In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 6, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Spring Sports Photo Days: Feb. 13 & Feb. 20
  • State of the School Address: Feb. 13 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Valentine's Day Parties: Feb. 14
  • Counselor Chat Guest Speaker: Feb. 20
  • MS Dance: Feb. 21
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Preventing the Spread of Illness

We continue to see a high number of absentees due to illness, with many showing flu-like symptoms. We encourage all GWA families to consider the advice below to help us reduce the spread of viral illnesses on campus. Please share this information with your children and reinforce these healthy habits at home.


Ways to avoid the Flu and other illnesses:

- Wash your hands, thoroughly and often, especially before eating or drinking, or after touching communal surfaces. If soap and water are not available, you can use hand sanitizer but washing hands and drying with a towel are the best ways to keep your hands clean.

- Keep your space from others. Stand at least three feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

- Don’t touch your face or mouth. Wash hands thoroughly before applying makeup or lipstick.

- Don’t drink after others or share lip products like Chapstick.

- Clean commonly touched surfaces like phones, doorknobs, and grocery carts with antibacterial wipes.

- Cover your cough with a tissue and wash your hands immediately after discarding tissue. If unexpected coughing occurs, cough into your elbow and not your hands.

- Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious food, and drink plenty of liquids.


If you do get sick, stay home. Avoid contact with others as much as possible and stay home for at least 24 hours after all symptoms have gone away, without medication being given, including nausea and persistent coughing. Fever associated with the flu will often come back after a day or so of normal temperatures. If that happens, check with your doctor, and stay home until all symptoms have resolved. Lastly, it is not too late to get a flu shot.


Libba Ford, RN

Health Clinic Nurse

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Getting on Track with Go Beyond

If you've ever been to a track meet or tennis match, then you know our challenges with the athletic facilities on the lower end of campus. Last year alone, GWA hosted six track meets, including the state regionals where parents had to position their vehicles to shine their headlights on the track after sunset, just so runners could see their lanes. Go Beyond: The Campaign for George Walton Academy will address this issue and more. Funds from the campaign will be used to refurbish the track surface and install new lights; build two new lighted tennis courts, bringing all the courts into one single location; and construct a new concession building including restrooms and storage. We ask our student athletes to give it their all on the field of play each and every day. This campaign will provide them what they need to meet each challenge and Go Beyond.


Please click HERE to learn more about Go Beyond and HERE to make an online gift.

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Global Health 2020

By Coach Holly Atkinson


The Global Health class traveled to Belize during Winter Term for a nine-day medical service trip. The class is partnered with a program which is affiliated with Duke University and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Robert Malkin, a Duke University professor of Biomedical Engineering, started this initiative about 20 years ago and has since written a textbook that the class used in preparation for their time in Belize. Professors at Johns Hopkins provide additional training materials for the course. During the Global Health classroom portion of the course, the students learned to screen patients for diabetes and hypertension, as well as, take other vital signs.


Once in Belize, the students screened patients during home visits, two days of health fairs in San Antonia and in San Ignacio, and one day of teaching lessons at a school on hand washing, oral care, nutrition, and fitness. During the home visits, the students went to rural villages (the Minister of Health selected the villages for the students to screen) and walked house to house screening patients and providing education on lifestyle changes to improve their health. There are multiple factors that make it difficult for the rural villages to have access to basic health screening, so the students found it extremely rewarding to be able to provide such a valuable service. The health fairs were set up in central locations in order to be most accessible in the village. While in Belize, the students screened a total of 147 patients and taught 20 health lessons at the school. READ MORE...

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WT Wrapup updated 2020

Finding the Right Fit

GWA Winter Term gives upper school students a wealth of opportunities to engage with other cultures, explore career possibilities and dive into exciting coursework outside of our traditional curriculum. Check out the video highlights from an impactful three-week period that delivered discovery, experience and real-world learning.

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Our Littlest Learners

The GWA Pre-K3 class has been learning how to spell and write their names. It’s hard to believe that these students are only three and four years of age. Not only can they spell and write their names, but they can identify just about every letter of the alphabet and tell you one or two words that start with that letter. Our littlest Bulldogs are some smart cookies!

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Got Books?

Join the Interact Club, NHS and Beta Club in supporting the nonprofit Books for Keeps program by donating your gently used books. For each book donated - students may send one free candygram to a friend!
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Have You Signed Up?

Do you pay taxes for an LLC or C-Corp? By making a payment through GOAL, businesses may be eligible to receive a federal business expense deduction and, for the business owners, a 100% Georgia income tax credit.See tax benefit explanation here. Please contact Tara Gill at tgill@gwa.com in the Business Office to learn how you or your company can designate a portion of your tax liability to GWA and receive a dollar for dollar tax credit from the state.

