In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

October 19, 2017

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Aftercare Coordinator Peggy Jordan Discusses Going "Beyond the Bell"

Could the next tennis great be in our midst? Or maybe a world-class ballerina? Every dream starts somewhere and your child's journey might just begin at GWA's after-school program: Beyond the Bell.


From arts to athletics to humanities, we offer exciting extracurricular enrichment programs for lower and middle school students throughout the year. Our Beyond the Bell students currently enjoy tennis, guitar, “Perfectly Polished”, and eSports on campus and we have partnered with Encore studio in downtown Monroe for a ballet class. For the convenience of our parents, we provide transportation for ballet students to and from the studio.


Whether your child wants to pursue a passion or simply wishes to try a new hobby, these classes are open to all students, even those in aftercare. We hope to expand the program and welcome your suggestions for additional class offerings.

When it comes to igniting imagination, developing new skills or exploring hidden talents, Beyond the Bell is the place to be!


For more information, please contact Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

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Head of St. Paul's School Visits GWA

On Tuesday Patricia Carranza, head of St. Paul's School in Barcelona, Spain, arrived on campus for a short, two day visit. Her trip coincides with the final days of the exchange of six of her students here in Georgia, and she was excited to see and hear about their involvement. This previous January, the Head of English from St. Paul's, Hannah Margrett, completed the preliminary visit to set up the exchange, but Patricia wanted to see everything firsthand for herself. "All of the students seem happy here," she said yesterday. She had the opportunity to visit each of the exchange students in at least one of their classes, and got to meet some of their teachers to ask about their experience of having a Spanish student over the last four weeks. She learned about our college admissions process from Michael Clancy, and received a tour of the campus from Cari Bailey, with the aid of the exchange students. Mrs. Bailey noted that they were excited to show Patricia the campus that they have called home for the last month, specifically bringing her to see the senior parking spots, the art rooms, and the band room.


Patricia is making the most of her time in the US, leaving Georgia today to go visit five other exchange students from St. Paul's who are currently at another of their partner schools in Canada. She related that she was very happy with the partnership that we had formed between our schools, and was so pleased that she had the time to visit. We look forward to being equally impressed with her school when we make our inaugural visit in April!

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Shelly Miles To Join the All-American Band

Senior Horn player and Band President Shelly Miles auditioned with thousands of other students from around our nation and has earned a spot in the US Army All-American Marching Band, held in San Antonio, Texas in January. Congratulations to Shelly for being our sixth All-American in four years!

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Dawg Shop Fall Sale

The Dawg Shop will be open this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Be sure to check out clearance spirit wear and special prices on select dress code items including Universal brand skorts for $20. Thank you for supporting your on campus bookstore!
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One Act Team Sets Stage for Competition

GWA fields a team of four with senior Summer Haag being our only returning experienced One Act competitor. The remaining team members are Freshmen Sara Camp, Makena Helms, and Alicia Shaw. The ladies will perform "The Diary of Adam and Eve," dramatized by Marc Bucci from the story by Mark Twain. (Dramatic Publishing Company) Adam and Eve take you on a romp through the "garden" and into the world as they learn many things about life, themselves, and each other. Please join us on Tuesday, October 24 at 3:45 or 7 p.m. in the auditorium as the GWA One Act Team presents "The Diary of Adam and Eve". (Running time approximately 50 minutes. We invite you to chat with the cast following the show to give them feedback on the performance.)


The GWA One Act Play cast is bound for Gainesville, Georgia for Region 8 Area 4 Private Competition on October 28. The competition is a GHSA sanctioned event taking place this year at Riverside Military Academy. This all day event showcases the theatrical talents of students as they present published works for a panel of judges. The experience and resulting feedback from judges is instrumental in helping to further develop the gifts and talents of the student participants.

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National Day of Writing

Friday, October 20, is the National Day on Writing, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English. The goal for the NCTE is “to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives.” We write through text and twitter messages, blogs and e-mails, and, yes, we even write through camcorders and cell phones, telling important stories with our images. As in years past, NCTE is calling for a Tweetup using the hashtag #WhyIWrite. Last year over 60,000 responses emerged from the project, and this Friday, many of our GWA students will add their own tweets to the many from across the world, responses like that of Senior Megan McGoldrick saying, “I write not to express what qualities I already have, but to search for those I wish to obtain,” and that of Senior Libby Lee McDaniel, responding, “Writing helps me make sense of the world.” Click HERE for more details from the NCTE on why people write.

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Student Art Exhibit Expands

The campus display of student artwork continues to grow as new pieces are added. Two detailed scratchboard renderings illustrate architectural structures close to home and abroad. Sarah Sykes chose to draw the Walton County Courthouse in downtown Monroe. For Sarah it represented her hometown – a place she is proud to call home. Sarah Catoe was inspired by her travels to Spain this summer and chose a building she visited in Madrid as her subject.

