Awards & Honors

The South Cobb High School Academy of Research and Medical Sciences recently held its inaugural White Coat Ceremony at Orange Hill Baptist Church to celebrate the achievements of its future physicians, researchers and scientists. Mirroring the coat presentation for doctors upon completion of medical school, upperclassmen in the magnet program received white lab coats (and seniors received stethoscopes) for use in internships and field experiences.

Students in the South Cobb magnet academy have their course work tailored to infuse both scientific research and medical sciences into the curriculum. The medical science portion of the program utilizes the on-site medical lab/clinic and provides students with the opportunity to intern with a health professional of their choosing. The research portion of the magnet program culminates in a research project and internship with a local business or institution of higher education.

Twenty-five percent of the students who complete studies at the South Cobb High School Academy of Research and Medical Sciences go on to become physicians, 50 percent continue in allied healthcare, and 70 percent continue in a field related to science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).


Art students in teacher Kathleen Petka’s classes at Walton High School were named grand prize winners for grades 9-12 of the national ‘Water Is Life’ mural contest backed by the foundation of famed conservationist artist Wyland. More than 35 Walton artists worked together to design and paint their 50 sq. ft. entry, which depicts various aquatic ecosystems. The contest judges said the following about the winning mural from Walton:

Prismatic effect provides unique view of water based ecosystems. Shows how water supports life in so many ways. The rendering itself was stunning and beautiful. The mural shows tremendous forethought and pre-planning and a clear objective.

The Wyland Foundation sponsored the contest this fall, providing 300 schools nationwide with paint supplies, materials, and large-sized canvases for students to create their own conservation art. The goal of the program is to inspire students to consider the growing demands on U.S. water resources and how they can promote conservation and good stewardship of water.

Edward Richardson, parent of a Floyd Middle School student and Laura Shyman, parent of a Tapp Middle School student, are two of six honorees statewide to receive 2014 Georgia Parent Leadership Awards from the Georgia Department of Education. Mr. Richardson and Ms. Shyman were recognized for their leadership and parent engagement efforts among their school communities. Each was nominated for the award by their respective school leaders.

Both will be formally honored during the 2014 Georgia Family Engagement Conference Jan. 9-11, 2014 in Athens, GA and receive free registration to participate in the three-day event.

Goodman_DebiDebi Goodman, Kindergarten teacher at Shallowford Falls Elementary, is one of two winners in the statewide Innovation in Teaching Competition. Ms. Goodman submitted a detailed application to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, demonstrating how she incorporates literacy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts throughout her Kindergarten lesson plans. She also proved how her effective instructional strategies have directly resulted in student achievement.

Gov. Nathan Deal named Ms. Goodman one of the two winners, for which she will receive a $2,000 stipend for themselves and $5,000 for Shallowford Falls. Georgia Public Broadcasting will also interview Ms. Goodman and film her as she works with students; the video will be shared with educators and parents throughout Georgia over the next year.

The Innovation in Teaching Competition is funded through a $19.4 million grant created from the state’s Race To The Top plan.

Sykes_HSURhonda Sykes, chemistry teacher at South Cobb High School, was recently named the 2013 National Kind Teacher of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States! The program honors teachers who have made marked efforts to inspire student action on behalf of animals’ well-being. Ms. Sykes helped initiate the Boggs’ Dogs student club at South Cobb High, a school-based animal rescue group named for SCHS teacher and animal lover Beth Boggs, who passed away several years ago. Through the club, South Cobb students have helped provide foster care for abandoned pets and educate their peers about how to safely help homeless animals. Click here to read a 2011 story about the club from South Cobb Patch.

Ms. Sykes received a framed certificate and a scholarship to the Certified Humane Education Specialist development program through Humane Society University.

The Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates have given this award annually since 1981, recognizing outstanding teachers who consistently incorporate humane education into the curriculum and/or motivate students to get involved in community service for animals.

Lost Mountain sixth grader Angela Henderson and Tedra Cheatham, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign

Lost Mountain sixth grader Angela Henderson and Tedra Cheatham, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign

Angela Henderson, sixth grader at Lost Mountain Middle School, was honored with the Dr. Marlin R. Gottschalk Environmental Student Leadership Award during the 2013 Clean Air Campaign PACE Awards Nov. 13 in Atlanta. The Gottschalk award is reserved for a Georgia student who placed great effort into promotion of air quality improvement and conservancy in his or her community.

