CCSD Teachers Serve as 2018 Advanced Placement (AP) Readers!

CCSD Teachers Serve as 2018 Advanced Placement (AP) Readers!

Category : CCSD

Seventeen Cherokee County School District teachers recently were selected to serve as 2018 Advanced Placement (AP) Readers!

Each June, top AP teachers and college faculty members from around the world meet to evaluate and score the free-response sections of the College Board’s AP Exams, which high-performing high school students take to earn college credit.  During these sessions held across the country, more than 12,500 AP Readers evaluate more than 4.2 million AP Exams.  Academic dialogue between educators is both fostered and encouraged during the Reading.

The CCSD teachers selected for the 2018 Reading events were:

Etowah HS

Heather Barton: AP English Language & Composition

Brian Heglund: AP Physics 1

Lara McDonald: AP Environmental Science

John Murnan: AP Biology

Rebecca Schwartz: AP U.S. History

Kristy Szpindor: AP World History

Mike Vacca: AP Computer Science


River Ridge HS

Tracye Bulger: AP English Language & Composition

Keith Hooper: AP Spanish Language & Culture

Trevor Register: AP Physics

Jason Taylor: AP U.S. History


Woodstock HS

Allen Domenico: AP Human Geography

Steve Epperson: AP Physics 1

Maria Gogarty: AP Spanish Language (Question Leader)

Loretta Muise: AP Calculus

Joshua Sailers: AP European History

James Sanchez: AP Psychology


CCSD Seventh-Graders Recognized by Duke University!

Category : CCSD

More than 30 Cherokee County School District seventh-graders have been recognized by Duke University for their SAT and ACT scores!

The Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) supports academically talented seventh-graders who have previously scored at or above the 95th percentile on a standardized test such as CogAT by providing them with the opportunity to take the SAT and ACT, which are college-entrance exams designed for above-average 11th– and 12th-grade students.

This year, 159 CCSD students participated in the program, with 37 students earning State honors, and five students additionally earning Grand-level recognition.

The State and Grand-level winners were invited to a Duke University Recognition Ceremony and will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at an upcoming School Board meeting.

The CCSD honorees are:



E.T. Booth MS

Gracye Lamb

Olivia Myers

Gracye Lamb

Olivia Myers





Teasley MS

Laney Cline

Andrew Vines

Laney Cline

Andrew Vines





Woodstock MS

Ethan Heggen

Ethan Heggen




Creekland MS

Phoebe Feibus

Carson Heath

Grace Kicak

Luke Payne

Christian Richards

Avery Sisson

Jonathan Yeager


Dean Rusk MS

Aidan Gold

Matthew Lawman

Taryn Mareau

Skylar Miller

Caleb Nelson

Clay Tucker


E.T. Booth MS

Charlotte Bloodworth

Patrick Karp

Sophia Kutz


Freedom MS

Benjamin Dunlap

Braden Flournoy

Mauricio Lanzas

Trinity Neely

Caroline Olvin


Mill Creek MS

Jacob Diek

Benjamin Kim

Noah Leiker

Margaret McMahill

Marlo White


Teasley MS

Sarah Bell

Summer McRoy

Sophia Melbourne

Madison Smith


Woodstock MS

Mia Levy

Kylie Mudie


CCSD Recognizes Six Regional, 3 State Winners for Social Studies Fair!

Category : CCSD

Etowah High School freshman Steven Naliwajka won Best in Class at the State Social Studies Fair after winning first at Regionals for his projects in the Sociology/Social Psychology division.

Fifth-grader Abigail Scott with her History division project made Liberty Elementary School history by being the first student to win first at the Regional Social Studies Fair and advance to State competition.

Six Cherokee County School District projects submitted by students won at the Georgia Council for the Social Studies Northwest Regional Fair, with three going on to earn top honors at the State Fair!


The competition began locally, with 95 projects entered by schools into the CCSD Social Studies Fair.  Twenty-two projects placed first, earning those students the opportunity to compete at Regionals.


Six of CCSD’s projects won first place at Regionals and advanced to State:

  • Steven Naliwajka, Etowah HS, Sociology/Social Psychology;
  • Abigail Scott, Liberty ES, History;
  • Vandy Reddish, Mill Creek MS, History;
  • Benjamin Lowry, Sequoyah HS, History;
  • Grace McPherson, Teasley MS, History; and,


    • Paula Fuentes
  • Paula Fuentes, Rachel Heiter and Cheyenne Mitchell, Woodstock HS, Anthropology.

