CCSD Celebrates Special Education Staff of the Year Award Winners
Cherokee County School District Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapist of the Year Brooke Sosebee, third from left, is congratulated by, from left, CCSD Special Education Directors Donald Garner and Melissa Sneed and Cherokee HS Principal Rodney Larrotta.
The Cherokee County School District is celebrating four of its outstanding Special Education team members!
Four members of CCSD’s Special Education department recently received top honors during the annual Special Education Staff of the Year Awards ceremony. They are: CCSD Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapist of the Year Brooke Sosebee; CCSD School Psychologist of the Year Debby Silberstein; CCSD Special Education Facilitator of the Year Michelle Harris; and CCSD Speech Language Pathologist of the Year Johanna Burchardt!
“Congratulations and thank you for making a positive difference in the lives of our students and their families,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “You serve our students with the greatest needs and do so with excellence recognized by your peers as deserving of this special honor. We appreciate you and all that you do!”
Each winner received an engraved plaque and a $175 Visa gift card from Credit Union of Georgia, a CCSD Partner. The School Board and Dr. Hightower will honor the winners at an upcoming School Board meeting.
Ms. Harris has served with CCSD for more than 21 years, including teaching grades first, second, fourth and fifth and teaching Special Education and early invention program students. In her current role, she supports Special Education students, teachers and support staff at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy, Free Home ES and Macedonia ES.
Her colleagues shared that Ms. Harris “is always positive and welcoming to parents/families. She is always professional and responds to challenging requests and questions with data and knowledge of best practices for teaching and learning. She approaches all situations with a problem-solving mindset and works to support the teachers in identifying solutions. Teachers rely on her expertise.”
Ms. Burchardt is an eight-year CCSD speech language pathologist, who this year joined Clark Creek ES STEM Academy’s staff in addition to serving students with speech support needs at Johnston ES.
Her colleagues shared that Ms. Burchardt “commits to providing quality interventions and services to her students and is often found making her impact with them while pushing into a classroom to provide real, authentic services for the student. She is a supportive colleague who is always willing to be accommodating in challenging situations. She is creative and goes above and beyond to support her students and their growth!”
A 22-year CCSD employee, Ms. Silberstein began her service with the school district as an intern before working as a Spanish teacher and school psychologist. In addition to serving students at Mill Creek MS, she also conducts language preference screenings districtwide.
Her colleagues shared that Ms. Silberstein “is a team player and is invested in the student's overall success, whether it be academic, social or emotional. She takes her time to truly get to know the students. She cooperates with the team, puts forth effort in all she does, and always has a positive and genuine attitude. She offers support to others when needed, even when her own plate is full.”
Ms. Sosebee is a 13-year CCSD occupational therapist (OT), who serves students at R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy and Cherokee High School. In addition to serving students at those schools, she is the senior OT for CCSD, who trains new OTs, assigns caseloads and provides additional support districtwide.
Her colleagues shared that Ms. Sosebee “goes above and beyond for her students. She is a team player and is always willing to help others. She is a supportive and encouraging colleague! She is a beacon of positivity in everything she participates in."
Mill Creek Middle School Principal Matthew May congratulates Cherokee County School District Psychologist of the Year Debby Silberstein.
Johnston Elementary School Principal Laura Akers, right, congratulates Cherokee County School District Speech Language Pathologist of the Year Johanna Burchardt.
Cherokee County School District Special Education Facilitator of the Year Michelle Harris, center, is congratulated by Ball Ground ES STEM Academy Principal Melinda Roulier, left, and assistant principal Lauren Roach.