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Partner of the Year & Volunteer of the Year

Last Updated: 3/31/2021 7:12 PM

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower Surprises Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Volunteer of the Year Mary Ann Laughlin with the news she is CCSD’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower Surprises Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Volunteer of the Year Mary Ann Laughlin with the news she is CCSD’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year.

CCSD Names 2021 Partners of the Year, Volunteers of the Year

NOTE: More photos from today's surprise presentations are online here.

The Cherokee County School District today named the winners of its eighth annual CCSD Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year Awards.

While the traditional recognition ceremony could not be held this year, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower surprised the overall CCSD winners this morning.  He only needed to visit one school, as for the first time in the awards’ history, both winners are from the same school: Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy in Canton.

Mary Ann Laughlin, Hasty’s Volunteer of the Year, was named the CCSD 2021 Volunteer of the Year, and Revolution Church, Hasty’s Partner of the Year, was named the CCSD 2021 Partner of the Year.  

“We deeply appreciate all of our partners and volunteers, especially over the past year as they’ve worked to find ways to support us and serve even though they could not be in our classrooms or at special events.  We’re not just a School District, we’re a community and a family, and we’re better thanks to the service of our volunteers and partners,” Dr. Hightower said.  “Revolution Church and Mary are outstanding examples of servant leadership.  Knowing the pandemic would affect their usual roles, they were quick to ask how they could change their service to best meet our needs, and then they pivoted and delivered with joy.” 

The annual program recognizes a Partner of the Year and a Volunteer of the Year for each individual school and center; the overall CCSD Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year are selected from that pool of candidates by a committee made up of retired educators.  The awards are sponsored by the Cherokee County Educational Foundation; all winners receive a recognition plaque, and the CCSD winners receive engraved plaques.  Every week, a different school Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year will be featured on CCSD’s website and social media platforms.  The winners also will be congratulated by the School Board at its April meeting with a virtual recognition. 

In her nomination of Ms. Laughlin, Principal Dr. Maria Rosario-Regan praised the retired educator for her willingness to “remotely volunteer” by taking on projects that she and her team of fellow Hickory Flat United Methodist Church members could complete at home.  She assembles tools for teachers to use for classroom instruction from hands-on activity kits to easy reader books, and collects donations for the school from literacy initiative rewards to holiday gifts for students in need.  Volunteers like Ms. Laughlin, she said, are “few and far between.”  

“Her quick response and unyielding love for our community makes her extraordinary and beyond deserving of this recognition,” Dr. Rosario-Regan said.  “Our teachers don’t have to explain why they want something done; as an educator, she gets their desire to create amazing learning opportunities for their students, and she is willing to do whatever she can to make a positive impact on our students and their families.”

In her nomination of Revolution Church, Dr. Rosario-Regan noted numerous ways they support Hasty throughout the school year, the greatest of which over the past year has been its support of the school’s food pantry.  When COVID-19’s economic impact hurt the school’s families, the church delivered truckloads of groceries, household items and toiletries week after week to support them.

“During a time of stress and uncertainty, Revolution brought peace and comfort to our families, and we will be forever grateful,” she said of these donations, noting that Missions Minister Zip Cain is always quick to ask how else Revolution can help.  “While Revolution is extraordinary and deserving of this recognition for a multitude of involvement examples, what truly sets them apart and makes them deserving of this award is their heart for our community.”

#CCSDfam #CCSDunited

Revolution Church, Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Partner of the Year, has been named the CCSD 2021 Partner of the Year.  Celebrating the surprise presentation are, from left to right: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Assistant Principal Sandi Harrison, Church Missions Minister Zip Cain, Principal Dr. Maria Rosario-Regan, Church Lead Pastor Jason Gerdes and Church Canton Campus Pastor David Stein.

Revolution Church, Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Partner of the Year, has been named the CCSD 2021 Partner of the Year.  Celebrating the surprise presentation are, from left to right: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Assistant Principal Sandi Harrison, Church Missions Minister Zip Cain, Principal Dr. Maria Rosario-Regan, Church Lead Pastor Jason Gerdes and Church Canton Campus Pastor David Stein.

Mary Ann Laughlin, Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Volunteer of the Year, has been named the CCSD 2021 Volunteer of the Year.  Celebrating the surprise presentation are, from left to right, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Assistant Principal Sandi Harrison, Ms. Laughlin, Principal Dr. Maria Rosario-Regan and Parent Involvement Facilitator Gwen Freeman.

