In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

November 29, 2018

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

Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Nightmare Before Nutcracker Performance: Nov. 30
  • Piano Recital: Dec. 2
  • Gingerbread Christmas at GWA: Dec. 2
  • Lower School Pictures With Santa: Dec. 5
  • Prospective Family Open House: Dec. 6
  • Coffee With Admin: Dec. 6
  • Christmas Tree Presentation: Dec. 7
  • Arsenic and Old Lace Theater Performance: Dec. 7 & 8
Big picture

K5 Meets the Mission Statement

By Femke Côté, Associate Head of Curriculum and Global Studies

“George Walton Academy provides challenging instruction, engaging experiences, and global perspectives designed to inspire lives of intellectual curiosity, integrity and purpose.”

When you begin an important journey, it's crucial to set out with your destination in mind. That’s why the faculty at GWA – from K4 teachers to those who teach our senior AP classes – approach each day with a firm understanding of what we’d like to see in each Bulldog on graduation day.

As part of the recent reaccreditation process, we reviewed and reworded our mission statement to better convey the vision of what we want our students to achieve during their time on our campus. We believe that each step along the way is important, but none so important as the first step in our K5 classrooms...Read More.

Big picture
Big picture

Congratulations GWA Rotary Student of the Month!

Taryn Shelnutt has been selected as Rotary Student of the Month for November. She chose Coach Lori Hines as Rotary Teacher of the Month. Taryn is a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club and NG3. She achieved Best of the Best awards and Headmaster’s List for the past three years while earning highest GPA awards on the varsity softball and basketball teams. Taryn volunteers with her church and serves as a Debutante of Monroe. She plans to attend Johnson University and pursue a career in education. Congratulations, Taryn and Coach Hines!
Big picture

Under the Sea Science Lesson

Third-grade students toured the Georgia Aquarium in order to enhance their current science studies regarding food chains and food webs. Exploring the aquarium behind the scenes certainly expanded on what they have been focusing on in the classroom. Our GWA third-grade teachers believe it is truly valuable for students to experience firsthand what is being taught in the classroom.

They attended the dolphin show complete with a picnic lunch, toured behind the scenes at the aquarium, and were able to visit all the exhibits to explore all the marine life in their habitats.

Student Addie Grace Croker said, “I loved leaning about the dolphins and their training. The behind the scenes tour was awesome because we get to see stuff that other people don’t get to see.”

Big picture
Big picture

Alert- Time Change!

Please note a time change for our next Coffee with the Admin event! The meeting will take place Thursday morning, Dec. 6 at 8:15 a.m. rather than that evening as originally planned- in order to avoid overlapping with the Monroe Christmas Parade. So, please plan on joining us that morning to chat with Dr. Dolan, hear the latest GWA news, and discuss any rumors swirling around.
Big picture

Spread the word, our first Prospective Family Open House is coming up! Contact Cari Bailey with questions or prospective family referrals.

Big picture

GWA Spreads Christmas Cheer!

The GWA Christmas float won first place at the Snellville Christmas Parade Saturday night! Thank you to the talented hands of Mr. Cole, Ms. Sims and all of the students in our fine arts department who created this incredible float. Well done, Bulldogs!

Look for us in these upcoming community parades:

Covington: Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 10 a.m.

Loganville: Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 6 p.m.

Monroe: Thursday, Dec. 6 @ 6 p.m.

Winder: Saturday, Dec. 8 @ 11 a.m.

Lawrenceville: Friday, Dec. 14 @ 7 p.m.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

It looks like elves have been very busy around campus- decking the halls and trimming the trees! GWA Bulldogs are definitely in the Christmas spirit!
Big picture
Big picture

Middle School Basketball Trumps BCS!

Both the boys and girls middle school basketball teams have started the season out strong with wins over Bethlehem Christian. Come out and watch these hoopsters in action tonight, Nov. 29, against St. Joes! The girls play at 5:30 p.m. and boys play at 6:30 p.m. Go Bulldogs!
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
An evening of Bulldog basketball begins on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. with the JV girls vs. Providence Christian- followed by the varsity girls at 6 p.m. and boys at 7:30 p.m. Please bring three canned food items for free admission and to support the Walton County Empty Stocking Fund. Snap a selfie with Santa, enjoy a treat from the Kona Ice truck, and wear your best camo attire as you cheer on the Bulldogs!

Fencing Club Celebrates a Big Victory

GWA Fencing Club member Evelyn Echols is sweeping the competition! The sophomore fencer has consistently placed in top spots for both the high school league and for USA Fencing tournaments since she began competing a year ago. "She has worked hard to maintain strong results, winning the silver medal in her first ever high school event to winning the bronze in the Junior Olympic qualifiers," said GWA Fencing Club coach Allen Schneider. Congratulations Evelyn!

The GWA Fencing club is actively recruiting new members! If interested please contact a current member and look for informational flyers posted around campus.

