The Cherokee County School District swept top Georgia PTA Awards for Principals, school nurses and school PTAs!
The Georgia PTA presents statewide awards to outstanding educators, PTAs and parents at its annual conference, and CCSD claimed an impressive list of high honors. The CCSD winners were recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s September meeting.
Dr. Kerry P. Martin
“We’re extremely proud to see our parents and employees applauded at the State level, as they our vital to our School District’s success,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “The PTA devotes thousands of volunteer hours in our schools, raises significant funds for school needs and advocates on behalf of our schools, our teachers and public education… and we can’t thank them enough for their dedicated service.”
Dr. Kerry Martin, Principal of Mill Creek MS, won the Outstanding Principal Award for middle schools.
“To be named Outstanding Principal of the Year is a huge honor,” Dr. Martin said. “I am committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to make our school the best it can be. In the end, it’s all about the students. If they, too, believe that I’m outstanding, that is the validation I need to continue doing what I love, supporting students in a positive way.”
Whitney Nolan, Principal of Hickory Flat ES, won the Outstanding Principal Award for elementary schools.
“Just to be nominated for this award by our nationally recognized PTA at Hickory Flat is both an honor and a blessing!” she said. “Serving this community as principal is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life. I have stated many times that as the leader of Hickory Flat Elementary, I do not want the community to follow me — I want the community to join me. Being selected as the Outstanding Principal Award recipient for doing what I absolutely love makes it that much sweeter.”
Mill Creek MS School Nurse Thania Molina won the Georgia PTA Outstanding School Nurse Award. After earning local and District 13 PTA honors, she was recognized as the best school nurse in the state for the significant and exceptional service she provides to the students and staff of her school.
Two CCSD PTA parent volunteers earned the prestigious Visionary Award: Sue Palermo of Johnston ES and Scott Steinbrenner of Little River ES. This high honor recognizes PTA volunteers who demonstrate an “above and beyond” approach to addressing and resolving community issues and concerns.
CCSD PTAs swept the elementary division for the top honor of Outstanding Local Unit, with Little River Elementary School winning first place, Johnston Elementary School placing second, and Bascomb Elementary School ranking third.
The Georgia PTA recognizes excellence by school PTAs in fulfilling the organization’s various standards, and two CCSD PTAs won recognition for their projects.
Mill Creek MS was honored as the best in Georgia for Standard 1: Welcoming All Families. Little River ES was named tops in the State for Standard 4: Speaking Up for Every Child.
“We feel very strongly that Mill Creek MS should be inclusive of all students and families,” Dr. Martin said, noting the school PTSA last school year for its “Welcoming All Families” project made a specific effort to ensure students with special needs were included in recognitions such as Student of the Month and embraced programs including the Special Olympics and Exceptional Children’s Week.
“During Exceptional Children’s Week, we cherished the theme, ‘Every Child is a Different Kind of Flower and Together Make a Beautiful Garden,’” she said. “All students were supplied packets of wildflower seeds in science class to promote the message of inclusion. Our PE teachers embraced the week by modifying activities to promote empathy exercises to teach tolerance and understanding.”
Little River ES PTA made children with special needs the focus of its “Speaking Up for Every Child” project.
The PTA enlisted the participation of local businesses to help raise funds to enhance the school’s observance of Exceptional Children’s Week and arranged for a local drama troupe to educate and engage all students through a special performance.
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA earned the Presidents Membership Award. Outstanding Advocacy Awards were earned by the PTAs of: Johnston ES, Mill Creek MS, River Ridge HS and Woodstock HS. Platinum Target Membership Awards were earned by the PTAs of: Hickory Flat ES, Mountain Road ES and Sixes ES.
The following schools earned Model PTA Awards: Bascomb ES, Freedom MS, Hickory Flat ES, Indian Knoll ES, Johnston ES, Little River ES, Mill Creek MS, Mountain Road ES, River Ridge HS and Woodstock HS.