CCSD leaders, teachers, staff and parents earned top honors at this year’s Georgia PTA awards presentation, including Principal of the Year.

Christian Kirby of Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy won the top title for school leaders, which was presented at the organization’s annual summer conference. He and the other CCSD honorees will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent Brian Hightower at the school board’s meeting next week.

“Meaningful parent and community engagement is critical to the success of our students, and we’re so proud to see Dr. Kirby recognized for his dedication to this mission,” Hightower said. “Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy is the heart of its community, and we appreciate everything Dr. Kirby does to ensure to community knows that heart is open and welcoming.”

Hightower said it’s impressive that CCSD leaders, teachers, staff and parent volunteers earn recognition year after year at the state level, but even more impressive is why.

“These honorees don’t do what they do to earn accolades,” Hightower said. “They do it for the kids — whether it’s caring for them in the nurse’s clinic, teaching them to read, organizing a fall festival, or serving on the School Board — and they do it with professionalism and joy.”

School nurses from CCSD won the top two spots in the Outstanding School Nurse awards, with Resa Breitbart of Little River Elementary School earning first, and Wanda Ligon of E.T. Booth Middle School placing second.

Four CCSD teachers were honored with Birney Butler Outstanding Educator awards for excellence in teaching: Kara Reeder of E.T. Booth Middle School, Danielle Gantt of Hickory Flat Elementary School, Julie Bryant of Indian Knoll Elementary School and Megan Mayfield of Little River Elementary School. School board member John Harmon also was recognized with this award based on a nomination from the Hickory Flat Elementary School PTA.

Four CCSD parents earned the PTA’s Visionary Award, which recognizes PTA volunteers who demonstrate an “above and beyond” approach to addressing and resolving community issues and concerns. They are: Cherokee County Council of PTA immediate past President Amanda Johnson, Brianna Wiseman of Ball Ground Elementary PTA, Kimberly Brown of Indian Knoll Elementary School PTA and Brenda Page of Mill Creek Middle School PTSA.

The River Ridge High School PTSA earned the Family-School Partnership Award of Excellence for its efforts in the category of Speaking Up For Every Child.

CCSD PTAs swept the Outstanding Local Unit awards: Holly Spring Elementary School STEM Academy PTA, first place, elementary schools (750 students or smaller); Mill Creek Middle PTSA, first place, middle schools; River Ridge High PTSA, first place, high schools; Hickory Flat Elementary PTA, second place, elementary schools (750 students or smaller) and Little River Elementary PTA, second place, elementary schools (751 students or more.)

Nine CCSD school PTAs earned Merit Awards: Ball Ground ES PTA, Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy PTA, E.T. Booth MS PTSA, Hickory Flat ES PTA, Holly Springs Elementary, Johnston Elementary School PTA, Little River Elementary PTA, Mill Creek MS PTSA and River Ridge HS PTSA.

CCSD PTAs also won top President Membership Awards, with Creekland Middle School PTSA recognized for the highest percentage of membership growth in its region, and the Cherokee County Council PTA recognized for the second-highest percentage of membership growth in the state.

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