In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

September 26, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • V Softball vs. Towns Co./Senior Night: Sept. 26 @ 5 p.m.
  • Homecoming Pep Rally: Sept. 27 @ 9:15 a.m.
  • Early Dismissal: Sept. 27- see below
  • V Football vs. Lakeview: Sept. 27 @ 7:30 p.m.
  • Alumni Weekend: Sept. 27-29
  • Dawgs Unleashed 5K & Fun Run: Sept. 29
  • Senior Yearbook Page Deadline: Sept. 30
  • Picture Retakes: Oct. 3
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Always A Bulldog!

By Jeanie Beach

Director of Advancement

Homecoming is always an exciting time. It is an opportunity for students to have a fun week of dress up days, a parade, pep rally, competitions, and a dance. It is also an opportunity for alumni, friends, and the community to re-connect and reminisce. As an alumna myself (Go class of 1983!), this year is especially meaningful as we have planned several events as part of our 50th anniversary alumni weekend celebrations.

Many of the things I enjoyed as a student are still present today: amazing teachers who know you personally, the sense of belonging and of family, coursework designed to prepare our students for college, and even the lighthearted and fun senior pranks (and I have seen some awesome senior pranks over the years). Other things have changed for the better. I have seen our programs grow to include global studies, a winter term, and we’ve added several new athletic opportunities such as equestrian, competition cheer, lacrosse, fencing, bass fishing, and esports. We’ve also seen a tremendous expansion of our fine and performing arts programs.

Of all the things I treasure from my own experience as a student at GWA, what stands out the most are the teachers and staff. They not only guided me academically, but they also taught me some powerful life lessons that have helped shape who I am today. The list is too long to capture here, but let me share just a few thoughts about those who have meant so much to me.

I remember Mrs. Tandree Watts Hodge who taught me the love of wildlife by raising injured baby flying squirrels in our fifth grade classroom (for my close friends, maybe THAT is where I developed my fascination with squirrels). Coach Ron Bradly who taught me a hard life lesson about commitment when he kicked me off the basketball team because I opted to do something fun instead of going to practice one day. Mrs. Faye Carter my sixth grade teacher who was strict, but fair, and who provided daily inspirations with readings from the Guidepost magazine. Ms. Gerri Bachelor who taught me compassion by staying afterschool to help me understand chemistry, which terrified me. Mrs. Marie Bell Preston who sparked my love of learning thorough all the creativity she brought into her English class. (I was even in a class skit with Kyle Chandler! Evidently, some people believe that his acting talents may have exceeded mine.) And Mrs. Faye Machen, our librarian, who told a gangly, insecure teenager that one day she would blossom and find her way in the world.

These are just a few of the tremendous teachers who made a difference in my life. During my years as a student, later as a parent, and now as an employee, I have been blessed by knowing the wonderful teachers who truly cared about me. I hope some of them are able to visit during our homecoming and 50th anniversary festivities. I would like to personally thank them for the impact they have had on my life. I would also like to introduce them to the new faculty and staff. I’m sure they would be proud of those who have followed in their footsteps and who have done such a great job of building on the foundation that has been laid. I also look forward to seeing my fellow alumni this weekend and swapping stories, laughing about all the things we experienced together, and catching up on our lives. I am proud to be a graduate of George Walton Academy and wish GWA a happy homecoming as we welcome our friends back to campus!

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Early Dismissal Tomorrow

Schedule for pep rally day:

8 a.m. – Students check into first period

9:15 a.m. – Pep rally begins

10:30 a.m. – Powder Puff games begin

11:00 a.m.– Pre-K3, K4, K5 dismissed from front of school

11:30 a.m. – Lower school carpool

11:30 a.m. – Middle and upper school dismissal

11:45 a.m. – Buses run

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Important Homecoming Info

Spirit Day:

Tomorrow is spirit day for all grades with middle and upper school wearing specific colors for their grade:

-Seniors- black, Juniors-white, Sophomores- red, Freshmen-gray

-8th Grade- black, 7th Grade- red, 6th Grade- gray or white

Homecoming Pep Rally:

Friday, Sept. 27 at 9:15 a.m. (football field/track)

-Homecoming banners: lower School

-Homecoming golf carts: middle School

-Homecoming floats: upper school

Powder Puff Football Game:

Friday, Sept. 27 following pep rally/court presentation (football field)

-Upper school students will watch/participate in the game. All other grade levels are invited to come out and cheer on these teams.

-1st Game: 9th grade vs. 10th grade

-2nd Game: 11th grade vs. 12th grade

-Championship Game

Homecoming Game:

GWA vs. Lakeview Academy (mascot- Lions)

Friday, Sept. 27 @ 7:30 p.m.

-Homecoming court parade @ 7 p.m.

-Before kick off- alumni are invited to line the field to cheer on the team.

-Homecoming Queen crowned at halftime.


Saturday, Sept. 28, 8-11 p.m. (high school students ONLY) in the cafeteria- this a change from the original venue and the theme is "Under the Sea." Tickets will be sold at the door for $15.

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GWA Hosts FCA Event

In addition to LCA, George Walton Academy is hosting Fields of Faith for middle and high school students from GWA, Monroe Area, Carver, Social Circle Middle and Social Circle High School. Also, the youth from local area churches will be invited to attend. It promises be a time of fun and fellowship among our teenagers. Students are encouraged to attend this FCA sponsored event on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. on Keith Henderson Field. Learn more at

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The deadline to submit content for a senior page in the yearbook is Sept. 30! There are two options for creating page layout:

• Create your senior yearbook page online at for $100.


