CCSD Employees Learn to “Stop the Bleed”

CCSD Employees Learn to “Stop the Bleed”

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Category : CCSD

A brief video about this event can be viewed on our YouTube channel here:

Paramedic demonstrates direct pressure wound care to teachers.

CCSD Preschool Centers Principal Vicky Thom, left, listens as paramedic Reginald Thurmon explains how to pack gauze into a wound to stop severe bleeding.

More than 300 CCSD teachers, administrators and support staff underwent “Stop the Bleed” training on Wednesday, May 30, to learn how to apply direct pressure and tourniquets to assist victims in the event of an emergency situation. The training, facilitated by Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, also provides a dozen “Stop the Bleed” emergency kits for each school, containing tourniquets, gauze and other medical supplies needed to stem severe bleeding. All CCSD schools participated in the training, which was held at 18 school sites across the county.

firefighter displays supplies in a kit

Cherokee County Fire & ES instructor Bryan Thomas explains the contents of a Stop the Bleed kit. Each school received 12 kits to be placed throughout their facility as part of the training.


The day began with a “train the trainer” session at Cherokee High School, where school nurses worked with Fire ES instructors, staff from Northside Hospital Cherokee and other medical professionals from the community to receive their training, led by Sgt. Nate Sullivan with Fire & ES. Then the nurses and Fire & ES instructors trained teachers, administrators and support staff out at school sites in the afternoon. The training consists of both a presentation and hands-on instruction.



nurse instructs teachers on how to apply direct pressure to a wound

Teasley MS nurse Kathy Thomas, left, assists Teasely MS Principal Dr. Ben Lester, right, as he practices filling an open “wound” with gauze. Assistant Principals John Carter and Liz Spell look on.


“Everyone I interacted with from the school system was enthusiastic, receptive, and accommodating. It was great to see how stakeholders from the community came together to achieve such an important goal,” said Sgt. Sullivan. “We essentially taught 18 ‘Stop The Bleed’ classes for over 320 school staff, simultaneously, and completed the entire school system in one day. Everyone involved did a stellar job.”


“We appreciate the assistance from Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services in helping train hundreds of teachers, administrators and support staff across our schools yesterday,” said Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools. “While we certainly hope none of our staff members will have to use these skills in an actual emergency, we are committed to being proactive and being prepared to help save lives.”

firefighter teaches a class

CCSD school nurses listen as instructor Sgt. Nate Sullivan with the Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services agency explains the Stop the Bleed program.


CCSD Lead Nurse Gwen Chambers said the school nurses were very receptive to the training and partnering with the county fire department to deliver it to schools. “School Nurses are proud to be a resource to school staff for training such as ‘Stop The Bleed,’” said Ms. Chambers. “The kits and additional skills to utilize the kits will supplement existing safety and security plans for students and staff.”

one teacher ties a tourniquet on another

Ralph Bunche Center’s Connie Gonyea practices using a tourniquet on co-worker Anne Marie Corley.


Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather noted that Sgt. Sullivan’s initiative in bringing the program to Cherokee County, along with the school district’s readiness to participate, has created a safer community for everyone.


“A huge ‘thank you’ from the Cherokee County Fire Chief’s office to the Cherokee County School System for your partnership, acceptance and participation in the program,” said Chief Prather.   “As we come to work each day, we do not know what will be thrown at us in public safety. Now, we have not only increased the awareness, but we have personnel trained in every schoolhouse in Cherokee County that may make the difference in a victim being a survivor or fatality.”


Georgia launched the nationwide “Stop the Bleed” campaign in 2017, that puts knowledge gained by first responders and military into the hands of the public to help save lives by stopping uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations.

If bleeding is severe, it can kill within minutes, potentially before trained responders can arrive. Research has shown that bystanders, with little or no medical training, can become heroic lifesavers. Similar to the use of CPR or automatic defibrillators (AED), improving public awareness about how to stop severe bleeding can be the difference between life and death for an injured person. Currently the campaign has been funded to train and equip all Georgia Public Schools with bleeding control kits.

For more information, see the website at

River Ridge HS Student Wins Congressional Art Contest!

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Category : CCSD

image of students and artwork

A Cherokee County School District student has won a Congressional art contest!

