CCSD School Wins Prestigious Georgia School Bell Award!

CCSD School Wins Prestigious Georgia School Bell Award!

OGES logo The Cherokee County School District continues its Georgia School Bell Award-winning streak with Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy earning the prestigious honor for 2017!

The Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals presents the distinguished Award to 10 schools in Georgia each year in recognition of outstanding curriculum and organizational leadership initiatives… this is the seventh consecutive year that at least one CCSD school has been honored.

GAESP logo

Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy, led by Principal Penny Valle, earned the award for her program, “Anchor Standards.” The selection committee selects exemplary initiatives that result in positive change and demonstrate strong involvement of staff, students, parents and community.

“Anchor Standards” is a school-wide initiative through which teachers identified specific learning goals for each grade level, subject and grading period to be prepared for, tracked and updated through collaboration within Professional Learning Communities teacher groups. Administrators, community partners, volunteers and parents all play a role in the program’s success, and a Data Room provides a place to review results and talk strategy.

Principal Penny Valle

“We continually analyze the impact of prioritizing standards and aligning the targeted content and language objectives to show student mastery of key concepts and skills,” Principal Valle said. “So far, the results indicate significant student achievement growth in math and reading due to the implementation and focus on anchor standards.”

The school will be formally recognized and presented with the Award at the Association’s Fall Principals’ Conference in Savannah, and they will be recognized by the Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools and School Board at the School Board Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.

“We’re so proud of Oak Grove and Principal Valle for earning this impressive recognition in honor of their work to continuously improve classroom instruction,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Digging into data gives our teachers a better understanding of each individual child’s learning needs — where each needs more help or more challenges – and this impressive initiative does just that. Congratulations to the entire school community, as everyone played a role in this success, and their efforts and care are much appreciated!”

Recent past CCSD winners are: 2016, Bascomb ES; 2015, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy and Woodstock ES; 2014, Canton ES STEM Academy; 2013, Free Home ES; 2012, Liberty ES; 2011, Oak Grove ES.


Eight CCSD Schools Named National Beta Schools of Merit

The E.T. Booth Middle School Beta Club last school year organized a Veterans Day dinner for veterans in the community and their families.

Eight Cherokee County School District schools have been named 2017 National Beta Schools of Merit.

Cherokee, Creekview and Sequoyah High Schools and Creekland, Dean Rusk, E.T. Booth, Freedom and Mill Creek Middle Schools earned this recognition by supporting the youth service organization on their campuses.

National Beta Club logoNational Beta Club, which is the largest nonprofit educational youth organization in the nation, includes Senior clubs for students in grades 9-12 and Junior clubs for students in grades 4-8. Its mission is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students.”

The Schools of Merit honor recognizes schools’ “dedication to academic excellence, leadership development and commitment to celebrating students’ achievements,” according to Bob Bright, chief executive officer of the National Beta Club.

The schools were recognized this week at the 2017 National Beta Convention in Orlando, Fla.

“We want every student to graduate with excellent academic preparation to succeed in college and career, and we also want them to develop strong character,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Offering Beta Clubs in our schools is one of the ways we grow leadership skills and a passion for community service in our students.”

The Superintendent and School Board will recognize these schools at the Aug. 17, 2017 School Board meeting.


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.


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.


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.