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Chambers Eckles Wins Third Place in Fire Prevention Contest

Congratulations to junior Chambers Eckles for winning third place in the 2017 Fire Prevention Week Calendar, Poster and Essay Contest sponsored by the Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. Chambers is invited to the awards luncheon on October 26 at the Monroe County Conference Center in Forsyth, Georgia.
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Sixth Graders Use Math to "Break Out"

Lori White’s sixth-grade math classes enjoyed “Breaking Out” last week with middle school technology teacher Jennifer Stapp. They solved multiple problems by reviewing math topics they’ve learned this year such as area, dot plots, and metric conversions that led to clues hidden around the room. These clues helped them to put together a class puzzle that they used to lead them to the final breakout box. Students learned that it takes a lot of teamwork. It was so much fun to see the excitement on their faces and hear “I’m so excited to go to math today” comments as they came in the door!

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A Lesson in Local Sports History

Mrs. Carson’s 11th grade classes enjoyed a trip to downtown Monroe to tour the Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams Exhibit. The traveling exhibition examines the many roles sports play in society. Students were surprised to learn that Monroe was once home to a boarding school, a Carver team that won national acclaim, and a baseball team that had several major league players.

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Middle Schoolers Learn Through Labs

Mrs. Schlumper’s seventh and eighth-grade classes are doing labs this week. Seventh graders are becoming robot parents and having robot offspring. By using their knowledge of Punnett squares and genetics, they will determine what the phenotype of their offspring will be. In another lab, they will determine which baby belongs to whom based on synthetic blood and their knowledge of genes and blood types.


The eighth-grade classes are doing the Cartesian diver labs where they will use their knowledge of ideal gas laws to determine why the diver sinks when pressure is applied to the outside of the bottle. They will have to use their knowledge of Boyle’s Law, Archimedes Principle, and Pascal to determine why the diver sinks and the reasoning behind it.

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Fourth Graders Studying First Americans

Fourth graders are studying the first Americans-their travels to the New World as well as the first meetings with Native Americans and setting up the new colonies. At the same time our novel study this nine weeks is a book called "Blood on the River," which is a historical fiction story set in the same timeframe. We have learned about how Native Americans were given a name at birth, then later earned their “real” name though their accomplishments or based on their personality traits. Students made their own Native American “face” and chose his or her name based on their own attributes. In writing, they also completed messages on “skins” using symbols for words as the Native Americans used to communicate.

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Bears Hibernate on "the Hill"

Stuffed bears brought from home made learning about hibernation even more memorable for K4 students this week. They enjoyed building bear caves, playing games and singing songs, including “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” with their toy bears in hand. Students learned about the unique habits of hibernating bears and other animals that go into a dormant state during the winter. Unfortunately, the bears will have to hibernate back at home after Friday.

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Lady Dawgs Advance To Elite Eight

Congratulations to the varsity softball team as they advance to the GHSA Elite Eight in Columbus, Georgia. Let's go Lady Dawgs!
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No Secret to College Admissions

When people find out I am college counselor, one of the most common questions they ask, whether they have high school aged students or not, is: “What’s the secret to getting into college?” This question reminds me of the old joke: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The response, for those that haven’t heard the joke, is: “Practice, practice, practice.” The secret to getting into college is to get good grades, and if possible, get good grades in rigorous courses.


But don’t just take it from me. The National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) in which George Walton is a member, surveyed their university membership as to what they consider when making admissions decisions. 79% placed considerable importance on “Grades in College Prep Courses.” This was followed by “Grades in All Courses” and “Strength (rigor) of Schedule,” each of which 60% or more than 230 universities felt had considerable importance when evaluating applications.


Click HERE to continue reading article.

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Bulldogs Kick Off at 7:30 p.m. vs. Athens Academy. Go Dawgs!

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Next week, GWA will observe Red Ribbon Week, the nation's largest and oldest drug prevention campaign. It is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. The students will see video clips via morning news from "Living Your Natural High" https://naturalhigh.org/resources/ and receive red ribbons on Friday. Daily events for the week include:


Monday- Put a CAP on drugs (wear your favorite hat)

Tuesday- Peace out drugs (wear a tie dye shirt)

Wednesday- Put a SOCK on drugs (wear your mismatched socks)

Thursday- Lei off drugs (wear a Lei)

Friday- Be a “Jean-us” and be drug free (wear your jeans- not jeans with holes, tattered, and no jean shorts)

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The easiest way to order your yearbook is through this link: https://www.yearbookordercenter.com/index.cfm/job/14485.

You can also bring a check to the front office for $75 per yearbook, made out to GWA. Make sure to include the names and grades of the students that the yearbooks will go to at the end of the year. And be sure to tell them it is for the yearbook.

If you have any questions about the yearbook, please contact Liz Jones at ljones@gwa.com.

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