In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

August 29, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Ice Cream Social: Aug. 29 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Yearbook Price Increase: Sept. 1
  • School Holiday: Sept. 2
  • Coffee with Admin: Sept. 5 @ 8:15 a.m.
  • Portugal/Spain Meeting: Sept. 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • V Football/Youth Night/Pink Out: Sept. 6
  • Parent Socials: Sept. 8
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More Than Ice Cream

By Femke Côté


For the more than 40 years, GWA has hosted the Ice Cream Social to kick off the school year and bring our whole community together. Families come and enjoy delicious homemade ice cream, performances by our band, majorettes and cheerleaders. Everyone gets hyped on Bulldog Spirit, and our family bonds strengthen. Because that’s the driving force of the first social of the year: to come together and reaffirm our commitment to each other and to highlight the relationships that unite us as GWA. We want our families to know that they each form an integral and valuable piece of our larger body, and that they belong. I constantly go back to calling GWA a family because that is the foundation of who we are; we provide a space for people who otherwise might be strangers to join a community that spans generations. We are looking forward to this evening and can’t wait to see everyone there.

Go Dawgs!

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Costa Rica 2020

Are you ready for a Costa Rican adventure in Summer 2020? An adventure immersion trip has been organized for June 13-20, 2020. The trip includes a tarzan swing, whitewater rafting, zip lining, snorkeling, a cacao plantation, an active volcano, a fiesta, and many birds and animals native to Costa Rica. The trip will include staying in hotels, a rainforest lodge, and ocean bungalows!


This trip is open to middle school (rising 6th grade in 2020 also!) and high school students. Parents are also welcome, but not required to attend.


There will be an informational meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. in Señora McElveen’s room (Science building room 904). Please attend if you are interested in the trip. If you are unable to come to the meeting, but would like information, please email amcelveen@gwa.com.

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Portugal/Spain Family Trip Meeting

GWA invites all high school students and their families to travel on an international educational opportunity to Portugal and Spain in Summer 2020!



We will be hosting an informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 5 to provide more details about this opportunity and answer any questions you may have. There is limited space on the trip and enrollment will open at the end of the meeting.

Meeting details are here. Please RSVP if you are interested in learning more - even if you cannot make it!

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Student Trip of a Lifetime to Croatia

Are you a high school student interested in traveling with GWA to Croatia in June 2020? Come to the interest meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 6:30pm in the Upper School Commons to hear about the itinerary and get more details. This trip is open to all high school students in the 2019-2020 school year, and promises to be the trip of a lifetime! Questions? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.

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50 on the 50

In honor of our 50th year, we are throwing it back to the school's first fundraiser in the spring of 1969 and hosting a BBQ on the 50-yard line of Keith Henderson Field at Don Williams Stadium. Back when the idea of GWA was still fresh on the minds of our original Board of Trustees, and the cost of opening a brand-new school was too much for them to generate, they hosted an old-fashioned southern BBQ with homemade sides to raise the funds needed to open GWA’s doors. In honor of that event, George Walton, in partnership with Dawgs 360, is hosting a BBQ celebration on Tuesday, October 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. to commemorate our first 50 years, and to look ahead to the next 50. Tickets will be priced at $15/person, and will include a meal from Lane’s BBQ, live music, lawn games, and entry into a raffle. Interested parties can reserve a table for 8 people for $200. Ticket sales will open on Thursday, Sept. 5 (link will be in next week's In Focus), but hurry, we are capping this event at 250 tickets!

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New Afterschool Option

Students in sixth grade and up, not involved in afterschool activities are invited to The Commons from 3:15 - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Mrs. Laura Reid will supervise students and assist with homework. This program is free and offers students a safe and relaxed environment.
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Have It Your Way!

Have you noticed our new road sign? At the Lucky Dawg Gala our guests bid to put their name on the main drive in front of the school. Congratulations to Southern Traditions Landscaping for winning it! Next year the sign could have your family name or business. Be sure to bid on Name the Main at the Lucky Dawg Gala in February!

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Shopping Made Easy!

Don’t have time to visit the Dawg Shop? Shop online for a variety of GWA gear: polos, hoodies, spirit wear and more! This is a great option for busy parents and out of town relatives to still represent and support GWA. The store will be initially open for a two week period and close on Sept. 6. Visit the Dawg Shop page on our website under Campus Life or click to link below to shop!


https://gwas2019.itemorder.com/sale?read_message=true

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George Walton Academy and the Georgia Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship Program, through a state-approved Student Scholarship Organization (SSO), helps Georgia taxpayers redirect a portion of their state tax liability to George Walton Academy and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit. Funds received from the program are made available for qualified applicants in the school’s existing financial aid program. READ MORE...

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Our First-ever Pre-K3 Class

Over the past few years, there has been an increasing interest expressed by our GWA families in the addition of a Pre-K3 program. Many of them longed to have all of their children in the same place, and desired to start the GWA experience even earlier. In response to this interest, we took stock of our current facilities and faculty, and felt strongly that we had the right people and the right spaces in place to kick the program off this year. Thus, GWA is now a Pre-K3 – 12 school! Students in Pre-K3 will learn social skills with their classmates, take mini field trips around campus, learn their shapes through a picnic with Dawgs 360, hear from guest speakers about community jobs, dress up as cowboys and in their pajamas, have picnics with their teddy bears, and so much more! We are very excited to welcome our newest class of Bulldogs!