Mary Ann Laughlin, Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy’s Volunteer of the Year, has been named the CCSD 2021 Volunteer of the Year.  Celebrating the surprise presentation are, from left to right, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Assistant Principal Sandi Harrison, Ms. Laughlin, Principal Dr. Maria Rosario-Regan and Parent Involvement Facilitator Gwen Freeman.

CCSD 2021 SCHOOL PARTNERS OF THE YEAR
ACE Academy: Northside Hospital Cherokee
Arnold Mill Elementary School: Northside Hospital Cherokee
Avery Elementary School: Education First Fund Realty Team, powered by Keller Williams Realty Partners
Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Zach's Grading & Tree Removal
Bascomb Elementary School: Affinity Home Lending
Boston Elementary School: New Victoria Baptist Church
Carmel Elementary School: The Premier Group
CCSD Preschool Centers: The Christian Egner Foundation
Cherokee High School: SERV International
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Woodstock City Church
Clayton Elementary School: The Church @ War Hill (War Hill West campus)
Creekland Middle School: Trotter & Patel Pediatrics Dentistry & Orthodontics
Creekview High School: Amber Cloy Photography
Dean Rusk Middle School: Modern Woodmen of America
E.T. Booth Middle School: The Premier Group
Etowah High School: Heritage Presbyterian Church
Free Home Elementary School: Macedonia United Methodist Church (Mother’s Cupboard)
Freedom Middle School: Warrior Xpress Delivery
Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Revolution Church
Hickory Flat Elementary School: Credit Union of Georgia
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Lil’ Angels Photography
Indian Knoll Elementary School: Rising Hills Church
Johnston Elementary School: Education First Fund Realty Team, powered by Keller Williams Realty Partners 
Knox ES STEM Academy: J.M. Huber Corporation
Liberty Elementary School: Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Little River Elementary School: Little River United Methodist Church
Macedonia Elementary School: McDonald's, Woodmont Village
Mill Creek Middle School: Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, Woodstock
Mountain Road Elementary School: Capovilla & Williams
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: Rotary Club of Woodstock
River Ridge High School: Buffalo’s, Woodstock
R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy: Bethel Tabernacle 
Sequoyah High School: NT Nails, Hickory Flat
Sixes Elementary School: Sixes United Methodist Church (Shepherd's Class)
Teasley Middle School: Chick-fil-A, Riverstone
Tippens Education Center: Allegro Business Products
Woodstock Elementary School: City of Woodstock
Woodstock High School: The UPS Store
Woodstock Middle School: Family Tradition Restaurant

CCSD 2021 SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR
ACE Academy: Linda Postell & Patti Tressler
Arnold Mill Elementary School: Allison Turner
Avery Elementary School: Kristy Drake
Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Karen Jordan
Bascomb Elementary School: Alanna Lawlor
Boston Elementary School: Courtney Dewitt
Carmel Elementary School: Carmel ES PTA
CCSD Preschool Centers: Kim Cordrey
Cherokee High School: Lanae Collier
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Mandi Fishback
Clayton Elementary School: Linda Postell
Creekland Middle School: Creekland MS PTSA Executive Board
Creekview High School: Creekview HS PTSA Executive Board
Dean Rusk Middle School: Marc and Madolyn Rudloph
E.T. Booth Middle School: Heather Baird
Etowah High School: Susan McElhannon
Free Home Elementary School: Pastor Nathaniel Long
Freedom Middle School: Freedom MS PTSA
Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Mary Ann Laughlin
Hickory Flat Elementary School: Sarah Aker
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Gwen Parker
Indian Knoll Elementary School: Nikki Chambley
Johnston Elementary School: Nicole Balejcsik
Knox ES STEM Academy: Jennifer Puckett
Liberty Elementary School: Dana Gardner and Tammy Willis
Little River Elementary School: Little River ES PTA Executive Board
Macedonia Elementary School: Rebecca Wright
Mill Creek Middle School: Mill Creek MS PTSA Executive Board
Mountain Road Elementary School: Christy Hopewell
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: Mike Maxwell
River Ridge High School: Ambrea Holman
R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy: Soleil Book Clubs
Sequoyah High School: Jacob Carnes
Sixes Elementary School: Sixes ES PTA Executive Board
Teasley Middle School: Melissa Fournier
Tippens Education Center: Michelle Ledford Brown
Woodstock Elementary School: Woodstock ES PTA Executive Board
Woodstock High School: Woodstock HS PTSA
Woodstock Middle School: Sharon Coleman

Archives

2020 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2019 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2018 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2017 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2016 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2015 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

2014 Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year