Cherokee HS Media Specialist Named CCSD Media Specialist of the Year!

Cherokee HS Media Specialist Named CCSD Media Specialist of the Year!

Cherokee High School Media Specialist Anne Nechvatal gets a congratulatory hug from social studies teacher Angie Pannell after the surprise announcement that she was chosen as the Cherokee County School District’s 2017 Media Specialist of the Year.

Check out the video from today’s surprise presentation: https://youtu.be/YH2iQajg1PM

The Cherokee High School media center’s transformation from old-school library to a modern, collaborative learning space has earned Anne Nechvatal the honor of Cherokee County School District 2017 Media Specialist of the Year!

Ms. Nechvatal, who sees the center as “the largest classroom in the school,” was surprised with the award on Monday, March 6, 2017 by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board Members in front of an audience of the school’s faculty and her husband. She now will represent CCSD in the State-level competition. The presentation and reception that followed were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower praised Ms. Nechvatal for her dedication to digital learning.

“You’ve turned the media center upside down to make sure it’s relevant for your students and teachers,” Dr. Hightower said, applauding her focus on staying up to date in an “age of information.” “Anne is a shining example of everything we want a media specialist to be.”

Ms. Nechvatal, who was congratulated with a standing ovation, said she was “very honored and overwhelmed” by the surprise. She also was quick to acknowledge the work of her fellow media specialist, Vicki Barbre, noting “this is really her honor as well.”

Anne Nechvatal is congratulated by her husband, Gerry, as part of the surprise announcement that she is CCSD’s Media Specialist of the Year, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Principal Todd Miller look on.

The award process begins with each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder elementary and middle schools) selecting a Media Specialist for the Year. Applications from these honorees then are considered by a panel of retired educators and community leaders, who select the CCSD Media Specialist of the Year.

In addition to Ms. Nechvatal for the Cherokee Innovation Zone (IZ), the other Zone winners are: Creekview IZ – Hollen Pope, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy; Etowah IZ – Denise Lewis, Etowah HS; River Ridge IZ – Keara Rubin, River Ridge HS; Sequoyah IZ – Mia Temples, Hickory Flat ES; and Woodstock IZ – Kimberly George, Sixes ES. They all will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the March 16 School Board meeting.

Ms. Nechvatal is a graduate of Oglethorpe University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree; University of West Georgia, where she earned her masters of education degree in school library media; and University of West Georgia, where she recently completed her education specialist degree.

A previous winner of the Creekview IZ’s Media Specialist of the Year Award, Ms. Nechvatal joined Cherokee High School two years ago and since then has focused on updating the media center and its resources to increase benefits to students and teachers. She also serves as the school’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Team coach and judges Senior Projects.

“My mission for the CHS media center is to create a space that is open, accessible and user-friendly; put simply, a place where students want to come,” said Ms. Nechvatal, who previously served as a media specialist at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

Dr. Pam Andes, as graduation coach at the school, sees students benefit from the media center’s resources and additional learning opportunities.

“Our students are waiting for the media center to open each morning in order to spend time here before school begins,” Dr. Andes said. “Students know that she will assist them with any issues in the media center. She truly cares about our students and wants our media center to be second to none.”

Ms. Nechvatal has applied for grants to improve the center and develops activities to increase student traffic, such as the annual Technology “Smackdown” event.

“Building relationships is one of the most important parts of being an effective media specialist. I strive to understand the wants and needs of both our students and teachers,” she said. “I feel like the students are my customers, and I want to offer them the best customer service possible. I try not to ever let them go away empty handed.”

Principal Todd Miller thanked Ms. Nechvatal for all of her efforts that led to the honor.

“Thank you for what you do each day and for turning our media center into a digital learning center,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower, congratulates CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, as Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller looks on.

From left to right, School Board member Kelly Poole, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, and Jennifer Stanley of Northside Hospital-Cherokee, which sponsored by the award presentation and reception, congratulate CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee High School, center, with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower and Principal Todd Miller.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Following the surprise, CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal was celebrated at a reception in the media center with cake, punch and coffee. The presentation and reception were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

 


CCSD Earns Top Media Specialist Recognition for 2nd Year!

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Macedonia Elementary School Media Specialist Jennifer Rice has been named to Georgia’s Top 10 Media Specialists in the State list.

A Cherokee County School District media specialist has earned a spot on Georgia’s Top 10 Media Specialists in the State list for the second consecutive year!

