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2016 Partners of the Year and Volunteers of the Year Introductions

2016 School Partners of the Year

Arnold Mill ES: Woodstock Walmart Supercenter

For the second consecutive year, the Woodstock Walmart Supercenter is Arnold Mill Elementary School’s Partner of the Year.  Walmart may be known for “rolling back” prices, but it increases its support to the school every year.  In addition to providing gift cards for the Employee of the Month, this year the store provided 20 $50 gift cards to kick off the school year… a “great shot in the arm,” according to the Principal.

Avery ES: Adams Sports Instructions

Adams Sports Instruction scores with Avery Elementary School by not only providing after-school sports programs, donations of sports equipment and volunteer speakers and event judges, but by also offering scholarships to students who could not otherwise afford to participate in after-school sports.  Through this opportunity, the students learn to work with a team and engage in character building while having fun and exercising.

Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Ball Ground Business and Community Association

The Ball Ground Business and Community Association sees Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy as the heart of its community and shows it love through volunteer hours, advocacy and fundraising.  The Association recently generated $2,000 for the school’s MakerSpace project and brought 40 community leaders to visit the school and learn more about how they could help, too.

Bascomb ES: Publix at Rose Creek Shopping Center

Publix prides itself on making shopping a pleasure, and they also make partnerships a pleasure, according to Bascomb Elementary School’s Principal.  The Publix at Rose Creek Shopping Center is generous with its donations of bakery treats and supplies to the school, as well as volunteers and creative collaborations like the Mother’s Day Cakes fundraiser.

Boston ES: Cobb EMC

For 28 years, Cobb EMC has dedicated time, talent and treasure to Boston Elementary School as a community partner… the oldest partnership of its kind for both organizations.  Students enjoy extraordinary experiences like shadowing employees, serving as reporters for the School Power newsletter and seeing a bucket truck up close on the campus.  Cobb EMC also invests in the school by volunteering in classrooms and providing grants, student incentives and teacher rewards.

Canton ES STEM Academy: The Rotary Club of Canton

If Canton Elementary School STEM Academy needs help, they know who to call: the Rotary Club of Canton.  The school’s Partner of the Year for three consecutive years, the Club, whose members have a motto of never saying “no” to service, has said yes to volunteering and to raising funds for generous grants totaling $12,000… providing monies for field trips, the creation of an aquaponics lab and, this year, the construction of a MakerSpace.

Carmel ES: Family Eye Clinic at Towne Lake

Not many business owners would close their office for two days to donate their time working one-on-one with hundreds of first- and third-graders, but that’s exactly what Family Eye Clinic at Towne Lake does every year for Carmel Elementary School.  “Dr. Mike,” as the kids call him, screens thousands of students at CCSD schools including Carmel ES to ensure each child is able to see so they can read and learn… and many also receive free eyeglasses when he learns they otherwise can’t afford them.

CCSD Preschool Centers: Joseph Daniel Howard Foundation

The Ralph Bunche Center, a CCSD Preschool Center, serves many of its community’s most at-risk children, including housing a Special Education preschool program.  Thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Joseph Daniel Howard Foundation, the Center is able to purchase adaptive playground equipment to allow students with and without physical disabilities to play together outside.

Cherokee HS: Chart Industries

Cherokee High School’s welding program provides such outstanding training that students who want a job in the field get one.  That program would not be as successful, according to the school’s Principal, without the support of Chart Industries, which is “nothing short of outstanding.”  The manufacturer donates not only materials and funding, but also the time of its staff, who provide priceless industry insight and expertise.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Dairy Queen of Acworth

It’s sweet to be a well-behaved student at Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy.  Partner of the Year, Dairy Queen of Acworth, donates frozen treats to students through the school’s positive behavior program!  The store also brings the company’s DQ Monster Truck to the school for Career Day and partners with the PTA on a DQ Days fundraiser that recently helped fund the installation of a new outdoor classroom.

Clayton ES: Reinhardt University

Reinhardt University’s Eagles football team spends so much time at Clayton Elementary, they could call themselves Clayton Cougars.  The players read books to students, help coordinate the Pumpkinpaloosa math event and prune and mulch the campus, and the University provides Clayton ES students with camp scholarships, homecoming football game tickets and spirit wear for fundraiser prizes.

