In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

April 29, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Spring Band Concert: April 29 @ 7 p.m.
  • Jr./Sr. Prom: April 30
  • Teacher Appreciation Week: May 3-7
  • GWA Dance Performances: May 6 @ 4:30 & 7:30 p.m.
  • AP Exams: May 3-17
  • Seniors' Last day of School: May 13
  • Senior Banquet: May 18
  • Yearbook Presentation: May 20
  • Baccalaureate: May 21 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Graduation: May 22 @ 9 a.m.
  • Jr. Class Pick Your Parking Spot: May 24
  • Rising Senior Parent Meeting: May 26
  • K5 Graduation: May 27 @ 7 p.m.
  • 5th Grade Graduation; May 28 @ 9 a.m.
  • Last Day of School: May 28 - early dismissal
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Nothing Finer

The Fine Arts department has much to celebrate! Our students continue to grow and thrive as artists and their works shine at shows and competitions. The list of awards received, and honors earned are long and we thrilled to share their successes.


Fine Arts students, Breena McGraw and Anna Swope applied to the Governor’s Honors Program, and both artists were selected to attend the residential program at Berry College this summer. Students were required to submit a portfolio of their work and participate in interviews before the winners were selected from thousands of applicants.


Our artists dominated at the Congressional Art Competition this year, bringing home first and second place. Senior, Cadence Dalton, took first for her watercolor painting, “Brushes and Paint.” Cadence will be recognized at the annual ceremony in Washington D.C. and her artwork will hang at the U.S. Capitol for one year. Senior, Marnie Couch, took second place for her drawing, “First Meeting” and Congressman Hice liked it so much he requested the artwork hang in his office for the year!


GISA held a virtual art competition recently and GWA artists had a stellar showing taking home first and second place in multiple categories!

*Painting

1st Place Cadence Dalton 12th grade – “Brushes and Paint”

*Drawing

1st Place Anna Swope, 11th grade – “Paper Cut”

2nd Place Marnie Couch, 12th grade – First Meeting”

*Photography

1st Place Rhiannon Williams, 11th grade – “Isolation”

2nd Place George Zupko, 10th grade – “Change”


The Monroe Walton Center for the Arts held the annual High School Arts Competition and once again our artists took home top honors.

* Drawing/Painting

1st Place Mikee Bolle Untitled - Googly Eyes

2nd Place Marnie Couch Untitled - Christmas

* Photo/2D

1st Place Rhiannon Williams Untitled - Figure & Light

2nd Place Ella Brooks Untitled - Water & Fruit


The Fine Arts department hosted an art show on Monday that featured all of these gifted artists and their works. Student musicians added ambient music as crowds showed up to view the artwork. This gave art students an opportunity to interact with visitors to the show and a chance to discuss their concepts, ideas, and techniques.


"I just want to thank the parents and faculty for the strong support of the arts at GWA,” said art teacher Steve Reagan. “We had a great turn out for our spring show on Monday and this means so much to our students and department. GWA has an amazing amount of talent."


Fine Arts, Associate Head of School Brian Cole said, “I am overwhelmed by the achievements by our art students this year. To have two visual arts students selected for the Governor’s Honors Program is incredible, and for two GWA students to win first and second place in the Congressional Show with 25 counties competing, is equally impressive. The sky is the limit for our talented young artists and we look forward to helping them grow as creative individuals.”

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State Champs

The GWA Literary team boasts two state champions following last weekend's GHSA State Literary Championships held at Georgia Military College. Makena Helms won first place in International Extemporaneous Speech and Claire McNulty placed first in Rhetorical Essay. Congrats to Makena and Claire on a job well done!

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Abbey Sheppard is Student of the Month

Abbey Sheppard is the Rotary Student of the Month for March. She has chosen Dr. Collin Dibble as Teacher of the Month. Abbey said, “I have never loved chemistry, but this year I look forward to going to class. Dr. Dibble has helped me to improve in a subject that I never thought I could.” Abbey is an AP Scholar, and has earned GWA Best of the Best. She is an active member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Latin Club and she has served as a trainer for varsity lacrosse and football. Abbey has given back to the community through her club service projects, and she raised beneficial funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She will attend Emory University in the fall and pursue a degree in nursing. Congratulations to Abbey and Dr. Dibble!
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Robby McGoldrick is Student of the Month

Robby McGoldrick is the Rotary Student of the Month for April. He has chosen Mr. Jared Wilson as Teacher of the Month. Robby said, “Mr. Wilson has helped out a lot with Model UN and I enjoy his classes, as his lectures are super entertaining.” Robby is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a Furman Scholar, and a Presbyterian Fellow. He is an active member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Model UN (president), Spanish Club (vice president), Interact Club, TSA (Technology Student Association), and Spanish National Honor Society. Robby has played on the varsity soccer and cross country teams throughout high school and served as team captain for both. Robby has performed community service through club sponsored projects including a recent book drive and the Empty Stocking Fund canned food drive. Robby will attend Georgia Tech and plans to major in business administration. Congratulations to Robby and Mr. Wilson!

