In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

March 5, 2020

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or visit us online.

Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Young Persons' Concert: March 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins: Sunday, March 8
  • LS Class Group Photos: Monday, March 9 - details below
  • Walk-In Wednesday: March 11
  • Career Day: March 13
  • Prom: March 20 (No school grades 10-12)
  • Grandparents Day: March 20
  • Rising 9th Grade Parent Meeting: March 31 @ 6:30 p.m.
Big picture

GWA to Introduce Math Lab

GWA will introduce an innovative, adaptive Math Lab at the start of the new school year. This new program will provide a number of resources to support students:


  • During their study hall period, students who have to work a little harder with specific math concepts will be encouraged to visit the Math Lab for help. In addition to assistance provided by a full-time faculty member, peer tutors will also be trained to provide support. Additionally, we are exploring adaptive software to help identify specific issues a student might be experiencing.


  • The Math Lab will also offer "drop-in" hours. For example, let's say that a student worked through homework the night before but had difficulty with particular concepts. That student could stop by the Math Lab the next morning to ask questions and gain clarity to better understand and finish up the assignment.


  • To provide additional support, the Math Lab will offer a series of rotating classes on a variety of math concepts. The topics will be identified based upon input by the math teachers to correlate with their current lessons. Or if it's discovered that multiple students are struggling with the same material at one time, a class may be offered on that specific topic.


"GWA's Writing Center and Math Lab are powerful resources that will enable our students to obtain a higher level of mastery of key concepts," said Dr. Dolan. "Having a firm grasp of the material that is taught in today's GWA classroom will give them an advantage in tomorrow's college classroom. These support programs are designed to provide a solid foundation for the challenging coursework that lies ahead."

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Host Families Change Lives

Hosting an international exchange student is an enriching experience for both the visiting student and their host family. GWA parent Lisa Pugh explains why her family made the decision to host international students.


"We are active Rotarians and hosting international students is one way we choose “Service above Self.” It’s fun! We welcome these students into our home to join us in our daily activities. We enjoy learning about different cultures and interacting with smart, curious, brave kids who have chosen to spend a lengthy amount of time away from their own family and friends in exchange for American exploration. We’ve created an extended family of lifelong friendships and it’s a wonderful feeling to know we could help make a lifetime dream come true for a well deserving student."


Please feel to contact Femke Côté or Sherry Coffman with EF via phone (770-866-3884) or email (sherrycoffman@comcast.net) for more information.

Big picture
Big picture

Diving Into Water

Next week upper school students will take a closer look at water through four different lenses, conservation, scarcity, pollution and sanitation, as part of our annual upper school intensive. Students will hear from guest speakers each day, engage in unique projects within their focus and wrap up with a culminating presentation next Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned!
Big picture
Big picture

Strong Showing at Region Literary

Congratulations to our 2020 GWA Literary Team on an outstanding showing at Region Competition last Thursday! Our team placed third in the region, and several of our students will be headed to the State Competition on March 14. The students who placed at region include:

1st Place International Extemporaneous Speaking, Makena Helms
1st Place Girls’ Trio, Emma Boyer, Allison Carter, and Kilissa Gasaway
2nd Place Boys’ Solo, Trey Phillips
3rd Place, Boys’ Quartet, Brooks Dokes, Jack Boyer, Russel Moore, Russell Pope, and Mac Geoffroy (alternate)
3rd Place Argumentative Essay, Annabelle Jerman
4th Place Rhetorical Essay, Spring Rawl
4th Place Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, Lauren Holley
Big picture
Big picture

Procrastination - What Keeps Us From Starting?

By Angela Williams, Middle School Academic Coach


“People engage in chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a specific task” – Professor Fuschia Sirois, PhD.


People do not procrastinate because they are lazy or disorganized. It is due to poor self-regulation of emotions, moods, and time. They know that they have to do the task; they just cannot bring themselves to begin. This creates a gap between action and inaction. Many students have struggles with homework completion, writing papers, and studying for tests, but they get it done. However, planning, prioritizing, organizing, and decision-making can cause students with ADHD to become overwhelmed and shutdown.


It helps to understand the six procrastination personality types and suggested solutions.

READ MORE...

Big picture
Big picture

Class Group Picture Retakes: We will be making up some of our lower school class group photos on Monday. The following classes will have their photos remade/taken for the first time:

C. Cown

S. Cown

Griggs

Blevins

McDaniel

Bellah

Henry

May

Lovett

Hutter

Gunnin

Wardell


Spring Pictures: Optional spring portraits will be made on Thurs., March 12. Children are allowed/encouraged to wear spring clothing for these pictures! Make sure you send picture order forms with your child to give their teacher. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to send your teacher a note/email to make sure your child has his or her photo taken.


