ACE Academy: Northside Hospital Cherokee
Northside Hospital Cherokee’s partnership offers a lifetime of care to ACE Academy. The alternative middle and high school program needed a business’s support to improve students and staff health and wellness, and found that partner in the hospital. Northside Hospital Cherokee recently equipped the school with its second AED, which is housed in the gym to provide greater life-saving protection to students and staff during PE and extra-curricular activities.
Arnold Mill ES: State Farm Insurance
Like a good neighbor, State Farm Insurance agent Jared Davis is there for Arnold Mill Elementary School. Whether the need is moving tables to set up a school event, speaking to students about careers, donating attendance incentives or thanking teachers and staff with breakfast, one call and he’s there. The passion he shows as a partner, according to the Principal, is unprecedented and greatly appreciated.
Avery ES: Menchie’s Riverstone Plaza
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt of Riverstone Plaza makes Avery Elementary School students and staff smile. Not only do students enjoy eating the sweet treats, profits from the sales also benefit the school through their fundraising partnership. The partnership also extends to providing delicious incentives to encourage student attendance, academic performance and citizenship and to thank Paws News Crew students.
Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Awnex Inc.
Awnex Inc. architectural branding elements company has developed a strong brand at Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy: outstanding partner. The company, which is now a two-time Partner of the Year, can be called upon to help, no matter the request, according to the school’s Principal. The partnership capstone is a fifth-grade collaboration that includes a STEM project and a visit to the plant, complete with a behind-the-scenes tour.
Bascomb ES: Menchie’s Towne Lake
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt of Towne Lake provides Bascomb Elementary School with a sweet – and profitable – partnership. The company’s fundraising support can’t be beat, according to the school, noting sales have exceeded 700 cups of yogurt in just one event. The best part, according to the Principal, is that the store’s owners handle every detail and do so with a smile.
Boston ES: Cub Scout Packs 994 and 999
Cub Scout Packs 994 and 999 live up to the Scout oath through their partnership with Boston Elementary School, as they always do their best to help others there. The Packs select annual service projects to engage students as Scouts and to serve the school, such as this year’s successful revitalization of the school garden and the annual purchase of PTA memberships for families in need.
Canton ES STEM Academy: Rotary Club of Canton
The Rotary Club of Canton, a previous CCSD Partner of the Year overall award winner, makes such a difference in the Canton Elementary School STEM Academy community that it has earned the school’s Partner of the Year title for the fourth year. “Service Above Self” is the Club’s motto, and for this partnership, that means significant investments of time and financial support, such as the fall festival and literacy fair this year that the Club funded – and staffed!
Carmel ES: Modern Woodmen of America
Modern Woodmen of America’s partnership with Carmel Elementary School is so generous, the school at first thought it was too good to be true. They’ve been happily proven wrong, as representative Garth Gherardini is “the real thing” and ready to fulfill every need requested and more… from grants for iPads and gifts of school supplies to donations for families in need and recognitions for teachers.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Johnston: The Home Depot, Store No. 16943 on Sixes Road in Canton
The Home Depot is about “more doing” at its stores and the schools with which its partners, including CCSD’s Johnston Preschool Center. Store No. 16943 on Sixes Road regularly sends donations and volunteers to the school so little ones can learn about gardening, and the science behind it, while at the same time having fun with new friends and making their campus more beautiful.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Oak Grove: The Home Depot, Store No. 116 on Highway 92 in Woodstock
The Home Depot is helping build the future through its partnership with CCSD’s Oak Grove Preschool Center. Store No. 116 on Highway 92 provides bulbs and flowers, herbs and other plants for prekindergarten and special education 3- and 4-year-old preschool students to plant, measure and watch, as they learn science lessons, with help from store associates who help them grow.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Ralph Bunche: Christian Egner Smile Foundation
The memories of the joy their son experienced at the Ralph Bunche Center led a Canton family to help other students served by the preschool. The family of the late Christian Egner, who attended the Center for two years before passing away from complications from asthma, created the Christian Egner Smile Foundation, which through its inaugural Smile Run last fall raised an impressive $10,000 for the Center.