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Spelling Champs

Lower school students in third, fourth, and fifth grade recently competed in a grade level spelling bee. All students took the written spelling test, and the top ten finalists went on to compete in the oral spelling bee for their grade. We are so proud of all our amazing spellers!


5th Grade Finalists:

  • Jared Gibson - CHAMPION
  • Landry Atkinson
  • Kaylee Brooks
  • Mac Ferguson
  • Delia Gill
  • Rocky Holloway
  • Kylie Hunnicutt
  • Alex Pulliam
  • Landon Shannahan
  • Avery Smith


4th Grade Finalists:

  • Amelia Brady - CHAMPION
  • Emily Cowan
  • Alex Gervais
  • Eden Harvey
  • Maddie Maxwell
  • Lily Menke
  • Jack O’Shanic
  • Landon Spencer
  • Wyatt Vaughn
  • Will Watts


3rd Grade Finalists:

  • Brody Shelton - CHAMPION
  • Hayden Chandler
  • Cruz Chapman
  • Sam Garrett
  • Oliver Jones
  • Aleah Kumar
  • Hannah Lalaian
  • Sailor Mercer
  • Jake Otts
  • Kiaan Patel
  • Ashlynn Richards


Grade winners pictured above (left to right): Amelia Brady, Jared Gibson, and Brody Shelton.

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Scientific Sleuths

Dr. Dibble's Chemistry students worked to determine the unknown concentration of a mystery acid. These titration experiments required the use of Vernier digital probes. Students were required to graph and then analyze their data. Finally they compared their results to real world examples.

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Classic Feast

The Honors Latin IV class enjoyed a feast exactly like one enjoyed at an actual Roman table 2000 years ago. All were created from recipes by the ancient foodie Apicius, the students made dishes ranging from meatballs in a leek gravy and round breads to asparagus in wine sauce and tuna with a herb dressing. And for a sweet finish, students sampled cooked pears, cinnamon honey bread, and a cheese and jam pie. While not every dish was a hit, the meal overall was an experience that will not be soon forgotten!

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Top Awards

Talented GWA art students receive top two awards in this year’s Congressional Art Competition sponsored by Representative Jody Hice! Cadence Dalton won first place with her watercolor painting, entitled “Brushes and Paint.” She and one guest will fly to Washington D.C. to see her artwork installed in the U.S. Capitol alongside all other winners from across the country. Her piece will be on display for the next year.


Marnie Couch earned second place with her charcoal drawing entitled “First Meeting.” Congressman Hice will proudly display her artwork in his office for the next year. Congratulations to Cadence and Marnie on this impressive achievement!

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Poured Paint

Fifth-grade students studied the works of artist, Holton Rower. Rower creates beautiful paintings by pouring color over structures made from things like wood. Rower enjoys the effects of gravity on the paint pouring process. Students assembled a small cardboard structure and poured various colors of paint over them. When the pieces dried, students cut out their organic or geometric shaped pieces.

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Track Stars

Our GWA middle school track and field athletes competed well at the GHSA Georgia Middle School Championship meet last weekend against much larger schools and club teams. McKenna Rutledge placed second in the state in pole vault and the girls 4x800 relay team (Annalise Digby, Moneli Shekarbahkt, Autumn Koman, and Kirby Lynn Atkinson) placed eighth. Emily Lalaian finished third in discus. Congratulations to all on a great showing!

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Ready for Football?

Spring football is almost here! Please see the dates above for middle and high school spring football. Anyone interested in playing football next fall is encouraged to participate (all rising 6th-12th graders). For more information, contact Coach Beer at lbeer@gwa.com.

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Corporate Partner support is a direct investment into the programs that affect all of our students at GWA. We are currently enrolling Corporate Partners for the 2021-2022 school year. Please click HERE to read more about this program. If you would like sign up or have questions, please contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

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Sign Up for Summer Camps!

We are thrilled to offer summer camps for kids of all ages and all interests! Our summer camps are open to the community, so bring a friend and spread the word about summer fun at GWA.


Please see camp listings below and click HERE for complete camp descriptions and the registration links. Happy camping!

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Teacher Appreciation is Next Week!

"Teacher Appreciation is a week where all your hard work and efforts are appreciated and you realize how blessed you are to teach in such a great school with awesome students, parents, staff and administration! So blessed!"️ - Jackie Vadney


GWA Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7. Please see the grid above for details and use the links provided below to sign up for events on Monday and Friday.


Monday -


Friday – VIP lunch (catered lunch courtesy of student council).

  • Sign up with the link below to make a dessert for our faculty/staff luncheon.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0949A8A82DAA8-desserts


  • We are in need of lunchtime volunteers to watch classes (all grades) on May 7 from 12 to 1 p.m. for teacher appreciation week. Please contact Elizabeth McDonel to volunteer.


Thank you for showing our teachers your appreciation!
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Longleaf Hospice & Palliative Care (www.longleafhospice.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.
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