Macedonia Elementary School Media Specialist Jennifer Rice on Thursday was honored by the Georgia Library Media Association with recognition on the list.  Last school year, Woodstock MS Media Specialist Wendy Cope received this honor.

Ms. Rice is CCSD’s 2016 Media Specialist of the Year and in June was named the Regional Media Specialist of the Year for North Central Georgia by the Georgia Library Media Association and Georgia Association of Instructional Technology.

A graduate of Georgia College & State University, where she earned bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education, Ms. Rice began her career as a classroom teacher before following her true calling to serve as a media specialist.  In addition to her traditional media specialist responsibilities, she also organizes the school’s reading bowl team, spelling bee and student news team.  Ms. Rice last school year was named to the Georgia Children’s Picturebook Award Committee for a three-year appointment.

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Ms. Rice, right, is congratulated by Woodstock MS Media Specialist Wendy Cope, who was named to the list last year.


Canton ES STEM Academy Wins Top STEM Education Award!

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: Celebrating the 2016 Georgia STEM Education Award for Elementary Schools are, from left to right, Peter Gleichman of Partner in Education, the Rotary Club of Canton; and Canton ES STEM Academy STEM Education Specialist Dr. Judy Wright, Principal Beth Long and STEM Program Coordinator Emma Griffin.

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy has won the 2016 Georgia STEM Education Award for Elementary Schools!

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative present annual awards to recognize “outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in Georgia” including one award to the most outstanding Elementary School for STEM education.

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This win, which was announced and presented during the STEM Education Awards ceremony on Friday at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta, follows Canton ES STEM Academy’s recognition last year as a finalist for a 2015 Georgia STEM Education Award.  Canton Elementary School STEM Academy is one of six Cherokee Academies in CCSD, a Nationally recognized innovative school choice program.

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Dr. Judy Wright speaks onstage as she accepts the award on behalf of the school.

“Congratulations to Canton Elementary School STEM Academy on this outstanding accomplishment recognizing it as a model of excellence for the State,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “This award recognizes significant work on the part of our teachers and leaders, as well as by students, families, volunteers and partners.  We’re especially proud to see a Title I school with many students whose parents speak English as a second language and/or who struggle financially receive such acclaim for the opportunities provided to every student.  The lesson plans and best practices incubated at this school are shared with staff throughout our School District and State.”

Principal Beth Long, STEM Education Specialist Dr. Judy Wright and STEM Program Coordinator Emma Griffin attended on behalf of the school; STEM Education Specialist David Cornn was unable to attend.  They were joined by Peter Gleichman of the Rotary Club of Canton, the school’s Partner in Education of the Year, which has provided significant financial and volunteer support to enhance the school’s STEM resources including construction of an AGUA Lab aquaponics lab and media center Makerspace.

“High-tech careers are some of the most in-demand and highest paying jobs in our country and the anticipated shortage of employees is staggering,” said Amanda Hendley, Chief Operating Officer for TAG. “Our 2016 STEM Education Award winners are the best of the best and are making a major impact on workforce development in Georgia.”

In addition to Canton ES STEM Academy receiving the Elementary School Award at Friday’s ceremony, Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy was recognized as a finalist for the STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members; TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia.

Canton ES STEM Academy will be recognized for its achievement by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board at the Dec. 1 School Board Meeting.

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Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates Canton Elementary School STEM Academy Principal Beth Long, left, and Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy Principal Joey Moss. Canton ES STEM Academy won the 2016 Georgia STEM Education Award for Elementary Schools, and Clark Creek ES STEM Academy was recognized as a finalist for the STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

 


CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award!

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From left to right Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls

The Cherokee County School District has won a top State award for its outstanding school nutrition program!

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

The Gold Level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from local food procurement to hosting taste-tests to gardening with students.  Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.

CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich accepted the award at a ceremony Monday at the Georgia State Capitol.

CCSD was recognized for its accomplishments during the 2015-2016 school year including:

  • More than 400 hands-on cooking and food activities held by CCSD, with many lessons led by volunteer chefs and farmers. Events included Chef Tony Pisconeri visiting classrooms to demonstrate proper knife skills and plating techniques and high school agriculture students learning about honey with Jeannie Ross of Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries;
  • More than 1,000 promotions held by CCSD to encourage students to choose local foods in the school cafeteria and participate in school garden activities and farm field trips; and,
  • Cherokee County’s Farm to School Committee collaboration by parents, teachers, school administrative staff, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and local farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, FFA, churches, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, Girls Scouts and other groups. Local businesses also offered discounts for individuals purchasing supplies for CCSD’s school gardens;

“Having access to fresh, farm-to-school meals is great for Georgia’s students,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Farm-to-school programs also connect students with agriculture, which is an enormously important industry for our state.  We appreciate the Golden Radish Award because it recognizes those school districts that are striving every day to provide more farm to school meals.”


