Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Wins International Organization’s Award for STEM Education!

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Wins International Organization’s Award for STEM Education!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy has received an international organization’s top honor for excellence in technology and engineering education!

The school has been named the Georgia winner of the 2017 Program Excellence Award presented by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and Paxton-Patterson.

Principal Joey Moss

“Through the review process, it was recognized that our school’s technology and engineering education program is truly exemplary among other programs in our state,” Principal Joey Moss said. “Our students are the ones who will have richer lives as a result. Not many endeavors are more important than helping students become technologically literate and learn more about the world around them.”

ITEEA praised the school for the “tremendous amount of work and dedication that is required to design, maintain, and improve quality programs like yours.”
This news follows two consecutive years of top accolades for the school: in 2015, it earned the prestigious State STEM Certification… only the 11th elementary school in Georgia to earn this commendation, and the first in Cherokee County; and last year, the school was recognized as a finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

“Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is an outstanding example of innovative academic school choice,” Dr. Hightower said, noting the school is one of CCSD’s six award-winning Cherokee Academies open to all CCSD elementary school students. “Not only does Clark Creek soar like its RedHawk mascot among schools statewide, these achievements are especially remarkable given its Title I status due to the economic challenges many of its students and their families face. We’re so proud of this continued success!”

Principal Moss said the support of the entire school community — including business partners — made the ITEEA recognition possible, and she especially appreciates the efforts of Teresa Bailey, the school’s Odyssey Lab teacher, who prepared the award application and fifth-grade teacher Cindy Reeves.

Teresa Bailey

Cindy Reeves

Ms. Bailey and Ms. Reeves will join Principal Moss in presenting at the ITEEA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas from March 16-18, 2017, and they will be recognized at the Conference’s Program Excellence Ceremony. They will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower at the April 20 School Board meeting.


CCSD Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 4 at River Ridge HS

Cherokee County School District’s Division of Personnel Management will be hosting a job fair on Saturday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at River Ridge High School in Woodstock.  The fair is designed to attract teacher applicants, as well as potential Transportation Department candidates to drive school buses and School Nutrition workers to prepare/serve breakfast and lunch for students.  Applicants can meet principals and assistant principals at the event, which attracted more than 500 job seekers last year.

New Teachers

Eligible teacher candidates include those graduating from educator preparation programs , as well as experienced educators who currently hold professional certification in Georgia or another state.  Anticipated areas of high need include special education, math and science at elementary, middle and high school levels.  School psychologists and speech language pathologists are also positions with anticipated vacancies.  A short video about teaching in the Cherokee County School District (produced by students at Etowah High School) can be viewed at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lchC1aemXLM

Transportation and School Nutrition

CCSD is also interviewing for anticipated vacancies in transportation and school nutrition.  School bus driver candidates do not need to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to apply; this certification can be obtained after hiring.  Restaurant or food service experience is a plus for school nutrition worker candidates, but not required.  All positions in transportation and school nutrition include extensive training.

Those interested in employment with the school district are encouraged to complete an online application prior to the event, accessible at the following link:  http://cherokeek12.net/divisions/personnel/employment-opportunities/  Current job openings can be viewed at this link:  https://www.applitrack.com/cherokee/onlineapp/default.aspx

Cherokee County School District is a high-performing, award-winning public school district serving 42,000 students in Metro Atlanta.  Learn more about us at http://cherokeek12.net/

2017 Recruitment Fair March 4


Congratulations to Dr. Brian V. Hightower for a Successful First Year as Superintendent!

Congratulations to Dr. Brian V. Hightower on a successful first year as Superintendent of Schools for the Cherokee County School District!

Here’s a brief video to celebrate the occasion:


Technology Fair Winners Head to State Competition

Category : CCSD

Forty-six CCSD students won first place in their respective categories at the region level of the Georgia Educational Technology Fair, earning a spot at the state competition in March.

More than 300 students put their tech skills to the test in the region competition held January 21 at River Ridge HS.  The Georgia Educational Technology Fair includes 16 categories of competition for students in grades 3-12, with five bands of grade levels within each category (grades 3-4, 5-6, etc.).  Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools, and Bobby Blount, Assistant Superintendent of Technology, shared their congratulations with the students and assisted in the awards presentations of medals and ribbons.  Northside Hospital-Cherokee sponsored the event.