Creekland MS: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza

Jenny Brooks is not only owner of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza, she’s also a certified teacher, which gives her special insight into how to best partner with schools.  Creekland Middle School benefits through donations of gift cards and coupons for academic competitions, attendance incentives, its “Dress for Success” program and school fundraisers, as well as Ms. Brooks’ volunteerism.

Creekview HS: Chick-fil-A of Canton

Creekview High School has honored Chick-fil-A of Canton for three consecutive years as its Partner of the Year due to the selfless support of the school by owner-operator Kevin Williams, according to the school’s Principal.  Mr. Williams seeks out opportunities to help, which range from his time at special events to donations of gift cards and food for incentives and fundraisers and his sponsorship of the Leadership Academy for student-leaders.

Dean Rusk MS: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza

Dean Rusk Middle School faced a challenge: they needed a healthy option to sell in the cafeteria as a school fundraiser, and they struggled to find parent volunteers who could volunteer regularly at lunchtime to sell ice cream.  Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza came to the rescue, as owner Jenny Brooks not only offered the school a quality snack and a healthy profit, but mans the station herself!

ET Booth MS: Chick-fil-A of Towne Lake

Chick-fil-A of Towne Lake is a winner in the book of E.T. Booth Middle School’s Principal because of the store’s consistent, reliable and responsive support.  The store collaborates with the school to develop incentives for student attendance and staff and to create successful fundraising opportunities, such as the highly anticipated annual Spirit Day during which a portion of sales is donated to support the school’s student and instructional needs.

Etowah HS: Seasonal Designs Landscaping

Etowah High School is as big as some college campuses, and Seasonal Designs Landscaping helps keep it looking as good through its services, but also through its donations for various beautification projects.  The company also provides two college scholarships to graduating seniors each year and supports the school’s academics and athletics programs and this year.

Free Home ES: Cherokee Shrine Club

It’s not the holiday season at Free Home Elementary School until the utility trailer shows up.  Filled with new toys, the trailer also comes with a crew of Cherokee Shrine Club members, who unload the gifts, ranging from bicycles to teddy bears, all wrapped up and ready for delivery to the school’s neediest children.  It’s been a tradition for the past four years, and one the school’s Principal said they now cannot imagine the season without.

Freedom MS: Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority

The role of water and water conservation are important standards for middle school students, and the Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority makes the lessons memorable.  Jennifer Arp visits classrooms to engage students in learning through hands-on activities for all sixth-grade classes, so they better understand and value water and how the Authority takes care of this resource.

Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Heritage Baptist Church

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy serves many students whose families struggle to provide health meals at home.  Into that void has stepped Heritage Baptist Church, led by four-year volunteers Bob and Mary Elizabeth Smith, to collect and donate groceries and the time to pack them for the school’s Project Backpack weekend feeding program, which sends a bag of meals home with these children each week.

Hickory Flat ES: Huntington Learning Center

Huntington Learning Center provides financial support to Hickory Flat Elementary School’s programs and PTA, but the staff also volunteers its time… a commodity that is just as precious to the Principal.  This volunteerism includes support of the school’s #BeKind initiative, free study skills workshops for students and Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts.

Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Holly Springs Walmart

The new Holly Springs Walmart quickly proved itself as a good neighbor to Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy.  At the beginning of the school year, pallets of backpacks and school supplies arrived to help students in need, and the support continued all school year with donations for the school, special events and the PTA and its fundraisers.

Indian Knoll ES: Johnny’s New York Style Pizza of Hickory Flat

Johnny’s New York Style Pizza of Hickory Flat is a slice above the rest, according to Indian Knoll Elementary School’s Principal.  The restaurant is quick to donate gift certificates for student incentives, teacher appreciation and school fundraisers, and holds Spirit Night fundraisers for the school at the restaurant.

Johnston ES: Chick-fil-A Dwarf House of Woodstock

It’s a pleasure to work with Chick-fil-A Dwarf House of Woodstock, according to Johnston Elementary School.  The restaurant contacts the school to ask how it can help… whether through donations of gift cards for teacher and student incentives, food for special events or suggestions as to how they can work together to raise funds for the school.

