2020 CCSD Support Staff Employee of the Year Awards
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower surprises Ana Mirsajedin, parent facilitator for Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy, with the news she is the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Elementary School category.
The CCSD Transportation Department staff at Bus Shop 2 in Holly Springs looks on as Department Secretary Debra Basone is congratulated as the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Central Office category by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates Linda Heinz, center, as the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Middle School/High School/Centers category, as Principal Dr. Sue Zinkil looks on.
The Cherokee County School District has surprised the overall winners of its second annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards!
The awards program honors one Support Staff Employee of the Year from each of CCSD’s schools, centers and central office divisions, and one overall CCSD winner is selected for each of three categories: Elementary School; Middle School/High School/Centers; Central Office. These overall winners are selected by a committee of retired educators and community leaders.
While the traditional recognition ceremony could not be held this year, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower worked with the winners’ supervisors to coordinate surprise presentations. The overall winners are: for Elementary School: Ana Mirsajedin, parent facilitator for Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy; for Middle School/High School/Centers: Linda Heinz, Principal’s secretary for Creekview High School, who retired in May; for Central Office: Debra Basone, secretary for the CCSD Transportation Department.
“We can’t thank our support staff often enough – they serve our students, assist their colleagues and keep our schools and our organization as a whole running as smoothly as possible every day,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Each member of our CCSD family is appreciated, and I’m so grateful for them and the opportunity to recognize them in a special way through this annual awards program. Congratulations to our honorees and thank you for all that you do!”
Each received gifts thanks to the continuing support of event sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, the Cherokee County Educational Foundation; Platinum Sponsors, ABM Industry Groups LLC, Guaranteed Seamless Gutters and Credit Union of Georgia; and Silver Sponsors, Cobb EMC and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The three overall winners each were awarded a $250 Visa gift card, a $50 gift certificate from Riverstone Corner Bistro and a spa package gift certificate from Practically Perfect Day Spa in Canton. The school- and division-level winners each received a $100 Visa gift card, a $25 gift certificate from Practically Perfect Day Spa and an insulated tote bag filled with gifts from the sponsors and gifts from Allegro, Cherokee Lanes, Chick-fil-A, HP, Menchie’s, Northside Hospital Cherokee, True Natural Gas, and World’s Finest Chocolate. Every week, a different school or division Support Staff Employee of the Year winner will be featured on CCSD’s website and social media platforms. The winners also will be congratulated by the School Board at its October meeting with a virtual recognition.
School and division winners were selected by their colleagues; everyone who works in a support role – from bus drivers to nurses to police officers and many, many more valued employees – is eligible for the honor. Teachers, counselors, media specialists, and administrators are not eligible, as they are honored through other awards programs.
Ms. Mirsajedin is in her fourth year of service to CCSD as Oak Grove’s parent engagement facilitator. In this role, she not only assists parents seeking information and assistance, but also develops new ways to serve them and involve them in the school. Her most recent accomplishments include establishing a food pantry for students and families in need, with support from community partner, the Rotary Club of Woodstock; and creating a Parent Engagement Resource Room, where shelves are stocked with materials that parents can use to help their students learn more.
“She has a spirit of generosity and service that is contagious!” Principal Penny Valle said. “As she finds new ways to serve our students, staff, and families, they, in turn, find new ways to serve our school.”
Ms. Heinz retired in May with 30 years of service to CCSD, including the last 15 years as the Principal’s secretary for Creekview HS. Her responsibilities included assisting the Principal in numerous ways, but also grew to encompass much more from employee timekeeping, attendance and family and medical leave arrangements; to overseeing substitute teachers and managing facility use and the weekly employee newsletter.
“For the past 30 years, she showed love, compassion, and support to the students and staff at both Sequoyah HS and Creekview HS,” Creekview HS Principal Dr. Sue Zinkil said. “She did this so well because she operates from a center of kindness. Whether addressing the smallest request or handling the major crises and life-changes, Linda was equally loving and supportive. The steps she took to care for all the staff are unparalleled.”
Ms. Basone began her career with CCSD 19 years ago and has served in her current role for the past six years. She oversees numerous office management responsibilities at CCSD’s Bus Shop No. 2 in Holly Springs, as well as the many unique roles that come with working in the transportation office -- from answering radio calls from drivers on the road to notifying route supervisors of new road closures.
