In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

March 17, 2016

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Class Trips Edition

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Virginia Class Trip

(Photo by Kristen Donaldson)

Nearly 50 high school students and a small group of teachers and chaperones traveled to Virginia last week. They enjoyed eight days touring historic sites and colleges in Lexington, Charlottesville and Williamsburg. This incredible trip gave students the opportunity to be in the places where the men and women who shaped our country lived, worked, fought and died. To walk the same floors as our founding fathers, and experience the beauty of both the architecture and natural surroundings in Virginia made the connections between the past and present real. This class trip exemplifies the impact of learning outside of the classroom by changing students’ perspectives and providing a fun and truly educational experience.

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Singing "Aura Lee" at the VMI Chapel and Remembering Coach Mike Head

(Photo by Kristen Donaldson)
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Special Memories

(Photo by Karen Barrett)

Coach Mike Head's absence was keenly felt during the trip to Virginia. Coach Head began managing this trip 40 years ago when he was first a teacher at Monroe Area High School. He continued this tradition when he came to George Walton nine years ago. He truly enjoyed this trip because he felt like it made history come alive to students. When asked at his high school class reunion what two things he was passionate about, one of his responses was, "Taking students to Virginia."

Coach Head began a tradition of memorializing people who had been significant in his life by supporting or participating in the trip. When warranted, he asked a student to climb a tree at the cemetery at Appomattox Courthouse to place a memorial plaque on the trunk. This year students remembered Coach Head by placing a plaque on the same tree with the following epithet:

"Coach Head. Christian gentleman. American patriot."

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Shirley Plantation

(Photo by Femke Cote)
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Washington Class Trip

(Photo by Kelly Waldo)

The Washington Reports are a rite of passage for seventh graders in preparation for their visit to our Nation's Capitol. Mrs. Linda Smith, who organizes this trip, said this year several students commented to her that they finally understood why they had to do all the reports prior to the trip. They understood the history behind the monuments and places they visited. Hard work does pay off!

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Seventh Grade In Front of the White House

(Photo by Staci Scornik)
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Highlight of Washington Trip Includes Flag Presentation

(Photo by Jennifer Houck)

The seventh grade class visited Washington, D.C. during class trip week, March 6-10. During a visit to the United States Capitol, the class was presented a flag that flew over the United States Capitol. The flag was presented to the class by Joel Graham who is with the office of Senator David Perdue. Jack Ellerbee accepted the flag on behalf of the seventh grade class. A special thank you goes to Christy Ellerbee for arranging this presentation for the class. The flag presentation was a very special highlight of this educational and exciting class trip.

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Civil Rights Field Trip

Students from Mrs. Reagan’s and Mr. Farmer’s classes visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta on Tuesday. They learned about the origins of the Civil Rights Movement in America and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a native Georgian, began a movement that changed not only our country, but the world. Our students gained an appreciation for all of those who stood up and still stand up for people around the world in places where many still struggle to achieve basic human rights.