In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

April 12, 2018

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What Makes George Walton Academy SPECIAL

by Jeffrey Craven, Senior


“Good Morning, Good Looking!” and “Hello Angel!” These are the phrases that I remember hearing from Mrs. Sherre Cown when I got out of my parents’ car as a kindergarten student. In a few weeks, I will no longer be able to call myself a George Walton student, (for the first time since I was five!) This school has changed a lot in the time that I have been here, and yet it still feels like the same place that has dominated the memories of my childhood.


I have experienced a lot over these fourteen years as a student at GWA. I have seen joy as we won state championships in sports and competitions, and felt the sorrow other years when we fell short. I have experienced the excellence of award-winning bands and yearbooks, and sat in awe at the work that brought about these successes. I have made some lifelong friends, while creating memories that will last just as long. I have been saddened by the passing of two great men: Coach Mike Head and Mr. Steve Whitley. Both men gave their hearts and souls to the bettering of our students.


I do not believe that there is any such thing as a perfect school, but I do believe that this school is special, and I am glad George Walton helped make my childhood more special than my parents could have possibly imagined. It is special to have teachers who treat their students as if they are one of their own. It is special to have seniors create a bond with first graders that transcends generations. It is special to have Vietnam veterans share their experiences with students who are generations younger. It is special to say that I have been at this school for fourteen years, and I still smile whenever Mrs. Sherre calls me “darlin or angel”.

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Look to These Students to Find the "Laws of Life"

The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest, which is sponsored by the Georgia Rotary Clubs, is a statewide writing and character education program for high school students. Students choose a maxim or “Law of Life” and write an essay explaining how it applies to the students’ lives. The contest gives students the opportunity to both reflect on important life lessons and to work on creative writing skills. GWA’s winner Kate Hutter will receive a $100 cash award; three grade level winners will each receive a $50 award. Click here to learn the winners and honorable mentions for each grade.

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https://youtu.be/fUFL_FXpxFI

GWA Student Featured in Local TV News Story

Fourth-grader Journey Allen was recently featured in a CBS46 news feature about Folds of Honor, a wonderful organization that serves this country's brave veterans by "honoring their sacrifice and educating their legacy." Click above to watch the story, and click here to learn more about Folds of Honor.
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Former GWA Headmaster Jim Crawford Passes Away

GWA is grieved to announce the passing of former headmaster, Jim Crawford after a year long battle with cancer. He served as headmaster from 1980 - 1983 and is fondly remembered by his former students. You may view his obituary here.
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It's time to register for the exciting variety of summer camps that GWA has to offer! To learn about the opportunities your child can enjoy this summer, click here!
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IMPORTANT: Annual Loyalty Fund Information

The Annual Loyalty Fund is the most vital fundraiser for George Walton Academy because it enables us to:

· attract and retain the best teachers,

· strengthen faculty and staff with professional training,

· provide invaluable support through security personnel, school nurses, maintenance and custodial services, and

· secure equipment and materials needed to support our many programs.


The Annual Loyalty Fund campaign ends on June 30, 2018. We will mail end-of-year pledge reminders soon. If you would like to check your status, please review our listing of the contributions we have received to date by clicking here. Parents, grandparents and alumni who have already made contributions may also click on the link to review listings and categories. If a correction should be made to your listing, please email Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com. If you would like to make an online gift to the Annual Loyalty Fund, please click here.

GWA Book Fair in Need of Volunteers

Looking for a way to get involved at GWA? Volunteering through Dawgs 360 at the Book Fair is the perfect way to stay connected, make new friends and have fun while helping students find the books they can’t wait to read! Email emcdonel@gwa.com and get ready for a rewarding volunteer experience! Below is the information for the fair:


Mon., April 16 - Thurs., April 19

8 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.

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Baseball Team Celebrates Big Senior Night Victory

Congratulations to the varsity baseball team for beating Tallulah Falls with a 12-0 score on their Senior Night! The team’s next game is Friday, April 13 at Lakeview Academy.