There is ONE ORDER FORM for both of these picture opportunities. If you haven’t sent it in already, send it in by Thursday!!!

Email the photographer directly with questions at elena@elenadelarosaphotography.com or contact yearbook advisor Liz Jones at ljones@gwa.com.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Book Fair Coming Soon!

The lower school book fair will take place March 20-27 in the lower school media center. Pick up some new reading material and support GWA in the process. Also, organizers are still looking for a few volunteers. Come and help our kids develop a love for reading! Please contact Jill Harkins if you would like to volunteer at jillharkins479@me.com.
Big picture
Big picture

Battling Blood Cancer

By Julia Waldo


This year we (Abby Stone, Julia Waldo, and Jolie Lanier) had the amazing opportunity of participating in the Students of the Year Leukemia and Lymphoma Society campaign. We have been working throughout the year to raise the most amount of money we possibly could to save lives battling blood cancer around the world. The campaign officially started on January 10. Our team worked as hard as we could, and by the end of the campaign on February 28 we raised over $25,000. We were so proud of our hard work and we are so grateful for everyone who contributed. Working in this campaign has been one of the greatest experiences we’ve been a part of, and we are so thankful to everyone who contributed to bring us a step closer to putting an end to blood cancer.

Big picture
Big picture

Spread the Word!

Please let your friends and neighbors know that Admissions will be hosting Walk-In Wednesday on March 11 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. We will offer information and tours every 15 minutes throughout the morning and early afternoon (no appointment necessary). We can't wait to show prospective families all the GWA has to offer! Contact Director of Admissions Cari Bailey at cbailey@gwa.com for more details.
Big picture
Big picture

Shop for GWA!

Do what you are already doing to help GWA. Did you know Amazon, Publix, Kroger, and Office Max will give George Walton Academy a portion of the proceeds of your purchases? Please register your shopping accounts by following the directions HERE. Then, designate GWA as your community partner.

Big picture
Big picture

Spring College Fair

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling


On Sunday, March 15, the GWA College Counseling Office will be taking a field trip to the Georgia International Convention Center which will be hosting the Spring Atlanta NACAC College Fair (https://www.nacacfairs.org/attend/national-college-fairs/atlanta-national-college-fair/) from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. This is a tremendous opportunity for exposure to even more colleges nationwide, many of which are not able to visit GWA or the surrounding areas during the academic school year. There are currently around 200 different institutions registered to attend the event (visit this link to see registered schools: https://hub.nacacnet.org/CollegeFairDirectory?id=a0k1P000017XQk7QAG ).


This field trip is open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Sign up in the college office by Wednesday, March 11.

Big picture
Big picture

Join the Fight!

We invite our entire community to get involved with Relay for Life: volunteer, donate, honor a loved one affected by cancer and help raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. To be part of this life-changing event, please contact Director of Dawgs 360 Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com. Click HERE to access team registration.


Survivor Dinner:

GWA is partnering with First Baptist to host this special dinner on Friday, April 17. If you are a cancer survivor and/or know someone who is please fill out the FORM by April 1 to receive an invitation to dinner.


Dedicate a Luminaria:

Light up your community and honor every life touched by cancer. Dedicate a luminaria to a loved one lost, someone currently battling, or anyone who has overcome cancer. Dawgs 360 is selling luminaria bags with all proceeds going to American Cancer at the price of two for $10.00. If you are interested contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com for more information. If you would like a student from our art department to decorate your bag for you, please let her know. Please click HERE for the order form.

Volunteer:

We are in need of 100 volunteers in different areas, from unloading to loading tents, traffic marshalls, joining GWA Relay Team, helping at the survivor dinner, as well as providing and driving golf carts! If you are interested, please email emcdonel@gwa.com.

Big picture
Big picture

The Circus Comes to GWA!

Today’s Pre-K3 – K5 musical, “Under the Big Top” had it all! The crowd of families, friends, students and faculty enjoyed performances by snake charmers, dancing bears, tightrope walkers, clowns and more. The show was written and directed by music teacher Debbie Dyer and included speaking roles, singing, dancing and incredible costumes. It was the perfect way to lift spirits on a rainy day!

