In Focus @ GWA
A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy
November 19, 2020
Key Deadlines & Dates
- Virtual Counselor Chat: tonight @ 6:30 p.m.
- Friends & Family Band Performance: tonight @ 6 p.m.
- Homecoming Dance: Nov. 21
- Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 23 - 27
- Coffee with the Admin: Dec. 3 @ 8:15 a.m.
- GWA Preview Day: Dec. 3 @ 10 a.m.
- Christmas Tree Presentation: Dec. 4
- Gingerbread Christmas: Dec. 6
- Reading Day: Dec.14
- Exam Week: Dec. 15 - 18
- Early Dismissal: Dec. 18
The road map to academic success is different for each student and learning at GWA is an experience tailored to the individual, building on their strengths, and supporting their needs. We have committed to providing academic support resources on campus in the Writing Center, Math Lab, and the Place for Academic Reinforcement and Coaching (the PARC). The services provided by our academic coaches and peer tutors offer all students the opportunity to achieve their academic potential, while those needing accommodations are fully supported. Additionally, all teachers in the middle and upper school offer after-school help, Monday – Thursday until 3:45 p.m.
All students can take advantage of the PARC’s peer tutors, private tutors and (after 2 p.m.) academic coaches. Upper school peer tutors provide extra help in all subjects from French to AP courses. Students may stop by during their study hall to work with a peer tutor. If private tutoring is needed, Mrs. Lalaian can arrange for a (fee-based) private tutor. Our upper school academic coaches are available for study sessions after 2 p.m. Students should email coaches to schedule a time. Their email addresses are found on our website under Academic Support.
Our new Math Lab is an excellent resource for all students needing reinforcement of math concepts. Mrs. Allen is available during the day so that students may schedule a time (through their math teacher) to stop in during study halls. Also, the Math Lab offers after-school hours from 2 until 2:45 p.m. Junior Mia Berry has seen an improvement in her math skills as result of working with Mrs. Allen, “She has helped me form new study habits and she is always there when I need extra attention in any subject. Mrs. Allen has been extremely helpful to me and I truly appreciate all she has done to help me become a stronger student."
The GWA Writing Center offers support to students on a wide range of writing projects. Mrs. Fisette and a group of (peer) writing consultants are available every day to work with students throughout each step of the writing process. Middle and upper school students may schedule an appointment online, using the link found on our website or in the GWApp.
As we head into the final stretch of the fall semester, it is important for students to assess their needs, utilize the resources we have on campus and work towards their individual goals for achievement. Reading Day, on Monday, Dec. 14, will offer students a chance to sign up for study sessions with their teachers and extra help time is available after 12:30 p.m. (Mon.-Thurs.) during exam week.
Be sure to encourage your child to make the most of these learning opportunities and build their own path to academic success!
Joe Brown is Student of the Month
Joe Brown has been chosen as Rotary Student of the Month for October. He has chosen Jeff Lalaian as Teacher of the Month. Joe is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a Furman Scholar, a UGA Certificate of Merit recipient, National Spanish Exam medal winner for the last three years and a Governor’s Honors Program nominee. He is a member of National Honor Society (secretary), Beta Club, Model U.N. (vice president), Gavel Club, Socratic Circle, and Interact Club. Joe is captain of the varsity cross country team as well as the varsity tennis team. He serves his community through Interact Club service projects and organized a fundraiser for Casa Guatemala, which serves children living in poverty in Guatemala.
Joe hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy or Georgia Tech and plans to study mechanical engineering. Congratulations to Joe and Mr. Lalaian!
GHP Nominees Selected
Five students have been selected as GWA state nominees for the Georgia Governor's Honors Program. These students will go on to the next level of the selection process and will complete applications to be considered as state finalists. The Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a four-week summer residential instructional program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually offered during the regular school year.
Congratulations to the following Governor’s Honors Program nominees:
(Pictured - starting from top, left to right) Michael Chick, Breena McGraw, Timothy Pham, Elizabeth Pope and Anna Swope.
Earlier this month second-grade students dusted off their passports again as they “departed” Mexico and “arrived” in Greece. Since then, students have been learning about Greek culture, landscape, mythology, and of course, the Olympics. This past Friday, second graders participated in the first annual Second Grade Olympics. Students began the day making iconic Olympic torches and bracelets to represent their team/class. After marching onto the field and announcing the teams, students cheered each other on in events like the frisbee toss, crab walk, spoon race, long jump, and beach ball relay.
They had so much fun and we can’t wait to see where their adventures take them next!
