The following are highlights of the August 16, 2018, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE). Board members present included Chairman Carole C. Boyce, Vice Chairman Daniel D. Seckinger, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Dr. Robert McClure, and Louise Radloff. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.
Board honors students and staff
- Board members congratulated Jordan Johnson of North Gwinnett HS on her 1st place finish in the DECA International competition. She took top honors in the Business Growth Plan event which involves creating a 30-page manual/business plan and making a 15-minute presentation on how to grow an existing business owned by a current DECA member. (She also was named Teen Entrepreneur of the Year by Partnership Gwinnett.) DECA is an international association of high school and college students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Through DECA, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities and compete in a variety of events on an international level. This year’s International Career Development Conference was held April 21-24, in Atlanta. Principal Nathan Ballantine and Dr. Jacqueline Huffman, DECA advisor, accompanied Jordan to the Board meeting.
- Kudos to Chef Simone Byron, culinary arts instructor at Meadowcreek HS, on being named a 2018 ProStart National Educator of Excellence Award winner and one of two recipients of the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award. Sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the ProStart National Educator of Excellence Award recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom as well as passion, commitment, and creativity in all aspects of the ProStart program. ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents to open doors for fulfilling careers. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides opportunities for real-life experiences and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. Earlier this year, Chef Byron was named the Georgia ProStart Teacher of the Year. She was recognized among state honorees at the 2018 Educator of Excellence Awards in Chicago in May, where she was named one of two national winners of the Maynard Award, named for the founder of Golden Corral. The company awarded a plaque and $5,000 to Chef Byron. In introducing Chef Byron, Executive Director of Academies and Career and Technical Education Jody Reeves outlined a number of her accomplishments at Meadowcreek HS, congratulating her on creating a culture of high expectations that engages students.
- The School Board saluted Dr. Leah dee Kilgore, a Berkmar HS teacher, on her recent recognition as a 2018 National Center for Women and Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Educator Award winner. This award publicly celebrates formal and informal educators who encourage high school women’s interest and participation in technology pursuits. The multi-tiered award structure includes winner and honorable mention designations at national and regional levels, serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all U.S. overseas military bases. This past April, Dr. Kilgore was recognized during the Georgia Affiliate Awards Banquet at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. At the Board presentation, Dr. Kilgore was described as a lifelong learner who continues to improve her craft, skill, and instructional practice... dedication that has led to her being recognized as tops in her field.
- The Board of Education recognized Dustin Davis, an instructional coach in the Academies and Career and Technical Education department, on two recent honors. Mr. Davis was named the 2018 Georgia Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Administrator of the Year and the 2018 Georgia Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Administrator of the Year. Mr. Davis, who recently joined the central office staff, served as an advisor for both organizations while he was still in the classroom. He also was elected by his peers as the Chairman of the Georgia FBLA Board of Directors. In 2015-16, while Mr. Davis was teaching at Brookwood HS, his school's FBLA chapter was named Georgia Chapter of the Year. This year, Mr. Davis is serving as President of the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education.
- The BOE congratulated five GCPS teachers who earned recognition from the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE) during its summer conference. Jackie Emmons of Archer HS is the Georgia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year. Keri Beth Jones of Dacula MS is the recipient of the Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award from the Counseling and Career Development Association. Lt. Col. Rob Rooker of Discovery HS is the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Teacher of the Year. Dr. Krystal Tomlin of Shiloh HS is the Healthcare Science Technology Educators Association's Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. And Kimya Rainge of South Gwinnett HS is the Georgia Marketing Education Association's New Teacher of the Year.
- Jody Reeves, executive director of Academies and Career and Technical Education, was recently honored as DECA's Administrator of the Year. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. The organization has impacted the lives of more than 10 million students, educators, school administrators, and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. DECA’s programs and activities have constantly evolved as they use the latest technology and apply cutting edge educational research. There are many outstanding administrators who exemplify quality leadership and contribute to the success of students through their support of DECA. Administrators are recognized for their creativity and innovation in promoting DECA within their schools and community. Ms. Reeves, who was nominated by Mill Creek HS, exemplifies such qualities. Dr. Jonathan Patterson, associate superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Support, introduced Mrs. Reeves, applauding her work and the leadership she and her team provide to teachers and students. In accepting the Board's congratulations, Mrs. Reeves thanked the Board for their support and for providing opportunities for Gwinnett County students.
In 2018, Gwinnett County Public Schools teams brought home 10 state championships. At its August 2018 Board meeting, the Gwinnett Board of Education recognized three of those state championship teams.
- Mill Creek HS' boys golf team won the 2018 AAAAAAA state title, bringing home its second consecutive state championship. Principal Jason Lane commended the young men on their state championship for the great job they do on the golf course and in the classroom. Head Coach David Allen introduced the student athletes, speaking to the character, sportsmanship, and integrity of the young men involved. He also thanked the parents and Mill Creek HS community for their support.
- Parkview HS' girls soccer team was crowned the 2018 AAAAAAA state champion after defeating Milton in the state championship game. This is the ninth state title in the program's history. Coach Judson Hamby introduced the team and shared highlights of the team's unbelievable season which culminated with the team being named 2018 national champions.
- Parkview HS' baseball team won its seventh state championship, defeating Mill Creek for the 2018 AAAAAAA state title. Principal David Smith expressed his pride in the team and coaching staff. Head Coach Chan Brown thanked the Board and Parkview/Lilburn community for their support of the team. The team's record of 35 wins and 6 losses, broke the school's record for wins. This state championship season also resulted in the program winning its third national championship title.
Policy work continues
The following policy changes were approved after being tabled for review at the July 2018 Monthly Business Meeting:
- Policy BH - Board Members Code of Ethics-- Changes were approved in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy DI - Accounting and Reporting-- Changes were approved in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy DIB - Financial Report-- Changes were approved in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
The following policy changes were tabled until the September 2018 Monthly Business Meeting to allow for public input:
-Policy DJE - Purchasing - Changes have been proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
-Policy EGE - Defense and Indemnification for Board Vehicle Accidents - Changes have been proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
-Policy EGF - Defense and Indemnification of General Liability Incidents - Changes have been proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
-Policy GCRA - Drug and Alcohol Testing - Changes have been proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.