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CCSD Announces Fifth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

CCSD Announces Fifth Annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards

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

The recognition ceremony on December 8 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.

“We are successful in serving our students every day thanks to the hard work of our support staff,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “I appreciate each of our support staff employees and their dedication to our organization and our students.  We’re proud to celebrate the best of the best each year with this awards program.”

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 Dec. 8 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 Sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia; and Gold Sponsor, Cobb EMC.

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.

2023 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year:

ACTIVE Academies
Lynnette Greene, student records facilitator

Arnold Mill Elementary School
Amy Morris, instructional lead strategist

Avery Elementary School
Maria Vega, custodian (mid-day porter)

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy
Rebecca Heard, instructional lead strategist

Bascomb Elementary School
Merissa Haymore, front office secretary

Boston Elementary School
Debbie McMichen, kindergarten paraprofessional

Carmel Elementary School
Sarah Mallow, instructional lead strategist

CCSD Preschool Centers
Julissa Izaguirre, Head Start preschool program paraprofessional

Cherokee High School
Cherie Owens, Special Education facilitator

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Livi Avila, parent engagement facilitator

Clayton Elementary School
Meredith Hardt, instructional lead strategist

Creekland Middle School
Dianne Schumacher, instructional lead strategist

Creekview High School
Trina Hutchison, bookkeeper

Dean Rusk Middle School
Christine Lynch, school nurse

E.T. Booth Middle School
Heather Chappell, school nurse

Etowah High School
Lisa Funderburk, instructional lead strategist

Free Home Elementary School
Katie Northcutt, student records facilitator/principal's secretary

Freedom Middle School
Mary Robinson, principal's secretary

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy
Fatima Flores, student records facilitator

Hickory Flat Elementary School
Jennifer Thompson, supportive instruction paraprofessional

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy
Kimiko Kirkland, kindergarten paraprofessional

Indian Knoll Elementary School
Mary Small, lunch monitor/after school program worker

Johnston Elementary School
Jaclyn Williams, principal's secretary/after school program bookkeeper

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy
Jaime Pitts, student records facilitator

Liberty Elementary School
Maria Riera-Palomeque, kindergarten paraprofessional

Little River Elementary School
Shavon Deal, after school program bookkeeper

Macedonia Elementary School
Sarah Allen, speech language pathologist

Mill Creek Middle School
Dana Jacobs, supportive instruction paraprofessional

Mountain Road Elementary School
Steve Haynes, custodian (day porter)

Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy
Susan Beavers, school secretary

R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy
Sharon Satterfield, supportive instruction paraprofessional

River Ridge High School
Rex Gavilla, technology specialist

Sequoyah High School
Violet Heeman, assistant principal's secretary

Sixes Elementary School
Amber Palmer, school nurse

Teasley Middle School
Megan Antunez, school nurse

Tippens Education Center
Jamie Gramling, School Nutrition manager

Woodstock Elementary School
Diane DuMond, supportive instruction paraprofessional

Woodstock High School
Carol Pontius, principal's secretary

Woodstock Middle School
Susan Barker, instructional lead strategist

CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Jody Page, director’s secretary

CCSD Office of Financial Management
Karla Lunsford, accounting clerk

CCSD Office of Human Resources
Laura Walters, executive director’s secretary

CCSD Office of Safety & Security
Neil Stein, safety and security specialist

CCSD Offices of Communications/School Operations/Superintendent
Grace Abalos, executive director’s secretary

CCSD Office of Support Services
Rick Phillips, maintenance facility zone foreman

CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services
Jill Phillips, technology specialist

CCSD Transportation Department
Debra Basone, secretary