CCSD Educator Wins Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant!

A Cherokee County School District educator has won a 2016 Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant from the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy media specialist Madeline Hall is one of only four winners to earn the $2,500 grant.

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Madeline Hall

The grant will benefit the SMArTE (science, math, art, technology, and engineering) Space Ms. Hall created in the media center.  The project provides design process opportunities for students in all grades to use creativity and inventive thinking to build prototypes, explore questions, experience failure and successes and bounce  ideas off each other.  Ms. Hall works with classroom teachers to align SMArTE Space activities with curriculum and standards.

The Georgia Educational Technology Consortium is an independent nonprofit organization that also sponsors the annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference for educators and the Technology Fair student competition.

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CCSD Celebrates Second Annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week Breakfast

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read, right, and Cherokee County School District Transportation Director Jim Georges are ready to welcome guests to CCSD’s second annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week breakfast.

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

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Bus driver Alex Lockhart selects his breakfast items.

The School District’s 496 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.

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The School District’s 496 bus drivers, monitors, specialists, administrators and technicians 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. School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson and Transportation Director Jim Georges also shared messages of appreciation.

Everyone in attendance received a gift bag, with gifts provided by community partners including the Chick-fil-A restaurants of Cherokee County, Menchie’s at Riverstone Plaza, Northside Hospital-Cherokee, Roly Poly in Towne Lake and Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center. Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q provided door prizes.

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.

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School Board Chair Kyla Cromer shares her appreciation for the bus drivers and how they care for ‘our community’s most precious cargo.’

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Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson shares words of thanks.

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read shares her memories of the drivers who transported her children to school and about the trust community members place in them.

 


School Board Recognizes Creekland MS, CCSD Staff for Saving Student’s Life

Category : CCSD

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The Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools thank Creekland MS School Nurse Chrissa Hofstetter, Principal Dr. Deborah Wiseman and CCSD School Operations Director Debra Murdock for their life-saving actions.

The Cherokee County School Board at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, recognized Creekland Middle School and Cherokee County School District staff for saving a student’s life.

Creekland Middle School sixth-grader Caden Cherry was participating in physical education class on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 when he experienced cardiac arrest and lost consciousness.

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Creekland Middle School sixth-grader Caden Cherry is welcomed onstage at the Cherokee County School Board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower. Caden experienced cardiac arrest at the school on Sept. 29, and was resuscitated by school staff.

Creekland MS School Nurse Chrissa Hofstetter, Principal Dr. Deborah Wiseman and CCSD School Operations Director Debra Murdock, who was on campus for another reason, immediately responded by administering CPR and use of an AED. Their life-saving actions resuscitated and stabilized Caden so he could be transported by first-responders to the hospital.

“We employ school nurses, equip our schools and train our staff so we can respond to moments like this,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “We never want to see a child suffer a medical emergency, but we prepare, and we are so grateful to be able to celebrate Caden and thank our staff.”

The school’s response also included important efforts by: PE teachers Ray Catlet, Jacob Cheshire, Keith Fountain, Julie McRae, Stacy Rich and Matt Rumble; Counselor Cathy Harris; Secretary Maralee Tabor; and Assistant Principal Lovenia Houston, Dana Phillips and Brent Williams.

All were recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board at Thursday’s meeting.

Caden’s twin brother, Cooper, provided school staff with vital information during the response, which greatly assisted them in saving his life.  Cooper joined his brother onstage for the School Board recognition.

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Caden Cherry’s twin brother, Cooper, provided school staff with vital information during the response, is thanked by the School Board and Superintendent.

Caden since has been released from the hospital and visited Creekland MS on Monday, Oct. 10, for the first time since his medical emergency to thank Nurse Hofstetter and the school.  Students and staff, who sent well-wishes while he was hospitalized, lined the halls to welcome Caden back.

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Students and staff line the halls of Creekland Middle School to welcome Caden on Monday, Oct. 10, for his first visit since his cardiac arrest.

