In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

September 17, 2020

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Virtual Counselor Chat: TONIGHT @ 6:30 p.m. (see below)
  • Yearbook Price Increase: Sept. 19
  • Lower School Yearbook Pictures: Sept. 23
  • PARC Virtual Speaker Event: Sept. 24 @ 6 p.m.
  • Additional Yearbook Picture Day: Sept. 24
  • Senior Yearbook Page Deadline: Oct. 1
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(Student) Life Goes On!

Although the dynamics of Student Life may look a bit different this year, clubs and organizations have continued to thrive. Many organizations use Zoom to meet and share community service projects and other valuable information; while other clubs are able to meet in person, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing. Our wide variety of clubs give students a chance to explore new ideas beyond the classroom, socialize, work for the good of the community and develop leadership skills. Student Life is vital to our students’ GWA experience. From Gavel Club to the Recycling Club, there is something to suit every student's interest.

The upper school student council members have just been elected for the 2020-2021 year and they are already planning an exciting homecoming week. Student Life has continued to mark important events by recently celebrating our senior athletes and band members at our first home football game and we look forward to the crowning of our 2020 homecoming king and queen in October.

Our students are showing their willingness to participate, as well as their ability to adapt to changes, all while making sure to create special memories during a year like no other.

Wrynn Carson

Director of Student Life

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Tune in to Dawg Talk!

The new Broadcast Journalism class project, Dawg Talk, is a podcast made by students Kennedy Johnson, Damaris Winters, and Jico Manayala. During the podcast, the trio will talk about a variety of topics including COVID-19, school, sports, and much more. Every week they will invite a guest on the show to provide another perspective from either the faculty or fellow students. The group hopes to share some humor and make this a podcast everyone enjoys. Tune in every Thursday or Friday for a new episode! To access, go to and search "Dawg News Network" or click HERE.

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First graders have been working on counting by 5's and using tallies to count. Using a list of objects to be found around campus, each class set out to count items such as the number of steps by the gym, white cars, bulldog statues, chairs in a classroom, windows in the cafeteria, and slides on the playgrounds. Following their scavenger hunts, students returned to class to complete their tally sheets.

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Time to Prep

To help many of our junior and senior Bulldogs prepare for the upcoming SAT exam, the Writing Center is offering an after-school SAT English prep course. The class will meet for three weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. With only 15 spots available, the class will only be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each week, we will cover a different section of the SAT as follows:

  • Week 1 (9/15, 9/16, *9/21): SAT Reading *rescheduled date
  • Week 2 (*9/21, 9/22, 9/24): SAT Writing and Language
  • Week 3 (9/29, 9/30, 10/1): Essay

Juniors and seniors are welcome to sign up for each class, or only the weeks that they want more support. Mrs. Fissette highly recommends that you sign up for every day of a particular week as they will not spend a lot of time reviewing what was covered in an earlier class session.

Location/time: Mr. VanWyk’s room, 2 - 3 p.m.

Materials: Please bring your laptop.

Sign up link

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Symmetrical Style

By Megan Sims, Teacher

Middle school art students are currently studying symmetry and how colors relate. They have been tasked with creating a radial symmetry drawing to which they will apply various color schemes. Radial symmetry is a design that repeats around a central point, radiating out from the center. Their final project will consist of three identical drawings that have been colored using three different color schemes. The first is a complementary color pattern, in which the colors intensify each other creating a bold contrast. The second scheme is analogous, a harmonious design in which the colors are closely related, creating a calming pattern. The third is a free choice pattern that uses at least three colors. All three designs must include one color to unify the entire project, meaning it needs to be present in each of the three color schemes. Students will mount all three pieces together to create one vibrant work of art. This project requires a tremendous amount of patience and concentration, but the result is always worth the time and effort!

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2020 Homecoming Plans

As you know, we are committed to providing as many opportunities for our students as possible this year, while being ever mindful of circumstances that are beyond any of our control. GWA traditions are an important part of campus life and the student experience and the next big event on the calendar is Homecoming (the week of Oct. 5). Discussions with the student council have resulted in the following plan:

  • Homecoming Week
    • As usual, there will be daily themes throughout the week.
    • Lower school will display homecoming banners on classroom doors.

  • Homecoming Game Day
    • The day will be mostly familiar, but a few things will be new or different.
      • We will begin the day with a parade featuring the band, homecoming court, cheerleaders, and football team. The parade will make its way through campus and end on the track. (We will not have floats in this year’s parade.)
      • The Powder Puff game will go on as scheduled and students in grades 9-12 will either participate or have the opportunity to watch from the stands.
      • As is the tradition, the high school students will be dismissed following the game.
      • Lower and middle school students will have classes in the morning with lower school dismissing at 11:30 and middle school at noon.

  • Homecoming Game
    • Vouchers to purchase a ticket to the game will be made available for every high school student. Those who are Dawgs 360 members will be admitted with no charge and those who are not Dawgs 360 members will be charged $8 for admission. Students without a voucher will not be admitted to the game.
    • The Homecoming Queen will be crowned at halftime as usual.

  • NEW
    • Following the game, the Homecoming King will be crowned at a bonfire behind the baseball field.

  • NOTE
    • There will not be a Homecoming Dance on Saturday. Instead, we will have a Fall Semi-Formal Dance on November 21. Details for this night will be announced closer to the date.

We can't wait to celebrate Homecoming 2020! Go Bulldogs!

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Homecoming Court Announced

Congratulations to our 2020 GWA Homecoming Court!

Seniors: Jolie Lanier (not pictured), DoriLord McCullers, Claire McNulty, Courtlyn Moore, Julia Waldo. Juniors: Graham Lucas (not pictured), Hannah McDonel. Sophomores: Sara Bryan, Campbell Macy. Freshmen: Kendall Inman, Payton Stone.

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Student Council Goes to Work!

Upper school student council leaders met on Tuesday to begin the work of planning events for the GWA student body for the upcoming year. Our 2020 officers are as follows (some members are not pictured):

Executive Council

President: Claire McNulty

Vice President: Julie Cato

Secretary: Jennifer Allahverdieva

Treasurer: Abby Stone

Representatives: Andrew Staples, Noah Hicks, Natalia Chapar, Matthew Lazenby

Senior Council

President: DoriLord McCullers

Vice President: Natalie Lucas

Secretary: Julia Waldo

Treasurer: Mallory Carson

Representatives: Max Misterka, Christian Hansen

Junior Council

President: Will Herren

Vice President: Camille Malcom

Secretary: Graham Lucas

Treasurer: Cooper Treadaway

Representatives: Amelia Dolvin, Dominic Williams, Emmie Mitchell, Avery Jesel, Reagan May, Ella Rowan

Sophomore Council

President: Matthew Herren

Vice President: Abby Mack

Secretary: Mia Smith

Treasurer: Sara Bryan

Representatives: Graham Hill, Trey Kirkpatrick, Keith Mims, Parks Harris,

Morgan Green, Reed Lawrence

Freshman Council

President: Peyton Collin

Vice President: Catherine Atkinson

Secretary: Maddie Taylor

Treasurer: Sarah Digby

Representatives: Payton Stone, Charlie Jesel, Kendall Inman

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Buy your yearbook now for $75! The price goes up to $85 this Saturday (Sept. 19).

For easy online ordering, go to and enter 14485 (or enter school name instead – George Walton Academy). Or you can send in a check with your child - $75 per book (payable to GWA) and make sure to include your child’s name and grade on the envelope and attn: Liz Jones and/or YEARBOOK. We sold out of books last year. Don’t miss your opportunity to place your order for the 2021 book!

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Fresh Look

Our middle school students are enjoying the refreshed middle gym. The lighter, brighter space is perfect for a game of hoops! Thank you to the Peppers family with Apex Painting and Decorating for helping with this project.
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College Fairs Coming to a Screen Near You

By Laura Nabors, Associate Director of College Counseling

So much of our new normal has gone digital now and college fairs are no exception. Pre-COVID-19, GWA took all juniors to the Probe College Fair in Loganville to meet with college admission representatives face to face from colleges and universities across the country.

