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GOOD NEWS: School transportation workers honored

Frank Reddy

Frank Reddy

SUWANEE -- The men and women who make sure Gwinnett County students are transported safely to and from school every day were recently recognized by the school district.

During a recognition event held in late March, Gwinnett County Public Schools announced its school bus managers and monitor of the year. Trish Wall, Jerry Howard and Laura Connell were all named "School Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year" during the recognition banquet.

Gwinnett County Board of Education Chairman Carol Boyce congratulated this year's winners and all transportation professionals, thanking them for the job they do every day transporting students.

The Gwinnett transportation professionals honored this year are:

-- Trish Wall

2012 Regular Education Bus Manager of the Year

Having joined the school district seven years ago, Ms. Wall serves students in the Collins Hill cluster.

-- Jerry Howard

2012 Special Education Bus Manager of the Year

Jerry Howard transports children in the Archer, Brookwood, and Grayson clusters. He joined the district 10 years ago.

-- Laura Connell

2012 Special Education Bus Monitor of the Year

Connell is a monitor for Taylor Elementary and Central Gwinnett High students, a job she has held since joining the school district five years ago.

Before being named winners, these candidates participated in an extensive selection process. First, they were nominated by peers in their transportation zone. There are 27 regular education zones and nine special education zones. Nominees then were given a written and driving skills test.

Eleven finalists were selected -- five regular education bus managers, three special education bus managers and three special education bus monitors. A judging committee, comprised of GCPS system leaders who serve outside of the Transportation Department, selected the winners from the finalists.

Sweetwater students are WordMasters

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A team from Sweetwater Middle in Gwinnett County could set a national record this spring as the students have an opportunity to become two-time WordMasters Challenge national champions.

The Berkmar Cluster middle school students have placed first twice this school year during the first two rounds of the vocabulary competition. The school also earned the first place spot last school year. Should the sixth graders conquer the championship in April, they will become the only school in the country with two consecutive years earning the national WordMaster's honor.

A national competition for students in grades 3-8, the WordMasters Challenge encourages growth in vocabulary and verbal reasoning.

During the first two WordMasters Challenge competitions earlier this school year, the Sweetwater Middle sixth-grade team placed first in both rounds in the highest division, the Gold Division. Coached by Sweetwater Middle teacher Lois Bean, the team scored a perfect 200 points for each round.

The students who have earned perfect scores are Tajin Alam, Emina Begovic, Jonathan Bulauan, Janiel Caday, Juan Campos, Courtney Castaneda, Christina Dames, David de los Santos, Jose Pena-Flores, William Reyes, Rani Rutledge, Emily Taing, Amy Tin, Chloe Townsend and Mubashira Zaman

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.