Sequoyah HS Senior Wins National Merit Corporate Scholarship!

Sequoyah HS Senior Wins National Merit Corporate Scholarship!

A Sequoyah High School senior has won a National Merit corporate scholarship!

Alex Morrison

Alex Morrison

Alex Morrison, who earlier this year was named a National Merit finalist, this week was named the winner of a National Merit Textron Scholarship. He plans to pursue a career in radiology.

Textron Inc., through the Textron Charitable Trust, provides scholarships annually to National Merit finalists who also are children of its employees. The multi-industry company based in Providence, RI includes operations in aerospace technology, commercial products and financial services.

Alex is one of only about 1,000 distinguished high school seniors nationwide to win corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.

Sequoyah HS Earns International Skills Diploma Seal!

Sequoyah High School has been approved for a State-approved diploma seal!

The school successfully applied to the Georgia Department of Education for authorization to issue the International Skills Diploma Seal to eligible graduating seniors beginning this school year.

Georgia International Skills Diploma Seal

The program recognizes students who complete an “international education curriculum and engage in extracurricular activities and experiences that foster the achievement of global competencies… it is a signal to employers and higher education institutions that a student is prepared to participate in the global economy.”

To earn the designation, students must: complete at least three credits in the same world language and/or English for Speakers of Other Languages; at least four credits in courses determined to have an international focus (e.g., international economics, world/non-US history, world geography, etc.), at least four extracurricular activities and experiences with global themes and/or in global contexts (e.g., exchange programs, international and language clubs, travel abroad), 20 hours of community service involving a global/cross-cultural public service project and a capstone presentation on the knowledge gained in these courses and activities.

Sequoyah High School will be recognized for this accomplishment by State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods at a ceremony later this month.

“We’re proud Sequoyah has earned this prestigious seal of approval to further recognize outstanding students with strengths in this field,” Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “This new honor builds upon our School District’s success in developing and promoting a variety of programs to best prepare students as they plan and pursue their future career paths.”

Sequoyah HS joins three other CCSD schools in offering the seal: Cherokee HS, Etowah HS and Woodstock HS.

CCSD High School Senior Named 2016-17 Coca-Cola Scholar!

A Cherokee County School District high school senior has been named the winner of a prestigious national scholarship!

Isabelle Riddle of Sequoyah High School is 2016-17 Coca-Cola Scholar… one of only 150 students selected for this honor from 86,000 applications nationwide!

Isabelle Riddle

She has won a $20,000 college scholarship and will be honored in April at the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s 29th annual Scholars Banquet in Atlanta. Isabelle is one of only five Scholars from Georgia this year.

“A Coca-Cola Scholar not only exemplifies superior leadership, service, and academics — they are change agents, positively affecting others in their community,” said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “These extraordinary humans are already society’s coffers with bolder action, more amazing technology, bigger advancements, healthier futures, and exponential possibility.”

Winners are selected based on their outstanding leadership, academic achievements, and dedication to their community.

Isabelle, who recently was named the STAR Student for Cherokee County based on her exemplary academic performance, also is her school’s Student Delegate to the Cherokee County School Board.

A student leader, she has served as National Honor Society President and Student Government Treasurer and was selected for the Model Atlanta Regional Commission and Teen Leadership Cherokee, for which she earned the Most Outstanding Leader Award. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction and has won the PSAT Academic Achievement Award and an Academic Letter.

Isabelle is active in her community and volunteers for HFDA Gives Back (a service club she founded) and MUST Ministries as a Summer Lunch Coordinator and won a grant for her “Doggie Dash” Service Project. An accomplished dancer, Isabelle has won awards from the Georgia State PTA Reflections Contest and One National Dance Competition.

In addition to Isabelle’s honor, Woodstock High School senior A.J. Cox was named one of only 250 Regional Finalists nationwide.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers across America and The Coca Cola Company, is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the United States.

Sequoyah HS Science Teacher Named CCSD 2017 Teacher of the Year!


Cherokee County School District 2017 Teacher of the Year Brian Carnes, center, is congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, left, and Sequoyah Principal Elliott Berman.

Watch a video from the surprise presentation:

When Brian Carnes reflects on his successes, he humbly jokes: “not bad for an old ‘chicken farmer.’”

“Chicken farmer” has been a nickname for the poultry industry leader-turned-science teacher at Sequoyah High School since he made the career change 12 years ago.

Today, Nov. 4, 2016, he earned a new nickname: Cherokee County School District’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Or “best chicken farmer teacher ever” for short.


Cherokee County School District 2017 Teacher of the Year Brian Carnes of Sequoyah High School.

“I was very surprised and excited just be to named Sequoyah High School’s Teacher of the Year… it’s such an excellent school.  I know all of the great teachers we have in Cherokee County, so this,” the Cherokee County native said after being surprised with the CCSD honor by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, “this is just kind of overwhelming to me.”

The CCSD Teacher of the Year is selected by a panel of community leaders, who evaluate applications from each school’s Teacher of the Year.  The school winners are selected by their peers.  Mr. Carnes will be honored in December at the annual “Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration” sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee and Credit Union of Georgia.  He also will serve as CCSD’s nominee for Georgia Teacher of the Year; the winner will be named in the spring.

