The School Board on Thursday, March 16, 2017, approved the appointment of new and reassigned district administrators and principals for the 2017-18 school year and received a clean 2016 audit report.
The slate of appointments presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower for approval began with the recognition of a retiring leader: Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs Susan McCarthy.
Dr. Hightower praised Ms. McCarthy for her lifetime of service, rising from a classroom teacher and Teacher of the Year to an assistant principal, principal, district leader and member of his senior staff.
“We’re very proud of you and wish you the best,” Dr. Hightower said, j
oining the audience in giving Ms. McCarthy a standing ovation.
Dr. Nicole Holmes, who currently serves as Director of School Operations overseeing CCSD’s elementary schools, was approved as her successor, with the title Chief Academic Officer, which reflects a new “chief” title structure for senior staff beginning in 2017-18.
The role in which Dr. Holmes currently serves will be filled by Beth P. Long, current Principal of Canton Elementary School STEM Academy, whose appointment also was approved Thursday; its new title will be Executive Director of School Operations.
Other new or reassigned district administrators appointed Thursday to fill positions vacated by retirements or created to meet growth needs include:
• Dr. Christina Clayton, current facilitator for the Office of Instructional Technology, as Supervisor of Digital Content;
• Amy Chafin, currently a director for Worth County’s school system, as Supervisor of Middle and High School Curriculum;
• Lynda Wallace, currently a director for Pickens County’s school system, as Supervisor of Federal Programs;
• Melissa Sneed, currently a program specialist for Cobb County’s school system, as Supervisor of Special Education;
• Karla Tipton, currently a systems analyst, as Supervisor of Technology Support Services;
• Chris Saxon, currently a facilitator for enterprise field services, as Supervisor of Technology Field Services;
• Dr. Rouel Belleza, currently an administrator with Educational Programs, as Supervisor of Student Services; and,
• Danielle Ross, currently a coordinator with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, as Emergency Operations Facilitator.
Other new or reassigned Principals appointed Thursday to fill positions vacated by retirements or reassignments include:
• Robert Horn, currently an Assistant Principal for Cobb County’s school system, as Principal of Etowah High School;
• Dawn Weinbaum, currently Principal of E.T.
Booth Middle School, as Principal of Dean Rusk Middle School;
• Dr. Sue Zinkil, currently Principal of Teasley Middle School, as Principal of Creekland
• Christian Kirby, currently Principal of Little River Elementary School, as Principal of Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy;
• Michael Manzella, currently Assistant Principal for Woodstock High School, as Principal of E.T. Booth Middle School;
• Dr. Benjamin Lester, currently Assistant Principal for Cherokee High School, as Principal of Teasley Middle School;
• Karen Carl, currently Principal of Free Home Elementary School, as Principal of Little River Elementary School;
• Kim Hagood, currently Assistant Principal for Carmel Elementary School, as Principal of Free Home Elementary School;
• Melinda Roulier, currently Assistant Principal for Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, as Principal of Mountain Road Elementary School; a
• Dr. Abby May, currently an Assistant Principal for Cobb County’s school system, as Principal of Canton Elementary School STEM Academy.
During its strategic work session, the School Board heard a presentation by the independent external auditor, who reported 2015-16 fiscal year audit received a clean opinion with no new findings or unresolved prior findings.
“Great job on a clean audit report,” School Board Member Clark Menard said, specifically thanking Ken Owen, Assistant
Superintendent for Financial Management, and his staff. “‘None listed’ on the list of follow-ups – that’s a good thing. Job well done.”
The work session also included a presentation on the Canvas learning management system currently being piloted by select teachers with a planned districtwide launch for next school year.
“We’re completely changing the way we’re delivering instruction,” said Dr. Clayton, who is leading the initiative, noting the online system allows students, teachers and parents to access
instructional materials, homework assignments, student performance data and other information all in one space.
The new system will lead to cost avoidance, both through the discontinued use of multiple programs with services duplicated in the one Canvas system, and also through the decreased use of paper and paper materials, printer ink and energy and flash drives and other supplies.
School Board Member Kelly Poole, whose son’s class is a part of the pilot, spoke very highly about the increased resources and
information available to students and parents and the system’s ease of use.
“From a parent perspective, I love that,” she said, noting students no longer can use forgetting their book at school as an excuse to not complete homework and continue learning. “I support anything we can do to make our kids more successful, and this program helps with that.”
The School Board also:
• Thanked Dr. Hightower for a successful first year as Superintendent
of Schools and screened a video celebrating his past year;
• Thanked Etowah HS teacher Linda Yunker and students Josh Downen, Sarah Podstata and Grace Zaski for creating a teacher recruitment video to assist CCSD’s Division of Personnel Management; the video also was shown during the meeting;
• Recognized School Board Members in honor of School Board Member Appreciation Week;
• Recognized Liberty Elementary School as a 2017 State School of
• Recognized CCSD Library Media Specialists of the Year;
• Recognized CCSD high school seniors named 2017 National Merit Finalists;
• Recognized 2016-17 STAR Students and STAR Teachers;
• Recognized Creekland Middle School as the 2016-17 CCSD Academic Bowl Team Champions;
• Recognized Region and State athletic champions;
• Approved a new partnership agreement with Give a Kid a Chance and a renewed agreement with the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce;
• Named School Board Member Robert “Rick Steiner” Rechsteiner as its delegate for 2017 Georgia School Boards Association Delegate Assembly;
• Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;
• Authorized financial consultants to prepare, price and tentatively market a bond sale for voter-approved Education SPLOST purposes;
• Approved out-of-state travel;
• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
• Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;
• Approved CCSD’s Five-Year Facility Plan for capital outlay projects;
• Approved special lease agreements;
• Approved a boundary line agreement at the Buffington Educational Service Center;
• Approved a quit claim deed releasing a sewer easement to the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority; and,
• Met in executive session to review pending litigation and a student discipline tribunal appeal.
Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, 2017