Woodstock High School seniors Rachel Heiter, left, and Cheyenne Mitchell show off their ribbons for earning Best in Class at the State Social Studies Fair after placing first at Regionals with their Anthropology division entry. Not pictured: classmate Paula Fuentes, who partnered with them on the project.

Of those six, three placed first – “Best in Class”: Steven Naliwajka, Best in Class III; Vandy Reddish, Best in Class I; and Paula Fuentes, Rachel Heiter and Cheyenne Mitchell, Best in Class IV.

The Regional and State winners and CCSD first-place winners will be honored by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board’s June 21 meeting.

The other CCSD first-place winners to be recognized are:

  • Benjamin Lowry

    Zoe Wood and Dakota Youngblood, Avery ES, History;

  • Alena Ezell, Bascomb ES, Sociology/Social Psychology;
  • Caitlyn Bergey and Jessica Fedak, Creekview HS, Political Science;
  • Dariana Blanton and Erin Church, Creekview HS, Political Science;
  • Nathan Ussery and Coleman Wylie, Dean Rusk MS, History;
  • Dakota Chen, E.T. Booth MS, Sociology/Social Psychology;
  • Anthony Hughes, Etowah HS, Economics;
  • Ben Willett, Etowah HS, History;
  • Grace McPherson

    Daniel Balboa, Freedom MS, History;

  • Kylie Saunders and Landon Saunders, Freedom MS, Economics;
  • Luke Barber, Indian Knoll ES, Economics;
  • Brooks Moore and Graeme Navarro, Johnston ES, History;
  • Patrick Berutich and Dylan Mullen, Liberty ES, History;
  • Ryan Martinez and Liam Rowan, Mountain Rd ES, History;
  • Brayley Clark and Ragan Martin, River Ridge HS, History; and,
  • Vandy Reddish

    Madeline Hill, Sixes ES, History.


River Ridge HS Student Wins Top Reading Award!

Category : CCSD

Grace Pfohl

A Cherokee County School District student has been named the top high school reader in the State!

River Ridge High School junior Grace Pfohl won first place and the title of Reader of the Year for the Secondary category (Grades 9-12) at the Georgia Reading Association’s State Competition.  Students are nominated for the award by a reading or English teacher based on the quality, quantity and variety of their reading.  Winners are selected from nominees based on the student’s essay and teacher’s letter of recommendation.

Grace is an active member of both the school’s Tome Society literacy club and the Reading Bowl Team, as well as a member of the Teen Advisory Board for the Sequoyah Regional Library System.

“This award recognizes Grace’s passion for reading and her continuing contributions to literary leadership,” Principal Darrell Herring said.

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


Sixteen CCSD Students Selected for Georgia Governor’s Honors Program!

Governors Honors students

Sixteen Cherokee County School District students have been selected for the competitive Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.

The four-week summer instructional program at Berry College for rising high school juniors and seniors is designed to provide students with academic, cultural and social enrichment “necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators and leaders.” Students live and study on the campus in Rome from June 17 to July 14.

Students apply for a specific area of study and are screened and interviewed locally and at the State level as part of the selection process for the prestigious program.

The CCSD students selected for this honor, with their area of study noted, are:

Cherokee HS
Jacqueline Johnson, Communicative Arts

Creekview HS
Adam Morrison, Theatre
Riley Ortega, Music
Nathanael Seman, Music

Etowah HS
Keirra Dodd, World Languages
Megan Oglesby, World Languages
Katherine Slacanin, Dance

River Ridge HS
Lillian Dammann, Social Studies
Alicia Mazzurra, Communicative Arts
Billie O’Bryant, Social Studies

Sequoyah HS
Brae Davies, Mathematics
Olivia Goss, Communicative Arts
Marko Petrovic, World Languages

Woodstock HS
Ella Elbeck, Science
Zakwan Khan, Social Studies
Eliza Ndow, Social Studies

They will be recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board at the Board’s meeting on Thursday.


CCSD High Schools Named to “Best High Schools” List!

US Best High Schools image

Four Cherokee County School District high schools have been named to U.S. News and World Report’s “Best High Schools” list… an increase from three last year!

Creekview, River Ridge, Sequoyah and Woodstock High Schools earned Silver Medal spots on the magazine’s prestigious list based on factors including academic performance, college readiness, graduation rates and success of disadvantaged students.  Only 5,900 of the country’s 20,500 public high schools were named to the list released today.

“We’re so proud of the hard work every day by our students and their families, our teachers and staff and our volunteers and partners, who together earned this national recognition for our schools and School District,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “We know we’re educating our community’s emerging generation with excellence, and it’s exciting and encouraging to be honored for those efforts.”

