In Focus @ GWA
A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy
March 12, 2020
Wiser About Water
The Intensive is a time when the entire upper school pauses to focus collaboratively on a theme that can be applied to all the disciplines. Each year, a department is designated as the “lead” for the Intensive and is responsible for coming up with the theme as well as leading the implementation of the Intensive.
This year, the Science Department focused on water due to its prevalence in news from around the world. Each day began with a keynote address from professionals from various universities and organizations working directly to clean up the world’s water sources, educate the public on water uses, and bring clean water to the masses, and will provide a common foundation from which each group can grow.
By the end of our week-long study, our goal was to have heightened our students’ knowledge about water and the issues currently rising out of its pollution, sanitation, conservation, and scarcity; to have allowed them to engage meaningfully with people, places and organizations that will help shape a more responsible attitude regarding their water use and waste; and given them opportunities to make an impact, both now and in the future, so that they can lead better lives as citizens of their communities and the world.
Associate Head of School, Curriculum & Global Studies
Discussing Coronavirus with Your Child
Right now, we are hearing a great deal about COVID-19, commonly called the coronavirus. It is talked about on the news, and many discussions are happening in homes, churches and social gatherings. It is often difficult to know what to say to children about current situations. The CDC has the following recommendations about how to discuss the coronavirus with your child:
Remain calm and reassuring.
- Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
- Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.
- Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
Provide information that is honest and accurate.
- Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
- Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
By Lindsey Bailey, Lower School Counselor
Last Friday, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, lower school students dressed like the job they want to have when they grow up. They were adorable! I saw lots of doctors, actors, pro athletes, Youtubers, fashion designers, and much more. It’s never too early to get your kids thinking and planning for their future. Making the connection between what they are learning now and what they will do in the future can improve their engagement and motivation to learn.
There should be no pressure for students to “know what they want to be when they grow up” until they reach college and have to choose a major area of study. Until then, students should explore as many career and academic options as possible. As students reach middle school, they should begin to narrow career aspirations to those that match their unique interests, skills, and values as this will help them identify the careers most suited to them.
To help your student explore career possibilities, check out these free resources:
Career View (grades K-12)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (grades 4-12)
GA Futures (grades 6-12)
My Next Move (grades 6-12)
O*NET Online (grades 9-12)
Nemo vs. ExxonMobil
The Global Environmental Issues class and the AP Government class held a mock trial in the Monroe Police Department Municipal Courtroom to argue the case of Nemo (representing global oceans) vs. ExxonMobil. The plaintiff, Nemo, charged that the oil industry was responsible for polluting the air and causing global warming which in turn impacts the oceans. With Mr. Wilson presiding and Monroe Police Chief Watts and his administrative assistant in the gallery, students made their case. ExxonMobil won the case and the jury said no proof had been presented to show the oil company had broken any laws.
Built to Win
Congratulations to junior Christian Hansen for his hard work both inside and outside of the classroom during his Winter Term class, “Off to the Races.” His pinewood cars won both the race and design competition hands down. Christian said, “I really liked my Winter Term class, ‘Off to the Races.’ It was super fun to build and race our cars and it was especially fun to win. I never expected to win both of the competitions.”
Learning Good Habits
Lower school students have learned how to prevent the spread of germs by developing new good habits. They are helping to spread the word and remind our school community through colorful artwork and messages displayed on campus.
Book Fair Coming Soon!
Battling Blood Cancer
By Julia Waldo
This year we (Abby Stone, Julia Waldo, and Jolie Lanier) had the amazing opportunity of participating in the Students of the Year Leukemia and Lymphoma Society campaign. We have been working throughout the year to raise the most amount of money we possibly could to save lives battling blood cancer around the world. The campaign officially started on January 10. Our team worked as hard as we could, and by the end of the campaign on February 28 we raised over $25,000. We were so proud of our hard work and we are so grateful for everyone who contributed. Working in this campaign has been one of the greatest experiences we’ve been a part of, and we are so thankful to everyone who contributed to bring us a step closer to putting an end to blood cancer.
The Student of the Year candidates for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society wanted to also recognize the team members who help with the efforts to raise funds for this wonderful cause.
K5 Keepsake Raffle
The winner of the K5 Gala Grade Project was not a K5 parent and has graciously donated the keepsake portions of the project back to the school. Now is your chance to keep a piece of history for the Class of 2032. The commemorative steamboat drink tub and photograph blanket will be given to the lucky winner of our K5 Raffle. Cost of raffle tickets is one for $10 or three for $25.
Winner will be drawn on Friday, March 20.Buy your raffle tickets HERE.
Whether your family is months, years, or even a decade away from the reality of college, the GWA Business and College Counseling Offices invite you to join them for this educational panel of experts. This event is open to parents (and/or grandparents) of any age students. The presentation will include information about 529’s and other college investment strategies, GOAL tax credit opportunities, and information about the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships. Please RSVP to Tara Gill.
Join the Fight!
We invite our entire community to get involved with Relay for Life: volunteer, donate, honor a loved one affected by cancer and help raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. To be part of this life-changing event, please contact Director of Dawgs 360 Elizabeth McDonel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE to access team registration.
GWA is partnering with First Baptist to host this special dinner on Friday, April 17. If you are a cancer survivor and/or know someone who is please fill out the FORM by April 1 to receive an invitation to dinner.
Dedicate a Luminaria:
Light up your community and honor every life touched by cancer. Dedicate a luminaria to a loved one lost, someone currently battling, or anyone who has overcome cancer. Dawgs 360 is selling luminaria bags with all proceeds going to American Cancer at the price of two for $10.00. If you are interested contact Elizabeth McDonel at email@example.com for more information. If you would like a student from our art department to decorate your bag for you, please let her know. Please click HERE for the order form.
We are in need of 100 volunteers in different areas, from unloading to loading tents, traffic marshalls, joining GWA Relay Team, helping at the survivor dinner, as well as providing and driving golf carts! If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canned Goods Needed!
We need 800 canned goods for the bottom of the Relay for Life luminaries! After the event, all canned goods will be donated to FISH to feed our community! It's a win-win!
Are You Musically Talented?
Would you like to share your gifts with your fellow GWA Bulldogs? Come join us for Concerts in the Courtyard, where you can perform in a relaxed setting for your fellow students and teachers. Contact Corrie Beth Noll at email@example.com to sign up for a performance time and date. Concerts will be held during middle and high school break and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Bulldogs Hit the Links
The varsity boys placed 2nd in the Monroe Hurricane Classic on Saturday at Monroe Country Club defeating Monroe Area, Winder Barrow, Archer, and Grayson. The boys were led by freshman Matthew Herren (78), sophomore Will Herren (80), senior Riley Shubert (80), and junior Jackson Ellerbee (82). The boys enjoyed more success on Tuesday, defeating Social Circle at Monroe Country Club in a nine hole match. Leading scorers included Jackson Ellerbee (37), Will Herren (37), Riley Shubert (38), Matthew Herren and Graham Hill each with a 43.
The varsity girls competed in a scramble style match against Social Circle and were led by Hannah McDonel, Madison Marable, CC Veal, and Taylor Tinsley.
The 411 on Cheer Try Outs
Cheer clinic/ practice for try outs will be held on Thursday, March 26, Monday, March 30, Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1 in the lower gym starting at 3:40 p.m. Clinic will include practice and/ or instruction on cheer, chant, dance, jumps, tumbling, and stunts.
New cheerleader practice for girls completely new to cheerleading will be held on Wednesday, March 25th in the lower gym starting at 3:40 p.m. Skills such as jumps, motions, cheer terms, and basic stunting technique will be taught. For complete details, click HERE.
Youth Cheer Information
There will be a youth cheer uniform drop off March 17 and March 19 from 2:30-3:15 p.m. in the Nicholson Center concession area for used youth cheer uniforms. Parents can bring their used uniforms that are too small for their daughter or that they simply don't want anymore to Michele Bowen during car pool on these dates. They need to be in a bag that is labeled with their name and contact. We will sell them at registration on 3/23 and 3/26 for $45. Money will be collected at registration and given to the seller.
Youth cheer sign ups will be March 23 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the cafeteria and March 26 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Registration for youth cheer will be $75. Checks can be made out to GWA.
Host Families Change Lives
Hosting an international exchange student is an enriching experience for both the visiting student and their host family. GWA parent Lisa Pugh explains why her family made the decision to host international students.
"We are active Rotarians and hosting international students is one way we choose “Service above Self.” It’s fun! We welcome these students into our home to join us in our daily activities. We enjoy learning about different cultures and interacting with smart, curious, brave kids who have chosen to spend a lengthy amount of time away from their own family and friends in exchange for American exploration. We’ve created an extended family of lifelong friendships and it’s a wonderful feeling to know we could help make a lifetime dream come true for a well deserving student."
Please feel to contact Femke Côté or Sherry Coffman with EF via phone (770-866-3884) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Be in the Know!
GWA spring sports are in full swing! Click the calendar link below to check out upcoming sporting events and to check for any cancellations or changes. Go Bulldogs!
Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Nathan Purvis/ReMax Preferred. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at email@example.com or call 678-635-3812.