Four CCSD Schools Honored for Outstanding Academic Performance!

Four CCSD Schools Honored for Outstanding Academic Performance!

Clayton Elementary School Principal Abbey Philpot, center right, and her teachers celebrate the school’s Gold Award for Greatest Gains announced today by the Governor’s Office.

Four Cherokee County School District schools have been honored by Gov. Nathan Deal for outstanding academic performance!

Clayton Elementary School earned a top Gold Award in the “Greatest Gains” ratings, which recognize only 139 schools statewide that earned a three-year average CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) Progress Score that ranks in at least the 93rd percentile.

Sequoyah High School earned Silver in “Greatest Gains,” and Bascomb Elementary and Woodstock Middle earned Bronze.

Bascomb Elementary also earned Bronze in the “Highest Performance” ratings, which recognize only 142 schools statewide that have earned a three-year average CCRPI Achievement Score that ranks in at least the 93rd percentile.

“Congratulations to the educators and administrators in Georgia’s award-winning schools who have exceeded expectations in preparing their students,” Gov. Deal said in his awards announcement today. “By implementing the best methods for teaching young minds, educators at Highest Performing and Greatest Gains schools are going above and beyond to help their students develop the skills needed for future success.”

This is the third consecutive year for Sequoyah HS and Woodstock MS to be honored, and the second for Bascomb ES.

Winners receive a certificate to display at their school. The Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools will recognize CCSD’s winners at the Dec. 14 School Board meeting.

“These teachers and leaders give 110% every day… and it’s not for Gold Awards or other glory, but to help their students be as successful as possible,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re so proud of the academic achievement and progress that led to this recognition, and are thankful for the parents and partners who support us and work with us to continually improve teaching and learning.”

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CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Category : CCSD

monarch butterfly

A Cherokee County School District teacher has been named the Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy Discovery Science Lab teacher Karen Garland has won the state title and a $1,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The award, made possible with funding from The Environmental Resources Network, is given annually to one third- through fifth-grade public or private school teacher in Georgia who demonstrates exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences.

Karen Garland

Ms. Garland will use the grant to begin the “Campaigning for Pollinators” project, which was inspired by her students’ idea to convert a monoculture of grass outside their school into a healthy habitat for pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

“Clark Creek Elementary is dedicated to fostering all students’ innate curiosity by empowering them to be independent problem-solvers through a variety of opportunities,” Ms. Garland said. “Through this approach, students see how classroom subjects relate to the real world.”

Through the project, students will design the garden, plant native perennials and record the species observed to a citizen science database. Students will share the responsibilities of watering, weeding, and gathering data. A field guide of butterfly host and nectar plants will be created for use in the media center. As part of the school’s STEM Day in May, students will grow and distribute milkweed (the only host plant for monarch butterflies) and educational brochures to the community.

“We love that Mrs. Garland’s project is student-driven. Third-graders saw butterflies flying overhead, but they never stopped since there was nothing there for them to eat or drink,” said Linda May, DNR Environmental Outreach Coordinator. “The students understood the importance of pollinators and wanted to help, so they thought of ways to provide suitable habitat at their school.”

The judges were impressed by the project’s cross-curricular creativity, student collaboration across grade levels and in-kind donations. The project also will be funded with donations from Lowe’s, Cherokee County Master Gardeners, Save Our Monarchs and Monarchs Across Georgia.

Ms. Garland will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Nov. 16 Board meeting.

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Etowah HS Drama Students Win Region, State Honors!

Category : CCSD

Etowah High School drama students earned top honors at Region and State One Act Play competition!

 

Etowah High School drama students earned top honors at Region and State competition!

Seniors Jenna Klein and Adam Parbhoo were named Best Actress and Best Actor at the regional 7AAAAAAA One Act Play event, and went on to be named to the State’s All Star Cast.

Senior Brandon Huynh was named to the Region’s All Star Cast, and the school also won Best Tech and Best Ensemble honors at Regions for its performance of “Radium Girls.”  Their teacher is Charlotte Forrest.

Jenna Klein

Adam Parbhoo

Brandon Huynh

 


Creekview HS JROTC Raiders Win State Championship!

From left to right, front row: Manager Amber Walker, Natalie Sutherland, Tera Yeager, Bianca Tupman, Assistant Commander Jessica Hankin; back row: Warren Teachworth, Commander Thomas Musgrave, Aaron Freeman, Alex Godfrey, Jacob Schwarzman, Ryan Lamazares, Cole Reece, Manager Bailey Hall, and team coach, JROTC instructor First Sgt. Greg Anderson. Not pictured: Audrey Rupert.

