Note: The following photos were taken at the Cobb County School Board Meeting on May 17, 2018. Chief of Staff Dr. Kevin Daniel presented these students and staff to the Board for special recognition. Excerpts from the recognition announcements are included with the photos below.
LGE Community Credit Union $5,000 Scholarship – Laura Key, Walton High School
Walton High School student Laura Key was selected by the LGE Community Credit Union to receive a $5,000 LGE Community Service Scholarship for 2018. She is the first recipient of this scholarship, which supports the credit union’s philosophy of “people helping people.”
The LGE Community Credit Union partners with Cobb schools to support teachers and students and established the annual $5,000 Scholarship to recognize a Cobb County School District high school senior who has demonstrated service and impacted their community in a positive way. The winner of this scholarship was selected from nominations from Cobb high school principals.
Russell Elementary School Amateur Radio Club – National Championship
Russell Elementary School’s KM4RE amateur radio club, which is also known as the DX Roadrunners, won its third national championship!
Not only did the Russell students win the national championship, they broke the record for most points scored with a grand total of 264,914. They also logged the most contacts for the competition—886 to be exact. Although the Russell students competed in the elementary classification, the five students outscored all the other teams in the competition, which includes middle school, high school and college level teams. They even beat out Georgia Tech! The next closest school, Purdue University, scored more than 67,000 points behind Russell Elementary.
The Board recognized the DX Roadrunners along with the following Russell staff: Assistant Principal Erin Schularick and teachers Chris Laster, Kelly Bodner, and Tracey Steiner; and paraprofessional Kim Donina.
Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State Champions– Shallowford Falls Elementary School
This year, the title of Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State Champions goes to Shallowford Falls Elementary School!
For the state competition, a team of 10 Shallowford students read 18 books and answered questions in a bowl-type setting, buzzing in when they knew the answers. This is the first time a Shallowford Falls team has reached the state competition and only the second time a Cobb County team has placed first at the elementary level.
Class AAAAAA Boys 113 pounds Wrestling State Champion – Max Druhot, Pope High School
Pope High School’s Max Druhot was recognized as the Class AAAAAA Boys Wrestling State Champion for the 113 pounds classification.
U.S. Army JROTC Male Color Guard 2017 State Champions – Campbell High School
Next, the Board had the pleasure of recognizing the U.S. Army JROTC Male Color Guard team from Campbell High School as state champions.
The members of the championship team include cadets Davon Cathey, Luke Lunsford, Michi McRae, and Erik Monroy, who commanded the group.
Along with JROTC Color Guard State Champions, the Board recognized the following people: Dr. Jeanne Walker, Campbell principal; Joshua Ford, Campbell assistant principal; Sgt. First Class Will Powell; and First Sgt. Kathryn Burns.
U.S. Army JROTC Female State Champions – Campbell High School
KD: Campbell’s Male Color Guard team isn’t the only state champion team from Campbell High School. Campbell also captured the title of U.S. Army JROTC Female State Champions! The Lady Raiders won first place in the 5k team run with a time of 26:20 and rope bridge time of 2:35. Those wins helped them secure the Tier 1 State Championship.
The Board and Superintendent congratulated the Lady Raiders along with the following people: Dr. Jeanne Walker, Campbell principal; Joshua Ford, Campbell assistant principal; Sgt. First Class Will Powell; and First Sgt. Kathryn Burns.
NJROTC National Brain Brawl Championship — North Cobb High School
This isn’t the first time our next team has been recognized as national champions. North Cobb High School’s Navy JROTC recently won the National Brain Brawl Championship for the fifth time! That’s five years in a row for this outstanding team!
The championship team includes the following North Cobb students: Dawson Bowman, Jackson Fowler, Paul King, Elizabeth Magneson, and Elly Powell.
The Board congratulated the five-time national champions with Assistant Principal Mary Goodwin; Commander Joel Reaves, Senior Naval Science Instructor; and First Sgt. Mike Dickerson, Naval Science Instructor.
