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GAC Students Gain Competitve Edge via Mock Trial

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L-R, Ms. Mary Lynn Huett, Parker Hallock, Jenna Vo, Eunice Park, Joi Ferrell, Ellie Shaffer, Mary Grace Manton, Chloe Challas, Audrey Geib, Vanessa Huynh, Prinathi Singareddy, Victoria Nguyen, Parker Hallock, Jenna Vo, Vincent Huynh, Eunice Park, Ruth Park, Navya Sarikonda, Jessica Israel, Sarah Daye, Gary Crane, Judge Tangela Barrie, Mr. Gary Crane, Judge Tangela Barrie

Mock Trial students know this to be true: you don’t leave this group unchanged. Through practice and preparation, students become more polished, confident, professional, and able to speak publicly. Whether they will go on to pursue a career in law or not, they are better for the time they spent on the Mock Trial team.

What sets Mock Trial apart from the many co-curricular teams at GAC are the volunteer attorney coaches who support it. When our students went to the Georgia Mock Trial Competition recently, they were well prepared due in major part to the countless hours that attorney Joi Fairell, other members of the Fairell Firm, and Judge Tangela Barrie of the Superior Court of DeKalb County spent coaching the students.

Ms. Fairell has enjoyed giving back as a Mock Trial coach for the last eight years. “I got my start while in law school and credit Mock Trial as the thing that helped me be a good litigator. You are required to process difficult scenarios and think outside the box. Were it not for Mock Trial, I think I would be afraid of the courtroom. I’ve seen lawyers do anything to avoid the courtroom, to the point that they will settle the case (to their clients’ detriment) just to avoid it. When judging job applicants, I actually favor people who have Mock Trial on their resume. Mock Trial teaches you how to think on your feet. You also learn confidence and how to speak boldly which is the crux of advocacy. The ability to stand strong in your position is something that you will have to do in life, whether for yourself, your child, or someone around you.”

With the support of the legal professionals and the work of faculty coaches Gary Crane and Mary Lynn Huett, GAC students placed second in the region and several students earned individual awards.

  • Eunice Park, two Outstanding Attorney Awards
  • Parker Hallock, two Outstanding Attorney Awards
  • Jena Vo, Outstanding Witness Award
  • Jessica Israel, Outstanding Attorney Award, Championship Round
  • Vincent Huynh, Outstanding Witness Award, Championship Round


Students advanced to the District Tournament on Saturday, February 23rd and battled it out in four different courtrooms to finish the season. Eunice Park and Parker Hallock each received an Outstanding Attorney award, and Vanessa Huynh was honored with an Outstanding Witness award. Congratulations to all 20 members of the team for an exceptionally strong season!

Reflecting on the season, Ms. Huett says she loves being a Mock Trial coach, mainly due to the incredible growth she sees in her students as a result of the experience. “When they arrive for individual tryouts, students are visibly nervous just to ask or answer a couple of questions. Five months later, participants deliver a flawless, 5-minute statement to a jury of adults with clear passion. Or we get to see witnesses testify with great confidence, artfully keeping opposing attorneys from discrediting their stories. These moments are always an amazing glimpse into the future of these young people.”

Eunice Park, a senior who has been a part of Mock Trial for the last three years, has watched Mock Trial change from something she was nervous about to something that she has a really fun time participating in. This year she is a defense attorney in charge of the closing argument after starting off as a witness her first year. Victoria Huynh, another senior, had this to say: “The fact that we all get to talk about the case together and each person has a different perspective on the same facts is one of the most interesting aspects. Because it’s a case designed that both sides have enough evidence, it’s challenging. You have to be able to make connections in new ways.”

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Education

Summer Meals Program Coming to Gwinnett Parks

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A program to make sure children have access to healthy meals during summer break is coming to three Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation locations. The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on May 7 approved a memorandum of understanding with the nonprofit Georgia Nutritional Services, Inc. to serve as the sponsor for the federal Summer Food Service Program at no cost to the County.

Where it will be offered

As the sponsor, GNSI will secure Meals for Kids to serve as the food vendor for the program. The meals program will be offered at:

  • Best Friend Park Gym, 6224 Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Norcross; Lilburn Activity Building, 788 Hillcrest Road in Lilburn;
  • Rhodes Jordan Park, 100 East Crogan St. in Lawrenceville.

What Age Group

The Summer Food Service Program will be available for children age 18 years and younger and those age 19 years and older who have a physical or mental disability. The program will provide a free daily meal and snack for summer camp attendees and will be open to the public as well.

