CCSD Named a Top 10 Technology District in U.S. for 12th Time!

CCSD Named a Top 10 Technology District in U.S. for 12th Time!

The Cherokee County School District for the 12th time is in the nation’s “Top 10” of large school systems effectively using technology in education.

The honor recognizes results from the annual Digital School Districts Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. The survey compares public school districts nationwide and awards Top 10 rankings to those that fully integrate technology into the classroom, and throughout the system’s operations. With this year’s recognition, CCSD has made its 12th appearance in the Top 10 since 2004.

“Effectively using technology is a requirement for success in our world, and we’re focused on ensuring each of our students not only is engaged with technology, but also develops a sense of ownership through usage,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, noting he views technology as a valuable tool for every aspect of operations. “We set a goal to further embrace business technology to improve operations and have implemented successful new systems, with more on the horizon.”

The survey evaluates use of technology in areas including: integration of technology and curriculum and related professional development; infrastructure and networks; leadership and transparency in governance; operational improvements; strategic planning, data management and safety; and communications with students, parents, employees and the community at large.

“Technology is an essential tool for the transformation of education in our country,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education. “The Digital School Districts Survey helps districts measure progress toward transformation and I’m proud to recognize these districts and the work that is represented in their award. Congratulations to all of the award winners and great thanks to all who participated in the survey.”

Winners will be recognized at the National School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in Denver on Saturday.

“The school boards in these districts are recognized for utilizing technology solutions to make their work as a board more transparent and their district operations more efficient,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director & CEO, National School Boards Association. “Their accomplishments demonstrate that innovative approaches can be embraced by any district, regardless of its size or location.”

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. The Center provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insights to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.

Sixes ES Earns National Recognition for Digital Education!

Sixes Elementary School was named a Common Sense Certified School for Digital Citizenship this week by Common Sense, a national nonprofit organization dedicated “to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology.”

The school earned the recognition by preparing students to use digital media safely by avoiding dangers such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of these schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Jessica Lindl, Head of Common Sense Education. “Sixes Elementary School deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

Assistant Principal Clay Gunter and Media Specialist Kim George coordinated the school’s certification process.

Principal Cindy Crews

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School,” Principal Cindy Crews said. “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning.”

The school’s leadership will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the May 4 school board meeting.

Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship resources were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The free resources teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships and respecting creative copyright.

CCSD Media Specialist Wins State Intellectual Freedom Award!

A Cherokee County School District media specialist has won the 2017 Georgia Library Media Association Intellectual Freedom Award!

Amanda Graves

E.T. Booth Middle School Media Specialist Amanda Graves has won the prestigious honor, which recognizes an individual for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by the American Library Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association.

Ms. Graves earned her early childhood education degree from Brenau University and her masters of library and information science degree from Valdosta State University in 2012, where she received dual degrees in school media and public librarianship. In 2013, she began working for Cobb County’s school system, and this school year joined E.T. Booth Middle School, where she serves more than 1,700 students and 100-plus faculty and staff members.

She will be honored at the Georgia Library Media Association Summer Institute Conference in June in Peachtree City and will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the April 20 school board meeting.

Cherokee HS Media Specialist Named CCSD Media Specialist of the Year!

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:

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.


CCSD High School Senior Named 2016-17 Coca-Cola Scholar!

A Cherokee County School District high school senior has been named the winner of a prestigious national scholarship!

Isabelle Riddle of Sequoyah High School is 2016-17 Coca-Cola Scholar… one of only 150 students selected for this honor from 86,000 applications nationwide!

Isabelle Riddle

She has won a $20,000 college scholarship and will be honored in April at the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s 29th annual Scholars Banquet in Atlanta. Isabelle is one of only five Scholars from Georgia this year.

“A Coca-Cola Scholar not only exemplifies superior leadership, service, and academics — they are change agents, positively affecting others in their community,” said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “These extraordinary humans are already society’s coffers with bolder action, more amazing technology, bigger advancements, healthier futures, and exponential possibility.”

Winners are selected based on their outstanding leadership, academic achievements, and dedication to their community.

Isabelle, who recently was named the STAR Student for Cherokee County based on her exemplary academic performance, also is her school’s Student Delegate to the Cherokee County School Board.