Cherokee HS: Northside Hospital Cherokee
Northside Hospital Cherokee is inspiring future healthcare leaders through its partnership with Cherokee High School. The hospital not only provides donations of equipment for the school’s healthcare science program, it also shares the time of its staff to serve as class speakers and mentors, and offers students the opportunity to work and learn in a healthcare setting while still in high school.
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Ridgewalk Chiropractic and Massage
While Ridgewalk Chiropractic and Massage is a newer partner for Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, the practice already is in perfect alignment with the school’s mission and needs. The partnership began a year ago with providing a guest speaker at STEM Day, and has grown to include support for the fall festival and the PTA’s holiday luncheon for teachers with more collaboration on the horizon.
Clayton ES: The One Taekwondo Center of Canton
The One Taekwondo Center of Canton teaches its students the sport’s five tenets of courtesy, respect, cooperation, commitment and perseverance, and shows its partner, Clayton Elementary School, one more: generosity. The Center donates 100% of its After School Program proceeds to the school and provides free activities and services during school including a four-week, PE standards-aligned course in the sport for third- and fourth-graders.
Creekland MS: Trotter & Patel Pediatric Dentistry
There’s good reason that Trotter & Patel Pediatric Dentistry has earned Creekland Middle School’s Partner of the Year recognition a second time. There actually are many reasons – and each has a smile, like the child who received needed dental care despite his family’s inability to afford it, and the child who experienced a medical emergency and, once recovered, visited Disney World because of their support.
Creekview HS: Chick‐fil‐A of Canton
Chick-fil-A of Canton has earned Creekview High School’s Partner of the Year honor for four years – every year since the program’s inception, by living up to the company’s mission of being a positive influence. The list of ways the store and owner-operator Kevin Williams and his staff support the school is impressive, but the spirit in which it’s given, even more so.
Dean Rusk MS: Kona Ice of Cherokee
Kona Ice wants to be known as “more than just a business.” Terri Miramonti, owner of Kona Ice of Cherokee, is succeeding at just that through her partnership with Dean Rusk Middle School, where she gives of her time, talent and treasure to support the school through fundraiser sales, treat days for teachers and staff, donations of student incentives and serving as an event volunteer.
E.T. Booth MS: The Premier Group
The Premier Group, a Keller Williams Realty Partner, helps find its real estate clients their dream homes, and grants more than a few wishes for its neighborhood schools, too. E.T. Booth Middle School can rely upon TPG to support its students and teachers not only every year, but every month, through sponsorship of programs and recognitions and by agents volunteering their time at school events.
Etowah HS: SignGig
SignGig’s support for Etowah High Schools is immediately visible upon visiting the campus: it’s evident in the entrance sign itself. The company not only donated part of the cost to install a new sign several years ago as the graduating class’s senior gift, it also last year retrofitted the sign with new LED lights in a cost-savings upgrade owner Scott Andraschko designed… and was completed early and under budget.
Free Home ES: Modern Woodmen of America
Free Home Elementary School’s Principal describes her appreciation for first-year partner Modern Woodmen of America this way: “We could not ask for a better partner that is always willing to help.” Whether it’s providing students with science equipment, assisting families in need at the holidays or sponsoring PTA events, representative Mark Nash gives generously and then gives more to support students and staff.
Freedom MS: Allegro Business Products
Allegro Business Products owner Lori Flink is in the business of helping companies successfully promote themselves, and she shares that knowledge to support Freedom Middle School. Whether lending her expertise to help design an informational brochure for students, families and partners or serving on the School Advisory Council, Ms. Flink provides valuable guidance to the school and its mission and vision.
Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Liberty Hill Church
After years of unofficially supporting Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy, Liberty Hill Church this year made its partnership official… although it long has quietly made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children. In addition to efforts to encourage and support all students and staff throughout the year, the church provides the school’s neediest families with significant assistance including weekly donations of food.
Hickory Flat ES: Hickory Flat Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry
Known to hundreds of children as her alter ego, “Dr. Molar,” Dr. Tammy Russell and partner, Dr. Carl Russell, of Hickory Flat Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry also are known to the school and its staff as valued partners. Platinum sponsors of the school’s PTA and supporters and adopters of the school’s #BeKind campaign, the Russells never shy from giving of their time and generously donating.
