Precious GEMs honored; Strand rolls out red carpet
by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Features Editor
October 31, 2012 12:00 AM | 2065 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Kiwanis Club of Marietta recognized the 2012 Marietta Going the Extra Mile Award Winners on Oct. 18 at its weekly meeting. The GEM Awards program was created in 1996 by Jackie Whitt and past president Jan Blodgett, as a way to recognize a teacher and/or administrator as well as a student in each of the Marietta City Schools for “Going the Extra Mile.”

Candidates for GEM awards are nominated by teachers at each Marietta Public School and winners are selected once a semester from all received nominations. In addition to being recognized at a Kiwanis Club meeting, the winning individual’s name is added to the GEM Award Winner plaque housed at each school.

This year’s winners include:

* A.L. Burruss Elementary School: Heather Weatherby (staff) and Olivia Pullen (student);

* Dunleith Elementary School: Stacey Jackson (staff) and Daljsha Bobbett (student);

* Hickory Hills Elementary School: Mary Powell (staff) and Alexis Chavez (student);

* Lockheed Elementary School: Tanya Bradley (staff) and Lily Jones-Johnson (student);

* Park Street Elementary School: Elizabeth Martinez (staff) and Diana Martinez (student);

* Sawyer Road Elementary School: Lindsay Bryan (staff) and Juan Guevara (student);

* Westside Elementary School: Tacara Moss (staff) and Allen Gruehn (student);

* Marietta Center for Advanced Academy: Dean Yoder (staff) and Sam Dickey (student);

* Marietta Sixth Grade Academy: Nina Small (staff) and Ellie Hall (student);

* Marietta Middle School: James Guthrie (staff) and Elizabeth Lawrence (student);

* Marietta High School: Ginger Pratt (staff) and Trager Kviten (student);

* Performance Learning Center: Dianne Terrell (staff) and Corey Neville (student); and

* Marietta City School Central Office: Pam Betteridge (staff).

The purpose of Kiwanis is to improve the quality of life for children and has active clubs worldwide. The Kiwanis Club of Marietta meets ever Thursday at the Marietta Conference Center at 12:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to attend. To learn more visit and Facebook at


On Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., the Earl Smith Strand Theatre at 117 North Park Square will have a fundraiser benefiting the Strand. There will be a showing of the movie “96 Minutes” (2011) (R) that was produced in Marietta and filmed on the Marietta Square.

Written and directed by Aimee Lagos, “96 Minutes” is a true story about the car jacking of two college girls in Atlanta resulting in a tragic ending. The film follows four separate kids looking at who they are, where they come from, and the seemingly innocuous decisions that lead them towards a life-changing conclusion. With no adults to guide them, they’re left on their own to try to survive not only this night, but the complex reality of the world they live in.

Following the showing will be a question-and-answer session with producer Dr. Paul Gilreath, who also practices cosmetic dentistry at Gilreath Dental Associates at 200 White St. in Marietta.

For tickets, visit

Sally Litchfield is a longtime Marietta resident. She formerly practiced law in Marietta and now stays home to raise her two children. Send Sally news at Call Sally at (770) 425-8106.
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