Gainesville City School System will be closed November 23-27 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holidays!
Have wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!
GCSS Student Spotlight - Pramoda Karnati
|L to R: GHS senior Pramoda Karnati with Abigail Nelson
Congratulations to GHS senior Pramoda Karnati for her outstanding achievement in receiving a perfect score on the ACT! Abigail Nelson, our GCSS intern, was able to pull Pramoda away from her busy schedule for an interview regarding her accomplishment. Please click
Student Spotlight Video
to view the interview courtesy of our GHS video production students Carlos Diaz, James Pendleton, Sandra Garcia, Brandon Steelman, and GHS teacher Steve Lawhorne.
McConnell Named District Teacher of the Year
Heather McConnell was named the 2017 Gainesville City School District Teacher of the Year. Ms. McConnell is currently an autism teacher at Gainesville Middle School. She is the daughter of GCSS teachers Dave and Denise McConnell and sister of David Jr. and Jacob. A 2006 graduate of Gainesville High School, she began substitute teaching in 2011 and was later hired as a paraprofessional until becoming a lead autism teacher in 2012.
Ms. McConnell described her selection as "shocking, humbling, and encouraging" and stated, "As it says in Proverbs 16:9, "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord established his steps." The Lord had a classroom of rambunctiously challenging and sweet boys planned for me and I wouldn't want to teach in any other environment."
Dr. Wanda Creel congratulated Ms. McConnell on her accomplishment stating, "We are proud of the exemplary way that Heather serves our students at school and within the community, and we commend her for her dedication to a profession that is both challenging and rewarding."
Ms. McConnell along with other district winners from around the state will compete for Georgia Teacher of the Year which will be announced in May 2016.
In addition to naming the district teacher of the year, the district also recognized the teachers of the year for each school. They are Diana Drerup (Centennial), Kay Law (Enota), Michelle Garcia (Fair Street), Samantha Cronic (Gainesville Exploration), Jessica Chambers (New Holland), Jean Louis Pondo (GMS), MSgt. Jack Reese (GHS), and Heather McConnell (Wood's Mill Academy).
Congratulations to each of our teachers! We are grateful for your service and dedication to our children!
Military Veterans visit Enota
|Veterans share their experiences
In observance of Veteran's Day, Enota MI Academy was privileged to host visits from two military veterans Colonel Larkin Vance and Mr. Charles DeSaussure. Colonel Vance, who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Africa, shared his experiences as a quartermaster of a ship at the age of sixteen and when he was wounded in a rocket attack in Vietnam. He explained that he
was a member of the special forces and served with the "Screaming Eagles" airborne division. Students enjoyed hearing about the school children he assisted during the Vietnam conflict and were fascinated by the many mementos he showed from his service including a signed photograph from the President.
Avery Marshall, a student in Ms. Payne's class, said, "Colonel Vance is very nice, and I appreciate the work he did for our country." Madyson Nixon in Ms. Sander's class learned how the colonel "rebuilt an orphanage the North Vietnamese destroyed" and stated that "it was very interesting".
Charlie DeSaussure, an Air Force veteran, also spoke to second grade students about his experiences in Vietnam, describing events that occurred while serving in Vietnam from 1970-1971. Students cringed when he explained the c-rations he often had to eat in Vietnam that were left over from the Korean conflict. During his presentation, Mr. DeSaussure passed out flowers that hospitalized veterans had created for teachers and students. He explained the significance of the flower and how it represented wounded veterans.
The staff and students enjoyed the stories shared by Colonel Vance and Mr. DeSaussure and appreciated the veterans' time spent visiting Enota.
Young Entrepreneur in Training
|L to R: Ingrid Andrade & Program Coordinator Jananne Waller
New Holland fifth grade student Ingrid Andrade was recently recognized for her work as the youngest member of the YES (Young Entrepreneurs Succeed) program. Ingrid attended the Masters of Innovation event at Brenau University which honored local entrepreneurs for their "innovative spirit and successful businesses".
Ingrid requested to be a part of the YES program so that she could learn more about entrepreneurship to perhaps start her own business some day. Initially, she was told that the class was offered only to older students. However after reconsideration, the program developers, Jim Chapman and Jananne Waller, decided to offer a trial period for Ingrid to see if the class was a good fit for her age level.
