Maxwell High School of Technology

Fall Semester 2022

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Principal's Message

Greetings from Maxwell! I invite you to enjoy our fall semester newsletter. We are having a wonderful school year and have many exciting things happening at Maxwell. This edition of our newsletter features our talented Student of the Year, Support Person of the Year, and our Teacher of the Year. I encourage you to read about services offered by our Counseling department, including the Maxwell Work Ready program. Work Ready allows students to focus on topics like dressing for success and getting along with others. Also, take a moment to learn about our HOSA-Future Health Professionals organization and their fall leadership conference. You will read about our ProStart Culinary Arts student of the year, Jennifer Pacheco. We proudly feature our Architecture program and their involvement with Kennesaw State University. Please enjoy learning more about our Animation and Early Childhood Education programs. In addition, we feature a cool Halloween class project in Cosmetology and a human heart anatomy lesson in Therapeutic Services. Enjoy reading about our Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) organization and their Great Days of Service. Our SkillsUSA organization is off to a great start, and we are involved in several service projects including the Quinn House. Each class selects a child in need and helps their child have a wonderful holiday season. In November, we hosted our Principal for a Day, Mr. Jonathan Holmes, CFO of Mighty 8th Media. Finally, we hosted Superintendent Calvin Watts as he spent time in our Manufacturing program. We look forward to a great spring semester. Please know our doors are always open to you and thanks for your support. Go Navigators!

Dr. Jeff Hall


Austin Price, Maxwell Student of the Year
Each year, Maxwell High School of Technology selects a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student of the Year (SOTY). We are very pleased to announce that Maxwell’s SOTY for the 2022-23 school year is Austin Price! Austin completed the Animation & Digital Media pathway last year and is currently a senior in Ms. Snelling's Graphic Design class. He is a natural leader in the classroom, and Ms. Snelling highly recommended Austin for SOTY. We are very proud of Austin and know that he will represent Maxwell well in his pursuit to be the Gwinnett County CTE SOTY. Congratulations, Austin!
Mrs. Keelie Thomas, Support Staff of the Year

Maxwell Work Ready Social Emotional Learning

The Maxwell Work Ready Program focuses on career readiness and preparing students for their future careers through workshops and classroom lessons. The program is also very impactful as a social and emotional learning resource. It incorporates all the tenets in the framework (self awareness, social awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, and relationship skills) through the Work Ready activities. Students participate in the following workshops and lessons: Personality Assessment, Empathy, Business Attire/Dress for Success and Professional Development, Mock Interviews, Resume Writing, and Dining Etiquette. These lessons are taught to all Maxwell students.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Valentine, addressing Maxwell students.

Dress for Success Seminar

The first Work Ready workshop of the school year was Dressing for Success. Every Maxwell student was able to pick up some good self-management tips (interview skills, punctuality, proper work dress etiquette) from our Work Ready Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jon Valentine, Director of GCPS Foreign Language Instruction (pictured above). All Maxwell students dressed in business attire on the day of the session.

Getting Along with Others & Empathy in the Workplace Seminar

The second session of Work Ready consisted of students learning about their personalities and the personality differences of their peers. This session was organized and facilitated by Maxwell counselors, Dr. LaVonna Groce and Mrs. Emily Latone. Students learned about their own personalities, the personalities of their peers, and the importance of having empathy in the workplace. The students enjoyed this session and learned a lot about themselves. They could also wear their class uniforms to this session. Pictured below are the Automotive and Culinary Arts students attending this session in their class uniforms.

Goal Setting and Career Search Counseling Session

To meet the social, emotional, and career concerns of students, Maxwell counselors invited Mr. Kam Phillips, author and mental/financial wellness expert, to discuss goal setting, career search, and networking with Maxwell students. Approximately 15-25 students attended each session in the Maxwell Computer Lab. After the sessions, students completed a survey, which resulted in the following information:

  • 34 out of 36 students Strongly Agree/Agree that "I am more confident in how to pursue my goals.”
  • 85% of the students surveyed stated they are more knowledgeable about networking after attending the session.
Mr. Mike Wojtkowski, Maxwell Teacher of the Year

HOSA Students Attended Fall Leadership

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE. It provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in Health Science Education programs.