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AP Achievements

The exams have been graded and the scores are in! GWA students turned in high scores and earned top honors from the AP College Board during their exam period in May 2019. Among the 85 students who sat for AP exams last year, four were recognized as AP Scholars, nine as AP Scholars with Honor, eight as AP Scholars with Distinction, and two as National AP Scholars. Congratulations to these 23 students! To see the requirements for each respective Scholar award, click here. Additionally, freshmen Gracie Wood and Allison Carter both passed the AP World History Exam without ever having been enrolled in an AP class. Great job!

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Rep It Up!

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling

Grizzlies, Tigers, and Mountain Lions! Oh my! These are just a few of the mascots represented by the college admissions representatives coming to GWA this fall. Reps will be available to meet with Upper School students during break (9:45-10:05 a.m.) or lunch (12:50-1:25 p.m.). Students should plan to meet with reps from their colleges of interest through the GWA College Counseling website calendar or using Cialfo, our new online college application platform. Seniors should definitely meet with reps from the colleges they plan to apply and juniors are required to meet with at least three reps this semester. Sophomores and freshmen are always encouraged and welcome to attend. READ MORE...

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Pink Out!

Next week's home varsity football against Stratford Academy will be a Pink Out! Purchase your t-shirt at the Ice Cream Social or in the Dawg Shop. Proceeds from the sales of these t-shirts will benefit the GWA Cure Dawgs scholarship fund. Also, students may wear pink shirts to school next Friday.
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Order Today - Don't Delay!

Please go to this link – https://www.yearbookordercenter.com/- to purchase your yearbook.
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Club Expo on Sept. 11

Student Life will host its annual Club Expo on Sept. 11 during flex block. Check out the many clubs and organizations GWA has to offer. From Socratic Circle to the Recycling Club- there is something for everyone. What a great way to get involved and make friends!

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The annual Ice Cream Social - one of our favorite traditions and our favorite way to welcome new families to GWA is Thursday, Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Our new families should stop by a table by the doors to pick up their special VIP sticker. Also, this year we will have special birthday cakes for our 50th celebration made by GWA faculty and staff. We will serve up the cake and ice cream in the Nicholson Center and then head to Don Williams Stadium for our pep rally!
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Sign Up for Dawgs Unleashed!

Our Dawgs Unleashed events are just around the corner and it's time to sign up. The Fun Run begins at 1:30 p.m. and the 5K begins at 2:00 p.m. with a new route from our campus to downtown Monroe. Click HERE to register for the 5K and Fun Run, click HERE for the golf tournament and HERE to play in the tennis tournament.

If you are interested in helping out with the golf and/or tennis events- please contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.

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Dawgs Unleashed Deals

All registered Dawgs Unleashed runners may use their bibs to get discounts and special deals at participating Downtown Monroe businesses! Check out the offers from Hoosier Girl Cakery - take $1 off any purchase over $5. One offer per purchase and from Broad Street Boots- save $25 on a purchase of $100 or more. More deals to be announced in September.

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GWA Band Lights Up the Night!

The band had a sensational first showing of the first two songs in their show “La Danza De Los Toros.” They are diligently working to put on the next two songs! In addition to adding more music, the band will continue to add character and life to their show with choreography and costuming for their flamenco dancers, matador, and bull. They are excited for upcoming performances and games in September and October, with their first exhibition performance at Cedar Shoals High School Sept. 17.

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Photography in a New Light

Thanks to the new 3D printers acquired by the GWA Art Department through last year’s Dream Big campaign, Mr. Cole’s Photo 1 students are building their own 3D printed pinhole cameras. “This is a perfect way to introduce students to the basic principles of photography,” said Cole. “It forces them to slow down and think about composition and exposure. Students have become accustomed to shooting massive volumes of digital images on their phone in hopes of getting a few decent ones. The introduction of pinhole cameras and film photography helps to transition the students from a snapshot mindset to thinking more about how to create a photograph.”

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Bulldogs Take a Bite Out of Warriors!

The varsity football season opener results in a big 37-7 win over Walnut Grove. Coaches noted that the victory was a total team effort with every player getting into the game. Wesley Long had three touchbacks and Langston Jones gave a stellar performance at noseguard on defense. Be sure to support our Bulldogs next Friday, Sept. 6 as they take on Stratford Academy. It will be Youth Night and Pink Out.
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Lady Dawgs Play Tonight!

Varsity softball defeated Commerce 6-1 on Tuesday and they will take on Providence Christian at home tonight. The game starts at 4:45 p.m.- so come out to cheer on the team before heading to the Ice Cream Social. Go Lady Dawgs!
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MS Runners Take First Place!

Our middle cross country team had an outstanding showing at the Athens Academy meet on Tuesday. GWA finished first out of nine teams with Sarah Kate Bailey taking first place and five other girls making the top ten. Great job, Bulldogs!

Be in the Know!

GWA fall sports are off to a great start! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events. Go BULLDOGS!

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Alumni Weekend Tickets on Sale Now!

Please share the news! All GWA alumni are invited to our first-ever GWA Alumni Weekend! The fun begins Friday, Sept. 27 with a pre-game tailgate in the newly renovated cafeteria- complete with catering by The Varsity, a DJ, campus tours and displays of GWA memorabilia. We will host a party on Saturday night at The Wayfarer in downtown Monroe. READ MORE...

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