U.S. Navy JROTC Orienteering Team State Champions – Hillgrove High School
The Board recognized several state champions from Hillgrove High School. The Hillgrove U.S. Navy JROTC team demonstrated their top navigational skills and won first place in the state JROTC Orienteering Competition.
In the junior varsity competition, Hillgrove’s Mary Smith won the U.S. Navy’s JROTC Girls State Championship, while her teammate Peyton Valencia captured the same state title for the boys. Mason Blum represented Hillgrove at the national level. He won the Male Junior Varsity National Championship.
The Board celebrated the Hillgrove state and national champions at the front of the room and asked the following Hillgrove staff members to join them: Principal Angela Stewart; Sherri Thoroughman, assistant principal and athletic director; U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Ron Hojnowski; and Chief Petty Officer Allen Harris.
U.S. Navy JROTC Academic Team State Champions – Hillgrove High School
The Board also had the pleasure of honoring the U.S. Navy JROTC Academic Team as state champions.
To cap off the recognitions of Hillgrove High School’s U.S. Navy JROTC team, the Board was thrilled to honor Jennifer Harnage as the U.S. Navy JROTC State and National Champion. Jennifer was also a member of the Orienteering State Champion team as well as the State Champion JROTC Academic team.
Hillgrove’s JROTC Academic state champions stepped forward to be recognized by the Board. Principal Angela Stewart; Sherri Thoroughman, assistant principal and athletic director; U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Ron Hojnowski; and Chief Petty Officer Allen Harris joined them.
Class AAAAAAA Boys Quartet State Champions – Hillgrove High School
Hillgrove High School also won first place in the Class AAAAAAA Boys Quartet State Competition.
The Quartet included the following students: Matthew Elsey, Ethan Pound, Miller Sinyard, and Henrique Sobrinho.
Principal Angela Stewart, and Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Sherri Thoroughman joined the Boys Quartet State Champions when the Board recognized them.
Class AAAAAAA Literary State Champions –Kennesaw Mountain High School
The Board was also excited to congratulate all the Class AAAAAAA Literary State Champions from Kennesaw Mountain High School.
The state champions included:
- Literary State Champion for Oral Interpretation-Humorous – Nick Haddad
- Literary State Champion for Extemporaneous Speaking-International–Meredith Johns
- Literary State Champion for Extemporaneous Speaking-Domestic – Olivia Seabaugh
- Literary State Champion for Oral Interpretation-Dramatic – Ayana Arrington
Kennesaw Mountain High School also captured the title of Overall Literary State Champions for Class AAAAAAA.
Assistant Principal Nathan Stark and Coy Dunn, Fine Arts Department Chair, joined the literary state champions for their recognition.
Georgia Student Technology Competition Champions: Kennesaw Mountain and Wheeler High School
Cobb students represented our district well at the Georgia Student Technology Competition.
The state champions from Kennesaw Mountain High School included:
- Georgia Student Technology Competition Champions for Internet Applications – Sourin Paturi and Suvan Paturi, Kennesaw Mountain High School
- Georgia Student Technology Competition Champions for Project Programming: Ryan Cobelli, Kennesaw Mountain High School, and Arvin Poddar, Wheeler High School
Assistant Principal Nathan Stark; and Nancy Ranasinghe, technology specialist at Sedalia Park Elementary School, joined the state champions.
The last GSTC champion to be recognized was a dual state champion. Abhijeet Ghosh of East Side Elementary School is the GSTC state champion for Robotics as well as the Technology Literacy Challenge. Joining Abhijeet for the board recognition was Principal Elizabeth Mavity, fourth grade teacher Lisa Kiel; Target teacher Sharon Werbke; and Nancy Ranasinghe, technology specialist at Sedalia Park Elementary School.
2018 K-12 InVenture Prize Champion for the Elementary School Level – Due West Elementary School
The Board had the pleasure of congratulating Due West Elementary for once again winning first place in the Georgia Tech K-12 InVenture Challenge. Due West won the same competition in 2016.
The Due West team won for their design of The WatchMi, which locates children when they are lost by incorporating a GPS within the core of the watch. The WatchMi can be located at home or at any other location by a parent or another guardian.
