In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 11, 2018

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On Jan. 10, complete with the music, the draft notices and the protest groups of the sixties, GWA kicked off its nine-week, interdisciplinary study of the Vietnam War. This "Intensive" is designed to engage students intellectually, creatively, socially, emotionally and physically. Students Ben Carter, Grayson Eady, Jenna Lo, Megan McGoldrick, Zack Flynn and Cole Aukes explained the nine-week study to the high school student body, highlighting the many components of the project that include the following:


  • Discussing the lessons of armed combat and engaging veterans’ class visits
  • Participating in interviews, podcasts and letter writing
  • Publishing memoirs, stories, poems and essays
  • Reading and analyzing the speeches of war
  • Understanding the draft and the media’s influence on the war
  • Visiting veterans’ organizations and participating in their business meetings
  • Studying war’s poetry and other literature - "The Things They Carried", "365 Days" and "Fallen Angels"
  • Serving in the V.A. hospital
  • Watching the Ken Burns documentary and viewing rebuttals
  • Sculpting a Living Wall
  • Improving health through basic training exercises and maneuvers
  • Creating additional art and composing original music
  • Constructing a Quilt of Valor to honor a Vietnam serviceman
  • Highlighting “Science and the Sixties” with topics including the Moon Landing, Agent Orange and Medicines of War
  • Experiencing the National Infantry Museum’s artifacts and memorabilia, including the Traveling Vietnam Memorial

Mrs. Jo Taylor and Mrs. Karen Barrett, explained that the title of the project “I Did It for You” was inspired by American Legion Commander Stan Mauldin who emphasized that a soldier’s work is done for every single American - “for you,” he said. Barrett and Taylor went on to say that the Vietnam project will enable GWA to do something special for our servicemen, to pay homage to a group that has largely been forgotten in our nation’s history.


The study will conclude in March with an exhibition in Monroe that will highlight student and veteran work and honor Vietnam veterans. Ending the Kickoff, Ben Carter and Grayson Eady invited everyone to stay tuned to In Focus for important dates, additional details and surprises galore.

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An All-American Girl

GWA is very proud of Michelle “Shelly” Miles who was in San Antonio this week. Shelly was invited to join the U. S. Army All-American Band, and she was a finalist for the Calvin Titus Award. This annual award recognizes top high school band members who best epitomize the Army’s high standard of excellence during their high school careers. The award is named after Calvin P. Titus, a young U. S. Army bugler who, during a 1900 international military rescue, led the way to save trapped foreigners stuck in Peking, China, and eventually received the Medal of Honor because of his bravery. Shelly was the first ever GWA student to be a finalist for this award.


She also received the Top Musician Award for the mellophone section of the All-American Band following the Army All-American Bowl Game. Thank you, Shelly, for representing GWA so well!

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New Faces On Campus

As we begin a new year, we welcome some new faces on campus. We are excited to have three new faculty and staff members joining the GWA family!


Chiara Di Salvo Roque (left) joins the Foreign Language Department as a teaching assistant for lower and middle school Spanish. She also will serve as a tennis coach. Ms. Di Salvo Roque moved from Argentina to the United States in 2014 to pursue a degree in marketing at Georgia Gwinnett College. In her spare time, she enjoys working out and coaching private tennis lessons.


Ashley Brown (top right) joins our custodial services team to play a big part in keeping our campus clean and beautiful; and we are thankful for the great work we know she will do!


Ilyssa Johnson Green (bottom right) is the newest member of the Advancement Team where she will serve as Development Associate. Mrs. Green studied multimedia communications and public relations at Georgia Southern. She is a 2011 alumna of GWA, so we are excited to have her back on campus.


If you see any of these new team members on campus, feel free to say hi and make each of them feel welcome!

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All-State Musicians Strike the Right Note

Congratulations to the following George Walton students for making All-State Band! To be selected to join is a great honor. These talented students will have the opportunity to perform in an All-State Band concert later this year.


High School

Alex Aull

Bailey Croker

Brooks Dokes

Brody Lindsey

Mike Pulliam

Eli Scornik

Claire Volk


*Alternate: Andrew Mappes


Middle School

Emma Barley

Will Bowick

Gracie Wood

Mason Lee

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Parent Picassos!

We are pleased to announce the first of several creative evening classes taught by our talented faculty. Here's your chance to create a beautiful work of art as Cortney Pickens presents a "Painting on Canvas" class. Your $20 class fee includes all materials. Each student will complete an 11x14 birch tree painting with a gilded initial carving on one of the tree trunks - see an example at right. All supplies will be set-up, and step-by-step instructions will be provided during this fun evening!

January 30th, 7:00 pm, in the cafeteria.

Click here to register.

