Protect and serve

Thumbs up this week go to four Gwinnett County Police Department officers recognized by the governor for their heroism.

Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday announced the recipients of the Governor's Public Safety Awards at a ceremony recognizing 12 Georgia public safety professionals - four from Gwinnett - for acts of heroism.

Nominations were submitted by local governments, state agencies, associations, police departments, sheriff's offices, correctional facilities, fire departments, 911 communications, emergency medical services and emergency management agencies.

Sgt. Michael P. McKeithan is credited for an Oct. 2, 2004, incident in which he edged his patrol car into the path of a speeding vehicle, driven by an intoxicated driver, who was traveling south in the northbound lane of Interstate 85.

Lt. Kevin Moran, Sgt. Jerry Stancel and Sgt. Doug Mattox, on April 24, 2005, are credited for rescuing a disturbed Hispanic man who had climbed over the guardrail on Pleasant Hill Road over I-85.

Teach and learn

Twenty-seven Gwinnett County schools were recognized Monday by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. The state honored 317 Georgia schools that had the highest percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards. Schools that had the greatest gains in student achievement were also recognized. In each of the categories, there were four award levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

To each, we give a thumbs up.

The following Gwinnett schools received the Platinum award, the most prestigious recognition for students meeting and exceeding state standards:

B.B. Harris Elementary

R.D. Head Elementary

Richard Hull Middle

Riverside Elementary

Simpson Elementary

Gold awards were given to the following schools:

Brookwood Elementary

Brookwood High

Craig Elementary

Alton C. Crews Middle

Duncan Creek Elementary

Knight Elementary

Parsons Elementary

Phoenix High

Silver awards were given to:

Camp Creek Elementary

Fort Daniel Elementary

Freeman's Mill Elementary

Gwin Oaks Elementary

McKendree Elementary

Suwanee Elementary

Bronze awards were given to:

Dacula Elementary

Harmony Elementary

Level Creek Elementary

M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary

Frank N. Osborne Middle

Rock Springs Elementary

K.E. Taylor Elementary

Walnut Grove Elementary