In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

November 21, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • First Home Varsity Basketball Games: Nov. 21
  • Christmas Hall Decor Deadline: Nov. 22 @ 8 a.m.
  • K4/K5 Thanksgiving Program: Nov. 22 @ 8:30 a.m.
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25 - Nov. 29
  • Piano Recital: Dec. 1 @ 1 & 3 p.m.
  • Gingerbread Christmas: Dec. 1, 4-6 p.m.
  • Empty Stocking Fund Deadline: Dec. 3
  • Coffee with the Admin: Dec. 5 @ 8:15 a.m.
  • GWA Preview Day: Dec. 5 @ 10 a.m.
  • Dance Performance: Dec. 5 & 6
  • Christmas Tree Program: Dec. 6 @ 9 a.m.
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'Tis the Season!

It may be November, but it is never too soon to talk Christmas! Plans are well underway for our second annual Gingerbread Christmas on Sunday, December 1 from 4-6 p.m. This event was created to celebrate the start of the Christmas season and bring our families and community together for a family-fun evening.


Our halls will be decked, the trees will be trimmed and the lights will be strung! We will toast s’mores by the campfire, enjoy live music and even have our own parade to welcome Santa to our campus. We also have a gingerbread contest and encourage our students and families to participate for cash prizes. The contest and the event are open to the public. Invite your friends and neighbors to come join us.


The event concludes with a gathering on our front lawn at 6 p.m. We are excited that FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist David Chandley will read the Christmas story and GWA parent DeeDee Garrett will sing “O Holy Night” as part of our tree lighting. This year's event falls on our last day of Thanksgiving break. We hope your travel plans will allow you to arrive home in time to join us for this gathering of friends.


We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing you on December 1st!

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Gingerbread Christmas Returns to GWA!

GWA is excited to invite the community to our second annual Gingerbread Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 1, 4 – 6 p.m. Please join us on our campus for an afternoon of fun holiday activities including:


*Photos with Santa

*Cookie Decorating

*Gingerbread House Contest

*Festive Food

*Carols by the Campfire

*Reindeer Games

*6 p.m. Devotional & Tree Lighting


The deadline to enter the gingerbread house contest has been extended to Friday, Nov. 22 - please click HERE for full details.

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Show Off Your Gingerbread Skills!

The deadline to enter our second annual Gingerbread House Challenge has been extended to Friday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. So, grab your sugar and spice and everything nice and show off your gingerbread skills! This year's theme is Hometown Christmas. The gingerbread house should be a replica of an actual hometown business or home from your community (Monroe, Covington, Conyers, Loganville, etc.). Please print a photograph (any paper is fine) to accompany your piece so judges have a reference for resemblance to your chosen structure. Contest entries should be delivered to GWA on Dec. 1, between 1 - 2 p.m. For complete details and entry form, please click the link below.

http://www.gwa.com/editoruploads/files/Gingerbread_03.pdf

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Support the Empty Stocking Fund

Help GWA Student Council continue the holiday tradition of filling the barrels for the Walton County Empty Stocking Fund! The homeroom that collects the most cans in lower school and middle school will receive a pizza party. The high school student who brings in the most cans will receive a gift card. Each year, George Walton Academy helps to provide food for over 350 local families- so send in your canned goods and let's help our neighbors in need.


*Students will get free admission to the first home varsity basketball games TONIGHT with donation of three canned goods*

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GWA Preview Day is Dec. 5

Great families know other great families! We hope you’ll share our Preview Day information with the wonderful people you know. Preview GWA gives prospective families an opportunity to learn more about our school and our programs. The event begins with a brief presentation followed by a student-led campus tour and concludes with a Q & A session. Contact Director of Admissions Cari Bailey at cbailey@gwa.com for more info. or if you have a prospective family you want us to contact.

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St. Augustine Exploration

GWA fourth graders explored the fascinating history of our nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida- wrapping up their recent study of Spanish explorers and their contribution to the founding of the U.S.A. Students toured the Castillo de San Marco (Spanish fort), watched a weapons demonstration by a real Spanish settler and saw a live cannon fire. To get a close-up look into the city’s past- the group embarked on a trolley tour of historical sights - getting “captured by pirates” and taken to dinner at the end of the ride. They learned about Ponce de León, how the Spanish explorers navigated their voyages by using the stars and sampled water from the famous Fountain of Youth. The group toured a Timucuan village and checked out an 1800’s castle style home which now houses Ripley’s Believe or Not! This memorable trip to St. Augustine gave fourth-grade students a greater understanding of global influence on our nation’s founding.

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What’s your Vision for Summer 2020?

-By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling


There are many meaningful opportunities near and far for GWA students of all ages for Summer 2020, and now is the time to scope them out. Students can experience a pre-college program to dive into their passions, gain work experience, or volunteer to serve at local charity organizations. Some programs require an application process and can open as early as this month.

Upper school students- did you know summer activities can push your college application to the “yes” pile? As college draws closer and closer, it’s time to get more serious about how to spend summer vacation. The wide array of programs available to students makes the transition to college significantly easier. Plus, students can still pursue something they enjoy while demonstrating interest to admission representatives that you know how to make the most of your summer. READ MORE...

