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School board honors five teachers

The Gwinnett County Board of Education this month honored five teachers who have recently received national and state awards for their work.

* Mary Lynn Huie of Parkview High was recently named the Georgia Council of Teachers of English 2008 High School Teacher of the Year. Huie, who has worked for Parkview for four years, teaches gifted 10th-grade language arts. She came to Gwinnett County eight years ago, when she was hired as a language arts teacher at North Gwinnett High School. Huie is currently working on her doctoral degree and spends her summers directing a camp for young writers at Parkview's Community School.

* Susan Henderson of Parkview High was recently named the runner-up in the Georgia Council of Teachers of English's High School Teacher of the Year competition. Henderson, who has worked for Parkview since 1999, teaches ninth grade language arts. She sponsors the school's literary magazine.

* Richelle Wildman of Margaret Winn Holt Elementary was named the Georgia Council of Teachers of English Elementary Teacher of the Year. Wildman teaches first grade at Winn Holt Elementary, which she helped open in 2004.

* Misty Ann Pickenbrock of Margaret Winn Holt Elementary received the 2008 Georgia VFW Elementary Citizenship Education Teacher award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The recognition is given to educators who teach citizenship education regularly. Pickenbrock is a third-grade teacher who has worked at Winn Holt since 2005.

* Patsy Robinson of Trickum Middle received the 2008 Georgia VFW Middle School Citizenship Education Teacher award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. One of her classroom activities consisted of creating a unit on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Students created and sent a signed flag to Hawaii to commemorate the day. Robinson is an eighth-grade social studies teacher and a 20-year education veteran.

Notre Dame Academy raises $1,084 to fight hunger

An independent Catholic school raised $1,084 for the Duluth Cooperative Ministry last month during the school's first "Empty Bowls Dinner."

Empty Bowls is a world-wide service learning project that incorporates the creation of art to fight the hunger crisis in America, according to a news release.

Notre Dame Academy hosted a simple meal of soup and bread for students and their families. Whole Foods donated soup to feed 200 people, and LaMadeline's donated 50 baguettes of bread. The proceeds of the dinner were then donated to the Duluth Co-op.

The event was so successful that the students discovered the meaning of empty bowls. The school ran out of soup, and some fourth-graders left with just bread, according to the news release.

Everyone who came to the dinner was invited to take home a ceramic bowl, made by students in Notre Dame's Elementary and Middle School, as a reminder of those who have empty bowls.

One mission of Notre Dame Academy is to help form responsible, compassionate individuals, and the service learning curriculum provides students with the opportunity to put their learning into practice.

Notre Dame Academy is located in Duluth. For more information, visit www.ndacademy.org.

Parapro receives continuing education grant

Kathleen Huguenard, a paraprofessional who works for Gwinnett County Public Schools, has been awarded a $2,000 grant from P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), an international organization interested in bring increased opportunities for a higher education to women.

P.E.O's Program for Continuing Education was established to provide need-based grants to women in the United States and Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and their families, according to a news release.

Huguenard is a single mother of two boys. She graduated from Ball State University in Indiana in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in natural resources. She is now pursing her teaching certificate and her master's degree in elementary childhood education at Brenau University in Gainesville.

Since 1973, the program has awarded more than $26 million in financial assistance to more than 28,000 women.

Professor earns national teaching honors

Elaine Bryan of Snellville is one of six Georgia Perimeter College professors who will receive national recognition this spring for their exceptional talents in the classroom.

Bryan, who teaches health and physical education at the Clarkston Campus, will be honored in May with a Teaching Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, according to a news release.

Bryan has taught at Georgia Perimeter for five years. She grew up in Snellville and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a master's degree from Georgia Southern University. She is working on her doctoral degree at UGA.

Each year, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development presents awards to community college professors who have shown extraordinary service to their students and their profession. The Institute will present Bryan with a teaching medallion and award booklet during its International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas.

"It is very enjoyable to me to experience the positive collegial atmosphere that is present at GPC," Bryan said. "This positive atmosphere encourages growth among students, faculty and staff. ... What I enjoy most about teaching is being a part of the growth process of the student. However, I also value the student role in my growth process. Not only do I have the opportunity to help students learn, they teach me something new everyday."

Heather Darenberg writes about education for the Gwinnett Daily Post. More Good News From Schools appears online on Mondays.