A student leader, she has served as National Honor Society President and Student Government Treasurer and was selected for the Model Atlanta Regional Commission and Teen Leadership Cherokee, for which she earned the Most Outstanding Leader Award. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction and has won the PSAT Academic Achievement Award and an Academic Letter.

Isabelle is active in her community and volunteers for HFDA Gives Back (a service club she founded) and MUST Ministries as a Summer Lunch Coordinator and won a grant for her “Doggie Dash” Service Project. An accomplished dancer, Isabelle has won awards from the Georgia State PTA Reflections Contest and One National Dance Competition.

In addition to Isabelle’s honor, Woodstock High School senior A.J. Cox was named one of only 250 Regional Finalists nationwide.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers across America and The Coca Cola Company, is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the United States.

CCSD Recognizes Record Number of Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Creekview HS junior Brayden Dodge is congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.

The Cherokee County School District annually recognizes outstanding high school juniors as Superintendent’s Key Scholars, and 332 students earned the honor for the 2016-17 – a record total!

Each Key Scholar receives a letter jacket patch.

Each of these outstanding students scored at the 90th percentile or above on the Grade 11 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and received a newly-redesigned “Key Scholar” letter jacket patch during the 12th Annual Superintendent’s Key Scholar Recognition Ceremony held Tuesday evening at Woodstock High School. The ceremony and reception for students and their families was sponsored by Credit Union of Georgia and Cobb EMC, longtime CCSD community partners.

Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs Susan McCarthy introduces Mark Justice, who spoke on behalf of event co-sponsor Cobb EMC.

Jason Blakey gives remarks on behalf of event co-sponsor Credit Union of Georgia.

“To our distinguished students, you are here this evening as academic leaders,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said during the ceremony. “You have the potential to continue your extraordinary success as high school seniors, in your college pursuits and, eventually, in your chosen careers. I am proud of you. We also extend our congratulations this evening to your families, 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 Practice SAT 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. Some of you received this honor when you were in middle school.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer greets the audience at the Superintendent’s Key Scholars recognition event.

For high school students, the Key Scholar Program focuses on the PSAT. Freshmen scoring at the 80th percentile or above and sophomores scoring at the 85th percentile or above 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. The final step in the Key Scholar 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.

Please see the list below for the names of recipients from each high school.

Cherokee HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Cherokee High School: Jakob Allen, Jordan Ariano, Mary Arntzen, Jalen Austin, Stephanie Bradley, Camryn Callaro, Lane Cannon, Emily Costello, Joshua DeLuna, Brittany Duck, Emily Endozo, Ashlee Floyd, Leah Garrison, Madison Glattli, Chaolin Hancock, Amanda Harden, Payton Hodges, Owen Hutchins, Katherine Johnson, Nicole Johnson, Kyle Kumar, Alec Letsinger, Camryn Lopusnak, Travis Main, Brian Martin, Caroline Maurer, Morgan McAdoo, Alejandra Medina, Camryn Mullin, Cameron Pace, James Perdue, Gunnar Phillips, Madison Rodriguez, Keegan Sigler, Mark Solano, Madison Stoner, Tamia Styles, Kerry Trusch, Griffin Turcotte, Katie Vinterella, Mika White, Alexander Whitman, Alexander Wyman

Creekview HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Creekview High School: John Abdinoor, Katherine Allen, Nathan Blankenship, Tori Booth, Davis Bostick, Addison Bralick, Jessica Budwitz, Markel Calonge Perez, Annabelle Camp, Caitlin Canfield, Kennedy Cater, Austin Darnell, Jack DellaPenna, Garrett Dempsey, Paul DiCicco, Brayden Dodge, Kristen Farmer, Justin Fischman, Sydney Foster, Tate Foster, Dylan Frausto, Avery Gleason, Bryce Goodwyn, Bailey Hall, Megan Halverson, Joey Hargadon, Zoie Hart, Eryn Hasty, Chloe Helton, Kelsey Henson, Frank Homiller, Haley Jane, Alexandra Kaye, Arlen Lee, Samuel LeFebvre, Zoe Love, Kyle Mallett, Kyle Mello, Matthew Oswald, Nathan Parker, Braden Peterson, Paige Poulos, Jonah Pryor, Andrew Reisinger, Mitchell Robinson, Michaela Rushing, Lauren Scott, Jonathan Shea, Ashton Sheriff, Malcolm Smith, Sydney Smith, Davis Tangeman, William Touchstone, Geena Vetula, Gracen Wallace, Daniel Watson