The program will run weekdays June 3 through June 28 and July 8 through Aug. 2 (no service July 1-5).  Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and snack from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For a location to be eligible for the Summer Food Service Program, the site must be located in a Board of Education school cluster where more than 50 percent of its students receive free or reduced lunch.

District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque said as an added benefit, all three parks are in close proximity to a transit bus stop for easier access by participants. “I am proud of Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation for expanding its healthy lifestyle programming to include providing nutritious, accessible meals for children,” said Fosque.

For more information about the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, visitwww.GwinnettParks.com.

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Arts

Motion, Timelapse, Long Exposure and Experimental Technique Workshop

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Location: 310 Technology Parkway – Peachtree Corners City Hall

Time: 6 to 9pm

Level:  All levels Novice to Expert

Age:  All Ages

Class Size:  Limited to 40 (must live or work in Peachtree Corners)

Camera / Laptop Requirement:  Bring your camera or borrow one of ours

Who should come: Anyone interested in learning new, fun, and advanced techniques to create fun and compelling images well beyond the ordinary. 

What to expect: This is going to be a hands-on workshop where we will learn to take ordinary environments and make them extraordinary.

For questions or to sign up contact Jim Stone at jstone@tytancreates.com

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Education

Four Peachtree Corners Students Among those Receiving AP Scholar Recognition at GAC

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AP Program Greater Atlanta Christian

Greater Atlanta Christian’s Academic Program Reaps High Rewards for AP Scholars

Wednesday was College Signing Day and everyone was excited for what the future holds for these students. But are they ready? That is the big question and the motivation behind why Greater Atlanta Christian School invests considerable resources into developing the best AP Program in Atlanta. The Norcross-based school is tied for the top Atlanta private school to have the highest AP pass rate at 84% in 26 AP courses. In the last year, two additional courses have been added bringing the total to 28, the most of any Atlanta private school. That means more opportunity for GAC students to better prepare for the academic challenges that await them.

During this week’s Academic Awards Night, GAC awarded high school students who have performed at the highest level in the AP Program. Over 30 AP Scholars with differing distinctions were recognized. Their performance indicates strong college preparedness, something students are able to achieve before they even begin which gives them a “leg up” on their peers. Scores on the AP exams are used by colleges to determine if they will grant course credit for what the student has already learned.

Says High School Principal Shane Woodward: “These accomplishments are not only indicative of the caliber of students we have but of the quality of our faculty as well. Our teachers’ ability to engage and challenge our students, while equipping them with knowledge of standards that are essential in the Advanced Placement curriculum, is phenomenal. These accomplishments do not just happen. They require careful planning and quality assessment, over time, to understand exactly what students need. Our teachers put a lot of effort into making these scores a possibility for our students and I couldn’t be more grateful for their efforts.”

Among those 33 awarded are:

AP Scholar

Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.
Mary Grace Manton (Peachtree Corners)
Navya Sarikonda (Peachtree Corners)
Kaitlyn Williams (Peachtree Corners)
Christopher Barbieri (Lawrenceville)
Ethan George (Lawrenceville)
Catherine Wanning Cheng (Suwanee)
Lillian Clark (Duluth)
Evana Darby (Duluth)
Caroline Lowenstein (Duluth)
Savannah Hill (Braselton)
Summar Hill (Braselton)
Ethan McDonnell (Tucker)
Sofia Nadal  (Monroe)
Julia Nguyen (Doraville)
Spencer Yates (Berkeley Lake)  

AP Scholar with Honor

Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
Sam Collins (Peachtree Corners)
Roy Dixon (Lawrenceville)
Celeste Hosfeld (Suwanee)
Sarah Kester (Duluth)
Christopher Johnson (Berkeley Lake)  

AP Scholar with Distinction

Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
Elise Karinshak (Lawrenceville)
Christine Melley (Lawrenceville)
Pranathi Singareddy (Lawrenceville)
Harry Zhang (Lawrenceville)
Matthew Marino (Suwanee)
Alex Wright (Suwanee)
Eunice Park (Duluth)
Adrian Tomasevic (Duluth)
Nataly Beacham (Winder)
Calvin Dong (Johns Creek)
Hunter McIntosh (Snellville)
Grant Mimms (Alpharetta)  

National AP Scholar

Granted to students in the US who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
Victoria Huynh (Lilburn). To note, Victoria also earned a perfect score on her AP Government exam, a rare achievement by only 113 of the over 300,000 students who took the exam globally last May.

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