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Service project a lesson in friendship

A service learning project became a lesson in friendship for some seventh- and eighth-grade students at Notre Dame Academy.

The students have spent one Sunday a month with the residents at Annandale Village of Suwanee, a private, nonprofit community for adults with developmental disabilities.

Their goal was to create projects that reflect their combined creativity and their commitment to work together to accomplish a goal. The North Point Community Church Ladies Link worked with the groups to facilitate the development of projects and to mentor the students in serving others.

The result was friendships that crossed many boundaries. The visits from the students became a bright spot for the residents. And the students learned more about what a disabled person can do rather than what they cannot.

The culmination of the project will be the Heart Friends Festival, scheduled for Feb. 11 at Annandale Village. The projects presented will include performing arts, creative crafts, music, dance, magic and sports.

Legislators enjoy a "taste"

of tech colleges

Legislators and state leaders recently filled the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta, where Gwinnett Technical College students showed off their culinary arts skills in the Technical College System of Georgia's second annual "Taste of the Technical Colleges."

Each of the system's 34 technical colleges was featured in the gala that showcases the best in technical education programs.

Technical college presidents, staff, faculty and students greeted the members of the General Assembly while exhibiting a variety of their college offerings, including programs in industries such as health care, aerospace, life sciences and agribusiness. The chefs and students of the 11 technical colleges with culinary arts programs created a buffet for the evening's guests.

"Gwinnett Tech is enriched by its superb culinary program," Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Rigsby said in a news release. "It is an asset to the college and to the students it trains for rewarding careers in the field, but it (is) also a benefit to the community through its participation in public and private events like the Taste of the Technical Colleges."

Gwinnett Tech offers an associate degree and a diploma program in culinary arts, which prepares graduates for entry-level management positions as sous chefs and kitchen managers. The college also offers a certificate program in prep cook, which provides basic training in culinary skills.

Honors and awards

Several Gwinnett County Public Schools faculty members and students have recently received honors and awards.

• Two GCPS school counselors will be honored Thursday by the Georgia Board of Education during National School Counseling Week. Meadowcreek Elementary's Kelly Cowart is the 2006 State Elementary School Counselor of the Year, and Norcross High's Brent Henderson is the 2006 State Secondary School Counselor of the Year.

• Pharr Elementary student Mirela Vojnikovic is one of 25 winners in the Scholastic Book Club Holiday Gift Book Card Contest. Her card was selected from more than 3,500 submissions from around the country. She will receive two 50-book library sets, one for her classroom and one that will be donated to a local charity or organization.

• Pharr Elementary student Mikatl Sampson won the Scholastic Book

Club National Be Healthy Poster Contest. He will receive two 100-book healthy reading libraries. One set will be for his home, and one will be for his

classroom. He also received 500

copies of his poster, which can be seen online at www.scholastic.com /healthyreading.

• Lilburn Middle will induct 15 students into the National Junior Thespian Society during a ceremony from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The following students have participated in at least 50 hours of Theater Arts performances or had technical theater involvement: Caylen Campbell, Hai Giang, Shelby Haney, Alexander Johnson, Aaron Knight, Marina Mehrtens, Anthony Morgan, Ashleigh Oliver, Bryan Perez, Amir Resto, Khaleef Resto, Noel Roblero, Stephen Sandoval, Diego Serna and Alice Vasquez.

• Shiloh Middle teachers Cindy Apley-Rose, Alice Erickson, Keith Oldknow and Michal Savage were selected as the Georgia Middle School Association/Pearson Prentice Hall Metro Region Team of the Year. They will be recognized during the GMSA conference Monday and Tuesday, and they

will present how learning objectives outlined in Gwinnett's Academic Knowledge and Skills and the Georgia Performance Standards are presented to students.

Heather Darenberg is an education reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Post.