CCSD Honors Retiring Employees at Legends Ceremony
Retiring Freedom MS teacher Rollins Caglioni joyfully hugs Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower as she is thanked and congratulated at the CCSD Retiring Legends Reception and Recognition Ceremony.
The Cherokee County School District this week honored retiring employees as legends at a new ceremony and reception.
One hundred and twenty-four retiring employees, including teachers, support staff and administrators, were celebrated at the CCSD Retiring Legends Reception and Recognition Ceremony presented Thursday evening in the school board auditorium. The room was filled with retirees and their family members, principals and school district leaders in attendance to thank them for their service.
“We talk a lot about community and building community … you have made sure our community has a bright future. I’m so proud of you and appreciate you,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We wish you the best in all your future adventures. Come back and see us – you know we do like subs with experience!”
The event included recognition of all retiring employees, who each were individually thanked by Dr. Hightower and School Board members for their years of service. As each retiree made his or her way through the receiving line, both their years of service with CCSD and total years in education were announced.
The event was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Cherokee County Educational Foundation. Each retiree received an engraved CCSD Legends insulated metal Yeti cup, as well as an official retiree badge for free access to CCSD high school athletic events and activities.
The two retirees with the most years of service -- Brenda Chance, 43 years of service and Michelle Wilkie, 38 years of service – received additional gifts. They each received a hand-crafted personalized Molten Metalworx sign and $120 gift card given by Practically Perfect Day Spa. Ms. Chance received a $50 gift card given by J. Michael Prime; Ms. Wilkie received a $50 gift card given by Riverstone Corner Bistro. They also each received a standing ovation from the crowd, a highpoint in an gathering filled with joyful moments.
Ms. Chance joined CCSD’s transportation department in 1980 as a bus driver and, after 20 years of service, chose to begin driving Special Education students. During her career, she drove for Woodstock ES, HS and MS; Clark Creek ES STEM Academy, E.T. Booth MS, Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy and the now closed Chapman Intermediate School. Ms. Wilkie began her career as a CCSD school bus driver in 1985 with a Free Home ES route, which she also ended her career driving.
In addition to remarks by Dr. Hightower, the program also included messages of congratulations and appreciation from School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, CCEF Executive Director Lisa-Marie Haygood and Cherokee Retired Educators Association President Leslie Shelley. Ms. Shelley encouraged the retirees to continue to serve the community’s children by volunteering in CCSD schools.
“The knowledge and passion you have brought to your jobs we cannot replicate,” Ms. Cromer said. “Thank you, and we wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life.”
The two retirees with the most years of service -- Brenda Chance, 43 years of service, above, and Michelle Wilkie, 38 years of service – received additional gifts.
Congratulations to CCSD’s 2022-23 Retiring Legends:
Arnold Mill ES: Debbie Baluch, Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Rhonda Pettit
Avery ES: Matt Harper, Dolleen Wiltgen
Bascomb ES: Kristi Mathews, Jodie Mercer, Shelby Reed, Tina Maire Wilkins
Boston ES: Paige Galbraith
Carmel ES: Marjorie Burt, Lisa Reidy
CCSD Department of Special Education: Amy Aenchbacher, David Martinez, Nilda Tippins
CCSD Department of Transportation: Brenda Chance, Donna Cobb, Lynn Cole, Karen Davis, Lynn Moore, Faye Mraz, Angela Naves, Karen Richards, Gayle Rogers, Richard Whire, Michelle Wilkie, Cheryl Woodall
CCSD Office of Curriculum and Instruction: Dr. Catherine Head
CCSD Office of Financial Management: Lisa Westbrook
CCSD Office of Human Resources: Vickie Bryant, Cheryl Holcomb, Vicki Ross
CCSD Office of Safety and Security: German Rivas
CCSD Office of School Operations: Dr. Kerry Martin, Dr. Mark Merges
CCSD Office of Support Services: Greg Mason, Tim Self
CCSD Office of Technology and Information Services: Dr. Jennifer Cash, Gary Little, Teresa Wells, Travis Whatley
CCSD Preschool Centers: Donna Chandler, Dawne Gamble, Karen Hamilton, Jeanne Hoff
Cherokee HS: Judi Bonner, Debra Craig, Patrick Morgan
Creekland MS: Debra Cohen, David Rumble
Creekview HS: Stacy Kennedy, Christine Killen, Kellie Shugart
E.T. Booth MS: Cathy Baden, Dr. LaTease Drawdy, Lawrence Gruszecki, June G. Mann
Etowah HS: Rob Graner, Penny Jones, Peta Murray, Paul Peterson, Greg Robinson, Denise D. Rodrìguez Taulet, Linda Yunker
Freedom MS: Dr. Chad Barner, Rollins Caglioni, Kathy McFarland, Robert Motika, Dana Townsend
Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy: Susan Reagan
Hickory Flat ES: Angela Rusk
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy: Patti Dooley, Cynthia Rudin
Indian Knoll ES: Shelly Brumbelow, Laura Carter, Darlene Palmisiano, Marnie Pigott
Johnston ES: Shelli Faulkner
Liberty ES: Susan Ponticello Loughlin, Julie Michaud, Dr. Christy Stewart
Little River ES: John Hultquist, Dr. Reginald S. Kimball, Vicki Roark
Macedonia ES: Cindy Byram, Hilda Holcomb, Patty Nay, Christy Rich, Joan Watkins, Tina Word
Mill Creek MS: Kay Higgins, Carey Hood, Meg Veith
Mountain Road ES: Jami Gilliam
Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy: Lori Pelkey, Ann Wright
River Ridge HS: Cheryl Brigham, Laura Hardin, Gregg Schumaker
R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy: Jennifer Bell, Rosemary Gilleland
Sequoyah HS: Maria Baldwin, Jeffrey Beinke, Meriam P. Freeman, Dawn McAllister, Dr. Wendy Roberts
Sixes ES: Venetia Burgess
Teasley MS: Joan Friedman, Connie Gaddis, Jennifer Laubach, Keith Nelson, Melinda Parris, Monica Tillery
Woodstock ES: Valerie McCurley, Annette Tortorello
Woodstock HS: Monica Correll, Lieutenant Mark Fagan, Julie Moeller
Woodstock MS: Susan Barker, Donna Cabeza-Anderson, Lisa Cooke, Patricia Duff, Lynn Kavanaugh, Stacie Kersey
More photos from the festivities: