This fall, the school district and several GCPS departments, schools, and staff members earned state, regional, and national recognition. In case you missed the good news, here are the latest kudos. Congratulations to you all!
- International Recognition in Language Education: The French Ministry of Education has awarded the Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) Silver Cross (Chevalier) to Dr. Virin Vedder, instructional specialist in GCPS’ Foreign Language Office. The award recognizes French citizens or foreign nationals who make major contributions to the expansion of French language and culture. Dr. Vedder supports professional development for Gwinnett’s foreign language teachers and the district’s Dual Language Immersion programs.
- School Nutrition Program Honors: A member of the district’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) leadership team has been named the recipient of the Silver Spirit Award in the 2018 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards, a national honor. Award winner Karen Hallford is SNP’s assistant director. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tapped Gwinnett’s SNP team for Southeast Region recognition with USDA Best Practices Awards in two areas— Use of Social Marketing for School Nutrition Programs and Customer Service. And, at the state level, GCPS’ food service program once again earned a Golden Radish for its farm-to-school efforts. The program boasts taste tests of local food at every school, lessons taught in GCPS’ 143 school-based edible gardens, and ongoing professional development for SNP staff.
- State and National Kudos in the Arts: Gina Parrish of Norcross HS will be inducted into the Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame in recognition of her work to shape lives through theatre education during her career of nearly 30 years. And North Gwinnett MS is the first-ever recipient of the Music Program of the Year Award that will be presented at the Georgia Music Educators Association conference later this month.
- Tops in State for Counseling: GCPS staff members earned state recognition from the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA) in four categories. Dr. Samela Reid of Parkview HS was named GSCA School Counselor of the Year. Arcado ES Principal Penny Palmer Young was honored as the state’s Supervisor of the Year. Five Forks MS’ Laura Ross was recognized as the Emerging Leader Award winner. Simone Sheppard of Rosebud ES earned state kudos for her writing. The honorees represented GCPS in state competition as district level winners.
- State Honors in Special Education: As the winner of the 2017 Phil Pickens Award, GCPS Parent Mentor Jackie McNair was acknowledged for her contributions to improving the educational and postsecondary outcomes of students with disabilities and supporting parents of students with special needs. Ms. McNair was honored by the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership. And, two Gwinnett staff members were co-winners of the 2017 Special Education Paraprofessional of the Year Award from the Georgia Council for Exceptional Children (GA CEC). Linda Gourley is a pre-K paraprofessional at Corley ES. Meghan Rosser, a former Autism paraprofessional at Alcova ES, now serves as a special education teacher at North Gwinnett MS.
- Another Nurse of the Year: For the second time in three years, a county nurse in Gwinnett has been named Georgia School Nurse of the Year. Fran Overdyke received the award from the Georgia Association of School Nurses.
- Breakout Schools: Berkmar MS and Northbrook MS earned the Breakout Middle School designation from the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. Berkmar earned additional distinction as one of three “Distinguished” honorees among statewide winners.
- Nods for Educators from the AJC: Three Gwinnett educators— Angela Gray of Baggett ES, Kari Parlier of Duncan Creek ES, and Jim Reason of Duluth HS— were named AJC Celebrating Teachers Award winners for their positive impact on student’s lives and their school communities.
Watch for more good news in the coming weeks as we bring you up to speed with additional kudos that come our way this winter.