Two Cherokee County School District schools have earned top state honors for excellence in education!
Clayton Elementary School and R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy have won the prestigious School Bell Award from the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals.
The association presents the School Bell Award to no more than 10 schools in Georgia each year in recognition of outstanding curriculum and organizational leadership initiatives. Thirteen CCSD schools now have been honored over the past 11 years with two winners named each year for the last two years, which is an exceptional record and feat.
Clayton ES, led by Principal Dr. Carrie O’Bryant, earned the award for its Growing Mindsets initiative. R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy, led by Principal Matt Kimbrell, was recognized for its MOD (Men of Distinction) Squad program.
“We are dedicated to providing the best education possible to every student, and the continued achievement by our Principals and their teams to earn Georgia School Bell Awards is a testament to this commitment,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “I’m so proud of the Clayton and R.M. Moore school communities – the initiatives that won this recognition are focused on helping every student reach their full potential for future success, which is what we’re all about. Congratulations and thank you!”
Through the Growing Mindsets initiative, Clayton ES developed programs and strategies to encourage higher-level learning and greater academic achievement. This included new professional development for teachers, starting a STEM lab class to add into the weekly rotation of “specials” classes for all students, offering new STEM-focused after-school clubs including a STEM club and gardening club and implementing the Microsoft Kids Certification Program to expand students’ computer skills … becoming the first school in CCSD to reach 100% student certification.
Through the MOD Squad program, football players from neighboring Reinhardt University regularly visit R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy to visit with students. They are paired up with male fourth- and fifth-graders most in need of an additional male role model. The players visit with students during “specials” classes, recess and lunch, and during their visit engage in conversations, read together or play games. The R.M. Moore students who are paired up with a player then are asked to participate in activities where they can serve as role models for younger students at the school. The partnership has been mutually beneficial, with academic performance, behavior and self-esteem improvement reported for R.M. Moore participants and feedback from Reinhardt players that participation has positively impacted their own decision-making and sense of responsibility.
The schools will be formally recognized and presented with their awards at the association’s Fall Principals’ Conference, and they will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Dr. Hightower at this month’s School Board Meeting.
Recent past CCSD School Bell Award winners are: 2021, Indian Knoll ES and Macedonia ES; 2019, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy; 2017, Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy; 2016, Bascomb ES; 2015, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy and Woodstock ES; 2014, Canton ES STEM Academy; 2013, Free Home ES; 2012, Liberty ES; 2011, Oak Grove ES.