Board Recognitions – March 23, 2017

Note: The following photos were taken at the March 23, 2017, Cobb County School Board Meeting. CCSD Communications Director Donna Lowry presented these students and staff to the board for special recognition. A transcript of her comments are provided here to accompany the photos.

Donna Lowry: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and Superintendent Ragsdale.



School Club Roundup National Champion — Russell Elementary School’s KM4RE Radio Club

Russell Elementary School’s amateur radio club, KM4RE, contacted almost 500 locations around the world to win first place in the national Fall School Club Roundup competition for elementary schools.

The radio club, which also goes by the name DX Roadrunners, is the only amateur radio club within the Cobb County School District.

At this time, we would like to invite the DX Roadrunners along with Russell Elementary Principal Tammy Watson and teachers Chris Laster, Kelly Bodner and Tracey Steiner to join the board at the front of the room.



Class AAAAAAA Girls Swim Team State Champion — Walton High School

We are  thrilled to announce lots of swim champions tonight!

We begin with members of the Walton High School Girls Swim Team who outswam the competition to win the Class 7A Girls State Swim Championship.

First, we recognize senior Emma Cole. Emma led the way with two individual titles in both the 100 and 200 meter freestyle races.  Walton High Swim Coaches, Ty Vernon and Sharon Loughran along with Principal Judy McNeill are here.  Would you please join Emma as she comes forward to be recognized?


We would like Emma to remain as we ask the coaches and Principal McNeill to also stay up front for photos because we next recognize the Walton High School swimmers who set a state record with a first place win in the 200 meter freestyle relay. The athletes are Jasmine Hoffman, Gabbie Gaunett, Evan Arsenault and Melissa Cox.

Next, we ask Jasmine to stay close by as we add Emma to the group that won the 400 meter freestyle relay.   Congratulations!


Now, it is time for the group shot. Would the other members of the State Champion Walton High School Swim Team please come forward to join your teammates and receive recognition?



Class AAAAAA Girls Swim 100 m Backstroke State Champion — Sarah Sorensen, Pope High School

Next, for Pope High School in swimming, we recognize junior Sarah Sorensen who won the Class 6A title for the 100 meter backstroke.

We invite Sarah, Coach Zach Schreer and former Pope Principal and now Assistant Superintendent, Bob Downs, please come forward to be recognized by the board.



Class AAAAAAA Girls Swim 100 m Butterfly State Champion — Addie Rose, Kennesaw Mountain High School

We have more swim champs.  This time, Kennesaw Mountain High School sophomore Addie Rose Bullock, who captured first place in 100 meter butterfly for Class 7A.

The Board would like to recognize Addie Rose and Coach David Reason at the front of the room.



The Georgia Science Teachers Association Science Teacher of the Year — Alana Davis, Mableton Elementary School

The Georgia Science Teachers Association named Mableton Elementary School teacher Alana Davis the 2017 Elementary Science Teacher of the Year.

The Science Teacher of Year award recognizes ongoing excellence in science education and the commitment to its improvement.

To help honor Alana for her accomplishment, we would like to invite the following people to join her at the front of the room to be recognized by the Board: Science Supervisor Dr. Tom Brown, STEM & Innovation Supervisor, Dr. Sally Creel and Mableton Elementary School Principal Pamela Cain.



Cobb STEM Certification — Shallowford Falls Elementary School

The Cobb STEM Certification process is designed to recognize schools or programs within schools that support quality STEM-enriched learning opportunities, as well as provide schools with clear guidelines and criteria to support them along their STEM journey.

We are thrilled to announce that Shallowford Falls Elementary School recently received the county’s STEM Certification.

At this time, the Board invites Principal Felicia Angelle and her dedicated staff to come forward and be congratulated for their achievement. We would also like to invite STEM & Innovation Supervisor Dr. Sally Creel, and Science Department Supervisor Dr. Tom Brown to join in the recognition.



Youth Art Month, Music in our Schools Month and Theatre in our Schools Month


During March, students in our schools participate in a celebration of the arts through Youth Art Month, and Music in our Schools Month and Theatre in our Schools Month.