Big picture
Big picture
The GWA Student Council is participating in the annual canned food drive for the Walton County Empty Stocking Fund. Food boxes will be prepared for 375 needy families for the Christmas holidays. GWA is a valuable part of this endeavor. Please place your items in one of the collection barrels located around campus. The lower school homeroom and the middle school homeroom that collect the most cans will receive a pizza party. The upper school student who turns in the most cans will receive a gift card (cans should be delivered to Mrs. Carson’s classroom). The deadline to submit the total number of cans your class collects is Thursday, Dec. 6. Winners will be announced on Friday, Dec. 7. Thank you so much for your support!
Big picture
Big picture

Experience the Trip of A Lifetime with GWA!

Where is the trip exploring?

The trip will start in Quito, Ecuador, and then move to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of South America.

Who can go?

Students in grades nine through 12 are eligible AND parents are welcome to travel!

What is the cost of the trip?

The total cost of the trip is $4,390. We know that this price is expensive, but the experience your student will have is priceless! The cost breaks down to $365/day, and includes airfare, transportation, hotels, meals, guided sightseeing, entrances to museums, full time tour director and expert local guide fees, and the full support and backing of the EducationFirst company for risk management and safety.

Can my student earn credit for this trip?

Yes. Students can earn credit towards graduation for this trip, giving them greater choice and flexibility in their schedule.

Faculty leaders for this experience are Brian Cole and Tara Walker. For itinerary and specific pricing, please visit the tour’s webpage.

Big picture

Spirit Wear Blowout Sale and New Arrivals!

All spirit wear in the Dawg Shop is currently on sale at 40% off the original price! The discounted price for Dawgs 360 members is 50% off the original price. The sale runs through December 21 and quantities are limited.

Also, come by and check out our brand new GWA merchandise arriving this week!

Big picture

A Magical Marching Experience

By Christian Smith, Director of Bands

The GWA Marching Bulldog Band has just returned from an exciting trip to Florida and Walt Disney World! The Band had to earn the opportunity to represent GWA in the 2018 "Make a Dream Come True Walt Disney Parade" at the Magic Kingdom on Mickey's 90 Birthday Celebration, and have been planning this special trip since January. In order to be selected, we were required to submit videos of marching band shows from recent years and then audition for consideration...Read More.

Big picture
The GWA dance department is excited to present “The Nightmare Before Nutcracker,” which is an original ballet that features jazz, hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and musical theatre dance. Come join us for a mash up of the Halloween and Christmas seasons in this exciting performance on Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the lower school gym.
Big picture

Yearbook advisor Liz Jones has been super busy taking pictures this year. Here is a link to some of her photos. The password is gwadawgs2019. You may have to enter the password to get into the main folder and then again for each gallery. Feel free to download and share her pictures!

Also, don’t forget to buy a yearbook! You can order one here or send a check made out to GWA ($75 per book) to Liz Jones in the front office. Don’t forget to include your child’s name, grade and homeroom.

And if you have any questions regarding school photography, please contact our school photographer, Elena De La Rosa at or give her a call at 770-861-5890.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Lower school students will visit with Santa on December 5. Pictures with Santa are available for purchase and envelopes were sent home in folders this week. Please note that photos are completely optional, and your child will still get to see Santa even if you don’t purchase pictures. However, if you choose to buy them, you will get a 4x6 print for ONLY $5 or you will get a print package for $30. Please send your payment NO LATER than December 4 if you would like to order pictures! Contact Liz Jones at if you have further questions.

Big picture
Big picture

Tis the Season to Plan Your Summer

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling

There are many meaningful opportunities near and far for GWA students of all ages for Summer 2019 and now is the time to scope them out.

Students can experience a pre-college program to dive into their passions, gain work experience, or volunteer to serve at local charity organizations. Some programs require an application process and can open as early as this month.

For high schools students, did you know summer activities can push your college application to the “yes” pile? As college draws closer and closer for GWA students, it’s time to get more serious about how to spend summer vacation. The wide array of programs available makes the transition for college-bound student significantly easier. Plus, students can still pursue something they enjoy while showing admission representatives that they know how to make the most of their summer.

Ideas for Summer Enrichment...Read More

Career Day Volunteers Needed!

The College Counseling Department at GWA is seeking professionals who are interested in speaking to students about their careers. If you are available to volunteer on March 15, 2019 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. please contact Mr. Michael Clancy at Our students can greatly benefit from your expertise, experience and knowledge- so please consider joining us!

A Chance to Connect with Colleges!

Take the opportunity to learn about the possibilities! ALL upper school students are encouraged to stop by and ask questions to the visiting universities. Parents are also welcome to meet with representatives.

Georgia Gwinnett College: Nov. 29, Morning Break in the Cafeteria

Georgia State University: Dec. 3, Morning Break in the Cafeteria

Georgia Military College: Dec. 4, Morning Break in the Media Center

Big picture

Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by Parker Road Dental Care - William E. Wolf, D.D.S., P.C.

Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.

Big picture