In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

May 6, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • AP Exams: May 3-17
  • Seniors' Last day of School: May 13
  • Senior Banquet: May 18
  • Yearbook Presentation: May 20
  • Baccalaureate: May 21 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Graduation: May 22 @ 9 a.m.
  • Jr. Class Pick Your Parking Spot: May 24
  • Rising Senior Parent Meeting: May 26
  • K5 Graduation: May 27 @ 7 p.m.
  • 5th Grade Graduation; May 28 @ 9 a.m.
  • Last Day of School: May 28 - early dismissal
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Celebrating Senior Accomplishments!

Oh, what a year it has been! But we have successfully navigated the ups, downs, unknowns, and surprises of life and this year’s finish line is in sight!

Regardless of the challenges around us, the seniors haven’t missed a beat. From painting their parking spaces to Stone Mountain and first grade buddies to Prom, they have done it all and more this year.

There are so many things to celebrate about the graduating class! In case you haven’t heard about their accomplishments, please allow us to brag about them for a minute.

This year’s class submitted over 350 applications and earned more than 260 acceptances to 80 different schools in 19 states. As a result, our grads will be attending a collective total of 29 different colleges with 18 of those out of state.

Our seniors were accepted to nine different Honors Programs including: Augusta University, Berry College, Georgia College, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University, University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, and University of Virginia.

We have six athletes continuing their athletic careers at the next level, including one softball, three football, one basketball, and two soccer players.

To date, this year’s class has been awarded more than $5.2 million in scholarships and grants, (not including the HOPE or ZELL scholarships). What a tremendous achievement!

Click HERE to see all the colleges and universities our seniors have been accepted to this year. Schools in bold represent where our students will matriculate. Be sure to check in with a senior to ask about his or her plans!

Seniors and parents, it has been an absolute blast working with you this year and we wish nothing but the best for you! Juniors, underclassmen, and families, we are very excited about the opportunity to work with you.

Congratulations, Class of 2021!

Jon Terrell

Director of College Counseling

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Laws of the Land

By Johnny Griffin

GWA eighth-grade students completed their “Griffinia General Assembly” with some amazing “governors” and “Supreme Court justices” who came by to help illustrate how the three branches of government work together on the process of a bill becoming a law. First, each student was assigned to be in the legislative body (House or Senate). Each student wrote two bills, looking for support/evidence that supported their claim that this law should be passed. The students wrote up the bills, which then went to (student-led) committees to debate, change, and vote on whether the bill should become a law. If a bill went through both houses, then these bills would be presented to GWA staff members who volunteered to be the governor or Supreme Court justice for each class. These GWA staff members were a great addition to the process- the students did not know who was coming until the class began! (We had enough volunteers to have a different teachers for every period). Governors looked at the bill for fairness, affordability, and enforceability. Justices determined if a bill was constitutional and equitable. It made for some wondrous debates, and the students got to experience how a bill becomes a law. A good (and educational) time was had by all!

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Blood Work

By Tara Walker

Seventh-grade Life Science students served as forensic serologists for a day to analyze and type “blood” samples from a crime scene as an investigation into their circulatory system. Students were provided with six samples, each containing different antigens, proteins that identify the type of blood you have in the ABO system. To type their samples, they added A, B, and Rh antibodies, which will cause a clotting reaction in the blood if the antigen is present. After analyzing the data they collected, students concluded suspect 3 was guilty as he matched the A+ blood left at the crime scene. This is just one of the labs students will participate in as they dive deeper into the human body unit to finish the year strong!

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Poetry Cafe

By Sabrina Wardell

Fourth graders ended their writing curriculum unit with a fun Poetry Café or some might call a Poetry Slam! The students were very excited to see the transformation of the classroom into a café and share their creative creations.

Poetry is such an important part of the curriculum because it does so much more than give the students a creative way to express themselves and inspire their writing. Students build reading fluency through the repeated reading of poetry. It refreshes their skills with phonics and letter sounds. It reviews the rules of syllabication and allows students to put that to use in their writing. Poetry teaches sentence structure and it is a fun way to review parts of speech learned in grammar throughout the year. It builds vocabulary, strengthens their speaking and listening skills, and it helps build a love for reading. These are just a few of the great benefits for students when poetry is brought into the classroom, but the big one is it's just plain fun!