The state fair will be held March 11 in Macon at Middle Georgia State University. For more information, see the website at http://www.gatechfair.org/ Dr. Richard Carnes, Assistant Principal at Mill Creek MS, served as coordinator for this year’s event and region representative for CCSD.  He noted the skill level of all the participants was impressive, and he thanked the parents and CCSD staff and volunteers, including River Ridge HS student volunteers, for supporting the event.

“I would like to thank all students, teachers, parents, CCSD community members, CCSD staff members and our volunteers for their participation in the 2017 CCSD Technology Fair,” said Dr. Carnes.   “Every student displayed a high level of talent.  Our school communities should be very proud!”

Dr. Carnes extended a special thanks to his team members in planning and staffing the Technology Fair, including Jeff Bennett, Debbie Childress, Eliot Galyean, Judi Haggerty, Michael Haggerty, Mary Catherine Phyfe, Alicia Polley and Dana Townsend.

CCSD Tech Fair Winner List 2017

Photo album on Facebook


Agency Fair for Families of Students With Disabilities Set for March 7

CCSD’s Special Education Department will host an Agency Fair March 7 for families seeking resources for students with disabilities (SWD).  See the flyer here. The Agency Fair will be from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Cherokee County South Annex, located at 7545 Main Street, Building 200, Woodstock.  More than three dozen companies and agencies are typically present, offering resources from preschool to post secondary options.

At 4 pm, Probate Judge Keith Wood will be the featured speaker.  Probate courts have jurisdiction over the appointment and supervision of guardians and/or conservators of adult persons who cannot make reasonable and rational decisions concerning his/her person or of managing his/her money and property.

For more information, please contact Debby Carty‐Campbell: Debby.carty‐campbell@cherokee.k12.ga.us 770.721.8523


Cherokee County School Board Appoints Etowah HS Interim Principal

The School Board on Thursday, Feb. 2, approved the appointment of veteran educator and principal Dr. Bob Eddy as interim principal for Etowah High School through the end of the school year.

Dr. Bob Eddy

Dr. Eddy, whose long career in the Cherokee County School District has included serving as a classroom teacher, award-winning wrestling coach, principal of Dean Rusk MS and as the first principal of Creekview HS, will transition into the role this month in anticipation of the departure of Principal Keith Ball. Principal Ball is leaving CCSD to move closer to his extended family in New York and pursue a new career opportunity there.

Although retired, Dr. Eddy has worked part-time for CCSD in recent years to assist with its implementation of the State’s new teacher and leader evaluation system. He will officially begin serving as interim principal on March 1 and continue in the role through the end of the school year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said he and his staff will use the next six weeks to seek out and interview candidates for this principal post, as well as other principal slots and district leadership roles that need to be filled for next school year. He said he anticipates recommendations will be presented to the School Board at the March 16 meeting.

“We’ll be doing a lot of interviewing,” Dr. Hightower said. “We are committed to finding the best possible leaders for our schools and district offices.”

The School Board also:

• Heard a presentation from Jordan Mason, River Ridge High School’s Student Delegate to the School Board, on his senior project, which includes a CCSD student leadership academy on Feb. 18, 2017 at Reinhardt University and the development of senior project recognition pins;

• Recognized Etowah HS senior Nathan Baker for achieving a perfect ACT score;

• Recognized Woodstock HS Assistant Principal Tonya Sebring for being inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame and being named Region 4-AAAAAAA Athletic Director of the Year;

• Recognized CCSD middle and high school students selected for All State Band, Chorus, Orchestra and Reading Chorus;

• Recognized Region and State athletic champions;

• Approved a resolution proclaiming Feb. 16, 2017 as “PTA Day in the Cherokee County School District”;

• Approved the final reading of an amended School Board Policy regarding student records;

• Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;

• Approved out-of-state travel;

• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

• Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;

• Approved monthly personnel recommendations; and,

• Approved the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Superintendent’s organizational chart.

School Board Member Clark Menard was absent.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 2017


74 Student-Athletes Sign College Scholarships

Category : CCSD

Seventy-four Cherokee County School District student-athletes were recognized in a ceremony Wednesday at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center in Canton for signing scholarship commitment letters to compete at the college level.

The event, sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Senior Series title sponsor Varsity Brands, is coordinated annually by the School District’s Office of School Operations to recognize student athletes, along with their parents, coaches, athletic directors and principals, for making their college choices for a variety of sports on National Signing Day.  February 1 is the earliest day on which high school seniors can make a commitment to play football for a NCAA college.  While football draws most of the attention on this date, Cherokee County students were recognized today for commitments to compete in a variety of sports, including basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball, track, as well as the first scholarship awarded in acrobatics & tumbling.  Thirty-three of the students will be going out of state, attending colleges in 11 other states, plus Washington, DC.  Photos of all the signees present for the program are posted on the CCSD Facebook page.