River Ridge High School Class of 2018 graduate Graciella Elaine won first place for her work, “The Magician,” in this year’s 11th District Congressional Art Competition. The honor, which was presented to Graciella by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, includes a $13,000 scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as scholarships to the Art Institute of Atlanta and Wesleyan College in Macon. Graciella also won two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C. to view her artwork in the halls of Congress, where it will be displayed for the next year.

Rising junior Ragan Martin won third place in the competition, and her work, “Haunting Beauty,” was recognized, along with other select artists from the Congressional District, in a local exhibit. As part of her honor, Ragan received a $3,500 scholarship to the Art Institute and a $3,000 scholarship to Wesleyan.

Their art teachers are Mary Jo Mulvey and Chris Akins.

CCSD to Offer Second Annual Parent Academy Program

Category : CCSD

The Cherokee County School District is accepting applications for its second annual parent academy program.

Developed by the Georgia School Boards Association, VILLA (Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy) offers parents the opportunity to learn more about the public schools in their community.  This past school year, CCSD became the first school district in the state to pilot the program.

Through the free six-session program offered in the fall, participants learn more about CCSD, including an overview of its governance model and the role of School Board members, Major System Priorities and CCSD day-to-day operations.  The program includes question-and-answer sessions with School Board members, the Superintendent and senior staff.

Applications are due by Sept. 7; the application is available here: CCSD Villa 2018-19 Application Brochure.

GCA Seeking Applicants for School Custodians for CCSD Schools

Category : CCSD

Please see the following information from CCSD vendor, GCA:

job wanted ad image

GCA, an ABM company, is seeking SCHOOL CUSTODIANS for the K-12 schools in Cherokee County.

This full-time, year-round job starts at $10.00/hour, with opportunities for advancement. The open shift is 3:00pm – 11:30pm, Monday – Friday during the school year; and 7:00am – 3:30pm Monday – Friday during the summer. Part-time hours are available for both shifts. Duties include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, emptying trash, wiping down restrooms and classrooms, and other cleaning or maintenance duties as assigned. Candidates must be able to satisfactorily pass a background check. Cleaning experience is preferred, but not necessary. Benefits are available to full-time employees after a mandatory waiting period.


Woodstock HS Announces Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Category : CCSD

Woodstock High School today announced that Coach Josh Pierce will take over as head coach for its men’s basketball program!

Josh Pierce

Coach Pierce, who is in his sixth year teaching and has taught PE and coached at Woodstock HS for the past two years, began his basketball career 20 years ago as a First Team All-State player at Lowndes High School in Valdosta.  He played college basketball for Tennessee Temple and Cumberland University, where in his senior year he helped lead the team to its third-best season ever (22-9).  Coach Pierce also played football his final season at Cumberland.

After teaching and coaching at Spring Hill High School in Columbia, Tenn., Coach Pierce joined the Woodstock HS staff, and his coaching roles have included assistant basketball coach, assistant football coach, and strength and conditioning coordinator.

“My goal is to continue the success that our basketball program has developed in the past three years under Mr. Kingston Clark, both on and off the court,” Coach Pierce said, adding he is grateful to the school’s leadership and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower for the opportunity.  “There has been an exciting buzz surrounding Woodstock Basketball as of late, and I intend to continue that with the support of great administration, coaching staff, and parents and supporters.  I am very grateful for this opportunity.  We are Woodstock!”

Woodstock HS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Chris Bennett said the school is excited about Coach Pierce leading the program, which is in 7A competition, Georgia’s largest classification.

“He brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and a great enthusiasm for the game, our student athletes and for Woodstock High School. He has been an integral part of the success here in multiple programs, and we look forward to what he brings as the new head coach of our men’s basketball program,” Mr. Bennett said.  “I believe our student athletes will respond to his energy and enthusiasm.  He has a lot to offer our program.”


CCSD Offering Free Summer Meals through USDA Program!

Category : CCSD

summer fruit

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 6 to July 20, Monday through Friday, with no meal service July 4-6 (other exceptions noted below); all meals must be consumed on site. The distribution sites and times are listed below.

summer meals logoAlmost 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: 8-8:15 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45-11 a.m.