The Creekview High School Army JROTC Program earned first place at the Georgia State Raider Championships!

The competition to determine the “best of the best” in Georgia was hosted in October by Spalding High School. Georgia has 12 JROTC Regions, each with 10 schools, and every Region sent its top three teams to the competition, based on their Region State Qualifying Competition. Creekview HS was the region winner.

Creekview HS JROTC instructor First Sgt. Greg Anderson coaches the team for the CrossFit-style competition — a six-hour series of athletic events, but with cadets completing all events as a team rather than as individuals.

Students on this year’s team, upon graduation, will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, University of Georgia and University of North Georgia, and will be serving in the United States Marine Corps, the United States Army, Army Reserves, and Georgia Army National Guard.

Team members are: Team Commander Thomas Musgrave, Assistant Commander Jessica Hankin, Alex Godfrey, Warren Teachworth, Tera Yeager, Natalie Sutherland, Cole Reece, Ryan Lamazares, Bianca Tupman, Audrey Rupert, Jacob Schwarzman and Aaron Freeman.

The team will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s Nov. 16 meeting.

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CCSD Honored with 16 State Awards for Public Relations!

Category: Photography – Gold Award, “Daddy’s Home” Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

The Cherokee County School District won a record 16 awards from the Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA) including three “Best in State” top honors!

The Annual Publications, Photography & Electronic Media Contest recognizes outstanding work produced by Georgia public schools, school systems, post-secondary institutions, educational agencies or education-related associations.  The  winners were announced at the Association’s recent Annual Conference.

Category: Photography – Silver Award, “Hugs & High Fives” Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

“Our School District would not be as successful as it is today without our strong commitment to communications and community engagement,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “We’re honored to be recognized for the work we do each day to keep the public informed and look forward to further improving our connections with our community.”

The award-winning staff members will be recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board at the Nov. 16  meeting of the School Board.

Category: Crisis Communications

BEST IN CATEGORY & Gold Award

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Category: Marketing Campaign

BEST IN CATEGORY & Gold Award, CCSD Ed SPLOST Informational Campaign

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Category: Social Media

BEST IN CATEGORY & Gold Award

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications
  • Penny Dempsey, Facilitator, Communications, Office of Communications

Category: Annual Report

Gold Award

  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Category: Electronic Media

Silver Award, “To Close or Not to Close? Inclement Weather” Video

  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications
  • Brandon Grummer, Teacher, Etowah High School
  • John Carter, Assistant Principal, Teasley Middle School

Category: Excellence in Writing

Gold Award, “Teacher Appreciation Day”

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications

Silver Award, “Back to School”

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications

Category: Internet Web Site

Gold Award

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications
  • Bobby Blount, Chief Information Officer, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Karla Tipton, Supervisor, Technology Support Services, Office of Technology & Information Services

Category: Special Event

Gold Award, “2017 Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration”

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Penny Dempsey, Facilitator, Communications, Office of Communications

Gold Award, “Partner of the Year & Volunteer of the Year”

  • Barbara P. Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Communications
  • Penny Dempsey, Facilitator, Communications, Office of Communications

Category: Special Purpose Publication

Silver Award, CCSD FY18 Budget

  • Kenneth Owen, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Financial Management
  • Marjorie DeFrank, Director, Financial Management, Office of Financial Management
  • Mindy Woosley, Supervisor, Accounting & Budgets, Office of Financial Management
  • Tina Farmer, Director, School Nutrition, Office of Financial Management
  • Shannon Nolan, Supervisor, Purchasing, Printshop and Warehouse, Office of Financial Management
  • Connie Henderson, Coordinator, Payroll, Office of Financial Management
  • Jenna Williams, Coordinator, Financial Compliance & Reporting, Office of Financial Management
  • Tammie Hunter, Administrative Assistant, Office of Financial Management

Bronze Award, “First Day Facts”

  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Category: Newsletter/Newspaper

Gold Award, “Connection Points”

  • Bobby Blount, Chief Information Officer, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Karla Tipton, Supervisor of Technology Support Services, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Debbie Childress, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Robby Carmichael, Director of Information Technology, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Esther Brenneman, Facilitator of Instructional Technology, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Derek Brock, Facilitator of Technology Support Services, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Matt Roper, Facilitator of Technology Support Services, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Chris Saxon, Supervisor of Technology Filed Services, Office of Technology & Information Services
  • Christina Clayton, Supervisor of Digital Learning, Office of Curriculum and Instruction

Gold Award, “District Delegate”

  • Penny Dempsey, Facilitator, Communications, Office of Communications

Category: Photography

Gold Award, “Daddy’s Home”

  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Silver Award, “Hugs & High Fives”

  • Carrie McGowan, Supervisor, Strategic Planning, Community Relations and Publications, Office of Communications

Woodstock HS Earns Prestigious State STEM Certification!

