Maxwell High School of Technology

Fall 2021

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Principal's Message

Greetings from Maxwell! I invite you to enjoy our fall newsletter. We are having a wonderful school year and have many exciting things happening at Maxwell. You will find this edition of our newsletter features our fabulous Student of the Year, Nicole Jackson. Also, we feature our talented Teacher of the Year, Brandon Myers. I encourage you to read about the Maxwell Work Ready program and our Dress for Success and Getting Along with Others sessions. Our SkillsUSA and HOSA organizations are off to a great start, and students participated in the fall rally and fall leadership conference. Also, we are grateful for Pippin Property Group and their financial donation. We proudly feature our first Auto Services Career Fair. Please enjoy learning about Darcie Johnson, who served as our Principal for a Day. We share some cool things happening in both our Digital Media and Animation program and our Graphic Design program. This edition highlights our Healthcare Science and Fire Services programs. Finally, we are excited to continue to be a part of the Quinn House service project. Each class selects a child in need and helps their child have a wonderful holiday season. We are sponsoring 80 children this year! We look forward to another successful school year. Please know our doors are always open to you and thanks for your support. Go Navigators!

-Dr. Jeff Hall


Maxwell High School of Technology

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Maxwell's 2021-2022 Student of the Year

Each year, Maxwell High School of Technology selects a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student of the Year (SOTY). We are very pleased to announce that Maxwell’s SOTY for the 2021-22 school year is Nicole Jackson! Nicole is a senior in Mrs. Minor's Flight Operations program, and she is a natural leader in the classroom. Mrs. Minor highly recommended Nicole for SOTY, "In my 11 years as a CTE teacher, I have had many outstanding students pass through my program, but few have made as favorable impression as Nicole Jackson. As an academic student, an athlete, and a CTE student, Nicole is equivalent to a rock star."

In addition to Nicole's academic success, she is also a level 10 gymnast. Nicole plans to pursue a career in aerospace engineering next year at the University of Oregon on an academic and athletic scholarship for acrobatics and tumbling.

We are very proud of Nicole and know that she will represent Maxwell well in her pursuit to be the Gwinnett County CTE SOTY. Congratulations, Nicole!

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Dress for Success

Work Ready is the advisement program at Maxwell High School of Technology that ensures its graduates have the essential soft skills needed to successfully enter the workforce and/or post-secondary education. This program is coordinated by Maxwell counselors, Dr. LaVonna Groce and Ms. Emily Latone.

Dr. Jon Valentine, GCPS Director of Foreign Language, was the keynote speaker for the Work Ready Dress for Success session. After one year of being virtual, Dr. Valentine spoke in person to students for the first Maxwell Work Ready session this school year. He talked with students about looking their best, the importance of punctuality, and the steps of interviewing. In addition, Dr. Valentine discussed how to give a good first impression even if your interview is in a digital or virtual setting. Maxwell students learned many life lessons in this session that will help them succeed in the working world. It was so good to be back in a session with students live and in person!

Getting Along with Others: Empathy and Personality In the Workplace

The second Maxwell Work Ready session this semester, Getting Along with Others: Empathy and Personality in the Workplace, was led by Maxwell counselors, Dr. LaVonna Groce and Ms. Emily Latone. In this session, Maxwell students learned about their personalities and the personality differences of their peers. Empathy was also discussed and why it is an important characteristic for future leaders. This was an interactive session in which students completed the True Colors personality assessment and presented with other students who shared similar personality traits. Students enjoyed this Work Ready session and learned a lot about each other.

Pictured below: Maxwell students presenting their similar personality traits using the colors blue, green gold, and orange.

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Champions Rally 2021

SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization for students enrolled in technical education programs. Maxwell currently has 164 SkillsUSA members. Students have until January 20, 2022, to join SkillsUSA. The $25 SkillsUSA Maxwell membership dues are payable through MyPaymentsPlus.

Maxwell's SkillsUSA chapter kicked off the school year by taking 45 members to the SkillsUSA Georgia Champions Rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds on Friday, October 8. High school chapters from around the state gathered for inspiration, competition, and fun. Students had a grand time meeting other new members while enjoying all the fun rides and good food at the fair. Maxwell's chapter also won 1st Place for Chapter T-shirt Design, 5th Place for Chapter Recruitment Poster, and 8th Place for Career Pathway Poster.

