In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

February 17, 2022

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Winter Break: Feb. 18 - 21
  • Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction: Feb. 26
  • Middle School Dance: March 4 @ 7 p.m.
  • Grandpirates' Day: March 18 (see below)
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Inside Look

By Cara Benfield


The members of my Honors Anatomy & Physiology class will likely never look at a chicken wing the same way again! Students recently performed a dissection of fresh whole chicken wings because nearly every body system they have studied so far this year can be observed within the small structure. Some of the surprises came from seeing the vibrant red bone marrow at the center of the humerus bone, discovering that grasping and pulling the muscles on the front and back of the wing caused the elbow joint to flex and extend, and observing the subtle delicacy of the various connective tissues. Through the spring, students will continue to practice safe dissection techniques by examining the anatomy of individual organs, including a brain, eyeball, and heart.

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Tired Yet?

By Tara Walker


Students in seventh-grade Life Science “repped” their knowledge in the skeletal and muscular systems by participating in a “muscle fatigue lab.” The purpose of the lab was to demonstrate muscle usage of ATP, the energy molecule of the body. As ATP and oxygen are used up, the muscle tissues release waste products that cause fatigue, making the repetitive motions much more difficult. Students timed and counted their reps for various exercises and recorded their data, which was then graphed to visualize the point at which they had fatigued.

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Clues in Coding

Mr. Gasaway’s fourth-grade students are exploring patterns and designs inspired by quilt codes used by African American slaves to help them navigate the Underground Railroad. The class read Under the Quilt of Darkness, by Deborah Hopkinson. They learned about the different symbols found within the quilt designs that gave directional clues and instructions to help individuals escape slavery and find their path to freedom. To complete the lesson, students used design and repetition to code quilt squares through code.org.

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All About the Process

By Melissa Page


In my Honors British Literature class, four students, Zelig Miller, Nicholas Blackburn, Luke Doppelhaur, and Will Atkinson, are building a computer from scratch using only found and donated parts. This project began during a conversation when I mentioned how I missed big desktop computers, and they said they could build one! They began planning the third week in January and have gotten so much done that they’ve already begun installing Windows. I designed a Process Essay project around their creativity where each group designs and creates something different from found or digital materials or illustrates a process or skill and then writes about the process using different writing modes from each student’s unique perspective. This is a project where we read model process essays and discuss writing techniques. We also voice, build, create, and then write.

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The Power of Learning

First-grade teacher Jessica Blevins was thrilled to receive a $6,500 EmPOWERment Grant from Walton EMC! This grant will fund a level library in our lower school and provide teachers with books that best fit the needs of our students. Thank you to Walton EMC for their support and congratulations to Mrs. Blevins!

Pictured: Gary Hobbs, Kathy Ivie, Jessica Blevins, and Marsha Shumate.

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Bidding Underway!

We have added a few last-minute items to the Silent Auction. Check back to make sure you don’t miss a spectacular late addition. Check HERE to browse and bid!

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Win a Fabulous Trip!

This year we have kicked our raffle up a notch and we are allowing you to pick from FOUR fabulous locations when you purchase a raffle ticket! Click HERE to download a flyer with rules and information. Forms need to be turned in to Jeanie Beach in the Advancement Office to be entered into the raffle. The drawing will be held at the Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction on Saturday, Feb. 26. You do not have to be present to win. Sales are limited to only 100 tickets - so don't delay and miss out on purchasing a ticket.

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State Playoffs Ahead

Our GWA girls' and boys' basketball teams placed third in the Region Tournament. Both teams are gearing up for State starting next week. Stay tuned for more details!
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Great Start

The GWA varsity girls tennis team earned their third win of the season with a 5-0 victory over Morgan County on Tuesday. Senior Camille Malcom gave GWA a quick first point at 2 singles, winning 6-0, 6-0. Congratulations to Coach DiSalvo and players!
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Dawgs Win!

GWA's varsity baseball team won their home opener 8-1 against Monroe Area. Maddox Hansen was the winning pitcher allowing only two hits and one run while striking out four. Brandon Berenguer also went 2-2 at the plate with two walks and an RBI. Come cheer on the Bulldogs as they take on Apalachee at home on Friday!
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Riding Off to Regionals

Our GWA equestrian team is saddling up for this weekend’s IEA Region Finals at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. They are one of only four teams to qualify and some riders will also compete individually. Good luck, GWA riders!

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Wrestling Wrap Up

Our varsity wrestlers finished the season at last weekend's GHSA Traditional Wrestling State Championships in Macon. Senior Perry Jake Stone placed fifth at the 145 lb. weight class and freshman Adam Denhardt was 1-2 at the 120 lb. weight class. Perry Jake finishes his impressive high school career with 103 wins! Congrats to both wrestlers on a great season.
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Celebrating Ray Charles

The Musician of the Month for February in Mrs. Dyer’s lower school music class is Ray Charles. Her classes learned about his life – the challenges he faced, including his blindness at age seven, the positive influence of his mother, and his legacy. Students have enjoyed listening to his music and watching short biographical videos.

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Parents for Pizza

When GWA parents take a chance at landing a frisbee in a pizza box - it's a win for our students! Our first annual Parents for Pizza event yielded two winners during the halftime contest and two classes (of the winner's choice) received free pizza for lunch!
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A Grand Day!

GWA (lower school) grandparents and special friends are invited to join us on Friday, March 18 in the Nicholson Center for music and entertainment at appointed times according to your student's grade.


Pre-K3 - Second Grade 8:30 a.m.

Third - Fifth Grade 9:30 a.m.


Refreshments and activities in the cafeteria will follow the programs.

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Buy by TONIGHT!

As we gear up for our lower school Grandpirates' Day event on March 18, we are excited to offer two different t-shirt designs for purchase online through midnight February 17. Scan the code above to buy online, or visit the Dawg Shop page on our website. All shirts will be delivered to the Dawg Shop prior to the event.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Zaxby's (www.zaxbys.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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