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CCEF Awards $25,000 in Special Project Grants to CCSD!

CCEF Awards $25,000 in Special Project Grants to CCSD!

The Cherokee County Educational Foundation’s second annual “Celebration of Education” Gala on March 12 raised a record total in donations benefitting the Cherokee County School District and honored outstanding teachers, students, partners, volunteers and alumni.



[caption id="attachment_900" align="alignright" width="300"] Cherokee County Educational Foundation ‘Celebration of Education’ Gala Co-Chairs Amanda Arnold, left, and Debbie Rabjohn, congratulate Woodstock High School’s April Schlinkert left, and Katelyn Nacon for winning the “CCSD’s Got Talent” high school student talent show held as part of the second annual event on March 12 at the Cherokee Conference Center. As first-place winners, the school received a $1,000 grant from the Foundation and a trophy.

The black-tie optional event at the Cherokee Conference Center in Canton, co-hosted by CCEF and presenting sponsor Northside Hospital-Cherokee, netted more than $56,000 and was attended by more than 350 guests and included dinner, awards, a silent auction and the “CCSD’s Got Talent” high school student talent show.

The nonprofit, charitable organization raises awareness and funds to support CCSD schools, students and teachers.  All money raised through CCEF fundraisers benefits CCSD schools, students and teachers through grants and other support… $120,000 has been awarded since its establishment in 2012.

“The Gala’s success is growing each year thanks to our community’s outstanding support,” CCEF Board President William “Billy” G. Hasty Jr. said.  “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to support our School District.”

The “CCSD’s Got Talent” grand prize winner, Woodstock High School’s duo of Katelyn Nacon and April Schlinkert, won a $1,000 grant for the school; and the runner-up, Creekview High School’s Men’s Chorus, won a $500 grant.   Each of the schools received an honorarium for participating in the competition.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower was honored as the event’s Honorary Chair, and other special guests included the CCSD Teacher of the Year, Media Specialist of the Year, Counselor of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Partner of the Year.  Foundation Board Members Amanda Arnold, Vice President for Credit Union of Georgia, and Debbie Rabjohn, CCSD parent and PTA volunteer, served as Gala Committee Co-Chairs.



[caption id="attachment_901" align="alignleft" width="300"]Alumni of the Year Award Foundation Board President William ‘Billy’ G. Hasty Jr. presents an Alumni of the Year Award to Frankie Shepherd.

The Gala presented the second annual Alumni of the Year Awards, which honor at least one CCSD high school alumnus and one alumna each year for outstanding professional and civic contributions.  The recipients were Frankie Shepherd, a lifetime educator who retired as Principal of her alma mater, Ralph Bunche High School (now Center), and has volunteered in numerous community service roles; and Gene Norton, a lifetime educator who served as Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools and in roles for the Georgia Department of Education and Reinhardt University.

Both honorees were applauded with standing ovations, and Mr. Hasty presented them with plaques featuring CCEF medallions made by Creekview High School teacher Linda Nicholson and her students.

Whenever an Alumni of the Year also is a retired educator, such as both of this year’s honorees, they will be added to that year’s class for the Cherokee County Educators Hall of Fame, a new initiative announced at last year’s Gala by CCEF.  The Hall of Fame will open next year in the Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Complex now under construction at The Bluffs in Canton.  The community will be invited to make nominations of retired educators for a new class of inductees each year, and the winners will be recognized with a ceremony and the addition of their names to the Hall of Fame plaque displayed at the new complex.



[caption id="attachment_902" align="alignright" width="300"]Alumnus of the Year Gene Norton Foundation Board President William ‘Billy’ G. Hasty Jr., right, listens as Alumnus of the Year Gene Norton speaks.

During the Gala, Ms. Arnold made a surprise announcement: the CCEF Board had unanimously voted to make recently retired Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo a member of the Hall of Fame’s charter class to be inducted next year.

“While this is a surprise announcement, it should come as no surprise to everyone here who knows and appreciates Dr. P’s legacy,” Ms. Arnold said of the recognition.  Dr. Petruzielo, who was a guest at the Gala, then received a standing ovation.

A new project being undertaken by CCEF also was announced at the Gala: the establishment of the CCEF Technology Challenge Grant, which will be piloted at Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy.  Teachers will have the opportunity to apply for this competitive grant to earn tablet devices for every child in their class to use, and the teacher will receive Microsoft Innovative Educator certification and other special training.

“We’re starting this grant with enough funding, $9,500, for one classroom at one school,” Mr. Hasty said, noting that Aramark Education Management already has pledged financial support.  “We hope that with more businesses’ support, we’ll be able to grow this grant to even more classrooms and schools!”