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: City of Holly Springs
The City of Holly Springs is more than an address for Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy – it’s also an outstanding partner. The City this summer raised funds for the school through its Memorial Day 5K, which purchased new literacy materials, and City police officers are a regular presence on campus to direct traffic, visit with children and teach them about safety.
Indian Knoll ES: Cherokee County Farm Bureau
Indian Knoll Elementary School students in every grade, as well as their teachers and staff, are learning about agriculture, science and careers in the field, through a partnership with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau. The Bureau provides resources, opportunities, financial support and expert speakers, and the children provide the delight and wonder… a winning relationship for all involved!
Johnston ES: Chick‐fil‐A Dwarf House
Chick-fil-A Dwarf House is a winner, winner for Johnston Elementary School, as a two-time Partner of the Year recipient in recognition of its continuous outstanding support. The store’s giving includes donations of delicious chicken, of course, but also extends to fundraising support and donations of incentives and rewards for Sunshine Committee staff recognition and appreciation activities and to encourage student success.
Knox ES: Menchie’s Riverstone Plaza
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt promotes its treats with a cast of characters called “Sweet Friends.” Knox Elementary School counts itself among them, as it loves Menchie’s at Riverstone Plaza so much, it twice has named the store Partner of the Year. Owners Greg and Jenny Brooks “go the extra mile,” according to the Principal, with their willingness to help with fundraising, recognitions and special events.
L.R. Tippens Education Center: Pizza Hut of Holly Springs
The Tippens Education Center is known for serving students with special needs, but it also is committed to high expectations for student achievement at every level. Pizza Hut of Holly Springs brings to the table donations for a monthly afternoon pizza party recognition event that is additional incentive for student success, a gift it began donating two years ago, and which makes a real impact.
Liberty ES: Marco’s Pizza of Sixes Road
It’s a thrill and a great reassurance for a principal to know he or she has a partner in the community always willing to rise up. For Liberty Elementary School, that partner is Marco’s Pizza on Sixes Road, which regular donates food at no cost (and sometimes with little notice), extends generous discounts and holds fundraisers to benefit the school.
Little River ES: The One Taekwondo Center of Woodstock
Little River Elementary School values The One Taekwondo Center of Woodstock’s focus on serving students. The Center provides a free week-long PE course at the school, supports school fundraisers and keeps the students in mind when special opportunities arise, such as when a group of Korean students visited the Center, and they brought them to the school for a visit, too.
Macedonia ES: Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant
Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant is such a treasured partner for Macedonia Elementary School, they’ve earned a coveted spot in the bookkeeper’s speed dial. And for a second time, Las Palmas has been named the school’s Partner of the Year. The staff look forward to seeing owner Rafael Escamilla visit, not only because he usually has a delicious donation with him, but because of his servant’s heart.
Mill Creek MS: Chick‐fil‐A Dwarf House
Here’s an inspiring compliment from a Principal for an outstanding school partner: “They feel like an extension of the school community.” Chick-fil-A Dwarf House has become part of the Mill Creek Middle School family through its generous donations of student and staff incentives and ongoing fundraising assistance, such as its efforts to support the school’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.
Mountain Road ES: Chick‐fil‐A Dwarf House
Chick-fil-A Dwarf House for more than 10 years has supported Mountain Road Elementary School, contributing hundreds of man- and cow-hours. The two-time school Partner of the Year winner donates generously to the school, providing gift cards to Honor and Merit Roll honorees and supporting school events, like International Milk Day, with special activities and class photos with its cow mascot.
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: The Premier Group
The Premier Group, a Keller Williams Realty Partner, not only succeeds in real estate, it’s also premier in partnering with local schools, according to Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy. The school greatly appreciates the agency’s donations to support and encourage teachers and staff, willingness to volunteer at school events and its reliability as a committed business partner.
R.M. Moore ES: Reinhardt University
Reinhardt University continues to soar like its eagle mascot above all other partners for R.M. Moore Elementary School. The university community – from students to staff to the President – pitches in at the neighboring school, with support ranging from designing, building and running the school’s fall festival haunted house to serving as reading buddies (and role models) for students to adopting families in need for the holidays.
River Ridge HS: Chick‐fil‐A Dwarf House
River Ridge High School’s Principal describes the support of its Partner of the Year with one word: “tremendous.” The Chick-fil-A Dwarf House has partnered with the school for eight years, and, during that time, provided significant assistance to academic, athletic, fine arts, leadership and special education programs and can be relied upon to help in times of hardship and celebration.