• Have the staff design the page for you for $150. Send in a labeled envelope with the senior’s first and last name, attention Mrs. Jones, to the front office:

- Pictures (high resolution digital pictures on a USB drive – preferred - or physical photos to be scanned)

- Typed text (in a digital format so we can copy and paste – you can email or include on the USB drive)

- Check for $150 made payable to GWA

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Spring Rawl is Rotary Student of the Month

Spring Rawl has been selected as Rotary Student of the Month for September. She chose Cecile Gervais as Rotary Teacher of the Month. Spring has earned the Highest GPA Award for her class for the past three years as well as the Georgia Certificate of Merit. She is a Furman Scholar, Wofford Scholar and a Junior Fellow Scholar. Spring participates in Student Council, Gavel Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, FCA, Cross Country, Track and Soccer. She volunteers in her community as a member of the Walton County Youth Advocacy Board and Youth Leadership at First United Methodist Church of Monroe. Spring plans to study business in college and become an entrepreneur. Congratulations to Spring and Mrs. Gervais!

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Help is on the Way!

Is your child struggling with homework assignments in any particular subject?

Does your child have failing grades? Does your child have weak study skills?

Help is available daily, so encourage your child to seek support in any of the

following ways:


1. All teachers at GWA are required to remain in their classroom every day (Mondays to Thursdays) from 3:15 – 3:45 p.m. for the specific purpose of offering academic support to their students.

· This may involve asking questions about homework assignments, notes missed in class, clarification of math concepts, or tips for review.

· Student athletes are allowed to see their teachers during this time as practice only commences at 4 pm. READ MORE...

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Coding and Technology

By Mark Gasaway

Technology Teacher

Each week students are challenged to apply technology to solve problems. This may come in the form of computer programming or solving a physical challenge. The most important part of coding is learning to think about a problem and then develop a solution. Students are not required to accomplish this by themselves but in collaboration with their classmates. As students work together to find solutions they are also developing other skills such as collaborating and communicating. The problem solving skills that students are learning will empower them not only in class today but will prepare them for careers in the future.

When your children use a computer in the classroom, they are not being entertained but preparing for the future. We use programs like, Scratch and others to build foundational skills in programming. Children learn to move a sprite or character across the screen to solve a problem. As students grow in their learning they move on to creating artwork through coded design. Still other students will practice coding their favorite games, just like a real programmer.

Our Lower School Technology is not a computer class but an exploration into binary thinking and problem solving whether through a block form of JavaScript or hopping across the floor following an algorithm the class wrote together. Each week a new challenge will encourage your children to use technology to solve problems not only in the classroom, but also to apply that knowledge to problems in the future.

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The FAFSA & the Zombie Apocalypse

By Laura Nabors

Associate Director of College Counseling

Don’t be scared! The College Counseling Department is here for you! Here’s what you need to know going into October.

The Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens October 1, 2019, for current seniors and their parents. The FAFSA is the financial aid form the federal government uses to determine the estimated family contribution (EFC). It is necessary for accessing financial aid such as grants, federal student loans, and work-study funds. Current seniors and parents are encouraged to complete this form – applying sooner is better to qualify for as much financial aid as possible. Sidenote - If you have already started the FAFSA, you are filling out the incorrect school year and need to wait until October 1 for the 2020-2021 form. Just want to save you a headache. However, you can go ahead and request a FSA ID for the student and one parent now so you both are ready for October 1.

Here are four quick things you need to know about financial aid: READ MORE...

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Visit Our AP Art Student Gallery

Our AP Art students have been busy curating AP Art: A Summer Retrospective - a special exhibition of their summer projects in the fine arts building. The gallery will be open Friday night starting at 5:30 p.m.- so be sure to stop by before the football game to view this incredible display of creativity and talent. Light refreshments will be served.
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Get Ready for the 5K and Fun Run!

Our Dawgs Unleashed running events are this Sunday! The Fun Run begins at 1:30 p.m. and the 5K begins at 2 p.m. with a new route from our campus to downtown Monroe. Click HERE for the 5K course map. The race will start at GWA at the Nicholson Center and finish in downtown Monroe. Shuttles will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. to pick up and bring participants back to their cars. Shuttles will pick up at Monroe Utilities (215 N. Broad Street) and behind the Monroe Art Guild (205 S. Broad Street). Registration tables will be open at 1 p.m. Sunday.

All registered Dawgs Unleashed runners may use their bibs to get discounts and special deals at participating Downtown Monroe businesses! Click HERE to check out the virtual goody bag.

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Softball Senior Night

Softball seniors will be recognized this evening at 4:45 p.m. before the last regular season home game against Towns County. The Lady Dawgs are 17-3 for season- so come out to cheer them on for win number 18!
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White Out Shirts on Sale Now!

Come out to support our Bulldogs under the Friday Night Lights at Athens Academy on Oct. 11! Click the link below to purchase your t-shirt. Available in sizes toddler-adult.

Be in the Know!

GWA fall sports are off to a great start! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events. GO BULLDOGS!

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Brysan Utility Contractors. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.
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