Cherokee High School
930 Marietta Hwy.
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
(Meals served June 6-29; July 9-20)

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
3219 Hunt Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30–10:45 a.m.
(Meals served June 11-29)

Clayton Elementary School
221 Upper Burris Road
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30–10:45 a.m.
(Meals served June 11-29)

East Gate Mobile Home Park
6310 Bells Ferry Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Lunch: 11:15-11:30 a.m.

Etowah HS East Campus
6500 Putnam Ford Drive
Woodstock, GA 30189
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: Noon–12:30 p.m.
(Meals served June 6-29; July 9-20)

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
205 Brown Industrial Parkway
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30–10:45 a.m.
(Meals served June 11-29; July 9-13)

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

Noonday Mobile Home Park
200 Dupree Road
Woodstock, GA 30189
Lunch: 11–11:15 a.m.

Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
6118 Woodstock Road
Acworth, GA 30102
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30–10:45 a.m.
(Meals served June 11-29)

Teasley Middle School
151 Hickory Log Drive
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30-10:45 a.m.
(Meals served June 11-29; July 9-13)

Woodstock High School
2010 Towne Lake Hills South Drive
Woodstock, GA 30189
Breakfast: 7:45–8 a.m.
Lunch: Noon-12:30 p.m.
(Meals served June 4-29; July 9-20)

YMCA Canton- G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA
151 Waleska Street
Canton, GA 30114
Breakfast: 8:15-8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – Noon

YMCA Woodstock- Cherokee Outdoor Family YMCA
201 E. Bells Ferry Road
Woodstock, GA 30189
Breakfast: 8:15-8:30 a.m.
Lunch: Noon-12:30 p.m.

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CCSD Honors Class of 2018 Valedictorians, Salutatorians at Scholar Recognition Banquet

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates the Cherokee County School District’s Class of 2018 Valedictorians and Salutatorians, from left to right, front row: Woodstock HS Valedictorian Sasha Stogniy, Sequoyah HS Valedictorian Alyssa Cagle, River Ridge HS Salutatorian Emma Harrison, Creekview Salutatorian Gracen Wallace, Cherokee HS Valedictorian Emily Endozo, River Ridge HS Valedictorian Simon Yang; back row: Sequoyah HS Salutatorian Mollie McNeil, Etowah HS Valedictorian Joseph Young, Etowah HS Salutatorian Samuel Wysocki, Creekview HS Valedictorian Bryce Goodwyn, Cherokee HS Salutatorian Travis Main, and Woodstock HS Salutatorian Taylor Shepard.

The Cherokee County School District and School Board honored the Class of 2018 Valedictorians and Salutatorians during the 18th Annual Scholar Recognition Banquet.

The evening at the Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility auditorium on Wednesday 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.

“As the soccer legend Pele said, ‘Success is no accident.  It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.’  None of you are here tonight by accident; you are here because of hard work, sacrifice and love,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer told the scholars during her remarks, adding that praise also is due to their teachers and the students’ parents, “who have been there every step of the way.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower continued this theme in his remarks, encouraging the scholars to maintain that spirit no matter the challenges they encounter in life.

“I fondly remember my top students, who, like you, delighted in learning and in pushing themselves to learn more and do better each day.  The most successful people possess that trait, and they never let go of it… they’re always learning and always striving to do their best,” he said.  “As you walk across the stage at graduation and begin the next chapter of your lives, we will be cheering you on and wishing you great success at college, in your careers and in your lives.”

Following 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 Yeti tumbler.  Chris Leggett, CEO/President of LGE Community Credit Union, shared sponsor remarks during the program.

“The potential in this room is limitless,” Mr. Leggett told the top graduates during his remarks.

The gifts of iPads and gift cards were made possible by donations from the following sponsors: Platinum Sponsor, Poole’s Insulation Company; Gold Sponsors, Curriculum Associates, Brown & Brown Insurance of Georgia, NOVA Engineering & Environmental, TNT Fleet Supply, LLC and Traditions Turf Management, Inc.; Silver Sponsors, EF Education First, Eyemed, Invo-Progressus and True Natural Gas.

The Scholars and their honored teachers are:

Cherokee HS

Valedictorian: Emily Endozo, who will study mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech

Honored teacher: Julian Woodward, AP History.  “Throughout high school, he was not only a teacher, but a guidance counselor I could come to any time of the day for support.”

In her teacher’s words: “What really sets her apart is the passion and determination she starts each day with.  She helped me grow as a person and a teacher.”


