In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

October 28, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • V Softball: State Championship Tournament (see below)
  • Halloween Dress Up: Oct. 29
  • Halloween Parties: Oct. 29
  • Nunsense: Oct. 29 @ 4 & 7 p.m.
  • V Football at Athens Academy: Oct. 29 @ 7:30 p.m.
  • Winter Sports Picture Days: Nov. 3 & 5 (see below)
  • Powder Puff Game: Nov. 4 @ 6 p.m.
  • Bonfire: Nov. 4 @ 7:30 p.m.
  • Fall Sports Senior Night/Miss Bulldog: Nov. 5 @ 6:50 p.m.
  • Veterans Day Celebration: Nov. 11 @ 9 a.m.
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Noah Hicks is Rotary Student of the Month

Noah Hicks has been chosen as the Rotary Student of the Month for October. He has selected Spanish teacher Jessie Croft as Teacher of the Month. Noah is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a Wofford Scholar, a Presbyterian College Fellow and has earned the UGA Certificate of Merit, the National Spanish Exam gold medal and holds the GWA Class of 2022 highest GPA for the past three years. He is an active member of Student Council (executive vice president), National Honor Society, Beta Club (vice president), Gavel Club (president), Spanish Club (president), Socratic Circle, and History Quiz Bowl. Noah serves as a GWA student ambassador, plays varsity basketball (Georgia 8A Player of the Year), runs cross country, and competes in AAU basketball. He serves his community through his membership in student organizations and his church – First Presbyterian Church of Covington.


Noah plans to continue his studies and his basketball career at Caltech, Grinnell College or Kenyon College. He would like to pursue a degree in data science/analytics or engineering. Congratulations to Noah and Sra. Croft!

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Here We Grow Again!


Three years ago, Associate Head of School for the Arts, Brian Cole and a group of four other GWA teachers attended The Purpose Summit hosted by the World Leadership School where they took part in a professional development course. The purpose of this summit was to dream big about how we can help students explore, discover, and articulate a sense of purpose at an earlier age. Out of the course, an idea germinated for a green space that would attract all learners regardless of age. Though this idea started small, it has grown into a garden, beekeeping center, and the latest addition - a sustainable living greenhouse.


On Tuesday morning, George Walton Academy celebrated the realization of that vision with a ribbon cutting and opening of the John Sorrells Greenhouse. Walton County Chamber of Commerce ambassadors, Monroe Mayor John Howard, GWA trustees, John Sorrells and family, as well as other donors, faculty and staff were on hand for the celebration. Head of School Gary Hobbs recognized Brian Cole for helping spearhead the addition of this new facility where students can step beyond the classroom walls and experience hands-on learning opportunities. This classroom greenhouse will allow for enhanced STEAM initiatives for students of all ages, from our pre-K3 and up.


GWA wishes to thank Heather Knapp for her work as general contractor, Michael Conner for grading, and the many donors who helped along the way. A special thank you to Mr. John Sorrells for his investment and for his passion for making sure that future generations understand planting and farming.

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Monroe and Me

Mr. Griffin was honored to have two guest speakers visit his Georgia History classes - Mr. Steve Brown and Mrs. Kim Mulkey, both from the @monroemuseum. This year is the bicentennial celebration of the city of Monroe and the Monroe Museum is sponsoring “The History of Monroe” contest for all eighth- grade students in the local area. The Georgia History classes have coined the project as a “Monroe and Me” project, and the students were able to pick their own topic - one that was a part of Monroe’s history.


Mr. Brown is the historian for the Monroe Museum, while Mrs. Mulkey is on the board and serves as the representative for the contest. Their visit was a great opportunity for the students to ask two experts about their topic and obtain additional research. The project consists of a 500-word essay and a 4 x 6 “History Card” on the topic (similar in design as a baseball card). These will be used for the bicentennial celebration later in the year. The students have enjoyed the process and the personal connection that they have with their topics. We were very appreciative of the time that Mr. Brown and Mrs. Mulkey took with our students.

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Order Your Letter Jacket Now!

Scholastic Images, our official letter jacket partner, will be on campus on Friday, October 29 during break and all lunches. Their representatives will walk you through the easy ordering process.


Letter jacket orders need a $100 deposit along with proof that you have lettered, so bring your GW award letter, varsity letter certificate, or signed form (available in the link below) along with any patches you may have at the time of order.


Whether you lettered in academics, fine arts, or athletics, we encourage you to order your jacket now so you can wear it with PRIDE! Letter jacket information is available at www.scholasticimages.com as well as the front office.

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This month in Middle School we have been learning about how our brain is growing and how that growth affects our reactions to things and the choices that we make. Students have learned that in adolescence, the limbic system (the part of the brain that regulates emotion) is typically fully developed, while the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that controls rational thought) is still under construction into adulthood. Students talked about ways to help their prefrontal cortex become stronger so they can work on making healthy choices as they grow. Some examples were: take time to calm strong emotions before reacting, talk it out with someone you trust, and take time to pay attention to how our feelings affect the choices that we make. While feelings are normal and natural, when we balance them out, we give the emotional and thinking part of the brain a chance to connect with each other and work together. We will continue to work on our healthy decision making topics as we head into November. Please remember that we are here to support our students and families as we all work towards student success and achievement.


Best Wishes!

Amber Thomason

Middle/Upper School Counselor

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Halloween Fun!

All of our Bulldogs will enjoy Halloween festivities tomorrow. Our middle and high school students will have a special break, lower school will have classroom parties and our seniors will be treated to a Halloween party in the morning. A big thank you to our volunteers for making this all possible! Happy Halloween!
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Eyes on the Prize!

The Lady Dawgs are in Columbus for the GHSA Fast Pitch State Championship Tournament! They face Strong Rock at 2 p.m. today. The game will be streamed live (click HERE) on the NFHS Network (subscription required). Click HERE for championship brackets. Let’s go Lady Dawgs!
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Running to the Finish

Congratulations to our GWA cross country teams! Our high school girls and boys teams competed yesterday at the GHSA Region 8-A meet at Athens Christian School. The boys wrapped up their season with a strong finish and the girls team advanced to GHSA State Championships in Carrollton, GA on Saturday, November 6. Way to go Bulldogs!
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Meet Cari Bailey!

Cari Bailey joined our GWA staff in 2014 as the director of admissions. She is all about sharing the GWA community and experience with prospective families. Cari grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from Georgia Southern University – where she met her husband, Steve. Their three children, Will (GWA ’21), Sarah Kate (10th grade), and Henry (8th grade) keep them busy with plenty of extracurricular activities. Cari loves the GWA Bulldog life and is super excited about our school's continued success!
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Andersson Supply. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.