Ms. Walker’s seventh-grade Life Science students ventured across campus on the hunt for the dirtiest spot they could find to study the domain bacteria. Students swabbed door handles, teacher’s glasses, Dr. Dolan’s laptop, and even Ms. Walker’s car interior to isolate bacteria to grow and incubate. Moral of the story…keep washing your hands and sanitize your devices!
Spotlight on Drama Club
Drama Club is open to all middle and high school students. This club offers members performance opportunities, community service opportunities, further improv training, optional feedback during audition prep, discussions on current events in the theater community, musical and play viewings, and possible outings to theater events.
Admissions Season Begins!
Spread the word Bulldogs, we are excited to kick-off the 2021-2022 admissions season with our first Preview GWA event on Thursday, December 3. Applications are being submitted daily and interest in GWA continues to grow. If you or someone you know is considering GWA, please complete an application at your earliest convenience to reserve your space before they are gone. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year are available at gwa.com under the admissions tab. Contact the Admissions Office with questions.
It isn’t too late to submit your form to participate in the Gingerbread House Contest to win cash prizes. The deadline has been extended to tomorrow, Friday, November 20. Entry forms are available for pick up in the front office or the commons. Click HERE for complete details.
Virtual Counselor Chat Tonight
By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling
College admissions is a dynamic field, ever changing and evolving. It is our role as college counselors to share opportunities that align with our school's mission and would be a good fit for GWA students. We often receive letters from colleges (examples are attached below) inviting us to nominate students to their specific distinguished academic/leadership/service programs. These opportunities are often tied to generous scholarship offers. Each program may have a certain GPA and/or test score requirement and ask for supporting evidence of leadership roles and community engagement. If you are a freshman or sophomore, we encourage you to focus on developing your leadership and service throughout your high school career, along with a strong GPA and rigorous curriculum. If you are a junior or senior, we invite you to consider such programs when exploring college and universities.
Please also take a look at GWA's Scholarship page - https://sites.google.com/view/gwascholarships/home
This is a living document with scholarship opportunities on the school, local, state, and regional levels, including programs for grades 9-11 as well.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Most of us have heard of the standard classical composers – Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. But do you know about Ruth Crawford Seeger, who is considered the mother of musicology? What about Aster Piazolla, who is credited with bringing tango music to the world?
These composers and musicians are not as well known, not because their music isn’t great, but because during their lifetime they were underrepresented due to their race, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status.
Our high school piano students researched underrepresented composers and their great contributions to the music world. We hope you’ll take the time to stop by the piano lab hallway to learn more about these exceptional musicians.
Come Out to See the Show!
All are invited to enjoy the GWA Marching Bulldog Band Friends and Family Performance tonight! Admission is free! Come out to watch the Band perform their award-winning show - “Resurgence… From the Ashes.”
Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Enjoy the show!
Look Out, Lions!
Our GWA varsity Bulldogs take on the LCA Lions this Friday (away). Fans are invited to attend and should pay for admission at the gate with cash or card. Spectators are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, wear a mask, bring personal hand sanitizer, and maintain social distancing. The livestream is available through NFHS (subscription required). Let’s go Bulldogs!
State Qualifiers in Swim
Sign Up for Lacrosse
Girls Get the Win!
Congratulations to girls middle school basketball team on their 41-38 victory over Prince Avenue Christian School on Monday. Ashley Hill scored 16 points, Lora Kate Malcom -10 points and Leila Mathis - seven points. Their next game is tonight at 5 p.m. at Oglethorpe. Good luck, girls!
Corporate Partner Spotlight: Element Funding
Lee Waldo with Element Funding has been a long standing Corporate Partner with GWA.
As their website states, “At Element Funding, we believe in the importance of family. We fully realize that buying a home is the singularly most emotional and greatest financial purchase that a family will ever make. To that extent, we place an incredible amount of emphasis on never missing a closing date. This all leads back to our strong belief in the importance of keeping our promises.”
Element Funding offers a wide range of loan options to their local borrowers. They have a full list of 30- and 15-year fixed rate mortgages for those looking to go the traditional route, along with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) for those interested. They also feature programs like manufactured housing loans and 2/1 buy down mortgages. In addition, they can help line you up with several different government-backed mortgage loan options: VA, FHA, USDA, Conventional.
At Element Funding, they are dedicated to ensuring that each client has a great experience. Their local home loan originators have decades of combined experience in the mortgage industry and can help you with a variety of needs, from helping you find the right mortgage based on your financial factors to closing things out and getting you in the perfect home for you and your family.
Lee serves on the board of trustees for George Walton Academy. He also serves as Treasurer for the McDaniel-Tichenor House and JH Outback Northeast GA. Lee and his wife Kelly have two children: Haynes, who graduated from GWA in 2018 and Julia, who is a senior this year.