CHEROKEE HS

Montrell Washington   CHS     Football, Samford University (AL)

Aaron Knowles  CHS    Football, U.S. Military Academy- West Point (NY)

Jake Alvey  CHS   Football, U.S. Air Force Academy (CO)

Charles Perry     CHS      Football  Reinhardt University

Kamari Walker   CHS      Football,  Reinhardt University

Braxton Swanson  CHS      Baseball,  Sewanee: University of the South (TN)

Andrew Cline    CHS   Baseball, Covenant College

Ryan Inches     CHS   Baseball, Cleveland State Community College (TN)

Emily Pope  CHS  Volleyball,  Georgia College & State University

Brandon Leftwich   CHS   Track, Piedmont College

Autumn Bible  CHS     Softball, Reinhardt University

Alise Hooks     CHS      Softball,  Reinhardt University

Kindell Reeves     CHS      Softball, Georgia Highlands College

CREEKVIEW HS

Rachel Chapman    CVHS   Basketball ,  Brenau University

Brian Davis     CVH      Baseball,   Gordon State College

Connor Dove CVHS   Baseball, Georgia Highlands College

Josh Horwitz    CVHS   Football, Huntingdon College (AL)

Trevor Kolb    CVHS   Football,  Tennessee Technological University

Allison Luly      CVHS   Basketball,  Belmont University (TN)

Bradford Martin    CVHS   Baseball, Washington & Lee University (VA)

Michelle McCord    CVHS   Swimming, University of Illinois (IL)

Molly Morris   CVHS   Cross County/Track,    Georgia State University

Austin Owen    CVHS   Baseball,    Toccoa Falls College

Emily Snyder       CVHS   Swimming,  University of Missouri

Leah Waagen     CVHS   Soccer,   Toccoa Falls College

Jacob Webb   CVHS   Football,   University of North Carolina-Charlotte

ETOWAH HS

Andrew Keene     EHS    Baseball, Georgia State University

Drew Waters     EHS   Baseball,  University of Georgia

Macki Walsh    EHS   Cross Country/Track, Troy University  (AL)

Tyray Devezin     EHS      Football,  Mercer University

Stuart Head    EHS      Football,  Stanford University (CA)

Ansley Froman    EHS   Acrobatics & Tumbling, Azusa Pacific University (CA)

Hayes Johnson   EHS      Lacrosse,   Young Harris College

Rhys Jeffrey     EHS      Soccer,  Georgia Southern University

Reese Lavery     EHS      Soccer , Missouri State University

Rylan Lavery      EHS      Soccer, Missouri State University

Alexis Palazzo     EHS     Softball,  Georgia Highlands College

Mallory Gilmer     EHS      Tennis,    University of Alabama

Cole Heller        EHS      Tennis,   Appalachian State University (NC)

RIVER RIDGE HS

Hannah Bruce       RRHS    Softball,  Andrew College

Brinna Collender    RRHS    Softball, Kennesaw State University

Bayleigh Lott     RRHS    Softball,  University of Montevallo (AL)

Darion Spencer    RRHS    Softball, Reinhardt University

Gabby Williams      RRHS    Softball, Tusculum College (TN)

Reiley Mullen     RRHS    Soccer,   Georgia State University

Caitlyn Peterson   RRHS    Soccer,   Columbus State University

Somadina Okeke           RRHS    Football,  North Carolina Central University

Hayden Martin   RRSH    Baseball,   Georgia Southwestern State University

Maxwell Miller     RRHS    Track/Cross Country, Piedmont College

SEQUOYAH HS

Marcelle Butler   SHS      Volleyball, Howard University (Washington, DC)

Katie Williams     SHS      Lacrosse,  Reinhardt University

Olivia Sengstock           SHS      Lacrosse, Reinhardt University

Kendall Williams    SHS      Softball, Georgia Highlands College

Dawson Pfost     SHS      Baseball,    Birmingham Southern College (AL)

Joseph Cuomo  SHS      Baseball,  Bryan College (TN)

Tyler Koprowski     SHS      Baseball ,  Trevecca Nazarene University (TN)

