Gwinnett County Public Schools names new Suwanee middle school to open in August

SUWANEE — Matching its address and the surrounding business community, Gwinnett County Public Schools officials named the newest middle school Thursday night.

The new middle school in the Peachtree Ridge cluster will be named Northbrook Middle School and be located at 1221 Northbrook Parkway in Suwanee. It’s scheduled to open in August, and it’s the first new school to open in the district since Moore Middle School in Lawrenceville in 2011.

“It’s a very good and appropriate name,” CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said. “It’s a geographic marker that resonates where the school is.”

Two parents and an educator from the Hull Middle school zone made up the school naming commitee. Steve Flynt, GCPS’ chief strategy and performance officer, said students at Northbrook would come from the Jackson Elementary zones.

The committee also considered people who have made significant social contributions, names of communities served by the school, roads, landmarks and geographical locations in proximity of the school.

Flynt said the Gwinnett Historical Society assisted in the process and was a resource for local historical information.

Legislative program

Jorge Gomez, executive director of administration and policy, presented the district’s legislative program for its Dec. 10 meeting with the Gwinnett delegation prior to the upcoming General Assembly. Gomez said the Quality Basic Education funding formula continues to be a concern, and he highlighted $739.3 million that’s been lost in state funding from GCPS since 2003 in austerity cuts.

“The continuous reduction in funding, through the loss of local and/or state dollars is jeopardizing our ability to provide students the quality and effective education our community demands and expects, maintain a sound financial position and retain a AAA bond rating,” Gomez wrote in the program. “No legislation should be passed that would erode existing revenue sources at the state or local level.”

Officials also supported the constitutional amendment for local school districts to have flexibility to use a portion of special purpose local option sales tax for the operation of schools. They also support a comprehensive review of health benefit alternatives to contain escalating health benefits cost that impact employers and employees, which would allow local school districts to better meet employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act.

Red Cross Emergency Shelter

The district entered into a joint agreement with the Gwinnett County Emergency Management Agency to add Meadowcreek and Peachtree Ridge high schools to the list of potential American Red Cross Emergency Shelters to be used in the event of a large scale disaster or event.

Superintendent of the Day

Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center, served as Superintendent of the Day with Wilbanks.

Wilbanks applauded Wolfe’s service to the county and the medical services GMC provides.

“You no longer have to leave Gwinnett County to get world class medical services,” Wilbanks said.