“He teaches with a lot of heart,” Dr. Hightower said, as he congratulated Mr. Carnes, who he calls “a super-teacher,” in front of one of his AP (Advanced Placement) Chemistry classes.  “Besides having tough academics — I know he pushes you — he cares about you.  I know he helps you all along the way.  And that’s what we’re about.”

Mr. Carnes, who attended Buffington Elementary School and graduated from Cherokee High School where he was active in FFA, began his career in the poultry industry.  With degrees in agriculture (bachelor’s from University of Georgia) and quality systems technology (master’s from Southern Polytechnic State University), Mr. Carnes succeeded in the industry for 15 years.

But his heart began to whisper of another plan for him: teaching children to love science.

He talked to mentors, like his former agriculture teacher Dr. Dwight Pullen, and his family and friends.  And then he flew the coop.

Principal Elliot Berman said he’s proud to say he hired Mr. Carnes in 2004.  Mr. Carnes began teaching special education, then moved into science and then took on AP Chemistry.  Along the way, Mr. Carnes earned certifications, endorsements and awards… like the Delta Kappa Gamma International Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, STAR Teacher and, last year, the valedictorian picked him as her “outstanding teacher” for CCSD recognition.

“Mr. Carnes has taught some of the most challenged to some of the most gifted, yet they were taught with the same compassion,” Principal Berman said. “Positively impacting lives is what Mr. Carnes was destined to do, and that is what he continues to do here at Sequoyah.”

Not only is Mr. Carnes beloved for the care he shows students in the classroom as their teacher and outside the classroom in roles such as Student Government Association sponsor, he also delivers when it comes to making challenging materials comprehensible and guiding students to success on demanding AP exams.

“He honestly does care about his students and their grades and wants to develop a relationship with them,” junior Zach Davis said.  “In my opinion, he really is the most deserving teacher.”

Mr. Carnes and his wife, Pam, President & CEO of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, have two daughters, Sarah, a Sequoyah HS and University of Georgia graduate now studying for a master’s at Georgia Tech, and Rebekah, a Sequoyah HS junior.  In addition to his many roles at school, Mr. Carnes also has coached his daughters’ softball teams and volunteers with his church, Canton First United Methodist.

“My most notable accomplishments are witnessed through the many students I have impacted throughout my career,” he said.  “Each example is meaningful whether it be a special education student who overcame great obstacles to become a productive member of society or my many AP students who have been inspired to pursue careers in the sciences as doctors, engineers or physicists; not bad for an old ‘chicken farmer.’”


Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower surprises Sequoyah HS chemistry teacher Brian Carnes with the news he is CCSD’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.


Sequoyah HS Chemistry teacher Brian Carnes, center, with AP Chemistry students shortly after he is surprised with the announcement he has been named CCSD’s Teacher of the Year for 2017.


Mr. Carnes’s AP Chemistry class gives a round of applause for their outstanding teacher.


Mr. Carnes hugs his wife, Cherokee Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Pam Carnes, after the surprise announcement.


The Carnes family celebrates his award; from left, Sarah, Brian, Rebekah and Pam.

CCSD Teacher Wins International Entrepreneurship Education Award

Category : CCSD

International Entrepreneurship Award Kari Palmer 8 11 16

Sequoyah High School marketing teacher Kari Palmer was honored at this summer’s 29th Annual International Entrepreneurship Institute with the Dr. Paul DeLargy Angel Award.



















A Cherokee County School District teacher has won a top award from an international entrepreneurship education program!

Sequoyah High School marketing teacher Kari Palmer was honored at this summer’s 29th Annual International Entrepreneurship Institute with the Dr. Paul DeLargy Angel Award.

The award is the highest honor the Institute bestows and “recognizes the educator who develops entrepreneurship education best practices along with implementation plans that have the greatest potential for social impact and student transformation.”  The recipient also must “exhibit passion for student transformation and capture the very spirit of a social entrepreneurship angel.”

Ms. Palmer, with CCSD Special Education teacher Linda VanFossen, developed a plan to increase high school graduation rates by involving more Career Technical Instruction (CTI) students in entrepreneurship career classes and by offering more experiential learning activities.  CTI is a program that supports Special Education students enrolled in Career, Technical and Agricultural Education classes.

Only one high school teacher receives this annual award, which is named for Dr. Paul DeLargy, founder of Real LEDGE (Leading Economic Development through Global Entrepreneurship), in honor of his dedication to transforming student lives through entrepreneurship.  Dr. DeLargy, according to the Institute, “believes that educators who use experiential best practices to serve, teach and inspire their students are the greatest social entrepreneurs, or as he more lovingly calls them, social entrepreneurship angels.”

The Institute is presented by Real LEDGE in partnership with the Kennesaw State University Entrepreneurship Center to prepare K-12 and post-secondary educators and community-based organizations to teach entrepreneurship.  Ms. Palmer was one of four CCSD educators to attend the Institute.