In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 23, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Prospective Family Open House: Jan. 26
  • Chili Cook Off & Bingo Night: Jan. 30
  • Red Cross Blood Drive: Jan. 31
  • Spring Sports Photo Day: Feb. 13 (most sports)
  • State of the School Address: Feb. 13 @ 6:30 p.m.
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As we all settle into the new year, the GWA admissions office is shifting into our peak season. Prospective families are visiting campus and new student applications are arriving daily. We are hosting shadow students and conducting admissions testing on a weekly basis. Based on the activity in our office thus far, we anticipate a busy spring! That being said, we want to make you aware of a few things…


1. Our office is hosting another Prospective Family Open House this Sunday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Commons. We would love for you to join us and bring a family who might be interested in learning more about our school and the amazing programs that we have available for all ages and grade levels. If you would like for our office to extend an invitation to a family, please forward their contact information to me right away. Our current families are our very best marketing partners because they often know other families like their own who would be a great fit for GWA!


2. Re-enrollment contracts for the 2020-2021 school year will be released on Friday, Jan. 31 by 3 p.m. for all students in good standing. Contracts will be posted in each family’s ParentsWeb account under the “Apply/Enroll” tab. Please be sure that your contact information is up to date in ParentsWeb and that all outstanding balances for tuition, aftercare, lunchroom, etc. are paid in full before January 31.


3. Completed contracts and a tuition payment selection for the 2020-2021 school year are due by March 1 to hold each student’s spot for the upcoming school year. Contact our office if you have questions or concerns.


Wonderful things are happening at GWA and our office is looking forward to an exciting and prosperous spring!


Best,

CARI

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Go Beyond...for Athletics


We're excited to share what the Go Beyond campaign means for our students. When we consider our growing athletic programs, one of the constant challenges we face is having enough space for our teams to practice and hold competitions. It's no surprise to learn that wrestlers have had to practice in the baseball batting cages, multiple programs are competing for floor space in the gym, or other sports have been “bumped” at the last minute to new locations due to weather.


The Go Beyond campaign will enable GWA to build a new gymnasium beside the Nicholson Center that will provide increased space, including dedicated space for wrestling and competitive cheer teams. This new space will be used for PE, health and wellness instruction, and will help alleviate the crunch for afterschool practice space. The side-by-side gym layout will also provide opportunities for pre-game warm-ups and space to host tournaments.


For more information on the Go Beyond campaign and how it benefits our students, please click HERE.

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Exploring the Medical Field

Seniors Savannah McBee and Torie Johnson are currently interning at Piedmont/Rockdale Hospital and Greystone OB/GYN, respectively, where they are getting valuable exposure to the medical field while learning from their mentors. Our interns submit reflections on their experience weekly. Please see week two reflections from Savannah and Torie below:


Savannah-

This is the best experience George Walton has ever given me. I love my internship and wish I could stay at the hospital forever. One life skill I’ve learned through my internship is how to communicate and build a good relationship with co-workers. The more you communicate it makes everyone’s jobs run smoothly, and it makes the job more enjoyable for everyone. I will definitely use that from here out through college and when I get my first job at a hospital. I also have gotten a lot of great advice from everyone at the hospital from nurses all the way up to surgeons. My mentor has made sure to allow me to see different types of surgeries- from ortho surgeries all the way down to GI surgeries.


Torie-

This week my internship taught me the life lesson of being there with someone through pain or when they’re scared. It never hurts to have someone hold your hand in a difficult situation. But also being the person that makes them feel better. I have yet to see a natural delivery and I am hoping to see one this week. My favorite part of this week was watching epidurals and spinal blocks- which is extremely difficult. Can’t wait for my last week!

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Civil Engineering 101

Juniors Logan Lewis, Liam Chirrey and Joe Brown are interning with with civil engineering firm Hanes Gipson and Associates during their winter term. They are getting hands-on experience and using critical-thinking skills while on the job. Please read their week reflections to learn more about their internships in the field of civil engineering:


Logan-

A life skill I learned during the second week was to always have an open mind. This translates to engineering because you have to see the building and where everything goes before you draw any lines. I hope to learn how to map out an area using google maps or other mapping programs. This is a skill a civil engineer needs because you need to see elevation to calculate where and how much rainwater there will be. My favorite time from this week was when Liam, Joe and I had to edit our site plans when we realized that a road was incorrect. We eventually had to re-think the entire plan layout.


