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Superintendent’s Game Changer Awards

Last Updated: 5/9/2022 5:00 PM

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The Superintendent of Schools' "Premier Awards" Annually Recognizing Instructional Excellence

 

2021-22 Awards

Instructional Leadership: Dr. Nicole Holmes

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, presents the 2020-21 Superintendent’s Game Changer Award for Instructional Leadership to Dr. Nicole Holmes, CCSD’s Chief Academic Officer, for her many outstanding efforts over the past year, but especially her role as the lead for preparing for CCSD’s recent successful renewal of its accreditation and the achievement of the school district’s highest ever accreditation score.

The 2021-22 Award for Instructional Leadership was presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower to Dr. Nicole Holmes, a longtime CCSD teacher and past Principal of Liberty ES who now serves as CCSD’s Chief Academic Officer, overseeing curriculum, instruction, Special Education and staff and professional development among her numerous roles.

The presentation was made in front of her colleagues on May 3, 2022 at the Principals’ meeting of the school year.  

Dr. Hightower praised Dr. Holmes for her many outstanding efforts over the past year, but especially her role as the lead for preparing for CCSD’s recent successful renewal of its accreditation and the achievement of the school district’s highest ever accreditation score.

“She knocked it right out the park,” Dr. Hightower said of CCSD’s accreditation renewal preparation.  “The reviewed called us back and said they were so impressed with the system she used to organize our data and documentation that they want to use us as a model for other districts across the nation.”

Instructional Advocacy: TBA

Instructional Excellence: TBA 

Instructional Support: TBA

 

2020-21 Awards

(Note: the presentation of some of these awards was delayed by the pandemic)

Instructional Leadership: Andy Hall

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, presents the 2020-21 Superintendent’s Game Changer Award for Instructional Leadership to Andy Hall in recognition of his work as Principal for i-Grad Virtual Academy, CCSD’s new permanent online learning choice.

The 2020-21 Award for Instructional Leadership was presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower to Andy Hall, a longtime CCSD teacher and past River Ridge HS assistant principal who now serves as Principal for i-Grad Virtual Academy, CCSD’s new permanent online learning choice.  It opened last year for Grades 9-12, and next school year will expand to Grades 4-12.  

The presentation was made in front of his colleagues on May 3, 2022 at the Principals’ meeting of the school year.  

Next school year, Principal Hall’s role will expand to leadership of the ACTIVE Academies campus, which also includes ACE Academy, CCSD’s daytime alternative high school; Transition Academy, a vocational and life skills program for young adults with special needs who recently completed high school; and the Cherokee College & Career Academy, which offers Career Pathway choices, like cybersecurity and next year’s aviation programs, in addition to the numerous choices at CCSD’s six traditional high schools.

“You know what it takes to create something from nothing, and that was his charge,” Dr. Hightower said of Principal Hall’s success in opening i-Grad.  “We appreciate his energy and the skill he brings to the game.”

Instructional Support: Dr. Rouel Belleza

2020 game changer dr rouel belleza

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower during the Aug. 20, 2020 School Board meeting made a surprise presentation during the meeting – the first of his four annual Game Changer Awards recognizing excellence in instruction.  

He presented the Game Changer for Instructional Support posthumously to the late Dr. Rouel Belleza, which was accepted by his wife, Ellie. 

Dr. Belleza, who passed away in November after a two-year battle with gastric cancer, served as CCSD’s first supervisor of student services in the Office of School Operations and, in this role, laid the groundwork for a future Virtual Academy program and was the original architect of the District’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative.

“Rouel recognized early on that, while our primary mission is teaching and learning, effective instruction can’t happen if we neglect the mental health and well-being of our students and staff,” Dr. Hightower said.  “His work has saved the lives of at-risk students and that’s a legacy that will live on for generations.”

Instructional Advocacy: TBA

Instructional Excellence: TBA 

Instructional Leadership: TBA

Archives

2019 Superintendent's Game Changer Awards

2018 Superintendent's Game Changer Awards

2017 Superintendent's Game Changer Awards