Amanda Brown     SHS      Soccer , Life University

Matt Webb     SHS      Lacrosse, Reinhardt University

Taylor White     SHS      Lacrosse,   Reinhardt University

McGwire Wells   SHS      Football,  Berry College

WOODSTOCK HS

Brant Hurter    WHS     Baseball,  Georgia Tech

Jared Staples  WHS     Baseball, Kennesaw State University

Nolan Tressler   WHS     Baseball ,   Georgia Southern University

Devyn Lowe    WHS     Basketball,  University of South Alabama (AL)

Ethan Chamberlin   WHS     Football,    Rhodes College (TN)

Abigail Bolt    WHS     Golf ,     Appalachian State University (NC)

Ian Mastriana  WHS     Lacrosse,  Methodist University (NC)

Nicole Frazer    WHS     Lacrosse,   Georgetown College (KY)

Logan Llano    WHS     Soccer, Presbyterian College (SC)

Jared McWhorter     WHS     Soccer,  Lee University (TN)

Madelyn Reid    WHS     Softball,  West Georgia Technical College

Breanna Roper    WHS     Softball,  Georgia Tech

Lexi Solorzano     WHS     Softball ,    Kennesaw State University

Jaclyn Csubak     WHS     Swimming,   Georgia Southern University

 

 

 

 

 


CCSD Recommended for Continued AdvancED Accreditation!

See the video of the AdvancED External Review Team’s presentation here.

The Cherokee County School District on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 was recommended for continued AdvancED district accreditation as a Quality School System!

The AdvancED external review team announced the recommendation at a called Cherokee County School Board meeting on Wednesday afternoon following a comprehensive evaluation process that culminated with a three-day site visit to interview stakeholders at all levels and see teaching and learning in action.

The recommendation for accreditation renewal, which lasts for five years and includes the School District as a whole and all of its schools and centers, will be considered for official approval by the AdvancED Commission at its next meeting in June. The School District in the 2006-07 school year became one of the first school systems in the United States to be awarded districtwide accreditation, and this prestigious national designation was renewed in 2011-12.

“This nationally recognized accreditation affirms for our community that our School District is of the highest quality and committed to excellence and continuous improvement. Accreditation is a rigorous process that not only confirms our blue-ribbon reputation, but also provides our leadership with valuable insights and suggestions from fellow educational leaders who participate in the external review,” Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “One year ago today I accepted the great honor and privilege of serving as your Superintendent, and I today feel even prouder to be able to thank our community for its support of our School District, schools, teachers and students. Your dedication and support makes our success possible.”

The accreditation process, which is a voluntary method of quality assurance, requires that schools and school districts meet high quality standards, maintain a process of continuous improvement and engage in regular internal and external reviews.

To earn AdvancED accreditation, a school district must identify and sustain the implementation of a systemic continuous improvement process and monitor its schools for compliance with five Standards for Quality School Systems: Purpose and Direction, Governance and Leadership, Teaching and Assessing for Learning, Resources and Support Systems and Using Results for Continuous Improvement. AdvancED is the global leader in accrediting schools and universities, and the nine-member team that evaluated CCSD has more than 229 years of educational experience combined.

After reviewing CCSD surveys, performance data and other reports and records, the AdvancED team during its site visit this week interviewed more than 500 stakeholders including School Board members, the Superintendent of Schools, District and school administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community and business partners and visited 90 classrooms in nine schools (Avery ES, Bascomb ES, Canton ES STEM Academy, Carmel ES, E.T. Booth MS, Etowah HS, Ralph Bunche Center, Teasley MS and Woodstock HS).

During the School Board meeting, Dr. Cheryl Allread, the AdvancED external review team leader, presented a report on the team’s findings.

“If there was ever a district that fits what you see on the slide,” she said referring to the high standards for accreditation, “it’s the Cherokee County School District. You’re never satisfied with the status quo… and as good as you are, you’re not satisfied – you want to get better.”

The school district was rated above the AdvancED network average, which is calculated from evaluations of 32,000 institutions, in all areas assessed… with an overall Index of Education Quality score of 315.85 out of 400 points and 37 points above average!

Overall Themes of educational excellence in CCSD cited by the team in its report include:

• Cohesive, supportive governing board that understands its role and responsibilities;
• Strong, visionary leadership;
• Shared leadership and support for collaboration;
• Commitment to shared values;
• Caring culture (family-like atmosphere);
• Clear direction, focused on the vision;
• Proactive and persistent communication efforts;
• Community investment;
• Parent engagement; and,
• Commitment to improve.