Since joining the program, Ingrid has displayed her leadership potential.
According to Ms. Waller, she has been a great contributor during class by participating in the group's conversations and developing innovative ideas.
Ingrid, who also attends Awaken Academy and Awaken Art classes at the Atlanta Street Community Center, is eager to learn all about entrepreneurship and, without a doubt, can some day become the CEO of her own successful business!
GCSS Honor Chorus presents Annual Concert
|GCSS Fifth Grade Honor Chorus
On November 12th, the Brenau University Department of Music, in collaboration with the GCSS Choral Department, presented the 6th Annual GCSS 5th Grade Honor Chorus at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium. Seventy three students participated in this day-long event of musical instruction. Associate professor of music Bobby Ivey, GMS choral director Portia Burns, and GHS choral director Julia Hamilton worked diligently with fifth grade students from each of the district's five elementary schools on perfecting musical ensembles performed in front of an audience of supporters.
For several years, the honor chorus has been a tremendous success for participating students and the GCSS choral program. Students have been given the opportunity
to experience singing in a choral group and to discover if they truly enjoy this musical activity. A team of the school district's music educators from grade levels K-12 has provided students with quality music education through this joint collaboration.
Appreciation is extended to all of the elementary school music teachers who supported the event which includes InSun Ko (Fair Street), Amber Brock (Gainesville Exploration), Sheila Rogers (Enota), Fancy Petit (Centennial), and Katy Paul (New Holland). Also, special thanks to Bobby Ivey, Portia Burns, and Julia Hamilton for their roles in planning and organizing the event.
GMS Students attend Honor Band Clinics
Gainesville Middle School band students were recently selected to participate in two Honor Band Clinics within the Northeast Georgia area. Students were chosen based upon the recommendation of their band director Craig Bailey
Eighth grade band members attended the 6th annual Reinhardt University Honor Band Clinic on November 6th - 7th. Students worked with a renowned director on several musical pieces and presented an exciting concert for parents, friends, college staff/students, and local residents. Those who participated included
Josh Oropeza, and
On November 7th, seventh grade band members attended the 5th annual Young Harris College Tri-State Honor Band Clinic. The group consisted of
Karina Collins, and
While attending the clinics, students rehearsed with participants from schools around north Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee areas. Rehearsals included master classes with college music majors and professors as well as ensemble rehearsals to prepare the band members for their final concert.
GMS band director Craig Bailey was quite pleased with the band members' behavior and performance stating, "Our Gainesville Middle School students were wonderful ambassadors for our city and schools in the communities in which they rehearsed and performed, and we are very proud of them!"
WADE Artists awarded Art Scholarships
Two Gainesville High School students, Sophie Goode and Yasmin Rebollar, were awarded scholarships to Brenau University for their outstanding artwork. These talented young ladies along with Kimberly Gallardo, Alexis Saladin, and Madeline Robinson were accepted in the annual Women's Art and Design Exhibition (WADE) and scholarship competition at Brenau. A total of 150 students were chosen from mulitiple states to participate in the southeastern regional competition, and winners received cash prizes, scholarship awards, and an opportunity to attend art workshops lead by local professors. GHS visual art teacher Sarah Claussen congratulated the students for their achievements, noting that this was a "great honor and opportunity."
The students' artwork is entitled as follows:
- Sophie Goode - "500 Miles"
- Yasmin Rebollar - "Land to Nowhere & Beyond the Sky"
- Kimberly Gallardo -"Grey Inside Bright Outside"
- Alexis Saladin - "Palmystery"
- Madeline Robinson - "Pensive"
Their artwork was on display at the Castelli Gallery at Brenau's John S. Burd Center for Performing Arts from November 1-14 and will be displayed at Gainesville High School.
Gainesville City Board of Education Meeting
November 16, 2015
The Gainesville City Board of Education held its regular meeting on Monday, November 16, at the Public Safety Complex Municipal Courtroom. The Board recognized several special guests in attendance and approved agenda items presented by district personnel. To view the agenda and agenda reports, please click the links below.
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Wanda Creel, Ed.D.
Delores Diaz, Chair
Brett Mercer, Vice Chair
BOE Work Session & Regular Meeting
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December 21-Jan 1
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Wood's Mill Academy
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Enota MI Academy
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