The Cherokee County School District rolled out the red carpet and shone the spotlight on superstar educators Tuesday night at the 2020 Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration.
Befitting the event’s Oscars-inspired theme, with the opening of an envelope, Barry Dalton of Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy was surprised with the news he is the 2020 CCSD Teacher of the Year.
“Barry really impresses me with his dedication to the kids. He was ‘all in’ with Social and Emotional Learning long before we started talking about it as a CCSD initiative,” Cherokee County Superintendent Brian Hightower said. “He teaches his kids grit and resiliency. He shows them he cares about them, their success and, most importantly, their happiness. Barry makes me proud to serve as his superintendent.”
Coach Dalton, who is in his 12th year as an educator and teaches health and PE at Hasty, will advance as CCSD’s nominee for the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.
In his remarks, Dalton thanked his mother, Vickie Dalton, for her inspiration as an educator; his father, Edde; his wife, Heather; his current colleagues and his former colleagues at Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy.
“I’ve recently learned about an Aristotle quote ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all,’” he said. “I don’t believe students will truly learn in our classrooms until we have built the relationships and trust needed to make them feel comfortable.”
Principal Rodney Larrotta praised Coach Dalton for possessing a unique combination of extraordinary traits: “great teacher, fantastic coach, amazing instructional leader and a mentor.”
“I believe in superheroes,” Larrotta said. “Coach Dalton, you are a superhero.”
The Legacy Makers event held at the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center in Canton honored the Teacher of the Year for every CCSD school and four finalists, including Coach Dalton, who was named the winner at the event’s close. The dinner, and the long list of gifts presented to the honorees, all were made possible thanks to sponsor donations including presenting sponsors Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram of Canton.
New to the event this year, the Cherokee County Council of PTA set up a special welcome with a red carpet surrounded by parents and students who cheered on the Teachers of the Year as they arrived.
Hightower and the school board recognized every Teacher of the Year during the event, which also was attended by the guest of each honoree’s choice and their Principals. The finalists and CCSD Teacher of the Year are selected by a panel of community leaders who evaluate applications from each school’s Teacher of the Year; school winners are selected by their peers.
“As Robert Marzano said: You are the most important factor in improving student outcomes,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said during her remarks. “That is the influence you have. We are so proud of you.”
The three other finalists, who received additional gifts and recognition at the event, are: Tracie Galvis of Cherokee High School, Karen Garland of Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy and Ansley Sand of River Ridge High School.
All school Teacher of the Year winners each received a $175 Visa gift card purchased with donations from sponsors; a $50 restaurant gift certificate from Shottenkirk; a portrait by Lifetouch National Schools Studio; an engraved plaque; and a tote bag filled with supplies and gifts from sponsors.
The finalists, in addition to these gifts, each received: a $500 Visa gift card purchased with donations from sponsors; $160 gift certificates from Practically Perfect Day Spa; $100 gift cards and $50 gift baskets from Kroger; $100 gift cards from Bojangles’; and other gifts. The finalists also each were provided with a table at the dinner, so they could bring additional family members or other guests.
Dalton, in addition to these gifts, also received:
A one-year lease of the vehicle of his choice from Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton, a $1,500 Microsoft Surface 2 from Southern Computer Warehouse, a $1,000 Visa gift card purchased with sponsor donations, a $275 Day Spa Package from Practically Perfect Day Spa; a $200 gift card and a gift basket from Kroger, a $200 gift card from Bojangles’, a compact laser printer and $50 Visa gift card from Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), a $75 Amazon gift card from Canvas, a Fitbit from Follett School Solutions and more.
Sponsors who made all of the gifts possible are:
Presenting Sponsors: Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton;
Gold sponsors: HP, Inc.; Imaan International Inc., Kroger, Lifetouch National Schools Studios, Poole’s Insulation, Practically Perfect Day Spa and Southern Computer Warehouse;
Silver sponsors: Bojangles’, Cherokee Education Association, Cherokee Lanes, Cobb EMC, Fforg, Inc.; NearPod, Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Path & Post Real Estate, Walden University; and,
Bronze sponsors: ACME Property Group, LLC; AMC Theatres, Canvas, Chick-fil-A of Cherokee County, ContentKeeper, DataON Storage, Follett School Solutions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NOVA Engineering & Environmental, Roly Poly of Woodstock and zSpace, Inc.
“We’re so thankful for our sponsors and the PTA for making this event as special as our Teachers of the Year,” Hightower said. “Their support speaks volumes about our community and how much we all care about teachers and the work they do to educate our emerging generation.”