CCSD Increasing Substitute Teacher Pay Rate

CCSD Increasing Substitute Teacher Pay Rate

The Cherokee County School District is increasing pay rates for all substitute teachers, effective December 1.

The new daily rate of $90 will move CCSD up in the rankings of metro Atlanta school systems to third-highest substitute teacher pay.

The School District in the past has used a three-tier pay rate based on qualifications of up to $75 per day; the new daily pay rate is $90 across the board, which is the same structure used by a majority of metro Atlanta school systems.

In conjunction with this change, which is designed to grow CCSD’s applicant pool, the time responsibility for substitute teachers is increasing from seven and a half hours to eight hours a day.

All CCSD substitute teachers still will be required to hold a high school diploma/GED; undergo pre-employment screening including a criminal background check and fingerprinting; and attend a CCSD Substitute Training Workshop before beginning work.  To apply, visit, click Jobs @ CCSD and complete an AppliTrack application; applicants will receive an invitation to the next training workshop, which is on Dec. 2.

CCSD Substitute Teacher Workshops Flier


CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award!


From left to right Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls

The Cherokee County School District has won a top State award for its outstanding school nutrition program!

CCSD’s School Nutrition program, which serves more than 5 million meals each year in school cafeterias, has won the Golden Radish Award at the Gold Level from the Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, Education and Georgia Organics.

The Gold Level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from local food procurement to hosting taste-tests to gardening with students.  Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.

CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich accepted the award at a ceremony Monday at the Georgia State Capitol.

CCSD was recognized for its accomplishments during the 2015-2016 school year including:

  • More than 400 hands-on cooking and food activities held by CCSD, with many lessons led by volunteer chefs and farmers. Events included Chef Tony Pisconeri visiting classrooms to demonstrate proper knife skills and plating techniques and high school agriculture students learning about honey with Jeannie Ross of Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries;
  • More than 1,000 promotions held by CCSD to encourage students to choose local foods in the school cafeteria and participate in school garden activities and farm field trips; and,
  • Cherokee County’s Farm to School Committee collaboration by parents, teachers, school administrative staff, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and local farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, FFA, churches, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, Girls Scouts and other groups. Local businesses also offered discounts for individuals purchasing supplies for CCSD’s school gardens;

“Having access to fresh, farm-to-school meals is great for Georgia’s students,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Farm-to-school programs also connect students with agriculture, which is an enormously important industry for our state.  We appreciate the Golden Radish Award because it recognizes those school districts that are striving every day to provide more farm to school meals.”

Cherokee County Educational Foundation to Award $45,000 in IMPACT Grants to CCSD Teachers, Schools


The Cherokee County Educational Foundation is significantly increasing funding for its fourth annual round of IMPACT Grants to encourage and support innovative and creative ideas in teaching and learning in the Cherokee County School District!

Due to continuously increasing public support, CCEF has allotted $45,000 for the fourth round of grant awards… an increase from $25,000 last school year.

CCEF will fund IMPACT Grants of as much as $2,500 per winning proposal; the application is posted here.  Applications must be sent to by Jan. 7, 2017. Grants will be presented to winning applicants on Feb. 14, 2017.

Applications may be submitted by CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; teams of CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; CCSD administrators; or CCSD department heads.  Proposed projects must: strengthen academics; demonstrate a creative and innovative approach to education; provide meaningful and engaging instruction for students; be well thought-out with a long-term benefit; incorporate budget details; and, include the official application completed in its entirety.  Project expenditures must be included in the application.  Grant recipients are required to complete a grant evaluation report at the end of the grant cycle.

For more information, email or call (770) 704-4213.

CCSD Celebrating Read for the Record Day on Thursday, Oct. 27


Susan McCarthy, center, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs, Student Support, Accountability & Professional Development, celebrates the successful filming with Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy students in the classes of Beth Cornelison and Denise Cloer. Media Specialist Stephanie Gauthia, right, assisted with the project.

The Cherokee County School District is joining in the celebration of Read for the Record Day, a national event to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education and literacy, on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Each year, Jumpstart ( selects one children’s book it encourages classes and families nationwide to read together in an effort to break the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day.  This year’s book, “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” by Julia Sarcone-Roach, is a classic tale of a bear’s epic journey and the mystery surrounding one delicious sandwich.


Susan McCarthy, CCSD’s Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs, Student Support, Accountability & Professional Development, reads to students for the video.

The School District has continued the tradition of preparing a “Reading Rainbow”-style video for teachers to considering using in their classrooms if they don’t have special events such as guest readers planned.  This year’s CCSD video features Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs, Student Support, Accountability & Professional Development Susan McCarthy reading “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” at Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy to the classes of Beth Cornelison and Denise Cloer.

The video project was made possible through the work of CCSD Facilitator for Enterprise Field Services Chris Saxon, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Stephanie Gauthia and Penny Dempsey of CCSD’s Division of Public Information.


CCSD Facilitator for Enterprise Field Services Chris Saxon films Ms. McCarthy for the video.

CCSD Educator Wins Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant!