Knox ES: Northside Hospital-Cherokee

Northside Hospital-Cherokee provides care for the children of Knox Elementary School each year.  This support is delivered through its free health and wellness educational programs in classrooms, support of school activities and the generous donation of $1,000 to the school clinic this school year for supplies.

Liberty ES: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza

Liberty Elementary School’s Principal sees many positives in its partnership with Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt at Riverstone Plaza, but the sweetest of these is the Fun Friday celebration.  The weekly event not only is a treat for students, but also a successful school fundraiser and an example of the care that Menchie’s shows, such as how it provides numerous options so children with food allergies aren’t left out of the fun.

Little River ES: Woodstock Walmart Supercenter

The Woodstock Walmart Supercenter may be a big store, but it maintains a small-town feel in its partnership with Little River Elementary School.  The store provides a monthly gift card to the school, donations for special events and a call back from Tracy Collins filled with kindness and respect whenever the school has a question or request.

Macedonia ES: Moss Family Chiropractic

Macedonia Elementary School’s Principal received a request for a meeting from Moss Family Chiropractic that filled her with delight: all Dr. Moss wanted was to know how he could help the school, its students and its teachers!  Ever since, the practice has been doing just that through free chair massages for teachers, free classes for parents, sponsoring school fitness challenges and wellness initiatives and donating to classrooms.

Mill Creek MS: Woodstock Walmart Supercenter

Every month, one Mill Creek Middle School teacher’s day is brightened by a gift card donated by the Woodstock Walmart Supercenter.  The Teacher of the Month program is just one of the many ways that the store and representative Tracy Collins partner with the school to support local students and teachers.

Mountain Road ES: Domino’s of Hickory Flat

“What more can Domino’s do for you?” is the question that Mountain Road Elementary School’s Partner of the Year loves to ask the Principal.  And she loves to come up with new ways the Hickory Flat store can help like Spirit Nights when the school’s teachers and administrators ride along with the Domino’s delivery person to deliver to the school’s families that order pizzas during the fundraiser evening.

Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: Hillcrest Baptist Church

For the second consecutive year, Hillcrest Baptist Church is the Partner of the Year for Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy.  A longtime partner, the church consistently provides extraordinary support ranging from a welcome back-to-school luncheon for teachers and staff to donations of food and gifts to the school’s neediest students to shuttling grandparents to the door from their neighboring parking lot for special events at the school.

R.M. Moore ES: Reinhardt University

Like a good neighbor, Reinhardt University is always there for R.M. Moore Elementary School.  The longtime partnership has grown over the past school year with even greater opportunities for Reinhardt students to volunteer in the school’s classrooms, much to the delight of the children and their teachers… especially when the Reinhardt students bring their eagle mascot or donations of food, clothes and gifts for needy students.

River Ridge HS: Superior Plumbing

Superior Plumbing provides “tremendous” support to River Ridge High School, according to its Principal.  This support includes financial contributions to academic, arts and athletic programs, as well as extraordinary opportunities for the school’s special needs children including seats at an Atlanta Braves game, tickets to Disney on Ice’s Princesses show and even limousine rides to the School District’s Friends Formal dance.

Sequoyah HS: Tenacious Tea, Alpharetta Beverage Company

“Everyone has a mountain to climb, what’s yours?” is the motto of Tenacious Tea, and its owner, Alpharetta Beverage Company, has helped Sequoyah High School climb mountains of its own.  Through the company’s donation of bottled tea to sell as fundraiser, the school and its PTSA raised enough funds to award college scholarships to two deserving graduating seniors.

Sixes ES: Hopewell Baptist Church

From homework helpers to heaping helpings of turkey dinner, Hopewell Baptist Church shows kindness and love to Sixes Elementary School.  The church’s support is generous, ranging from volunteers who tutor students to a Thanksgiving meal and party (complete with games and presents) for teachers and staff, but among the most touching of its gifts is sending food baskets at each holiday to families of students in need.

Teasley MS: Publix at Riverstone Plaza

Every Thursday morning, Teasley Middle School welcomes many students on campus for before-school club meetings, and they enjoy a delicious breakfast donated by Publix at Riverstone Plaza.  The donations of baked goods often are so generous that there is plenty left over to donate to families of the school’s needy students, many of whom would otherwise not have food at home to eat.

