In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

January 27, 2022

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

Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Red Cross Blood Drive: Jan. 28, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Yearbook Deadline: Jan. 31
  • Spring Sports Photos: starting Feb. 3 (see below)
  • Basketball Senior Night: Feb. 4
  • GWA Open House: Feb. 6
  • Winter Break: Feb. 18 - 21
  • Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction: Feb. 26
Big picture
Big picture

Courtroom Experience

By Mia Smith


My experience interning at the Rockdale County Superior Court was exciting, informative, and amazing. I worked under Judge Nancy Bills along with her judicial assistant, Mrs. Tammy Myers and I was joined by my classmate Alex Zahradnik. Nearly every day we were able to observe criminal proceedings involving drugs, theft, or violence. Other hearings were basic civil cases, including divorces and annulments as well as Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs) regarding stalking, which always presented a little drama.


When we did not get to experience the excitement of court, we ran errands, and learned about legal matters. The most exciting part of my internship was when we when traveled to the Georgia Capitol for the swearing in ceremony of a new Rockdale County judge and met and spoke with Governor Brian Kemp. I also managed to snap a quick selfie with the governor himself. Aside from that unexpected encounter, we also had to observe a trial by jury, where the perpetrator was convicted and is facing a minimum of twenty-five years in prison with no parole. Witnessing this trial gave me more courtroom knowledge and great insight into the practice of criminal law. Overall, it was quite the experience and I hope to pursue a career as an attorney in the future.

Big picture
Big picture

City View

George Walton Academy senior Carsyn Baker and junior Reese Baker spent their Winter Term internship with the City of Monroe Economic Development Department. Their internship focused on the future planning of Downtown Monroe. They attended city planning meetings on the 20 Year Plan and gathered input from interested citizens. Reese describes their internship as “super informative on how a city runs, how it plans for the following year, and gets information out to the public.” Along with their involvement in future plans they helped print, organize, and package 2022 event postcards for direct mail. Carsyn commented, “this internship made me appreciate the hard work the Economic Development Department does that is usually overlooked.”

Big picture
Big picture

Michael Chick is Student of the Month

Michael Chick has been chosen as Rotary Student of the Month for January. He has selected Latin teacher Cortney Pickens as Teacher of the Month. Michael has earned Head of School list recognition throughout high school as well as GWA Best of the Best recognition. He is an active member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Latin Club, Gavel Club, Socratic Circle, Interact Club and the varsity track and field team. Michael has served others through Latin Club service projects and as a GWA Writing Center consultant. He recently completed an internship with Carter Watkins Associates architectural firm in Monroe. Michael will major in architecture at Georgia Tech this fall. Congratulations to Michael and Ms. Pickens!

Big picture
Big picture

Winning Essay

By Rachel Feinstein


Last semester my Honors American Literature students wrote essays for the DAR American Revolution essay contest. I am happy to announce that Allie Marler’s essay on Thomas Paine's Literary Influence on the American Revolution has been chosen as the Chapter winner!


This contest was created by the Daughters of the American Revolution in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the nation's founding. Students were asked to choose a historical figure from the American Revolution and discuss their contributions to the Revolution and the nation's founding. It is the hope of DAR that this contest encourages "students to think more about the many different people, known and unknown, who were a part of the American Revolution, and perhaps even see themselves in the figures they write about."


Allie’s essay will move onto the state level. If she wins at the state level, she will move onto the divisional level. If she wins again, her essay will be entered into the National contest. She and her family have been invited to attend the next DAR chapter meeting to celebrate her writing and receive recognition. Congratulations, Allie!

Big picture
Big picture

Physics at Play

By Kellie Watts


Last week in Honors Physics we took the time to investigate how physics is everywhere. Students were asked to find evidence of everyday physics in the world around them. We found evidence of physics in nature, classroom life, on the job and in sports. This evolved into us brainstorming how physics could be used to improve our sporting techniques. The investigation took a life of its own when the students developed a ping pong tournament to show how any student or teacher could be a ping pong pro in a matter of time by understanding the physics behind it. Energy, momentum, force, and collisions are all at play in a ping pong match. Students and teachers beyond the physics classroom were invited to join the tournament and compete for the top spot on the leaderboard.

Big picture
Big picture

Let's Go Bulldogs!