As a fifth grader at Kemp Elementary School during the 2012-2013 school year, Angela led efforts to organize a school-wide Eco-Literacy Day. She researched local organizations that raise awareness about the effects of air pollution and connected with Tedra Cheatham, executive director for the Georgia Clean Air Campaign. Angela invited Ms. Cheatham to speak to her fellow students at Kemp for Eco-Literacy Day and created a variety of air quality-related classroom activities for her peers. The Clean Air Campaign selected Angela for its Environmental Student Leadership Award to recognize her leadership and creativity.

The Clean Air Campaign PACE Awards annually recognize Georgia businesses, government agencies and individuals who support the mission of improving air quality throughout the state. The Cobb County School District proudly supports the Clean Air Campaign through implementation of no-idling zones on school campuses and community-wide air quality education programs. CCSD was honored as Clean Air School District of the Year during the 2012 Clean Air Campaign PACE Awards.


Lovinggood Middle School eighth grade student and artist Joanna Frazier was recently named winner of the t-shirt contest for the 29th annual Kids II Strong Legs Run, sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Joanna was joined by family members and her art teacher, Timothy J. Tuohy at Turner Field, where she fired the starting gun to begin the road race! She also had her own tent to autograph runners’ shirts with her winning design. The event organizers also introduced Joanna to the participants from the main stage.


For the past decade, Georgia Power has awarded $1,000 grants for classroom supplies to some of the state’s best and brightest new teachers through its New Teacher Assistance Grant Program.

Kaylin Miles, first year teacher at Still Elementary and recent graduate of the University of West Georgia, was selected to receive a 2013 New Teacher Assistance Grant from the power provider. She qualified for the grant by being in the top 25 percent of her graduating class at UWG and displaying a high aptitude for instruction.

Ms. Miles can use the grant funds to purchase any materials or supplies needed for use in her classroom. Georgia Power officials visited Still Oct. 29 to formally present the grant to Ms. Miles during a special ceremony.

Five Cobb County Title I schools were recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as Reward Schools for showing significant academic progress over the past three years. Part of the Georgia Department of Education’s accountability program, the Rewards School recognition is reserved for Title I schools that receive additional federal funding and services to support economically disadvantaged students. Hendricks Elementary, Fair Oaks Elementary, Lindley Middle, Osborne High and Sky View Elementary were recognized for gaining significant traction in student performance on the CRCT or End-of-Course Tests from 2009-2011.

Schools among the top five percent of Title I schools with the highest performance for the “all students” group are included in the “Highest Performing” category. “High Progress” schools are among the top 10 percent of Title I schools and showed the most progress in improving the peformance of the “all students” group over three years. No school may receive the Reward School designation if there are significant achievement gaps across other student subgroups in the school.

The Roswell Street church auditorium was packed with excited students and teachers.

The 25th anniversary celebration of ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ culminated with the community pep rally Oct. 29 at Roswell Street Baptist Church! Teachers of the Year from all Cobb County and Marietta City schools, as well as local postsecondary education institutions, began their day with a special breakfast provided by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

By 11 a.m., the auditorium was jam-packed with undreds of students, teachers, family members and friends cheering for the arrival of the honorees. WSB anchor and emcee John Bachman welcomed the Teachers of the Year into the pep rally to uproarious applause. He was joined on stage by past District TOTYs from the 25 years of ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ recognitions. Prior to the awards, Bachman introduced ComPAny, the performance troup from the Pebblebrook High School Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, which amplified the crowd with a medley of contemporary pop songs.

Representatives from community partners the Ed Voyles Automotive Group awarded a one-year lease on a new car to each of the District-level winners, Rhonda Lokey, Cathy Zingler, Tracie Bucy and Marietta city winner Stormi Johnson. Each CCCSD Teacher of the Year was individually greeted and awarded a commemorative plaque by Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. See below for a gallery of images from the pep rally. Thanks to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and all of the community partners who honored Cobb County educators for the silver anniversary ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ event.

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