Letter from the PTSA President
As we end another great year at GMS, we have to look back at a FEW of the great accomplishments. We began the school year with a new school store equipped with a refrigerator, school supplies, and spirit wear. We added several new committees along the way with new committee chairs. We supplied the fine arts program with over $10,000 in supplies, such as bow ties and cummerbunds, sound equipment, PE equipment, new music stands and more. We funded over 28 clubs (all sponsored by our wonderful teacher sponsors). We contributed over $8,000 toward after/before school clubs; for example, Robotics and Science Olympiad, soccer goals, competition fees, and provided
sponsor thank-you gifts (delivered this week) to thank our wonderful teachers.
The PTSA hosted Griffin’s Got Talent in October. Students sang, danced, acted, and showcased their talents while the audience thoroughly enjoyed the night. The entire theatre stood up and danced while the directors and fellow staff surprised everyone with their own little act.
This year was also the first Bingo Night, Hispanic Heritage, Science Fair, Makers Faire STEAMfest, GA Math League Math Bee competition, and 6th/7th grade award ceremony. Each of these events were great family events. The staff and PTSA are already planning for next year.
In May, Field Day at Rhyne Park was a huge success. Smyrna’s finest debuted their kickball skills, Coach Tatum had a little too much fun on her bullhorn, and Mr. Gillihan was a trooper getting soaked in the dunk tank all three days. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but he had the cafeteria staff add heated water to the tank. Most importantly, the kids all said it was SOOOOOO much fun.
Of course, we cannot forget the amazing ‘Shrek Jr. the Musical’. We laughed and we watched in awe of 55 cast members under the direction of Mrs. Rabun produce a truly memorable event. The teachers, crew, and parents all volunteered their time over the past five months. Next time you see Mrs. Rabun, Mr. Smith, Ms. Todd, Mrs. Meyers, Mrs. Yahne, and Mrs. Blomberg, tell them thanks!
This summer, the PTSA needs your help. We need a few volunteers to step up and help plan for next year. If you have a passion, we have a place for you. Our goal is to have two or more chairs for each committee. Remember, many hands make light work!
Next year we will roll out a new website and eNews. Our goal is to improve communication and improve access to calendar events. We will continue to utilize Facebook to communicate some information. The PTSA will purchase new flags within the school, and begin planning the landscape overhaul of the cement Griffin sign at the stop sign, with implementation in the fall. We will purchase new sound panels in stages-$7,000 this summer ($23,000 total cost) for the cafeteria to improve the sound of the orchestra and band concerts.
We love new faces and ideas. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact any board member or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great summer!
School Council News
With elections now complete, the GMS Council would like to welcome new parent members Marie Stockton and Angel Arrington! They join returning members Michelle Pickard, Tomeca Brown, Gretchen Fuller (now a community representative), and teacher representative, Mrs. Melissa Barlow. An additional teacher representative will soon join us once teacher elections are complete. We’d also like to recognize and thank Steven Fuller, a “graduating” parent member and Council chair, for his years of service and leadership, as well as Mr. David Santiago for supporting us this year. In the coming year, we look forward to continuing to support Griffin’s strategic goals through several important long-term initiatives now well underway.
Celebrating Another STEAM Success
Griffin’s first-ever Science Fair was a big success with 110 students participating and 57 projects submitted! Congratulations on a job well done to the following winners in each grade.
place – Mattie and Emmy Pickard
place – Deisy Reyes Salado
place – Rhylie Turner and Justin Moore
1st place – Veronica Sills
2nd place – Katherine Stanek, Sophie Faust, and Skylar James
3rd place – Emily Nguyen
1st place – Austin Fabritius
2nd place – Jose Luis Vasquez
3rd place – Eric Alvarado
Science classes had the opportunity to tour the fair and enjoy the projects on display in the PL room this past Thursday. Special thanks to our many Smyrna community judges, Ms. Khurana for having the most participants, and our Science Fair teacher sponsors who made this new STEAM event a reality at Griffin – Ms. Anderson, Mr. White, and Mr. Scotchlas. We look forward to an even bigger and better fair next year!
May Coffee Talk…With the Principal
At the May 10th
“Coffee with the Principal”, Mr. Gillihan shared LOTS of exciting changes planned for next year – NEW class schedule, NEW Connections enhancements, NEW classes and high school credit options, and NEW STEAM instructional opportunities for all students! Read on to find out about how Griffin is the FIRST to pilot a high school Business and Technology class in Cobb!
Click HERE for the full scoop from the May coffee. This year’s coffee series has been a GREAT source of information and a great opportunity to meet other parents, ask questions, and share ideas for a “greater Griffin”. Check the schedule next year and plan to join us!
Math Bee Update
One of our STEM competitions this year was a Math Bee organized by Ms. Keller and PTSA (Tracey Santos) to give students an educationally enriching opportunity to participate in an academically-oriented activity and to gain recognition for mathematical achievement. Our 2016 Math Bee had 93 student participants total across 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Our students were given access to an online Math League Adaptive Learning System where they could practice before the test. The Math Bee event occurred on February 23, and GMS student tests were graded and submitted to the GA Math League organization. GMS 6th grade team (of top 5 scores) placed 19thout of 41 schools in GA, the 7th grade team placed 22nd out of 42 schools, and the 8th grade team placed 22nd out of 39 schools. We plan to continue the Math Bee next year and improve our scores and rankings! Thank you to all student participants, Ms. Keller, and parent helpers the day of the event.
PTSA supports GMS’ goal of achieving STEM certification by supporting competitions and community involvement in our school. We have engaged many community sponsors and have supported the following activities that directly contribute towards the STEM certification goal: STEAM Fest, Science Fair, GA Math League Math Bee, Science Olympiad, Robotics, and Future City competitions.