In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

August 20, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Spirit Wear Day: Tomorrow
  • Fall Sports Picture Make Up Day: Aug. 24
  • Swim Team Sign Up Meeting: Aug. 24
  • Mandatory Sub Meeting: Aug. 25
  • Fall Sports Senior Night: Sept. 4 (details below)

Updated Afternoon Carpool Traffic Patterns

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Welcome Back!

Dear Bulldog Families and Friends,

We always look forward to greeting both new and familiar faces to GWA and this year brought even more anticipation. It’s exciting and comfortable to see our students back at school!

Thank you to everyone for doing a great job with the face coverings. These measures and the others we have implemented are important to keeping us all on campus. And we can’t lose sight of all the other expectations that help school go smoothly for everyone: taking temperatures and checking for symptoms at home each morning, being on time, bringing lunch and other items needed for the day, adhering to the dress code, etc. As we all adjust to some new procedures, we appreciate your patience and understanding. Our first couple of days have been great!

We encourage everyone to make the most of this new year: take time to set some personal goals, ask plenty of good questions, explore something new, dare to push beyond the familiar, commit to serve others, and challenge yourself to be your best.

On a personal note, I want to thank each of our students, parents, teachers, and staff. Our partnership is dependent upon each other more than ever before - and we are rising to the challenge. Our success this year will have less to do with governance, rules, and expectations – although those are certainly important – than our commitment to shared values. Please continue to look after one another. Anyone can start on campus. Our goal is to stay on campus. Together, we can do it!


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Important Counseling & Testing Dates

  • Payment deadline for School Day SAT & ACT for juniors and seniors- Monday, August 24- $65 for SAT, $55 for ACT, $120 for both. Please make checks payable to GWA.
  • Mandatory Virtual College Counseling Meeting for Juniors and Parents - Tuesday, September 15 - Time TBD
  • Virtual Counselor Chats for all GWA parents - Thursday, September 17, 6:30 pm
  • School Day SAT - Wednesday, September 23 - all registered juniors and seniors
  • School Day ACT - Tuesday, October 6 - all registered juniors and seniors
  • PSAT - October 14 - 8th through 11th grade students

Virtual College Events

Probe College Fair

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, October 5, 6, and 7 in the evening- all high school students invited. More information to come.

Georgia Tech, UGA, and Georgia State for Prospective Students & Parents

Register at

  • Tuesday, August 25, at 6 pm
  • Wednesday, August 26, at 6 pm
  • Thursday, August 27, at 6 pm

Harvard, Princeton, UVA, Wellesley, & Yale Prospective Student Information Sessions

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Gaining Global Perspective

In the spirit of our GWA mission statement, junior Dominic Williams and senior Max Misterka had the opportunity to participate in the Moroccan Virtual Exchange this month via Zoom to exchange ideas regarding the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 that were established by the UN in 2015. “I had the privilege of working alongside some amazing people from around the world,” said Williams. “It was a phenomenal opportunity and I’m thankful that Mr. Cole selected me to take part in this incredible event.”

As a part of the Health and Well Being committee, they discussed the topic of Universal Healthcare for all nations in conjunction with current healthcare systems. Dominic edited a video presentation to include on a website he created with his group to present their resolution on how to better healthcare around the world. “I loved being able to meet new people, make new friends, learn about the world, and discuss how to better humanity,” said Williams. “The Moroccan Virtual Exchange was an absolutely amazing experience!”

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Thank You, Darrell McWaters

As Darrell McWaters retires from the board of trustees, the GWA community would like to express our appreciation for his 14 years of dedicated service.

"GWA is such an important part of our community, our children’s lives and their future," said Darrell. "The faculty, staff, and leadership of this wonderful academy make this a learning environment we should all cherish and protect. I've always believed in the importance of supporting GWA because of the vital role the school plays in our community and in the lives of our students and families.

My daughter, Miranda, is a proud alumna, having attended GWA since kindergarten. Two of her three children, George (Pre-K4) and Amelia (Pre-K3) are currently attending GWA. I know that our school is in a great place these days and I felt this was the right time for me to enjoy my new role as a grandparent.

Dr. Dolan's leadership, vision and work ethic have been instrumental in advancing the mission and strengthening the school. Under his skilled leadership and with the dedication and efforts of the board, teachers, students and parents, GWA is well positioned for the future."

Dr. Dolan thanks Darrell for his dedication to the school and for serving as chairman of the board for two years. "Darrell should take pride in knowing his contributions of time, energy and resources have helped form and strengthen the GWA of today. His commitment and efforts have helped us deliver on our mission to provide challenging instruction, engaging experiences, and global perspectives designed to inspire lives of intellectual curiosity, integrity and purpose."