Creekview HS was ranked No. 1,302 in the country, with Sequoyah HS at No. 1,640, Woodstock HS at No. 1,655 and River Ridge HS at No. 1,773– all four within the top 10 percent of 20,500 U.S. public high schools.  Data for the rankings is based upon the 2015-16 school year, according to the publication.


Nine CCSD Graduating Seniors Earn Georgia Scholar Recognition!

photo of Georgia ScholarsNine Cherokee County School District graduating seniors have been recognized as 2018 Georgia Scholars – a top honor awarded by the State!

The Georgia Department of Education identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life with this prestigious title, which only 208 seniors statewide have earned this year. Georgia Scholars receive a special diploma seal.

CCSD’s honorees are: of Cherokee HS, Camryn Callaro, Lane Cannon; of Creekview HS, Alexandra Kaye, Andrew Reisinger, Lauren Scott; of River Ridge HS, Claire Chen; of Sequoyah HS, Patrick Ballance, Loren Cagle and Madeline Doerr.

Students who earn this recognition have carried exemplary high school course loads and performed excellently in all courses, and successfully participated in interscholastic, community and extra-curricular activities.

“Students receiving the Georgia Scholar recognition are truly well-rounded,” State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods said. “They’ve engaged in extracurriculars, worked hard in a broad range of academic subjects, served their communities and grown as leaders. A true education encompasses more than just the traditional ‘core’ subjects, and these students exemplify that.”

CCSD’s Georgia Scholars will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s May 17 meeting.


Freedom MS Student Places at Regional Spelling Bee, Heads to State!

Category : CCSD

Freedom MS Principal Sheila Grimes congratulates spelling bee champ Braden Flournoy after he won second place at the regional event.

A Cherokee County School District student placed at the regional spelling bee and now is headed to the State competition!

Freedom Middle School seventh-grader Braden Flournoy placed second at the Georgia Association of Educators’ District 2 regional event and advances to the State Spelling Bee on March 16 at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains.

Braden qualified for the regional competition by placing second at the Cherokee County School District Spelling Bee, sponsored by Georgia and Cherokee County Associations of Educators. Braden also placed second in last year’s CCSD spelling bee.

Every year, each CCSD elementary and middle school holds a spelling bee to select representatives for the countywide competition. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible for the Bee.

CCSD Recognizes Superintendent’s Key Scholars for 2018

CCSD Recognizes Superintendent’s Key Scholars for 2018

Cherokee High School junior Aaron Bell is the first student to be honored by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board during the Superintendent’s Key Scholar Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Woodstock High School.

The Cherokee County School District recognized 331 extraordinary high school juniors as Superintendent’s Key Scholars!

During the 13th Annual Superintendent’s Key Scholar Recognition Ceremony held on Tuesday, February 27, at Woodstock High School, these outstanding students were recognized for their scores achieved in October on the Grade 11 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The program was sponsored by Cobb EMC and LGE Community Credit Union.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates Key Scholars and their parents on the success being celebrated at the event.

“Your performance ranks you in the top 10% of students in the Nation, and we all are so proud of you!” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower told the Key Scholars. “You are academic leaders, and we look forward to seeing some of you next year earn recognition as National Merit Scholars for your exemplary scores. Congratulations also to all the families here tonight, as well to the teachers, counselors, administrators and everyone who makes an impact on your education and lives.”

The Key Scholar Program is a districtwide academic recognition plan that begins in elementary school. Select fourth- and fifth-grade students qualify for the nationally recognized Duke University TIP Talent Identification Program and receive recognition at their school’s year-end awards ceremonies.

Eligible seventh-graders then have the opportunity to take the PSAT through the Duke program, getting a head start on college-entrance exam preparation that usually begins in high school. Select students perform so well they earn State recognition and invitation to a special Duke University ceremony in Atlanta.

Cherokee County School District Chief Academic Officer Dr. Nicole H. Holmes opens the Superintendent’s Key Scholar Awards Ceremony, which began with the Presentation of Colors by the Woodstock High School Navy JROTC.

High school freshmen scoring at the 80th percentile or above and sophomores scoring at the 85th percentile or above on the PSAT receive a Certificate of Achievement at their school’s year-end awards ceremonies.

Students recognized Tuesday as Key Scholars are juniors who rank in the top 10% of students nationwide who took the PSAT exam in October. Each student received an embroidered “Key Scholar” letter-jacket patch and will be recognized again at their school’s year-end awards ceremony.

The final step in the program is National Merit Scholars, who are selected during students’ senior year. These academically outstanding students lead their classes as they march across the graduation stage wearing a National Merit Scholar gold medallion.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer welcomes students and families on behalf of the School Board.

