Awards & Honors


Hillgrove High Wind Symphony Earns National Recognition
2014 Hillgrove KSU Concert

The Hillgrove Concert Band at a recent concert at Kennesaw State University

The Hillgrove Wind Symphony was recently recognized by the Foundation for Music Education’s “Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors” as a National Winner in their annual recording competition.

Hillgrove submitted a recording of their Performance Evaluation Concert, featuring Symphony for Band by Vincent Persichetti. The band was adjudicated by Richard Floyd, Steve Davis and Anthony Maiello and it was determined that the ensemble was in the top 25% of recordings submitted. There were 224 submissions from 35 states this year.

Additionally, Hillgrove was the only 5A High School ensemble recognized outside the state of Texas.

The ensemble’s recording will be featured on a compilation CD of the National Winners that will be distributed nationally, as well as electronic distribution by Mark Records.

“Hillgrove would like to thank all the students, staff and community members for all their support in our musical endeavors,” Hillgrove Director of Bands Patrick Erwin said.  “Special thanks go to Christopher M. Ferrell, Supervisor of Instrumental Music, for his undying support of all our music programs.  Mr. Ferrell was the head band director at Hillgrove for 7 years, and is to be credited a great deal for our success.”

The award letter and winners list can be found here: http://www.hillgroveband.com/wp-content/uploads/Mark-of-Excellence.pdf

Eleven Cobb Title I Schools Recognized As Reward Schools For Highest Progress

Eleven Cobb County Title I schools were commended by the Georgia Department of Education for making three consecutive years of overall academic progress. The Georgia DOE’s 2014 lists of Reward Schools identify 11 Cobb County schools in the “Highest Progress” category, out of just 146 Title I schools that were named statewide.

The number of Highest Progress schools in Cobb more than doubled from 2013 when just five Cobb schools received the same honor. Recipient schools are: Belmont Hills, Bryant, Clay, Compton, Fair Oaks, and Powers Ferry elementary schools; Lindley 6th Grade Academy; Griffin and Smitha middle schools; and Osborne and Pebblebrook high schools.

Title I schools receive additional federal funding based on their higher percentage of students from low-income families. There are 44 Title I schools in the Cobb County School District. Highest Progress schools are identified as the top 10 percent of Title I schools in the state having the highest progress in performance on the College and Career Ready Performance Index for “all students” over a three-year period. To be recognized, a school cannot also be identified as a Priority School, Focus School or Alert School.

CCSD to receive 2014 Golden Radish Award

Golden Radish

The Cobb County School District will be presented with a Golden Radish Award at a ceremony at the state capitol on October 6.

The award honors the district’s achievements in farm to school. A six-member committee representing the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia Organics.

The review committee recognized the district’s many edible gardens, mobile cooking carts and farm-to-school-themed bulletin boards.

The award will be presented by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald and Georgia Organics Board Chair Mandy Mahoney.

Mableton Elementary School Named a STEM Education Awards Finalist

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, announced Monday that Mableton Elementary School has been named as a Finalist in the Elementary category for the 2014 STEM Education Awards.

The Technology Association of Georgia’s 3rd STEM Education Awards recognizes schools, programs, and companies for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education in Georgia.

Mableton Elementary School is located in south Cobb and serves almost 1000 students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.  Over eighty-five percent are considered economically disadvantaged while over forty percent are at-risk of not meeting state standards in math and science.   Ten percent of our student population is served in Special Education and another nineteen percent are English Language Learners.    Although these factors might seem challenging to others, we see them as opportunities to “engage, empower, and excel” the students at Mableton towards the future and beyond.

“It is exciting to see the progress we are making with STEM education in Georgia. The increase in nominations each year and the quality of the nominations made it difficult for our judges,” said Michael Robertson, Executive Director of TAG Education Collaborative. “Congratulations to the Finalists!  Your work engaging these students in STEM will benefit the students you touch for years to come with challenging and exciting careers.”

This year’s Finalists were chosen in 8 different categories:

  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Post Secondary Outreach
  • Extracurricular Program
  • STEM Certified School Outreach
  • Corporate Outreach
  • Best STEM Day Activity

Winners in each category will be officially honored at The 3rd Annual STEM Education Awards event held on September 26th at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia.  The event is presented by TAG, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to advancing STEM education in Georgia, and TAG Savannah.

