In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

October 12, 2017

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Global Studies Coordinator Femke Cote Discusses This New and Emerging Program

I am so excited to be part of George Walton’s Global Studies program. Part of George Walton Academy’s mission is to prepare students to become contributing citizens in a global society, both while they are here and in their life beyond George Walton. Global Studies allows our students to travel and serve, enhance self-development and awareness, and extend their knowledge and interest in global issues.


To that end, we have kicked off our first exchange this year, and are planning service trips and study abroad opportunities for our students this summer and next year. Just two weeks ago we welcomed six ninth grade students from St. Paul’s School in Barcelona to campus. Each of these Spanish students is being hosted by a ninth grade GWA student, who has been showing them what being a bulldog is all about. In April, our GWA host students will get the opportunity to travel to Barcelona for two weeks to live with the student they are currently hosting. This kind of reciprocal exchange offers a unique opportunity for true cultural transference and appreciation, as students from both schools get to engage in a life-changing experience.


I am also excited to announce two new partnerships that will each bring another unique dimension to our Global Studies program. The first is with New Oasis International Education, a company that seeks to bridge cultural gaps by recruiting and placing Chinese students in independent schools in the United States - all with the intention of graduating and attending an American university. With a specific focus in the southeast, New Oasis has become the leader in placing Chinese and other SE Asian students in schools where both the student and the institution benefit. We hope to welcome our first students in Fall 2018 and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with New Oasis.


Our second new partnership is with Duke University and Johns Hopkins University to provide our students the chance to make a difference in Guatemala and Belize. The program is geared towards students with an interest in the medical field by giving them hands-on experience in a humanitarian setting. Students who take part in this program through GWA will take a semester long course in Fall 2018 with a culminating trip to Belize in January 2019. The curriculum for the course will be created and coordinated with Duke faculty, and students will be working side by side with medical fellows from Duke University in Belize.


As these program evolve, I am constantly reminded of how many people it takes to make these dreams a reality, and I can’t wait to see what opportunity will present itself next!


Femke Côté

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Marching Band Earns Accolades in First Competition

The GWA Bulldog Marching Band kicked off their competitive season at the Lake Lanier Tournament of Bands last weekend. They earned second place overall out of 22 bands with a score of 94. Highlights from the performance include:


  • First place- Lydia Akin, drum major
  • Third place- overall drumline
  • Superior rating- percussion, color guard, drum major and band


The marching band will be competing in their second competition at Rockmart High School on Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m. Go Bulldogs!

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Dawgs Unleashed T-Shirts Are Here

Our Dawgs Unleashed t-shirts have arrived. If you are a volunteer or you just purchased a shirt, they will be going home in student book bags today and tomorrow.


Golf and tennis players will receive their shirts at the event. Road race and fun run participants will be given the opportunity to pick their shirts up early next Friday, Oct. 20 or pick them up race day.


We have closed out sign ups for golf and tennis, but you can still sign up for the 5K or the Fun Run. Plan to come out and join us! Click HERE to register.

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Technology Student Association Members Attend Tech Day

This past weekend 19 GWA Technology Student Association (TSA) members traveled to Perry, GA for Tech Day at the Georgia National Fair. Students competed in engineering and technology competitions from creating a design for a pin, constructing a cardboard chair, creating energy with a wind turbine, and creating a car powered by a mouse trap.

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Zoo Atlanta Sleepover for Fourth Graders

The fourth grade spent a night at Zoo Atlanta on October 5 and enjoyed participating in the Night Crawlers program. The trip culminated a science study of animal habitats, animal life cycles, and classification. Students were able to touch several of the animals, hear the sounds of lions during the night and learned about the ways in which many animals are being protected. It was also great to see a display honoring Ivan the gorilla, the star of the fourth grade summer reading book, "The One and Only Ivan."

