Cherokee HS Student Wins Georgia’s Most Positive Male Athlete Award

Cherokee HS Student Wins Georgia’s Most Positive Male Athlete Award

Category : CCSD

Jacob Klebar, Georgia’s Positive Athlete Award Winner, runs with the Cherokee High School Warriors.

A Cherokee High School Class of 2017 graduate has been named Georgia’s Positive Male Athlete of the Year!

Jacob Klebar

Jacob Klebar, a member of the school’s football team who graduated this month and is headed to Reinhardt University on an academic scholarship, will be honored next month at the 2016-17 Georgia Positive Athlete Awards at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The award is presented by Positive Athlete Georgia, a subsidiary of Celebrate Positive LLC, which promotes the benefits of positivity to young athletes around the world. Hines Ward, a former Forest Park High School, University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers football star, formed Positive Athlete with local businessman Scott Pederson.

More than 3,400 students are nominated annually by coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers and parents. Awards are presented for specific sports and regions, with the top award – Positive Athlete of the Year — presented to one male and one female student for the entire state.

In addition to excellence on the field, Positive Athletes must show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.

An injury left Jacob unable to play on the field his junior and senior years, but that didn’t end his membership on the team, as he stayed on the roster and involved in encouraging and coaching his teammates.

CCSD Class of 2017 Graduate Named Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year!

Category : CCSD

A Cherokee County School District Class of 2017 graduate has been named the Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year!

Drew Waters

The Gatorade Company today announced Drew Waters of the Class AAAAAAA State Champion Etowah High School Eagles is its 2016-17 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year! Drew, the first Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Etowah HS in the award’s 32 years, now is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year!

The award, which in the past has been won at the State level by players including Derek Jeter, Jon Lester, David Price and Clayton Kershaw, recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. As Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Drew will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

An outfielder, Drew led the Eagles to a 26-16 record and State Championship, batting .494 with 13 home runs, 35 RBI and 43 runs scored through 42 games, with a 1.126 slugging percentage. Drew, who earned a 92.1 grade point average in the classroom, volunteered for Goshen Valley Boys Ranch and Never Alone Food & Clothing Outreach Center and helped raise more than $12,000 for the family whose son was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Drew has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Georgia this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 11 recruit in the Class if 2017 by Perfect Game and No. 33 by Baseball America.

Drew Waters is up at bat for Etowah High School during the 2017 State Championships.

Cherokee HS Names Men’s Soccer Head Coach

Category : CCSD

Samer Kaddah

Cherokee High School has named Samer Kaddah as its new Men’s Soccer Head Coach!

A World and U.S. History teacher, Coach Kaddah grew up in Kennesaw and graduated from Kell High School as a four-year soccer starter and three-year captain, who also played club soccer for NASA.

Coach Kaddah played soccer for Kennesaw State University from 2009-2012 while earning his degree in history. Upon graduation, he joined Cherokee High School’s staff as a history teacher.

“Coach Kaddah brings a wealth of background and experience to the position,” Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Jeremy Adams said. “He has tremendous desire to lead student-athletes to be better players and overall people.

Coach Kaddah and his wife, Christina, are expecting their first child this spring.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to build upon a program that has already been established,” Coach Kaddah said. “We have a great group of athletes and coaches, and I think the future is very bright for Warriors’ soccer.”

CCSD Supports Get Georgia Reading Campaign

Category : CCSD

Get Georgia Reading logo

Get Georgia Reading Campaign partner myON is delivering thousands of free books to computer and mobile devices that families can access 24 hours a day – every day – through Aug. 31.  Last summer, children throughout the state read 248,901 books and spent 55,831 hours reading.  This year, the Campaign is challenging Georgia to top last year’s numbers by reading more than 250,000 books and spending over 60,000 hours reading.  More info:

CCSD Participating in 2017 USDA Summer Meals Program

Summer Meals Program logo

Cherokee County School District is again participating in the USDA Seamless Summer Option, which offers free meals to children during the summer.

The meals are available to youth 18 years of age or younger and runs June 5 to July 21, Monday through Friday (exceptions noted below); all meals must be consumed on site. The distribution sites and times are listed below.

Almost one-third of CCSD students qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, and this program ensures that children continue to have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer break.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; no CCSD funds are expended for this program.

For more information, please contact CCSD’s School Nutrition Department at 770-721-8419.