Category : CCSD

STEM Georgia logoWoodstock High School is the first high school in the Cherokee County School District to earn prestigious State STEM Certification… and only the 12th high school in all of Georgia!

A Georgia Department of Education State STEM Certification Team visited the school Wednesday to make the final determination as to whether the school had achieved the high standards required for the elite designation. The Team unanimously gave the school its seal of approval.

“The certification committee could not stop praising the efforts of Woodstock High School and the opportunities our students have to be part of such a rich experience,” Principal Mark Smith said.

Woodstock High School is the first high school and only the second school in CCSD, following Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, to earn this distinction.

“For Woodstock High School, this is the culmination of several years’ worth of planning and implementation on the part of our teachers, parents, business partners, and students,” Principal Smith said of the accomplishment. “Moving forward, this will allow our students who choose to follow one of our STEM Pathways to be officially recognized by the State as having completed a certified STEM Pathway.”

The path to State STEM certification is a complex, multi-year process requiring strong evidence of meeting and exceeding standards in areas such as math and science instruction, technology integration, teacher collaboration, STEM competitions, and business partnerships.

Principal Smith and the school will be recognized for earning this State honor by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s Nov. 16 School Board meeting.

“This is an amazing accomplishment that the entire Cherokee County community can be proud of, and for which so many deserve kudos and thanks for their efforts and support,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We knew that Woodstock’s team was leading the charge on high school STEM education, and this recognition is an extraordinary validation that we’re on the right path in preparing students for the STEM careers of today and tomorrow. The lessons learned through this process have evolved into best practices that all of our schools can adopt. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!”


CCSD Improves Performance, Exceeds State CCRPI Average!

CCRPI results chart

The Cherokee County School District for the sixth consecutive year has improved results and exceeded the State’s average College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) score, which annually rates student academic achievement and progress!

The School District’s 2016-17 CCRPI average, released today by the Georgia Department of Education, is 81.8, up from 81.6, and tops the statewide average of 75. Scores at all three levels of CCSD schools – elementary, middle and high – surpass State performance; only one CCSD school scores below 70, with a 67 – a decrease from three schools last year, and five schools scored above 90 – an increase from three schools last year.

“We’re so proud of our students, teachers and staff, parents and partners for the incredible dedication required to realize significant gains in achievement and progress,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Making the needle move in this complicated formula is extremely challenging, especially as such ratings don’t fully reflect the advancements accomplished daily by our most at-risk students and their tireless teachers. We support the State DOE’s plans to further improve the accuracy of this index, as we work together to ‘educate the emerging generation’ for college and career readiness.”

Data used to calculate CCRPI scores, including Georgia Milestones test results and graduation rates, are reviewed by CCSD and school leaders and data teams upon receipt throughout the year. This immediate responsiveness allows CCSD to continuously improve as quickly as possible without waiting for calculation of the CCRPI.

Whenever a negative trend is spotted in this year-round data flow, the Superintendent of Schools is pre-authorized by the School Board to deploy a CCSD leadership team to schools experiencing challenges for an operational review resulting in specific recommendations for improvements.

CCRPI school results chart

 


CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award at Top Platinum Level!

From left to right: Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls, Cherokee County School District School Nutrition Director Tina Farmer, Georgia Department of Health Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, UGA Associate Dean for Extension Dr. Laura Perry Johnson, and Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods.

The Cherokee County School District has earned the highest honor in the State for providing fresh, healthy meals to students!

The Cherokee County School District has earned the highest honor in the State for providing fresh, healthy meals to students!

From left to right: School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, CCSD School Nutrition Coordinator Amanda Fleming and Director Tina Farmer and Chief Financial Officer Ken Owen.

CCSD’s School Nutrition program, which serves 5 million meals each year in school cafeterias, won the Golden Radish Award at the Platinum Level from the Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, Education and Georgia Organics.

“Access to fresh, locally grown food is not just important for students’ physical health – it’s part of their academic development as well,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “When children eat fresh, healthy meals, they have the fuel they need for a successful day of learning.”

Canton ES STEM Academy School Nutrition Worker Dixie Byers washes Georgia apples for students to enjoy.

The Platinum level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from serving locally grown food in cafeterias to teaching students science through school gardens to demonstrating how to cook healthy meals.  Cherokee County is one of only 10 school districts in the state to win this honor, and it is only CCSD’s second year in the competition, winning Gold last year.

