CCSD Lead Nurse Named Georgia’s School Nurse Administrator of the Year

CCSD Lead Nurse Named Georgia’s School Nurse Administrator of the Year

Category : CCSD

Gwen Chambers, who serves as CCSD’s senior lead nurse overseeing its school nurse program, is the Georgia Association of School Nurses’ 2017 Georgia School Nurse Administrative of the Year.

A Cherokee County School District nurse has been named the top school nurse leader in the state!

Gwen Chambers, who serves as CCSD’s senior lead nurse overseeing its school nurse program, is the Georgia Association of School Nurses’ 2017 Georgia School Nurse Administrative of the Year. She now is a nominee for the National Association of School Nurses’ top honor.

“This award confirms what we in Cherokee County have known for years: Ms. Chambers is a skilled nurse, dedicated educator and outstanding administrator, who cares deeply about her community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re so proud of her success and this statewide honor!”

Ms. Chambers, who joined CCSD as a school nurse 29 years ago and has served as a lead nurse for 17 years, was surprised with the honor at the Association’s annual conference last week in Savannah.

Georgia Association of School Nurses logoThe award recognizes excellence in school nursing leadership; the winner is selected based on criteria including: clinical practice leadership, administrative leadership, professional development, professional advocacy activity, community involvement and research.

“The school nurse is the only line of healthcare some students see,” said Ms. Chambers, who began her career with CCSD as an itinerant nurse, who traveled from school to school before the development of the current on-site school nurse program. The District’s program now employs 41 school nurses, led by two lead nurses, who serve 42,000 students and 4,500 full-time and additional 1,000 part-time/at-will employees throughout the year. “I feel I have fulfilled my vision of a structured school health program, and I have seen hundreds of students helped through the on-site school nurses. The program is thriving, and plans to continue to maintain, nurture, build and represent the program are in my future.”

Dr. Hightower praised Ms. Chambers for her knowledge and advocacy, citing her efforts to expand the school nurse program, implement best practices and procedures and increase professional development opportunities.

“Ms. Chambers provides valuable, informed insights to our operational leadership in order to develop the best recommendations possible for our school nurse program, which has led to increased staffing and clinic hours to better serve students and staff,” Dr. Hightower said. “We can turn to her whenever we have questions about health issues affecting schools and communities at the national or state level and know she will provide well-researched data and medical opinions, as well as her own perspective.”

Ms. Chambers, a graduate of Kennesaw State University, is a member of Georgia Association of School Nurses, Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Service League of Cherokee County.


CCSD to Host National Advanced School Resource Officer Course June 19-21

Category : CCSD

NASRO logoThe Cherokee County School District School Police Department next week will host a national training program for officers from across the state!

In cooperation with the Georgia Association of Secondary School Law Enforcement Executives (GASSLEE), CCSD will host the National Association of School Resource Officers’ (NASRO) Advanced School Resource Officer Course from Monday, June 19, through Wednesday, June 21, at Teasley Middle School in Canton.

Sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, with CCSD School Police Chief Mark E. Kissel, President of GASSLEE, giving opening remarks on Monday. Capt. Joe Carter of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, past president of NASRO, is the course instructor.

“As President of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Law Enforcement Executives, I believe this program reflects the professionalism of those officers assigned to work within their respective schools to provide a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning,” Chief Kissel said.

NASRO, the world’s leader in school-based policing, serves school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators, and school security/safety professionals working as partners to protect students, faculty and staff, and their school community. The organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality of training to school-based law enforcement officers in order to promote safer schools and safer kids.

The advanced course builds upon the Basic School Resource Officer course approved by Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council; CCSD School Police Officers all have attended and successfully completed the basic course. The training offered in Canton will cover numerous topics including threat assessment, critical incident planning and technology and social media.

Several local businesses have provided door prizes and donations for the event, and their sponsorship is greatly appreciated: AMC Riverstone 15, Big Woods Goods, Chick-fil-A of Canton, Credit Union of Georgia, Killer Creek Harley-Davidson, Northside Hospital Cherokee and The Home Depot.


Sequoyah HS Class of 2017 Graduate Headed to West Point

Andy Whittles

A Sequoyah High School Class of 2017 graduate is headed to West Point!

Andy Whittle, who graduated with honors, has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

An Eagle Scout, Andy participated in the school’s Air Force JROTC including serving as Group Commander and Drill Team Commander his senior year and as a member of its Kitty Hawk Air Society. Through the summer Cadet Leadership Course at The Citadel, Andy earned the Squadron Outstanding Cadet award, which is presented to the cadet ranked highest in a squadron of 150.

