GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: GGC students toast AITP charter, first-year achievements



Georgia Gwinnett College’s student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals recently capped a year of impressive firsts with a celebration on GGC’s campus.

AITP members, faculty and staff recently gathered to sign the group’s charter. Graduation senior members signed the charter and celebrated the occasion with congratulations offered by GGC President Daniel Kaufman, who also signed the charter.

The chapter was created in October with 10 members, then grew to 25 and quickly achieved some notable milestones. Lissa Pollacia, AITP faculty adviser and professor of information technology, encouraged several members to attend this spring’s AITP National Collegiate Conference in Orlando, Fla. This conference featured a range of competitions, and the newly formed GGC team was up against 600 students from 61 other colleges and universities.

The GGC team won third place in Java programming and fourth place in database design, besting some of the top teams in the nation.

A number of GGC students passed exams at the conference, moving them steps close to earning their Certified Computing Professional certificates. Pollacia passed the CCP exam and also received the “Top Gun” award for scoring highest among all professors in attendance.

Chia-Chi Lee, a recent graduate, and Evelyn Brannock, assistant professor of information technology, passed exams that earned them Associate Computing Professional certification.

Students participating in GGC’s chapter of the AITP have conducted fundraisers, volunteered at the college’s recently Science, Technology and Research Showcase, offered a formal presentation to the Atlanta professional chapter of the AITP, and participated in a major community service project, Give Camp, led by Microsoft Corp.

Five charter members graduated on Thursday: Chia-Chi Lee and Correy Overton, both of Buford; Kenneth Shepard of Suwanee; Geremy Bell of Snellville; and Michael Palli of Atlanta.

Norcross teacher inducted into Hall of Fame

A Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher who was once charged with developing one of the largest theater arts programs within the district has been honored for her decades of service.

Gina Parrish, who teaches drama at Norcross High, is the latest inductee to the Georgia Thespians Hall of Fame. Parrish was inducted at the state conference of the Georgia Thespians held at the River Center for the Performing Arts in Columbus. The group annually recognizes teachers for their years of service in the field of theater education.

In inducting Parrish, the organization honored her as a role model respected by peers and students who exemplifies extraordinary service to local and state thespian programs, exhibits extraordinary passion and enthusiasm for the educational process of theater arts, and extraordinary leadership and vision.

After teaching for three years in Virginia, Parrish moved south and joined Gwinnett County Public Schools in 1993, making Norcross her teaching home ever since.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.