Etowah HS Student’s Senior Project Benefits “Shop With An Eagle”

Garrett Ruslin, second from right, presents his donation for ‘Shop With An Eagle’ to (from left) Counselor Michele Dowd, Principal Robert Horn and Facilitator Dr. Erin Jacobs. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Etowah High School senior Garrett Ruslin wanted his Senior Project to make a difference in the community, and he succeeded by raising $850 to help local children in need.

Garrett created limited-edition Etowah High School T-shirts and sweatshirts and sold them at school and online, with all of the profits benefiting the school’s “Shop With An Eagle” program. The program provides underprivileged children in the community with the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts.

“I know there are many children in the world, some right here in our community, that cannot celebrate Christmas with the same excitement that many do,” Garrett said. “It really makes me sad, so I wanted to do something to help. I immediately knew that I wanted to partner with ‘Shop With An Eagle’ for my Senior Project.”

Garrett said he is looking forward to Dec. 2 when the children will get to “Shop With An Eagle”, now with $850 more available thanks to his project’s success.

“That is going to be a wonderful day for them that will lead to a great holiday,” he said.

CCSD Teacher Wins Georgia Farm Bureau Award

A Cherokee County School District teacher has won a top Georgia Farm Bureau award.

Etowah High School agriculture teacher Ashley Rivers won the Bureau’s First District Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes young professionals for outstanding accomplishments in agricultural careers.

The award was presented at the First District’s Annual Meeting recently held in Calhoun. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Etowah HS Chorus, River Ridge HS Boy Scout Kick Off Braves Game

The Atlanta Braves baseball game on Saturday night featured Cherokee County School District students in special roles.

The Etowah High School Ladies Elite Chorus performed the National Anthem to start the game off right.

River Ridge High School junior Henry Fornuto, at the game as a member of Boy Scout Troop 641, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year

The Gatorade Company today announced Drew Waters of the Class AAAAAAA State Champion Etowah High School Eagles is its 2016-17 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year. Drew, the first Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Etowah High School in the award’s 32 years, now is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year.

The award, which in the past has been won at the State level by players including Derek Jeter, Jon Lester, David Price and Clayton Kershaw, recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. As Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Drew will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

An outfielder, Drew led the Eagles to a 26-16 record and State Championship, batting .494 with 13 home runs, 35 RBI and 43 runs scored through 42 games, with a 1.126 slugging percentage. Drew, who earned a 92.1 grade point average in the classroom, volunteered for Goshen Valley Boys Ranch and Never Alone Food & Clothing Outreach Center and helped raise more than $12,000 for the family whose son was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Drew has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Georgia this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 11 recruit in the Class of 2017 by Perfect Game and No. 33 by Baseball America.

Photo credits: Cherokee County School District

Etowah HS Announces Top Candidate for Boys Basketball Head Coach

As part of the June 15 School Board Meeting, Etowah High School will request approval of Jason Dasigner to lead its Boys’ Basketball Program as Head Coach.

Coach Dasinger, the 2017 Class 6A Region 7 Coach of the Year, has spent the last decade as a basketball coach and AP Government teacher. This past year, his first as head coach for Alpharetta High School’s boys’ team, he led them to tie the school record for wins (25-4) and win the prestigious Deep South Classic and Region Championships … a turnaround from the previous season’s 10-18 record.

During his previous tenure coaching at Pope High School, the boys’ team made the State Playoffs for five consecutive years. In addition to coaching basketball at Pope HS, Coach Dasinger also served as head softball coach and head golf coach.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Coach Dasinger to Eagle Mountain,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower said, noting that Coach Dasinger plans to lead basketball camps this summer to get to know the team and future players. “He brings with him experience on the court and in the classroom and a passion for coaching students to succeed in both arenas.”

A graduate of Lassiter High School and the University of Georgia, Coach Dasinger and his wife, Chelsea, live in Woodstock and have two daughters, Emma, 4, and Piper, 1.

Etowah Student Wins National Spanish Award

An Etowah High School junior has earned a national award for his outstanding Spanish language skills.

Joseph Young is a winner of the prestigious 2017 Junior Travel Award, valued at more than $3,500, for his achievement on the National Spanish Examination and demonstrated skills in writing and speaking Spanish.

This honor is awarded by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese to only 24 students in the U.S. from among the 160,000 students who take the exam each year. Joseph will travel in July to Peru with the other 23 winners for the language and cultural immersion experience.

Joseph was nominated for the award by Etowah High School Spanish teacher Tamara Linares. This is the second time an Etowah High School student has won this prestigious award in the past 10 years.

They will be recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board at the School Board’s May 18 meeting. Credit: Cherokee County School Board

CCSD Students Honored for Earning International Skills Diploma Seal

State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods congratulates (from left) Juleisy Varela-Mares of Woodstock High School, Veronica Rodriguez-Garcia of Etowah High School, Savannah Boggs of Cherokee High School and Dawson Pfost of Sequoyah High School. Credit: Cherokee County School District

Four Cherokee County School District students recently were honored at Georgia’s Second Annual International Skills Diploma Seal Award Ceremony at the State Capitol.

With Sequoyah High School’s recent approval for the program, CCSD now offers the Georgia Department of Education seal through four schools: Cherokee HS, Etowah HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS.

State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods at a ceremony recognized Savannah Boggs of Cherokee HS, Veronica Rodriguez-Garcia of Etowah High School, Dawson Pfost of Sequoyah High School and Juleisy Varela-Mares of Woodstock for earning the prestigious seal. Sequoyah High School also was honored for its recent successful application for the program.

The seal, according to the Georgia DOE, “is a signal to employers and higher education institutions that a student is prepared to participate in the global economy.” Students who earn the seal have completed an “international education curriculum and engage in extracurricular activities and experiences that foster the achievement of global competencies.”

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.