Cobb EMC Director of Education and Community Relations Mark Justice shares sponsor remarks.

LGE Community Credit Union Business Development Officer Linda Coyle shares sponsor remarks.

Embroidered “Key Scholars” letter-jacket patches.

Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller and Key Scholars: Aaron Bell, Aaron Bell, Branden Blackwell, Sierra Blanton, Ethan Bolton, Jarrett Bowen, Regan Bristol, Amanda Budd, Ven Butler, Daniela Cardona, Logan Carroll, Hannah Dickinson, Ashley Grams, Jessica Green, Annabelle Greer, Hannah Hardman, Olivia Herrera, Brooke Hester, Rylee Holland, Sean Howell, Caitlyn Hughes, Riley Hultquist, Lillian Klein, Nikolas Lagesen, Isabelle Lindstrom, Carly Long, William McNutt, Gabriela Munera, Sally Noland, Chelsey Odendahl, Michael Page, Ali Ross, Melina Rowin, Gabriel Stuckey, Jessica Tabickman, Morgan Trusch, Andrew Volz, Olivia Wenclawiak, Somer Wheeler, Hunter Woodall, Addison Workman.

Creekview High School Key Scholars: Emily Andrews, Emily Andrews, Joseph Bester, Ann Blakey, Dalton Bobo, Annabella Boyle, Anna Brewer, Wyatt Brooks, Noah Buly, Dylan Burgess, Paige Cairns, Emily Dodge, Marissa Driggers, Bridget Duckworth, Parker England, Hannah Fitzgerald, Erin Franchini, Caroline Gibson, Nicholas Guerreso, Abby Haley, Hannah Harrell, Mackensie Hogan, Cameron Holbrook, Elise Holcomb, Claire Holman, Isabelle Hurdle, Leslie Iredell-Lyne, Margaret Johnson, Joshua Karcher, Hannah Kimber, Andrew Koopman, Luke Ledford, Jordan Lehman, Abigail Linihan, Bailey Loewe, Emily McGhee, Aubrey McGhee, Logan McGhee, Michael McTaggart, Alysa Miles, Samantha Motley, Rylie O’Connor, Joseph Olivares, Danielle Olivares, Kayla Owen, Victoria Padgett, Aden Paradis, Brooke Parker, Julia Pfitzner, Elliott Prather, Grayson Sanders, Hannah Schones, Jacob Schwarzman, Karson Scott, Nathanael Seman, Mattie Sisson, Abigail Smithwick, Brandon Solon, Rasheam Stanfield, Kyle Stanley, Noah Tetpon, Melissa Thomas, Daniela Trejo, Zachary Turner, Madeline Vorhies, Jacob Westberry, Garrett Yokley.

Etowah High School Principal Robert Horn and Key Scholars: Catherine Arra, Catherine Arra, Emma Aycock, Ian Ballantyne, Abigail Billings, Kieran Black, Madelief Bos, James Boudreau, Conor Bowen, Emily Buck, Amber Burke, Kevin Cainto, Abigail Cartwright, Gavin Collier, Julia Covington, Lance Crawford, Gunnar Duska, Kristin Dyson, Parker Eberly, Danielle Emefiele, Duncan Gandolfo, Taylor Glass, Jacob Hall, Alexa Hanna, Olivia Heck, Charles Hicks, Nicholas Holly, David Hootselle, Wangui Iruku, Allison Isbell, Zora Joyner, Jackson Keith, Capri Kelly, Phillip Le, Jacob Lowry, Piper Marcotte, Amber Martinez, Riley McCready, Arianna Medina, Zachary Meyers, Emma Modlinski, Cohen Nunes, Amie O’Brien, Christian Parker, Daytona Parks, Jacob Phipps, James Ramos, Rachel Ransom, Jeremy Ray, Kathryn Reed, Adin Reichstein, Victoria Ridgeway, Hayden Sagaas, Denis Selitskiy, Justin Sherrer, Karena Spratt, Ella Stewart, Paige Tallman, Chase Thomas, Jacob Vande Corput, Ryanne VanGalder, Jacob Walker, Ryan Waltman, Kalyn Wiley, Devon Williams, Gwenevere Wrye, Mary Susan Young, Lillian Zamorano.

