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CCSD Support Staff Employee of the Year Awards

Last Updated: 12/3/2021 2:52 PM

CCSD Celebrates Support Staff & Honors 2021-22 Employees of the Year!

Cherokee County School Board members and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates the overall winners of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards announced at a special ceremony on Thursday evening, from left to right: Dr. Hightower, School Board members Patsy Jordan and Kelly Poole, Central Office Winner - CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins, Middle School/High School/Centers Winner - ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams, Elementary School Winner - Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer and School Board member Robert “Rick Steiner” Rechsteiner.

Cherokee County School Board members and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates the overall winners of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards announced at a special ceremony on Thursday evening, from left to right: Dr. Hightower, School Board members Patsy Jordan and Kelly Poole, Central Office Winner - CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins, Middle School/High School/Centers Winner - ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams, Elementary School Winner - Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer and School Board member Robert “Rick Steiner” Rechsteiner.

The Cherokee County School District celebrated the important role of support staff at its Fourth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards on Thursday evening.

The celebration honored one Support Staff Employee of the Year from each of CCSD’s schools, centers and central office divisions.  Each of the honorees was recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board members, received a plaque and gifts of appreciation including a $150 Visa card funded by sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor, the Cherokee County Educational Foundation, and Platinum Sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia.

At the conclusion of the evening, surprise presentations were made to one overall CCSD winner each in three categories: Elementary School to Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn; Middle School/High School/Centers to ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams; and Central Office to CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins.  These overall winners were selected by a committee of retired educators and community leaders. 

“Each one of you meets an important need to help us succeed as a school district,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said as he thanked the honorees.  “Your work is important.  You are important.  We value you.  What you do matters in the lives of kids.”

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer thanked the honorees on behalf of the School Board.

“You are the backbone of our District, and the work that you do each day supports, strengthens, and improves the learning and work environment for students and staff, alike,” she said.  “You are invaluable to the success of our District, and we appreciate you!”

The three overall CCSD winners received a $300 Visa card funded by sponsors; $100 gift certificate from Practically Perfect Day Spa; $100 Gift certificate to a local restaurant given by Shottenkirk Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram; Birthday-in-a-Box from Nothing Bundt Cakes, valued at $75; $50 Gift card from Riverstone Corner Bistro; $50 Visa gift card from Cobb EMC; and gifts from Chick-fil-A of Cherokee County and Alma Coffee.

All winners received additional gifts from ABM Industries, LLC; Alma Coffee; Cherokee Lanes; Chick-fil-A of Cherokee County; Cobb EMC; Double V Restaurants, Inc., McDonald’s; HP Inc.; Northside Hospital Cherokee; Nothing Bundt Cakes; Practically Perfect Day Spa; Riverstone Corner Bistro; and Shottenkirk Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram.

As part of the presentation to the three overall winners, excerpts from the nomination forms were shared to give the audience of greater sense of their value to their school and community.

Every week, a different school or division Support Staff Employee of the Year winner will be featured on CCSD’s website and social media platforms.  The winners also will be congratulated by the School Board at its December meeting.

Elementary School Winner: Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn.  
Ms. Dunn, who is retiring at the end of this school year, has 38 years of experience with CCSD, including 33 years in her current role.
“Ms. Dunn is the model of support to the classroom teacher in providing educational opportunities for each student.  She is a kind spirit who is willing to complete any task to meet the needs of the students here at Knox.  She is a smiling face who many continue to seek out throughout their elementary career and beyond.  Students know her by name and often stop her in the hallways for a quick hug.  Her love for working with students is contagious as she makes everyone’s day brighter.”

Middle School/High School/Centers Winner: ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams
Ms. Williams has nine years of service with CCSD, all in the same role.
“What makes Crystal Williams such an outstanding employee is not only the knowledge, skills and techniques she brings to the kitchen as she prepares the meals for our students … it is the heart she brings and shares with the students who come through the service line every day for their meals.  Her smiles, her words of encouragement, her nods of recognition, her understanding of what a student may be going through and knowing the students by name, is what reaches out to touch their hearts and lift their spirits.  She represents all that is good at ACTIVE Academies.”

Central Office Winner: CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins.  
Ms. Tippins, who is retiring at the end of this school year, has 15 years of service with CCSD, including eight years in her current role.
“Nilda Tippins provided top-notch support to the Department of Special Education.  She is a highly-competent self-starter who is progressive, proactive and well-organized.  She has always sought to learn as much as she could about the intricacies of special education to successfully address the needs of all stakeholders as quickly as possible. As a leader in her current position, Nilda seeks out opportunities to support her teammates in improving effectiveness, organization and efficiency.  The Department of Special Education has thrived and become much more efficient due to her professionalism.”

