grades. Each session focuses on a specific skill, and is divided into age groups. Contact Todd Shelnutt at tshelnutt@gwa.com for more information and click here for the schedule and registration form. It's open to the community, so sign up and bring a friend!
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Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by A Polished Finish

A Polished Finish specializes in custom stone and quartz bath and kitchen countertops. Learn more HERE. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.