Allen Temple AME Church
232 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, GA 30188
Breakfast: 8 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy
712 Marietta Hwy.
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 – 11 a.m.
(Meals served June 5-23; July 10-14)

Cherokee High School
930 Marietta Hwy.
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 – 11 a.m.
(Meals served June 5-23; July 10-14)

East Gate Mobile Home Park
6310 Bells Ferry Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Etowah HS
6565 Putnam Ford Drive
Woodstock, GA 30189
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 12 – 12:30 p.m.
(Meals served June 5-23)

The Factory
9872A Main Street
Woodstock, GA 30188
Breakfast: 8:15 – 8:45 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 – 12:45 p.m.

Hidden Falls Mobile Home Park
6359 Bells Ferry Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Lunch: 10:45 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
6118 Woodstock Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 – 11 a.m.
(Meals served June 5-23)

Teasley Middle School
151 Hickory Log Drive
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 – 11 a.m.
(Meals served June 5-23)

Woodstock High School
2010 Towne Lake Hills South Drive
Woodstock, GA 30189 Breakfast: 7:45 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 – 11 a.m.
(Meals served June 5-23)

YMCA Canton- G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA
151 Waleska Street
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 8:30 a.m.-9 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon
(No meals served July 4)

YMCA Woodstock- Cherokee Outdoor Family YMCA
201 E. Bells Ferry Road
Woodstock, GA 30189
Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 12 noon- 12:30 p.m.
(No meals served July 4)

Summer Meals Program Menu

Etowah High School Wins State 7A Baseball Title

Category : CCSD

UPDATE: Etowah HS team member and Class of 2017 graduate Drew Waters was drafted by the Atlanta Braves!  He was the 41st pick overall and snapped up in the second round by the Braves on June 12, 2017.  He was named to USA Today’s ALL-USA Baseball First Team on June 13, 2017.

Cherokee County was assured of its first state baseball championship title since 1948 last week,  as two CCSD high schools made the state final series, pitting Etowah HS against cross-town rival Woodstock HS.  The two teams played the championship series on May 24th in Rome, Ga. with Etowah taking the first game 4-1 and the second game 5-4– after a grueling 11 innings.  Congratulations to both teams for making Cherokee County proud to be home to both the State Champions and State Runners-Up!

baseball game photos



CCSD Honors Class of 2017 Valedictorians, Salutatorians at Scholar Recognition Banquet

The Cherokee County School District’s Class of 2017 Valedictorians and Salutatorians are, from left to right, front row: Valedictorians Michelle McCord, Creekview HS; Julia Kochansky, Cherokee HS; Tej Patel, River Ridge HS; Isabelle Riddle, Sequoyah HS; Alex Andon, Woodstock HS; and Sindhu Manivannan, Etowah HS; back row: Salutatorians Jodi Dowis, Cherokee HS; Tiana Hom, River Ridge HS; Kat Massengale, Sequoyah HS; and AJ Cox, Woodstock HS. Not pictured: Salutatorians Grace Maavere, Creekview HS; and Tony Wineman, Etowah HS.

The Cherokee County School District and School Board honored the Class of 2017 Valedictorians and Salutatorians during the 17th Annual Scholar Recognition Banquet on Wednesday at Woodmont Golf & Country Club.

The evening was attended by the Scholars and their parents; the teacher each Scholar chose as the most influential in his or her education; CCSD’s high school Principals; the Superintendent of Schools and members of his senior staff; and the School Board.

“You made the necessary sacrifices and hard work to earn your dreams,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer told the scholars during her remarks, adding that praise also is due to their parents who made sacrifices to support them.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower spoke of the fierce academic competition at the top of class in CCSD schools, noting that ranking “goes to third digit beyond the decimal.”

“We’re so proud of you,” Dr. Hightower said to the scholars. “We hope we challenged you, inspired you and loved you – and you knew it.”

Following a buffet dinner, the guests heard speeches by the Scholars and their favorite teachers. The students and teachers were congratulated by the Superintendent and School Board, and each student received an iPad, $50 gift card and plaque. Each teacher received a plaque and $100 gift card.

The dinner was made possible by a donation from Presenting Sponsor, LGE Community Credit Union, which additionally presented each student with an iPad cover and each teacher with a tumbler. Chris Leggett, CEO/President of LGE Community Credit Union, shared sponsor remarks during the program.

