The Cherokee County School District next month will celebrate excellent service at its fourth annual Support Staff Employees of the Year Awards.

The recognition ceremony Dec. 2 will honor one Support Staff Employee of the Year from each of CCSD’s schools, centers and central office divisions. Each honoree will be congratulated by the superintendent and school board members and receive a plaque and gifts of appreciation before an audience of honorees and their families, principals and CCSD leaders.

“Our schools and school district would not function without the critical support of these valued staff members,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said. “Every one of our support staff employees meets an important need to help us succeed. We’re so grateful for all of them and proud to honor the best of the best with this annual recognition ceremony.”

Award winners were selected by their school or division colleagues, and everyone who works in a support role – from bus drivers to front office staff to paraprofessionals to cafeteria staff and many, many more people important to CCSD’s operations – is eligible for the honor. Teachers, counselors, media specialists and administrators are not eligible, as they are honored through other awards programs.

At the conclusion of the Dec. 2 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; and Platinum Sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia.

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.

2021 CCSD Support Staff Employees of the Year

ACTIVE Academies

Crystal Williams, School Nutrition Worker

Arnold Mill Elementary School

Patti Eisenhauer, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Avery Elementary School

Dedra Turner, Paraprofessional

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy

Donna Mele, Principal’s Secretary

Bascomb Elementary School

Linda Wilson, School Nutrition Worker

Boston Elementary School

Michelle Helvey, Paraprofessional

Carmel Elementary School

Yudy Soro, Parent Engagement Facilitator

CCSD Preschool Centers

Sara Lightcap, Speech Language Pathologist

Cherokee High School

Liz Garced, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director’s Secretary

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy

Tiffany Gilbert, Lead Custodian

Clayton Elementary School

Dan Wolfe, IEP Paraprofessional

Creekland Middle School

Maralee Tabor, Principal’s Secretary

Creekview High School

Lisa Sheehan, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director’s Secretary

Dean Rusk Middle School

Hector Solis, Custodian

E.T. Booth Middle School

Missy Venezia, Instructional Lead Strategist

Etowah High School

Penny Jones, Principal’s Secretary

Free Home Elementary School

Amy Lathem, School Nutrition Manager

Freedom Middle School

Cassie Fainter, Instructional Lead Strategist

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy

Christine Ruff, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Hickory Flat Elementary School

Robert McCright, Lead Custodian

Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy

Kaitlyn Childers, Paraprofessional

Indian Knoll Elementary School

Lois Boggs, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Johnston Elementary School

Tammy Scanlon, IEP Paraprofessional

Knox Elementary School STEM Academy

Carol Dunn, Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Liberty Elementary School

Beth Major, Student Records Facilitator

Little River Elementary School

Melinda Belisle, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Macedonia Elementary School

Joan Watkins, Bookkeeper

Mill Creek Middle School

Johnny Gibson, Custodian

Mountain Road Elementary School

Dawn Patini, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy

Amy Zaski, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

R.M. Moore Elementary School STEM Academy

Jodi Henderson, Bookkeeper

River Ridge High School

Sara D’Antuono, Assistant Principal’s Secretary

Sequoyah High School

Cindy Brown, Student Services Secretary

Sixes Elementary School

Teresa Foster, Paraprofessional

Teasley Middle School

Lori Duffy, Principal’s Secretary

Tippens Education Center

Nikki Quinn, Paraprofessional

Woodstock Elementary School

Jennifer McInnis, Student Records Facilitator

Woodstock High School

Aura Castellanos, School Nutrition Worker and Custodian

Woodstock Middle School

Melissa Barsh, Supportive Instruction Paraprofessional

CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction

Nilda Tippins, Administrative Assistant to Executive Director, Special Education

CCSD Office of Financial Management

Tammie Hunter, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Office of Human Resources

Mary Shea, Division Facilitator

CCSD Office of Safety & Security

Mary Hansen, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officer

CCSD Offices of Communications/School Operations/Superintendent

Anne Reed, Administrative Assistant to Chief Officers

CCSD Office of Support Services

Biff McGhee, Maintenance Facility Technician

CCSD Office of Technology & Information Services

Stefan Zimmerman, Systems Specialist

CCSD Transportation Department

David Ammons, Transportation Specialist


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