Etowah HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Etowah High School: Katherine Adams, Ricardo Alvarado-Digiulo, Kendyl Behrens Madalyn Billings, Katie Bishop, Nazareth Brown, Katie Chandler, Joshua Colby, Mary Cory, Melanie Coulter, Zachary D’Aquino, MacCallum Diehl, Kenneth Donaldson, Kyle Dorsey, Cameron Elliott, Jon Firchow, Austin Gammill, Timothy Gatto, Andrea Geiger, Nathaniel Haas, Madeline Hamby, Emily Hartley, Spencer Hayes, Anna Henderson, Abigail Hogsten, Rachel Hollingshead, Jacob Hootselle, Olivia Hopkins, Elizabeth Hugenberg, Thomas Humphrey, Justice Hunt, Phillip Hutton, Trevor Jenkins, Brendan Kapcsos, Jenna Klein, Jackson Lambert, Manuel Lopez, John Martin, William McGonigle, Maris McMullen, Michael Mills, Zachary Mnich, Trace Mock, Andrew Morawa, Noah Morrissey, Nickolas Nagy, Emily Nelson, William O’Neil, Adam Parbhoo, Megan Poehlein, Kennedy Pulliam, Nadia Qutob, Michael Riley, Andino Rochon, Jacob Rutherfoord, Kailey Shaw, Jared Shick, Skyler Shuman, Nicholas Slacanin, Kara Stanley, Emma Stephens, Kathleen Tafoya, Gabriel Thornburgh, Jacob Tiberio, Elizabeth Tillery, Joshua Tipton, Ethan Underwood, Hannah Veith, Peter Voytek, Sean Waldron, Clair Weathers, Jacob Weitkamp, Diane White, Matthew Whitlow, Kyle Wilson, Samuel Wysocki, Melody Yates, Emily Young, Jonathan Young, Joseph Young

River Ridge HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

River Ridge High School: Kublai Anders, David Bailey, Julia Boll, Taylor Boozer, Emily Broomhall, Danielle Brown, Sofia Cardona-Diaz, Hsin-Huei Chen, Hsin-Ling Chen, Leah Choi, Graciella Elaine, Mary Kate Flaig, Aiden Gohlke, Emma Harrison, Marissa Henager, Andrew Herring, Katherine Hopkins, Carson Kantoris, Mukthi Kaup, Callie Lambert, Emily Leaming, Mason Martin, Isabella Mazzurra, Jordan McNally, Jack Mezzacapo, Bethany Norman, Brooke O’Donnell, Stephanie Paulson, Kyla Perez, Ana Rivadeneira, Lauren Ross, William Stauts, Lauren Talele, Andrew Winters, Nicole Woods, Jiun-Jie Yang, Robert Zell

Sequoyah HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Sequoyah High School: Ashley Adams, Alyssa Barone, Madeleine Bends, Allyson Bethke, Joyce Brumbelow, Jackson Bryan, Noah Butler, Alyssa Cagle, Theodore Campbell, Lauren Cato, Grace Collier, Rawlin Cook, Caleb Crayton, Zachary Davis, Madeline Doerr, Leah Eubanks, Claudia Evans, Kristina Friedrichs, Alyssa Giardina, Daniel Haugen, Kaitlyn Jeong, Justin Lingerfelt, Benjamin Lowry, Brandon Mandoeng, Logan McIntosh, Mollie McNeil, Cade Ormsby, Ashley Painter, Lauren Pfitzenmayer, Katie Pitner, Griffin Pizzano, Zoe Quarles, Reece Richardson, Andre Rutalemwa, Emily Sommer, Michael Stone, Logan Struchtemeyer, Annalise Tucker, Victoria Turk, Corinne Wallick, Katelyn Warnick