CCSD School Nutrition Director Tina Farmer and Coordinator Amanda Fleming accepted the award with School Board Chair Kyla Cromer and Chief Financial Officer Ken Owen at a ceremony Monday in Atlanta.

Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.  CCSD was praised for its many accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year including:

• Over 4.8 million meals served featured at least one locally produced item.

• Teachers use farm field trips, farm-based video lessons, planting in school gardens, and cooking activities to provide integrated agricultural education within the established curriculum throughout the school year.

• The School Nutrition department partners with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau to foster an engaged farm-to-school community with support from a broad range of community members including parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, local churches and faith-based organizations, the Boy Scouts of America, and more.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal also praised the Golden Radish Award winners for their commitment to children’s health.

“The vitamins, minerals and health benefits from local fresh fruit and vegetables, not only allow our children to be physically healthy, but research has shown that healthy eating is also key to brain development,” said Commissioner O’Neal. “Here in Georgia, we are leading the nation in identifying ways to increase early brain development, and healthy nutrition is an enormous part of that.”

Canton ES STEM Academy School Nutrition Worker Barbara Sams washes Georgia-grown tomatoes and cucumbers to prepare garden salads for the day’s menu.

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Superintendent of Schools Wins State Award for School & Community Relations

Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, center, is congratulated on winning the Georgia School Public Relations Association’s Outstanding Leadership in School/Community Relations Award by President-Elect JD Hardin and President Barbara P. Jacoby. The surprise presentation was made at the Association’s Annual Conference.

Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower has been honored with a top state award for school and community relations!

The Georgia School Public Relations Association presented Dr. Hightower with the Outstanding Leadership in School/Community Relations Award at its Annual Conference.

The award recognizes an individual, other than those directly responsible for a public relations program, who has proven himself or herself to be a leader in using effective school and community relations to build support for public education in his or her community.

“Dr. Brian V. Hightower’s support for school and community relations sets a standard that all School Superintendents should aim to achieve,” GSPRA President Barbara P. Jacoby said. “He truly understands the importance of communicating with students, parents, employees, volunteers, partners and the community at large and the value of building relationships with all of these groups that are vital to the success of a school system.”

Previous recipients of the annual award in recent years include: former Fulton County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Avossa; Dr. Stan DeJarnett, Executive Director, Georgia Vision Project; and former Georgia PTA President Lisa-Marie Haygood.

“Communicating with and engaging with our community is a responsibility I take very seriously as Superintendent of Schools,” Dr. Hightower said. “Public schools play a vital role in the lives of everyone in a community. It’s my job as Superintendent not only to ensure that the best teaching and learning possible happens in our classrooms, but also that our community knows about our successes and challenges and has the opportunity to get involved and support our mission.”

Dr. Hightower was praised for initiatives he has championed since taking office including an increase in internal and external communications, a user-friendly website redesign, an image and identity campaign and the newly launched VILLA parent academy in cooperation with the Georgia School Boards Association.

He participates in nonstop community outreach including visiting all of CCSD’s schools and centers several times a year and attending school special events; meetings with parents, employees from all levels of the organization, business partners and community leaders; and giving informational presentations for civic clubs and business and economic development groups.

Beyond engaging with his School District, Dr. Hightower also was recognized for his advocacy efforts on behalf of public education in his community and statewide.

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Cherokee High School Senior Earns Perfect ACT Score!

Category : CCSD

Emily Costello

A Cherokee County School District senior has achieved a perfect score on the ACT!

Cherokee High School senior Emily Costello earned the top composite score of 36 on the college entrance and placement test during its September administration.

On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score!

Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead, according to ACT. The exam includes English, mathematics, reading and science sections; each section is scored on a scale of 1-36, and the composite score is the average of the four.

In addition to this accomplishment, Emily is currently one of the top 10 students in the Cherokee HS Class of 2018, an All-County Swim Team member and four-time State qualifier, and a Georgia Music Educators Association All State Band and District Honor Band selection, playing first chair oboe.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Alpha-Gamma Service Club, Student Government Association and Marching Band, serves an attorney for the school’s Region Champion Mock Trial team, and is one of the founders and event managers for this years’ TedxYouth event at Cherokee High.

A Superintendent’s Key Scholar, Emily earned the University of Georgia Merit Award, was selected for the Governor’s Honors Program as a sophomore in Music (Oboe) and Science, is a member of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, and serves as a junior counselor for Georgia Tech Women in Engineering (TEC) Camp.

Emily will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board Meeting on November 16, 2017.

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