In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

March 4, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Walk-in Wednesday: March 10 (see details below)
  • Book Drive Donation Deadline: March 10
  • March Break: March 11 & 12
  • Grandparents Day (Virtual): March 19/regular school day for all
  • Dawgs Unleashed 5K/Fun Run: March 20
  • Dawgs Unleashed Golf Tournament: March 22
  • Dawgs Unleashed Tennis Tournament: March 23
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Are You Ready for Dawgs Unleashed?

Dawgs 360 is proud to support the long-standing family event – Dawgs Unleashed! We have all learned to roll with changes over the past year and we are excited to slowly get back to a sense of normalcy. One thing has remained constant: our families want to get involved and be an active part of our Bulldog community.


This year, the Dawgs Unleashed 5K/Fun Run, golf, and tennis tournaments provide an excellent opportunity for connection. Dawgs Unleashed participants are comprised of passionate people supporting student activities. Whether counting miles, birdies, or junk balls, they all share a common desire to be champions for the students in the place they call home. We are grateful to our participants, event sponsors, and volunteers for making this year's event possible!


Greg Souther has been involved with the Dawgs Unleashed tennis tournament for many years. “In the beginning, I played Dawgs Unleashed to support GWA where my daughters attended school and to have some fun. I was one of the few guys playing the event at that time. I quickly discovered that many of the women playing in the tournament were as competitive, if not more competitive, than me.” Greg encourages others to join the event and explained, “Tennis is fun regardless of your skill level. You do not have to be the hardest or most consistent hitter to play well, win a few points, or get a trophy (I have several coffee mugs on my shelf as dusty proof). You can play this sport for a long time and most importantly, make friends for life. Come join us for tennis or any of the events and have some fun!”


I hope to see you on the court, course, or finish line!


Elizabeth McDonel


Dawgs 360 has a three-fold mission; it aims to build community, ensure every student’s interests are equally valued and supported, and find meaningful ways to involve parents in the life and mission of the school.

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Cooks in the Kitchen

Mrs. Gahan’s American Sign Language 2 students produced their own ASL cooking shows – which is no easy feat! While they already knew how to sign words for food, they had to quickly learn cooking terminology, and how to cook and sign while preparing a complete dish. They watched videos of several Deaf chefs for inspiration and then jumped into the project with chef hats on and the camera rolling. Taste testers approved of the results – the steak, sautéed veggies, cookies and chocolate/cherry bars were delicious! Students wrapped up the project by watching and critiquing their own performances.
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Reading Across GWA

Our lower school students have enjoyed celebrating Read Across America Day throughout the week with Dr. Seuss themed activities and plenty of reading. They wore crazy socks and pajamas, dressed in green, ate green eggs and ham, and tomorrow some students will dress in attire that shows what they want to be when they grow up. Our teachers and students have brought many of the classic Dr. Seuss stories to life and embraced the importance and joy of reading.

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Art Meets Science

Mr. Reagan's advanced art students have been working on a cross curriculum project with science. The challenge has been to craft illustrated, anatomically correct skeleton details and accurately label the parts. This project is designed to teach four skills - paint a background in the abstract style of famous German painter Gerhard Richter, utilize complimentary colors to enhance the viewer's experience, introduce the student to Photoshop type techniques, teach the importance of quality presentation by learning professional framing and installation skills. We can’t wait to see the completed works!

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Congratulations to our record breaking 30 middle and high school band students, who auditioned for and advanced to the second round All-State Band audition.


These 30 Band students worked on their three audition solos for the last few months. They recorded their solos and submitted those to the state office to be judged against the other top students across the state of Georgia.