Woodstock HS 2017 Superintendent’s Key Scholars

Woodstock High School: Grace Abernathy, Christian Adams, Preston Alsup, Michael Bargeron, Katelynn Basford, Eva-Michelle Belikova, Taylor Birke, Maverick Borges, Jonathan Bryant, Lauren Bryant, Elizabeth Burgess, Isabella Canales, Delaney Caslow, Virginia Cason, Colton Clanton, Evan Cowart, Griffin Cowart, Mickhala Delgado, Griffin Dominguez, Adrian Escamilla, Hannah Everest, Ivana George, Malcolm Green, Emily Hartman, Sarah Head, Braden Heimerl, Rachel Heiter, Matthew Hitchcock, Zeba Huque, David Jackson, Alexia John, Vladimir Juarez-Zayas, Jacob Krumrey, Patrick Kump, Halle Lindsey, Julia Litrel, McKinley Mallory, Dylan Mason, Michael McDowell, Sidney Mesumbe, Jacob Meuse, Ian Murphy, Samantha Murtha, Chloe Norrell, Carissa Pangilinan, Toral Patel, Macy Pfaffenbichler, Katherine Relick, Abigail Rich, Juan Rincon, Yolimar Rivera-Hermida, Anna Rives, Benjamin Ruff, Sebastian Russell, Christian Schnepf, Jessica Senquiz, Gwendolyn Rose Setlock, Nathan Shear, Taylor Shephard, Riordan Shina, Margaret Skeen, Murphy Stark, Oleksandra Stogniy, Jordan Surratt, Ethan Taylor, Emma Tilt, Elijah Trepper, Isabella Vahle, Brian Walker, Anna Weissel, Brendan Wimmer, Samantha Wolfe, Ezra Yott, Thomas Zamorski


CCSD High Schools Earns State Recognition for AP Programs!

Category : CCSD

Cherokee County School District’s high schools all have earned State recognition for outstanding Advanced Placement (AP) programs!

Each of CCSD’s six traditional high schools has earned recognition from the State as a 2017 AP Honor School for commendable student performance and participation on AP exams. CCSD’s high schools all have been named to the State’s AP Honor List each of the last seven years.

“This recognition is a testament to the extraordinary dedication of our AP students and teachers,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We are so proud of these students for challenging themselves with these rigorous courses and equally impressed by our AP teachers’ ability to successfully instruct them on a college level. These courses can earn college credit for our students, which we know their parents appreciate, but they also expand their knowledge and, as research shows, better prepare them for college and career success.”

Schools can earn AP Honor School recognition in as many as six categories. CCSD high schools earned recognition in all four categories for which its schools were eligible. All of CCSD’s high schools continued their presence on the AP STEM Schools and AP STEM Achievement Schools lists, with all for the first time being named AP Humanities Schools (an increase from four schools last year) and four schools won a place on the Merit School list (an increase from three schools last year).

AP Merit Schools: Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS and Woodstock HS
AP Merit Schools are those with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50 percent of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher. There are 69 Merit Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP STEM Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP STEM Schools are those with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A). There are 204 AP STEM Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP STEM Achievement Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP STEM Achievement Schools are those with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses, and at least 40 percent of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher. There are 128 AP STEM Achievement Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP Humanities Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP Humanities Schools are those with students testing in all of the following AP courses: at least one ELA course, two social sciences courses, one fine arts course and one world language course. There are 149 AP Humanities Schools in Georgia for 2017.

CCSD was one of 10 school districts in Georgia recently named to the national AP District Honor Roll in 2016, its fourth consecutive year to earn national distinction for its AP participation and achievement. With a passage rate of 70% among the 4,784 tests administered in the spring of 2016, CCSD exceeds the State average of 58% and the National average of 57%.

AP in Georgia
The AP program in Georgia is 16th in the nation for the percentage of students earning the highest AP exam scores (3, 4, and 5) and is one of just 17 states to exceed the national average. Georgia has seen a 7.7 percentage point increase since 2006 in the percentage of graduates scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam.

AP/College Board
AP courses and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP courses are one of several ways Georgia students can access college-level learning opportunities while in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams are often eligible to receive college credit.

CCSD School Wins First Place in National Middle School Academic Bowl State Championships!

Celebrating their win are, from left to right, Cal Pace, Justin Bolsen, Sean Yates, Captain Joseph Satterfield, Er’el Moyal, Coach Dr. Mark Nazemzadeh, Jordan Moyal and Hampton Barrineau.