A Cherokee County School District educator has won a 2016 Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant from the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy media specialist Madeline Hall is one of only four winners to earn the $2,500 grant.


Madeline Hall

The grant will benefit the SMArTE (science, math, art, technology, and engineering) Space Ms. Hall created in the media center.  The project provides design process opportunities for students in all grades to use creativity and inventive thinking to build prototypes, explore questions, experience failure and successes and bounce  ideas off each other.  Ms. Hall works with classroom teachers to align SMArTE Space activities with curriculum and standards.

The Georgia Educational Technology Consortium is an independent nonprofit organization that also sponsors the annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference for educators and the Technology Fair student competition.


CCSD Celebrates Second Annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week Breakfast


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read, right, and Cherokee County School District Transportation Director Jim Georges are ready to welcome guests to CCSD’s second annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week breakfast.

The Cherokee County School District Transportation Department on Wednesday celebrated its second annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week breakfast.


Bus driver Alex Lockhart selects his breakfast items.

The School District’s 496 bus drivers, monitors, specialists, technicians and administrators were treated to breakfast provided by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at CCSD’s bus shops in Holly Springs and Woodstock.


The School District’s 496 bus drivers, monitors, specialists, administrators and technicians were treated to breakfast provided by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at CCSD’s bus shops in Holly Springs and Woodstock.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read gave sponsor remarks, thanking bus drivers for their service. School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson and Transportation Director Jim Georges also shared messages of appreciation.

Everyone in attendance received a gift bag, with gifts provided by community partners including the Chick-fil-A restaurants of Cherokee County, Menchie’s at Riverstone Plaza, Northside Hospital-Cherokee, Roly Poly in Towne Lake and Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center. Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q provided door prizes.

CCSD bus drivers every day transport 29,000 students along routes totaling 20,000 miles. In addition to the District’s event, many CCSD schools and PTAs organized special activities to thank bus drivers for all that they do.


School Board Chair Kyla Cromer shares her appreciation for the bus drivers and how they care for ‘our community’s most precious cargo.’


Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson shares words of thanks.


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read shares her memories of the drivers who transported her children to school and about the trust community members place in them.


Message from the Superintendent: Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

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Category : CCSD

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Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

By Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools

Every parent has those days when he or she feels like a bus driver.

Maybe your SUV is loaded up with your kids and a couple of their friends after school.  Or you’re carrying half the team in your minivan to a game.  And it’s more crowded and noisier and messier than usual.

But we all know that’s not the half of it for our school bus drivers.

These dedicated employees transport 29,000 children along 20,000 miles of busy roads during morning and afternoon rush hour.  Some are driving specially equipped buses to carry children with special needs.

They not only need to safely navigate the road with these additional challenges; our school bus drivers also must maintain order on a bus like a teacher does in the classroom.

They stand ready for a crisis at any time… students have experienced medical emergencies aboard buses that required life-saving actions on the part of our drivers.

They rise in the dark hours of the morning, day in and day out, rain or shine.  They drive additional routes so children can enjoy field trips, extra-curricular activities and athletic competitions.

When inclement weather strikes, our school bus drivers put aside concerns for their own families and focus on delivering their precious cargo home first.

We continuously train our drivers to ensure they have the skills and tools they need to be as successful as possible… no matter the challenges aboard, in the next lane or in the forecast.

Our school bus drivers represent a cross-section of our community… their ranks include parents and grandparents of children in our schools.  Some choose this as their first career and serve for decades, and for others it’s a second career after the corporate world or public service.

What they all share in common is great care for what they do and who they serve.

This week, we’re observing School Bus Driver Appreciation and School Bus Safety Week.  We’re celebrating throughout our school district and ask you to please join us in showing our community’s appreciation.

Thanks to a community sponsor, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we’re hosting breakfast this Wednesday for all of our school bus drivers and the support team of monitors, specialists, administrators and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Blue Seal of Excellence-certified technicians… who together keep our fleet of nearly 400 school buses running and on time.

How can you show your appreciation?

Maybe it’s a card or small gift your child can make and give to his or her school bus driver.  Maybe it’s an email you can send to your child’s Principal praising a driver.

At the minimum, please be patient and courteous when you encounter our school bus drivers on the road each day.  We know they often must drive slow and make stops, and that can be frustrating in our hurried world.

But remember, they’re carrying the most precious of cargo: our future.

School Board Recognizes Creekland MS, CCSD Staff for Saving Student’s Life

Category : CCSD


The Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools thank Creekland MS School Nurse Chrissa Hofstetter, Principal Dr. Deborah Wiseman and CCSD School Operations Director Debra Murdock for their life-saving actions.

The Cherokee County School Board at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, recognized Creekland Middle School and Cherokee County School District staff for saving a student’s life.

Creekland Middle School sixth-grader Caden Cherry was participating in physical education class on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 when he experienced cardiac arrest and lost consciousness.


Creekland Middle School sixth-grader Caden Cherry is welcomed onstage at the Cherokee County School Board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower. Caden experienced cardiac arrest at the school on Sept. 29, and was resuscitated by school staff.