This year the celebration emphasizes the value of arts education for all children, encourages support for quality school fine arts programs and recognizes skills developed through arts experiences including creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Through musical and theater performances, art shows and exhibitions, students not only build an appreciation of the arts, but also understand the important role of the arts in our ever-evolving world. Our district continues to live up to its reputation for its superior achievement in the fine arts and its commitment to arts education.

In honor of Youth Art Month — and Music and Theatre in our Schools month, the Board and Superintendent want to recognize the following people:   Supervisor of Choral Music, Theater and Dance, Dr. Melissa Arasi; Supervisor of Learning Design and Visual Arts, Judy Condon; Professional Learning Specialist of Fine Arts, Amy Morris; and Supervisor of Instrumental Music, Chris Ferrell.



National School Social Worker Week: March 5-11

The week of March 6-10 marked the celebration of School Social Work Week. Cobb County School District social workers serve a critically important role in helping students to overcome the academic, social, and emotional challenges they face every day along the road to becoming successful and productive young adults.

Our district social workers assist students and parents with obtaining the help and resources to achieve their goals. We thank all of the district’s school social workers for ALL they do each day for children and families.

We would now like to ask the Supervisor of the School Social Work Department, Ana Murphy to stand along with the following social workers: Bethany Miller – Kennesaw Mountain, McClure Middle and Bullard Elementary

Petrina Fowler -Barber Middle School, McCall Primary, Acworth and Baker Elementary Schools

Lynet Mortensen – McEachern High, Dowell and Varner Elementary Schools

Linda Hobson – Garrett Middle, Clarkdale and Hendricks Elementary Schools

Patrick Ball – Allatoona High, Durham Middle, –  Lewis, Frey and Pickett’s Mill Elementary Schools

Julie Lance – Dickerson Middle, Eastvalley, Powers Ferry and Sope Creek Elementary Schools

Pam Ketzmer (kets-mer) – Pope High , Hightower Middle, Murdock, Tritt and Shallowford Fall Elementary Schools.

Margaret Hoskins – Sprayberry, Simpson Middle, Mountain View and Addison Middle Schools.

All please come forward and be recognized by the board.



Cobb County School District Social Worker of the Year — Paul R. Pursell

We ask Ana Murphy to please remain as we continue our celebration of National School Social Worker Week, we proudly recognize the Cobb School Social Worker of the Year, Paul Pursell.

Paul has worked in the district for 11 years and serves at Pine Mountain Middle and Due West Elementary.  He also has the important role of servings as our district Truancy officer. He works side-by-side, every day with school social workers, system professionals and other stakeholders to remove barriers to student success.

At this time, the Board would like Paul along with Pine Mountain Middle Principal Jasmine Kullar and Due West Elementary Principal Peggy Fleming to come forward.



Georgia Association of Gifted Children Gifted Leader of the Year— Sarah Kessel

We’re excited to announce that the Georgia Association of Gifted Children recently named Sarah Kessel the Gifted Leader of the Year!

Sarah serves as the supervisor of the district’s Advanced Learning Programs.

In honor of her outstanding leadership, the Board would now like to congratulate Sarah along with the Director of Assessment & Personalized Learning, Gretchen Walton.



Georgia Association of Gifted Children Gifted Program Teacher of the Year — Valerie King, Kennesaw Elementary School

Our district is not short on the number of gifted teachers and the next recognition is proof. The Georgia Association of Gifted Children also named Advanced Learning Program teacher Valerie King as the Gifted Program Teacher of the Year.

Valerie works with students at Kennesaw Elementary School. Her students recently won a national prize for the students’ creation of the “Little General,” a steam locomotive built out of more than 1,000 recycled milk cartons.

Now it is time for Valerie, Kennesaw Elementary Principal Monica Howard and Advanced Learning Programs Supervisor Sarah Kessel to come forward and be recognized by the Board.



Georgia Association of Gifted Children Distinguished Elementary Gifted Student — McKenna Spilotros, Cheatham Hill Elementary School


Next, we are thrilled to recognize Cheatham Hill Elementary fifth grader McKenna Spilotros. The Georgia Association of Gifted Children named McKenna the Distinguished Elementary Gifted Student of the Year!

The Board would like to congratulate McKenna at the front of the room along with her Principal Keeli Brown and her Gifted Teacher Dr. Monica Alicea.



Congratulations again to all on their achievements. This concludes our recognitions for this evening. Thank you.