CCSD Employees Stay Busy During Summer Break

CCSD Employees Stay Busy During Summer Break

CCSD Transportation Technician Samuel Shelton inspects a brand new bus upon delivery to CCSD. The School District purchased 12 new full-size buses for the 2017-18 school year.

Summer months are far from slow in the Cherokee County School District, as employees, in addition to running summer school and meal programs, stay busy with facility maintenance, professional development and preparing operations for the new school year.

CCSD Facility Technician Eli Gibbs works on a rooftop HVAC unit at Johnston Elementary School. Projects there this summer air-conditioned the gym and upgraded the energy management system.

“Although the majority of students and teachers and other school-based staff enjoy a well-deserved two-month break, summer is a very busy time for our divisions and departments, as they complete significant behind-the-scenes work,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We greatly appreciate the time and energy our employees invest into facilities, technology and training to prepare us for a successful school year.”

Hundreds of teachers, administrators and other staff participated in summer professional development training on topics ranging from more effective classroom use of instructional technology to lesson plans centered on newly adopted reading and writing teaching resources to tools for stronger classroom and school leadership.

CCSD teachers work on a STEM activity during a summer professional development class.

All CCSD school buses were inspected and routes mapped, new technology – including the Canvas learning management system and K12PaymentCenter school meal pre-payment system – began operating, and school nutrition staff prepared to roll out new menu options like the high school grill line!

Facility maintenance crews have been among the hardest working, with a long list of repairs and upgrades scheduled when campuses are emptied for summer break. Projects have included everything from replacing lighting fixtures with more efficient LED choices and updating ceiling tiles to installing new flooring and upgrading HVAC and energy management systems.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower speaks about leadership qualities with Principals, Assistant Principals and other administrators during the Superintendent’s Leadership Symposium event, sponsored by Northside Hospital Cherokee and the Cherokee County Educational Foundation.

Thanks to community partners, Northside Hospital Cherokee and the Cherokee County Educational Foundation, the Superintendent presented a Leadership Symposium professional development program for school and district leaders at which they heard remarks from him and leadership speaker Brian Dodd and attended break-out sessions on new CCSD initiatives led by senior staff.

“We’re focused on continuous improvement in every aspect of our organization to fulfill our mission of educating the emerging generation” Dr. Hightower said. “When school opens on August 1, we’ll be ready and stronger than ever before.”

Debra Murdock, CCSD Executive Director of Administrative Leadership, engages school administrators in a session at the Superintendent’s Leadership Symposium professional development event.

CCSD Transportation Technician Brad Benton replaces an axle on a school bus. All 452 CCSD school buses were inspected this summer by the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

CCSD Maintenance Technicians Tim McFarland (on ladder) and Ty Adams reroute wiring in the Hickory Flat Elementary School Media Center as one of their summer maintenance projects.

CCSD Warehouse staff Wesley Lee, left, and Fred Dubois, right, deliver updated Student/Parent Handbooks to Etowah High School.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Principal Joey Moss, left, and Assistant Principal Susan Bruno speak with teachers and staff about the upcoming school year and present each with a school spirit wear cap.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy teachers and leaders show off their new spirit wear caps.



CCSD to Host National Advanced School Resource Officer Course June 19-21

Category : CCSD

NASRO logoThe Cherokee County School District School Police Department next week will host a national training program for officers from across the state!

In cooperation with the Georgia Association of Secondary School Law Enforcement Executives (GASSLEE), CCSD will host the National Association of School Resource Officers’ (NASRO) Advanced School Resource Officer Course from Monday, June 19, through Wednesday, June 21, at Teasley Middle School in Canton.

Sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, with CCSD School Police Chief Mark E. Kissel, President of GASSLEE, giving opening remarks on Monday. Capt. Joe Carter of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, past president of NASRO, is the course instructor.

“As President of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Law Enforcement Executives, I believe this program reflects the professionalism of those officers assigned to work within their respective schools to provide a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning,” Chief Kissel said.

NASRO, the world’s leader in school-based policing, serves school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators, and school security/safety professionals working as partners to protect students, faculty and staff, and their school community. The organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality of training to school-based law enforcement officers in order to promote safer schools and safer kids.

The advanced course builds upon the Basic School Resource Officer course approved by Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council; CCSD School Police Officers all have attended and successfully completed the basic course. The training offered in Canton will cover numerous topics including threat assessment, critical incident planning and technology and social media.

Several local businesses have provided door prizes and donations for the event, and their sponsorship is greatly appreciated: AMC Riverstone 15, Big Woods Goods, Chick-fil-A of Canton, Credit Union of Georgia, Killer Creek Harley-Davidson, Northside Hospital Cherokee and The Home Depot.

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

Category : CCSD


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.


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.


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.


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 Employees Staying Busy Over Summer

CCSD Summer - Buses 1 7 15 16

CCSD Fleet Maintenance Technician Adam Shelton checks a school bus during summer inspections. The Georgia Department of Public Safety checks every bus in the CCSD fleet during the summer.

CCSD Summer - Schools 2 7 15 16

CCSD Facility Technician Lantz Cleveland passes a drill through to technician Terry Cornelison as they re-install air-conditioning units at Free Home ES following a window replacement project in the media center.

Summer break doesn’t mean vacation time for many Cherokee County School District employees, as the summer months offer an opportune time for maintenance work and training, as well as teaching and learning for more than 1,000 students who took advantage of various CCSD summer school programs.

This summer, hundreds of CCSD teachers are taking advantage of training opportunities offered by CCSD; school nutrition workers have been busy learning new skills and ideas for tastier lunchroom fare; more than 400 school buses will be inspected; warehouse and technology employees are stocking a brand new replacement Dean Rusk Middle School; and, maintenance department employees are busy burning through a list of repair and upgrade projects on various school campuses.

CCSD Summer - Training 1 7 15 16

CCSD School Nutrition Manager on Special Assignment Tiffany Ridley adds lime to a guacamole recipe during a training class this summer.

CCSD Summer - Training 5 7 15 16

Indian Knoll ES teacher Marissa Williams focuses on a task during a CCSD summer professional development class on Microsoft productivity tools.

Some of the work will continue right up until the first day of school, which is Monday, August 1.