In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 9, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Coffee with Admin: Jan. 13 @ 8:15 a.m.
  • School Holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Jan. 20
  • Winter Sports Senior Night: Jan. 21
  • Prospective Family Open House: Jan. 26
  • Chili Cook Off & Bingo Night: Jan. 30
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Welcome to Winter Term

As we welcome everyone back to campus after Christmas break, upper school students and teachers are diving into the second year of our Winter Term. This three-week period called Dawg Days, gives our students opportunities to explore potential subjects and interests that may be very different than what they learn in their traditional English, math, science, or social studies courses.


Some students are traveling abroad through our Global Exchange program with our partner schools in France and Spain. Some will be traveling to Belize where they will team up with students from Duke University to work in the medical field. Still others will be traveling throughout Virginia, visiting historic sites such as Monticello, Appomattox, and Colonial Williamsburg.


Many juniors and seniors began this week participating in an internship in a field of interest for a future profession. This opportunity allows our students the chance to confirm a desire to pursue a potential major in college or recognize the need to consider possible career paths. Either way, these students are getting a jump start on gaining valuable experiences. See next week’s In Focus for more details on our interns.


Finally, students on campus are given opportunities to participate in courses that teach non-traditional lessons. This is meant to give them the freedom to explore their interests and step out of their comfort zone - to experience something they may not otherwise pursue. Our course offerings for this year feature courses such as “From Dorm to Dwelling” which provides insights into basic dorm and apartment cooking skills, “Etiquette for Young Adults” which provides students with the skills to participate in social situations with confidence, and “The Science of Skydiving” in which students will study physics to determine how to safely and successfully complete a skydive.


Whether students are spending the next three weeks immersed in a different culture, interning in a potential future career, or experiencing non-traditional courses on campus, we believe that these opportunities are of tremendous value to the overall educational experience of our students here at George Walton.


Matt Reynolds

Dean of Students

Winter Term Principal

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Winter Term Heats Up

Furniture restoration, backpacking, rocket science, yoga, and cake decorating - just a handful of classes our upper school students are diving into for the next few weeks. We look forward to highlighting these exciting courses and sharing students' activities, experiences and creations throughout the month!
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Inquiring Minds

Third graders in Mrs. McDevitt’s class are excited to begin work on their upcoming state fair projects. They have covered all the states during their social studies lessons, and they look forward to showing off what they have learned. A specific state has been chosen by each student and over the next few weeks they will become the expert on their state – using maps, books, puzzles and more to gather information. All third-grade classes will present their projects at the State Fair on Feb. 21, 9–10 a.m. in the middle school gym. Mark your calendar and be sure to drop in!

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Meet Author Jeff Lalaian

Teacher, GWA Math Dept. Chair, and statistician Jeff Lalaian can add published author to his resume. His newly released book, “NOT-lanta,” is now available on Amazon or at www.notlantabook.com. Additionally, Mr. Lalaian will have a book signing in the Nicholson Center on Friday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. during the varsity basketball games against Athens Academy.


The book takes an in-depth look at the seemingly cursed events in Atlanta sports history over the last forty years. The eye-catching book cover was designed by GWA Creative Design Coordinator and Yearbook Adviser Liz Jones. Congrats, Mr. Lalaian – we can’t wait to read your book!

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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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Will you donate? We are gathering items for our Golden Gala Silent Auction. The silent portion of our auction will go live on February 8. Please join us in soliciting items for our gala. Consider asking your hair stylist or skin care provider to donate products or services. Restaurant, boutique, and service gift cards are wonderful additions to our auction. Time away at vacation properties and pieces of art are also wonderful items.


Please bring any items that you have to donate by our Advancement Office. If you have any questions, please contact Savanna McMichael at (678)635-3840 or smcmichael@gwa.com.

Find a donation request form HERE.

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Helicopter Parenting

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling


GWA is a member school of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Its official blog, Admitted, provides updates, trends, and news from the world of college admissions. It recently shared findings from a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies by researchers at Florida State University. This new research backs up what many college counselors and admission officers have witnessed firsthand: Overbearing parents can spur student distress. We encourage you to take a moment to consider the long-term effects of parenting styles as you read the article below.


Study: Helicopter Parenting Harms Students

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Making a Gesture

Ms. Sims' middle school art students recently started a unit on drawing techniques. They began by working on gesture drawings. The main purpose of gesture drawings is to capture the movement or pose of the person. Students were given one minute to complete a rough sketch that captures the essence of the human form in action as their fellow classmates each took a turn at striking a pose. Gesture drawings should focus on scale, arrangements of parts and angles of the lines. These aren’t intended to be finished pieces of artwork, but the underlying structure for a completed drawing.

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Are you musically talented? Would you like to share your gifts with your fellow GWA students? 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 cnoll@gwa.com to sign up for a performance time and date.


Concerts will be held Jan. 23, Feb. 26, March 23, and April 23 during middle and high school breaks and after school 3:30-4:30 p.m.

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Ready to Run!

It's time to sign up for youth track! Registration will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the auditorium, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. The cost is $50 to register and uniform information will be provided at the time of sign-up. Practice will begin on Monday, Feb. 3 with weekly practices held on Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays will be optional. Coaches (Mark Whitley, Laura Henry and Grace Martin) will pick students up from their classrooms and walk them over to the track by the baseball fields.
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Lacrosse Gears Up

The registration deadline for all GWA lacrosse teams is Monday, Jan. 13. It is open to new and experienced players. Please visit http://www.gwa.com/athletics/lacrosse.cfm to register for spring.


High school lacrosse practice begins on Jan. 20 and will run 4–5:45 p.m. Boys will compete in a first- year varsity program, while girls will compete as a modified JV program. The cost is $325.


Youth and middle school lacrosse teams will begin practice on Jan. 20 from 5:30–7 p.m. Games start on Feb. 15 and the championships will be held on May 9. Registration is open to both GWA and outside students – boys in grades 1-8 and girls in grades 3-8. The cost is $250 and players must provide their own equipment. However, if you are planning to purchase equipment, please check with Coach Jackson first in order to obtain better pricing.


Contact Coach Scott Jackson with any questions or concerns at sjackson@gwa.com.

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Be in the Know!

GWA winter sports are in full swing! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events including swimming, basketball and wrestling.

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Mark Your Calendar for Jan. 30!

Get ready to show off your culinary skills and walk away with a $100 cash prize as Dawgs 360 gets ready to host the third annual Chili Cook Off and Bingo Night on Jan. 30! It is a fun night full of games, music, prizes, food and great company! To enter the contest or to volunteer for the event, please email Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.

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