Team members include students Liam Hannah, Henry Kirkland, and Harrison Williams and Advanced Learning Program teacher Kirsten Perla.
Due West principal, Ladonna Starnes, and Advanced Learning Programs Supervisor Sarah Kessel accompanied the Inventure Champions for their recognition.
2018 K-12 InVenture Prize Champion for the High School Level – Walton High School
Walton High School claimed the 2018 k-12 InVenture Prize for the high school level challenge. Walton won first place for Team Hydraptor, which is an adaptor that can be attached to a hose that fits its size. When connections are desired, the adaptor is simply pushed onto the connection point and rotated to create a fast and reliable connection. The connection speeds are revolutionary with times under five seconds.
The winning team members include Rishab Rao, Alexa Holdmeyer, Noah Bruckner and teacher Ann Baxley.
Ann Baxley also took home an individual honor from the InVenture Challenge. She won the 2018 InVenture Prize Award for Top High School Teacher.
2018 FIRST World Championship Chairman’s Award – Kell High School
Kell Robotics recently made history at the FIRST Robotics World Championship. They are the first team in Georgia to bring home the most prestigious award offered by FIRST Robotics—the International Chairman’s Award.
Kell Robotics is made up of students from Harrison High School, Kell High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, North Cobb High School, and schools outside the Cobb County School District. The students have spent hundreds of hours volunteering, coaching, mentoring, advocating, participating and teaching the values that FIRST Robotics offers.
Along with the World Champion team, the Board invited Kell High School Assistant Principal Suzanne Cain and the team mentors to come forward for recognition.
SkillsUSA Construction Blue Print Reading — Emmett Day, Kennesaw Mountain High School
Emmett Day of Kennesaw Mountain High School placed first in the SkillsUSA Construction Blue Print Reading competition.
Career tech teacher Cristi Holbrook and Assistant Principal Nathan Stark accompanied Emmett for his honor.
SkillsUSA Advertising Design–James Siad, Walton High School
Next, the Board congratulated James Siad of Walton High School for winning first place in the SkillsUSA Advertising Design competition.
James’s career tech teacher, Dan Campagna, and Principal Judy McNeill joined him for the evening recognition.
Skills USA Champions: North Cobb High School
The Board recognized four SkillsUSA State Champions from North Cobb High School.
- SkillsUSA Sports Highlight Reel State Champions — Brandon Martinez and Chad Colan
- SkillsUSA Music Video State Champion — TJ Bolden and Jay Munro
- SkillsUSA Career Pathway Showcase Arts, Audiovisual Technology and Communication State Champions — Daniel MacAnn, Taylor Mason, and Ohaegi Childs
- SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing — Patrick Wright and Kanan Miller
Assistant Principal Mary Goodwin; SkillsUSA advisor Michael Barcarse, and Audio/Video Broadcast Instructor Daniel Knode joined the champions who were able to attend.
Cobb STEM Certification: Baker 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.
Baker Elementary School recently earned the county’s STEM Certification.
The Board congratulated the following people during the meeting for helping Baker earn STEM certification: Dr. Sally Creel, STEM and Innovation Supervisor; Christian Cali, Science Supervisor; Baker Principal Alison Broughton; Mark Winters, assistant principal; Tiffany Hourigan, School Leadership Intern; teachers Kimberly Hutcheson and Matt Farrell; and students Eddie Jinan and Samantha Sherman.
Department of Education STEM Certification: Lassiter High School
The next STEM recognition was for Lassiter High School, which earned the Department of Education STEM Certification.
Lassiter has also received Cobb STEM certification and Advanced Ed STEM Certification.
In order to congratulate Lassiter on the school’s STEM success, the following people were invited to come forward to shake hands with the Board: Dr. Sally Creel, STEM and Innovation Supervisor; Christian Cali, Science Supervisor; Lassiter students Anastasia Onyago, Bryce Daniels, Peyton Lamb, Kendra Garcia, Jeff Anderson, Kevin Goshay, and Seo Young Yoo; Lassiter teachers Liz Clark and Keelan Seabolt; Principal Dr. Chris Richie; and Assistant Principal Angelo F. Ruggiero.