Salutatorian: Travis Main, who will study computer science at the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech and hopes to pursue a career in computer science

Honored teacher: Eric Jones, AP Calculus.  “I enjoy how passionate he is about his subject (calculus).”

In his teacher’s words: “His intellect is so far above anyone I’ve ever taught.  What makes him so incredible though is his thirst for knowledge… and persistence; he makes the time to truly perfect it.”


Creekview HS          

Valedictorian: Bryce Goodwyn, who will study at Anderson (S.C.) University to pursue a career in civil defense law and also will play for the university soccer team

Honored teacher: Wendy McCarron, AP Calculus.  “The way she taught made me feel more confident in the subject.”

In his teacher’s words: “I love the fact that Bryce loves to help his classmates.  I’ve been teaching 26 years, and he has set the bar really high for the students yet to come.”


Salutatorian: Gracen Wallace, who will study computer science at Georgia Tech and hopes to pursue a career in software development for a major technology company

Honored teacher: Jason Hardin, AP Chemistry.  “I always knew I could ask him questions, talk to him, complain to him… and he’d give me advice.”

In her teacher’s words: “She’s the most gifted student I’ve ever had come through my classroom.  She stands up for what she believes in, and I’m honored to know her.”


Etowah HS   

Valedictorian: Joseph Young, who will study chemical engineering at Georgia Tech

Honored teacher: Dr. Brian Heglund, AP Physics.  “He had a way of making class fun to come to.  I knew him to be a very dependable person in my life.”

In his teacher’s words: “In my 10 years teaching AP Physics, I’ve never taught a valedictorian as a junior.  He was able to bypass Physics I and go straight to the advanced work and succeed.”


Salutatorian: Samuel Wysocki, who will study biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech and is considering a career in the pharmaceutical field

Honored teacher: Rebecca Schwartz, AP History.  “She knows her material so well.”

In his teacher’s words: She spoke not only of his success in her class, but how he raised $9,000 for children battling cancer and interned at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  “He wanted to help kids and pay back what they did for him.  He’s truly one of a kind and a role model.”


River Ridge HS        

Valedictorian: Simon Yang, who will study mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech and hopes to work for NASA

Honored teacher: Tracye Bulger, AP English.  “She’s an amazing teacher, who cares about all her students.  Thank you for always being there for me like a second mother.”

In his teacher’s words: “We live in this world where it’s always about results or scores, but Simon doesn’t lose sight of the process.  He really cares about learning and integrity.”


Salutatorian: Emma Katherine Harrison, who will study chemistry with pre-med intent at the University of Georgia

Honored teacher: Joy Clarkston, AP Government.  “I’m grateful for her friendship.  She’s always been there for me to talk to.”

In her teacher’s words: “She’s an absolute academic student, but she has a casual approach about her.  She’s a dream.”


Sequoyah HS

Valedictorian: Alyssa Cagle, who will study biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia and hopes to work as a physician

Honored teacher: Coach Derrick Dewitt, who coached Alyssa in basketball.  “A coach can have just as firm an impact on a student as an academic teacher.  He’s taught me how to be a leader.”

In her teacher’s words: “She has commitment some people will never know and always is cool under pressure.  She’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”


Salutatorian: Mollie McNeil, who will study global economics and international affairs at Georgia Tech and hopes to work for an international sports organization

Honored teacher: Dr. Wendy Roberts, AP Science.  “Whether I needed a spoon or advice, she was always there for me.”

In her teacher’s words: “She’s the best of both,” she said, referring to her academic dedication and sense of humor.  “It’s been a true pleasure watching her grown in her own skin.”


Woodstock HS        

Valedictorian: Sasha Stogniy, who will study biochemistry at the University of Georgia and hopes to attend medical school and work as a surgeon

Honored teacher: Kelly Burke, AP Physics.  “She is incredibly encouraging.”

In her teacher’s words: “I got to know Sasha as a person.  I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more from her on certain subjects than she’s learned from me.”


Salutatorian: Taylor Shephard, who will study mathematics and data analytics at Georgia Tech

Honored teacher: Dr. Derek Engram, AP History.  “He reminded me that learning should be fun.”

In her teacher’s words: “She’s made me a better teacher.  Her steadfast determination shows me she’ll be successful in everything she will do.”