A Cherokee County School District team won first place in the National Academic Quiz Tournament Middle School State Championship!

Creekland Middle School’s team earned the title by remaining undefeated, 10-0, through the competition between 43 teams on Saturday in Gwinnett County.

Team members Captain Joseph Satterfield and Hampton Barrineau, Justin Bolsen, Er’el Moyal, Jordan Moyal, Cal Pace and Sean Yates are coached by teachers Dr. Mark Nazemzadeh and Eli Rollman.

This achievement follows the team’s successful sweep of first and second place at the regional Georgia Academic Team Association competition and its win of CCSD’s Annual Middle School Academic Bowl. The team’s sixth-graders last summer placed fourth at the National competition.

Etowah HS Selected for Second New State Diploma Seal!

Etowah High School drama students prepare for a performance; participation in extra-curricular arts activities is a requirement to earn the new Diploma Seal.

Etowah High School has been approved for a second State-approved diploma seal!

The school successfully applied to the Georgia Department of Education for authorization to issue the Fine Arts Seal to eligible graduating seniors beginning this school year.

This accomplishment is in addition to the International Skills Diploma Seal the school earned approval for last school year along with Cherokee HS and Woodstock HS.

Etowah High School art students participate in a related extra-curricular event, which is among the required activities to earn the new Diploma Seal.

Jessica Booth, Fine Arts Program Specialist with the Georgia DOE, said the committee tasked with reviewing seal requests “was very impressed with [Etowah’s] application.”

Students at approved high schools can earn the seal by completing: a Georgia Fine Arts Pathway (at least three fine arts courses), a creative industry focus course, at least two fine arts extra-curricular activities, and experiences that foster fine arts mastery including at least 20 hours of art-related community service and a senior capstone project on their experiences.

The Seal, according to the Georgia DOE, “is a signal to employers and higher education institutions that a student is prepared to participate in the creative economy.”

“We’re proud to have earned this additional seal of approval to further recognize some of our most creative students,” Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’ve long been a leader in creating career learning and industry certification programs with of goal of offering our students every advantage possible, and this new honor builds upon that success.”

Etowah High School band students present a concert; art, band, chorus and drama are among the fine arts courses offered at the school that qualify students for the new Diploma Seal.

Etowah High School chorus students participate in a master workshop with a guest conductor.

Film classes at Etowah High School are one of the creative industry courses that count toward the Diploma Seal’s requirements.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Wins International Organization’s Award for STEM Education!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy has received an international organization’s top honor for excellence in technology and engineering education!

The school has been named the Georgia winner of the 2017 Program Excellence Award presented by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and Paxton-Patterson.

Principal Joey Moss

“Through the review process, it was recognized that our school’s technology and engineering education program is truly exemplary among other programs in our state,” Principal Joey Moss said. “Our students are the ones who will have richer lives as a result. Not many endeavors are more important than helping students become technologically literate and learn more about the world around them.”

ITEEA praised the school for the “tremendous amount of work and dedication that is required to design, maintain, and improve quality programs like yours.”
This news follows two consecutive years of top accolades for the school: in 2015, it earned the prestigious State STEM Certification… only the 11th elementary school in Georgia to earn this commendation, and the first in Cherokee County; and last year, the school was recognized as a finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

“Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is an outstanding example of innovative academic school choice,” Dr. Hightower said, noting the school is one of CCSD’s six award-winning Cherokee Academies open to all CCSD elementary school students. “Not only does Clark Creek soar like its RedHawk mascot among schools statewide, these achievements are especially remarkable given its Title I status due to the economic challenges many of its students and their families face. We’re so proud of this continued success!”

Principal Moss said the support of the entire school community — including business partners — made the ITEEA recognition possible, and she especially appreciates the efforts of Teresa Bailey, the school’s Odyssey Lab teacher, who prepared the award application and fifth-grade teacher Cindy Reeves.

Teresa Bailey

Cindy Reeves

Ms. Bailey and Ms. Reeves will join Principal Moss in presenting at the ITEEA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas from March 16-18, 2017, and they will be recognized at the Conference’s Program Excellence Ceremony. They will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower at the April 20 School Board meeting.