Liam-

So far, my internship has been eye opening in the field I was interested in which is civil engineering and it truly has reinforced what I want to do once I get into college. I am learning that there is always another way to look at a situation, especially with an issue with a site plan or just designing a site plan because, in general, as everyone has different ideas. One of the things I want to do in the last week, is get as close as I can to getting a finished product on the site plan I've been working on, as well as visit more job sites to see more of what happens in the field. One of the most enjoyable parts of this week was working on my (mock) site plan for the new George Walton expansion with a new theater and high school building which is just a design for fun but it really puts into perspective how much detail and design goes into creating a site plan and how much there is to perfect.


Joe-

This week I learned to always check and revise your work. I’m working on a building and pavement layout plan, and every time I think I’m finished, I find a way to make my project better. I’m currently on revision four and have many more changes to make. Next week, I hope to see a completed project so I can see how the actual building compares to and differs from the plan. My favorite time this week was creating my first draft of my project because I got to be creative and design something original.

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Historical Road Trip

U.S. History students had the opportunity to learn outside the bounds of the classroom and travel during winter term on the annual Virginia trip. This year's trip included traditional stops such as Jamestown, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Monticello, the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee, and Appomattox, and also added some new stops like Philadelphia (Independence Hall, Rocky Steps, the Liberty Bell) and Gettysburg. Students were able to speak with archaeologists at Jamestown and Monticello, see amazing artifacts up close with private tours from museum curators, walk on the very floors where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe walked, visited five universities, and much more.

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Students Present "Mi Familia"

Mrs. McElveen's middle school students created and gave Power Point presentations on members of their families. The main objective for this project was to allow them to demonstrate what they have learned through Spanish descriptions of family members. The students chose six family members to describe and write six sentences about. The presentations were given completely in the target language!

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Welcome Tara Gill

Please help us welcome Tara Trepanier Gill to the GWA team as she joins the Business Office as our part-time GOAL Associate.


Tara has 13 years of experience in the higher education, non-profit and public service fields. She has a master's degree in public policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Thomas. Tara's impressive work experience includes roles at Stanford University, Save the Children, the U.S. Department of State, and the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.


As GWA's GOAL Associate, Tara will meet with families and help generate support for the Georgia GOAL Scholarship program. GOAL allows Georgia taxpayers to designate tax dollars to specific independent schools - including GWA! These funds are utilized for much-needed financial aid for qualified students.

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Have You Signed Up?

Want to watch your tax dollars at work for your school? You can help make it possible for deserving students to attend GWA without it costing you a dime! Participation in Georgia GOAL doesn't require additional money out of your pocket. In fact, you receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for your contribution, and the window is still open to participate in the 2020 GOAL Tax Credit! Please click below to access the 2020 GOAL Tax Credit application. Contact Jenni Cole at jcole@gwa.com for more information.

https://www.goalscholarship.org/for_donors/tax_contribution_type.asp
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GWA Open House is Sunday

Please help us spread the word! Prospective families are invited to learn more about George Walton Academy and our programs on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. The GWA Open House event begins with a brief presentation followed by a student-led campus tour and concludes with a Q & A session. Interested families should contact Director of Admissions Cari Bailey for more info. at cbailey@gwa.com or to register.
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Become a Donor!

GWA Student Council will sponsor the Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, Jan. 31, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Nicholson Center. Due to recent events, the need for blood donors has reached the critical stage. To schedule an appointment, you may download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: gwa, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Please remember photo identification is required for all donors.

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Take STOCK of Your Gift

If you are considering a charitable contribution this year, have you considered making a gift of stock? Did you know that there can be some major tax benefits of gifting stock - especially appreciated stock that's been in your possession for more than 12 months? Some of the benefits of gifts of appreciated stock is capital gains on the stock can be avoided. You will be eligible to receive an income tax charitable deduction for the full fair-market value of the stock at the time of the gift. Below are some articles that outline benefits of gifts of stock. We always recommend that you speak with your tax advisor before making a stock gift. If you wish to contribute stock, please contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or 770-714-6238 to receive instructions for a custodian-to-custodian stock gift.


Kiplinger article: https://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T054-C001-S001-giving-stock-to-charity.html


Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucebrumberg/2018/11/26/making-charitable-donations-of-stock-instead-of-cash-after-tax-reform/#753a5642cb3a

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Donations Needed

Our Lucky Dawg Golden Gala is quickly approaching! Our Silent Auction goes live on February 8, just over two weeks away. You still have time to make your contribution to the silent portion of the auction. We are looking for gift basket type items from local business, gift cards to restaurants, boutiques, businesses, and pieces of art. The sky is the limit! We appreciate our GWA family and surrounding community who contribute to make this event a success.


