In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 15, 2018

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Having a Heart for GWA

by Ilyssa Green


Custodial workers are everywhere, yet they're often the least celebrated employees of an organization. GWA's custodial team not only keeps our campus clean, but they also leave a unique imprint on those they encounter.


Melanie Lattimore, along with David Arnold, Ashley Brown and Chandra Vaughn, keep our school in immaculate shape, but the true testament to Melanie are those she has touched along the way. Regarding the students, Melanie says, “They are the most honest people in the world and they make my life happier.” Kevin Cloud adds, “She loves the kids and the kids love her.” For 13 years, Melanie has been one of the first to arrive every morning.


Melanie has not only committed her days to taking care of our Bulldogs, but she is also a parent of alumna, Crystal Lattimore. Melanie sees GWA as her family and intends to be a part of our campus for years to come.


Thank you to those who keep GWA’s heart beating!

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Sharing Our Story

GWA's advancement department sponsored this week's Newton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon in order to build community connections, while spotlighting our school's talented students, outstanding teachers, and exceptional programs. This video was shared to help tell the George Walton Academy story.
https://youtu.be/RhVt4_ut_Q4
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As part of the Vietnam War Intensive, GWA is delighted to invite parents to hear a special presentation by veteran Bob Babcock. More information on Mr. Babcock may be found here. Space is limited; RSVP to emcdonel@gwa.com.

FEBRUARY 23RD IS THE LAST DAY TO PURCHASE THREE TRIP RAFFLE TICKETS IF YOU ARE NOT ATTENDING THE GALA!

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Throughout the Vietnam War Intensive, GWA student reporters will be providing additional perspectives on the study. In this issue of In Focus, we are pleased to feature special reports by Sophomore Jenna Lo and Seniors Megan McGoldrick and Grayson Eady.
https://youtu.be/m6V5jQOv_Bc

Bringing a Powerful Lesson in for a Landing

by Grayson Eady


George Walton students experienced the past with an afternoon full of interactive learning as a part of this quarter’s Vietnam intensive, “I Did It for You.” A local group of Vietnam veterans landed their battle-worn 1968 Huey Helicopter on Keith Henderson field after lunch and brought along a World War II-era military police Jeep. Students rotated between walking around and through the helicopter, exploring the Jeep and listening to veterans who flew in Vietnam. Senior Kaitlyn Rutledge said, “Having the veterans bring in the helicopter and police Jeep really brought our Vietnam study to life. I have never had such a great hands-on learning experience as I did sitting in the pilot’s seat of the Huey helicopter. I am truly grateful.” Read complete article.

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A New Perspective

by Jenna Lo


Early on Feb. 7, students loaded the bus to drive to the Infantry Museum in Columbus as a part of the "I Did It for You" intensive. The field trip gave students a different perspective on the Vietnam War. “It helped me to look at the Vietnam War from a perspective that was more about the war itself instead of all of the things people say,” said junior Caroline May. Read complete article.

Science in the Sixties

by Megan McGoldrick


As students entered the science building last week, they were surrounded by bamboo, sandbags and rice patches. Pictures on the walls portrayed impactful events that shaped the United States throughout the 1960’s and the remainder of the 20th century. Science in the Sixties Day, part of the Vietnam intensive, introduced students to battlefield medicine, weaponry of the warfront, the space race, the underground tunnel systems, and other technologies that accompanied the Vietnam War era. The day served as a lesson of how science played a role in the war. Read complete article.

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In Loving Memory

This week, every GWA high school student received a gray bracelet, each showing the name of a Vietnam U.S. Prisoner of War/Missing in Action from Georgia. Using phones and laptops, students immediately searched the web for the name on their bracelet. As part of our Vietnam War Intensive Study, the students will continue to wear their POW/MIA bracelets until March 2 in remembrance of the individuals who paid the price for our freedom.


We will all have the opportunity to thank our Vietnam veterans and see a special student exhibit during the third week of March. GWA will present a weeklong display of art, writings and more at the Walton County Government Building which will culminate with a special reception. More information will follow, but please mark your calendars for the reception Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. and RSVP to kmeeks@gwa.com.

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Both middle and high school students are invited to join the Costa Rica trip this summer. The dates for the trip are July 7-15. For details on the trip, please click here. If you want to see a glimpse of last year’s trip, click here!

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GWA Couldn't "Bee" Any More Proud!

