girlGator Tales Newsletter

Re-Enrollment Contract Deadline Approaching

Re-Enrollment Contracts are due February 15th.  If you did not receive yours in the mail, please contact Cristi McElhenney at 706.485.8231 x 13.

Gators Have a Heart for Haiti
01.15.10 - Heart for Haiti

Our first dress down day for Haiti was so successful!  We have raised $2213.89!  Way to go!  We will continue to dress down for Haiti for the next three weeks.  Please make checks payable to World Vision.

Driving on Campus

Please remember the speed limit on campus is 15mph.  When coming through the car pool lanes, please proceed slowly as students and parents may be walking between cars on their way into buildings.  You may see the adult, but children are not always visible.

MARCH 22nd

"College Savings Plans 101"

College Savings Plans are something we all need but few of us actually have in place. At the March PTO meeting, Bruce Morris will be providing us with a general overview of a 529 Plan, a Coverdell savings plan, and the potential to fund two essentials (Life Insurance and College Savings) with the same dollars. Remember, it's never too late because every dollar saved now results in one less dollar of debt during your child's education process.

Gators Gotta Run - Frog Hop 5K

Gators Gotta Run would like to invite you to join us as we participate in the Frog Hop5K and 1 mile fun run in Athens GA on Sunday, Feb. 21st at 2pm.  We have been offered a group rate of $12.  You can pick up an application from the bulletin board outside Ms. Juliet's room.  We plan to mail our registrations next Wednesday.  You may also register online for the regular rate of $15. 


Recycle Your Cell Phones and Ink Cartridges

The music department also raises money for recycling cell phones and ink cartridges. Just bring your empties and used cell phones to the school. There's a drop box in front of the lower school or see Mr. Kauffman.

Name Stamps for Yearbook

If you have already purchased your yearbook but didn't order your name stamped on the cover, it is not too late!  You can still get your name stamped on your yearbook.  Contact Cristi McElhenney or Teresa Hunt for more details.

Selective Service Reminder

As your son turns 18, don't forget to register with the Selective Service.  You can register online at  For more information, please visit the Selective Service website.

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Please find the 02.05.10 Edition of Gator Tales below.  We hope you enjoying the new format.  You can forward this email to family and friends by clicking on 'Forward Email' at the bottom of the page.  Family and friends can 'Subscribe' to Gator Tales and begin receiving each edition immediately.
Ferst Foundation Says 'Thank You'
02.05.10 - Ferst Foundationby Cathy Mize

Putnam County Ferst Foundation would like to thank the Gatewood family for their continued support of our efforts to provide books to all of our local children under the age of five.  Your generosity is very gratifying. 


I'd also like to take this opportunity to make you aware of several upcoming activities in which you might wish to be involved.


First, our annual yard sale will be held Sat., April 10th at the Plaza.  You or your organization might wish to have a booth.  The cost is $25 for individuals/families or $30 for organizations.  You can contact Cathy Mize at 478-454-7150 or


Secondly, we are now collecting gently used books to give to children at the time they are registering to receive the monthly books through the mail and as rewards at various activities.  These books cannot be used as part of the monthly mailings, but do serve as worthwhile purpose in recruiting children to the program and in public relations.  There is a collection bin for these books in the Gatewood Media Center.  

Gatewood Schools Welcomes Ted Dunagan

Gatewood School students had the pleasure of meeting Ted Dunagan, author of a very special novel titled A Yellow Watermelon, for which he received the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the young adult fiction category in June 2009.  Mr. Dunagan engaged his audience of 200 students in grades 4th through 8th with a discussion about the writing process, his inspirations as a writer, the underlying history of his book, and what it was like to grow up in the rural south in the 1940s.  In addition, Mr. Dunagan read excerpts from his book to the assembled students and teachers, as they went back in time with him to the cotton fields of the rural south.  

In an inspiring and candid discussion, he encouraged the students to overcome their adversities and live up to their potential. Mr. Dunagan's advice to students who aspire to become writers was to read daily, to read all genres of books, and to set personal goals for themselves.  He shared that his own personal goal was to write at least three pages per day.  The students thoroughly enjoyed his visit and were thrilled to discover that the sequel, Secret of Satilfa, is finished and due out in March 2010.  The students were also excited to learn that A Yellow Watermelon is an Accelerated Reader title worth 9.0 AR points. 

Mr. Ted Dunagan was born in rural southwestern Alabama.  He is now retired and writes a weekly column for The Monticello News in Monticello, Georgia, where he lives with his wife.

