In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

November 4, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Annual Loyalty Fund Drive: Nov. 1 -12
  • Powder Puff Game: Nov. 4 @ 6 p.m. - Cancelled
  • Bonfire: Nov. 4 @ 7:30 p.m. - Cancelled
  • Winter Sports Photo Day (MS & Varsity): Nov. 5
  • Fall Sports Senior Night/Miss Bulldog: Nov. 5 @ 6:50 p.m.
  • Canned Food Drive: Nov. 8 - 15
  • Veterans Day Celebration: Nov. 11 @ 9 a.m.
  • Winnie the Pooh: Nov. 17 @ 4 & 7 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving Holidays: Nov. 22 - 26
  • Christmas Tree Presentation: Dec. 3
  • Gingerbread Christmas: Dec. 5 (see below)
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Why the Annual Loyalty Fund?

The 2021-2022 school year marks my 23rd year at GWA. My role, since my very beginning with GWA, is to manage the Annual Loyalty Fund. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the many benefits this fund provides to our students. It is easy for me to understand the importance of this fund because I see behind the scenes and know the many expenses that GWA faces to create the best educational environment. From technology that constantly needs upgrading and facilities that require maintenance, to transportation, security, support staff, and more - there is a never-ending need to stay on top of things. Some families don’t understand what the Annual Loyalty Fund is. Others wonder why we have fundraisers at all, since we charge tuition. Many wonder why we don't just charge what it costs to run the school and be done with fundraisers.


There has always been major consideration in trying our best to keep our tuition reasonable. When tuition is set, it basically covers the basics. In order for us to provide the “extras” that make a GWA education exceptional for your child, we have to rely on fundraisers, such as our Annual Loyalty Fund. These vital gifts enable GWA to maintain small class sizes so your child can have more individualized attention. It helps us have the extra staff on hand for safety, health, support and even ensures the we are able to have the traditions that make GWA special. It helps us provide the equipment and supplies that teachers need to bring a project to life for their classes. It provides professional development opportunities for our teachers so they can bring back new ideas and new ways to engage our students in learning. It enables GWA to not just provide the “basics” to our students, it provides the “upgrades” to our programs.


This year, I am proud to report that 100% of our faculty and staff made a pledge or gift to the Annual Loyalty Fund. It is our vote of confidence in the school and an expression of our desire to provide the best for your child or children that we come in contact with every day. I hope you will join us this year in our endeavor to elevate the educational opportunities for the students entrusted to our care and nurturing. The Annual Loyalty Fund is an investment into their future and ours.


Jeanie Beach

Associate Head of School - Advancement

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Grasping New Technology

Mr. Gasaway’s Robotics 102 students are grasping new concepts and using their problem-solving abilities to tackle the task at hand. Using a Hummingbird Bit and micro:bit cards (from Birdbrain Technologies) – students built a robotic hand that could pick up an object - a ball, cube or box. They had to decide what type of servo to use and determine how their hand would grasp and release an object. Students found that not all designs required the same coding, and each group chose different paths to successfully solve the problem. The class also discussed the similarity of their designs to the human body.

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Quiz Bowl Qualifiers

This past weekend, the GWA History Quiz Bowl team traveled to Commerce High School to compete in the regional History Quiz Bowl tournament. The team, consisting of Ada Hicks, Noah Hicks, Cassie Culver, Jackson Harrison, Luke Lewis and Ty O’Lenick, competed against tough teams from across the metro Atlanta area over the course of the entire day. Despite it being the first tournament of the year, the team has already secured a spot in the History Quiz Bowl Nationals competition in April 2022. Cassie Culver, Noah Hicks, and Jackson Harrison also competed in the History Bee, with Culver making the playoff round and finishing just outside of the top three. Congratulations to our Quiz Bowl team!

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Behind the Scenes

Reserve your spot to attend the "1 of 1" premier next Tuesday evening! The sports broadcasting class is taking a behind the scenes look at the varsity boys team - from practices, to games and player interviews, the crew will cover every aspect of the 21-22 season.
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Bottles Needed

With Winter Term on the horizon, we are working on gathering materials for our various activities. We are currently asking for clean, empty glass Coke bottles. We need 150-200 bottles. So, if during the upcoming holidays you serve bottled cokes, please consider saving them for us! Just leave them with the front office. Thank you!
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Drama Dawgs Place in Region Competition

Congratulations to drama teacher Paula Gerhardt and the cast of Nunsense (a musical comedy by Dan Goggin)! The group placed third in the Region 8A One Act Play Competition last Friday. Alex Hutchison and Elizabeth Pope received All Star Cast awards and Allison Carter received the Region’s Outstanding Vocalist award. Bravo to our GWA Drama Dawgs on a great show!
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Teachers' Pets

Our K5 music classes presented “The Best Pet Show Ever!” this morning. Directed by Mrs. Debbie Dyer, these cats, dogs, fish, snakes, turtles, bunnies and alligators entertained the audience with their singing and dancing. It was a delightfully adorable way to spend the morning!
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A Beary Good Visit

A group of GWA juniors and seniors toured Mercer's Macon campus on Monday. As they ventured through the Mercer neighbearhood, students learned about the service abroad program in Vietnam and Botswana through Mercer On Mission, undergraduate research opportunities, and school traditions. After students enjoyed lunch in the student center, they took a paws to visit Five Star Stadium, home of the university's football and lacrosse programs. Such a beary great experience for our Bulldogs!
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Celebrating the Lady Dawgs

The Lady Dawgs placed second in the state at last week's 2021 GHSA Fast Pitch Softball Championships! It was a season to be remembered and worthy of a brand-new (and much needed) dugout sign. Shout out to Brian Cole for creating the signage which he presented to the team today during break.
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Making a Big Splash!

The GWA swim team had an impressive start to their season at the Tallulah Falls Invite! The Boys Relay qualified for State, taking first place in both Free and Medley Relay. Congratulations to Baylor Lingner, Jake Moore, Timothy Pham, Charlie Stout, and Jake Stout. Charlie and Jake Stout qualified for State in both of their individual races.


Emma Dopp took first place in the 100 Breaststroke earning the team 20 points. Sarah Digby and MK Dopp earned a combined 33 points for the 50-yard Freestyle race. Newcomer, Bella Weimer, took first place in the 100 Individual Medley for middle school. Riley Root, Reese Behnke, and Caleb King are also great new additions to the team.


Congratulations swimmers! We are so excited for the growing team and the remainder of the season. The next meet is on Nov. 6 at the Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center. Good luck, Swim Dawgs!

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Shooting for Success

Congratulations to the GWA Clay Target Team and their success at the Youth Shoot at the Old Hudson Plantation! Landen Briscoe, Evan Newsom, and Philip Smyrl participated in the event. They were teamed up with shooters from Savannah Christian Prep and scored well. Everyone shot 200 targets. Great job, Dawgs!
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Bulldog Kia (www.bulldogkia.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.