Students are pictured in alphabetical order by school from left to right.
The Cherokee County School District congratulates its School Board Delegates on completing their year of service!
For the past 20 years, the School Board has invited an outstanding high school senior to serve a one-year term as its Student Advisor; and the program later expanded to include a senior Student Delegate from each high school. The Advisor role rotates among CCSD’s high schools; all of the Delegates are asked to give input and feedback to the School Board.
Callie Goins of River Ridge HS served as Student Advisor for the past school year and was joined by Student Delegates: Edward Tsui of Cherokee HS; Caroline Richardson of Creekview HS; Madison Johns of Etowah HS; Valerie Ambriz of Sequoyah HS; and Zakwan Khan of Woodstock HS.
“Thank you to these outstanding seniors for their service,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Our Delegates are among our School District’s brightest students, and they also are among the busiest, so their willingness to give us their time and share their thoughts is deeply appreciated. School Board Chair Kyla Cromer at last night’s meeting thanked them on behalf of the Board, and I know my senior staff joins me in thanking them and wishing them the best. We have great hopes for each of them, as they are true servant leaders with amazing opportunities ahead.”
The Delegates attend all School Board meetings, and their participation continued as those meetings moved online last month. Throughout the year, the Delegates also meet in work sessions with the Superintendent’s senior staff to advise them on important issues, ranging from course offerings and technology usage to cafeteria menus and social and emotional learning.
Students selected by their schools for the role share common traits: they rank in the top of their class academically (it was announced this week that Valerie is her school’s Valedictorian, and Zakwan is his school’s Salutatorian); they are school leaders involved in numerous campus clubs and teams; and they are volunteers in their school’s service organizations as well as in their communities.
When School Board meetings are held in person, the May meeting is a time for celebrating the Delegates and inviting them to share their future plans. Each will be honored at graduation ceremonies in July with special cords, and each will receive a $100 Amazon gift card, donated by CCSD Partner, Cobb EMC, in appreciation of their service. We asked them to share their future plans and advice for their classmates, which is noted below.
Edward Tsui, Cherokee HS
College plans: University of Georgia to major in biochemistry. Edward earned the Paulsen-Purvis 2020 Scholarship and the Eugene Freeman Memorial Scholarship.
Future plans: “I have the eventual aspirations to attend a respected medical school and to become an anesthesiologist.”
Advice to the Class of 2020: “If I had to share one piece of advice with my fellow graduates, I would share that the relationships and connections you make in life matter more than the material accomplishments you can ever achieve.”
Caroline Richardson, Creekview HS
College plans: University of Georgia to major in political science
Future plans: Corporate lawyer
Advice to the Class of 2020: “We’ve spent our childhoods dreaming of senior year and the people we would become someday -- don’t lose your imagination and ability to dream! The sky is still the limit for us if we work hard and dream big.”
Madison Johns, Etowah HS
College plans: Duke University to double major in environmental science and policy, and global health. Madison earned the National English Honor Society Merit Scholarship and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship.
Future plans: “I would like to go into environmental research to examine infectious diseases directly caused by the environment.”
Advice to the Class of 2020: “If this year has taught me anything, it has taught me to not wait until the last moment to try something new. ‘The time is now’ should be everyone’s motto when quarantine is finally over.”
Callie Goins, River Ridge HS
College plans: Georgia Institute of Technology to major in psychology. Callie earned the Zell Miller Scholarship, Georgia Tech College of Sciences Dean’s Grant, and the Jocelyn Botterell Stratton Scholarship.
Future plans: “I plan to minor or possibly do a double major with public policy and attend law school after undergrad to do something in that field.”
Advice to the Class of 2020: “Never let someone else decide your dreams. Choose your own path!”
Valerie Ambriz, Sequoyah HS
College plans: Yale University to double major in global affairs, and race, ethnicity and migration. Valerie earned the Gates Scholarship.
Future plans: “I plan to go to law school so that I can become a human rights lawyer. It would be so cool to work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the future. Whatever I end up doing, I want to be serving underprivileged communities.”
Advice to the Class of 2020: “These past few months have shown us just how fast everything can change. I’ve learned that nothing should be taken for granted, whether it be walking the school halls, laughing with loved ones, or simply enjoying a sunny day. Seize the moment!”
Zakwan Khan, Woodstock HS
College plans: University of Chicago
Future plans: Undecided
Advice to the Class of 2020: “Invest in bitcoin.”