During its pre-meeting work session, the School Board heard updates from the Superintendent and his staff on issues including the upcoming AdvancEd accreditation renewal process, the School Improvement Plan process, the Instructional Framework development, 2017 State legislative session priorities, the “Opportunity School District” constitutional amendment and Five-Year Strategic Plan update.  The School District’s accreditation, formerly known as SACS-CASI, will be up for renewal by AdvancEd next year, with the agency’s external review team scheduled to visit in late January.

The Superintendent also announced that there would be no formal boundary redrawing process for the 2016-17 school year; the only attendance zone adjustments planned are for neighborhoods not yet under construction that will be assigned to Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

The School Board also:

  • Recognized seven CCSD high school seniors named 2017 National Merit Semi-Finalists;
  • Recognized nine CCSD educators as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE);
  • Recognized 27 CCSD schools and their PE and health teachers for being named Governor’s SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Education) Honor Roll Honorees;
  • Recognized E.T. Booth MS student Hannah Culver for being named to the State School Superintendent’s 2016-17 Student Advisory Council;
  • Recognized CCSD parent John Cline for being named to the State School Superintendent’s 2016-17 and 2017-18 Parent Advisory Council;
  • Recognized Woodstock ES Teacher Kristen Brooks and CCSD Technology Network Analyst Carol Dickerson as “Apple Teachers;”
  • Approved a proclamation in honor of Retired Educators Day on Sunday, Nov. 6;
  • Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with the American Cancer Society, Cherokee County 4-H and Reinhardt University and Approval of New Partnership Agreement with Georgia Ensemble Theatre;
  • Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;
  • Approved the disposal of surplus property through the annual CCSD auction on Nov. 5;
  • Approved out-of-state travel;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;
  • Approved special lease agreements; and,
  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of Todd Sharrock as an Assistant Principal at Woodstock High School where he currently serves as a Teacher on Special Assignment.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, November 3, 2016; 6:30 p.m. school boundaries public hearing


CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Art Educator of the Year

Category : CCSD

A Cherokee County School District teacher has been named the 2017 Georgia Art Educator of the Year!

Woodstock Elementary School teacher Pam Morgan has won the statewide title in recognition of her efforts at the school, community and state level.

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Woodstock Elementary School teacher is the 2017 Georgia Art Educator of the Year!

A longtime member of the Georgia Art Education Association, which presents the overall award to one Georgia teacher a year, she has served on its board as Capitol Art Exhibit Co-Chair, Youth Art Month Co-Chair and District No. 2 President.  Ms. Morgan previously has been honored with the Association’s 2010 Elementary Art Educator of the Year award and went on to win the Southeastern 2010 Elementary Art Educator of the Year title as well.

Ms. Morgan is a strong supporter of student exhibits including the Capitol Art Exhibit and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport Youth Art Exhibit and Cherokee Arts Council Youth Art Month Exhibit.  She also works with community organizations to develop artistic opportunities for students and, as a result, her students have created artwork in coordination with the City of Woodstock and Preservation Woodstock.  She educates students using cross-curricular activities and teaches art history and culture.

“The Art of Giving” project developed by Ms. Morgan shows students how their art can touch the lives of others.  The project has included creating artwork to send to soldiers, making American flags for local and New York fire departments in remembrance of 9/11, a school- and citywide art “blitz” supporting Remember Alex Brown (RAB) Don’t Text and Drive and collecting coins for “Let’s Make a Change,” which benefitted African orphans and supported their education.


School Board Student Delegate Accepted into U.S. Coast Guard Academy

A River Ridge High School senior has received early acceptance into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy!

Jordan Mason, who represents his high school as a Student Delegate to the Cherokee County School Board, is one of only 35 students nationwide to receive the full commissioning this early.

Ranked among the most elite undergraduate colleges in the U.S., the Academy’s highly selective admission process annually identifies only the top 300 candidates from a nationwide pool.

“Needless to say, we are extremely proud of our Senior Class President and School Board representative,” River Ridge HS Counselor Jeff Bennett said.

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Jordan Mason

Jordan also has earned the Superintendent’s Key Scholar Award, Presidential Community Service Award and Physical Fitness and Health Award and is a two-year Varsity Track student athlete.

A member of the National Honor Society, Knights of the Round Table and Beta Club, Jordan has been selected for leadership programs including Teen Leadership Cherokee Class of 2015, Model Metro Atlanta Regional Commission and the Chick-fil-a Leadership Program.

He has served as a youth soccer referee and volunteers as coordinator for the school’s Big/Little mentorship program and through the Crusading Knights Service Club.