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GWA Golf Team Beats Archer and Providence

GWA is proud of the golf team for beating both Archer and Providence this week! Congratulations to the following athletes on their low scores:


Jackson Cornelius: 42

Jackson Ellerbee: 43

Riley Shubert: 43

Haynes Waldo: 43

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I'll Take Some Chips with That Salsa

GWA loves celebrating and learning about the world’s different cultures. While there are several avenues for students, an easy way for people to get involved with this is joining the Spanish Club. Spanish Club sponsor Mrs. Jessie Croft said, “There are so many cultures among Spanish speakers. We try to touch on many and not focus solely on one. We unfortunately do not have time to discuss many [holidays and events] in class, so Spanish Club helps give us more time to do this.”


Through the club, students participate in many fun activities that educate them on various Spanish speaking cultures including things such as decorating sugar skulls for Día de los Muertos or going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Spanish-inspired film “Coco.”


On Thursday, April 12, club members were able to learn more about salsa dancing. They went over the basic steps on how to move their feet and arms. At the end of the meeting, they had the opportunity to watch two experienced salsa dancers demonstrate high level dancing.


Mrs. Croft said, “The students [were] mesmerized. It is always the students’ favorite activity!”

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You Can't Stop the Beat!

GWA prides itself in offering a wide variety of classes that appeal to every type of student. Eleven years ago band instructor Christian Smith saw that there was a need for his percussion students to have their own class, saying “I realized they needed a chance to strengthen their musical skills and learn more about their craft.”


The class focuses on allowing percussionists to discover their musical talents in a unique environment that facilitates many outlets of creativity. They play many instruments including keyboards, the xylophone, cymbals, etc. However, the fun does not stop there! Mr. Smith said, “They have learned that just about anything can be an instrument.” The students have tried their hands at creating music with wooden stools and chairs, plastic buckets, basketballs and more!


Percussion theater students have multiple opportunities each year to showcase their skills. They perform with the marching band, have their own concerts, and perform at school events as well!


“We are very proud of our young and older percussionists, and they are always looking for new members to come in and join them,” said Mr. Smith.

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GWA Alumnus Wins Major Teaching Award

College professors challenge the world around us, and in many instances push us towards our future endeavors. Alumnus Cayce Myers (’01) has done both of these during his short three years at Virginia Tech. Beyond teaching mass communications and public relations, he spends a significant amount of his time researching and publishing information on laws and regulations that affect the public relations practice.


Myers has always known he would work in post-secondary education and research. Myers said, “As a high school student, I wanted to be a college professor even though I had not yet attended college. GWA gave me the tools to reach the first step in achieving that goal.”


Due to his success, he recently received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Virginia Tech. This certificate recognizes outstanding faculty members in teaching of undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates are nominated by their peers and the college's Awards and Honors Committee selected the department winners.


Myers graduated from Emory with degrees in history and political science. He then obtained a J.D. from Mercer, followed by a post-doctoral law degree from the University of Georgia, and a masters and PhD. in mass communication from UGA as well.


We are so proud to have alumni who are impacting their students!

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May 22 - Colleges That Change Lives Fair

CTCL is a group of small, liberal arts, primarily undergraduate, teaching colleges that are regionally well known and have graduate school placement rates better than most Ivy League schools. Go to http://ctcl.org for more information.

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Spring photos are for K4 - 5th grade and students are allowed to wear spring attire to school. Hopefully, we will be getting preorder forms to you early next week in your child's book bag or you can place a preorder online now at http://cadystudios.com.

OTHER PHOTO NEWS

Cady Studios is coming to do head shots on Wed. 4/18, from 3-5, in the Nicholson Center concession area. It is important for any coach, assistant or head, who has not had a head shot done by Cady Studios to come and get it done. We chose to do them after school for coaches who may not work at the school.


Prom candids and other candids taken throughout the year are available for purchase on the Cady Website: http://events.cadystudios.com/category/48795.

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