School- and division-level honorees were selected by their colleagues, and everyone who works in a support role for CCSD is eligible for the honor.  Teachers, counselors, media specialists and administrators are not eligible, as they are honored through other awards programs. 

2021-22 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year
ACTIVE Academies
Crystal Williams, School Nutrition Worker

Arnold Mill Elementary School
Patti Eisenhauer, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Avery Elementary School
Dedra Turner, Paraprofessional

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy
Donna Mele, Principal's Secretary

Bascomb Elementary School
Linda Wilson, School Nutrition Worker

Boston Elementary School
Michelle Helvey, Paraprofessional

Carmel Elementary School
Yudy Soro, Parent Engagement Facilitator

CCSD Preschool Centers
Sara Lightcap, Speech Language Pathologist

Cherokee High School
Liz Garced, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director's Secretary

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Tiffany Gilbert, Lead Custodian

Clayton Elementary School
Dan Wolfe, IEP Paraprofessional

Creekland Middle School
Maralee Tabor, Principal's Secretary

Creekview High School
Lisa Sheehan, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director's Secretary

Dean Rusk Middle School
Hector Solis, Custodian

E.T. Booth Middle School
Missy Venezia, Instructional Lead Strategist

Etowah High School
Penny Jones, Principal's Secretary

Free Home Elementary School
Amy Lathem, School Nutrition Manager

Freedom Middle School
Cassie Fainter, Instructional Lead Strategist

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Christine Ruff, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Hickory Flat Elementary School
Robert McCright, Lead Custodian

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy
Kaitlyn Childers, Paraprofessional

Indian Knoll Elementary School
Lois Boggs, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Johnston Elementary School
Tammy Scanlon, IEP Paraprofessional

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy
Carol Dunn, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Liberty Elementary School
Beth Major, Student Records Facilitator

Little River Elementary School
Melinda Belisle, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Macedonia Elementary School
Joan Watkins, Bookkeeper

Mill Creek Middle School
Johnny Gibson, Custodian

Mountain Road Elementary School
Dawn Patini, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy
Amy Zaski, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy
Jodi Henderson, Bookkeeper

River Ridge High School
Sara D'Antuono, Assistant Principal's Secretary

Sequoyah High School
Cindy Brown, Student Services Secretary

Sixes Elementary School
Teresa Foster, Paraprofessional

Teasley Middle School
Lori Duffy, Principal's Secretary

Tippens Education Center
Nikki Quinn, Paraprofessional

Woodstock Elementary School
Jennifer McInnis, Student Records Facilitator

Woodstock High School
Aura Castellanos, School Nutrition Worker and Custodian

Woodstock Middle School
Melissa Barsh, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Nilda Tippins, Administrative Assistant to Executive Director, Special Education

CCSD Office of Financial Management
Tammie Hunter, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Office of Human Resources
Mary Shea, Division Facilitator

CCSD Office of Safety & Security
Mary Hansen, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Offices of Communications/School Operations/Superintendent
Anne Reed, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officers

CCSD Office of Support Services
Biff McGhee, Maintenance Facility Technician

CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services
Stefan Zimmerman, Systems Specialist

CCSD Transportation Department
David Ammons, Transportation Specialist

#CCSDfam

Above: ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams reacts at the ceremony Thursday evening upon being announced as the overall Middle School/High School/Centers Winner of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards.

ACTIVE Academies School Nutrition worker Crystal Williams reacts at the ceremony Thursday evening upon being announced as the overall Middle School/High School/Centers Winner of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards.

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn, named the overall Elementary School Winner at the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards, is congratulated by former colleague and longtime friend, School Board member Patsy Jordan, during the awards ceremony Thursday evening. 

Above: Knox Elementary School STEM Academy kindergarten paraprofessional Carol Dunn, named the overall Elementary School Winner at the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards, is congratulated by former colleague and longtime friend, School Board member Patsy Jordan, during the awards ceremony Thursday evening. Below: CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins reacts to the surprise announcement at the ceremony Thursday evening that she is the overall Central Office Winner of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards.

CCSD Special Education Executive Director Administrative Assistant Nilda Tippins reacts to the surprise announcement at the ceremony Thursday evening that she is the overall Central Office Winner of the 2021-22 Cherokee County School District Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards.

CCSD Announces Fourth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

ccsd support staff 11 8 21

Images from just a few of the surprise presentations to our school and division Support Staff Employees of the Year.

