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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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Original principal closes Mulberry Elementary for last time | PHOTOS

The only principal Mulberry Elementary has ever known waved goodbye to students for the last time on Thursday, a day that caused her to “savor every single moment” the last few weeks.

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School Board approves new principal at Suwanee Elementary

Keag was previously an assistant principal at Harmony Elementary and Loganville High, but began her career as a special education lead teacher at Crews Middle.

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Gwinnett County Schools counts 515 retirees

It’s an experienced group as 49 percent of the retirees worked their entire career in GCPS. They are support staff, administrators, classroom teachers, counselors and media specialists. One hundred and forty four have 30 or more years of service in education, and 29 have 40 or more years in education.

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As graduation ceremonies begin, Collins Hill graduates encouraged to build relationships | PHOTOS

That sentiment was shared in speeches from Principal Kerensa Wing and School Board member Dan Seckinger, and from Class President Margo Bridgers, who added that while some dreams have been accomplished, “the time to excel has not stopped here.”

Blown transformer causes evacuation of Jones Middle

Staff pulled fire alarm after they smelled smoke.

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Board of Regents approves new college campus safety, security guidelines

Georgia’s Board of Regents voted Tuesday to implement a system-wide campus safety initiative, which includes hiring new positions.

Georgia NAACP calls for formal review of TNT Academy

The executive director of the Georgia Accrediting Commission, however, said he had a good conversation with the education chair of the Gwinnett NAACP and hasn’t received any such formal compliant, or opened any investigation.

Peachtree Ridge receives AdvancED STEM certification

Peachtree Ridge is the first high school in Georgia to receive the achievement. To receive the certification, a school must pass an evaluation and continuous improvement process to surpass goals and expectations for its program.

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Providence Christian breaks ground on new athletics complex

Lussi is a long-time staff member at Providence and the new complex will be named for him. It will have new venues for football, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field. Plans for the new facilities signal the end of Providence athletes traveling off-campus to play because the school’s property lacked adequate facilities.

Georgia gas prices up a nickel in last week

Sunday’s national average is $2.70, while Georgia’s average was $2.60 — five cents higher than a week ago, and 30 cents higher than a month ago. Both of those prices are the highest since December, 2014.

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Gwinnett graduation information, Valedictorians and Salutatorians | PHOTOS

Graduation information for Gwinnett County schools, plus valedictorian and salutatorian’s from each school.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Kappa Alpha Psi hands out $20,000 in scholarships

This marks two consecutive years that the Lawrenceville-Duluth Alumni Chapter and Foundation of Kappa Alpha Psi will award more than $25,000 in scholarship monies to deserving African American high school seniors in Gwinnett County.

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Mahaffey twins lead Archer High Class of 2015 with academic prowess

Everyone who has known the Mahaffey twins since they were in kindergarten, knows that they’ve always been at the top of their class. Yet this spring, the ranking crystalized when Archer High’s final grades came out and Mary Beth and John Mahaffey learned where they finished.

GaDOE launches summer reading challenge, offers free resources

Research shows that students can lose up to three months of reading ability over the summer. Students who read over the summer may even show growth in reading ability.

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Collins Hill cellist excels despite being legally blind

The tone he plays with is so defined, it sets him apart from other cellists, and is one reason he’s already played in Carnegie Hall as part of a national honors orchestra, his orchestra teacher said. During the visit to Carnegie Hall, the orchestra played Mahler Symphony No. 1, considered a very difficult piece for a cellist, especially to memorize by ear.

At public hearing, J. Alvin Wilbanks discusses funding options, testing approaches

Thursday was the first of two public hearings about the $1.858 billion budget the School Board tentatively adopted in April. The next public hearing is at 6 p.m. on May 28 and an adoption of the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. the same night. The final millage rate adoption is scheduled for June.

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Gwinnett County Schools names four new principals, Chief Information Officer

Three retirements and a high school principal leaving the district paved the way for four new principals in Gwinnett County Public School, the district announced on Thursday.

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With international flavor, GGC honors largest graduating class | PHOTOS

The 425 graduates who earned a degree included 44 who came from 28 countries, including Liberia where the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Jeremiah Sulunteh, serves as an ambassador.

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GSMST, North Gwinnett, Brookwood rank high in U.S. News rankings

GSMST led a group of three Gwinnett County high schools to be ranked in the top 20 in Georgia. North Gwinnett (14) and Brookwood (16) were also ranked.

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Grayson senior named U.S. Presidential Scholar

Shirsath, Grayson’s salutatorian, will attend the University of Pennsylvania where he plans to major in computer engineering, management of entrepreneurship and innovation. Shirsath has also been awarded a National Merit Scholarship.

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Sandra Deal discusses water safety at Partee Elementary

Georgia’s First Lady visited the school to discuss water safety and tips to avoid trouble around the water on an ongoing tour of schools across the state. Deal read the children’s book, “The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim.”

Solar energy system, curriculum coming to Brookwood High

With this system, students will collect and study real-time solar energy data under different weather conditions and times of day. Power generated by the solar array will be channeled into the building’s power system to help meet the school’s electrical needs.