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Check It Out! Dawgs360 Online

A new resource is now available for our families with the debut of the Dawgs 360 page on the GWA website. Families can learn more about the benefits of membership and discover the many ways to plug in to the GWA community. Check it out and see why families love Dawgs 360!
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This Game Was Off the "Supply" Chain!

Last week, Mrs. Katherine Meeks’ AP Economics class participated in a variation of an activity that has been used at MIT for decades called the Root Beer Game. The class used this as an introduction for macroeconomics after finishing up their studies on microeconomics last semester. The game simulates a typical supply chain and shows students how inventories operate. The overarching goal of the activity was to understand how and why market bubbles happen, and how they work in the economy’s business cycle. At the end of the day, students could clearly see and articulate the inventory issues that can happen within a supply chain.

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Middle and High School Wrestling Teams Face Tough Matches

George Walton is very proud of the middle school and varsity wrestling teams for their hard work. Middle school completed their season competing in Madison county at the Peach State League Individual Championship. Everyone reportedly did well, and the team had the following placers.


Perry Jake Stone – Champion – 103 lbs

Angus Bateman – 2nd Place – 119 lbs

Davis Roesler – 2nd Place – 138 lbs

Will Hames – 3rd Place – 119 lbs


Varsity also fought hard at Alpharetta’s St. Francis for the Single A Area Team Duals. After three matches, they were eliminated from the tournament, but not before they defeated Athens Christian School. The team will now look forward to the more traditional portion of their season.

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Big City Food With a Small Town Appeal

Congratulations to GWA alumni Tedo Stone (’05) and Sasha Stone (’07) on the recent opening of their Covington-based restaurant City Pharmacy.


City Pharmacy serves big city food with a small town vibe. Although it just opened in downtown Covington in December, it has already received plenty of press, even being acclaimed as one of the "most anticipated" restaurants in the Atlanta area.


The development of the restaurant has been an exciting journey for Tedo and Sasha. Since neither of them had any previous experience in the restaurant business, they spent the last several months surrounding themselves with people who were able to help and prepare them for what was in store – and apparently it paid off! Tedo said that the transition of opening the restaurant has gone “really smoothly”, and that they were able to get off to a great start capitalizing on the fact that they opened during the holiday season.


Tedo said that although he “never in a million years” thought that he would enter the restaurant business, it is interesting to see how life has come full circle. When Tedo was a young boy, his father owned the same space and was a pharmacist for a little practice called – you guessed it – City Pharmacy. Although the business closed in 1996, the building stayed in the family. After years of thinking about opening a restaurant there under the same name, Tedo said that the pieces fell together to make this dream come to life. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the building and the business, click here.


The restaurant has already seen several members of the GWA family come to visit, including some GWA parents and students, alumni and Dr. Dolan! If you too want to see what all the hype is about, you can find more information about visiting City Pharmacy here!

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Trip Week Offers More Than Ever

The first full week in March has come to be known as "Trip Week" at George Walton. Last year, Ms. Lindsey Bailey, GWA’s current Lower School Counselor, organized visits to four college campuses. It was a series of four one-day trips to Mercer University, Berry College, Georgia Southern University and the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.


This year during Trip Week, students will have an opportunity to visit Kennesaw State University, Georgia College, Auburn University, the University of West Georgia and both campuses of Emory University. Students and their parents will have an opportunity to attend a series of workshops and the College Fair hosted by Hebron Christian in Dacula.


Read more by clicking here to visit the enhanced College Counseling section of our website. The article is included in the new blog feature at the bottom of the page. The page also includes links to the complete itinerary for Trip Week and a link to register, as well as resources, upcoming events and more.

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Conducting Research for College Admissions

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us:

Tues., Feb. 13, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium


Part One will be led by Ms. Brenda Vaughan from GA Futures. She will discuss how students and parents can use the GA Futures website to search for and apply to colleges in Georgia. She will also talk about how to use GA Futures to search and apply for state financial aid and scholarships such as the Hope and Zell Miller.


Part Two will be led by Mr. Michael Clancy, Director of College Counseling, who will be talking about research of institutions outside the state of Georgia and the process for setting up the individual Junior Meetings in the spring.

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We are making it easier for you to join the conversation!

For January, we are taking Coffee with the Admin on the road and in response to your feedback, we are testing a pilot program to make the event as inclusive as possible. We plan to make a recording of the event available on the website throughout the following day.


Attend in person:

Providence Club Clubhouse

656 Providence Club Drive

Monroe, GA 30656


Or watch online the following day:

Coffee with the Admin Recording

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This event is open to the general public so we encourage you to bring a friend or neighbor with you, as blood donations save lives and may help us fund a scholarship!

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Would you like to enter the Chili Cook-off competition?

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