Hill Freeman Library Renovated

Credit: Jeff Reed/Reinhardt University

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Reinhardt University Oct. 10 for a ribbon-cutting reception that celebrated a transformed Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center – for its students and for the community.

“The change here is marvelous,” Chamber President Pam Carnes said at the ceremony. The renovated second floor of the library was filled with community leaders, residents, University faculty and staff, and members of Reinhardt Board of Trustees.

“Days like this are days that college presidents live for,” Reinhardt President Dr. Kina S. Mallard said, smiling. “My heart is full.”

President Mallard thanked Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper, the Sequoyah Regional Library System and Waleska Mayor Doris Jones for their partnership and support.

The renovation creates a multi-use space for the Reinhardt family and community. It was made possible by approval of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners to release $1 million of voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money. SPLOST funds are 1 percent of the county’s overall sales tax.

“This renovation brings new life to Reinhardt’s library. Everything we do is for our students. My vision was for it to be a learning hub, and it is,” Mallard said.

Renovations completed this summer in the 14,411-square-foot space include a new community room, six collaborative learning rooms, children’s area, career and vocational counseling office, tutoring rooms, technology lab and more.

“The community room seats 96 people and is for everyone to use,” Mallard added.

Reinhardt Board Vice Chair Ken White, ’61, told the audience “When I was here, there were books only in the library, and it was quiet. Today we have collaborative learning as well as books, and it is just wonderful.”

CCSD Lead Nurse Named a State Award Finalist

A Cherokee County School District nurse is a statewide award finalist.

Cherokee County School District Lead Nurse Jami Stefano is a finalist for the March of Dimes 2017 Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards, which recognize exceptional patient care, compassion, and service.

Hundreds of nurses are nominated in 15 categories ranging from Advanced Practice to NICU to Public Health. The nominations are reviewed and scored by high-ranking nurse leaders to determine the finalists.

Stefano, who began her service with the district in 2011, is one of only three school nurses statewide named to the elite group, which includes 200 nurses from hospitals, medical centers, healthcare systems and universities. She previously was honored with the 2015 Georgia PTA Outstanding Nurse Award in recognition of her work as the School Nurse at Bascomb Elementary School.

The finalists will be honored, and the 2017 Georgia Nurse of the Year Award winners for each category will be named, at the Nurse of the Year Awards on Nov. 4 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta – Buckhead. Credit: Cherokee County School District

CCSD Launches Inaugural Parent Academy Program

The inaugural Cherokee County School District VILLA class members take a group photo with School Board Members and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and members of his senior staff, and Lisa-Marie Haygood of the Georgia School Boards Association. Class members are: Donnamarie Alcott, Jamie Bobo, Buster Cushing, Robert Ditchen, Judith Dobbs, Samantha Dunn, Lauren Hekking, Bob Kovacs, Monica Orrico, Corrie Riggs, Robin Schorr, Katie Roller Shulz, Dawn Stastny, Kathy Strom, Kyle Tomeny and Kathy Winiarczyk. Not pictured: Bob Kovacs. Credit: Cherokee County School District

The Cherokee County School District this week launched its inaugural parent academy program.

Developed by the Georgia School Boards Association, VILLA (Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy) offers parents the opportunity to learn more about the public schools in their community. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Cherokee County School District became the first school district in the state to pilot the program and will be featured in a GSBA video to promote VILLA.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer brought up the idea of creating such a program during her re-election campaign, and said she was glad to partner with GSBA to make it a reality.

“The goal is for you to learn more about Cherokee County School District and take what you learn back out into the community and be advocates for CCSD,” Board Chair Cromer told the inaugural class during its first session on Tuesday night.

Applications were accepted from parents throughout the community, and the class of 16 participants will attend six sessions this fall including a field trip to several Cherokee County School District schools. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower said he hopes to make the free program an annual offering, noting the first session was a great success.

“We truly appreciate the community’s interest in learning more about our operations and joining our School Board and employees in advocating for public education, our schools and our students,” Hightower said. “Our schools are stronger with our community involved, and VILLA is an outstanding opportunity to engage with parents.”

Through VILLA, participants will learn more about the district, including an overview of its governance model and the role of School Board members, Major System Priorities and district day-to-day operations. The program includes question-and-answer sessions with School Board members, the Superintendent and senior staff. The program ends with a graduation dinner, sponsored by district partner, Credit Union of Georgia.