The evening included many special recognitions of educators and students including the cocktail hour music provided by Mill Creek Middle School students, the second year of service by Indian Knoll Elementary School Assistant Principal John Carter as master of ceremonies and the centerpieces created by Cherokee High School agriculture teacher Ashton Meeks and her students.  The Foundation presented grants to all of these schools, as well as the Creekview High’s art department, as honorariums of appreciation for their participation.

The Gala was made possible due an impressive list of sponsors that joined presenting sponsor, Northside Hospital-Cherokee, in supporting CCEF:

VALEDICTORIAN SPONSORS
  • Cobb EMC Community Foundation
  • Credit Union of Georgia
SALUTATORIAN SPONSORS
  • Aramark Education Management
  • Bryant’s Quality Painting
  • Cherokee Conference Center at The Bluffs
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Hasty Pope LLP
  • LGE Community Credit Union
  • Original Mattress Factory
  • Roach Caudill & Gunn LLP
  • Seasonal Designs Landscaping
  • State Senator Brandon Beach
HONOR ROLL SPONSORS
  • Brown & Brown Insurance
  • Buck Consultants
  • Center Cut Catering
  • Cherokee Computer
  • Cherokee Tribune
  • Chick-fil-A of Cherokee County
  • Citi
  • Davenport & Company
  • Dell
  • Georgia Power
  • Goshen Valley Foundation
  • KRH Architects
  • Manley Spangler Smith Architects, P.C.
  • Pearson
  • Sisson Media Corporation
  • Stellaris Group
  • Triumph Advisors
  • Valic
GRADUATE SPONSORS
  • Complete Floor Maintenance, Inc.
  • Follett
  • Frontline Technologies
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Kronos
  • Lifetouch
  • Mission Critical
  • My Beauty
  • Nova Engineering and Environmental
  • Path & Post - Becky Babcock
  • Rotary Club of Canton
  • Think Through Math
  • Win2ition
  • Womack Lewis Smith
For more information about the Foundation, please see the website at www.cherokeecountyeducationalfoundation.org or the Foundation’s page on Facebook.

Photos below provided by LIFETOUCH:



[caption id="attachment_900" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Gala First Place Winners Cherokee County Educational Foundation ‘Celebration of Education’ Gala Co-Chairs Amanda Arnold, left, and Debbie Rabjohn, congratulate Woodstock High School’s April Schlinkert left, and Katelyn Nacon for winning the “CCSD’s Got Talent” high school student talent show held as part of the second annual event on March 12 at the Cherokee Conference Center. As first-place winners, the school received a $1,000 grant from the Foundation and a trophy.


 
[caption id="attachment_901" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Alumni of the Year Award Foundation Board President William ‘Billy’ G. Hasty Jr. presents an Alumni of the Year Award to Frankie Shepherd.


 
[caption id="attachment_902" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Alumnus of the Year Gene Norton Foundation Board President William ‘Billy’ G. Hasty Jr., right, listens as Alumnus of the Year Gene Norton speaks.


 
[caption id="attachment_903" align="aligncenter" width="600"]CEO of presenting sponsor Northside Hospital-Cherokee Foundation Board Vice President Billy Hayes, left, CEO of presenting sponsor Northside Hospital-Cherokee, speaks during the program, as President William ‘Billy’ G. Hasty Jr. looks on.


 
[caption id="attachment_904" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Woodstock High School’s April Schlinkert, left, and Katelyn Nacon Woodstock High School’s April Schlinkert, left, and Katelyn Nacon perform, ‘Toxic vs. Sweater Weather,’ which earned their school the top prize in the ‘CCSD’s Got Talent’ competition and a $1,000 grant from CCEF.


 
[caption id="attachment_905" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Creekview High School’s Men Chorus Creekview High School’s Men Chorus, which performed ‘Tell My Father,’ was named runner-up in the ‘CCSD’s Got Talent’ competition and won a $500 grant from CCEF for the school.


 
[caption id="attachment_906" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Shandrea Tolbert Cherokee High School’s Shandrea Tolbert performs ‘I Know Where I’ve Been.’


 
[caption id="attachment_907" align="aligncenter" width="600"]River Ridge High School’s Percussion Quintent River Ridge High School’s Percussion Quintent presented ‘Bounce’ for its entry in ‘CCSD’s Got Talent.’


 
[caption id="attachment_908" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Sequoyah High School’s Nikki Johnson, John Haas Sequoyah High School’s Nikki Johnson, John Haas and Eli Wheeler perform ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’


 
[caption id="attachment_899" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower served as Honorary Chairman of the event.
CCEF Surprises CCSD Teachers with Prizes
Second Annual “Celebration of Education” Gala Bene...