Woodstock ES: Sojourn Church

The Woodstock Public Library is a full house on Tuesday nights, as Woodstock Elementary School students visit to meet with volunteer tutors from Sojourn Church.  Not only do they provide this valuable help and mentoring to the students, many of whose parents don’t speak English as their primary language, but they also provide them with a free soccer camp, fall festival and picnic and Christmas gifts.

Woodstock HS: The Premier Group, Keller Williams Realty Partners

Faculty meetings at Woodstock High School would not be the same without the support of The Premier Group, Keller Williams Realty Partners.  Everyone enjoys a delicious breakfast and faculty members who are recognized as “going above and beyond” receive gifts, just two examples of how the company is committed to supporting the school and its teachers.

Woodstock MS: Chick-fil-A of Towne Lake

Whether donating a free chicken biscuit to each perfect attendance student or providing gift cards as an incentive for positive behavior, Chick-fil-A of Towne Lake is there to help Woodstock Middle School.  The store not only supports the school, the staff also helps lead its community involvement, as members of the School Council.


 2016 School Volunteers of the Year

Arnold Mill ES: Barbara Graves

Barbara Graves not only donates her own time to Arnold Mill Elementary School, but, as volunteer coordinator for Momentum Church, she also recruits others to help.  She provides individualized tutoring to at-risk students and models a love of learning and of serving others.

Avery ES: Carrie Gilliam

Whether she is folding T-shirts to sell of making curtains to beautify the front office, PTA Co-Vice President Carrie Gilliam is busy making a difference at Avery Elementary School.  She brings fresh ideas to the school for supporting students and teachers, and often is there before school starts and after it ends to see them to reality.

Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Carolyn Timcoe

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy volunteer Carolyn Timcoe is a past school and CCSD Volunteer of the Year, but she hasn’t let that praise go to her head.  You’ll still find her in the trenches of the media center, shelving books, checking materials in and out and laminating.  There’s no task too large or too small for her to take on for the school that she’s adopted as her own.

Bascomb ES: Matt Mascuch - MASHOE

Some parents fight over teachers, but Matt Mascuch is the kind of parent that teachers fight over.  His response to every call for help? “Sure!” Need a special event or a classroom set up?  “Sure!” Serving up Thanksgiving lunch?  Painting car rider safety lines?  Hanging lights and backdrops for a drama performance?  “Sure!” “Sure!” “Sure!” Saving a bug from danger at the request of a class of first-graders?  Awwww… “Sure!”

Boston ES: Amy Keeton

If a family is having fun at Boston Elementary School, Amy Keeton played a role in making that happen.  As the PTA Family Fun Coordinator, she’s behind the scenes coordinating Bingo Nights, Spring Flings, Movie Nights, Nerf Nights, Santa Shops.  Ms. Keeton, the Principal said, is a big reason why Boston Elementary is “truly one big family.”

Canton ES STEM Academy: Clara Mae and Gus Van Brink

Early each morning at Canton Elementary School STEM Academy, Clara Mae and Gus Van Brink are greeted by smiling first-graders eager to practice their newfound reading skills with their favorite “buddies.”  The Van Brinks, who own AAMCO Total Car Care, not only are dedicated volunteers for the Reading Buddies program, they also are excellent at recruiting more volunteers and organized a mid-year party to celebrate the students’ success so far.

Carmel ES: Gillian Mims

There’s nothing Carmel Elementary School PTA Co-President Gilliam Mims won’t do to support the school and its students and teachers.  She’ll help at Honor Roll Breakfasts, Staff Birthday Lunches and Bingo Nights. She’ll answer the front office phone.  She’ll substitute teach.  She’ll even agree to a rock wall-climbing challenge by the Principal at the fall festival!

CCSD Preschool Centers: Toby Sklar

Soleil Optimist Club, led by President Toby Sklar, for four years has provided Ralph Bunche Center, a CCSD Preschool Center, with volunteers, donations and love.  Club members read stories and make crafts with the preschoolers, provide the teachers with appreciation luncheons, give books to the library and instructional materials to the classrooms and build special areas on the campus like a memorial garden and an adaptive playground for special needs children.

