In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 28, 2021

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Key Deadlines & dates

  • GWA Open House: Sunday, Jan. 31
  • Re-enrollment Contracts Posted: Feb. 1
  • Spring Sports Picture Day: Feb. 10
  • Winter Break: Feb. 12 & 15
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Keeping the Fun in Fundraising

The Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction is one of the most important fundraisers for the Academy. Funds from this event help us meet our mission of providing challenging instruction, engaging experiences, and global perspectives designed to inspire lives of intellectual curiosity, integrity, and purpose.


The 2020-2021 school year has certainly presented challenges as we work to navigate social events during COVID. This year’s Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction will be virtual, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Sponsors and families are encouraged to have small gatherings to watch the event that will be broadcast live. GWA parent Mike McKinney will be bringing all his charisma and charm as our emcee, along with Christie King from C King Benefit Auctions. And the best part? Everyone can bid in the live auction this year by logging in to the Givergy account: www.givergy.us/gwa21


The Lucky Dawg fundraiser consists of a silent auction, a live auction of grade projects and specialty items, and our three trip raffle. This year’s grade projects are over the top! From outdoor fire pits, to a Blackstone griddle, to furniture and travel adventures, there is something exciting for everyone. These grade projects will be exhibited on the Givergy website beginning February 15. The three trip raffle offers a chance to win an adventure of a lifetime to your choice of three locations.


Mark your calendar for Saturday, Feb. 20 starting at 7 p.m. and plan to tune in. A link for the live event will be sent out to all families on Saturday morning before the event.

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Music Merch

In the Winter Term class, Brand Merchandising for Bands, art teacher Steve Reagan enlisted the help of his daughter, graphic designer and GWA alumna Stephanie Reagan ('09) to help students create a logo and branding identity for one of their favorite musical artists or band. Students created the vector logos using Adobe Illustrator. They were then able to choose colors to screen print shirts and a tote bag and they designed buttons. As a final project, they made full color printed posters using Photoshop to layer images, text and logos.


“I made my own Imagine Dragons album cover for an album that didn’t exist called Trapped,” said freshman Owen Jones. “The thing I enjoyed the most was screen printing my design. It was really cool to see your design come to life.”


While most students looked to favorite musical artists, senior Eli Scornik enrolled in the class because he has actually produced his own music and he was in need of visual branding to go with it. This useful class was a fun crash course in graphic design and marketing and an excellent way to incorporate digital design into tangible, product design.

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Building a Better Mouse Trap (Car)

Mrs. Watt's Winter Term Engineering Design Challenge course gave students the opportunity to implement the engineering design process through daily challenges. Students worked through the process by identifying a problem, brainstorming a solution, creating a design, and finally building, testing, and improving the design. Some of the challenges included paper towers, whirly bird helicopters, and balloon rockets. The term culminated with the design and construction of mouse trap powered cars. Students designed, built, and raced the cars to determine which car would travel the farthest distance.

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Shared Dreams

Mrs. Croker’s seventh-grade students virtually toured the Martin Luther King National Memorial in Washington D.C. – viewing the 30-foot-high stone monument and the surrounding area. Students discussed Dr. King’s journey including some lesser-known facts about his life and watched the film footage of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Next, the class created digital storyboards that portrayed both Dr. King’s and their own dream for the future.

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Rock On!

Third-grade students are researching, experimenting, and learning about the different kinds of rocks and minerals. They used ceramic tiles to scratch their rocks on to test the properties of the rocks. They collected data on the hardness, color (streak), shape, size, luster, and cleavage. They also sorted and grouped rocks into the three rock groups (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary). These young scientists can also explain the “rock cycle” and how rocks continue to change over time! Third grade is having a “rocking” good time learning about natural science!

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Swim Dawgs Rise Up

The Swim Dawgs are wrapping up an outstanding season. This past weekend, GWA participated in the “Give It Your All” meet in Watkinsville on Friday and the “Last Chance” meet on Saturday in Gainesville.


“This year by far will forever be remembered for the accomplishments and camaraderie this team has built together! The Swim Dawgs not only exceeded in success over previous years with state qualifying and meet wins, but their perseverance, team building, and dedication to one another far outshines their accomplishments. Led by captain senior Max Misterka, the team has risen above setbacks, quarantines and mask regulations, to finish out the season making a name for GWA in the swimming arena,” said Coach Doretta Power.


Congratulations to the following swimmers - MK Dopp, Charlie Stout, Jake Moore, Timothy Pham, Emma Dopp, Jake Stout, Sarah Digby, Madison Taylor, and Baylor Lingner, who will compete, Thursday, Feb. 4, in Atlanta for the GHSA Swimming and Diving State Championship at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Both boys relay teams are sitting in 8th place going into competition, and the girls Medley Relay is holding strong in 12th place. Go Swim Dawgs!

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Hoops on the Home Court

Our Bulldogs face the Athens Christian Eagles tomorrow night starting at 4:30 p.m. with JV boys. Our varsity boys look for a win to give them a second place tie in the Region. Good luck and go Bulldogs!
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Middle School Hoops Head into Post-Season

Both middle school basketball teams are set to play in the semi-finals of the middle school tournament at Athens Academy (girls) and Westminster (boys) on Saturday. The championship game will be on Monday night at Oglethorpe County. Good luck to all coaches and players!
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SAVE THE DATE! Spring sports photos will be taken during the day on February 10 and 11. Please see coaches for details.

