CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Category : CCSD

monarch butterfly

A Cherokee County School District teacher has been named the Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy Discovery Science Lab teacher Karen Garland has won the state title and a $1,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The award, made possible with funding from The Environmental Resources Network, is given annually to one third- through fifth-grade public or private school teacher in Georgia who demonstrates exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences.

Karen Garland

Ms. Garland will use the grant to begin the “Campaigning for Pollinators” project, which was inspired by her students’ idea to convert a monoculture of grass outside their school into a healthy habitat for pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

“Clark Creek Elementary is dedicated to fostering all students’ innate curiosity by empowering them to be independent problem-solvers through a variety of opportunities,” Ms. Garland said. “Through this approach, students see how classroom subjects relate to the real world.”

Through the project, students will design the garden, plant native perennials and record the species observed to a citizen science database. Students will share the responsibilities of watering, weeding, and gathering data. A field guide of butterfly host and nectar plants will be created for use in the media center. As part of the school’s STEM Day in May, students will grow and distribute milkweed (the only host plant for monarch butterflies) and educational brochures to the community.

“We love that Mrs. Garland’s project is student-driven. Third-graders saw butterflies flying overhead, but they never stopped since there was nothing there for them to eat or drink,” said Linda May, DNR Environmental Outreach Coordinator. “The students understood the importance of pollinators and wanted to help, so they thought of ways to provide suitable habitat at their school.”

The judges were impressed by the project’s cross-curricular creativity, student collaboration across grade levels and in-kind donations. The project also will be funded with donations from Lowe’s, Cherokee County Master Gardeners, Save Our Monarchs and Monarchs Across Georgia.

Ms. Garland will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Nov. 16 Board meeting.


CCSD Schools Celebrate Eclipse with Learning and Fun!

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Category : CCSD

Woodstock Middle School students are ready for the eclipse’s passage over the campus.

Watch a video with highlights from CCSD’s observance of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse!


Schools throughout the Cherokee County School District celebrated the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse with activities that merged learning and fun!

Each classroom teacher developed a class plan for learning about the eclipse, and lessons ranged from science experiments to creating eclipse-inspired art to enjoying Moon Pies and Sun Chips while observing the eclipse. All classes that planned activities to observe the eclipse outside provided students with eclipse glasses.

Bascomb ES fourth-graders Brayan Rivera and Nathasya Yata display their eclipse-inspired artwork.

Third-graders Jason Tzun-Lucas and Myrka Cruz Lucas are ready for the eclipse (and Moon Pies) in teacher Wendy Landry’s class at Canton Elementary School STEM Academy.

Cherokee HS students and staff don their approved eclipse glasses to observe the passage.

These Clayton Elementary School Cougars dressed for the occasion. From left to right: Knox Blackwell, Lauren Blackwell, Cheyann Massey, Nora Leigh Stansell and Principal Abbey Philpot.

School Board Member Patsy Jordan creates a pinhole projector to show students at Creekland Middle School, where she viewed the eclipse.

Ms. Jordan used her CCSD business card to make a projector.

Creekland Middle School students watch the eclipse as the sky darkens to twilight for its passage.

Creekview High School students learn about history and science by observing the eclipse.

Freedom Middle School students headed outside with eclipse glasses to learn from the special event.

E.T. Booth Middle School students stretch out on the athletic fields to enjoy the view.


Kindergartners in Indian Knoll Elementary School teacher Brandy McConnell’s class made eclipse hats and crafts and enjoyed Moon Pies! From left to right, Karley Gilliam, Bianca Montour, Charlotte Waites, Berkley Powers and Wesley Waters.


Johnston Elementary School kindergartners in teacher Brittany Scanlon’s class are ready to celebrate with their special eclipse hats! From left to right, front row: Abigail Sargenski, Zoe Longoria, Olivia Paller, Hailee Brannon, Gracie Bohannon, Sophia Stockton, Carmen Mullins, Leah LaBrie; back row: Elijah Hazard, Lex McCoy, Joey Howell, Carson Croy, Alex Rider, Brendan Treanor, Will Thomas and Kyler Muffley.

Even CCSD’s preschoolers got in on the teaching and learning about the eclipse with lessons like the one being taught by teacher Anne Marie Corley at Ralph Bunche Center in Canton.

Sequoyah High School students took to the track to see the eclipse’s passage race across the county.

Woodstock High School hosted a viewing party at the stadium for students.