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Fall Leadership Conference

SkillsUSA Georgia held its annual Fall Leadership Conference November 2 at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington. Students were engaged in hands-on team sessions where they completed a challenge course, cultivated chapter experiences, explored the SkillsUSA Framework, and enhanced their leadership skills. Maxwell had 19 SkillsUSA Class Representatives attend the Fall Leadership Conference along with chapter advisors, Ms. Cortney Compton and Mrs. Jessica Stallings. They did an outstanding job representing Maxwell! We are very proud to announce that six of the students earned the SkillsUSA Georgia Statesman Award pin by scoring 80% or higher on the Statesman test. Congratulations to the following students for earning the Statesman Award:

1. Anaya Doobay (Smith AM)

2. Alondra Garcia (Smith PM)

3. Caitlyn Monroe (Richards AM)

4. Aniya Rashid (Loyd PM)

5. Dahra Santiago-Hiraldo (Richards PM)

6. Wyatt Straksis (Richards PM)

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Architecture Career Q & A

The architecture students and Ms. Dee Tillman, architecture instructor, hosted a Career Q & A panel discussion on November 8. Students asked questions about the industry, and the panel took turns telling them about their personal experiences, from joys and frustrations, to school advice and ideas on balancing work and life. Overall, the panel members displayed a deep passion for what they do driven by the feeling of walking into a finished building and knowing they've designed a space that makes their clients happy.

AM class attended by:

  • Stephen Fleming, former student and now Advisory Board Member and Project Architect at RJTR in Atlanta
  • Jennifer Wong of TVS in Altanta, invited to the event by Truc Tran Pham from Mountain View H.S.
  • Mike Clifford, Principle at BCA Architect's in Decatur, GA, and current Advisory Board Member

PM class attended by:

  • Carlos Rodriguez, BLUR Workshop in Atlanta, invited to the event by Bryson Quevedo of North Gwinnett H.S.
  • John Miller, former student and now owner of Miller Contracting, LLC, Roswell, invited by Diana Quiroz-Medrano of Discovery H.S.
  • Chuck O'Brien, Pieper O'Brien Herr Architects, Alpharetta, invited by Sophia Campino-Villada of Duluth H.S.


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HOSA Fall Rally

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE. It provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in HSE programs.

The Georgia HOSA Fall Leadership Rally was held on October 15 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, and 65 Maxwell HOSA members attended. This was a one-day event that included competitive events, a general session with an inspiring keynote speaker, and a presentation by the state officer team. After the general session, all students and instructors were able to enjoy unlimited fair rides!

15 Maxwell HOSA students qualified and passed the HOSA Statesmanship Test. The following students were recognized at the HOSA Fall Rally:

  • Deborah Adeojo
  • Ashley Adjei
  • Liyah Allison
  • Cristina Broome
  • Symia Brown-Blackmon
  • Silniya Brown
  • Robin Chime
  • Samairra Coward
  • Carmel Essayas
  • Madison Jones
  • Staci McGee
  • Chase Mosby
  • My Chael Ros-Champman
  • Makayla Williams
  • Nyla Williams

Maxwell's Winning Design!

Congratulations to Maxwell's HOSA-Future Health Professionals chapter for winning 1st Place in the state's Chapter T-shirt Design competition! The winning design was created by Barbara Oviedo and Charleston Stringer. This year's theme was Shatter Your Expectations.

HOSA Fall Leadership Conference

HOSA Georgia held its annual Fall Leadership Conference November 9-10 at the Omni Atlanta Hotel. Throughout this conference, members had the opportunity to gain skills in leadership through several competitive events, sessions and workshops. Student members, advisors, and guests came together to celebrate their success and develop their leadership skills. In addition to the incredible leadership workshops, exhibitors, HOSA dance and exciting and inspiring general sessions, students also received a HOSA t-shirt.