Inaugural class members are: Donnamarie Alcott, Jamie Bobo, Buster Cushing, Robert Ditchen, Judith Dobbs, Samantha Dunn, Lauren Hekking, Bob Kovacs, Monica Orrico, Corrie Riggs, Robin Schorr, Katie Roller Shulz, Dawn Stastny, Kathy Strom, Kyle Tomeny and Kathy Winiarczyk.

School Board Member Kelly Poole speaks to the VILLA class during its first session, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower looks on. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy Celebrates Georgia PreK Week

Woodstock Police Officers Ryan Bleisath, Brittany Duncan, and Greg Stepp celebrate Georgia PreK Week as guest readers in teachers Lindsey Lark’s and Lisa Smith’s Georgia PreK classes at CCSD’s Preschool Center at Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy. Children in the classes are: Emiliano Aboytes, Ansley Addams, Nevaeh Agnew, Huda Bargh, Makenzie Bauer, Jireh Belcher, Jacob Benitez, Arjun Brahmbhatt, Madison Burgess, Bry Copeland, Jene Epperson, Kaitie Espinosa, Parker Evanoff, Wyatt Fretwell, Trey Garvery, Xavia Ginns, Yatziri Gonzalez, Raelynn Houston, Kaleb James, Eli Jimenez, Angel Julian, Cataleya Lara, Olivia Lark, Malcolm Lathem, Aiden Limontas, Emmanuel Lopez, Colton McPhee, Daniel Mullins, Kani Olwana, Sophia Reardon, Antonella Restrepo, Jade Rolland, Natalia Ruiz, Kira Savenko, Emma Schwettman, Levi Sutton, Zehra Tawfiq, LJ Thornton, Harper White, Jamere Young and Malakai Woods. Students from CCSD’s Transition Academy program assisted with the event. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Woodstock Police Officer Brittany Duncan (right) reads about Pete the Cat during her Georgia PreK Week visit to CCSD’s Preschool Center at Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy. Credit: Cherokee County School District

The Cherokee County School District recently celebrated Georgia Pre-K Week with special activities including guest readers.

The Cherokee County School District serves 198 4-year-olds in classes funded by the Georgia Lottery Pre-K program, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year; the School District also provides Head Start and Special Education preschool programs to eligible children.

Woodstock HS Senior Earns Perfect ACT Score

A Cherokee County School District senior has achieved a perfect score on the ACT

Woodstock High School senior Katherine Relick earned the top composite score of 36 on the college entrance and placement test.

On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Only 2,760 out of the more than 2 million students who took the exam in 2017 earned a score of 36.

Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead, according to ACT. The exam includes English, mathematics, reading and science sections; each section is scored on a scale of 1-36, and the composite score is the average of the four.

In addition to this accomplishment, Katherine is her school’s Student Delegate to the School Board and Vice President of Student Government and a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Women in Science & Engineering, Science National Honors Society, Math National Honors Society and Giving Children Hope Club, for which she serves as President.

A Superintendent’s Key Scholar, Katherine has earned the University of Georgia Merit Award, was selected for and completed the Teen Leadership Cherokee program and volunteers as an Anna Crawford Children’s Center Student Advisor and for SPLASH (a volunteer group that teaches children with special needs to swim), Cherokee Family Violence Center and as a Sunday school teacher for her church.

Katherine will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board Meeting on October 19, 2017.

Celebrating Ga Pre-K Week

Children in teacher Darby Bewley’s class at the Cherokee County School District Preschool Center at Johnston Elementary School this week helped celebrate Georgia Pre-K’s 25th birthday. Showing off their cupcakes are, from left to right, front row: Mateo Zuniga, Brady Philpot, Olivia Asay, Madison Bragg, Matthew Mauldin; back row: Payton Boughton, Makayla Ventura, Jacob Moreno, Caroline Field, Gabby Blanco and Chloe Austin. Credit: Cherokee County School District

The Cherokee County School District is celebrating Georgia Pre-K Week.

The district serves 198 4-year-olds in classes funded by the Georgia Lottery Pre-K program, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year; the School District also provides Head Start and Special Education preschool programs to eligible children.

The Georgia Pre-K Program has educated more than 1.4 million children since it began in 1992.

The celebration includes guest reader visits to Pre-K classes, including Canton City Manager Billy Peppers and Woodstock Police Department Public Information Officer Brittany Duncan, as well as special crafts, fitness activities and more.

Arnold Mill ES Recognizes Students of the Month

Arnold Mill Elementary School recently recognized its Students of the Month for September.

Principal Daniel Fuller congratulates, from left to right, front row: Gwen Powers, Amanda Faure, Wren Reddish; back row: Bryce Epstein, Mackenzie Vandenberghe and Sarah Sigala. Credit: Cherokee County School District