The Cherokee County School District next month will celebrate excellent service at its fourth annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards!

The recognition ceremony on December 2 will honor one Support Staff Employee of the Year from each of CCSD’s schools, centers and central office divisions.  Each honoree will be congratulated by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board members and receive a plaque and gifts of appreciation before an audience of honorees and their families, Principals and CCSD leaders.

“Our schools and school district would not function without the critical support of these valued staff members,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Every one of our support staff employees meets an important need to help us succeed.  We’re so grateful for all of them and proud to honor the best of the best with this annual recognition ceremony.”   

Award winners were selected by their school or division colleagues, and everyone who works in a support role – from bus drivers to front office staff to paraprofessionals to cafeteria staff and many, many more people important to CCSD’s operations – is eligible for the honor.  Teachers, counselors, media specialists and administrators are not eligible, as they are honored through other awards programs. 
 
At the conclusion of the Dec. 2 event, surprise presentations will be made to one overall CCSD winner each in three categories: Elementary School; Middle School/High School/Centers; Central Office.  These winners, who receive additional gifts, are selected by a committee of retired educators and community leaders.  

The event is made possible by generous donations from community partners including Presenting Sponsor, the Cherokee County Educational Foundation; and Platinum Sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia.

Additional financial and in-kind sponsorship opportunities are available; interested businesses and organizations are encouraged to please contact Penny Dempsey at penny.dempsey@cherokeek12.net or 770.479.1871.

2021 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year
ACTIVE Academies
Crystal Williams, School Nutrition Worker

Arnold Mill Elementary School
Patti Eisenhauer, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Avery Elementary School
Dedra Turner, Paraprofessional

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy
Donna Mele, Principal's Secretary

Bascomb Elementary School
Linda Wilson, School Nutrition Worker

Boston Elementary School
Michelle Helvey, Paraprofessional

Carmel Elementary School
Yudy Soro, Parent Engagement Facilitator

CCSD Preschool Centers
Sara Lightcap, Speech Language Pathologist

Cherokee High School
Liz Garced, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director's Secretary

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Tiffany Gilbert, Lead Custodian

Clayton Elementary School
Dan Wolfe, IEP Paraprofessional

Creekland Middle School
Maralee Tabor, Principal's Secretary

Creekview High School
Lisa Sheehan, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director's Secretary

Dean Rusk Middle School
Hector Solis, Custodian

E.T. Booth Middle School
Missy Venezia, Instructional Lead Strategist

Etowah High School
Penny Jones, Principal's Secretary

Free Home Elementary School
Amy Lathem, School Nutrition Manager

Freedom Middle School
Cassie Fainter, Instructional Lead Strategist

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Christine Ruff, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Hickory Flat Elementary School
Robert McCright, Lead Custodian

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy
Kaitlyn Childers, Paraprofessional

Indian Knoll Elementary School
Lois Boggs, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Johnston Elementary School
Tammy Scanlon, IEP Paraprofessional

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy
Carol Dunn, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Liberty Elementary School
Beth Major, Student Records Facilitator

Little River Elementary School
Melinda Belisle, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Macedonia Elementary School
Joan Watkins, Bookkeeper

Mill Creek Middle School
Johnny Gibson, Custodian

Mountain Road Elementary School
Dawn Patini, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy
Amy Zaski, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy
Jodi Henderson, Bookkeeper

River Ridge High School
Sara D'Antuono, Assistant Principal's Secretary

Sequoyah High School
Cindy Brown, Student Services Secretary

Sixes Elementary School
Teresa Foster, Paraprofessional

Teasley Middle School
Lori Duffy, Principal's Secretary

Tippens Education Center
Nikki Quinn, Paraprofessional

Woodstock Elementary School
Jennifer McInnis, Student Records Facilitator

Woodstock High School
Aura Castellanos, School Nutrition Worker and Custodian

Woodstock Middle School
Melissa Barsh, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Nilda Tippins, Administrative Assistant to Executive Director, Special Education

CCSD Office of Financial Management
Tammie Hunter, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Office of Human Resources
Mary Shea, Division Facilitator

CCSD Office of Safety & Security
Mary Hansen, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Offices of Communications/School Operations/Superintendent
Anne Reed, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officers

CCSD Office of Support Services
Biff McGhee, Maintenance Facility Technician

CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services
Stefan Zimmerman, Systems Specialist

CCSD Transportation Department
David Ammons, Transportation Specialist
#CCSDfam

Archive

2021-22 Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

2020-21 Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

2019-20 Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards