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School Board Earns State Award for Community Partnership Program

School Board Earns State Award for Community Partnership Program

The Cherokee County School Board has earned top state honors for exemplary leadership and innovative practices in partnering with local businesses and community organizations.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Georgia School Boards Association has awarded the Cherokee County School Board its Leading Edge Award.  The awards, presented in seven categories, recognize innovative practices by school boards and school districts that make a significant and positive impact on students.  
“In our role as School Board members, my colleagues and I work together to ensure our school district provides our community’s children with the best education and best overall educational experience possible.  We can most successfully accomplish this mission when our entire community supports us and joins us in our important work, and our community partnership program is key to that success,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said.

CCSD’s community partnership program includes districtwide, school level and Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program partnerships.  The partnerships encompass businesses, both small and corporate; governmental entities; colleges and universities; nonprofit organizations, civic groups, churches and more.  Through a multi-year endeavor, the school district overhauled its partnership development process to seek out partners that would better benefit schools and the district as a whole, to maximize existing positive partnerships and to ensure partnerships benefit both the school and the community partner.  
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of our partnership program on the overall success of our students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Through this program, our students benefit both directly and indirectly in many ways thanks to the generosity of partners who give considerable time, talent and treasure.”
One of CCSD’s strongest partnerships highlighted by the award recognition is with Northside Hospital Cherokee.  Among the partnership’s many facets is the opportunity for high school students in CCSD’s Career Pathway healthcare science program to participate in clinical rotations through the hospital.
“Due to the high quality of our school district, not only is it an asset to us for recruiting talent who want to move to a community with great schools – it also is a pipeline for talent.  Through our longtime partnership, we’ve together developed programs to encourage students to pursue careers in healthcare and prepare them with real-world experience in our hospital and medical offices,” Northside Hospital Cherokee CEO Billy Hayes said.  “Our partnership is a true partnership, with continuous communication and collaboration as we work together to benefit the community.”
Past Leading Edge honors earned by the school board have recognized community engagement initiatives, including the VILLA parent academy and Student Advisor and Delegate programs; strategic communications planning; and the CCSD Cares student and employee well-being program.
More information about CCSD’s community partnership program, including how to become a partner, is posted at  Districtwide partnership agreements approved by the school board are listed at  More information about CCSD’s CTAE program is posted at