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GaDOE Updates Newsletter: May 14, 2014

Good afternoon! Welcome to the fourth edition of GaDOE Updates, a newsletter from the Georgia Department of Education. Every other week, we send out a roundup of news, information and spotlights on K-12 public education in Georgia. In between, keep up with GaDOE on Facebook and Twitter.


We need your ideas for GaDOE Updates

Do you know a teacher pioneering innovative instructional techniques? How about a graduate of Georgia’s public schools who’s succeeding in the workforce? There’s so much good news in public education, and we want to write about it. Send your story ideas for GaDOE Updates to Communications Specialist Meghan Frick at or Communications Director Matt Cardoza at


Teacher Spotlight: Meet J. Nichelle Wimbush of Troup County Comprehensive High

There are 100,000+ classroom teachers in Georgia’s public schools, all on the front lines of education. They’re nurturing dreams and showing children what’s possible – and they’re making sure students have the tools they need to make those dreams a reality. Teacher Spotlights, a recurring feature from the Georgia Department of Education, introduces you to those teachers. This time, meet J. Nichelle Wimbush, a five-year educator currently teaching at Troup County Comprehensive High School. Read more here.


Meet the 2014 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year

This Friday, we’ll meet our next Georgia Teacher of the Year, a passionate educator who will spend the 2014-15 school year acting as an advocate and ambassador for Georgia’s public-school teachers. He or she is one of 10 finalists who hail from Coweta County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Heard County, Cobb County, Houston County, Early County, Fannin County, Paulding County, and the Atlanta Public Schools. They are teachers of music, engineering, history, Spanish, and more. Before the award is presented, get to know them here.


Putnam County High receives $2.4 million Youth CareerConnect grant

Putnam County High School is one of 24 schools nationwide to be awarded a $2.4 million federal Youth CareerConnect Grant, an innovation grant designed to help schools personalize teaching and learning so that students stay on track to graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and in careers. Learn more about the grant here: And see a photo of celebrations at the school below!

Around DOE lately


We announced our 2014 Georgia scholars:


Dr. Barge participated in DECA’s 2014 International Career Development Conference:


Around the districts


Broadcast Video students at Calhoun High School produced this mock crash video to bring awareness to their peers about the dangers of driving under the influence during prom season:


Students at Dunbar Elementary School received donations of 12 books for summer reading from Books for Keeps:


Exploravision, a student science competition sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba, challenged students to create an innovation to solve a problem that may exist in 20 years. Of nearly 3,000 projects submitted, only 24 winners were selected – and five of the winning students were from Georgia:


Lauren O’Prey, school-level Teacher of the Year at Roswell North Elementary School, created this video to get her students feeling confident about the CRCT:


Georgia’s public schools in the news


South Forsyth High robotics team places third in the world:


PBIS finding success in Middle Georgia:


Richmond Performance Learning Center helps students graduate on time:


SLDS featured in Education Week:


Save the date:


June 3-6: Institute Designed for Educating All Students (IDEAS) Conference, Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons


June 16: Applications due for SAMHSA “Now is the Time” grants for LEAs (supports training of school personnel and others to detect and respond to mental illness in children and youth)


June 19 and 20: Georgia Virtual Learning’s Professional Learning Symposium (register by May 30)


July 8-10: Safety in Our Schools Conference, UGA Hotel and Conference Center, Athens


July 13-16: Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education’s 67th Annual Summer Conference, Cobb Galleria Center, Cobb County


Remember: Send your tips, ideas and events to and And keep up with GaDOE at and @GaDOEnews on Twitter.