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Be Ready to Bid!

The time is near for our Silent Showcase to go live! THIS Saturday, February 8, our community will be able to begin bidding on our wonderful selection of Silent Auction items. Friends and Family of GWA have done an excellent job in gathering and creating amazing items for this auction. New items are being added every day as the auction nears. Check back daily to see what’s new and begin making your selections for bidding.


We have ten grade projects that are sure to catch your eye! Visit our Silent Auction platform today to see an in-depth look at what’s up for grabs!


Don’t forget to grab your Three Trip Raffle tickets! A limited number of tickets will be sold. You can purchase them online HERE or in the Advancement Office on campus.

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Meet Albert

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling


Albert is a learning companion built on a simple idea: Students learn best by doing. With coverage of all core curriculum, the ACT, and the SAT, Albert is a powerful supplement and resource. From now until Sunday, March 8, GWA Upper School students have access to a trial of Albert. Many teachers have already implemented this program in their classrooms for additional practice and reinforcement. Students have unlimited access to practice questions and can track their progress through different levels of mastery in each subject. With instant feedback on each question, Albert challenges students to apply what they learn and make connections between concepts. GWA students have the opportunity with Albert to boost their test scores, build confidence, and be prepared with over 6000 practice SAT and ACT questions available to students. We encourage parents to sit alongside their students to see Albert in action.

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Mark Your Calendar for Feb. 20

Please join us for Counselor Chats next month to learn the most up-to-date information on vaping and Juuling from Dr. Brian Dew. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. Dr. Dew’s research has focused on substance use, primarily on the topics of methamphetamine use and treatment, opioid use, and more recently, the use of vaping/e-cigarettes. This event is open to parents and students in middle and high school as well as the greater community - so invite your friends and neighbors. To attend, please click HERE to RSVP.
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Celebrating Survivors

All Walton County cancer survivors are invited to attend the survivor celebration on Friday, April 17th at GWA as part of Relay for Life. To RSVP for the dinner, please mail or drop off the registration form to Elizabeth McDonel, email emcdonel@gwa.com.


Everyone is also urged to attend the 2020 Walton County Relay for Life. All survivors and caregivers are urged to participate in the survivor lap at approximately 6:00 pm.

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Tickets For Sale

Stop by the Dawgs 360 house to purchase tickets for the upcoming Daddy Daughter Dance, sponsored by the Monroe Rotary Club.
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Flagfest is February 22!

GWA Flagfest will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Learn to dance, spin flag, spin rifle and perform with us. ALL students (guys and girls) from grades 1-11 welcome

  • Register on site in the Nicholson Center.
  • Wear comfortable athletic clothes and tennis shoes. No experience is necessary.


We look forward to seeing you in the Nicholson Center on February 22 at 10 a.m.!

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State-Bound Swimmer

Sophomore Charlie Stout will compete at the 2020 GHSA Swimming & Diving State Championship at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center this weekend. Charlie will swim in two events - the 200 free and 100 breast. Good luck, Charlie!
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Cheer Try Outs Announced

Mark your calendars for GWA cheerleading try outs for Middle School, JV, Varsity and Competition cheerleading. Cheerleading clinic/ practice will begin on Thursday, March 26 at 3:40 p.m. in the lower gym. A clinic for girls completely new to cheerleading will be offered on Wednesday, March 25 from 3:40- 4:45 p.m. in the lower gym. Middle School cheerleading is available for 7th and 8th graders. Please click HERE for additional information.

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Congrats All-Stars!

GWA eighth graders - Logan Blalock, Allie Marler, Payton Stone and Catherine Atkinson have worked very hard this season and were chosen by their coaches to represent GWA in the All-Star game. We can not wait to see what you bring to your high school teams next year!

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Be in the Know!

GWA spring sports are in full swing! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events. Go Bulldogs!

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Calling All Alumni!

GWA Alumni - we want to hear from you! We are currently gathering alumni information for our upcoming Bulldog Magazine and we are looking forward to publishing a comprehensive “Alumni Roll Call.” Please complete the short survey HERE and let us know what’s new in your life! Our Advancement department interns, Patrick Morris (’20) and Ben Howard (’20), have been tasked with making this effort a success and we hope to gather more great information on our alumni than ever before. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @georgewaltonalumni and join our George Walton Academy Alumni group on Facebook as Patrick and Ben will take to social media for their endeavor. The survey will be active through Feb. 28. Anyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card!

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Longleaf Hospice. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

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