In Focus @ GWA
A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy
Key Deadlines & Dates
- Winter Sports Senior Banner Photos: Nov. 8
- V Football at Commerce: Nov. 8 @ 8 p.m.
- Upper School Play: Nov. 8 & 9
- Veterans Day Program: Nov. 11 @ 9 a.m.
- Band Performance - Downtown Monroe: Nov. 14 @ 5:30 p.m.
- S'mores and More Bonfire: Nov. 14 @ 6:30 p.m.
- Winter Sports Photo Days: Nov. 18 & 19
- Counselor Chat Speaker: Nov. 21 @ 8:15 a.m.
Faculty Professional Development Day
“I’m still learning…” -Michelangelo at age 87
This past Monday, the faculty and staff came to campus for our fall in-service day while students enjoyed a day off of school. The purpose of this day was to spend time with each other learning more about who we are as a community of educators, identify and understand current trends and research in the world of education and student well-being, and walk away feeling energized and refreshed with ideas on how to continue making the GWA experience the best it can be for our students.
The theme of the day was “purpose” as the faculty got to hear from five of their colleagues about their recent visit to Boulder, CO to attend the World Leadership School’s Purpose Summit. The day started with an interactive icebreaker, followed by discussions and mini workshops on how education is no longer just about thinking, but should also incorporate feeling and doing, as well as looking at the changing trends in college admissions over the last ten years.
During breakout sessions, the team that visited Colorado shared techniques from the conference that they felt could further enhance our students’ experiences, such as finding purpose through “calling cards,” backward design elements of curriculum planning that keep the student at the forefront, and ways to brainstorm creative modifications to existing plans that would elevate the level of students’ learning. Teachers also spent time in smaller groups brainstorming “moonshot” ideas (how to make the impossible possible) that they think could take GWA to the next level.
The usefulness of these days for our faculty cannot be understated. We often say that teachers are simultaneously expert, novice, and co-learner, so to be given time and space to learn and ask enduring questions of our craft are important ways that we stay grounded and on task for our students. It is also a reminder to never stop learning – that no one is ever so experienced or accomplished that there isn’t more out in the world for them to learn. So, to have a school that prioritizes entire days like these for teachers is not only a luxury, but also an essential component of being a healthy school, and another reason for us to say, “It’s great to be a Bulldog!”
GWA Master Teachers
Exploring the Rainforest
Mrs. Bishop's Rivers and Rainforests class is beginning their study of the rainforest. After brainstorming in class about what they thought the rainforest would be like, students visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to get a first-hand look. At the gardens, there are two types of rainforests, the low altitude which stays around 80 degrees and is found around the equator and the upper altitude which is cooler. The students came up with 10 questions in class to answer as they participated in a guided tour. The group learned a fun fact along the way - poisonous tree frogs in the rainforest are only poisonous because of the insects they eat.
Molecules Take Shape
Dr. Dibble’s Honors Chemistry class created ball and stick models of interesting molecules- everything from adrenaline to morphine. Students are using what they’ve learned about covalent bonding and molecular geometry to produce beautiful structures with accurate shapes!
From Germany to GWA
Our German exchange students recently spoke with Mrs. Côté about their experiences here at GWA and in the U.S. Both students will attend GWA for the entire school year. Amanda Tangel is from Kassel, Germany and Anabell Wagner lives near Köln.
Did you always know you wanted to study abroad for a whole year?
Amanda: I just wanted to do a three week exchange during summer, but then through an exchange program website I saw an advertisement for a full year, and it looked awesome so I took that option
Anabell: two years ago I started thinking about it
Have you done any other foreign exchanges in the past?
Amanda: one to France for ten days
Anabell: I went to England for a week
What were you excited about and/or nervous about before you left?
Amanda: excited for school and to meet my host family and for the food, not so nervous about anything since my family also goes to school here
Anabell: excited to see my host family and more nervous about first day of school because I would get lost or not have friends
Which class is your favorite?
Amanda: I don’t have a favorite since I get to choose my own classes, I chose the best ones (I love French)
What is the hardest adjustment you have had to make?
Amanda: relying on family for everything
Anabell: not having public transportation
What is the most interesting thing you have learned about American culture so far?
Amanda: that Halloween is so big here – its is not even celebrated in my city anymore
Anabell: my family is going to put up Christmas decorations on Sunday so that’s really early
What have you learned about German culture by living here?
