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Class Notes: Gainesville High School yearbook earns praise for design
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Gainesville High School’s yearbook, “The Radiator,” recently received national recognition for excellence in design.

“The Radiator” was featured in the 2015 Jostens Look Book, a collection of photos and spreads celebrating the best in yearbook design and coverage, according to Donna Miller, Gainesville High School yearbook adviser.

Miller said creative themes, covers and designs, as well as strong coverage, copy and photography earns a yearbook a spot in the Jostens Look Book. Across the nation, 476 yearbooks were selected out of approximately 3,000.

The yearbook featured was created by co-editors Katy Clements and Meg Callahan and their staff under Miller’s direction.

“The entire ‘Radiator’ staff works very hard to produce a memorable book for the student body that depicts Gainesville community and events special to all of us,” Miller said.

Miller and her yearbook staff received a copy of the 2015 Jostens Look Book, which is a resource for yearbook advisers and staffs seeking ideas for the future.

Brenau-inspired bill helps special-needs children

Four Brenau University students had an idea that led to the passing of a bill in the Georgia General Assembly.

According to a release from Brenau, House Bill 62, which was passed by the Senate on Tuesday and previously by the House, helps special-needs children whose parents are on active military service.

The bill allows these children to obtain state scholarships to attend private schools excelling in special education.

It was initially developed last year as a class project in a public policy course taught by Brenau business professor David Miller.

Students Allison Guisasola of Braselton, Ashley McCoy of Maysville, Rachel Strazynski of Atlanta and Shelby Wrenn of Clarkesville were completing an assignment to “come up with an idea to modify an existing piece of legislation, what they think would be a good idea, and present this as a policy proposal.”

The students learned that children of military personnel could not always qualify for a state special-needs scholarship because the law required a one year residency.

The students made a formal presentation to Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, and Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, who agreed to assess the project.

“This really caught my attention because of the military presence in my district,” Tanner said. “It caught my attention as something that really needed to be addressed.”

Tanner subsequently had a bill drafted to waive the residency requirement for special-needs students whose parents are in Georgia on active military service.

Miller said the results of the project provide an important reminder to his students today.

“It’s nice for the students and for me to be able to go back to subsequent classes and say, ‘Hey, you think what you do here doesn’t have any consequences?’”  Miller said. “But it does.”

Universities team up for conference

A group of North Georgia universities and educators collaborated to hold a conference in Gainesville for science teachers.

The University of North Georgia, Brenau University, Georgia State University, the Physics Teacher Education Coalition and the Georgia Science Teachers Association District II held a conference for physical science education on the UNG Gainesville campus.

The event, titled the Georgia Science Teachers Association District II Experiential Learning and Inquiry for Physical Science Conference, was designed to address a shortage of STEM students.

It aimed to do so by helping science educators expand their knowledge and teaching techniques.

During the conference, more than 50 area teachers and education stakeholders explored inquiry-based strategies and technologies.

UNG hopes the conference will help strengthen a community of physical science educators with a greater focus on technology.

Helpful lessons included “Using Freely Available Software in Physical Science Courses” and “Engineering in K-5, Where Do I Start?”

The featured presentation was “The Role of Inquiry in the Science Classroom”  presented by UNG professor April Nelms. Presenters included UNG faculty and GSTA members from District II.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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