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Arrest made in Dacula daycare child abuse investigation

A Lawrenceville man is being held without bond following his arrest on child abuse charges related to an investigation that closed a Dacula daycare last month.

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Mason Elementary students work to save Monarch butterfly

On Monday, the students hosted State Rep. Brooks Coleman, Mock’s father, Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and School Board Chairwoman Mary Kay Murphy for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of Mason’s Pollinator Habitat in the school’s outdoor classroom.

Gwinnett gas prices rise as national average drops slightly

Prices across the country are still $1 cheaper than this time last year as motorists are saving an average of $15 per full tank of gas.

Georgia Gwinnett students take home national technology awards

Three students won first place awards and one won second place in 14 categories as more than 2,000 students from the United States and Canada took part in the competition.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gwinnett schools earn state technology awards

Student teams from Parkview, Grayson, Collins Hill, and the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology were recognized. Parkview was named the top chapter in the state.

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GCPS mentoring program for black youths celebrates success

The program, which serves African-American boys, reported that 77 percent of the students involved in the program passed all four core academic subjects.

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Graduating senior tells GIVE students how he left jail, built a 3.9 GPA

While he’s a senior at Berkmar High now with a 3.9 grade-point-average, Acosta was once a student at GIVE Center West, and had 53 referrals to his name.

QuestBridge hands out scholarships to 31 Gwinnett seniors

The QuestBridge National Match program links high-achieving and low-income students to select colleges.

Six Gwinnett students chosen as National Merit Scholars

The scholars were judged by the organization to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in college.

AAA: Lower gas prices to trigger highest Memorial Day travel in 10 years

The national average on Friday for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.66, which is $1 lower than the average price for Memorial Day last year. The average price in Georgia is $2.54.

Study: Kids from poor Gwinnett families struggle to climb income ladder

In the Atlanta area, Gwinnett ranks 14th out of 15 counties — only Cherokee County is worse. The top four counties in the study were Fayette, Paulding, Henry and DeKalb.

Thirteen Gwinnett seniors earn Gates Millennium scholarships

In addition to the full scholarship for undergraduate work, the Gates Millennium Scholars also qualify for funding to cover graduate and doctoral work.

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Cops shoot Lawrenceville man following suicide threats | VIDEO

Police are on the scene of an officer involved shooting in Lawrenceville, waiting on the GBI to arrive

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GCPS mentoring program for black youths celebrates success

The program, which serves African-American boys, reported that 77 percent of the students involved in the program passed all four core academic subjects.

Georgia Gwinnett College a finalist for regional business award

The event is designed to celebrate organizations that drive economic development and job creation.

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Roberts Elementary first-graders learn gardening basics from master gardeners

Six classes rotated across three stations throughout the day on Tuesday to learn about seeds, soil and plants. They were also exposed to different nutrients in the soil, composting and how certain bugs help the soil.

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Broad Foundation awards 26 scholarships to Gwinnett seniors

Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who, like their school districts, demonstrate improvement throughout high school, especially for low-income students and minorities.

Record-number of Gwinnett Tech students score at SkillsUSA state competition

The largest group ever to participate in the SkillsUSA competition in Gwinnett Tech’s history recorded five gold, eight silver and four bronze medals.

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Gwinnett native appointed new CEO of Cisco Systems

Robbins, 49, replaces John Chambers, who has been CEO for 20 years, after a 16-month search. Robbins has worked at Cisco for 17 years.

Gwinnett Tech named finalist for regional business award

The event is designed to recognize organizations in industries that are driving economic development and job creation while enhancing quality of life.

Gas prices up 59 cents since Jan. 1, still $1 less than last year

But this week, according to, the cheapest gas was a RaceTrac in Snellville at $2.37 on Monday morning, and two Citgo stations in Norcross at $2.39.

Unattended stove believed to be cause of Duluth house fire

There were no working smoke detectors present in the home.

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North Gwinnett soccer player keeps father alive with CPR

Some lessons Arndt learned only weeks earlier in a sports medicine class immediately came to mind. So Arndt pulled his unconscious father out of bed and began chest compressions.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Snellville Commerce Club awards scholarships

Brookwood’s Andrew James Ashburn, an FBLA member, was one of the recipients along with South Gwinnett’s Destiny Broadnax. Ashburn was recently accepted to Auburn, while Broadnax has been accepted to BU’s School of Management.

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Snellville native honored for contributions to UGA’s multicultural community

Domenech regularly makes the dean’s list and is a member of the UGA women’s club soccer team.

GGC to waive application fee through May 10

The fee will be waived between May 2 and May 10, which is less than five weeks before the fall semester application deadline.

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State education leaders visit Trip Elementary’s French dual language immersion program

Two teachers use a collaborative approach to teach the entire curriculum to kindergarteners in French and English meaning students are in one class in the morning one day, and the afternoon the next day.

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Georgia Gwinnett College announces spring graduation speaker

More than 420 students who have earned their degrees will attend the ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 14 on the main lawn of the campus.