14 CCSD Projects Win at Regional Science Fair, One Wins Best in State!

Category : CCSD

Fourteen Cherokee County School District projects earned first-place at Regionals and were entered into the 69th Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, with one winning first-place State honors!

Krystl Wood

Woodstock High School senior Krystl Wood won First Honors and Best in Category, Senior Division in the Chemistry category at the State fair!

Students also received special awards and scholarships from partners including Cobb EMC, Gas South and the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority.  The students were recognized this month by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools.

The Regional First Honors winners are (State honors and other awards also noted below):
Jackson Baker, Teasley MS, Energy: Physical
Julia Boll, River Ridge HS, Animal Sciences; GSEF Senior Division Second Honors
Irene Chen, River Ridge HS, Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
Briana Delvasto, Woodstock HS: Biomedical and Health Sciences; GSEF Senior Division Second Honors and UGA Graduate-Professional Student Association Award
Evan Fistel, Dean Rusk MS, Robotics and Intelligent Machines; GSEF Junior Division Second Honors and Naval Science Award – Junior Division
Lindsey Graham, Woodstock HS, Plant Sciences; GSEF Senior Division Third Honors
Eva Hansen, Woodstock HS, Plant Sciences
Dylan Herrick, Mill Creek MS, Physics & Astronomy
Kali Holierhoek, Teasley MS, Chemistry; GSEF Junior Division Third Honors – Alternate
Layne Johnson, Teasley MS, Chemistry; GSEF Junior Division Third Honors –
Ramsha Khan, Woodstock HS, Microbiology; GSEF Senior Division Third Honors and Stockholm Junior Water Prize Regional Award
Emma Osborne, Woodstock HS, Cellular & Molecular Biology; GSEF Senior Division Fourth Honors
Grady Port, Mill Creek MS, Physics & Astronomy
Taylor Powell, Etowah HS, Biomedical Engineering
Anna Rives, Woodstock HS, Environmental Engineering; GSEF Senior Division Fourth Honors
Ascher Shostak, E.T. Booth MS, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Emily Voigt, Sequoyah HS, Chemistry
Krystl Wood, Woodstock HS, Chemistry; GSEF Senior Division First Honors and GSEF Best in Category Chemistry Senior Division
Gwenevere Wyre, Etowah HS, Behavioral & Social Sciences; GSEF Senior Division Second Honors

Georgia Science and Engineering Fair logo

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Wins International Organization’s Award for STEM Education!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy has received an international organization’s top honor for excellence in technology and engineering education!

The school has been named the Georgia winner of the 2017 Program Excellence Award presented by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and Paxton-Patterson.

Principal Joey Moss

“Through the review process, it was recognized that our school’s technology and engineering education program is truly exemplary among other programs in our state,” Principal Joey Moss said. “Our students are the ones who will have richer lives as a result. Not many endeavors are more important than helping students become technologically literate and learn more about the world around them.”

ITEEA praised the school for the “tremendous amount of work and dedication that is required to design, maintain, and improve quality programs like yours.”
This news follows two consecutive years of top accolades for the school: in 2015, it earned the prestigious State STEM Certification… only the 11th elementary school in Georgia to earn this commendation, and the first in Cherokee County; and last year, the school was recognized as a finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

“Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is an outstanding example of innovative academic school choice,” Dr. Hightower said, noting the school is one of CCSD’s six award-winning Cherokee Academies open to all CCSD elementary school students. “Not only does Clark Creek soar like its RedHawk mascot among schools statewide, these achievements are especially remarkable given its Title I status due to the economic challenges many of its students and their families face. We’re so proud of this continued success!”

Principal Moss said the support of the entire school community — including business partners — made the ITEEA recognition possible, and she especially appreciates the efforts of Teresa Bailey, the school’s Odyssey Lab teacher, who prepared the award application and fifth-grade teacher Cindy Reeves.

Teresa Bailey

Cindy Reeves

Ms. Bailey and Ms. Reeves will join Principal Moss in presenting at the ITEEA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas from March 16-18, 2017, and they will be recognized at the Conference’s Program Excellence Ceremony. They will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower at the April 20 School Board meeting.

CCSD Schools Named Finalists in Technology Association of Georgia’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!


Two Cherokee County School District schools have been named finalists for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the Elementary School Award, and Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the STEM Certified School Outreach Award!

This is the second consecutive year for the schools to be named to the elite list of finalists.

The awards were created, according to the Association, to recognize “outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in Georgia.”

Winners will be announced during the STEM Education Awards ceremony on Nov. 4 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.

“We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of the Collaborative.  “Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state. ”

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.