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CCSD Announces Sixth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

CCSD Announces Sixth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

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

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

“Today is National Educational Support Professionals Day, and we’re so grateful to be able to thank the hundreds of dedicated employees who make up our support staff team.  Thank you to each of them for all of their hard work every day, and congratulations to those whose peers selected them as our best of the best with these awards,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Congratulations and we look forward to celebrating you at our awards ceremony next month!”

Award winners are selected by their school or division colleagues, and everyone who works in a support role is eligible for the honor -- from school nurses to front office staff to paraprofessionals to cafeteria staff and many, many more people critical to CCSD’s successful operations.  Teachers, media specialists, counselors and administrators are not eligible, as they are honored through other awards programs. 
At the conclusion of the 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; Platinum Sponsors, Credit Union of Georgia and Roof Technology Partners; and Gold Sponsor, Nova Engineering & Environmental.

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

2024 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year
ACTIVE Academies
Susie Okerblad, Special Education facilitator

Arnold Mill Elementary School
Alicia Perkins, supportive instruction paraprofessional

Avery Elementary School
Carrie Gilliam, bookkeeper

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy
Susan Jones, IEP paraprofessional

Bascomb Elementary School
Hope Leak, school secretary

Boston Elementary School
Dr. Jen Jones, instructional lead strategist

Carmel Elementary School
Kathy Schappert, bookkeeper

CCSD Preschool Centers
Cortney Massoud, Special Education paraprofessional at Ralph Bunche Center

Cherokee High School
Ana Maria Scoretz, school nurse

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Ann King, school secretary

Clayton Elementary School
Katie Swick, bookkeeper

Creekland Middle School
Lauren Davis, school secretary

Creekview High School
Kelleye Greene, principal's secretary

Dean Rusk Middle School
Katey Yursis, in-school suspension facilitator

E.T. Booth Middle School
Erika Smith, School Nutrition manager

Etowah High School
Silvia Holmes, counseling secretary

Free Home Elementary School
Theresa Perry, custodian

Freedom Middle School
Ann-Marie Polhemus, school secretary

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Mandy Brannon, bookkeeper

Hickory Flat Elementary School
Olivia Byess, principal's secretary

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy
Michelle Adams, supportive instruction paraprofessional

Indian Knoll Elementary School
Lauren Abrams, instructional lead strategist

Johnston Elementary School
Sam Gagner, bookkeeper

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy
Shay Langston, bookkeeper/after school program bookkeeper

Liberty Elementary School
Sue Banker, bookkeeper

Little River Elementary School
Chandler Woodruff, technology specialist

Macedonia Elementary School
Georgie Hathcock, School Nutrition manager

Mill Creek Middle School
Ashley Kelsey, instructional lead strategist

Mountain Road Elementary School
Georgie Benson, Special Education paraprofessional

Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy
Ashley Webster, school nurse

R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy
Kim Howell, kindergarten paraprofessional

River Ridge High School
Marlee Livesay, school secretary

Sequoyah High School
Marina Goddard, instructional lead strategist

Sixes Elementary School
Lauren Vanner, instructional technology specialist

Teasley Middle School
Officer Eddie Gibney, school police officer

Tippens Education Center
Adam Parker, Special Education facilitator

Woodstock Elementary School
Heather Whitney, principal's secretary

Woodstock High School
Aurelia Epperson, school secretary

Woodstock Middle School
Naomi Barajas, Special Education paraprofessional

CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Lorie Burgess, Special Education inventory clerk

CCSD Office of Financial Management
Chuck Gravitt, treasury management specialist

CCSD Office of Human Resources
Emily Iwane, executive director’s secretary 

CCSD Office of Safety & Security
Brian Stevenson, school police officer

CCSD Offices of Communications/School Operations/Superintendent
Dr. Tara Quinn-Schuldt, student support specialist

CCSD Office of Support Services
Darrin Andes, maintenance technician

CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services
Dixie Harper, instructional technology specialist

CCSD Transportation Department
Morgan Pace, transportation clerk