The following are highlights of the September 13, 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 award-winning students
- Board members congratulated Darion Nelson and DeAndre Nelson of South Gwinnett HS on being named Youth Entrepreneurs Summit Big Idea 2018 National Champions. Youth Entrepreneurs started in 1991 as a platform where students could gain the skills and confidence to pursue productive, fulfilling lives. What started as an eight-week program eventually expanded into a yearlong experiential learning adventure for high school students. At the Big Idea national competition, brothers Darion and DeAndre were named the national winners, earning a $2,500 prize that they intend to invest in their business for further growth. Accompanying these award-winning students were Principal Monique Lee and Entrepreneurship Instructor Franchesca Thompson.
- Mountain View HS Student Suraj Modi earned a nod from the Board of Education on his top finish at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair features the best high school-level science and engineering projects in the world. As the largest pre-college science and engineering fair, more than 1,800 students from 77 countries competed over five days. Students selected to participate in this respected event had the opportunity to compete with peers and interact with internationally recognized professionals and Nobel Laureates in science and engineering fields through the judging process and symposium sessions. With a 4th place finish in the Behavioral and Social Science category, Suraj won a Grand Award at the Fair and was honored with the prestigious Drexel University Scholarship Award valued at $250,000.
- The Board saluted the Science Bowl Team from Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology on its recognition as a U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl® 2018 Region Champion. The following students played a part in this team's recognition: David Do, Faris El-Katri, Shruthi Santhanam, Julius Tao, and Frank Tsang. Established in 1991, the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics. Teams face-off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, being tested on a range of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, energy, and math. Principal IV Bray expressed his pride in the team's accomplishments and in its coaches Jennifer Berry and Jeff Burmester.
- In other science news, Brookwood HS' Science Olympiad Team brought home the team's 10th state championship title. Science Olympiad offers students the opportunity for interscholastic competition rooted in science. Each year, more than 7,000 teams from around the country participate in Science Olympiad, one of the largest national science competitions. Science Olympiad tournaments are composed of several events which require students to apply various science disciplines such as biology, earth science, chemistry, and physics, along with technology, problem-solving, and teamwork. The team placed in all 23 events, including six 1st place finishes. Click here for a list of the students on Brookwood's state championship Science Olympiad Team.
GCPS and VALIC celebrate 50 years as partners
On September 16, 2018, VALIC and Gwinnett County Public Schools will celebrate a 50-year business partnership. VALIC administers Retirement Savings Plans for the district, providing employees with plans to help them save for a comfortable retirement. At tonight's Board meeting, representatives from VALIC presented a report highlighting the positive impacts of this partnership to GCPS employees. Between 2011 and today, participation in VALIC retirement accounts has increased from 29% to 66%. Roger Pearson, VALIC district vice president, attended the meeting with a team of VALIC representatives, presenting the Board with a token recognizing this successful, long-term partnership.
Board reviews FY2019 Budget Calendar
The Gwinnett County Board of Education reviewed the proposed calendar of activities and dates associated with the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) budget. Key dates include:
- March 23, 2019- Budget Work Session;
- April 9, 2019- Board Budget Work Session and Adoption of Tentative Budget;
- May 9, 2019- First Public Budget Hearing; and
- May 16, 2019- Second Public Budget Hearing/Final Budget Adoption/Adoption of Tentative Millage Rate.
The budget development calendar will be presented for approval at the October 18, 2018, Board Meeting.
Policy work continues
The following policy changes were approved after being tabled for review at the August 2018 Monthly Business Meeting:
- Policy DJE - Purchasing -Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EGE - Defense and Indemnification for Board Vehicle Accidents - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EGF - Defense and Indemnification of General Liability Incidents - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy GCRA - Drug and Alcohol Testing - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
The following policy changes have been tabled for further review and will be brought before the Board at its October 2018 Monthly Business Meeting:
- Policy DID - Internal Audits -Changes are proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EE - School Nutrition Program - Changes are proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EEE - Wellness Policy - Changes are proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EGAE - Tax Sheltered Investments 403(b) and 457(b) - Changes are proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
Citizens addressing the Board
- David Witham
- Mariell Hunt