As a JROTC cadet, Andy logged more than 150 community service hours through activities including Veterans Day programs, MUST Ministries food drives, American Red Cross blood drives, campus beautification projects and school and feeder school events and projects.

Andy attended the American Legion’s Georgia Boys State summer program for four years, participating in various chorus groups during the event and winning Region Champion for Boys Quartet as a junior and State Champion for Boys Quartet as a senior. Elected to the position of Supreme Court Justice at Georgia Boys State, Andy also received the Scholastic Excellence Award from the Legion.

He ran cross-country for two years and participated in a previous high school’s crew team, with which he lettered. Andy also volunteers through his church as an audio and visual system volunteer.


CCSD High School Class of 2017 Graduate Wins National Merit Scholarship!

Category : CCSD

Katie Bates

A Cherokee County School District Class of 2017 graduate has won a 2017 National Merit Scholarship!

Katie Bates, who graduated last month from Sequoyah HS, has won a National Merit University of Georgia Scholarship! She plans to study biochemistry at UGA in the fall.

Less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors are named finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and only about half win scholarships. Selection of finalists is based on outstanding SAT scores and academic achievements, participation in school and community activities and demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors. Scholarships awarded include National Merit $2500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and Special Scholarships.


CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Named Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year!

UPDATE 6/12/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS today was named the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year!  The surprise presentation was made today at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute in Peachtree City.

UPDATE 6/12/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS today was named the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year! The surprise presentation was made today at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute in Peachtree City.

UPDATE 5/8/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS has been named the North Central Georgia regional winner by the Georgia Library Media Association and the Georgia Association of Instructional Technology!  She now is a finalist for the 2017 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Award to be presented in June.

Cherokee High School Media Specialist Anne Nechvatal gets a congratulatory hug from social studies teacher Angie Pannell after the surprise announcement that she was chosen as the Cherokee County School District’s 2017 Media Specialist of the Year.

Check out the video from today’s surprise presentation: https://youtu.be/YH2iQajg1PM

The Cherokee High School media center’s transformation from old-school library to a modern, collaborative learning space has earned Anne Nechvatal the honor of Cherokee County School District 2017 Media Specialist of the Year!

Ms. Nechvatal, who sees the center as “the largest classroom in the school,” was surprised with the award on Monday, March 6, 2017 by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board Members in front of an audience of the school’s faculty and her husband. She now will represent CCSD in the State-level competition. The presentation and reception that followed were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower praised Ms. Nechvatal for her dedication to digital learning.

“You’ve turned the media center upside down to make sure it’s relevant for your students and teachers,” Dr. Hightower said, applauding her focus on staying up to date in an “age of information.” “Anne is a shining example of everything we want a media specialist to be.”

Ms. Nechvatal, who was congratulated with a standing ovation, said she was “very honored and overwhelmed” by the surprise. She also was quick to acknowledge the work of her fellow media specialist, Vicki Barbre, noting “this is really her honor as well.”

Anne Nechvatal is congratulated by her husband, Gerry, as part of the surprise announcement that she is CCSD’s Media Specialist of the Year, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Principal Todd Miller look on.

The award process begins with each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder elementary and middle schools) selecting a Media Specialist for the Year. Applications from these honorees then are considered by a panel of retired educators and community leaders, who select the CCSD Media Specialist of the Year.

In addition to Ms. Nechvatal for the Cherokee Innovation Zone (IZ), the other Zone winners are: Creekview IZ – Hollen Pope, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy; Etowah IZ – Denise Lewis, Etowah HS; River Ridge IZ – Keara Rubin, River Ridge HS; Sequoyah IZ – Mia Temples, Hickory Flat ES; and Woodstock IZ – Kimberly George, Sixes ES. They all will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the March 16 School Board meeting.

Ms. Nechvatal is a graduate of Oglethorpe University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree; University of West Georgia, where she earned her masters of education degree in school library media; and University of West Georgia, where she recently completed her education specialist degree.

A previous winner of the Creekview IZ’s Media Specialist of the Year Award, Ms. Nechvatal joined Cherokee High School two years ago and since then has focused on updating the media center and its resources to increase benefits to students and teachers. She also serves as the school’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Team coach and judges Senior Projects.

“My mission for the CHS media center is to create a space that is open, accessible and user-friendly; put simply, a place where students want to come,” said Ms. Nechvatal, who previously served as a media specialist at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

Dr. Pam Andes, as graduation coach at the school, sees students benefit from the media center’s resources and additional learning opportunities.

“Our students are waiting for the media center to open each morning in order to spend time here before school begins,” Dr. Andes said. “Students know that she will assist them with any issues in the media center. She truly cares about our students and wants our media center to be second to none.”