Cherokee HS: April Luth

As Cherokee High School’s Principal puts it, volunteering in a high school front office is not for the faint of heart.  April Luth volunteers there two days a week and doesn’t watch the clock.  Even if she’s not scheduled to volunteer, you sometimes can find her there ready with a smile to help students, parents and teachers in their times of need.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Cassandra Hazelwood

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy PTA Board Member Cassandra Hazelwood is a charter member of the school’s PTA and helped lay the foundation for the school’s successful collaboration between parents and teachers.  Under her leadership, the school won two prestigious regional awards for membership and innovation, and she was tapped for State honors including serving on a Governor’s Advisory Board and presenting at a State conference.

Clayton ES: Teresa Dangar

Teresa Dangar is better known at Clayton Elementary School as “Grammie.”  Co-Vice President of the PTA, Ms. Dangar is an essential part of not only special events at the school, but also day-to-day operations.  As the grandmother of three students at Clayton Elementary, Ms. Dangar has increased grandparent involvement in the school and makes sure every student has a “grandparent” to call their own.

Creekland MS: Jimmy Wilson

Creekland Middle School volunteer Jimmy Wilson doesn’t just show up, according to the Principal, he is “present in the moment” and makes the most of every opportunity to serve and interact with students.  On any given day, you can find Mr. Wilson, a retired U.S. Air Force Major, selling ice cream, mentoring middle schoolers, chaperoning field trips or planning a special event like the annual Veterans Day Program.

Dean Rusk MS: Monica Orrico

Dean Rusk Middle School PTA President Monica Orrico’s official job duties are more than a page long… and that’s just what’s on paper.  The school’s Principal describes Ms. Orrico, 2014-15 Volunteer of the Year for Mountain Road Elementary School, as the “driving force” behind Dean Rusk’s PTA who makes everything happen… from appreciation lunches for teachers to school dances to spirit wear sales.

ET Booth MS: Kelly Covington

First-class service is what E.T. Booth Middle School volunteer Kelly Covington is known for… and it’s a legacy that will be hard to top, according to the Principal.  Ms. Covington stays cool working the front office phone during possible inclement weather days, and can just as easily jazz everyone up to volunteer for the annual band program fundraiser.

Etowah HS: Shannon Bates

If there’s a job to volunteer for to support Etowah High School, Shannon Bates has done it.  Or is doing it.  Or will do it (just ask).  Ms. Bates has served as PTA President (twice!) and Treasurer, Swim and Dive Boosters President and Vice President, School Council (three times!) and is a four-year front office volunteer.  And this service follows years of dedication at Chapman Intermediate School and E.T. Booth Middle School.

Free Home ES: Ken Lightsey

Ken Lightsey loves Free Home Elementary School.  So much that he serves as PTA President, volunteers to beautify the school’s campus, makes all the food for the fall festival (including delicious pork barbecue), organizes the holiday teacher appreciation lunch, establishes partnerships with local businesses and coordinates donations of holiday food baskets for the families of students in need.

Freedom MS: Clara Mae Van Brink

Clara Mae Van Brink tends gardens at Freedom Middle School, where she’s growing future gardeners.  As a Cherokee County Master Gardener, Ms. Van Brink shares her expertise with family and consumer science students through lessons she guest teaches during the year.  Freedom Middle’s Principal said while Ms. Van Brink is not a parent at the school, she sees the importance of sowing seeds in her community, and that is a wonderful gift.

Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Danielle Sones

PTA Co-President Danielle Sones chose Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy for her children, so they could experience a more diverse school family than their more affluent neighborhood school.  And she chooses to volunteer to make sure that the school and its teachers have as much support as possible to meet all the challenges they face serving a school with higher populations of students in need.

Hickory Flat ES: Suzy Griffes

When Hickory Flat Elementary School teachers are asked about volunteer Suzy Griffes, they praise her hard work, but they also praise her spirit, as she works behind the scenes without seeking praise or influence.  Two telling examples: the day after a snow day, she showed up at 7:30 a.m. in case teachers needed any extra help; and she serves as the Box Tops for Education chair… encouraging participation and making sure every one of those little bitty squares is unexpired and properly trimmed.

Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Darci Turnage

Darci Turnage has a passion for the Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy that exceeds expectations.  She shelves books, creates displays, makes copies, yes, but she also attends regional workshops to learn how to maximize book fair fundraising.  As the center’s volunteer coordinator, she doesn’t just compile an email list and schedule, she personally trains all new volunteers and checks in on them and the media specialist to ensure outstanding service.

Indian Knoll ES: Mary Robinson

Indian Knoll Elementary School’s Principal said it’s easier to list what volunteer May Robinson doesn’t do than what she does!  She handles big tasks like serving as PTA President and Spring Fling coordinator, but she also takes on small jobs like making copies.  For five years, she’s provided exceptional support and matched other parents to opportunities so they can join her in service.

Johnston ES: Natalie Dean

When it comes to volunteering at Johnston Elementary, Natalie Dean doesn’t know the word “no.”  Much to the Principal’s delight, she takes on serving as PTA Co-Vice President, Veterans Day Breakfast coordinator, Bingo Night host, Fall Festival planner, Room Mom and more with a happy “yes,” and then delivers outstanding results.

Knox ES: Amy Stegos

A former teacher, Amy Stegos intuitively knows how to help teachers and students at Knox Elementary School, a gift the Principal counts as amazing.  She begins her day with the tasks at hand, whether they be shelving books or assisting in a classroom, but never goes home without asking there and in the front office if there’s anything else she can do before she leaves.

Liberty ES: Lauren Cook

When Liberty Elementary School’s Principal describes Lauren Cook, the word reliable comes up.  A lot.  Ms. Cook can be counted on, he said, to respond with a moment’s notice to a call for volunteer help.  She jumps at the chance to help in the front office or sell ice cream, and she embodies the school’s #BeKind initiative with her respectful and compassionate treatment of everyone with whom she interacts.

Little River ES: Lelok Bessada

Little River Elementary School Co-PTA President Lelok Bessada faces big challenges as a volunteer leader at the School District’s largest elementary school.  Good thing she rises to challenges!  During her tenure, the school won first place for Outstanding Local Unit for a large elementary school, raised enough funds to build an additional playground to accommodate the growing enrollment and championed lining the school’s drive with red maple trees.

Macedonia ES: Tara Fuentes

Like every school, Macedonia Elementary School has parent volunteers who make sure their presence is known.  Tara Fuentes is not one of those volunteers.  She’s more of the behind-the-scenes, getting things done, unsung heroes-type.  She’s behind the slushie machine on movie night and coordinates the record-breaking entries for Reflections.  She also is the veteran who is the most humbled at the Veterans Day Ceremony, and the cancer survivor who raises funds and spirits for others facing battles.

Mill Creek MS: Gina Schmidt

Gina Schmidt volunteered with dedication for three years while her oldest child was a student at Mill Creek Middle School.  She didn’t try to use that as a pass when her youngest started classes there last year… instead she stepped up her service in the media center to include assisting with book fairs, supporting the reading bowl team and managing the “book hospital,” where she provides compassionate care to books in need.

Mountain Road ES: Cheryl Kunik

Cheerleader, one-woman welcome wagon, visionary.  Cheryl Kunik is all these things for Mountain Road Elementary School, and her selfless care for teachers, students and fellow parents is why the Principal sees her as a vital part of the school’s family.  As PTA President for the second year, Ms. Kunik makes it her mission to encourage parents to become involved and guide them to success.

Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: Peggy Davis

Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy volunteer Peggy Davis may be retired from teaching, but she’s not retired from caring about students.  For the past three years, Ms. Davis has volunteered every day to mentor students in reading and math.  The Principal says she is “honored, honored, honored” to welcome Ms. Davis to school each day.

R.M. Moore ES: Karri Manning

Karri Manning, according to R.M. Moore Elementary School’s Principal, is magic.  You mention something, and then it’s done!  “Maybe that bulletin board could use a new border?”  Later that day, Karri comes back with a new border!  “Wouldn’t that be a nice arrangement for Muffins with Mom?”  Karri goes home, gathers, paints… poof: arrangement!  “No one is here to sell ice cream today?”  Karri appears at the ice cream counter!  Whatever, whenever, wherever, she can be relied upon to work magic through her willingness to serve.