GWA Middle Schoolers:

Kade Franklin

Maddie Garrett

Wendy Menard

Isaac Osei

Julia Tanase


GWA High Schoolers:

Emma Barley

Will Bowick

Julian Brown

Alex Carrillo

Julie Cato

Brooks Dokes

Mac Geoffroy

Ren Grimsley

Barbara Hammons

Lily Jennings

Jolie Lanier

Luke Lewis

Phillip Mashburn

Michael Mealor

Keith Mims

Russel Moore

Timothy Pham

Mike Pulliam

Eli Scornik

Blakeney Sewell

Ella Smith

Madison Smith

Claire Volk

Nicole Volk

Gracie Wood

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Bravo to the Band

Kudos to our students in the Jr. Bulldog Band, Percussion Theatre II and Honors Percussion Theatre on fine performances Tuesday night in the Young Person's and Percussion Theatre Concert.
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Bulldogs Take Center Stage

On Stage, our local community theater, presents – a double feature of Alice and Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. The cast includes, GWA seniors Makena Helms and Sara Camp, Graham Fenn ('19) as well as drama teacher Paula Gerhardt. The actors will perform a dramatic reading of an adapted script based on the Lux Radio Theatre scripts using sound effects, lighting, and multi-media images and videos. Remaining performance dates are March 5-7, 12-14. Break a leg, Bulldogs!


Pictured: Sara Camp (top left), Paula Gerhardt (top right), Graham Fenn (bottom left) and Makena Helms (bottom right).

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Click HERE for more information about Dawgs Unleashed - including event registration and some AMAZING volunteer opportunities! Sign up by TOMORROW for a guaranteed event t-shirt!
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First Win!

The GWA varsity boys lacrosse team earn their first win in program history at home last night by defeating Riverside Military 9-6! The win was led by a strong defensive effort behind goalie Ryan Denhardt with ten saves and solid offensive performances by Garrett Edwards with three goals and Joey Rockmore and Ren Grimsley each contributing two goals. Congrats, Bulldogs!


Cheer the team on this Friday at home when they face Dacula at 6 p.m.

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Best Coach!

GWA Athletic Director Mark Whitley has been voted "Best Coach in Walton County" in the Walton Tribune Reader's Choice poll. He coaches football and track and field. Congrats, Coach Whitley!
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GWA for the Win!

The middle school boys soccer team defeated Westminster 7-2 on Monday night with Hudson Harris scoring six goals and Adrian Thomas contributing one. They face Providence Christian on Friday at Felker Park. Good luck, Bulldogs!
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Calling All Cheerleaders!

GWA cheer tryouts (for rising 6th-12th graders) will be March 29 - April 1 after school and run until 4:30 p.m. All participants need a current physical prior to tryouts. There will be an informative parent meeting at 6 p.m. on March 16 in the auditorium to answer any questions related to tryouts or the upcoming season's plans.


Youth cheer will have sign ups and uniform fittings on March 24 at 6 p.m. and March 31 at 3 p.m. in the Nicholson Center concession area. Please contact Grace Martin with questions.

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Click HERE for athletic events on the GWA March calendar.
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Help Us Spread the Word

Let your friends and neighbors know about our upcoming admissions event, Walk-in Wednesday on March 10. Prospective families can drop in from 9 - 11 a.m. for a quick visit or RSVP (email lpierre@gwa.com) for a more in-depth look at GWA that is focused on their student's grade level and interests.
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March Forth

Today is March fourth, a day celebrated by some as a chance to march forth or move forward from whatever has been holding them back. On this unofficial holiday, people make time to do something good for themselves or their community or do something they’ve been wanting to do but have not had the time. You could also make a list of all the things you want to move on from and put in the past. Then channel your inner Elsa, “let it go” into the trash, and march forth to do something fun. How will you march forth today?


Lindsey Bailey

Lower School Counselor


Special thanks to Stacy May for telling me about this therapeutic holiday.

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Book Drive Extended to March 10

Help our students in NHS, Beta Club and Interact Club provide books for children in the Athens area through their school wide “For the Love of Books” collection drive in partnership with the non-profit Books for Keeps. For each gently used book donated – students can send a free candygram to a friend. Collection boxes are located throughout campus – in lower school classrooms, in Mrs. Byrd’s room, Mrs. Croker’s room and in the Commons. The deadline to donate is March 10. Let’s support our students’ efforts and help them provide books for local under-resourced children.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Walton Dental Care (www.waltondentalcare.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.
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