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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: 18 students earn perfect Latin papers

Eighteen Gwinnett County Schools students were awarded perfect papers on the National Latin Exam. This year more than 140,000 students across the country took this exam, but only 445 were awarded perfect papers.

Ga. DOE accepting applications for family-friendly partnership school awards

The Georgia Department of Education is accepting applications for the 2015 Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School Awards.

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Gwinnett Tech Foundation names new board chair

Mike Price, executive manager of Elesys North America, Inc., is the new chair of the Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees.

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Four elementary schools piloting new safety system

Gwinnett County Schools are piloting a new safety system at four elementary schools where visitors push a buzzer to gain entry, while school personnel can see them on a video surveillance system.

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North Gwinnett High student builds running trail for Eagle Scout project

A North Gwinnett High sophomore built a running trail at his former middle school for his Eagle Scout project and to upgrade the facilities for the school’s running club.

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Gwinnett County Schools investigates report of molestation at elementary school

Gwinnett County Public Schools is investigating a report of a child molested by another student at Sycamore Elementary.

Common Core supporters, critics spell out their stance at BOE hearing

Common Core, which critics have said “comes straight from Obama’s desk,” while supporters boast that it will raise standards, was easily the most discussed issue at the Buford Fine Arts Center. State Board of Education member Mike Royal hosted the discussion as he represents the seventh district that includes Gwinnett and south Forsyth County.

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Gwinnett County Schools enrollment surpasses projections

Gwinnett County Public Schools released its second-to-last enrollment count on Tuesday. To keep up with the student population, the district has hired 1,744 teachers and has four vacancies.

Gwinnett Tech expands locations for GED classes

Gwinnett Technical College now offers two sites in Gwinnett outside of the main campus for GED classes.

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Consortium J. Alvin Wilbanks co-chairs applauds Arne Duncan stance on testing

A group of school districts Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks co-chairs released a statement on Monday in response to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s statement on pulling back on testing.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Maxwell High culinary arts program receives $10,000 grant

The Maxwell High School of Technology Culinary Arts program was recently awarded “Industry Certification” by the American Culinary Federation and the Georgia Department of Education. This certification signifies that students are learning skills that industry has identified as being essential for success in the field.

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Construction company CEO to chair Gwinnett Technical College Board

Nancy Juneau, founder and CEO of Juneau Construction Company, is the new chair of the Gwinnett Technical College Board of Directors.

School district officials, parents seek flexibility from state mandates

All spoke in support of extending the partnership contract of Investing in Educational Excellence, or IE2, which was first approved in 2009, which has provided local schools and the school district with flexibility in 13 areas, including class size and curriculum. This flexibility was coupled with accountability targets for the five years of the contract, which ends in June 2015.

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Gwinnett County Schools appoints new Berkmar Middle principal

Gwinnett County Public Schools on Thursday appointed a new principal at Berkmar Middle to replace Jose DeJesus, who took a position at a school district in Florida.

Gang activity decline continues in Gwinnett County Schools

Gang activity continues to plummet in Gwinnett County Public Schools. There were just 37 referrals related to gang activity in the last school year.

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Ga.-PCOM participates in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Mercer School of Medicine challenged all of Georgia’s medical schools, including GA-PCOM, to the challenge. Chief Chief Campus Officer Bryan Ginn and DO Council President Bryant Giles accepted the challenge on behalf of the campus and then challenged our students to hoist an ice bucket over the heads to raise awareness for this charitable organization. The campus-wide event will take place at noon on Friday where the school will challenge our mother school in Philadelphia to the test.

State Board of Education to hold public meeting in Buford

Each member of the BOE has scheduled a public hearing in their congressional district in order to hear comments from interested citizens and educators regarding the performance and problems of public education.

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Gwinnett Schools ACT results surpass state, national averages

Georgia’s average composite score on the most recent ACT results is 20.8, while the national average is 21.0. Georgia’s ACT rank has improved from 37th in 2011 to 30th this year.

Gwinnett School Board to have public meeting on IE2 contract

At Thursday’s Gwinnett School Board meeting, the IE2 contract is up for discussion at a public forum, while clarifications about the new gun law will be reiterated are among the items on the agenda.

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Dacula Middle teacher invents lockdown safety device

A Dacula Middle teacher has invented a device to keep classroom doors closed in the event of a lockdown situation.

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Dave and Buster’s gives nearly $12,000 to Berkmar, Meadowcreek, Brookwood schools

Dave and Buster’s in Duluth is giving an $11,700 in-kind donation to Berkmar, Meadowcreek, Brookwood cluster schools to use for staff recognition efforts.

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Greater Gwinnett Championship raises $178,160 for charities

The Greater Gwinnett Championship raises $178,160 for various area charities. The main beneficiaries of the 2014 event were Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation, and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation.

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Naming process for four new schools set to begin

Four Gwinnett County Public Schools are scheduled to open next school year, and the naming process for them is about to begin.

Gwinnett County Schools enrollment swells by nearly 1,500

Gwinnett County Public Schools enrollment increased to 171,872 students in the latest enrollment count on Tuesday.