Our varsity boys and girls teams defeated Athens Academy on Tuesday night at home in front of a great crowd! They need everyone to come next week for games against Tallulah Falls on Tuesday and Prince Avenue on Friday as they look for two big wins and prepare for Region play.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Continued Success

By Timothy Pham


A big congratulations to the GWA swim team who had a phenomenal result last Saturday at the 1A Championship Meet at Tallulah Falls! The team was able to place runner-up (their highest result of the season so far) and together the boys' and girls' teams were able to score a combined 652 points. The Boys 200 Medley Relay team (Baylor Lingner, Charlie Stout, Jake Stout, and Timothy Pham) and the Boys 200 Freestyle Relay team (Timothy Pham, Jake Moore, Charlie Stout, Jake Stout) were able to win their respective events. Moreover, the Girls 200 Freestyle Relay (MK Dopp, Emma Dopp, McKenna Rutledge, and Sarah Digby) won first in their event as well. Charlie Stout placed first in both the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke events. Jake Stout was able to win his 100 Butterfly. Baylor Lingner placed first in the 100 Backstroke and Emma Dopp won the 100 Breaststroke. Way to go, Swim Dawgs!

Big picture
Big picture

Spring Sports Photo Dates

Be sure to mark your calendar for the following spring sports photo dates:


  • 2/3 Tennis (middle school and varsity) – individuals and group photos (8 a.m.),
  • 2/3 ALL SPRING SENIOR BANNER PHOTOS – during break (9:30 a.m.)
  • 2/10 Track (youth, middle school and varsity) and Baseball (middle school and varsity) - time TBD
  • 2/17 Lacrosse (youth, middle school, upper school), Soccer (all middle school and varsity), and Golf - time TBD


Photo order forms are available in the front office and may be found on ParentsWeb under Resource Documents. Please contact coaches for further details.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Tickets On Sale Now!

Make plans to join us for our 2022 Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction! This year's event will be held in Monroe at The Factory at Walton Mill. Not only will the most-anticipated event of the year take place at a new venue, we will be welcoming Seth "Your Rocktioneer," and enjoying delicious food provided by Epting Events. We want to thank our sponsors and invite others to join us for an evening to benefit our students. We are also currently soliciting items for the event. Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com if you would like to donate something to the auction.


Click HERE for more details about the event and to purchase tickets/sponsorships.

Big picture
Big picture

Choose Your Destination!

This year we have kicked our raffle up a notch and we are allowing you to pick from FOUR fabulous locations when you purchase a raffle ticket! Click HERE to download a flyer with rules and information. Forms need to be turned in to Jeanie Beach in the Advancement Office to be entered into the raffle. The drawing will be held at the Lucky Dawg Gala and Benefit Auction on Saturday, Feb. 26. You do not have to be present to win. Sales are limited to only 100 tickets - so don't delay and miss out on purchasing a ticket.

Big picture
Big picture

Admissions Event

Be sure to let friends and neighbors know about our upcoming Open House event! We look forward to welcoming prospective families on Sunday, February 6!
Big picture

Planning for Success

The GWA College Counselors are offering optional academic planning consultations for current freshmen and sophomore students with their parents. Meeting with the college counselors does not guarantee a specific schedule or course load for the upcoming school year but is intended to strategically plan for courses that would best serve a student’s needs and abilities in the future. The College Counselors would welcome the opportunity to sit with your family and discuss what classes or subjects can benefit a student the most and best prepare them for future goals. College applications will not be a focal point of these meetings as we do that during the fall of junior year and requirements can change year to year, but we will include the information when beneficial and necessary.


Preregistration for the 2022-23 courses begins in April. We have made ourselves available to meet beginning next week through April 1. If you are interested in meeting, please make your appointment during your student's study hall or after school. Both in-person and Zoom meetings are available. These meetings will not last longer than 45 minutes.


You can schedule using this link: https://calendly.com/gwacollegecounselors/9th-10th-academic-consultations

Go Bulldogs,

Mr. Jon Terrell & Mrs. Laura Nabors

Big picture
Big picture

Visit Colleges This Summer!

The College Counseling Office is hoping to start the annual College Tour! As we begin planning, it is important for us to know how many students are interested. Any rising sophomore, junior, or senior may sign up with precedence given to rising juniors and seniors.


Please note the following:

  • We will go to North & South Carolina colleges and universities June 5 -10 (Sunday - Friday).
  • We plan to visit or tour at least ten different institutions.
  • We will do a joint trip with The Brookstone School, Columbus, GA, to keep costs as low as possible.
  • We estimate the cost to be between $650 - $850, depending on the number of students, which includes bus, hotel, daily breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners.


A deposit of $400 will be required by March 15, 2022. More information will be forthcoming, but for now we really just need to know how many students are interested. Talk with your student and see if this is an opportunity he/she would like to attend.


We will be hosting an interest/information meeting next Thursday, February 3 at 6:30 pm in the cafeteria. Please RSVP with Ms. Phillips at cphillips@gwa.com or contact Mr. Terrell at jterrell@gwa.com if you are interested but unable to attend the meeting. Please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.


-Jon Terrell and Laura Nabors

Big picture
Big picture

Don't Miss Out!

Click HERE to purchase your yearbook.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Technical Survey Services (http://tss-atl.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.
Big picture