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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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Gwinnett County Schools announces Teacher of the Year semifinalists

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced its Teacher of the Year semifinalists on Monday as it moved closer to selecting its annual honoree on Nov. 11.

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GSMST student receives $1,500 scholarship from film distribution company

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology senior Samuel Zinga received “The Boxtrolls” Innovator Award on Tuesday at the in front of 500 students and his family, faculty and staff. Focus Features presented the $1,500 scholarship to him ahead of the nationwide release of “The Boxtrolls” on Friday.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Trickum Middle student honored for National Geographic Bee

Several Gwinnett students were named semifinalists for the National Achievement Scholarship program. They were among a group of more than 1,600 black high school seniors to earn that designation in the 51st annual announcement.

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Brookwood Elementary students pie their teachers to support cancer research | VIDEO

In observance of Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Brookwood Elementary students raised money for the Amanda Riley Foundation. Amanda was a Brookwood Elementary student who battled and lost her fight with cancer in high school. Amanda’s parents began the foundation to help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

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Georgia Gwinnett College professor honored with University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award

A Georgia Gwinnett College professor was recently given the Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award.

Gwinnett parents named to DOE advisory council, given leadership award

One Gwinnett parent was named to State School Superintendent John Barge’s advisory council, while another was given a leadership award.

Mill Creek teacher to sign copies of young adult novel at Mall of Georgia Barnes and Noble

A Mill Creek High teacher and young adult author will sign books at the Mall of Georgia Barnes and Noble on Saturday, and give a portion of the proceeds back to school.

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Central Gwinnett grad publishes book of mother's journals to inspire others fighting cancer

Caleb McCoy, former Central Gwinnett High football player, has published a book of his mother’s journal entries before and during her battle with cancer to inspire people and families fighting cancer. It’s now available on Amazon and Kindle.

Gwinnett Tech ranked as top 100 producer of computer science grads

Gwinnett Tech is one of the nation’s top producers of associate degree graduates in computer and information sciences among two-year colleges in Community College Week magazine’s Top 100 for 2013. Gwinnett Tech awarded 110 associate degrees in computer science fields in 2013, up 11-pecent over the prior year.

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Ga. DOE seeks one-year delay for teacher evaluation consequences

The Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday announced it would apply for a flexibility waiver to delay consequences on teacher and leader evaluations based on student growth results. State School Superintendent John Barge said the waiver would give the state more time to transition to a new testing system before it’s incorporated in personnel decisions.

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Dacula High's Georgia Grown Test Kitchen tries out new recipes | PHOTOS | VIDEO

Dacula High was named one of 10 schools in the state as a “Georgia Grown Test Kitchen” by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, a year-long initiative to test new and different recipes each month. Dacula students give School Nutrition employees feedback on the recipes, which could be introduced across Gwinnett County and the state.

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Atlanta Falcons bring Play 60, First Down for Fitness programs to Winn Holt Elementary | VIDEO

Three members of the Atlanta Falcons visited Winn Holt Elementary in Lawrenceville on Tuesday to lead more than 100 fifth-graders in an hour-long exercise program where they were run through five stations of drills that the Falcons use in practice. Through the Play 60 and First Down for Fitness programs, the students were encouraged to have 60 minutes of physical activity each day, along with proper hydration and nutrition.

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Long-delayed Redflex contract may go before Commissioners in October

A school bus stop-arm contract is expected to go before the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in October, more than a year after it was first introduced to the Gwinnett County Board of Education.

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GCPS shares Broad Prize with Orange County Schools | VIDEO | PHOTOS

The L.A.-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation named Gwinnett and Orange County Public Schools of Orlando, Fla. as co-winners of the award.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Peachtree Ridge cluster schools honored for STEM Day

Peachtree Ridge High and Mason Elementary were each named a STEM finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia. Arcado Elementary is looking for volunteer “Schoolyard Crashers!” to support a Green Apple Day of Service on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

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J. Alvin Wilbanks on testing: We probably have crossed the line

J. Alvin Wilbanks weighs in on the testing debate that’s ramped up nationwide.

Gwinnett Schools expands employee healthcare coverage as costs rise

Associate Superintendent Frances Davis said on Thursday at a workshop meeting with the Gwinnett County Board of Education that vendors for 2015 will be Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, United Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente.

Junior Achievement gives School Board overview of BizTown, Finance Park sponsors

The Gwinnett County Board of Education heard a presentation on Thursday from the President of Junior Achievement Georgia about the new entrepreneurship and finance area at the new Lawrenceville high school set to open next year.

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Three new schools named, redistricting plans to affect 14,000 students

The names of three schools scheduled to open in 2015 were announced by the school district on Thursday. The first stages of redistricting plans related to those new schools were also announced.

Sycamore Elementary investigation reveals no evidence of sexual assault

Sycamore Elementary has closed an investigation of an alleged sexual assault at the school and did not find any evidence or support to the claims.

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At Gwinnett Chamber, J. Alvin Wilbanks outlines Gwinnett Schools vision, concerns | VIDEO

Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks spoke to the Gwinnett Chamber during a luncheon on Wednesday. Wilbanks noted new and updated initiatives the district has rolled out this year and said the latest enrollment count is 173,828 students.

Public meetings scheduled to discuss Barrow tax increase

Three public meetings are scheduled to discuss an increase in property taxes tentatively adopted by the Barrow County Board of Education.

Gwinnett County Schools to announce new school names, approve $19 million in capital improvements

Gwinnett County Public Schools are expected to approve more than $19 million in capital improvements at a Gwinnett County Board of Education meeting on Thursday. New school names are also expected to be announced.