You can bring any contributions by the Advancement Office or email Savanna McMichael (smcmichael@gwa.com) for questions.


Don’t forget to view our Silent Auction and bid on your favorite items starting February 8. Our Corporate Partner Grey Orthodontics has graciously donated $500 of orthodontics to our event. Be sure to bid on that hot item!


Find a donation request form HERE.

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Please save the date for our annual State of the School address on Feb. 13. This is an opportunity for GWA families to get an overall update on the school and ensure that our current efforts and future plans are aligned with our mission.

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Money, Money, Money!

Jon Terrell, Director of College Counseling


Mamma Mia! Here we go again. I know many of you probably read the title of this article and immediately thought this was a tribute write up about ABBA. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but in terms of reminiscing about your favorite Swedish pop supergroup, this is not the article for you. Scholarships, Scholarships, Scholarships just didn’t have the same ring to it.


That’s right, this article is about scholarships! And where you can go to view the great opportunities we know about and share with the students. There is no Dancing Queen in our office but the Scholarship Queen herself, Mrs. Nabors, has spent a painstaking amount of time over the last semester compiling a list of updated and available scholarships for our GWA students. They can be found on this page: https://sites.google.com/view/gwascholarships/home. We will continue to add to this list as we learn about additional scholarship opportunities as well as share those with our students but for now, this will be the record-keeping bank (if you will).


There are always more scholarships out there, too. Feel free to share any scholarship information you come across so we can continue to share it with GWA students and add to our internal database.

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The Gift of Music

GWA piano students are taking weekly trips to Great Oaks Assisted Living to share the gift of music with the residents. Jaxi Hicks (4th grade), Jonathan Terpstra (5th grade), Cale Fuller (6th grade), and Dustin Trinh (8th grade) took time out of their busy school day to perform for and fellowship with residents. The students are already excited about the opportunity to visit with the residents again next month!
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Coach Hines Hits 300 Wins!

Congratulations to our girls varsity basketball coach, Lori Hines, on 300 (202 at GWA) career wins! She hit the milestone on Tuesday night when her team defeated Providence Christian 39-29 on the home court. Please join us next Tuesday, Jan. 28 in the Nicholson Center at 5:45 p.m. to celebrate Coach Hines' achievement prior to the girls game against The Walker School.
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MS Basketball Heads to Post-Season Play

Following tonight's games against Westminster (away) - our middle school basketball teams travel to the Athens Area Tournament on Saturday at Oglethorpe County Middle School. The girls head into the post-season with a 7-2 record and the boys are 6-3. The winners from Saturday's tournament will play on Monday, Jan. 27 at home in the Middle School Championship. Good luck, Bulldogs!

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GWA Swim Dawgs Compete at UGA

The GWA varsity swim team competed against 44 other teams this past weekend at UGA.

With only five varsity swimmers competing, GWA placed 23rd overall, and our men’s team placed 18th, winning against Walnut Grove, Prince Avenue and East Jackson County.


All five swimmers had outstanding times. MK Dopp is 30/100 second off from qualifying for state in the 50 Free and Boys 200 Free Relay have less than two seconds to cut to qualify. Charlie Stout took first place in the 200 and 500 Free.


Swimmers have practiced hard, with the determination to finish the season as strong as possible. It’s not easy practicing at 6 a.m. when your classmates are still sleeping, but this team has shown determination, perseverance and grit!


Next Wednesday will be their "last chance meet" for any state qualifications. Please come out to Riverside Military Academy at 4:30 p.m. to cheer on our swimmers. Go Swim Dawgs!

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Be in the Know!

GWA winter sports are heading into their final weeks! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events including swimming, basketball and wrestling.

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Cooking Up Some Fun!

Whether you are a fan of the limbo, a bingo enthusiast or a chili connoisseur – the third annual Dawgs 360 Chili Cook Off and Bingo Night has it all and then some! There are just a handful of spots open in the chili contest- so be sure to contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com to sign up (or to volunteer!) as soon as possible. This event is the perfect opportunity to spend a fun evening with your fellow Bulldogs to enjoy music, food, prizes and more. Hope to see you there!

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