“Debra is usually the first one to hear of an issue or a concern and devotes her full attention to finding a solution and diffusing tense situations,” Transportation Director Jim Georges said. “Her work ethic is impeccable, and she is a genuinely kind and caring person.”
2020 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year
Terri Glasok, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional
Arnold Mill Elementary School
Robyn Wong, Instructional Lead Strategist
Avery Elementary School
Ellie Babb, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional
Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy
Kim Bishop, School Nurse
Bascomb Elementary School
Robert Fortner, Lead Custodian
Boston Elementary School
Kelley Muller, School Nurse
Carmel Elementary School
Stacy Franks, Paraprofessional
CCSD Preschool Centers
Donna Chandler, School Secretary (Johnston Preschool Center)
Cherokee High School
Teri Potts, Principal’s Secretary
Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Nancy Partin, Student Records Facilitator
Clayton Elementary School
Kim Sugar, Bookkeeper
Creekland Middle School
Rebecca Warren, Paraprofessional
Creekview High School
Linda Heinz, Principal’s Secretary
Dean Rusk Middle School
Craig Lyttle, Lead Custodian
E.T. Booth Middle School
Sue King, Bookkeeper
Etowah High School
Bethany Reams, Athletic Director’s Secretary
Free Home Elementary School
Vicki Wheeler, Bookkeeper
Freedom Middle School
Gina Nelson, School Secretary
Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Gwen Freeman, Parent Facilitator
Hickory Flat Elementary School
Olivia Byess, Principal’s Secretary
Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy
Kim Moody, Instructional Lead Strategist
Indian Knoll Elementary School
Jennifer Severson, ASP Bookkeeper
Johnston Elementary School
Joanne Waver, Student Records Facilitator
Knox Elementary School STEM Academy
Shay Langston, Bookkeeper
Liberty Elementary School
Daniela McBride, Receptionist
Little River Elementary School
Cheryl Rohmer, Annex Clerk
Macedonia Elementary School
Tracy Smith, Front Office Receptionist
Mill Creek Middle School
Lori Karnes, Principal’s Secretary
Mountain Road Elementary School
Kim Rowland, Student Records Facilitator
Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Ana Mirsajedin, Parent Facilitator
R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy
Kayce Davidson, School Secretary
River Ridge High School
Laura Hardin, Athletic Director’s Secretary
Sequoyah High School
Kelleye Greene, Athletic Director’s Secretary
Sixes Elementary School
Angie Morgan, School Nutrition Cafeteria Manager
Teasley Middle School
Yesica Cruz, School Secretary
Tippens Education Center
Nancy Glozier, School Nutrition Assistant Cafeteria Manager
Woodstock Elementary School
Dawn Mueller, Paraprofessional
Woodstock High School
Alesia Register, Bookkeeper
Woodstock Middle School
Barbara Gentile, School Secretary
CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Cory Steinberg, Administrative Assistant to Director of Middle and High School Curriculum
CCSD Office of Financial Management
Sara Ezell, Accounting Clerk
CCSD Office of Human Resources
Cheryl Holcomb, Employee Benefits Specialist
CCSD Office of Safety & Security
Danielle Ross, Emergency Operations Facilitator
CCSD Office of School Operations
Sheryl Puccio, Administrative Assistant to Chief Operations Officer
CCSD Office of Support Services
Terry Cornelison, Lead Facility Technician
CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services
Goulal Tuboi, Systems Specialist
CCSD Transportation Department
Debra Basone, Transportation Department Secretary
CCSD Transportation Department Secretary Debra Basone is congratulated as the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Central Office category by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.
CCSD Transportation Department Secretary Debra Basone realizes she’s in for a surprise as she walks into a staff meeting with Director Jim Georges and sees the Superintendent of Schools waiting for her with a CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award plaque.
Ana Mirsajedin, parent facilitator for Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy, center, is congratulated as the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Elementary School category by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Principal Penny Valle.
Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy faculty and staff applaud the news their colleague Ana Mirsajedin is the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Elementary School category.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Creekview High School Principal Dr. Sue Zinkil, right, congratulate Linda Heinz as the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Middle School/High School/Centers category. Ms. Heinz retired in May after 30 years of service to CCSD, with the last 15 as Principal’s secretary at Creekview HS.
The Creekview High School faculty and staff celebrate longtime colleague Linda Heinz, as all are surprised with the announcement she is the CCSD 2020 Support Staff Employee of the Year Award winner for the Middle School/High School/Centers category.