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CCSD Students, Educators and Volunteers Honored by PTA

Posted On: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

CCSD 2022 PTA Awards 5 17 22

From left to right: Tressie Polk, Zoe Belisle, Michelle Chee-How, Hetal Pandya, Heather Pappas, Melissa Pierce, Jenny Juneghani, Ayn McLaurin, Valerie Lowery, Laura Casey, Matthew May, Stephanie Barber.

Cherokee County School District students, educators and volunteers were honored by the PTA with regional awards!

The Georgia PTA District 13 Spring Conference & Awards Ceremony, which recently was held in Woodstock, recognized outstanding PTA volunteers, teachers, nurses, administrators and students from Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.

“The PTA is our oldest and strongest partner, and its members donate thousands of hours each year to support our students, teachers and staff,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Their fundraising efforts allow for our schools to do even more to benefit our students.  Their volunteerism allows for so many important activities, from the Reflections fine arts contest to fall festivals to teacher appreciation events.  And their advocacy on behalf of public education is priceless.  Congratulations to our PTA leaders on their awards in honor of a job well done, and thank you to the PTA for also recognizing our students, teachers and staff.”  

Five CCSD students received educational scholarships.  Two graduating seniors, Tressie Polk of River Ridge HS and Zoe Belisle of Sequoyah HS, were honored.  Three younger students also were honored: Little River ES kindergartener Leila Gonzalez, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy third-grader Brantley Bolzenius and Mill Creek MS seventh-grader Kellen Portman.

Four CCSD teachers were honored with the Birney Butler Outstanding Educator award, which recognizes professional excellence and exemplary contributions to instructing students: Michelle Chee-How of Boston ES for Elementary School, less than 750 students; Hetal Pandya of Clark Creek ES STEM Academy for Elementary School, more than 750 students; Heather Pappas of Mill Creek MS for Middle School; and Melissa Pierce of River Ridge HS for High School.

The Outstanding Nurse Award, which honors school nurses for going above and beyond, was presented to Jenny Juneghani of Hickory Flat ES for Elementary School, more than 750 students and to Ayn McLaurin of Mill Creek MS for Middle School.

The Outstanding Principal Award recognizes principals or assistant principals for outstanding contributions to education.  Boston ES Principal Valerie Lowery earned the honor for Elementary School, less than 750 students, with Assistant Principal Laura Casey of Clark Creek ES STEM named the winner for Elementary School, more than 750 students.  Mill Creek MS Principal Matthew May earned the honor for Middle School, with River Ridge HS Assistant Principal Stephanie Barber named the winner for High School.

The Visionary Award recognizes dedicated service to students and outstanding collaboration with PTA.  This year’s award was presented to the Mill Creek MS physical education department, which is made up of teachers Jim Elder, Eliot Galyean, Jana Redman and Donna Ross.

School PTA units were honored with various awards for their school and outreach activities, community partnerships and reaching membership goals.  

The top honor, Outstanding Local Unit, recognizes success in all areas.  Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA won Elementary School, more than 750 students; Mill Creek MS PTSA for Middle School and River Ridge HS PTSA for High School.

Eight school PTAs earned Model PTA status for maintaining exceptionally high standards of excellence: Boston ES PTA, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Knox ES STEM Academy PTA, Little River ES PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA, R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy PTA, River Ridge HS PTSA and Woodstock HS PTSA.

Three school PTAs earned Hearst Family–School Partnership awards for excellence in bringing the school and community together to support student success: Little River ES PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA and River Ridge HS PTSA.

Six school PTAs earned Oaktree Awards for achieving 100% PTA membership among school staff: Boston ES PTA, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Free Home ES PTA, Little River ES PTA, Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy PTA and River Ridge HS PTSA.

Three school PTAs received Community Partners awards for acquiring more than 30 community partners by the end of the first quarter: Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Liberty ES PTA and Little River ES PTA.

Special awards were earned by individual PTAs including, Phoenix Award: Cherokee HS PTSA, Collaboration with School & Community: Etowah HS PTSA, Outstanding Virtual Teacher Support: Ball Ground ES STEM Academy PTA, Courage After Fire Award: Teasley MS PTA, Hall of Fame (157% membership growth): Arnold Mill ES PTA, Shooting Star (142% membership growth): Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy PTA; and Arts in Focus: Bascomb ES PTA, teacher Kendra Hipps and Creekview HS PTSA, teacher Sherry Wallace.

Three levels of membership awards were presented: Visionary (more than 400 members by Aug. 31, 2021), Pace Setters (more than 300 members by Aug. 31, 2021) and Early Bird (more than 200 members by Sept. 30, 2021).

Visionary winners are: Avery ES PTA, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Dean Rusk MS PTSA, Hickory Flat ES PTA, Indian Knoll ES PTA, Knox ES STEM Academy PTA, Liberty ES PTA, Little River ES PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA and Woodstock ES PTA.

Pace Setters winners are: Avery ES PTA, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Creekland MS PTSA, Dean Rusk MS PTSA, Freedom MS PTSA, Hickory Flat ES PTA, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy PTA, Indian Knoll ES PTA, Knox ES STEM Academy PTA, Liberty ES PTA, Little River ES PTA, Macedonia ES PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA, River Ridge HS PTSA, Sixes ES PTA, Woodstock ES PTA and Woodstock HS PTSA.

Early Bird winners are: Arnold Mill ES PTA, Avery ES PTA, Bascomb ES PTA, Boston ES PTA, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy PTA, Creekland MS PTSA, Dean Rusk MS PTSA, Freedom MS PTSA, Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy PTA, Hickory Flat ES PTA, Holly Springs ES STEM Academy PTA, Indian Knoll ES PTA, Knox ES STEM Academy PTA, Liberty ES PTA, Little River ES PTA, Macedonia ES PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA, Mountain Road ES PTA, R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy PTA, River Ridge HS PTSA, Sixes ES PTA, Woodstock ES PTA, Woodstock HS PTSA and Woodstock MS PTSA.
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