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Youth Track Registration Begins

Youth track registration is now open and will close on Friday, Jan. 29. Please use the link below if you would like to register your child. Youth track will include boys and girls, grades 1st-5th. Practices will be on Monday, Tuesday and Friday after school at GWA from 3:00-4:00 p.m. (Lower school students will be picked up from their class and walked down to the track by Grace Martin).


The registration fee is $100. Please make the check out to George Walton Academy and send it in to the front office. You can also drop the check off in the Athletic office at any time. Track meets will be held on Saturdays and will start the third weekend in February. Please contact Grace Martin if you have any questions.


https://forms.gle/eLxQM9M7eFrpM6eG9

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Click HERE for athletic events on the GWA January calendar.
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Honor Bands Announced

Congratulations to the 33 band students who made the 2021 District 14 Honor Band, and the 27 students who qualified for the final All-State Audition! These students prepared their virtual auditions for months, and competed against both public and private schools from 15 different counties in our area to earn their spot in the Honor Band! Special shout out to Keith Mims, Eli Scornik, Isaac Osei, Will Bowick, Brooks Dokes, and Alex Carrillo for winning a 1st chair placement, and sixth- grade Tuba player Jonathan Terpstra for making the band!


Middle school


Cale Fuller- 4th Chair
Julia Tanase- 3rd Chair & 2nd Round
Jet Hammond- 9th Chair
Kade Franklin- 2nd Chair & 2nd Round
Alex Garren- 6th Chair
Maddie Garrett- 4th Chair & 2nd Round
Wendy Menard- 5th Chair & 2nd Round
Jack Boyle- 7th Chair
Isaac Osei- 1st Chair & 2nd Round
Jonathan Terpstra- 4th Chair


High School


Emma Barley- 2nd Chair, 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Will Bowick- 1st Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Julian Brown- 2nd Round Qualification
Alex Carrillo - 1st Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Julie Cato - 3rd Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Brooks Dokes -1st Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Mac Geoffroy -5th Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Ren Grimsley -3rd Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Barbara Hammons - 5th Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Lily Jennings - 2nd Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Luke Lewis - 5th Chair 9/10 Wind Ensemble
Jolie Lanier- 3rd Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Philip Mashburn - 1st Chair 9/10 Wind Ensemble
Michael Mealor -2nd Chair 9/10 Wind Ensemble
Keith Mims - 1st Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Russel Moore - 2nd Round Qualification
Timothy Pham - 2nd Round Qualification
Mike Pulliam - 3rd Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Eli Scornik -1st Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Blakeney Sewell - 3rd Chair 9/10 Wind Ensemble
Ella Smith -4th Chair 9/12 Symphonic Band
Madison Smith- 4th Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Claire Volk - 3rd Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
Nicole Volk - 4th Chair 9/10 Wind Ensemble
Gracie Wood -4th Chair 11/12 Wind Ensemble
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Raffle Tickets on Sale!

Three Trip Raffle tickets are now available. Purchase a ticket HERE for a chance to win a trip to Austin, Texas, Scottsdale, Arizona, or Cortona, Italy.


Only 135 tickets will be sold! One ticket for $100. Six tickets for $500. 13 tickets for $1,000.

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Enjoy an Exquisite Charcuterie Experience!


Enjoy an intimate picnic for two while you watch the live stream or gather with a small group of friends to help celebrate and support the evening. Picnic baskets with delicious charcuterie morsels will be provided for pick up by Epting Catering & Design along with bottles of bubbly or wine. Sponsorships and baskets are available for purchase now..


Purchase your basket HERE.

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Choosing Kindness

By Lindsey Bailey, Lower School Counselor


We make hundreds of choices every day. What to wear, what to eat, how many times we hit snooze, how much effort we exert, our body language, our tone of voice, how often we speak, what we say, what we don’t say, what we read (kudos if you’re reading this!), what we watch, what we do with our time, who we spend time with, what we think about… You get the point. All of these choices are influenced by our core values and beliefs. If we believe in the power of kindness, then it should influence our choices. We can choose to be really kind one week every year, or we can let kindness be a filter through which we live. How can you let kindness influence your choices this week? I think I’ll start by skipping the snooze button tomorrow - it always wakes my poor husband up early. He will appreciate this choice.

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Share the Warmth

What you can spare, they can wear! The GWA Interact Club is hosting a winter clothing drive to help share the warmth with the Atlanta homeless population. Drop off your gently used items (coats, rain jackets, sweaters, pants, socks, gloves, beanies, blankets) in Mr. Reagan's room in the Fine Arts building, at a designated "Winter Clothing Drive" box located around the main building and in the Lower School library.
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Gear Up

Stop by the Dawg Shop for latest spirit wear styles and more - including sweatshirts, caps and stadium seats. The store is open Monday - Friday, 7:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by A Polished Finish (www.apolishedfinish.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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