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Greater Gwinnett Championship names Volunteers of the Year

The Greater Gwinnett Championship announced on Tuesday that Luanne Mohling and Shane Warawa have been named the 2014 tournament’s Leadership Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year respectively.

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Changes abound as Georgia Gwinnett College opens fall semester | PHOTOS | VIDEO

Changes at GGC include a new traffic flow and parking plan, a new food and cafeteria vendor and the first nursing classes in the school’s history.

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Suwanee celebrates 10th anniversary of concerts with Everclear

Saturday’s concert in Suwanee marked the 10th anniversary of music and events at Suwanee’s Town Center Park. Alternative rock band Everclear, the latest in a string of popular ’90s bands, who entertained the crowd.

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Counselors association honors Roberts Elementary counselor, Twin Rivers Middle principal

Two Gwinnett educators have been recognized as top professionals in their field by the Georgia School Counselors Association.

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Australian pop singer Cody Simpson performs at Mall of Georgia | PHOTOS

The Australian pop singer was the headliner of an “ABC’s of Style” event, which marked Teen Vogue’s Back-to-School Saturday initiative.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: 3 Gwinnett high schools earn sportsmanship award

Three Gwinnett County high schools — Meadowcreek, Berkmar and Lanier — earned recognition for demonstrating exemplary sportsmanship during the 2013-14 school year. The schools were among 48 that earned the Georgia High School Association Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award.

Annandale Village in Suwanee to put on Olympic Games-style fundraiser

Called the “Great Gwinnett Corporate Games,” employees of corporations, government agencies and small businesses are invited to participate in more than 20 events at fields and venues across Gwinnett. The games are scheduled for Oct. 11 to Nov. 1 and are designed to encourage teamwork and camraderie and raise awareness for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities or traumatic brain injuries.

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Police: Taxi driver killed in Norcross

Police, GBI have ‘scores of leads, pages of them’

Norcross Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating a shooting incident where 36-year-old Afolabi Odifa was found slumped in his taxi at 800 Chase Common Drive in Norcross.

Annandale Village in Suwanee to put on Olympic Games-style fundraiser

Called the “Great Gwinnett Corporate Games,” employees of corporations, government agencies and small businesses are invited to participate in more than 20 events at fields and venues across Gwinnett. The games are scheduled for Oct. 11 to Nov. 1 and are designed to encourage teamwork and camraderie and raise awareness for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities or traumatic brain injuries.

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Georgia Gwinnett College move-in day means a range of emotions | PHOTOS | VIDEO

About 700 students were expected to move in to Georgia Gwinnett College this week as classes begin on Monday for the fall semester.

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Marine mother, two Dacula churches send care packages to Afghanistan

UA Dacula Marine mother, Hebron Baptist and Dacula United Methodist banded together to send 70 care packages to the last Marine combat unit in Afghanistan, which includes Dacula native Jacob Browder.

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$5,000 grant helps Sage School fund new playground

The Sage School in Suwanee on Wednesday received a $5,000 check to help build a new playground from the Georgia United Credit Union’s School Crasher’s Grant Program.

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Former Maxwell High student returns as teacher in same classroom

Maxwell High teacher Jennifer Mundy has returned this school year to the same classroom where she was an early education student and is now teaching the subject.

Predicted spike in Gwinnett schools enrollment arrives

Enrollment in Gwinnett County Public Schools is now more than 170,000, a nearly 5,000 jump from last week’s first count.

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Former mob boss turned Christian speaks to Gwinnett Rotary

A former head of the Colombo crime family spoke to the Gwinnett Rotary on Tuesday at the 1818 Club in Duluth. Michael Franzese was known to generate millions of dollars each week through legal and illegal businesses, but now gives motivational speeches and writes books about how he escaped indictment on racketeering charges and insider business tips.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Mountain Park added to national elementary honor society

The National Elementary Honor Society recently approved Mountain Park Elementary as a new chapter for this school year as it joined schools around the country to promote academic achievement and leadership involvement.

Suwanee proposes same millage rate as property values, taxes go up

The city of Suwanee has proposed a millage rate of 4.93 mills, the same rate used by the city the last two years. It’s higher rate than the calculated rollback rate of 4.70 mills, but expected to generate the same total revenue as the previous year.

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Technology upgrades highlight Buford City Schools' first day | VIDEO | PHOTOS

Buford City Schools started the 2013-14 school year on Thursday as students and teachers were introduced to several technology upgrades since last school year.

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D. Glen Cannon named new Gwinnett Tech president

President of Chattahoochee Valley Technical College in Phenix City, Ala., returns to roots

D. Glen Cannon, the president of Chattahoochee Valley Technical College in Phenix City, Ala., was announced on Thursday as the next president of Gwinnett Technical College.

GCPS enrollment projections on target

The first count was 165,518 students, nearly 7,000 fewer than ultimately projected, but on track for the time of year.

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New crosswalk upgrades safety measures near South Gwinnett High

Snellville officials have put in a new crosswalk near South Gwinnett High where students often cross to get to a nearby fast food restaurant. It’s been the site of a couple of incidents and this is designed to increase safety.