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More Accolades for GWA Artists

George Walton Academy art students continue to win top honors in art competitions - most recently in the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition and the Southeastern GISA Virtual Art Show.

Atlanta High School Art Exhibition:

There will be a "mini show" at the Art Institute Gallery to celebrate all of our award winners. Time and date TBA.

All of the award-winning works will also be shown on panels at the Atlanta Dogwood festival, August 6th-8th .

The other accepted works will be shown digitally, in a large format at our space at the Piedmont Park Community Center during the Atlanta Dogwood Festival


(Placed) Breena McGraw, 11thgrade, drawing

(Placed) Alana Thorpe, 12th grade, photography

Accepted into the show:

George Zupko, 10th grade, photography

Sophia Tabrizi, 9th grade, photography

Rhiannon Williams, 11th grade, photography

Mikee Bolle, 12th grade, drawing

Marnie Couch, 12th grade, drawing

Emilia Mitchell, 11th grade, drawing

Lisa Muskovich, 11th grade, painting

Ella Rowan, 11th grade, painting

Anna Swope, 11th grade, drawing

SECIS Virtual Art Show

The GISA 1st and 2nd place winners advance to compete with our sister associations in South Carolina and Mississippi for the 2021 SouthEastern Commission of Independent Schools (SECIS) Art Show.

Category 2: High School Drawing

1st Place: Anna Swope,11th grade, “Paper Cut”

2nd Place: Marnie Couch, 12th grade, “First Meeting”

Category 5: High School Photography

1st Place: Rhiannon Williams, 11th grade, “Isolation”

Congratulations to the Fine Arts department and each our talented artists on an astonishing list of awards won in local, state and regional shows over the past few months.

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Literature Brought to Life

By Paula Gerhardt

The MS drama classes performed A Celebration of Classic Literature this semester. First period Drama performed Peter Pan, fifth period Drama performed The Jungle Book, and seventh period Drama performed A Wrinkle in Time. Each actor was able to create a full character development sketch of their character, make a costume design and see how a dramatic production comes together. Students operated the lights and sound and managed the scene changes backstage. Congratulations on your great performances, Drama Dawgs!

Link to our eco-friendly program:

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Middle School Art Show

Be sure to check out the Walton County Middle School Art Show at the Monroe Walton Center for the Arts. GWA Middle School Art students have a lot of work on display. The show runs now through the closing reception on May 20 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts

205 S Broad St, Monroe, GA 30655

Gallery hours:

Tuesday 11 - 4, Wednesday 11 - 6, Thursday 11 - 4; Friday & Saturday 10 - 5, Sunday 1 - 5

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Next Level

Eleven GWA athletes head to the GHSA Track & Field Sectional Championship this Saturday at Providence Christian. The top eight finishers from Sectionals will compete at State. Good luck to the following Bulldogs:

(pictured from left to right)

-David Lalaian, discus

-Kierstin Henderson, 4x800

-Catherine Atkinson, 4x400, high jump & discus

-Charlie Jesel, 4x800

-Payton Stone, 4x400, 4x800

-Avery Jesel, 4x100

-Emmie Mitchell, 4x440 & triple jump

-Sarah Kate Bailey, 3200

-Allie Marler, 4x400, 4x800

-Calan Fortunat, pole vault

-Aryn Gravitt, 4x100 (not pictured)

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Good luck to our GWA lacrosse junior (youth) team as they get ready to compete in Saturday's Championship at 11:30 a.m. at the Buford Youth Sports Complex. Go Bulldogs!
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Ready for Football?

Spring football is almost here! Please see the dates above for middle and high school spring football. Anyone interested in playing football next fall is encouraged to participate (all rising 6th-12th graders). For more information, contact Coach Beer at

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Corporate Partner support is a direct investment into the programs that affect all of our students at GWA. We are currently enrolling Corporate Partners for the 2021-2022 school year. Please click HERE to read more about this program. If you would like sign up or have questions, please contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.

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Sign Up for Summer Camps!

We are thrilled to offer summer camps for kids of all ages and all interests! Our summer camps are open to the community, so bring a friend and spread the word about summer fun at GWA.

Please see camp listings below and click HERE for complete camp descriptions and the registration links. Happy camping!

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Nathan Purvis/ReMax Preferred ( Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.