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What a week! Lots happening in the athletic world last week and it continues this week. We hosted both the softball and volleyball region tournaments last week and both were a success. The volleyball team and parents did an unreal job in hosting the tournament by being line judges, gate-keepers, working concessions and many other things that usually go unnoticed. Thanks so much for doing that in a first class way to support your program and make our school look great.


Softball hosted a three day tournament at Criswell Park and not only did an outstanding job with hospitality, working the gates, and preparing fields between games, they also qualified for a first round home playoff game today against Athens Christian. The double header will start at 2:00 p.m. and the second game will be at 4:00 p.m. If there is an “if” game it will be played on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Ticket prices are set by the GHSA so all must pay $7 for today's double header and $5 for the single games Saturday if needed. Come cheer our girls on as they work towards getting to Columbus.


Football takes a 5-1 record into Gainesville this Friday night at Lakeview Academy. We need all of you there to support and get our team jacked as we take on a very high scoring offensive team led by Bornhorst and Millwood of Lakeview- a very dynamic one-two punch. Be there to watch all the action.


Lastly, most winter sports will be kicking into gear over the next few weeks. Basketball, swimming and wrestling are about to get it going. Hope you will all be a part of something. If not, be there to support and travel with the team. Thanks for your continued support.

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Parents of middle and high school soccer players should plan to attend a meeting with coaches on Wednesday, October 18 at 6 p.m. in the Bible classroom. This will be an opportunity to sign up for volunteer spots throughout the season.


A meeting for all players and their parents will be held on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The meeting will provide information about the upcoming season and include uniform sizing. For more information, please contact Sara Smith or Rick Shaw.

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Demonstrating Interest

What does a college mean when it says it considers Demonstrated Interest? For College Admissions Deans, yield is everything. Yield in college admissions is the percent of students who choose to enroll in a particular college after having been offered admission. Yield is used in some college rankings and even in bond ratings for a university. Some colleges believe one way to increase yield is to make offers to students who demonstrate an interest in attending a particular college.


The clearest demonstration of such interest is by applying Early Decision (ED). Early Decision is binding, meaning the student agrees in advance that he or she will withdraw all other applications if they are admitted into that university. Emory University is one Georgia institution where students can apply Early Decision. The deadline to apply ED to Emory and most other universities in the United States is November 1.


Students can demonstrate interest by applying Early Action (EA). Early Action is similar to ED, but it is non-binding. If admitted, students can still weigh other options. UGA and Georgia Tech, offer Early Action, but not ED. Their EA deadline is October 15.


Other ways for an applicant to demonstrate interest is by going to an “Open Day” at a college or by just visiting and going on an official tour. Another way is by taking a summer course at a particular university. Even filling out those inquiry cards at a university fair or when a college visits George Walton is used in measuring demonstrated interest.


There are several colleges visiting GWA in the remaining weeks of October: Furman University, University of Tennessee, Kennesaw State, Wesleyan College, University of West Georgia, Samford University and Valdosta State. Seniors and Juniors are strongly encouraged to attend these sessions that commonly take place in the Media Center during morning break. Sophomores and Freshmen will also benefit hearing what these representatives have to say.


The way particular universities measure demonstrated interest varies. In fact, the way they measure GPA, rigor, test scores, extracurricular activities and recommendations varies from one institution to the next. For example, UGA does not consider demonstrated interest; Georgia College does. The best way to know for sure is to take advantage of those visits to George Walton and ask the rep. And don’t forget to fill out those inquiry cards because you never know.

Looking For Volunteers for our Career Series

Mr. Michael Clancy, the GWA Director of College Counseling, would like to thank all those who replied to his inquiry last week. However, he is still seeking more volunteers who will be willing to speak about their careers with students. Whether you work in hospitality, healthcare, agriculture, technology, own a small business or work in any other field, we would love for GWA students to hear from you.


If you are interested and can be available on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. between January and April 2018, contact Mr. Clancy at mclancy@gwa.com.

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