In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 28, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • First/Second Grade Family Folk Dancing Night: Feb. 28
  • Re-Enrollment Contracts Due: March 1
  • Coffee with Admin: March 7
  • K4/K5 Musical Performance: March 7
  • 5th/6th Grade Band Concert & Percussion Theater: March 7
  • Spring Portraits: March 8
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On Monday, the high school kicked off the Renaissance “Intensive.” The “Intensive” is an opportunity to study a particular subject or theme from multiple perspectives and across disciplines. This year’s study falls under the leadership of Brian Cole, and the fine arts department. He and his leadership team have been collaborating with other upper school departments since early fall to create a dynamic and exciting learning experience for our students.


Our history classes will focus on the time period from 1300-1600. Science and history teachers are planning to uncover the various inventions and discoveries that took place during this time. English classes will be immersing themselves in literature from the period while tying in the historical context that motivated the authors to put their pens to paper. Others are using the definition of renaissance (rebirth) and unpacking areas of their disciplines that captures that kind of awakening and innovation. Art classes are recreating masterpieces and imitating techniques of the masters to better understand the cultural context of the period.


At the kickoff, students were sorted into “kingdoms” by their advisory group and assigned a social class. Over the course of the next five weeks, each kingdom will compete in the Rivalry of the Realms game, challenging each other to short competitions and trying to win points for their kingdom, thereby representing the rivalry and alliance systems that were in Europe during the Renaissance period. Each kingdom has created a flag for their group (on display in the cafeteria) and will have sand tubes displaying the points they have won for their kingdom. As students play the game and explore various aspects of “renaissance” in their classes, they will develop a multidimensional understanding of the historical period and the theme as a whole.


We are excited to journey through this intensive with the students and look forward to wrapping it all up at our Renaissance Faire on Thursday, March 28. Let the games begin!

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American Sign Language Teacher Wanted

Do you or someone you know teach American Sign Language? We are looking for members of our community who can teach sign language to middle and upper school students in the Fall 2019 semester. Questions or interested? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.

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Coffee with the Admin

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, March 7 at 8:15 a.m. in The Commons. 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.

Campus Improvements in Progress

Starting tomorrow, March 1, the gatehouse on Spring Street will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. The gatehouse will help better monitor traffic coming and going through campus. GWA families have been issued a sticker to allow seamless entry and all other visitors will be required to register upon arrival. There will be a grace period for families without the required decal. We will be piloting a new afternoon carpool traffic pattern in a few weeks, so please stay tuned for further details! We hope the process will be fully implemented by the end of March.

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One Sweet Trip

George Walton third graders took a sweet field trip to Chamberlain’s Chocolate Factory in Roswell to wrap up their study of Milton Hershey and chocolate. They enjoyed tasting many types of chocolate, learned about cacao beans, cacao pods, the origin of chocolate and made delicious treats to take home.
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The Great Shake

Middle school is participating in a special project during flex block called The Great Shake. It is a fun interactive way to learn etiquette, interviewing skills and interpersonal communication. Students will compete with each other to see who can master these techniques over the next few weeks. In a highly technological world, proficiency in face-to-face interactions can make a huge difference in an individual’s success.
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Upper School Summer Classes

Looking to get ahead academically? Exciting opportunities are in the works for upper school students this summer! GWA will offer summer classes at no cost to our enrolled students for full academic credit. A course catalog will be available the first week of March to currently enrolled students.


These courses provide an opportunity for students to customize their learning experience at GWA. "The George Walton experience should be tailored to the individual student needs and interest," Dr. Dolan commented. He added, "for some, summer may be the perfect time to get ahead." Additional details to follow. Please contact Registrar Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

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Goldilocks and Course Selection

By Michael Clancey, Director of College Counseling


About a month from now, students in eighth to eleventh grades will be selecting their courses for the following academic year. Aside from, “should I take French or Latin, music or art?” the progression from one course to the next is similar to the progression from one grade level to the next. For example, a student in Spanish 1 would progress to Spanish 2, Biology to Chemistry, Geometry to Algebra II, and so on. However, within the different subject areas there are some choices to be made and a couple of factors to consider. In considering these choices, I am reminded of the fairytale of Goldilocks and Three Bears. You do not want to select a course that is too hard; you also do not want to select a course that is too soft (easy). You want one that is “just right.”... Read More

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GWA's Department of College Counseling is seeking professionals who are interested in speaking to students about their careers. If you are available to volunteer on March 15, 2019 from 12 to 3:30 p.m. please contact Mr. Michael Clancy at mclancy@gwa.com. Our students could greatly benefit from your expertise, experience and knowledge- so please consider joining us!

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Aloha From the Middle School Dance!

Middle school students brought their best moves to the dance floor at the GWA annual middle school dance last Friday night! They embraced the colorful luau theme by dressing in festive Hawaiian attire, and boogied the night away.
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Socratic Circle Gathers

The topics were current and the dialogue was lively but thoughtful as Socratic Circle discussed the government shutdown and potential border wall. This club offers the perfect opportunity to engage young minds - allowing students to consider all points of view.
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Lower School Spring Photo Day Is Coming!