“STEM occupations will increase in Georgia by more than 22,000 during the current decade,” said Tino Mantella, president & CEO of TAG. “The finalists of this year’s STEM Education Awards are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce needed to fill these jobs and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia’s educational community.”

For more information about TAG and the 3rd Annual STEM Education Awards or to attend the event, visit http://bit.ly/STEMinfo2014

About Mableton

Engaging, empowering, and excelling students is Mableton Elementary’ mission, and it is the STEM program that has been the catalyst to bring that mission to life within the walls of the building.   The school-wide STEM program has provided all students with strong content knowledge in STEM disciplines while instilling the 21st century skills needed for college and career readiness.   Our program gives students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds an “opportunity to experience, challenging, real-world activities that will prepare them for the future and beyond.”

About TAG Education Collaborative

TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia. Through partnerships with statewide STEM programs, TAG-Ed fosters student interest in STEM in order to increase appreciation for the opportunities available through technology careers. TAG-Ed hosts an internship program for high school students, two web-based team challenges for students interested in Health IT and web design, and the Vine Event, an annual fundraiser benefiting STEM education. For additional information, visit TAG Education Collaborative or contact Michael Robertson at (404) 920 –2038 or mrobertson@tagonline.org.

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 24,500 members and hosting over 200 events each year via 6 chapters across the state including Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia and Savannah . TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 34 industry societies, each of which provides rich content for TAG constituents. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, influence and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides members with access to networking and educational programs; recognizes and promotes Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology.    For more information visit the TAG website at www.tagonline.org or TAG’s community website at www.TAGthink.com.

Four Cobb schools recognized as part of First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative

imgresBells Ferry, Smyrna, Keheley and Mountain View Elementary schools were announced as National Recognition Award winners as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign earlier this month.

The award celebrates a school’s commitment to helping students learn, focus and grow through the integration of physical activity before, during and after the school day. The recipient list includes schools from 42 states plus Washington D.C. Nearly 700 schools were recognized nationwide, 53 in Georgia.
“We know that incorporating physical activity into the school day sets kids up for success both in school and in life, so I commend the extraordinary work of these schools, especially the physical educators, principals, district leaders, parents and students, that have championed an Active School environment,” First Lady Michelle Obama said.
She added, “These schools are paving the way to a new America – one where being active is the norm.”
Powered by a national collaboration of leading health and education organizations, Let’s Move! Active Schools streamlines the selection of programs, resources, professional development and funding opportunities, and delivers a customized action plan – making it simple for teachers and strategic for administrators. Ultimately, Let’s Move! Active Schools helps schools develop a culture in which physical activity and physical education are foundational to academic success.
To earn a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Recognition Award, a school must have met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education; physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school; staff involvement; and family and community engagement.
Honorees are provided with a banner, certificate and congratulatory letter from the First Lady to proudly display their dedication to improving student physical and cognitive health.

The award celebrates a school’s commitment to helping students learn, focus and grow through the integration of physical activity before, during and after the school day. The recipient list includes schools from 42 states plus Washington D.C. Nearly 700 schools were recognized nationwide, 53 in Georgia.

“We know that incorporating physical activity into the school day sets kids up for success both in school and in life, so I commend the extraordinary work of these schools, especially the physical educators, principals, district leaders, parents and students, that have championed an Active School environment,” First Lady Michelle Obama said.

She added, “These schools are paving the way to a new America – one where being active is the norm.”

Powered by a national collaboration of leading health and education organizations, Let’s Move! Active Schools streamlines the selection of programs, resources, professional development and funding opportunities, and delivers a customized action plan – making it simple for teachers and strategic for administrators. Ultimately, Let’s Move! Active Schools helps schools develop a culture in which physical activity and physical education are foundational to academic success.

To earn a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Recognition Award, a school must have met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education; physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school; staff involvement; and family and community engagement.

Honorees are provided with a banner, certificate and congratulatory letter from the First Lady to proudly display their dedication to improving student physical and cognitive health.

Ser Familia names Fair Oaks Elementary Community Partner of the Year

Ser Familia

Fair Oaks Elementary School was honored as Ser Familia’s Community Partner of the Year at the organization’s annual “Celebrating Our Heritage” Awards Dinner in Atlanta on September 5.

The award is given annually to “an organization with which [Ser Familia] ha[s] developed significant collaborative work,” according to Belisa Urbina, the organization’s executive director. Fair Oaks Elementary was chosen for its continued assistance to Ser Familia’s efforts to support Latino parents in the community.