CCSD Thanks Sponsors for Providing Meals for Officers Serving at Graduation!

Category : CCSD

Chick-fil-A logo  Thank you to Chick-fil-A of Cherokee County, Roly Poly of Woodstock and Sam’s Club of Woodstock for providing meals and refreshments to CCSD School Police Department, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office & Woodstock Police Department Officers who together are making our Class of 2018 graduation ceremonies a better and safer experience for students & their families and friends.

Sam's Club logoWe appreciate these officers and are glad you do, too.


Roly Poly logo

CCSD Students Place at State Elementary Science Olympiad!

Category : CCSD

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Team Maroon

Two Cherokee County School District students placed at the State Elementary Science Olympiad!

The Cherokee County School District held its annual Elementary Science Olympiad in March, with more than 500 students from 30 teams participating in events such as Barge Building, Rock Hound, Water Rockets and The 24 Game. Cobb EMC and Gas South sponsored the event. For the first time in the history of the CCSD event, there was a tie for first place: Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Team Maroon and Mountain Road ES Team Red.

Jordyn Ramos

Haylee Castens

These two teams qualified to compete at the State Elementary Science Olympiad held in May at Kennesaw State University. Jordyn Ramos and Haylee Castens from Clark Creek ES STEM Academy placed eighth in the State competition in What’s the Matter.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Team Maroon
Coach: Karen Garland
Neema Adolwa
Haylee Castens
Kellen Choate
Tyler Holley
Jackson Josef
Geethika Kalva
Dean Loa
Benjamin Medford
Samuel Mullins
Royce Paris
Klara Pettersen
Jordyn Ramos
John Reed
Benjamin Shaffer
Mihini Senanayake
Pradhyumna Vasishta

Mountain Road ES Team Red

Mountain Road ES Team Red
Coach: Desiree Smith
Riley Buck
Ethan Clay
Aiden Faber
Emma Fistel
Christopher Frankle
Derrick Gilbert
Emma Helms
Trevor Kennel
Linnea Knocke
Alyssa Loeffler
Ashley Mitchell
Taiwo Ogundele
Logan Parrott
Ethan Patsios
Charlotte Prichard
Rebekah Rogers
Sasha Sins
Dennis Whitley
Avery Whittle

The teams will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s June 21 meeting.


CCSD Honors Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition Winners!

Category : CCSD

Isabelle Blevins

A Cherokee County School District student won first place in the Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition!

The annual writing contest is open to students in grades kindergarten through 12 and provides an opportunity for schools to encourage writing in a variety of genres.  Each CCSD school submitted a top entry for each grade level to compete at the District level, with 176 school-level winners submitted.  District judges then selected a first-place winner for each grade level.

The District’s 13 first-place winners advanced to the Regional Educational Service Agency’s competition, where six earned first place, and one of those entries went on to earn first place at State. Dean Rusk MS eighth-grader Isabelle Blevins’ entry, “Hate to Love,” earned first place at District, Region and State competition!

The other District winners, with Regional placement noted, are:

Kindergarten: Olivia Hill, Macedonia ES, “The Mouse Mystery,” First Place – Regions

First Grade: Chloe Vilvens, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy, “The Cove,” Third Place – Regions

Second Grade: Elle Pope, Avery ES, “The Secret of Colored Spots”

Third Grade: Alexander Severson, Indian Knoll ES, “End of Time”

Fourth Grade: Angelica Persichetti, Sixes ES, “Ocean,” First Place – Regions

Fifth Grade: Felicity Jeong, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy, “Finally Home”

Sixth Grade: Christina Warren, Creekland MS, “Dear Minnie,” First Place – Regions

Seventh Grade: Lana Fischer, E.T. Booth MS, “Sunrise,” First Place – Regions

Ninth Grade: Sophie Abbott, Woodstock HS, “I Don’t Know Much,” Third Place – Regions

10th Grade: Chelsea Mandel, Creekview HS, “A Game of Cards,” First Place – Regions

11th Grade: Delena Howell, Sequoyah HS, “Forget Me Not,” Second Place – Regions

12th Grade: Lauren Pfitzenmayer, Sequoyah HS, “Ocean Eyes,” Second Place – Regions

The District-level winners of the Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition will be honored by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s June 21 meeting.