River Ridge High School Principal Darrell Herring and Key Scholars: Davin Albritton, Davin Albritton, Jaeden Bennett, Paul Berent, Wyatt Bewley, Kora Brianas, Caroline Bulger, Lawson Campagna, Hailey Carter, Hadley Chandler, Blake Chumley, Carson Clements, Samantha Corley, Isabella Craig, Trinity Cunningham, Madelyn Denning, William Dodd, Caroline Gold, Ariel Haygood, Alec Hruby,  Andy Huynh, Lesley Johnston, Brayden Juliani, Phebe Kirby, Rishi Kotian, Gabriel Lemay, Katherine Lewis, Braelynn Lindberg, Ethan Losasso, Kathryn Lucero, Hailey Martin, Andrew McMath, Logan Medley, Ethan Meyer, Mary Martha Milcoff, William Moore, Averi Moore, Isabella Navarro, Samuel Norton, Billie O’Bryant, Jonathan O’Donnell, Kaitlyn O’Rourke, Callie Perkins, Grace Pfohl, Sydney Rush,  Kateri Thon, Hailey Weeg, Stephen Zelaya.

Sequoyah High School Principal Elliott Berman and Key Scholars: Natasha Ambriz-Villela, Natasha Ambriz-Villela, James Argo, Brandon Arrue, Caleb Ayan, Ishmael Bahena, Jerod Bayly, Hannah Becker, Samuel Bishop, Anthony Bognar, Madelyn Bruce, Thomas Brumbeloe, Alaina Carroll, Sarah Coltrain, Nyla Crayton, Brae Davies, Victoria Ergle, Daniel Ergle, Ian Faulkner, John Forbes, Max Frye, Shelby Geiger, Abrianna George, Mia Gonzalez, Laura Henderson, Madison Kovacs, Robert Lammens, Desmond Leake, Jacob Mason, Megan McElroy, Joshua Meyers, Elijah Moore, Timothy Muzik, Alana Neely, Sara New, Tatum Perry, Dylan Poulsen, Madison Reynolds, Brianna Saez, Marissa Schaaf, Emma Seeley, Emelia Sengstock, William Sikma, Grace Sinclair, Michael Skarbek, Isabella Swanson, Isabelle Torek, Stephanie Vogel, Ryan Wakefield, Therese Webb, Amelia Westmoreland.

Woodstock High School Principal Mark Smith and Key Scholars: Blake Adkins, Blake Adkins, Nimra Ahmad, Peyton Alexander, Kyrsten Brader, Taylor Bramblett, Erin Brand, Andrew Brandenburg, Malachi Brewer, Erin Brook, Anna Burnett, Elizabeth Byrne, Kyle Capozzi, Gregory Carroll, Ryan Cooney, Branson Cox, Bailey Dean, Brett Dougherty, Emma Duncan, Anna Fournaris, Jackson Franke, Matthew Garcia, Ayesha Gul, Katelyn Hartman, Megan Head, Alexandra Hegman, Kaitlyn Hovda, Andy Jiang, Roark Jones, Claire Keenum, Jacob Kish, Maeve Levreault-Lopez, Elizabeth Lively, Joseph Locher, Alex Lupsan, Kayla Mann, Drew Mathena, Jonathan McDowell, Timothy Miller, Maleia Miller, Anna Mitchell, Eliza Ndow, Jacob Onufrock, Kyle Pederson, Katelyn Provost, Michael Rehman, Bailey Rende, Everett Reynolds, Sam Rowe, Robert Schell, Gavin Smith, Mathew Suarez, Brynne Sumner, Katherine Thrift, Matthew Tressler, John Vaughan, Brooke Ventura, Ansley Whitfield, Brittany Williams, Aidan Witt, Craig Wydrinski, Maggie Zeigler.

Five Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists!

National Merit semi-finalists photosFive Cherokee County School District high school seniors today were named 2018 National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists!

They are: of Etowah HS, Joseph Young; of River Ridge HS, twin sisters, Claire and Irene Chen, and Simon Yang; of Woodstock, Preston Alsup.

“Congratulations to these extraordinary students, their families and their teachers!” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We are proud of your continued academic achievement on the path to college and career success. Our Merit Scholar semi-finalists are known for their accomplishments in the classroom and through extra-curricular and community activities, and we look forward to seeing them progress through this process… and, we hope, to earning scholarships!”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which oversees the prestigious competition, has named 16,000 semi-finalists, who were selected from a pool of 1.6 Million students based on outstanding 2016 PSAT scores. Less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors are named semi-finalists.

To be considered as a finalist, the students next will submit a detailed application noting their academic achievements, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors; an endorsement and recommendation from a high school official; and an essay. Students also must earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT performance.

The anticipated 15,000 finalists will compete for 7,500 scholarships worth about $32 million, which will be awarded in the spring.