Pippin Property Group Donates $500

Pippin Property Group donated $500 to Maxwell's counseling department and Culinary Arts program. In addition, they also donated clothing for Maxwell's Work Ready clothes closet. Students who need professional clothes to wear to the Work Ready seminars, mock interviews, or real interviews are able to utilize this much-needed closet. Thank you, Pippin Property Group! (Pictured left to right: Dr. Jeff Hall, Maxwell principal; Mr. David Pippin; Mrs. Emily Latone, Maxwell counselor)

Architecture Earns Industry Certification

Congratulations to Maxwell's architecture program, led my Mrs. Dee Tillman, on receiving industry certification! Pictured left are the Industry Board Members who were a part of the program review for industry certification:

Left to right: Mr. Mike Rossi, Hill Foley Rossi + Associates LLC; Ms. Ina Bachmann, Nelson Architects; Ms. Dee Tillman, Maxwell architecture instructor; and Mr. Stephen Fleming, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, LLC Architecture and Interior Design

Automotive Career Fair

The first annual Maxwell Automotive Career Fair was a huge success with over 17 different industry participants looking for entry-level maintenance and repair technicians. Enthusiastic companies showed up with great offers and swag to promote their companies and communicate to students the career potential within their companies. At last count, over 10 students were placed in jobs at local facilities. Students came to the fair prepared with resumes in hand and ready to engage employers with valid questions to help them decide what would be the best fit for them long term. Each industry participant of the career fair is invited to re-visit the students at the end of the second semester for one-on-one presentations as students will be ready to graduate and begin their career journey.

2021 Participant List

  • Acura Carland/Honda Carland
  • Akins Ford
  • Audi Atlanta
  • Gwinnett Place Ford
  • Gwinnett Technical College
  • Hayes Family Automotive
  • Hendrick Automotive Group
  • Hennessy Automotive
  • Jim Ellis Automotive
  • Lincoln Technical College
  • Mercedes Benz Atlanta NE
  • NAPA and NAPA Auto Care Centers
  • Penske Automotive/Atlanta Toyota/United BMW/Honda Mall of Georgia
  • Potamkin Hyundai
  • TERC (The Equipment Rental Company)
  • Universal Technical Institute

Community Leader is Maxwell's Principal for a Day

During American Education Week in November, Maxwell hosted Mrs. Darcie Johnson, Director of the Center of Career Experience at Gwinnett Technical College, as our Principal for a Day. A Maxwell Student Ambassador gave Mrs. Johnson a tour of our facility, our culinary class served her breakfast and lunch, and she was able to spend about 20 minutes in several classrooms interacting with instructors and students. We enjoyed having Mrs. Johnson as Maxwell's Principal for a Day! (Pictured left: Mrs. Johnson with Collision Repair students.)

Animation Students Create 3D Islands

Maxwell's Animation and Digital Media students created a world as they sculpted their own island in 3D modeling software. Their land forms included carefully crafted mountains, lagoons, caves, volcanoes, beaches, peninsulas, lakes, plateaus, and cliffs along with various jungle, rocky, and forested terrains. They placed and controlled their own sun, with its strength and angle, casting the shadows for any time of day they chose. Students also placed a camera within their 3D space to capture the best view and closeness to show off their little world for output and display. These islands can be used as environments for other items such as buildings, props, and characters. This is just one of the projects in Maxwell’s Animation and Digital Media class. Students also explore 2D and web animation within Adobe Animate, HTML, and related technologies. In addition, students cover the curriculum for Computer Science Principles as they learn to manipulate and control motion and transformation of anything inside a web page.
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Graphic Design Students Collaborate with Pre-K

Ms. Snelling's Graphic Design students worked with Maxwell’s Pre-K classes to write and design personalized books that the Pre-K students will receive as gifts.

Healthcare Gets New Lab and Equipment

Firefighting Students Train with Gwinnett Fire


Coping with Stress and Grief

Due to the pandemic and the rise in stress and grief issues, Maxwell counselors, Dr. LaVonna Groce and Ms. Emily Latone, facilitated a Grief and Stress educational session that was led by Ms. Gaan Akers, Education Manager of Hillside Atlanta Therapuetic Center (pictured below). 64 Maxwell students attended the session, and they were taught coping skills for grief and stress. Some of the students gave the following feedback after the session: "I feel more at peace," "This is what I needed to hear," and "I learned a lot."

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Quinn House Service Project

This holiday season, Maxwell sponsored 80 children for the Quinn House service project: students provided gifts for children in need. Maxwell has been helping Quinn House children for the past 25 years, providing gifts to over 2,400 children. The Quinn House is a non-profit corporation established to offer an alternative to the homeless and those in need, operating solely on donations from the public. It is a full-service group home in Gwinnett County and offers a variety of programs that assist adults as they transition back into society as productive citizens.

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