Ms. Nechvatal has applied for grants to improve the center and develops activities to increase student traffic, such as the annual Technology “Smackdown” event.

“Building relationships is one of the most important parts of being an effective media specialist. I strive to understand the wants and needs of both our students and teachers,” she said. “I feel like the students are my customers, and I want to offer them the best customer service possible. I try not to ever let them go away empty handed.”

Principal Todd Miller thanked Ms. Nechvatal for all of her efforts that led to the honor.

“Thank you for what you do each day and for turning our media center into a digital learning center,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower, congratulates CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, as Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller looks on.

From left to right, School Board member Kelly Poole, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, and Jennifer Stanley of Northside Hospital-Cherokee, which sponsored by the award presentation and reception, congratulate CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee High School, center, with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower and Principal Todd Miller.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Following the surprise, CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal was celebrated at a reception in the media center with cake, punch and coffee. The presentation and reception were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

 


Johnston ES Wins National Healthy School Award

Category : CCSD

Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2017 America’s Healthiest Schools Bronze Award logo

Johnston Elementary School has been named to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools!

The school won a Bronze Award from the national organization for making changes that promote healthier eating and physical activity for students and staff. Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an evidence-based national initiative to create healthier school environments where children can thrive.

Schools are recognized for such efforts as serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models.

Principal Amy Graham and PE teachers, Michael L’Esperance and Josh Philpot, will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s August meeting.


Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame Honors Outstanding CCSD Seniors

The students are, from left to right, front row: Emily Snyder, Creekview; Mallory Gilmer, Etowah; Brianna Collender, River Ridge; Breanna Roper, Woodstock; Caroline Crum, Sequoyah; Emily Pope, Cherokee; back row: Bryce Davis, Creekview; Jack Carroll, Cherokee; Liam Byrne, Woodstock; McGwire Wells, Sequoyah; Noah Fitzgerald, River Ridge. Not pictured: Stuart Head, Etowah.

The Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame as part of its recent annual banquet recognized a male and a female Outstanding High School Senior Athlete from each of the Cherokee County School District’s high schools.

The students are, from left to right, front row: Emily Snyder, Creekview; Mallory Gilmer, Etowah; Brianna Collender, River Ridge; Breanna Roper, Woodstock; Caroline Crum, Sequoyah; Emily Pope, Cherokee; back row: Bryce Davis, Creekview; Jack Carroll, Cherokee; Liam Byrne, Woodstock; McGwire Wells, Sequoyah; Noah Fitzgerald, River Ridge. Not pictured: Stuart Head, Etowah.


CCSD Publishes Annual Financial Facts Report

The Cherokee County School District has published its annual Financial Facts report, which provides highlights and snapshots from the proposed Annual Budget.

The report is posted online here and provides financial additional information to the community in advance of the School Board’s public hearings and budget adoption.


Two CCSD Schools Win Top Media Center Awards

Two Cherokee County School District schools have won top State awards for their media center programs!

Jennifer Lewis

Indian Knoll Elementary School is the winner of the 2017 Exemplary Media Program Award for elementary schools, and E.T. Booth Middle School is the winner of the 2017 Exceptional Media Program Award for middle schools presented by the Georgia Library Media Association and Georgia Library Association.

The programs, which are led by Indian Knoll Elementary School Media Specialist Jennifer Lewis and E.T. Booth Middle School Media Specialist Amanda Graves, will be honored during the opening ceremony of the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute on June 12 in Peachtree City.

Amanda Graves

Three Exemplary and three Exceptional Georgia Library Media Programs (one from each level: elementary, middle and high) are honored each year.

The Judy Serritella Exemplary/Exceptional Library Media Program Award was created by the associations “to recognize those library media programs that empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information both in vision and in practice. Exceptional library media programs are ones that demonstrate these characteristics in a consistent and effective manner.” Exemplary programs, according to the associations, “go one step beyond and are a model for innovation, student empowerment, and leadership in the school library community.”

Both of the media specialists and their schools will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s June 15 meeting.


CCSD School Nutrition Wins Two State “Best Practices” Awards

The Cherokee County School District’s School Nutrition program has won two State “Best Practices” Awards!

The program, which is led by Director Tina Farmer, has been named a Georgia USDA Best Practice Award winner in the categories of Farm to School Programs and Use of Social Marketing for School Nutrition Programs.

A diverse group of judges met to consider each entry, said Nancy Rice, State Director of School Nutrition for the Georgia Department of Education, with 54 Georgia USDA Best Practice Awards bestowed statewide.

“You are all to be commended for the wonderful work you are doing to enhance the Georgia and National School Nutrition programs for our children,” Ms. Rice said. “Congratulations!”

The program will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s meeting on June 15.