Sequoyah HS: Southeast Restoration Group
Southeast Restoration Group’s belief in Sequoyah High School is not a secret. The company proclaims it from one of the county’s most valuable pieces of promotional real estate: the billboard on the side of the former Hickory Flat Store building at East Cherokee Drive and Highway 140 in Hickory Flat. The recognition billboard builds pride within the school, as well as the entire community.
Sixes ES: Marco’s Pizza, Sixes Road
Now a two-time Partner of the Year award winner, Marco’s Pizza of Sixes Road continues to deliver to Sixes Elementary School. The restaurant has helped raise thousands of dollars for Sixes through campaigns such as the creative “Box Night”: students write illustrated stories to decorate the pizza boxes. And when traffic is heavy due to Sixes’ special events, Marco’s delivers 20+ pizzas there by foot!
Teasley MS: Chick‐fil‐A of Canton
What amazes Teasley Middle School’s Principal most about their Chick-fil-A of Canton partnership is that it’s a living document… the store always is looking for new ways to contribute. The current list already is impressive, too, with support of clubs, student recognition, fundraisers… and sponsoring community events that greatly benefit the school, such as the 5K Run for which the school twice has won the participation award and grant.
Woodstock ES: Woodstock HS Spanish Honor Society
Once a week, you’ll find Woodstock High School Spanish Honor Society members volunteering to help Woodstock Elementary School students. The bilingual high schoolers help elementary school children whose parents speak English as a second language with their homework and help the parents understand school information. The partnership also extends to enjoying fun with the kids, too, like an International Festival and Bingo Night!
Woodstock HS: The UPS Store at Towne Lake
UPS loves logistics, and its store at Towne Lake also loves serving Woodstock High School and its teachers and students. The UPS Store staff generously and consistently donates its time and talents on projects such as redesigning and branding the school’s auditorium and creating school banners, as well as by supporting teacher copy needs and sponsoring faculty recognition opportunities and the school’s drama program.
Woodstock MS: Velociteach
Woodstock Middle School’s Principal is grateful for the significant financial sponsorship from Velociteach that allowed the school to double its First Lego League competition team. But he’s equally grateful for the project management education company’s willingness to mentor students on the team and teach them the management practices of planning, prioritizing and executing… insights and encouragement he considers “truly priceless.”
2017 SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR
Arnold Mill ES: John O. Donnelly, Jr.
In a world where teachers are burdened by mandates and eyed by profiteers, volunteers like John O’Donnelly Jr. give educators hope. He comes to Arnold Mill Elementary School with a servant’s heart and ears ready to listen as he tutors children most in need of just that, and he’s just as eager to be an extra set of hands in a busy classroom.
Avery ES: Mary Long
Mary Long’s name should be up in lights to pay tribute to her service to Avery Elementary School, according to the staff there. But she’s so humble that even a gift card to thank her ends up being used by Ms. Long to buy supplies for the media center, where she loves to volunteer most… whether it’s scheduling volunteers or crafting imaginative displays.
Ball Ground ES STEM Academy: Carrie Halstead
One Box Top for Education may not seem like much, but to Carrie Halstead, every square counts. That’s how she led Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy to earn a record $2,000 from the program this year. And she earned every one… by giving each participant a pencil, providing classroom prizes — even dressing up as a Box Top to wave at the car rider line.
Bascomb ES: Hope Leak
If volunteers were paid, Bascomb Elementary School would need to take out a loan to settle up with Hope Leak. She’s in her 16th year of service, and although her youngest now is in high school, you’ll still find her at Bascomb – eight hours a day, five days a week. And there’s no task too small (laminating) or great (helping create an interactive history museum) – she does all with joy.
Boston ES: Richard Branscomb
Boston Elementary School students love their friend with the funny hats. Richard Branscomb surprises them every week with another from his collection, but wins their hearts and minds with his care for helping them learn to read. A retired insurance underwriter, Mr. Branscomb for the last five years has helped write new chapters in the lives of the children he tutors.
Canton ES STEM Academy: Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill is devoted to helping Canton Elementary School STEM Academy’s students improve their reading. Her advocacy began as a first-grade Reading Buddies volunteer, which she helped expand to include second grade. She used the Literacy Room, and when she realized it could be more useful if reorganized and restocked, she succeeded in that mission, too, and continues to find more ways to improve this resource.
Carmel ES: Lavinia “Kay” Hart
Lavinia “Kay” Hart isn’t just like a good neighbor to Carmel Elementary School, she is its good neighbor. Ms. Hart regularly crosses the street from her house to help out at the school, often mentoring students who are in great need of a positive adult role model. Whenever there’s a need, like when inclement weather strikes, she’s there, too, with soup and a helping hand.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Johnston: Edir Real Fabiano
A classroom of 3-year-old preschoolers including special needs students is a busy place for a teacher to manage. To the rescue comes Edir Real Fabiano, who regularly volunteers at CCSD’s Johnston Preschool Center and happily provides teachers with an extra set of hands to gather and prepare supplies for classroom activities and hold little hands in need of help.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Oak Grove: Julie Fuller
Julie Fuller is not afraid to get messy, which is a very important trait for anyone who volunteers with preschoolers. Ms. Fuller is right there with them at CCSD’s Oak Grove Preschool Center – digging holes in the garden to plant bulbs, splattering and smushing together art projects and cleaning up, too. Teachers describe her as a “selfless” volunteer they’re blessed to call their own.
CCSD Preschool Center ‐ Ralph Bunche: Todd Adams
Todd Adams of Adams Sports Instruction volunteers to keep Ralph Bunche Center’s campus in Canton a neat and welcoming place for children, families and staff. He regularly provides landscaping materials and services to the school, working behind the scenes without seeking attention in order to make the CCSD Preschool Center the best it can be.
Cherokee HS: Melanie Rockey
If you visit or call Cherokee High School’s athletic department, you’ll likely encounter the “nicest person I’ve ever met,” according to its Principal. Melanie Rockey donates her time at least several days a week, completing any task needed from creating spreadsheets to track information for coaches to ensure all student athletes’ paperwork is in order, and all with a “can do” attitude and a smile.
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy: Andrea Dean
When Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy parent Andrea Dean saw how many students needed help from a local church’s food pantry, she listened to her heart. It led her to envision a food pantry at the school and helped make it a reality, and one so successful that NBC featured the RedHawk Pantry on its national Red Nose Project 2016 telethon to fight hunger.
Clayton ES: Susan Williamson
Her mailing address may not read this way, but Clayton Elementary School is Susan Williamson’s home. Even after a 35-year career as a teacher, Ms. Williamson still can be found there most days… working the book fair, tutoring students, filling in as a last-minute substitute teacher, helping with the Thanksgiving luncheon. When Clayton Elementary has a need, she’s ready to meet it and then some.
Creekland MS: John Russell
John Russell is known at Creekland Middle School as a jack-of-all-trades: he can set up computers, craft shelves for the media center and tutor with the best of them. But where he shines the brightest is mentoring, and Mr. Russell’s role as a surrogate grandparent who listens to, pays attention to and deeply cares for students is his true calling.
Creekview HS: Tim Hart
Creekview High School’s Marching Grizzles would not be as successful without the support of a behind-the-scenes leader, who sees them as his second family. Tim Hart devotes hours of his time, often during the hottest days of summer, to prepare the band’s field and parking lot lines for marching practice, and then keeps up the fields and maintains and transports the equipment throughout the busy football season.
Dean Rusk MS: Cristina Kroeppler
Cristina Kroeppler is a band mom extraordinaire, who earns high praise for her combination of dedication, professionalism, attention to detail and passion for the program. She hits all the right notes of what makes a great volunteer, taking on tasks from chaperoning trips to assisting with performances to counting fundraiser proceeds, and builds positive relationships wherever she goes.
E.T. Booth MS: Claire Black
Organization could be Claire Black’s middle name. Her skills in that department set her apart, as does her willingness to put them to good use whenever asked in her volunteer role at E.T. Booth Middle School. Fundraisers, appreciation luncheons, special events – all succeed without a hitch thanks to her attention to detail, which she also shares as a member of PTSA leadership and School Council.
Etowah HS: Kelly Covington
Kelly Covington has made Eagle Mountain her home away from home for the past eight years and served in a long list of volunteer leadership capacities to serve Etowah High School. She began her service as a room mom 10 years ago, and today is PTSA President, with many roles along the way… and all fulfilled with enthusiasm and persistence to support students.
Free Home ES: Anita Ask
Anita Ask is fulfilling two dreams as a volunteer at Free Home Elementary School: working in a library and demonstrating the importance to her granddaughter of serving others. Ms. Ask, who also volunteers many hours with her church, faithfully logs hours at the school’s media center every week to check in and shelve books, and to help children find just the right one.
Freedom MS: Pamela Montgomery
Freedom Middle School students learn about character education through an image-focused program called Habitudes. And the volunteer who contributes the most to the program’s success, especially by collecting and creating unforgettable images and powerful displays is Pamela Montgomery… and she herself is the perfect image of the positive difference one person can make in a school, according to its Principal.
Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Larry DeSue
Bus duty is a job that sends many volunteers running away. But challenging jobs, especially to help students in need of a positive role model, are what Larry DeSue runs toward at Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy. “Extraordinary” is how the Principal describes him, praising his dependability and selflessness, noting that Mr. DeSue volunteers daily to serve a school neither his children or grandchildren attend, but one for which he cares deeply.
Hickory Flat ES: Megan Kremer
Hickory Flat Elementary School’s Principal calls Megan Kremer her “409,” as in “all-purpose volunteer.” Works countless hours? Check. Solicits donations? Check. Demonstrates and unending desire to help? Check. Believes in the spirit of working together? Check! While she spends many of her hours in the media center, she’s known to students and staff throughout the building, trusted implicitly and appreciated to the 409th power.
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Karrie Pratt
While her nametag says President of the Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy PTA, Karrie Pratt is just as likely to be found on any given day in the trenches decorating bulletin boards and organizing files, as she is to be planning and coordinating successful fundraisers. She can be counted on to step up whenever and wherever needed most and serves with humility and joy.
Indian Knoll ES: Sequoyah HS Cadets led by John Futral and Ronald Whittle
The Sequoyah Innovation Zone is a family, and Sequoyah High School JROTC Cadets are the inspiring older brothers and sisters for Indian Knoll Elementary School’s students. The Cadets, led by Sequoyah HS teachers John Futral and Ronald Whittle, for the past six years have tackled many jobs at Indian Knoll like manning festival booths and presenting the colors for Veterans Day programs, but the most important is role model.
Johnston ES: Scott Cudabac
Johnston Elementary School dads do much more than show up for donuts. They organize the donut breakfast in the first place. And, led by Scott Cudabac, these dedicated dads serve in many roles through the Men At Work group he founded. Setting up the book fair, campus beautification and Hi Five Fridays greeters in the car and bus lanes – none would happen without Mr. Cudabac’s leadership.
Knox ES: Anne Landfried
Knox Elementary School counts Anne Landfried as among its most valuable assets. Always pleasant and eager to help others, Ms. Landfried volunteers on campus at least two days a week, some days for as long as 12 hours… as long as it takes to get the job at hand done. One project, which benefited two grade levels, succeeded due to more than 80 hours of her time.
L.R. Tippens Education Center: Teddye Holloway
Without a PTA, the Tippens Education Center struggled to develop business and community partnerships and raise funds to provide additional benefits for its students. In stepped Teddye Holloway, who last year decided to become involved when her son enrolled there as a student. She since has worked tirelessly to bring potential partners in for tours, develop student incentive programs and pitch in wherever needed.
Liberty ES: Jenna Williams
Jenna Williams is on her third tour of duty as a Liberty Elementary School room mom, and is just as inspired and eager to help as a rookie. She co-chairs not one, but three PTA committees, coordinates and decorates community bulletin boards and can be found helping in the front office when it’s short-staffed or in need of a little holiday sparkle.
Little River ES: Scott Steinbrenner
When volunteering at Little River Elementary School, Scott Steinbrenner spotted a problem: dads were called upon to help with manual labor, but little else. He knew the value of putting dads in more role-model situations, so he formed the Eagle Eyes dads’ group with a mission of involving dads in everything from tutoring to greeting bus riders to helping in Connections classes.