Anabell: public transportation is amazing
What is one thing you wish you could bring back to Germany with you?
Amanda: my host family and the malls here – my city only has the basics so the malls here are amazing
Anabell: my host family
How would you describe study abroad in a few words?
Amanda: exciting, adventure
Anabell: out of your comfort zone
What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
Amanda: just do it because the differences are what you expect, so just try it
Anabell: just do it
No Spring Break Plans? No Problem! College Tour 2020 is Just Around the Corner!
By Jon Terrell, Director of College Counseling
Spring Break is only about four months away. And what better way to enjoy spring break this year than to send your students with the college counselors on a spring break trip! The College Counseling Office is excited to announce and offer the opportunity for GWA students to trek through the state of North Carolina this year (we will have a different tour location next year) to visit several colleges and universities and explore options for future paths they may consider after graduating.
So, you are probably asking, “I wonder who can go…?” All 9th, 10th and 11th graders are eligible and encouraged. This is a great time to visit schools and help students determine what they like and don’t like in a college setting. Our goal is to help raise student’s interest in thinking about college options as well as, hopefully, motivate them to continue working hard to achieve the goal of being admitted to one of these institutions. READ MORE...
GWA Alumnus Shares His Expertise
Support Folds of Honor
The George Walton Academy
School Counseling Department
has the pleasure of inviting you to hear
special guest speaker,
as she discusses
Stress vs. Anxiety: Looking Beyond the Behavior
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
at 8:15 a.m. in the Dawg 360 House
We live in a fast-paced, 24/7 world, and sometimes students, no matter what their age, find themselves overwhelmed, leaving them to feel stress or possibly anxious. The problem for parents and educators is that stress and anxiety have behavioral implications; so how do we look beyond the behaviors to help our student deal with the stress or anxiety?
Lisa Boylan, the Community Liaison for the Ridgeview Institute, will be at our next Counselor’s Chat to talk to us about recognizing behaviors your student might demonstrate while stressed or anxious and to provide suggestions on how to help your student cope with stress or anxiety in a healthy and positive way.
Gingerbread Christmas Returns to GWA!
*Photos with Santa
*Gingerbread House Contest
*Carols by the Campfire
*6 p.m. Devotional & Tree Lighting
The deadline to enter the gingerbread house contest is Nov. 18 - please click HERE for full details and entry forms.
Annual Loyalty Fund Supports the Arts
Each year, the Annual Loyalty Fund allows George Walton Academy to offer programs that set our school apart from others. One of the arenas that benefits heavily from the support of our fund is our Fine Arts Department. The Piano Lab and its accompanying opportunities are born out of the Annual Loyalty Fund.
Playing the piano has proven to be incredibly beneficial. Students who play piano learn important life skills such as time management, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Our school is able to offer group lessons at minimal cost and provide our upper school students with piano as an elective. Private lessons are also offered on campus, allowing parents the convenience of less traveling from place to place. Currently, there are 108 students who are benefiting from this program!
Our GWA piano instructor, Corrie Beth Noll, offers her thoughts on the Annual Loyalty Fund. “My husband is a 2001 graduate of GWA. We have been supporting the Annual Loyalty Fund for many years. I see the person he has become, and I firmly believe his experience at GWA is a large part of who he is today. As an employee and parent at GWA, I’m honored to be able to give to the Annual Loyalty Fund because I see the impact it has on our students each day. We are one of the few schools in the state of Georgia who offer piano classes to our students. Thanks to the Annual Loyalty Fund, we can provide students the opportunity to explore Fine Arts in a way that isn’t available at other schools.”
Please support incredible opportunities that set George Walton Academy apart by participating in the Annual Loyalty Fund today. Our 50 Day campaign ends on Friday, November 16th. We would love to see 100% participation from our GWA families!
You may show your support of GWA by giving online HERE
*monthly giving options are available*
Pledges may also be made and paid by June 30, 2020.
Find the form HERE
Dawg Shop Updates
The Bulldogs Take It on the Road
MS Girls Win Big!
Be in the Know!
GWA fall sports are wrapping up and winter sports are getting started! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events. GO BULLDOGS!
It's (Almost) Time to Trim the Trees!
Dawgs 360 has 18 live trees in the courtyard looking for families to adopt and decorate with holiday decorations the week of Thanksgiving Break! Please email Elizabeth McDonel at email@example.com for more details!