Creekland MS School Nurse Chrissa Hofstetter, Principal Dr. Deborah Wiseman and CCSD School Operations Director Debra Murdock, who was on campus for another reason, immediately responded by administering CPR and use of an AED. Their life-saving actions resuscitated and stabilized Caden so he could be transported by first-responders to the hospital.

“We employ school nurses, equip our schools and train our staff so we can respond to moments like this,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “We never want to see a child suffer a medical emergency, but we prepare, and we are so grateful to be able to celebrate Caden and thank our staff.”

The school’s response also included important efforts by: PE teachers Ray Catlet, Jacob Cheshire, Keith Fountain, Julie McRae, Stacy Rich and Matt Rumble; Counselor Cathy Harris; Secretary Maralee Tabor; and Assistant Principal Lovenia Houston, Dana Phillips and Brent Williams.

All were recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board at Thursday’s meeting.

Caden’s twin brother, Cooper, provided school staff with vital information during the response, which greatly assisted them in saving his life.  Cooper joined his brother onstage for the School Board recognition.


Caden Cherry’s twin brother, Cooper, provided school staff with vital information during the response, is thanked by the School Board and Superintendent.

Caden since has been released from the hospital and visited Creekland MS on Monday, Oct. 10, for the first time since his medical emergency to thank Nurse Hofstetter and the school.  Students and staff, who sent well-wishes while he was hospitalized, lined the halls to welcome Caden back.


Students and staff line the halls of Creekland Middle School to welcome Caden on Monday, Oct. 10, for his first visit since his cardiac arrest.

During its pre-meeting work session, the School Board heard updates from the Superintendent and his staff on issues including the upcoming AdvancEd accreditation renewal process, the School Improvement Plan process, the Instructional Framework development, 2017 State legislative session priorities, the “Opportunity School District” constitutional amendment and Five-Year Strategic Plan update.  The School District’s accreditation, formerly known as SACS-CASI, will be up for renewal by AdvancEd next year, with the agency’s external review team scheduled to visit in late January.

The Superintendent also announced that there would be no formal boundary redrawing process for the 2016-17 school year; the only attendance zone adjustments planned are for neighborhoods not yet under construction that will be assigned to Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

The School Board also:

  • Recognized seven CCSD high school seniors named 2017 National Merit Semi-Finalists;
  • Recognized nine CCSD educators as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE);
  • Recognized 27 CCSD schools and their PE and health teachers for being named Governor’s SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Education) Honor Roll Honorees;
  • Recognized E.T. Booth MS student Hannah Culver for being named to the State School Superintendent’s 2016-17 Student Advisory Council;
  • Recognized CCSD parent John Cline for being named to the State School Superintendent’s 2016-17 and 2017-18 Parent Advisory Council;
  • Recognized Woodstock ES Teacher Kristen Brooks and CCSD Technology Network Analyst Carol Dickerson as “Apple Teachers;”
  • Approved a proclamation in honor of Retired Educators Day on Sunday, Nov. 6;
  • Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with the American Cancer Society, Cherokee County 4-H and Reinhardt University and Approval of New Partnership Agreement with Georgia Ensemble Theatre;
  • Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;
  • Approved the disposal of surplus property through the annual CCSD auction on Nov. 5;
  • Approved out-of-state travel;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;
  • Approved special lease agreements; and,
  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of Todd Sharrock as an Assistant Principal at Woodstock High School where he currently serves as a Teacher on Special Assignment.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, November 3, 2016; 6:30 p.m. school boundaries public hearing

CCSD Schools Named Finalists in Technology Association of Georgia’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!


Two Cherokee County School District schools have been named finalists for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the Elementary School Award, and Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the STEM Certified School Outreach Award!

This is the second consecutive year for the schools to be named to the elite list of finalists.

The awards were created, according to the Association, to recognize “outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in Georgia.”

Winners will be announced during the STEM Education Awards ceremony on Nov. 4 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.

“We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of the Collaborative.  “Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state. ”

TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members; TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia.


Special Olympics Awareness Games Held Oct. 7

Category : CCSD

ccsd-special-olympics-2016-2ccsd-special-olympics-2016-14 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-2 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-3 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-4 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-6 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-7 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-9 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-11 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-13 ccsd-special-olympics-2016-16Hundreds of athletes, volunteers and CCSD staff celebrated the Special Olympics Awareness Games on Friday, Oct. 7, at River Ridge HS in Woodstock.  Overcast skies and moderate temperatures kept the day comfortable for the teams, which came from every CCSD school. PTAs staffed activity booths in “Olympic Town” where the athletes could engage in more fun activities between sports, such as photo booths, face painting, hair coloring and temporary tattoos.  The Track and Field events for the day included 50-yard dash (run, walk or roll), bean bag toss, T-ball strike, softball throw, long jump and more.   The day concluded with lunch in the stadium.

The event was organized by Amy Aenchbacher, Dave Martinez and Jennifer Merges, CCSD’s adaptive PE teachers; adaptive music teacher Paula Dixon; and River Ridge HS Counselor Jeff Bennett.

The parade of athletes can be viewed in the gallery below: