CCSD Celebrates Third Annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week Breakfast!

CCSD Celebrates Third Annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week Breakfast!

CCSD school bus driver Sonny Carmichael salutes the crowd with a wave of a celebratory muffin, as he is recognized for 52 years of service.

Watch a video from the celebration here!

The Cherokee County School District Transportation Department on Tuesday celebrated its third annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week breakfast.

School bus-themed decorations graced tables and walls.

The School District’s 500 bus drivers, monitors, specialists, technicians and administrators were treated to breakfast provided by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at CCSD’s bus shops in Holly Springs and Woodstock.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read gave sponsor remarks, thanking bus drivers for their service. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Transportation Director Jim Georges also shared messages of appreciation. School Board members attended at both locations to show their appreciation.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower speaks with school bus driver Kay Saunders and thanks her for taking care of students each day.

“Our school bus drivers carry the most precious of cargo, and they do so with great pride and professionalism,” Dr. Hightower said. “We value our school bus drivers and invest in continuous training to assist them in maintaining safety at all times. We hope that everyone in our community will join us in thanking school bus drivers for all they do to care for our children!”

Everyone in attendance received a gift bag, with gifts provided by community partners including Chick-fil-A restaurants of Cherokee County, Roly Poly in Towne Lake, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center and Waffle House. Credit Union of Georgia and Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q provided door prizes.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read praises CCSD’s school bus drivers for their commitment and love for children.

CCSD bus drivers every day transport 29,000 students along routes totaling 20,000 miles. In addition to the District’s event, many CCSD schools and PTAs organized special activities to thank bus drivers for all that they do.

School Board Vice Chair Mike Chapman, center, and School Board Member Patsy Jordan, herself a former school bus driver, right, talk with bus driver Louisa Vital before the breakfast.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provided a small gift with a sweet message for bus drivers at the breakfast, which the organization sponsored.

CCSD Transportation Director Jim Georges thanks school bus drivers for their hard work and diligence in transporting thousands of students to and from school.

CCSD school bus drivers were treated to breakfast today as a celebration of School Bus Driver Appreciation Week at both the Holly Springs and Woodstock bus garages. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta sponsored the event.

CCSD school bus driver Thomas Thorpe picks up a Chick-fil-A biscuit and coffee at the Bus Driver Appreciation breakfast, sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

School Board Member Patsy Jordan, a former school bus driver, takes a seat behind the wheel to check out one of CCSD’s new smaller buses for its preschool program.


CCSD Salutes School Nurses on National School Nurse Day

Category : CCSD

National School Nurse Day Collage

While a Band-aid and a little TLC can go a long way, the needs presented in Cherokee County School District school clinics every day require much more of the professionals who staff them.

Today is National School Nurse Day, and we hope you’ll join us in thanking the school nurses who keep our students healthy, safe and ready to learn.

The District’s team of 43 school nurses serve all of CCSD’s schools and centers, and provide nearly 42,000 students as well as 4,500 full-time and 1,000 part-time employees with services ranging from first-aid to emergency response.

School nurses dispense medication to students, care for medically fragile children and stand ready to administer CPR, an EpiPen or an AED in a life-saving situation to anyone on campus. They screen children for health concerns, teach about proper hygiene and wellness and raise awareness in school communities about the benefits of preventative care.

“School nurses save lives,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We appreciate their service, their professionalism and their commitment to continuous improvement… but most importantly, we appreciate how much they care.”

CCSD School Nurses
CCSD Lead Nurse Gwen Chambers, 1988
CCSD Lead Nurse Jami Stefano, 2011
Sherrie Smith, ACE Academy, 2007
Betty Miller, Arnold Mill ES, 2010
Sandra McFarland, Avery ES, 2000
Kim Bishop, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy, 2013
Rebekah May, Bascomb ES, 2015
Amber Thayer, Boston ES, 2007
Lisha Smith, Canton ES STEM Academy, 2006
Stefanie Schoeller, Carmel ES, 2002
Denise Blackwell, Cherokee HS, 2012
Joy Harrison, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy, 2013
Teresa Tatum, Clayton ES, 1995
Carol Reed, Creekland MS, 2016
Amanda Hansell, Creekview HS, 2014
Christine Lynch, Dean Rusk MS, 2015
Wanda Ligon, E.T. Booth MS, 2002
Cathy Alexander, Etowah HS, 2002
Sharon Sullivan, Free Home ES, 2004
Dana Oden, Freedom MS, 2000
Kristy Hough, Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy, 2015
Mariellen Metraw, Hickory Flat ES, 2000
Renee Michael, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy, 2014
Maria Hicks, Indian Knoll ES, 2011
Laure Carroll, Johnston ES, 2008
Ivanka Ivanova, Johnston Preschool Center, 2015
Allison Rhodes, Knox ES, 2011
Charlene Dalfonso, Liberty ES, 2005
Resa Breitbart, Little River ES, 2005
Pam Tomeny, Macedonia ES, 2008
Thania Molina, Mill Creek MS, 2016
Janet Jarvis, Mountain Road ES, 1996
Vicki McGill, Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy, 1995
Deana Fronebarger, R.M. Moore ES, 2001
Tricia Griffith, Ralph Bunche Center, 2015
Kim Bearden, River Ridge HS, 2005
Erin Krantz, Sequoyah HS, 2015
Sue Dyer, Sixes ES, 2003
Kathy Thomas, Teasley MS, 2015
Dawn Beasley, Tippens Education Center, 2007
Tayler Cahill, Woodstock ES, 2015
Vickie Hyde, Woodstock HS, 2008
Traci Baggett, Woodstock MS, 2015


Message from the Superintendent: Teacher Appreciation Day

Category : CCSD

Please see the following message from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower:

To the Teachers in Our Classrooms and My Heart

As your Superintendent of Schools, my days stay busy with management and planning, and I’m often in meetings in our offices or out in the community.

It could be easy to lose touch with what matters most: the teaching and learning happening in our classrooms. To maintain this important connection, I’ve made it a practice since taking office to visit several schools every week – sometimes by surprise – and be, as past CCSD Teacher of the Year Lindsay Bowley coined it, “a professional noticer.”

And what I see is amazing, inspiring and humbling.

Thank a Teacher logoIn May, as the school year draws to a close, many of us think about teachers… maybe it’s our children’s teachers, a loved one who teaches or the teachers from our own childhood. If your mind doesn’t wander here in May, help it there today: National Teacher Appreciation Day.

I’ll share just two stories that have a place in my heart.

Dr. Jennifer Reynolds, as a special education teacher at Teasley Middle School, our Title I middle school, serves some of our most challenged children. Like a 10-year-old girl, abandoned in a dumpster as a newborn born with cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol syndrome.

She taught this little girl well, and – like all great educators – Dr. Reynolds also listened to hear the lessons the student could teach her. Like spunk, she said, and the value of a life. “The students,” Dr. Reynolds said, “are the ones who teach me.”

That story shows me how deeply our teachers care for our community’s children.

The second you may have seen on TV or online in a new commercial for Microsoft. Lauren Pittman is a phenomenal Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy special education teacher, who has earned national recognition for leveraging instructional technology to teach struggling students to read. If you haven’t seen the spot, it features her students sharing how Ms. Pittman helped them overcome dyslexia and empowered them and their learning potential.

That’s a wow moment. And moments like these are happening in classrooms across our school district every day.

Our students are learning how to add, and how to make a difference.

They’re learning how to ask questions, and how to seek out answers.

They’re learning how to read, and how to write their own stories.

When I look back on my education career, it’s not the personnel issues I resolved, the projects I planned or the “t’s” I crossed that stand out. It’s the children I taught as a classroom teacher, and who, in turn, taught me. And the many extraordinary teachers who helped me get to here.

I hope you feel the same way, and that you thank a teacher… and it doesn’t have to wait until or be limited to an official appreciation day. Today, I thank the 2,634 in our classrooms and many more from my life’s path — you’re all in my heart.


Message from the Superintendent: Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

Tags : | | |

Category : CCSD

Macedonia Bus Safety 020

Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

By Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools

Every parent has those days when he or she feels like a bus driver.

Maybe your SUV is loaded up with your kids and a couple of their friends after school.  Or you’re carrying half the team in your minivan to a game.  And it’s more crowded and noisier and messier than usual.

But we all know that’s not the half of it for our school bus drivers.

These dedicated employees transport 29,000 children along 20,000 miles of busy roads during morning and afternoon rush hour.  Some are driving specially equipped buses to carry children with special needs.

They not only need to safely navigate the road with these additional challenges; our school bus drivers also must maintain order on a bus like a teacher does in the classroom.

They stand ready for a crisis at any time… students have experienced medical emergencies aboard buses that required life-saving actions on the part of our drivers.

They rise in the dark hours of the morning, day in and day out, rain or shine.  They drive additional routes so children can enjoy field trips, extra-curricular activities and athletic competitions.

When inclement weather strikes, our school bus drivers put aside concerns for their own families and focus on delivering their precious cargo home first.

We continuously train our drivers to ensure they have the skills and tools they need to be as successful as possible… no matter the challenges aboard, in the next lane or in the forecast.

Our school bus drivers represent a cross-section of our community… their ranks include parents and grandparents of children in our schools.  Some choose this as their first career and serve for decades, and for others it’s a second career after the corporate world or public service.

What they all share in common is great care for what they do and who they serve.

This week, we’re observing School Bus Driver Appreciation and School Bus Safety Week.  We’re celebrating throughout our school district and ask you to please join us in showing our community’s appreciation.

Thanks to a community sponsor, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we’re hosting breakfast this Wednesday for all of our school bus drivers and the support team of monitors, specialists, administrators and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Blue Seal of Excellence-certified technicians… who together keep our fleet of nearly 400 school buses running and on time.

How can you show your appreciation?

Maybe it’s a card or small gift your child can make and give to his or her school bus driver.  Maybe it’s an email you can send to your child’s Principal praising a driver.

At the minimum, please be patient and courteous when you encounter our school bus drivers on the road each day.  We know they often must drive slow and make stops, and that can be frustrating in our hurried world.

But remember, they’re carrying the most precious of cargo: our future.