Middle school students Allison Carter and Helena Chapar represented George Walton at the first round of the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) middle school spelling be held in Macon on Feb. 8. Allison is advancing to the GISA finals to be held at The Atlanta Academy at the end of the month. Great job to both girls, and good luck to Allison!

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Kings of Baseball

Congratulations to the varsity baseball team! They beat Kings Ridge this week at the first GWA home game of the season with a final score of 6-4.

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A Great "Kick" Off to the Season

Congratulations to the middle school girls soccer team; they started off their season with a big win! The Lady Dogs beat Saint Joe’s with a final score of 6-1. Their next game is today, Feb. 15, at home vs. Social Circle.

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A Top 10 Finish

The GWA Wrestling Team had an excellent end to the season this past weekend. Thanks to the hard work of Chris Sperin, Thomas Ashley and Patrick Morris, GWA placed in the top 10 of 30 teams in their division. Chris came in second in his division; Thomas and Patrick each came in fourth in their respective divisions. GWA is incredibly proud of this commendable finish from these young men!

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GWA Launches Model UN Club

Last fall, Director of College Counseling Michael Clancy was seeking out a way to get to know his students better in an arena different from college counseling. Realizing that GWA did not have Model United Nations (UN) club, Mr. Clancy decided to harness his 15 years of experience with Model UN to form a club at GWA. After some marketing and having teachers speak up about the opportunity in their classes, the club was started with nine freshmen students.


This past weekend, the GWA team attended their first Model UN conference at UGA in Athens. At the conference, students talk about diplomacy, different policies and international relations, all trying to decide on helpful outcomes for a more peaceful and successful global community. The students were amazed with how open-minded the conversations were at the conference; several of them said they were excited about the idea of attending another conference in the future.

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It's the "Cycle" of Life

In the past few weeks, GWA has begun its pilot recycling program under the leadership of the George Walton Academy Recycling Club. For now, there are a total of 23 recycling bins throughout the high school; future recycling initiatives will be based on how the pilot program goes. The Recycling Club has been releasing videos emphasizing the importance of recycling. A big reason the president and founder of the club Sarah Kirk says that recycling is important is that it can take up to 500 years for products like plastic and aluminum to decompose, causing a lot of buildup in the world’s landfills. If you are interested in learning about recycling at GWA – in an entertaining way – click here!

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Practically Perfect in Every Way

Be there as the curtain rises for "Mary Poppins" starring our own Wallis Lucas and Susanna Grimsley! The production runs March 23-25 at the Porter Performing Arts Center in Covington.
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You'll Be in My Art

GWA lower school art students currently have art on display at the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts. The show runs through March 1. There will be a reception on March 1 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. For more information on the display, please click here.

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It's Not Just an Act

Drama teacher Mrs. Ronda Grundy took students Summer Haag, Alicia Shaw, Sara Camp and Makena Helms to the Georgia Thespian Conference (which many people refer to as ThesCon) in Columbus, Ga. ThesCon is three intense days of theatre shows, workshops, performances and various other events which aim to promote theatre in schools and communities. Students have to earn a spot in ThesCon by being active members of the High School International Thespians Society. Attendee Sara Camp said, “This theatre conference completely changed how I look at theater.” Read complete article.

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Alumnus Casey Carrell ('14) recently played a part in Furman University's rendition of "Legally Blonde." A biology major, Carrell has been involved with Greek life, the Student Government Association, university research and more while attending Furman. Carrell says that much of his collegiate success goes back to his time at GWA.


"Many George Walton teachers left a lasting impression on me," said Carrell. " I still come back and visit at least once a semester because they played such instrumental parts in my life. Mrs. Taylor and Dr. Donaldson inspired me to pursue fine arts. Mr. Lalaian and Ms. Thigpen taught me how to work hard in a complicated subject and have fun while learning. Mrs. Barrett sparked a love for adventure and Dr. Cook inspired me to study a field of science. The people at GWA are the most important attribute to a successful experience." Carrell is just one example of many who prove that even after students leave GWA, it is a place with a lasting impact and always a place that past students can come home to.

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March 7 - SAT Testing

Math and English review on Monday and Tuesday, see Mrs. Carson.


March 24 - Atlanta College Application Mini-Camp

Workshops on preparing for college presented by several university reps on the Georgia State campus. Recommended for ninth-eleventh grade students and families. Register.


March 25 - NACAC University Fair

Close to 200 colleges will be in attendance at the National Association of College Admissions Counseling University Fair. Learn more and register.


March 26 - GWA College Fair

More information to come.

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