Ser Familia’s mission is to strengthen, revitalize and equip Latino youth, couples, parents and families through educational programs that teach improved life, leadership and communication skills, empowering participants to thrive and enjoy a healthy family environment.

The “Celebrating Our Heritage Event,” now in its third year, featured culinary creations from six of Atlanta’s best chefs and live Latino music.

Debbie Randazzo of CCSD Financial Services Earns Top Award From Association of School Business Officials

Debbie Randazzo, Director of Internal Compliance for the CCSD Financial Services division, received the 2014 Pinnacle Award from the International Association of School Business Officials (ASBO).

The ASBO International Pinnacle Awards were established to recognize outstanding practices and new ideas that result in significant contributions to school entities or the profession of school business management. This is a very important achievement in that this award recognizes innovation in the area of school finance.

Ms. Randazzo successfully coordinated the implementation of the Financial Services University last year to provide an online financial tool for Principals and Administrators to utilize. The Financial Services University provides easy access to financial procedures, processes and training and is accessed from the main school district website. During the year, this university was presented to the Board and school district leadership and has received positive input from district staff and other financial organizations throughout the State of Georgia.

Chief Financial Officer Brad Johnson said, “Very few individuals receive this award and we are very proud of Ms. Randazzo and the detailed accounting work that she performs on a consistent, daily basis.”

Ms. Randazzo will officially receive the honor and a award check for $1,000 during the 2014 ASBO conference this fall in Orlando, FL.

Nickajack Elementary Earns Green Innovation Award from Cobb County Water System
Amy Warnock of Cobb County Water System presented the Green Innovation award to Nickajack principal Beverly Lloyd and first grade teacher Diane Kordel.

Amy Warnock of Cobb County Water System presented the Green Innovation award to Nickajack principal Beverly Lloyd and first grade teacher Diane Kordel.

Nickajack Elementary recently earned the Green Innovation Award from the Cobb County Water System for its STEM and conservation-focused education program. Growing Green Students for the 21st Century brings together the efforts of teachers, administrators, students, parents, businesses, and community groups to help provide interactive, hands-on STEM experiences and outdoor learning environments for Nickajack students.

With the help of IBM, Home Depot, Captain Planet Foundation, Caraustar Recycling, Keep Cobb Beautiful, and the Smyrna Education Foundation, as well as Nickajack families, administrators, faculty, and staff, the school has renovated its school garden, installed a greenhouse, and started a year-round garden club and a school-wide recycling program. The school also has plans to add planting stations and compost bins with the help of Home Depot employee volunteers, and have a local boy scout rebuild the school’s outdoor classroom.

Five Cobb County Seniors Named 2014 Georgia Scholars

Five members of Cobb County’s graduating Class of 2014 were named 2014 Georgia Scholars by the Georgia Department of Education. Just 116 students from schools across Georgia were recognized for excellence in and outside the classroom.

Davis Adams of Hillgrove High, Kira de Bruyn of Walton High, Monica Machado of Walton High, Mackenzie Rideout of Hillgrove High and Jacqueline Weiland of Walton High were \ nominated by their respective schools after meeting specific criteria for recognition in the program. Each senior will each receive a special seal for his or her diploma signifying status as a 2014 Georgia Scholar.

Updated: SIX Cobb School Nurses Nominated For AJC Celebrating Nursing Excellence Awards

Six Cobb County school nurses were nominated for the 2014 Celebrating Nursing Excellence Awards, a program sponsored by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution recognizing the important impact nurses have on wellness and health care in Georgia. Itinerant nurses Cheryl Wagnon and Jill Turner and local school nurses Robin Arp of Chalker Elementary, Janice Richardson of the Fitzhugh Lee Center of HAVEN Academy, Audrey Dinoff of Lassiter High, and Rebecca Slade of McCleskey Middle were among the nominees celebrated at a special luncheon May 6 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The AJC also published a special section in its Sunday, May 4 edition recognizing the honorees.

Nurses Wagnon and Turner travel between schools throughout the Cobb County School District as they serve medically fragile students with special needs. Both school health professionals have been nominated twice for the AJC Celebrating Nursing Excellence Awards.

The Cobb Board of Education proclaimed May 7 as School Nurse Day in Cobb County, as part of the overall celebration of National Nurse Week May 6-12.

« Previous PageNext Page »