The Daily Post gives a thumbs up to Gwinnett citizens who have stood apart this week.

Teachers are tops

Gwinnett County this week topped the list of Georgia teachers receiving national certification.

We give the educators a thumbs up for earning the honor.

Forty-two Gwinnett County teachers earned National Board Certification in 2005, the highest of any school system in Georgia. Gwinnett teachers accounted for 13 percent of the state's 328 certified teachers this year. This brings the total in the county to more than 200 certified teachers.

Four Barrow County teachers also received the honor.

To apply, teachers had to submit videotapes of their classroom performance, student work and a series of essays outlining their goals and accomplishments.

Possible price break

A substantial spike in natural gas prices this winter could prompt the General Assembly to take the state sales tax off of Georgians' gas bills, several lawmakers said Monday.

The temporary moratorium for the heating season would echo action the legislature took during a special session in September, when lawmakers removed the sales tax on motor fuels for nearly a month in response to price increases following Hurricane Katrina.

We give lawmakers a thumbs up for considering the move.

"There's a lot of talk by members ... to bring some relief, particularly if these prices triple,'' said House Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, R-Alpharetta, co-chairman of a legislative study committee looking for ways to dampen expected increases in natural gas bills this winter.

Industry analysts are predicting that Georgia businesses and homeowners will be hit with significantly higher home-heating bills in the next few months because of normal winter demand coupled with ongoing hurricane-related supply disruptions.

Speaking of weather ...

Thumbs up to the Georgia Department of Transportation from preparing for the worst when planning for winter weather.

Department spokeswoman Teri Pope held a media briefing Friday to talk about preparations.

"DOT is ready and waiting for whatever winter weather happens this year," she said. "We have to make sure the roads are open and ready for you to use."

Statewide, the department has 350 snow plows, 350 gravel and salt spreaders, 30,000 tons of fine gravel and 65,000 tons of rock salt.

Every county in Georgia has at least one salt barn. Gwinnett's houses 500 tons of rock salt - or 1 million pounds.

Pope said the state's 2,000 employees begin training in the summer for winter weather and schedules and stretches of road have already been assigned to each person.

"We can be on the road spreading our materials - salt and stone - within an hour," she said.