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Well-Spoken Students

Gavel Club members gathered to give speeches at Monday night’s November meeting on campus. Most students spoke on the topic of Thanksgiving and shared personal stories with peers as part of the planned agenda. This club gives students an excellent opportunity to improve their ability to both write and deliver engaging speeches as well as serve in leadership roles.


Gavel Club is affiliated with Toastmasters International and meets monthly during the school year. Members that have completed 10 speeches by the end of their senior year earn the rank of "Competent Toastmaster" and receive special recognition at graduation.

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Celebrating Students

Miss Henry makes her third-grade students' birthdays extra special by dressing up in an outfit that reflects their favorite character or interest. From unicorn to UGA football fan- there is no limit Miss Henry's costume options and her effort to give her students a birthday to remember!
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Yearbooks are $85. Please send in a check before Dec. 20 – made payable to GWA, attn: Liz Jones OR order online by Jan. 1 at yearbookordercenter.com.

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Please click HERE for details on exam week (12/16-12/20) - including dismissal times for all grades.
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Nov. 22 – “A Thankful Heart“ (K4/K5 Thanksgiving Program) – Lower Gym – 8:30 a.m.

Dec. 1 – Piano Recitals – Auditorium - 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.

Dec. 1 – Performances by piano, band, & drama students at Gingerbread Christmas – 4- 6 p.m.

Dec. 5 – “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Dance) – Lower Gym - 10 a.m.

Dec. 6 - “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Dance) - Lower Gym - 7 p.m.

Dec. 7 – Christmas Tree Presentation – Choirs, Middle School Chorus, Sign Language Classes, GWA Bands – Nicholson Center – 9 a.m.

Dec. 10 – “Billy Shakespeare's Christmas Extravaganza and Traveling Freak Show” – (Middle School Drama) – Auditorium – 6 p.m.

Dec. 12 – 3rd & 4th Grade Christmas Musical – Lower Gym - 6 p.m.

Dec. 12 – GWA Bands Christmas Concert – Nicholson Center – 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 16 – 5th Grade Chorus Performance – Cafeteria – 6:30 p.m.

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Deadline for Croatia Trip is Nov. 29

There are only a few remaining spots available for the upcoming trip to Croatia. The deadline to sign up is Friday, Nov. 29. Questions? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.


Where: Croatia

When: June 8-16, 2020

Cost: $3,990 – includes airfare, all accommodation/transportation costs, excursions, medical insurance, all breakfasts and some dinners

Who: Upper school students (must have completed freshman year by May 2020)

Why: Croatia is perhaps one of the most unique countries in Europe, and sits on the opposite side of the Mediterranean as Italy. The country is known for its incredible natural beauty and cinematographic history, hosting one of HBO's most popular shows Game of Thrones. George Walton students and trip leaders will embark on an experience of a lifetime, zip-lining across the Cetina River, exploring the famous Plitvice Lakes, sea kayaking on the island of Hvar, and touring the famous historical structures that made Game of Thrones what it was!


For more information, or to register, go to https://travefy.com/trip/gjfc6kkx7ark7uwxgdfb6uuxtjrv2.

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Support Folds of Honor

Back by popular demand- the patriotic t-shirt has been reordered and will be available for purchase in the Dawg Shop after Thanksgiving break. Short-sleeve tees (youth and adult) are $20 and long-sleeve adult tees are $24. All proceeds will be donated to Folds of Honor (foldsofhonor.org). Get one while they last!
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Competition Cheer Wraps Up Second Season

By Holly Atkinson, Head Cheer Coach


Wow! What a great season for the 2019 competition cheerleading squad! The girls started in May learning the stunts that would be in their routine. In early June, they spent three days learning the choreography for their routine. The girls practiced and worked out over the summer to get ready for the first competition in September, while also getting ready to cheer for football. Many injuries plagued the team this season, but the squad showed amazing perseverance and determination to overcome any obstacle thrown their way. During the regular season, the squad placed 1st at two competitions, 2nd place at another competition, and at sectionals they qualified for State finals.


At the State Championship, the girls performed their best routine of the season! The scores were a little short of what we hoped they’d be, but the girls were proud of their performance and progress over the season. It has been amazing to watch to progress of this young team in the two short years they have been competing. We are already looking forward to next year! A huge thank you to all who have supported this new adventure for GWA. We appreciate your prayers, your notes of encouragement, and the fans in the stands at the competitions. Go Dawgs!

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Sign Up for GWA LAX!

Coach Scott Jackson will hold lacrosse sign up meetings in the auditorium after Thanksgiving break:

-Youth- 12/3, 6-8 p.m.

-Upper school- 12/5, 6-8 p.m.

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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.

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It's Time to Trim the Trees!

Dawgs 360 has five 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 emcdonel@gwa.com for more details!

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A Dawgs 360 Favorite Event Returns!

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Jan. 30 and get ready to compete in the 2020 Chili Cookoff! To volunteer for the event or enter the chili contest, please contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Precision Corr. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.
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