River Ridge HS: Robert Houk

The afternoon car rider line is a challenge for every school, and Robert Houk is River Ridge High School’s “saving grace,” according to its Principal.  Mr. Houk monitors the traffic flow every afternoon to ensure drivers follow the rules that keep cars moving and keep everyone safe.  Not only is he dependable, Mr. Houk also is praised for staying positive and being a smiling face for parents to see as they leave campus.

Sequoyah HS: Cassan Henley

Sequoyah High School’s athletics teams have official cheerleaders, but it’s an unofficial one who makes a tremendous difference in their success.  Cassan Henley wears many hats to support her school including Football Booster Club Vice President, Basketball Team Mom and school Spirit Wear Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator and Middle School Liaison… all of which she does with great pride and joy.

Sixes ES: Greg Moffitt

“Morning car duty” may be the three words that teachers dread the most.  Sixes Elementary School’s Principal asked members of its “Dads Doing Duty” volunteer club if they would consider helping, and Greg Moffitt signed up.  He greets students with enthusiasm, helps them when their backpacks are heavy, totes their science projects and birthday cupcakes, offers a gentle word to the weepy little ones hesitant to leave mom and sends their parents off with a smile.

Woodstock ES: Abby Wooten

Homework is hard for some students, but their parents usually can help.  But not when their parents don’t speak (or read) English as their primary language.  Woodstock Elementary School created the Homework Club to connect volunteers with these students, and Abby Wooten is one of the program’s “pillars,” according to the Principal, as she bonds with students and develops friendships with them beyond the Club including helping their parents with English.

Woodstock HS: Aimee Masters

Aimee Masters, according to Woodstock High School’s Principal, exemplifies the Wolverine Way.  She serves as PTA Secretary and volunteers on committees; she gives her time in the media center and organizes other volunteers; she shares her crafting talent to decorate for special events; she supported the development of the #CareerCafeWHS programs; she takes on band mom tasks like cleaning uniforms; and she provides breakfast for and attends every FCA meeting.

Woodstock MS: Margret O’Meara

Woodstock Middle School’s Principal said the transition to his new role would not have been so smooth had it not been for Margret O’Meara.  As PTA President, she works diligently to ensure the school, students and teachers have resources and recognition… whether that means she scoops ice cream for honor roll and perfect attendance students, encourages parents to join her volunteer bank (which includes alternates!) or organizes a new “Welcome Back to School Dance.”


CCSD 2016 Partner of the Year

Canton ES STEM Academy: Rotary Club of Canton

From Principal Beth Long’s nomination:

“We are so blessed by the time they devote to our students, as well as innovative projects at Canton Elementary School STEM Academy.  Peter Gleichman remains in constant communication and is always asking, ‘What can we do?’  ‘What do you need?’  ‘How can we help?’  He is always the first person we think of if we need volunteers for an activity of event.  The Club is always on hand at Read for the Record in October and Read Across America in March.  Several members serve weekly during the Reading Buddies program we offer to our most at-risk students each morning.  The Rotary Club of Canton continually goes above and beyond to spend valuable time with our students, but they also provide monetary donations in the form of grants to allow us to bring the latest and greatest innovation projects to our children.  These donations bring the world to our doorstep and allow our students to have real-life experiences that they may not otherwise have.”

CCSD 2016 Volunteer of the Year

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy

From Principal Izell McGruder’s nomination:

“Mrs. Sones truly inspires those who work alongside her.  She is a passionate leader who spreads the passion ‘to work’ to others.  She is not afraid of challenges, understanding the many that Title I schools face.  She is a motivator, teaches others and knows how to effectively delegate.  She takes risks by trying new things.  If it doesn’t work, she simply regroups and tries again.  She demonstrates a sense of urgency around advocacy for at-risk kids and has the courage to protect our community from misconceptions and untruths.  Mrs. Sones would tell you that she is just an ordinary person with a heart for service.  We at Hasty feels that she may be an ordinary person, but one who is doing extraordinary things.”