CCSD PTAs, Staff & Parents Win Top Georgia PTA Awards

CCSD PTAs, Staff & Parents Win Top Georgia PTA Awards

Category : CCSD

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

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.”

Thania Molina

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.

Sue Palermo

Scott Steinbrenner

 

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.


School Board Appoints New, Reassigned Administrators and Principals

Retiring Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs Susan McCarthy listens as she is praised by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower for her lifetime of service to public education.

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

Dr. Nicole Holmes

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.

Beth P. Long

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;
• Lynda Wallace, currently a director for Pickens County’s school system, as Supervisor of Federal Programs;

Dr. Christina Clayton

• 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

Lynda Wallace

Middle School;
• 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

Melissa Sneed

nd,
• 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

Karla Tipton

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

Chris Saxon

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

Dr. Rouel Belleza

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

Danielle Ross

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

Robert Horn

Character;

• 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;

Michael Manzella

• 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;

Dr. Benjamin Lester

• 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;

Kim Hagood

• 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

Melinda Roulier

Dr. Abby May

 


CCSD Schools, Staff Honored by Cherokee County and Georgia PTA District 13

Category : CCSD

The Mill Creek Middle School PTSA was named the Outstanding Local Unit award for middle schools by Georgia PTA District 13.  The PTSA also earned the top honor from the Cherokee County Council PTA, as well as the Heart Family-School Partnership Award for ‘Sharing Power’ and the Model PTA designation.  From left to right: Laura Logan, Carolyn Kenney, Hope Burgamy, Ambrea Holman, Olga Spivey and Principal Dr. Kerry Martin.

Laure Carroll

Cherokee County School District educators and PTAs won top Georgia PTA District 13 Awards at the organization’s annual awards ceremony.

The Georgia PTA District 13 organization, which represents the school PTAs and county PTA councils of Cherokee, Forsyth, Gordon and Whitfield counties, presents annual awards to recognize outstanding educators and school PTAs.

Teacher Jennifer Schroter of Indian Knoll ES won the Birney Butler Outstanding Educator Award, and Laure Carroll of Johnston ES was named Outstanding School Nurse.

Five school PTA units won District 13 awards including Mill Creek MS, which earned the Outstanding Local Unit award for middle schools.

Mountain Road ES won the Best Idea Award for schools of its size (750 students or smaller) for the “Battle at Thunder Mountain” video.

Three schools won Heart Family-School Partnership Awards: River Ridge HS won the Overall Award; Indian Knoll ES won in the “Welcoming All Families” category and Macedonia ES in the “Supporting Student Success” category.

The Cherokee County Council of PTA also presents annual awards. It honored Indian Knoll ES Principal Dr. Ann Gazell as the Outstanding Principal of the year, and also named Laure Carroll as its Outstanding School Nurse. Clark Creek ES STEM Academy teacher Lauren Abrams received a Birney Butler Outstanding Educator Award, and Hickory Flat ES won a Best Idea Award for its “Thunder Mountain” obstacle course fun run.

Indian Knoll ES PTA member Steve Miller won the Visionary Award, and Hearst-Family School Partnership winners, in addition to those that also won at District 13, are Mill Creek MS for “Sharing Power” and Bascomb ES for “Collaborating with the Community.”

School PTAs honored as Outstanding Local Units are: elementary school (750 or smaller), Sixes ES, first place; Johnston ES, second place; Hickory Flat ES, third place; elementary school (751 and larger), Indian Knoll, first place; Macedonia ES, second place; Little River ES, third place; middle school, Mill Creek MS, first place; Dean Rusk MS, second place; Freedom MS, third place; high school, Woodstock HS, first place; Sequoyah HS, second place;

Dr. Ann Gazell

Schools honored for Model PTAs are: elementary schools, Sixes ES, first place; Macedonia ES, second place; Johnston ES, third place; and Indian Knoll ES, Mountain Road ES, Hickory Flat ES, Bascomb ES, Little River ES, Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy; middle schools, Mill Creek MS, first place; Freedom MS, second place; Dean Rusk MS, third place; high schools, Sequoyah HS, first place; Woodstock HS, second place; and River Ridge HS, third place.