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Matt Reynolds Named Boys Basketball Coach

The Bulldogs will be under new leadership for the 2020-2021 basketball season. GWA has announced Matt Reynolds will be the new boys head basketball coach.


Reynolds' basketball coaching experience at GWA includes serving as the varsity boys assistant coach and JV boys head coach from 2010 to 2017, as well as varsity girls assistant coach from 2017 to 2020. He is also the current golf head coach and served as varsity football assistant coach, varsity baseball assistant and JV head coach for several years.


"As an alumnus and former player, I am excited to have this opportunity to lead a program that gave me so much as a team member myself," said Coach Reynolds. "We have an outstanding group of young men who play extremely hard and I’m looking forward to not only working with them to become the best basketball players they can be, but also helping to mold them into the best men they can be. I’ve had the opportunity to work under a lot of excellent head coaches including Don Williams, Adam Lord, Todd Shelnutt, Shane Davis and Lori Hines - all of whom I have so much respect for - and I look forward to taking bits and pieces from each of their coaching styles to bring those elements to our program."


Athletic Director Mark Whitley praised Reynolds' ability to motivate players, saying, "Coach Reynolds has proven he can design programs that inspire student-athletes to work hard and pull together. His knowledge, strong communication skills and experience will enable him to effectively work with our players to take our basketball program to the next level."

Big picture
Big picture

Off and Running

By Amanda Riser, Athletic Coordinator


One of the largest events I have seen on campus was last Thursday’s track meet with 16 teams and 1600 event entries taking place on a very cold and windy afternoon. There was not a parking spot left and the concession stand was hopping with yummy food.


Our Dawgs came in second place for the meet. Brody Lindsay came in first with a 20ft jump in the Long Jump and second in Hurdles. Freshmen and newcomers Calan Fortunat and Landon Barber came in first and second in the Pole-Vaulting event. Langston Jones came in first in the Shot Put and fourth in Discus. For our Lady Dawgs, Emmie Mitchell came in first in the Triple Jump and second in the Long Jump. Alana Thorpe came in third in Discus. Natalia Chapar won the Shot Put and came in fourth in Discus. Claire McNulty came in first in the 1300M race.


Middle school track also had a great run with Leila Mathis coming in first in the 400m and beat her personal best with a time of 66.29 seconds. Cidella Sims won the Pole-Vaulting competition and tied her personal best with a 7ft jump. Emily Lalaian was fifth and Morgan Sandema sixth in the Shot Put.


Track and field is in full sprint and we look forward to our next home meet on Monday, March 9 at 3:45 p.m. (originally scheduled for today). Come cheer on our runners and field event participants. Mark your calendars for a day full of fun at our Third Annual Dawg Dash on Saturday March 21. We are also hosting the FAT county meets on Tuesday, March 24 and Thursday, March 26.


Keep it up, Bulldogs!

Big picture
Big picture

The 411 on Cheer Try Outs

GWA cheerleading try outs will be held on Thursday, April 2 after school in the lower gym. The formal try out will include an interview portion. The skills portion of the try out will be evaluated daily during practice. Teams will be posted via Remind on Friday, April 3 after school. Remind sign up will be made available on the first day of clinic/ practice.


Cheer clinic/ practice for try outs will be held on Thursday, March 26, Monday, March 30, Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1 in the lower gym starting at 3:40 p.m. Clinic will include practice and/ or instruction on cheer, chant, dance, jumps, tumbling, and stunts.


New cheerleader practice for girls completely new to cheerleading will be held on Wednesday, March 25th in the lower gym starting at 3:40 p.m. Skills such as jumps, motions, cheer terms, and basic stunting technique will be taught. For complete details, click HERE.

Big picture
Big picture

Youth Cheer Information

There will be a youth cheer uniform drop off March 17 and March 19 from 2:30-3:15 p.m. in the Nicholson Center concession area for used youth cheer uniforms. Parents can bring their used uniforms that are too small for their daughter or that they simply don't want anymore to Michele Bowen during car pool on these dates. They need to be in a bag that is labeled with their name and contact. We will sell them at registration on 3/23 and 3/26 for $45. Money will be collected at registration and given to the seller.


Youth cheer sign ups will be March 23 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the cafeteria and March 26 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Registration for youth cheer will be $75. Checks can be made out to GWA.

Big picture

Be in the Know!

GWA spring sports are in full swing! Click the calendar link below to check out upcoming sporting events and to check for any cancellations or changes. Go Bulldogs!

Big picture
Big picture

Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Preston & Malcom. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture