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CCSD Welcomes New Class to Educators Hall of Fame

CCSD Welcomes New Class to Educators Hall of Fame

The Cherokee County School District has welcomed a new class of local legends to its CCSD Educators Hall of Fame!

The CCSD Educators Hall of Fame recognizes retired educators who made significant contributions during their career in CCSD and left a lasting positive impact on the lives of students, colleagues and our community.

The School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower this month inducted five new members to the prestigious group with a ceremony and reception with family and friends followed by recognition at the school board’s regular meeting.  

Congratulations to the newly inducted Class of 2024: Letitia Cline, Marguerite Cline, Jackie Hopkins, Pete Jones and the late Lee R. Tippens.

“This year’s class is an inspiring group of education legends who shine as examples of professional excellence,” Dr. Hightower said.  “It’s an honor to be in their presence as we celebrate them, and I know our community will be proud to see each of them receive this well earned and well deserved recognition.  Thank you to each of our honorees for the important legacy they created in our community through their exceptional work as teachers, leaders and advocates.”   

The Cherokee County Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports CCSD with fundraising and advocacy, began the hall of fame in 2016 with nominations made by its board.  While CCEF will continue to fund the program through its sponsorship, the hall of fame now is overseen by CCSD with an annual call for nominations from the community.  

No more than 10 winners who meet the judging committee’s expectations of excellence may be selected into a class each year; educators may be nominated posthumously.  Additionally, any past CCSD educator honored by CCEF as one of its two Alumni of the Year award winners will continue to be automatically inducted into the hall of fame.  

Dozens of outstanding retired educators were nominated by the community for the Class of 2024, which is the first class for which nominations from the community were accepted.  A panel of judges made up of current inductees and CCEF board members chose five of those nominees to be inducted as part of this year’s class.  Previously inducted members of the CCSD Educators Hall of Fame are: Dr. Susan Buice, Patsy Jordan, Gene Norton, Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo, Janice Prather, Frankie Shepherd and Carolyn Turner. 

Each of the honorees received an engraved trophy and personalized gift, and their names were added to the CCSD Educators Hall of Fame plaque displayed at CCSD’s administration building.

A call for nominations for the Class of 2025 will be made in late 2024, with details shared on the CCSD website and social media.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024:

Letitia Cline Ms. Cline joined CCSD in 1985 and retired in 2022.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher before

Letitia Cline
Ms. Cline joined CCSD in 1985 and retired in 2022.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher before advancing to serve as an assistant principal, principal and the school district’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs, Student Support and Professional Development. 

From the nomination: “Letitia Cline is an exceptional educator and leader whose dedication to the field of education has left a mark on the CCSD community.  Throughout her journey as an educator and leader, she has consistently demonstrated a passion for fostering student achievement and success.  She always embraced the importance of connections with colleagues, parents, school leaders, community leaders, and stakeholders to build bridges between the school and community.”

Marguerite Cline Ms. Cline joined CCSD in 1958 and retired in 1992.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher bef

Marguerite Cline
Ms. Cline joined CCSD in 1958 and retired in 1992.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher before advancing to serve as the school district’s elementary schools’ instructional supervisor and assistant superintendent of instruction.  In 1984, she began her service as Cherokee County’s first female superintendent, a role she held until 1992.  After retirement, she became the first woman elected mayor of Waleska, a role she served in for 14 years. 

From the nomination: “Ms. Cline’s life is an example of someone who values public service as a career and responsibility.  She encouraged and inspired all school district personnel and community patrons to pursue personal and professional goals.  She led our school district during a period of many changes and growth.  Her vision and implementation of improved accountability and strategic planning continues to benefit our schools.”

Jackie Hopkins  Ms. Hopkins joined CCSD in 1961 and retired in 2010.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher be

Jackie Hopkins 
Ms. Hopkins joined CCSD in 1961 and retired in 2010.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher before advancing to serve as the school district’s first technology director.  She launched the department now known as the Office of Technology and Information Services and retired as the Assistant Superintendent of Accountability, Technology and Strategic Planning.

From the nomination: “Jackie's passion for integrating technology resources into teaching and learning were second to none.  She was passionate about bringing hardware, software and training into the classroom to help children enjoy learning and inspire teachers to innovate using those resources.  She is indeed the founding mother of technology in CCSD and her vision, dedication, passion are still realized and appreciated to this day.”

Pete Jones   Mr. Jones joined CCSD in 1965 and retired in 2001.  He began his career as an elementary school teacher and coac

Pete Jones  
Mr. Jones joined CCSD in 1965 and retired in 2001.  He began his career as an elementary school teacher and coach before advancing to serve as principal, including as principal for the then newly opened Mountain Road ES.  After retirement, he continued to support CCSD as a long-term substitute for another four years. 

From the nomination: “Pete Jones was not above his role as commander in charge to help in any capacity - classroom, lunchroom, janitor or secretary!  He had the respect from all that worked for him.  He wasn't just a great principal or a great teacher, Pete Jones is a great man.  The impact he’s made on countless lives can’t be quantified.”

Note: Ms. Hopkins and Mr. Jones are siblings.

The late Lee R. Tippens (accepted in his honor by two of his grandchildren: Valerie Lowery, who currently serves as the princ

The late Lee R. Tippens (accepted in his honor by two of his grandchildren: Valerie Lowery, who currently serves as the principal of Clayton ES, and Lee Smith)
Mr. Tippens joined CCSD in 1936 and retired in 1982.  He began his career as an elementary school teacher before advancing to serve as principal, including as principal for the then newly opened Clayton Elementary School.  The former North Canton Elementary was named in his honor and, after that school’s closing, the L.R. Tippens Education Center was named in his honor.   

From the nomination:
“Mr. Tippens deserves this honor for the influence he has left on this community.  He impacted many lives passing through the doors of his classroom and school.  He was known by all as a fair man and treated everyone equally.  He’s patriarch of a long line of ‘Teaching Tippens’ who teach and lead our school district today.”

#CCSDfam
 

The School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower this month inducted five new members to the prestigious

The School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower this month inducted five new members to the prestigious group with a ceremony and reception with family and friends followed by recognition at the school board’s regular meeting.  

The School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower this month inducted five new members to the prestigious