The team issued three Powerful Practices commendations to the School District. Dr. Allread defines these, which the team is not required to issue, as practices “that you do better than anyone else.” They are:

1. The governing board is a cohesive and supportive unit that operates responsibly with clearly defined policies and clearly respects the autonomy of the administration to attain goals for student achievement and instructional growth, while effectively managing the day-to-day operations of the school system.

2. The superintendent, system administration and school administration are strong, visionary leaders who support and encourage collaboration and shared leadership, thus fostering a caring culture that is consistent with the system’s purpose and direction.

3. System and school leaders engage in proactive, persistent and embedded efforts, which result in meaningful parent and community involvement and a sense of pervasive ownership and investment from stakeholders and families regarding student learning, school performance and achievement of system and school purpose and direction.

The team issued one Opportunities for Improvement suggestion to the School District. Dr. Allread said these, which the team is not required to issue, are “strictly that”: opportunities to build upon existing practices, but not required actions. The suggestion is:

1. Formalize processes whereby each student has an adult advocate who builds strong relationships over time with the student.

The team issued one Improvement Priority to the School District. Dr. Allread said the team must issue at least one action step for an area of specific improvement, and school districts must report back to AdvancED in two years on implementation progress. The action step is:

1. Fully implement the Instructional Framework initiative [note: CCSD began this four-year implementation in January 2017] in order to refine and enhance the instructional process used by teachers to systematically support quality student learning across all classrooms in the school system.

During the meeting, Dr. Hightower and School Board members thanked the review team as well as CCSD staff, led by Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs Susan McCarthy, who received a standing ovation from the audience, for their work to prepare for the evaluation process.

“The teaching and learning you saw there the last three days happens all 180 days,” Board Chair Kyla Cromer told the AdvancED team, noting that Principals had the opportunity to let their schools shine during the site visits, and didn’t disappoint.

The hospitality costs associated with the AdvancED review team’s visit were sponsored by business and community partners. A special thanks is extended to the following sponsors for their support: Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee County Council of PTA, Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Cherokee County Office of Economic Development, Cherokee Retired Educators Association, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Credit Union of Georgia and Cobb EMC.

“You really tell your story very well, and people buy into it,” Dr. Allread said. “If I could have put my child, who’s 34 years old, here as a first-grader now, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”


CCSD School Named a 2017 State School of Character – only school in Georgia honored!

A Cherokee County School District school has been named a 2017 State School of Character for its commitment to character education!

The honor, awarded to Liberty Elementary School by the international Character.org nonprofit organization, was bestowed to only 80 schools nationwide. Liberty ES is the only school from Georgia to win the designation!

Recipients are considered models of excellence within their states for teaching students to recognize positive ethical and performance character traits and develop them in themselves.

 

Principal Doug Knott

Honorees are “role models for preparing students to live and lead with integrity, in addition to providing an engaging, dynamic education,” said Dour Karr, President and CEO of Character.org. “These schools represent the hundreds of thousands of people working on their character, showcasing the process of where ‘I’ meets ‘we’ for positive change. Their stories encourage us to take the character movement beyond schools and into our own individual growth stories. They are an inspiration to us all.”

Liberty ES now will be evaluated for the National School of Character designation, which will be announced in May.

“We are so proud whenever our schools are recognized for outstanding teaching and learning, and this award is especially heart-warming,” Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We want every child to learn not only their academics and career skills, but also to be a good person and citizen, who treats others with kindness and respect. Congratulations to the entire Liberty Elementary community for this commendable achievement!”

Assistant Principal Dr. Pam L. Green

Principal Doug Knott said, in addition to thanking students, staff and the school community, he wanted to especially recognize Assistant Principal Dr. Pam L. Green, who has led the school’s initiative and previously successfully guided Carmel Elementary School to this State and National recognition.

“Her expertise has been instrumental in the growth of our school community in the area of character education,” Principal Knott said. “We are truly fortunate to have her experience with this process as we move toward this national distinction! Thanks to all for their support as we have worked to bring this honor to the Liberty Elementary community and CCSD!

The school last year was named a Promising Practices awards winner by Character.org – one of only four schools in the State to be honored. Liberty ES won two awards: one for its “Have a Heart for Seniors” service-learning program and the other for initiatives by its Student Leadership Team.

Liberty Elementary also has received statewide attention for its successful use of the #BeKind program to encourage positive behavior and acts of service.