Macedonia ES: Erin Whaley
Macedonia Elementary School is a greener place thanks to the contributions of Erin Whaley. She spearheaded the school’s grant-funded Captain Planet Learning Garden, which has beautified the campus, provided locally grown herbs and vegetables to the cafeteria and connected science standards to hands-on learning. Playing in the dirt is yielding many benefits for students thanks to Ms. Whaley’s passion and dedication.
Mill Creek MS: Brandee Sass
When Mill Creek Middle School’s Principal needs a parent volunteer, she knows who to call first: Brandee Sass. Ms. Sass has developed a reputation as a volunteer who will happily take on any role, even if it means personal sacrifice. She has served the past two years as School Council chairman, volunteers with the PTSA in many roles and cheerfully follows through on every request.
Mountain Road ES: Dana Patterson
Dana Patterson sees the value in small details adding up to great benefits for Mountain Road Elementary School students. It’s why she brings in snacks to reward success and makes kindergarten sight word cards and why she helped form the school’s Lego club. She can be found at the Club’s weekly meetings encouraging students to make their big ideas a reality… one little brick at a time.
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy: Stanley Weinick
“Mr. Stan” is a “ray of sunshine” at Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy, according to its Principal. Volunteer Stanley Weinick visits the school at least four days a week to mentor students in need of reading help, and the children not only make progress due to his patient support, they also look forward to reading with him and “love, love, love him.”
R.M. Moore ES: Emily and Shane Fager
Any teachers can tell you: many volunteers come and go, especially once the initial rush of enthusiasm fades. But not Emily and Shane Fager. The parents of four stay filled with constant joy during their hours volunteering at R.M. Moore Elementary School. Helping in kindergarten reading centers is their favorite, and it’s mutual, as the students love the encouragement (and hugs) given to them by the Fagers.
River Ridge HS: Debbie Rabjohn
For more than a decade, Debbie Rabjohn has dedicated her time and energy to supporting the students of the Cherokee County School District through the PTA, with the last five years largely devoted to River Ridge High School. There, she shares her gifts of photography and decorating, serves on the School Council and jumps in with great enthusiasm any time she sees a job to do.
Sequoyah HS: Cindy Brown
Cindy Brown not only serves as a dedicated volunteer on Sequoyah High School’s campus, but she also acts as an ambassador for the school throughout the community. Ms. Brown is praised as positive and professional in all that she does… from working in the copy room, to serving in PTSA leadership including two years as President to terms as a soccer booster club officer.
Sixes ES: Jennifer Mascitti
Tuesday is a favorite day in the Sixes Elementary School front office. It’s the day when Jennifer Mascitti volunteers… and she does so with just the right blend of professionalism and happiness. The front office can be a busy place and the students and parents who enter often aren’t having their best day, but Ms. Mascitti immediately makes it a better one with a smile and a kind word.
Teasley MS: Kristi Volz
Kristi Volz is so passionate about supporting Teasley Middle School’s media center that she even has the courage to tackle reorganizing the Dewey Decimal-ordered non-fiction section. In library terms, that’s a big deal. Not only does she shelve with gusto, but she also works one-on-one with students to help them the book they need to improve their literacy and feed their love of reading.
Woodstock ES: Robert Tidwell
In a word, according to Woodstock Elementary School’s Principal, their top volunteer Robert Tidwell is “selfless.” An active volunteer and school foundation member, Mr. Tidwell gives of his time, talent and treasure… and thinks big. Just this past year, he led a school garden expansion and overhaul and worked with business partners to present a holiday extravaganza for students in need and their families.
Woodstock HS: Nancy B. Utley
Woodstock High School’s DECA marketing association for students is thriving thanks to an infusion of support from Nancy B. Utley. As a program volunteer and Chairperson of the school’s Marketing and Business Advisory Council, she’s recruited business and community partners to provide more real-world learning and community service opportunities for students, developed a scholarship program and more than doubled student membership.
Woodstock MS: Tawnya Velzy
“Follow-though” is defined as Tawnya Velzy at work for Woodstock Middle School. The PTSA President gets the job done when it comes to requests from students, parents, teachers and Principals, ranging from organizing and chaperoning a successful back-to-school dance, scooping ice cream for Honor and Merit Roll student rewards and the leading the successful campaign to install water-bottle filling stations.