“You made a choice to do and be your best,” he said. “We celebrate the choices you made to be here tonight.”

The gifts of iPads and gift cards were made possible by donations from the following sponsors: Platinum: Curriculum Associates, Northside Hospital-Cherokee, Poole’s Insulation Company, Standard Office Systems (SOS) and Woodmont Golf & Country Club; Gold: Brown & Brown Insurance of Georgia, NOVA Engineering & Environmental, Seasonal Designs Landscaping and Traditions Turf Management, Inc.; and Silver: Eyemed, True Natural Gas and The Travel Store, Inc.

The Scholars and their honored teachers are:

Cherokee HS
Valedictorian: Julia Kochansky, who will study English and Classics at the University of Southern California
Teacher: Heather Smith, who taught Julia in AP U.S. History and Government

Salutatorian: Jodi Dowis, who will study mechanical engineering or aerospace science at Georgia Tech
Teacher: Justin Jones, who taught Jodi in AP English Literature and World Literature

Creekview HS
Valedictorian: Michelle McCord, who will study nuclear plasma radiological engineering at the University of Illinois and hopes to work with particle accelerators, possibly for the U.S. Department of Defense or Department of Energy
Teacher: Jason Hardin, who taught Michelle in AP Chemistry and homeroom

Salutatorian: Grace Maavere, who will study art at the Savannah College of Art & Design
Teacher: Linda Nicholson, who taught Grace in AP Studio Art

Etowah HS
Valedictorian: Sindhu Manivannan, who will study neuroscience at St. Louis University
Teacher: John Murnan, who taught Sindhu in AP Biology, Human Anatomy and Scientific Research at Etowah HS

Salutatorian: Tony Wineman, who will study aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech
Teacher: Dr. Brian Heglund, who taught Tony in AP Physics

River Ridge HS
Valedictorian: Tej Patel, who will study computer engineering at Georgia Tech and hopes to work in engineering for the automobile industry
Teacher: Terry Strassner, who taught Tej in AP Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

Salutatorian: Tiana Hom, who will study computer science at Georgia Tech and hopes to work in robotics or computer animation
Teacher: Counselor Brittany Voltner, who was Tiana’s counselor for four years

Sequoyah HS
Valedictorian: Isabelle Riddle, who will study bio-chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia and hopes to work as a pediatric oncologist with a focus on research
Teacher: Brian Carnes, who taught Isabelle in AP and Honors Chemistry

Salutatorian: Kat Massengale, who will study biology and Classics at Vanderbilt University and hopes to work in pediatrics
Teacher: Greg Ross, who taught Kat in four years of Latin including AP Latin

Woodstock HS
Valedictorian: Alex Andon, who will study engineering at Georgia Tech
Teacher: Kelly Burke, who taught Alex in three years of AP Physics

Salutatorian: AJ Cox, who will study environmental engineering at MIT and hopes to work in environmental law or policy
Teacher: Josh Sailers, who taught AJ in AP European History, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics


Superintendent of Schools Presents Four Inaugural “Game Changer Awards”

Category : CCSD

Superintendent of School Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates Dean Rusk Middle School teacher Heather Phillips as recipient of the “Superintendent’s 2017 Game Changer Award” for Instructional Excellence.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower has recognized the first class of recipients of an inaugural award he describes as his most important honor for Cherokee County School District employees.

The “Superintendent’s Game Changer Award” will honor four outstanding recipients annually, with one award each for the following categories: Instructional Leadership, to recognize a CCSD administrator; Instructional Excellence, to recognize a CCSD classroom teacher; Instructional Support, to recognize a CCSD employee with a support role; and Instructional Advocacy, to recognize a CCSD employee or community member.

“We are dedicated to continuous improvement of classroom instruction – teaching is our primary responsibility and what we’re called to do to serve our community,” Dr. Hightower said. “I strongly believe that recognizing excellence not only honors the very worthy recipients, but also inspires all of our team members by showing them who are the role models in their field they can look to as leaders, mentors and visionaries.”

Superintendent of School Dr. Brian V. Hightower presents the “Superintendent’s 2017 Game Changer Award” for Instructional Leadership to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs Susan McCarthy.