02.05.10 - Ted Dunagan
Amanda Davis (2004) Volunteers Her Time in Haiti

Amanda Davis was featured in the Alumni Spotlight in the 01.22.10 Edition of Gator Tales.  Amanda is using her vacation time from St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to volunteer as a nurse in Haiti.  Below are her accounts of her time spent in Haiti. 

Friday, January 29th


Hello Friends and Family,


As most of you know, I'm heading out for Haiti tomorrow morning.  Actually, in a couple of hours.  The weather is awful in Memphis and my flight was cancelled.  I am now driving to Jackson, MS to catch a flight to Atlanta in the middle of the night...So I'll be leaving my house shortly to make the journey.  I'm still packing now and have TONS to get done!!  


You may have also heard that I wrecked my car this morning.  I was driving on the interstate in Memphis and a lady hit a patch of ice, shot across 4 lanes, hit me head on and I spun around and into the guardrail.  Thank God for the guardrail!!!  If it would have not been there to stop my car, I might still be in a ditch right now... I'm pretty sure that my car is totaled... it looked pretty rough.  I did however make it to Wal-Mart and home alive after my car was towed...  Basically, I left my house for work last night around 6PM and I didn't get home today until about 3PM after the wreck and the whole nine yards...Needless to say, it was a rough and busy morning.  I am OK though...just some bumps and bruises...


I laid down to sleep around 3 when I got home and woke up at 6 to check my flights and things before packing for the rest of the find out that my flight had been cancelled due to the weather in Memphis.  I then spent like 3 hours on the phone with Delta (who were SO AMAZING!!!) and my travel agent and then that leads to me driving to Jackson, MS, tonight. 


Sometimes I think that Satan waits until you're about to do something to piss him off before he steps in and tries to ruin things...and let me tell you, he has tried today!!!


I know that I haven't had time to write back to each of you individually from your texts, emails and phone calls, but I REALLY appreciate all of the love, support and prayers!!  I am so lucky to have such great people in my life!!


I will (hopefully) be emailing back to my mama who will forward my emails from down there to this email list...I hope that all of you have a great week and a nice Super Bowl weekend-- GO COLTS!! (that's my pick).  I'll have to see who won when I get back!!


Also, for those of you who are interested, I photo documented the entire car tow away process (including a candid with the tow truck driver!!) I'll have them posted to Facebook after I get home!  Bless his heart, the tow truck driver thought that I was NUTS!!!  I was like I'm working on being awake for 24 hours straight, I just wrecked my 1st car and hypothermia is setting in because I've been on the side of the interstate in the freezing ice storm in a tiny thin pair of scrubs...we still documented with style on the side of the interstate.


I'm leaving my house in a little more than an hour, so I best get to the shower and finish packing!!  Talk with ya'll later!  


Thank you and pray!


Love,  Amanda

Saturday, January 30th - 6:15 AM


I'm with the drivers and we are the way to meet the rest of the people... Safe.

Hot Hot Hot... But went from 19 to 95 degrees in just a few hours!

It was so crazy being on a huge flight where every single person on it was going down to do relief work...Such a cool feeling.  I still haven't slept at all...Of course you know me, I was chatting with all of the passengers on the flight and making new friends!!

We are getting food together and packing up tonight to head over early tomorrow morning for our 14-ish hour drive into Haiti.

I will be in touch later.

Love, Amanda

Sunday, January 31st - 12:14 PM


We have just made it through the border between Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Passports stamped, bus and supplies approved.  Discussions of shifts and work to be done have been in place.  We are still finding out about the hospital and such.  They are going to need us for all shifts.  So who knows when I will be working...I'm the youngest of the team so I'm guessing that I will probably get nights?  For now, the roads are bearable and cell phone service is available.  We are already seeing tents all over the place.  A lot of people here have shelter but they are afraid to go back into their homes for fear of more aftershocks...Apparently, they are still feeling them daily. 

There are military helicopters all over the skies that appear to be bringing in supplies and such.

More to come, Amanda

Sunday, January 31st - 9:47 PM


So we made it here in supposedly record time!! As soon as we got here, they called and needed nurses for the night at the hospital.  Me and 3 other ladies left immediately going in knowing that it will be a 24-36 hour shift!!  They have been working 36 on and then 12 off...So I'm here in the ICU for the night.  The patients are all so critical...Lots and lots of crushed bodies and limbs.  All for now...More later. It's almost like I'm a doctor.  We are just giving the meds that we can to control their pain and making do with what we have.  I've already had two patients die and I've been here for only a couple of hours.  It's an absolute madhouse...

All around, there are military helicopters delivering supplies and US and UN soldiers

There is a definite nursing shortage!!!  More importantly a definite warm and willing body shortage...