HOSA Georgia held its annual Fall Leadership Conference November 7-8, and Maxwell had 11 students attend. Throughout this conference, students had the opportunity to gain skills in leadership through several competitive events, sessions, and workshops. Maxwell students also competed in the Membership Recruitment Poster, 'Elevator' Speaking Contest, State T-Shirt Design, and Mental Health Education Brochure competition events.
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ProStart Student of the Year

Culinary Arts intern and second-year student, Jennifer Pacheco, was awarded the ProStart Culinary Student of the Year by the Georgia Restaurant Association. She was honored at the GRACE Gala on September 27 at the Georgia Aquarium. In addition to this honor, she was also awarded a $4000 scholarship to go towards her tuition for culinary school.

Former and Current Architecture Students Flourishing at KSU

Architecture Drawing and Design instructor, Mrs. Dee Tillman, visited Kennesaw State University (KSU) on November 18 to serve as a pin-up judge for her 2nd year students. The “pin-up” is a high intensity format for students to present and critique their architecture designs. Mrs. Tillman also ran into 11 former Maxwell High School of Technology students who are currently pursuing Architecture degrees at KSU. She said, "During presentations, and as I walked around the Architecture building, I ran into so many former students from my program ranging from 1st to 5th year. Word spread that I was there, and they all came in to say hi, which made my day, my week, my year! It’s quite a moment to take in as their high school architecture teacher to see that they are hard working, happy, kind, incredible people, and that their skill for design is flourishing." It is obvious to see that former and current Maxwell architecture students are doing great work at KSU.
Maxwell's Open House is February 9.

Animation Program Hosts Annual Fall Pro-Panel

The Maxwell Animation and Digital Media class held its 2022 Fall Pro-Panel on September 22. Panelists included:

  • Mr. Eric Brown - experience architect and strategist for State Farm, author and creative coach
  • Mr. Jerry Fuchs - highly endorsed animator, illustrator, presentation creator
  • Mr. George Maestri - director, story teller, animator, author of over 200 animation and other LinkedIn tutorial series'
  • Mr. Cliff Sexton - customer experience director at Home Depot, head of design, research, insights
  • Mr. Todd Willis - web specialist public affairs for State Farm, web development and programming

These panelists provided advice, work stories, and answered student questions for several hours for each class. They talked about their careers, preparation needed, skills looked for, pitfalls to avoid, and how to get into the business. Animation students look forward to interacting with the panelists again in the future. The panelists encouraged students to contact them with questions and samples of their work.

The five panelists on the Animation Fall Pro-Panel.

Board Game Day in Animation & Digital Media

Animation and Digital Media classes had a day to play various board and card games in order to get familiar with their processes. The next day, each group flow charts their selected game on a whiteboard. Using process, decision, and flow arrow symbols, students were able to plot the process of an entire game by looping through one entire turn with all its possible contingencies. Adding a "set up" sequence and a "game over" sequence, students completed the flow chart for each game. They learned that the most important symbol in the whole process was the diamond, which allows for decisions to be made in processing. Every decision symbol has one process flowing in and exactly two possible options flowing out. Flow charts are a preliminary stage to actual coding of a game.

Animation Portfolio Showing Day

The Maxwell Animation and Computer Science classes invited the Graphic Design students to visit and review their animation and interactive media web page portfolios. Multiple types of animation were displayed in the portfolios including 2D keyframe animation, 3D character modeling and animation, and interactive web animation. Students were able to click through the portfolios, ask questions, and read explanations about each work. This was a preliminary review for a more extensive portfolio process in the spring.