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Tips for Lunch Making Success

Packing lunches is a new task for many parents and some of us are likely out of the practice! A few tips that may be helpful:

  • Pack a variety of items each day and vary from day to day to prevent boredom.
  • Experiment to see what works best for your family. Some families may desire fresh foods, while others may appreciate the convenience of pre-packaged.
  • Keep nutritional value at the front of your mind as you pack, but don’t feel guilty about sneaking in a small sweet treat.
  • Refillable water bottles are the best drink options. Water is an easy clean-up and those can be used throughout the day.
  • If your student doesn’t care for sandwiches, try alternative breads or wraps, warm foods in a Thermos, or pasta salads.

Check out these helpful accounts and websites for nutrition advice and lunch specific ideas:

We hope that these resources will make packing lunches a bit easier and help to offer more variety in your child's lunches! If you have tips to share with our Bulldog families - let us know and email Christina Russell at

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Please click HERE for a pdf version of the Quick Reference Guide.
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Parking in Style

One of our favorite new traditions enters it's fourth year and the Class of 2021 has created an impressive patchwork of imaginative designs. Be sure to check our their works the next time you visit campus - but don't park in their reserved spots! Great job, seniors!
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This price is the lowest price you’ll pay - $75! (the price will go up to $85 on September 19!). For easy online ordering, go to and enter 14485 (or enter school name instead – George Walton Academy). Or you can send in a check with your child - $75 per book and make sure to include your child’s name and grade on the envelope and attn: Liz Jones and/or YEARBOOK. We sold out of books last year. Don’t miss your opportunity to place your order for the 2021 book!


Yearbooks – DON’T BUY A YEARBOOK IF YOU ARE A SENIOR! Each senior will receive one yearbook (the price is covered under senior tuition).

Pictures - Please make sure to have your senior pictures taken if you haven’t done that already. The yearbook staff needs to have all tux/drape selections and casual selections from Elena (our school photographer) by the first week of October, so please make your selections ASAP. If you are submitting a casual picture taken by a different photographer, we will need to have those by Oct. 1 – email to

SENIOR PAGES – These can be created on or the staff can create a custom page for you. READ MORE...

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Senior Year Officially Kicks Off!

Dawgs 360 hosted the Class of 2021 Senior BBQ on Tuesday. This much anticipated event brings together students in an informal setting before the hustle and bustle of a new school year, giving them a chance to reconnect and catch up with one another. The event was more important than ever since some seniors had not seen each other in person since March.

We wish all our seniors a great year!

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Mark Your Calendar!

We will recognize all senior athletic team members and senior band members on Friday, Sept. 4 prior to the home varsity football game vs. Social Circle. We will also crown Miss Bulldog before the game.
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Sign Up for Swim!

Interested in joining the GWA Swim Dawgs? Be sure to attend the meeting next Monday - in person or virtually. Sign up is open to students in sixth through 12th grade. For questions, please contact Doretta Power at
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Softball Stand Out

Check out this recent write up from about GWA pitcher Taylor Tinsley. Way to go, Taylor! Click HERE to read the article.
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Fall Lacrosse sign ups are active now! Please see details below.

COVID - 19 Safety Measures:

We will follow all school and GHSA policies to protect our players. Player and coach safety is our top priority. As the school and the state release more information, we will distribute that to our families.

Age Groups:

Bantam Boys – 1st & 2nd Grade

Lightning Boys – 3rd & 4th Grade

Junior Boys – 5th & 6th Grade

Senior Boys – 7th & 8th Grade

Lightning Girls – 3rd – 5th Grade

Senior Girls – 6th – 8th Grade

Cost: Fall lacrosse dues are $100.

Practices: Practices will be held on the on our regular practice field located between the baseball field and the lower track. We will start practice on Aug. 26. Practices will be held on Wednesday and Friday at the following times:

Bantam Boys, Lightning Boys, and Lightning Girls will practice 4 – 5:30 pm.

Junior Boys, Senior Boys, and Senior Girls will practice 5:30 – 7:00 pm.

Equipment: Players are required to provide their own equipment. We have some loaner gear that will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. I will be organizing a gear purchase if we can get enough interest. Please reach out to me before buying anything. I can point you in the right direction to save some money.

Games: To be played on Sundays. Some games will be played at GWA, and others will be played at different parks in Gwinnett County. We don't have a schedule yet but should have one as we get close to the season starting.

You can register at Http:// On the right side of the screen, click the link for your son or daughter's age group. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. The deadline to register is tomorrow, Aug. 21.


Scott Jackson

Head Lacrosse Coach


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