Things will look and feel different this year for GWA high schoolers. Using Zoom-webinars, the mini fairs will consist of 45-minute sessions hosted by 160 college representatives. Each will allow students and families access to panels and presentations. They will also include a virtual chat feature and the option to connect further with a college liaison. Though limited in time, these live interactions will help students identify schools that they want to investigate–often the perfect fit might not be a widely known institution.

The free virtual tour features evening start times, held in two mini-fair formats:

· Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, October 5-7, 2020 (5 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. each day)

· Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, November 2, 4-5, 2020 (5 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. each day)

Registration is now open to students at The programs are free, and parents are welcome to attend.

For a list of colleges and universities scheduled to participate, go here.

For more information on Probe College Fairs for High School Students please visit or also follow for tour updates on Facebook @GeorgiaProbe or on Instagram @probe_fair.

GWA High School Students are encouraged to participate in these two other fairs. Please click on the link to find a list of colleges attending and to register.

· NACAC College Fair on October 12 (1 p.m. – 9 p.m.), October 18 (12 p.m. – 8 p.m.), November 8 (2 p.m. – 10 p.m.).

· Christian College Fair – November 5, (6 p.m. – 11 p.m.)

ALBERT! ALBERT! ALBERT! - Don’t forget about GWA’s test prep software program that is available for high school students to prepare for the SAT & ACT.

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Virtual Counselor Chat TONIGHT

Join us for this week’s virtual Counselor Chat on the topic of cyber safety – this evening at 6:30 p.m. Our own Director of IT, Brannon Fissette, will be discussing ways that parents can help their children be safe while online. Mr. Fissette brings his professional knowledge and a dad’s perspective to the discussion. All GWA parents are invited to join the meeting and the conversation. To obtain the Zoom link, please check your inbox for an email from Lynn Robinson.
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Make a Difference with GOAL

Through participation in the Georgia GOAL Program, YOU get to decide how your tax dollars are spent! Choose to put your tax dollars to work right here at GWA and help provide the opportunity of a GWA education for qualifying students by applying for your dollar-for-dollar state tax credit today at Tax credits are still available for the 2020 tax year, and GOAL is accepting applications for the 2021 tax credit as well. For more information, contact Jenni Cole at

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Volleyball Victories

GWA varsity volleyball earned two big region wins this week over Prince Avenue and Loganville Christian Academy. They swept both teams 2-0!

"The girls worked as a team mentally and physically. Their communication and hustle gave us a big advantage over some tough competition. They put their hearts in it, decided what they wanted to do and never backed down. It was a fun night watching these girls play a game they love!" -Coach Amanda Riser

Our JV team is enjoying success this week as well with a 2-1 win over Prince Avenue and 2-0 final scores over both Athens Christian and Tallulah Falls.

The Lady Dawgs play at home - Tues., Sept, 22 (GWA vs. Westminster) and Tues., Sept. 29 (GWA vs. Athens Academy) in the Nicholson Center. Come out to cheer them on!

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Bulldogs Go 2-0!

The GWA varsity football team defeated Stratford Academy last Friday 21-17! The 2-0 Bulldogs will face Union County at home on Friday, Sept. 25, kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Go Dawgs!
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First Place Finish

GWA middle school girls cross country earned first place at last Saturday’s Strong Rock Patriot Invitational! This is the third consecutive first place outing for our middle school girls. Congratulations to all!
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Top Rider

GWA sixth grader Madison Freer is an active top rider in the American Quarter Horse Association in shows across the U.S. and was recently recognized as high-point champion in her division at a show in Perry, GA. She trains with Dean Bogart Performance Horses in Monroe and hopes to ride in college with a NCAA scholarship. Congratulations, Madison!

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Are You a Member?

There is still time to sign up for a Dawgs 360 membership! Click HERE to learn about membership benefits and print an application.

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Athens Orthopedic Clinic ( Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.

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Please click HERE for a pdf version of the Quick Reference Guide.