The buildings are all crumpled down-- I didn't imagine the amount of devastation.  I mean I planned on it in my head but just really couldn't prepare myself.  There are tent cities all over this city.  They almost look like concentration camps from the movies with tent after tent lines up and all running into the next.  I have not seen any violence since we have been here.  The compound that we are staying at belongs to global missions and we are sharing it with some American soldiers and Samaritan's Purse!  They have moved in and taken over-- it's amazing the great things that you can do when you have money...Their equipment is impeccable!

I need to go check on the patients...More later!

Love, Amanda

Monday, February 1st - 11:35 PM


So I'm still at the hospital... Heading up towards hour 36 of work... I've been awake for 68 hours straight... Wow. Heading home tonight shortly for some sleep and then back tomorrow!!

Amazing day!

Miss ya'll!  Amanda

Tuesday, February 2nd - 11:13 AM


So we are now headed to the hospital again... We had a huge delay!!! But it was a nice naptime for me... I got a whole extra hour in!

Just wanted to mention a few things:

We are staying out in the country a little north of port-au-prince.  The blunt of the devastation has passed but many are still dying and bodies are being uncovered. There are still many aftershocks...We felt one yesterday.

There are piles of rubble all over the place...

The people are so sweet. They are grateful.

US military is all over, UNICEF, United Nations - actually haven't seen a ton of Red Cross though.  Need to get off of the phone so that I can take pictures... Please excuse any typos...On the phone on a bumpy bus ride.

Love, Amanda

Tuesday, February 2nd - 11:50 AM

We drive pass the US embassy to and from the hospital. It is very nice but also very heavily protected by soldiers.  The line of Haitians packing into this place daily is unnerving.  Lots and lots of people waiting in line to get in.

I'm trying to take lots of pictures but each time my eye is moved to another spot, it is a photo opportunity. I simply can't capture anything to relay the state of this county. I wish that my brain was a video camera.


Wednesday, February 3rd - 7:37 PM


Hello family and friends,

Haiti sends her love...She is beautiful and hopeful and healing.

Today was a good day at the hospital.  Lost some and gained even more!  There were 7 beautiful births today at the hospital.  It is so refreshing to see new life amongst such devastation and destruction.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I delivered a baby today...The baby delivered itself while I surprisingly witnessed its entrance into the world...And yelled even louder for the only American OB/GYN in the hospital who was in surgery.

I've worked a good bit in the hospital ICU which has been exciting yet eventful.  The people are sick, sick, sick and there is NO technology.  No IV pumps, no ventilators, no monitors.  I'm learning just how dumb I am...

I have been working mostly in the emergency area.  We are still seeing so many injuries from the original quake...People are just waiting to come in or it is taking them a while to get out of ground zero out to get help.  Fractures, dislocations, more fractures, infected wounds, rotting limbs, you name it...It's coming in by the handfuls all day long.  One thing for sure is that my dressing changing skills are going to be jam up when I get home...I've also gotten pretty decent at looking at my patients x-rays while waiting on the orthopods to leave surgery and come see what I've got going...I've also developed a new IV skill of chasing extremely dehydrated veins.  For those of you who know what this means, I had a patient yesterday who had a hemoglobin of 3.3 and a HCT of 10...Yes.  She actually walked into the clinic...Wow!  These people are so strong...

Probably my favorite thing about this entire experience is the global feel.  There are medical teams at my hospital from Italy, Korea, Sweden, etc...I am always meeting new people...However, I did realize quickly that just because they are white, doesn't mean that they speak English!!  Swedish people are the trickiest of all--(in scrubs, you can't see the fashion differences between the cultures).  For example, I was in the pharmacy today looking for some meds that I needed and I saw the drug Metoprolol (a common blood pressure medicine).  I found Metoprolol in probably 10 different written languages...It was amazing to see how countries all over the world had donated so much-- people with such different backgrounds are all coming together for a common cause-- maybe the coolest feeling ever.  I feel so privileged and honored to be here.  It is such a huge humbling and learning experience.  Thank you all for your prayers and support!!

Tomorrow morning starts the start of my next 36 hour shift...Pray!!  I did it once before, but I was fresh then...I'm starting to get tired, worn out. I'll go in early tomorrow (Thursday) morning and be there through Friday night straight through...No sleep...It's busy, hot, tiring, and stressful.  But it's so much fun at the exact same time!! I'm pumped and super excited about it!!

Ok-- more updates later and I apologize about the length of this email!! Hope that all is well in Georgia and Memphis...I hear that Duke is doing well and making good friends at the doggie resort so he is well taken care of!!

Love ya'll and see you soon!!  Amanda

02.05.10 - Swamp Stomp
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