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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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.

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.

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.