In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

December 20, 2018

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Early Dismissal: Dec. 21
  • Yearbook Order Deadline EXTENDED: Jan. 10
  • Christmas Break: Dec. 24 - Jan. 4
  • Coffee With Admin: Jan. 10
  • Blood Drive: Jan. 18
  • Chili Cookoff & Bingo Night: Jan. 31
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Thank you for a wonderful 2018!

Please enjoy this video we created in appreciation for our community's support of GWA.

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Year End Video
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Rotary Student of the Month

Lydia Akin has been selected as Rotary Student of the Month for December. She chose Jeff Lalaian as the Rotary Teacher of the Month. Lydia is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Beta Club, FCA, Gavel Club, Spanish Club and Socratic Circle. She holds leadership positions in nearly all of these organizations while also serving as drum major for the GWA Marching Band, and playing on the varsity soccer team. Lydia is a Furman Scholar and served as a junior marshall. She volunteers with her youth group at First Baptist Church in Conyers and plays with the Covington Conyers Community Orchestra. Lydia plans to study biomedical engineering or biology in college and continue her musical pursuits. Congratulations to Lydia and Mr. Lalaian!

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Handling Holiday Stress

By Lindsey Bailey, Lower School Counselor


For many families, the holiday season heralds a joyous and magical time of celebration. Despite the ever-increasing hustle and bustle, hearts are merry and spirits bright. Yet for some, the holidays bring feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, or grief. Endless to-do lists, overscheduling, financial limitations, family changes/divorce, loss of a loved one, strained relationships, or other stressors threaten our cheery dispositions. Perhaps you fall somewhere in between, experiencing both highs and lows this time of year...Read more.

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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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Change is underway on campus during the holidays! As part of our ongoing effort to improve campus security, we are building a welcome booth to better monitor traffic coming and going through the Spring Street gate. We are still thinking about what to call the new building, with names in the running such as Welcome Booth, Welcome Cottage, and Dawg House - but we are open to other suggestions! GWA families will be issued a sticker to allow seamless entry onto campus, and all other visitors will be required to check in. Weather permitting, we should complete construction over the break and expect it to be staffed and operational early in the new semester.
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Come pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and chat with Dr. Dolan! Our next Coffee with the Admin meeting is on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 8:15 a.m. in the upper school media center. Join us for an opportunity to spend time with our Head of School and hear the latest GWA news, ask questions, and discuss any rumors swirling around.
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Come out this Friday night to support your Bulldog basketball teams as they take on Athens Academy! Games start at 4 p.m. with JV girls, followed by JV boys and varsity girls and boys. If we have 100 students sign in prior to 6 p.m. - all varsity basketball coaches and Coach Whitley will take a pie in the face at the next pep rally. Also, don’t forget to wear your finest ugly Christmas sweater!

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Post-its with a Purpose

On Reading Day, the GWA Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club members gathered to share motivational scriptures on Post-it notes to support students during exam week. Each upper school student discovered scripture on his or her locker on Tuesday, the first day of semester exams. “We wrote the notes to remind students that even during the stressful time of finals, God is there for us,” said FCA leader Alex Aull.


FCA meets in Mrs. Steele’s Room on Thursdays during lunch, and each meeting features a different speaker or a video that focuses on a Bible message. For more information, contact Mrs. Steele at csteele@gwa.com for upper school FCA or Coach Sara Smith at ssmith@gwa.com for middle school FCA.

Young Author Wins Award

Congratulations to GWA student Anna Howard for winning the short story award hosted by the Southern Pen Book Shop in Monroe! The contest was open to all students in Walton County, who were challenged with writing a short story with a Christmas theme. Anna's story entitled "Walking Winter" was described as making you feel like you are actually taking a winter stroll along with her.
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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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Just in Time for Christmas!

Need a last minute gift for your favorite Bulldog? Stop the Dawg Shop before Christmas break, check out the new arrivals and save up 50% on all t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and more! The store will be open until 12 p.m. on Friday. Happy Shopping!

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Capturing a Beautiful Creation

Troythomas Myers showcased his talent with the lens through a studio product photography project using student Mary Elise Roberts' unique pottery project as his subject. Mary Elise created her pottery using locally sourced materials, and applied an advanced firing technique that is typically only reserved for college level art departments. Using this advanced higher firing method provides durability for household goods, such as making them microwave and dishwasher safe. It also allows for more professional glazing techniques as seen in the photo illustrations. Through this project, students can visualize and understand the importance of the complete process- from creation to final presentation, and how that translates to marketability.

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Don’t forget to buy a yearbook! You can order one here or send a check made out to GWA ($75 per book - deadline extended to Jan. 10) 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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Pinning Down Big Victories!

Bulldog wrestlers found glory in Americus last Saturday after competing in the GISA Glory Days Invitational at Southland Academy. Congrats to Bryson Williams, Perry Jake Stone, Beau Mitchell, Ryan Denhardt, Angus Bateman, Chris Sperin, Patrick Morris, and Darius Barnum for winning their respective weight classes and finishing the day undefeated! Denhardt and Laythan Folgman recorded their first varsity wins of the season. The team has a busy wrestling week ahead starting Wednesday at Monroe Area High School for the Walton County Duals and then Friday and Saturday at the Eric Hill Memorial Tournament in Loganville.
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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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It’s time for Bulldog basketball and our varsity Holiday Classic! Please check the calendar at gwa.com for details. GO DAWGS!

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Attention GWA Alumni!

Please join us on Friday to reconnect with your GWA friends! Alumni who attend the Jingle Mingle will receive a ticket to attend the basketball game against Athens Academy.
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Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by

Winged Foot Running & Walking. Winged Foot Running & Walking brings fitness to the community through an experienced staff of runners and Certified Personal Trainers. Join us every Saturday at 8 a.m. for our social run/walk around downtown Monroe. We are located at 135 S. Broad St, Monroe, GA 30655. Learn more HERE. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.