You should have received spring portrait pre-order forms in your child’s bookbag last week. March 8 is spring portrait day. This opportunity is for LOWER SCHOOL STUDENTS ONLY! Send your child with their spring clothes and payment order form if you want them to have their picture taken.


If you want a sibling photo, walk your children in and take them to the photographer at the beginning of the school day. We will make sure they get back to class. We cannot find them separately and pull them out of class for photos together later in the day. It is too disruptive to their schedules and too difficult for us to do logistically.


This service is totally optional. Feel free to take advantage of these photos, but you are under no obligation to have them taken. We are giving plenty of advance notice so you don’t miss out. These photos are sold as pre-orders ONLY! If you lose your form, we will have copies available in the front office.

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Welcome to The Dawg House

Dawgs 360 is leading the pack once again! We have an exciting headquarters for our important work in supporting our wonderful GWA community. The house at #2 Bulldog Drive is now officially: The Dawg House!


One of the most important goals of Dawgs 360 is to encourage parents to get involved and continue to initiate lifelong relationships with GWA. The Dawg House will give volunteers, students, teachers, alumni and guests a local meeting and working location as we continue to support our mission statement by promoting community. Please stop by and learn more about how to get involved while enjoying great conversation and a warm cup of coffee after morning drop off!

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We need YOU!

Opportunities for Involvement:


Host/Hostess Founders Day:

Morning of Fri. March 29


Relay for Life Volunteers:

Set- Up: Fri. May 3 from 9-1 p.m. & 4-6 p.m.

Host/Hostess’ for Survivor Dinner Clean- Up: 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Golf Carts and Drivers: Fri. May 3


Teacher Appreciation Week:

Week of May 6-10

We need breakfast bakers, mailbox treats, desserts for appreciation lunch and small tokens of appreciation!


Please email Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com to get involved!

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Students Can Expand Their Horizons In Croatia

There will be an interest meeting for parents of students interested in traveling to Croatia with GWA in June 2020 on TONIGHT, Thursday, February 28th at 6:30pm in the Upper School Commons. This trip is open to all upper school students in the 2019-2020 school year, and we are excited to partner with Our Human Family to tailor and create this experience. Questions? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.

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Middle School Art on Display

GWA Middle School art students will have some work on display at the annual Walton County Middle School Art Show.


Runs from March 5 through March 21. There will be a reception on Thursday, March 21 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. The show is at the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts in downtown Monroe. Everyone is welcome!


Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts

Gallery hours: Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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GWA Lacrosse is Here!

It was an amazing opening weekend for GWA Lacrosse. The boys all competed hard, were respectful of their teammates, opponents, and officials, and most importantly they had fun. The foundation has been laid for the GWA Lacrosse program! Go Lacrosse Dogs!
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Varsity Girls Tennis Off to a Winning Start!

George Walton varsity girls open the season with a 4-1 win over Prince Avenue! Congrats Lady Bulldogs!
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JV Baseball Off to a Great Start!

GWA's JV Baseball team won Tuesday's game against Bethlehem Christian, 10-8. Great work, Diamond Dawgs!
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Tennis Beats Walnut Grove

George Walton beats Walnut Grove 5-0 in both boys and girls varsity tennis! Way to go, Bulldogs!
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Majorettes Succeed at TwirlMania

George Walton majorettes competed over Presidents' Day weekend in TwirlMania at Walt Disney World. In the Miss TwirlMania Pageant, all six twirlers placed in the top ten in their respective age groups. Catherine Atkinson and Taylor Grossman made podium, placing third. Blakeney Sewell placed first out of 27 competitors in the pageant solo. Taylor Grossman placed third in the High School Classic and Morgan Green placed ninth in the highly competitive International TwirlManiac Invitational event.


The majorettes also placed very well in the individual open events, with 16 top ten placements in five open events- including Morgan Green, Payton Stone, MaKayla Briscoe, Catherine Atkinson, Blakeney Sewell, Taylor Grossman and third grader Cheyanne Romer. Congratulations to this extremely talented group of GWA twirlers!

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Youth Cheer Registration

Youth Cheer registration and fitting for K5-5 grade on March 25 from 5 - 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Mandatory informational meeting will start at 6 p.m. There will be a make-up day on March 27 from 4 - 5 p.m. in the cafeteria with a mandatory informational meeting at 4:30 p.m.The meetings will cover practice days and times, communication for parents and coaches and summer camp. Coaches will be there to answer questions.


Youth Cheer registration is $70 plus uniform cost. Used uniforms will be available to purchase at registration. If you have a used uniform that you would like to sell, then please go to the Nicholson center concession area after school on Friday, March 22 to drop it off with Michele Bowen. If you can’t drop it off on that Friday, then please contact Michele Bowen (678- 207-6580) to set up a time to drop your used uniform off. We will label the uniform with your name and Michele will give you more details when you drop it off.

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MANDATORY UPPER SCHOOL ATHLETIC MEETING


On Thursday, April 25 from 6 p.m - 7:30 p.m. there will be a MANDATORY Athletic Meeting for all rising upper school students and their parents who plan on participating in a GWA athletic program during the 2019-2020 school year. The meeting will be held in the cafeteria.


Areas that will be covered include general information- “The Dawg Way,” strength training, recruiting and team parents.

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Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by Albright's Flooring

Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.