Early Childhood Education Students Visit GGC

41 Early Childhood Education (ECE) students and staff attended Future Georgia Educator's Day (FGE) at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) on November 4. During this event, students listened to a keynote speaker, participated in mock education classes, heard from current GGC School of Education students, and participated in a college fair. The ECE students enjoyed spending the day on GGC's campus and learning about college life.

Cosmetology Perfects the Art of Creating Wounds

On October 31, Cosmetology students learned how to create wounds on themselves and on each other. What a perfect lesson for Halloween! The students really liked working with the fake blood and different types of wax and other products used to create the wounds. They created burns, cuts, bites, and puncture wounds. Emphasis was placed on creating realistic wounds with less product and showing underlying structures such as striations in muscle, charred layers of skin, variations in bruising, and bone exposure. Maxwell Science instructor, Mr. Bruce Rountree, assisted students working with the products and guided their anatomy knowledge.

Sidewalk Art of the Human Heart

During the discovery of the Circulatory System, Therapeutic Services students demonstrated the anatomy of the human heart through sidewalk illustrations. Our students are the "Heart of Maxwell."


Maxwell's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) student organization partnered with the Great Days of Service and collected items for the Quinn House, a non-profit organization established to offer an alternative to the homeless and those in need. FCCLA members created posters to hang up around the school to publicize the event. The drive ran for two weeks in October. At the end of the drive, FCCLA members collected and counted the items that were donated. 545 items were collected! Way to go Maxwell and FCCLA!

SkillsUSA News

SkillsUSA Georgia Fall Leadership Conference

SkillsUSA Georgia held its annual Fall Leadership Conference November 2 at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington. Maxwell had 20 SkillsUSA Class Representatives attend the Fall Leadership Conference along with chapter advisors, Ms. Compton, Mr. Kable, and Mrs. Stallings. Our Class Reps exemplified courtesy, respect, and participation throughout the conference, which resulted in Maxwell winning the coveted Fall Leadership Spirit Award. In addition, seven Class Reps earned the Statesman Award by passing a SkillsUSA knowledge test. Congratulations to Zillah Checkwood, Litzy Hernandez, Victoria Hines, Andrew Hiu, Dahra Santiago, Bladimir Soriano, and Carrilyn Williams! Class Reps were also engaged in hands-on team sessions where they completed a Stop the Bleed training course, cultivated chapter experiences, explored the SkillsUSA Framework, and enhanced their leadership skills. Fall Leadership was a HUGE SUCCESS!

SkillsUSA Blanket Drive

Friday, November 4, was the SkillsUSA Blanket Drive collection day. SkillsUSA would like to thank everyone who participated in this service project. Maxwell collected well over 200 blankets! Way to go, Maxwell! All blankets have been donated to the Resting Spot homeless shelter in Norcross.
Blanket Drive collection day

Quinn House Service Project

This holiday season, Maxwell sponsored 75 children for the Quinn House service project: students provided gifts for children in need. Maxwell has been helping Quinn House children for the past 26 years, providing gifts to over 2,500 children. The Quinn House is a non-profit corporation established to offer an alternative to the homeless and those in need, operating solely on donations from the public. It is a full-service group home in Gwinnett County and offers a variety of programs that assist adults as they transition back into society as productive citizens. (Pictured below are students displaying the gifts they purchased for Quinn House children.)

Principal for a Day

Mr. Jonathan Holmes, cofounder and managing partner of Mighty 8th Media, was Maxwell's Principal for a Day on November 7. He visited several classrooms (see pictures below), helped with bus duty, and gave some of our students life-changing advice. Maxwell enjoyed having Mr. Holmes as Principal for a Day!

GCPS Superintendent Visits Maxwell

On September 19, Dr. Calvin Watts, Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent, visited Maxwell's Manufacturing class. Students were excited to show Dr. Watts the different projects they have been working on throughout the semester. Maxwell appreciates Dr. Watts' support of all Career and Technical Education programs! (Pictured below: Dr. Watts taking a spin on the race car video game Manufacturing students installed.)
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