North Gwinnett cluster celebrates American Education Week

SUWANEE -- Schools in the North Gwinnett cluster joined together Thursday morning to celebrate education.

The 31st annual celebration took place during American Education Week, sponsored by the National Education Association.

"The greatest success story in America is public education," North Gwinnett High principal Ed Shaddix said.

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said he commends both the people who started the annual celebration and those who have kept it going.

"(Public education is) the great leveler that takes children and prepares them not only to be successful in school but to be successful in life," Wilbanks said.

The event featured performances by chorus students from the cluster's elementary, middle and high schools, and the North Gwinnett Schools Foundation presented the schools with nearly $40,000, half of what was raised at a recent fundraiser.

Three awards were given out, as well.

Nancy Ward, executive director of the Gwinnett Student Leadership Team, was named the recipient of the Friend of Education Award. She was not able to attend the ceremony.

Bernice Braswell, a community member who started working at the school in 1966, received the Friend of North Gwinnett Award.

Kathleen Bradshaw, a community member and former executive director of the North Gwinnett Schools Foundation, received the North Gwinnett Family Heart Award.