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J. Alvin Wilbanks makes Broad Prize wager with Florida superintendent

As finalists for the Broad Prize, Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and Barbara Jenkins, the superintendent of Orange County Schools in Florida, have made a friendly wager of state-specific items like oranges, Coke and Chick-Fil-A leading up to the announcement on Monday.

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Four Gwinnett elementary schools honored for performance

Four Gwinnett elementary schools were named by the Georgia Department of Education on Tuesday among the five percent of the state’s Title I schools with the highest absolute performance.

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Sweetwater Middle holds retirement ceremony for its American flag

Sweetwater Middle on Monday held a retirement ceremony for an American flag that a retired employee gave the school in honor of his father, a veteran.

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Harbins Elementary celebrates Dot Day | VIDEO

Harbins Elementary participated in Dot Day, an international celebration on Monday to promote creativity and reading, and students Skyped with schools around the country.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Cornerstone Christian Academy named STEM finalist

TAG, the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, announced that Cornerstone Christian Academy was among the finalists for the award.

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Social media, text messages stir rumors of threat at Mill Creek

Rumors of a possible threat at Mill Creek High on Friday caused Principal Jason Lane to write a letter to parents that there was nothing to substantiate the rumors.

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Camp Creek Elementary students sing, celebrate anniversary of Star-Spangled Banner

Camp Creek Elementary students and faculty gathered on Friday morning to sing the national anthem on the 200th anniversary of the song.

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Brookwood High student to compete in World Youth Climbing championships near Australia

Brookwood High sophomore Amanda Wooten will compete in the World Youth Climbing Championships on New Caledonia Island near Australia from Sept. 20–24. Beginning her fourth year climbing, Wooten has set a goal to reach the finals in the 15 meter speed climb.

Mountain View to hold fundraiser for Abbie Williamson

The Mountain View Athletic Association is set put on a fundraiser Friday night for Abbie Williamson, a student critically injured in a car wreck in February.

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Altercation leads to lockdown at Norcross High

Norcross High was placed on a hard lockdown Thursday morning following an altercation in front of the school.

Gwinnett Tech radiologic technology students ace certification test

For the ninth consecutive year, graduates of the Gwinnett Tech Radiologic Technology program earned a 100 percent pass rate on their national certifying exam.

Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett to kick off $4.2 million capital campaign

Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett will kick off a three-phase, $4.2 million capital campaign on Saturday, an event that will coincide with its annual fundraiser, Ride for Special Needs.

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Gwinnett County Schools names local Teachers of the Year | LIST

The first step of the district’s search for its 2015 Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year is complete and 131 local school Teachers of the Year have been designated as tops in their schools.

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Radio contact allows Lanier students to talk with astronaut aboard International Space Station | VIDEO

Lanier cluster students spoke with an astronaut Tuesday morning by radio aboard the International Space Station. The contact was made through a radio connection by the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society and NASA’s Teaching From Space office that coordinated the event on Tuesday morning at Lanier High along with teacher Janelle Wilson. Wilson applied on behalf of the entire Lanier cluster, and the audience to witness the event was more than 100 people.

Berkmar High to have youth town hall meeting

Berkmar High will have a town hall meeting Wednesday primarily for Hispanic students to discuss mentoring, college access and financial aid.

Lanier Cluster students to speak with astronaut on the International Space Station

Students from across the Lanier cluster will have the chance to speak live on Tuesday morning with an astronaut on the International Space Station.

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Report: State underfunding Gwinnett schools by $445 per student

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has released its latest report on school funding called “The Schoolhouse Squeeze,” which said the state has underfunded Gwinnett schools by an average of $445 per student this school year.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gladiators look to partner with schools

Berkmar High student Eduardo Munoz is the recipient of a $10,000 Nordstrom Cares Scholarship and a new MacBook computer.

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Judges, participants celebrate recovery, accountability

Dozens gathered at Rhodes Jordan Park on Saturday to join in a recovery celebration of participants and graduates of the Gwinnett County Accountability Courts.

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Dozens protest Snellville apartments outside Brand Banking Company | VIDEO

Dozens of Snellville residents marched outside Brand Banking Company in Snellville on Saturday morning to protest a proposed apartment complex on Tree Lane.

Gwinnett Tech, Ga. Tech to partner on manufacturing education series

Gwinnett Tech and Georgia Tech are partnering on the latest installment of an education series for manufacturers.

Ga. DOE offers free digital textbooks

Georgia Department of Education officials are reminding teachers, school leaders, parents and students that they can access free, interactive digital textbooks through the Georgia Department of Education’s website.

Gwinnett County Schools enrollment surpasses 173,000

School district notices spike in immigrants from Central America

Gwinnett County Public Schools this week made its post-Labor Day enrollment count, which showed the district at 173,036 students. This puts enrollment at 653 students over the forecast of 172,383.

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Snellville parent files suit against Gwinnett County Schools

A parent of a student at Centerville Elementary has filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County Public Schools related to a recent gun law passed in the General Assembly.

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Peace Corps official to visit Georgia Gwinnett College

The No. 2 person with the Peace Corps is coming to Georgia Gwinnett College on Monday to talk to faculty, students and senior officials about a unique partnership with the school that was announced earlier this year.

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Mountain View band already preparing for CHOA Christmas parade | VIDEO

The Mountain View High band was selected to participate in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas parade, and has set a goal to raise $5,000 to donate.

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Lake Lanier boaters celebrate unofficial end of summer

Boaters and barbecues filled Lake Lanier and the parks around the water on Monday as families celebrated the unofficial end of summer.