The inaugural 2017 awards were presented to:
Instructional Leadership: Susan McCarthy, CCSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs
Instructional Excellence: Heather Phillips, Dean Rusk Middle School teacher
Instructional Support: Sandi Adams, CCSD Technology Project Specialist
Instructional Advocacy: Lisa-Marie Haygood, longtime PTA volunteer and leader

Superintendent of School Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates CCSD Technology Project Specialist Sandi Adams as recipient of the “Superintendent’s 2017 Game Changer Award” for Instructional Support.

The surprise presentations were made in front of audiences of their peers, with Ms. McCarthy recognized at a school improvement leadership meeting; Ms. Phillips recognized at her school’s faculty meeting; Ms. Adams recognized at a CCSD Technology department meeting; and Ms. Haygood recognized at a School Board Meeting packed with parents and families. Live videos from the presentations were streamed on CCSD’s Facebook page, where they remain posted for the community to enjoy.

“We have top-notch educators and advocates throughout our community, so it wasn’t easy to select just four honorees,” Dr. Hightower said. “I look forward to presenting these awards every year and further encouraging our employees to rise up in our shared mission of ‘Educating the Emerging Generation.’”

Superintendent of School Dr. Brian V. Hightower presents the “Superintendent’s 2017 Game Changer Award” for Instructional Advocacy to longtime PTA volunteer and leader Lisa-Marie Haygood.

Each recipient received a bouquet and a rosewood plaque featuring a specially made medallion bearing CCSD’s logo, their name and the name of the award and recognition as “A Leader Among Leaders.”

Woodstock HS Names Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach

Category : CCSD

Pete Manderano

Woodstock High School has named Coach Pete Manderano as head coach for its men’s lacrosse program.

Coach Manderano has coached lacrosse for 12 years in Georgia, including four years at the collegiate level, and is a five-time Coach of the Year in Cobb County. The School Board earlier this month approved hiring him to teach social studies at Woodstock HS beginning next school year.

“The future is bright for our Woodstock High School lacrosse program,” Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Tonya Sebring said. “Coach Manderano brings the work ethic, experience and pedigree to build a championship program. We are excited to welcome Coach Manderano and his family into the Wolverine community.”

He was the first men’s lacrosse head coach at Riverwood High School, where he started its program in 2004. After two years at Riverwood, Manderano moved to Lassiter High School and, during his five-year tenure, his teams earned a record of 78-23 and competed for three State Championships (2006, 2007, and 2010). In 2006, The Trojans brought home the trophy and were notably the first public high school to win a Georgia High School Association State Championship; and he coached three U.S. Lacrosse All American players and multiple All State players.

Coach Manderano left Lassiter to start the Men’s Lacrosse Program at Piedmont College, a Division III program, where he coached four years. He returned to high school coaching at Kell High School, and just completed his second season as its men’s lacrosse head coach. During the past two years, the Longhorns have earned a record of 25-9; this past season, his team advanced to the post season earning its first program playoff win in school history.

A three-year starter on the Fairport (NY) High School football team, Coach Manderano and the team won two Section V Championships; he also played lacrosse for three years, earning the captain title his senior year. After high school, he spent two seasons playing linebacker at the University of Buffalo.

Coach Manderano and his wife, Leah, have two children, Kaitlyn, 10, and William, 6.

Etowah HS Announces Top Candidate for Boys’ Basketball Head Coach

Category : CCSD

Jason Dasigner

As part of the June 15 School Board Meeting, Etowah High School will request approval of Jason Dasigner to lead its Boys’ Basketball Program as Head Coach.

Coach Dasinger, the 2017 Class 6A Region 7 Coach of the Year, has spent the last decade as a basketball coach and AP Government teacher. This past year, his first as head coach for Alpharetta High School’s boys’ team, he led them to tie the school record for wins (25-4) and win the prestigious Deep South Classic and Region Championships … a turnaround from the previous season’s 10-18 record.

During his previous tenure coaching at Pope High School, the boys’ team made the State Playoffs for five consecutive years. In addition to coaching basketball at Pope HS, Coach Dasinger also served as head softball coach and head golf coach.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Coach Dasinger to Eagle Mountain,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, noting that Coach Dasinger plans to lead basketball camps this summer to get to know the team and future players. “He brings with him experience on the court and in the classroom and a passion for coaching students to succeed in both arenas.”

A graduate of Lassiter High School and the University of Georgia, Coach Dasinger and his wife, Chelsea, live in Woodstock and have two daughters, Emma, 4, and Piper, 1.