AdvancED STEM Certification: Hightower Trail Middle School
Next up, the Board honored Hightower Trail Middle School for achieving AdvancEd STEM certification. As the internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, the AdvancED certification highlights Hightower Trail’s commitment to STEM education and preparing students for future STEM careers.
The Board invited the following people to the front of the room to be recognized: Dr. Sally Creel, STEM and Innovation Supervisor; Christian Cali, Science Supervisor; Assistant Principals Joni Myler and Ruth Hesson and the teachers Melody Stout, Catherine Hackney, Amy West, Violette Garrett, Caroline Sangster, Marli Sherer, Katherine Thomas, Andrea Cilluffo, and Julie Mann.
AdvancED STEM Provider Certification by AdvancED: STEM and Innovation Department
In addition to Cobb schools earning STEM certifications, the Cobb County School District STEM and Innovation Department was recently awarded the AdvancED STEM Provider Certification by AdvancED.
This STEM certification demonstrates the district’s commitment to the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and our belief that these disciplines are instrumental in preparing students of today for careers of tomorrow.
The Board recognized the following staff members for their STEM success: Dr. Sally Creel, STEM and Innovation Supervisor; Christian Cali, Science Supervisor; Tracy Matthews, Science professional learning specialist; Michelle Mikes, Math Supervisor; Miranda Westbrook, Math professional learning specialist; Ashley Clody, Math professional learning specialist; and Angela Kovachi Sparks, CTAE Coordinator. The following were unable to attend: Jackie Brown, CTAE supervisor; and Tania Pachuta, STEM and Innovation professional learning specialist
Nurse Appreciation Week 2018
National School Nurse’s Day celebrates and acknowledges the accomplishments of school nurses and their efforts of meeting the needs of today’s students by improving the delivery of health care in our schools. The Board and Superintendent took the opportunity during the meeting to thank the dedicated Cobb school nurses, who contribute to our local community by helping students stay healthy, in school, and ready to learn.
School health supervisor Melanie Bales joined the nurses for the recognition.
Library Media Specialist of the Year – Cara Harpin, McClure Middle School
This year, the Library Media Specialist of the Year Award goes to Cara Harpin of McClure Middle School!
To help honor Cara for her success, the following people joined Cara at the front of the room to be recognized by the Board: Principal Kelly Metcalfe; teacher Beth Smith, who nominated Cara; Susan Chambless, paraprofessional; and Library and Media Supervisor Holly Frilot.
American School Counselor Association Recognized ASCA Model Program
The American School Counselor Association named two Cobb Schools as Recognized ASCA Model Programs, also known as RAMP programs. This designation indicates that school counseling teams are committed to student success by delivering comprehensive, data-driven programs.
Counseling Supervisor Gail Smith and Dr. Melisa Marsh, School Counseling and Advisement Consultant joined the schools for their recognitions by the Board.
- JJ Daniell Middle School: Principal David Nelson and counselors Lauren McAffee and Cayce Pope
- McEachern High School’s Counseling Team: Principal Regina Montgomery and counselors Antoinette Dickerson, Kristy Royer, Ayesha Fawzi, Reginald Hurns, and Melissa Lynch
Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Cobb County School District’s Financial Services Department earned the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
The Board congratulated the Financial Services Department on their success by inviting the following people to the front of the room: Brad Johnson, Chief Financial Officer; Jan Hendrix, Director of Accounting Services; Colette Turner, Manager of Accounting Services; Mandy Mattison, General Ledger Accountant; Beth Atkinson, accountant; Karen Meeks, General Accountant; Peggy McClure-Greenough, Procurement Card Specialist; Diana Cothran, Cash Specialist; and Dawn Vastola, Accounts Reconciliation Coordinator.
American String Teachers Association Elizabeth A. H. Green Award – James Palmer, Allatoona High School
The Board was excited to recognize James Palmer of Allatoona High School for winning the American String Teachers Association’s Elizabeth A.H. Green Award.
This annual award goes to a school string teacher with a current and distinguished career in a school orchestral setting.