Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 3/4/22

Updated COVID Testing Clinic Dates

CCSD has announced more daily COVID-19 testing clinics on our campuses (rotating schools) through April 15.

We are partnering with the Department of Public Health to provide testing opportunities for our school communities. Rapid antigen tests (results in 15 minutes) and PCR tests (results in 24-48 hours) will be available. No appointment is necessary. However, registration is required. All tests are free, optional, and offered as a convenience to students, staff, and families.

Click here for dates, locations, times, and registration links.

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Pair of CCSD Student Journalists Earn High Honors from State Association

Two CCSD student journalists have earned high honors from the Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA).

Cedar Shoals High junior Melanie Frick, Web Editor for the school’s student magazine, BluePrints, has been named the Georgia Junior Champion Journalist of the Year, while Clarke Central High senior Audrey Enghauser, Print Editor-in-Chief for the school’s Odyssey Media Group, was the runner-up for the association’s Georgia Journalist of the Year award.

Both students will be recognized at the GSPA Spring Awards and Workshop event in April.

Melanie, who has been on the BluePrints staff for three years and managed the publication’s website since last year, had the highest portfolio score out of 11 entries across the state in the Georgia Junior Champion Journalist competition. She writes:

“I've grown to understand that we can use writing as a platform to unite us in our common connections and hopeful endeavors. Journalism should not just be used to inform, but to guide, shape, and bring together everyone that takes the time to read. I hope to take this outlook and the opportunities I have to continue learning about my community. Everyone has a story worth sharing and we can use journalism to highlight the stories that might not be shared otherwise. BluePrints has allowed me to come out of my shell and take charge of these important topics, and I plan to continue working alongside my peers to shed light on people paving new ways in Athens.”

Meanwhile, Audrey, who won the Georgia Junior Champion Journalist of the Year award in 2021, has added another honor to her extensive list of accolades and recognitions while overseeing the production of Clarke Central’s student magazine. She writes:

“My love affair with storytelling began when I first joined the journalism I class in the Odyssey Media Group at 14. I was eager to get my hands on new stories, but I lacked the confidence to make conversation or seek help from the older students. I admired them from afar, watching the Editors-in-Chief lead the staff with great poise and expertise. Without a doubt, I knew instantly that I wanted to become that mature, experienced leader who thrived in the Odyssey room as their second home."

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Odyssey Media Group Receives Diversity Award from JEA

Congratulations to the Odyssey Media Group at Clarke Central High for receiving the 2022 Diversity Award from the Journalism Education Association (JEA).

The award honors a scholastic journalism teacher, student media adviser, or scholastic journalism group “demonstrating a commitment to cultural awareness and encouraging a multicultural approach with its student media staff, media production, and/or community. Honorees are at the forefront of promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena and have taken steps to break down walls of misunderstanding and ignorance.”

Click here to learn more about the award.

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Bergman Advances to State Spelling Bee

Congratulations to 2022 Clarke County School District Spelling Bee champion Isaac Bergman for winning the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) Region 7 Bee on Feb. 26.

Isaac, an eighth-grader at Clarke Middle, now advances to the State Spelling Bee, set for March 18 in Atlanta. A top-two finish there, and he will qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May/early June.

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District Winners Announced for Young Georgia Authors Contest

CCSD is proud to announce our 2021-22 Young Georgia Authors (YGA) writing competition district-level winners.

For more than two decades, this competition has been aimed at encouraging students across the state to develop an enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, providing a context to celebrate their writing successes, and recognizing student achievement in arts and academics.

The competition is open to any student currently enrolled in Georgia public schools, grades K-12, and is sponsored by the Georgia Language Arts Supervisors (GLAS) and the Georgia RESA Network with support from the Georgia Department of Education.

The CCSD district-level winners’ entries will now be judged by a regional panel of RESA judges in late March. Winning entries will advance to the statewide competition.

Congratulations to this year’s district winners:

Kindergarten: Roman Balashov, Whit Davis Elementary — “The First Day of School”

1st grade: Frederriah Stowers, Gaines Elementary — “My Dog”

2nd grade: Lidianne Guerra, J.J. Harris Elementary — “PumpkinSpice’s Life”

3rd grade: Eloise Chalmers, Timothy Road Elementary — “The Mystery of the Unicorn”

4th grade: Emily Miller, Timothy Road Elementary — “Fresh Air”

5th grade: Owen Morgan, Whit Davis Elementary — “King George”

6th grade: Evelyn Schliekelman, Clarke Middle — “Untitled”

9th grade: Riley Ramsey, Clarke Central High — “The Dome”

10th grade: Clara McCarthy, Clarke Central High — “Evolution of a Secret I Used to Keep Properly”

11th grade: Ava Maddox, Cedar Shoals High — “Valentine’s Day”

12th grade: Natalie Schliekelman, Clarke Central High — “Beautiful Pawn”

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Barrow Elementary Students Place in State Scenario Writing Competition

Three Barrow Elementary students recently placed in the top four of the Georgia Future Problem Solving Program (FPS) Scenario Writing competition in the Junior Division (grades 4-6).

Congratulations to fourth-grader Mariam Ahmed for finishing second in the state, fourth-grader Jayden Mulamoottil for placing third, and fifth-grader Mason Marshall for placing fourth


“This is a complex task involving future thinking, research about the real-world problems of today, critical thinking, and creative writing,” said Ms. Jan Mullins, teacher and scenario writing coach at Barrow Elementary.

The late Dr. Paul E. Torrance, a former longtime University of Georgia professor and creativity expert, began the Future Problem Solving Program here in 1974, here in Athens at Clarke Central High School. It has since expanded to 250,000 participants in 37 states and 14 countries.

Scenario Writing has been part of the program since 1978. Students develop short stories — 1,500 words or less — that are set at least 20 years in the future, based on given topics related to current events, and imagine the future outcomes of those current events or actions.

Click here for more information on the competition.

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CCSD Students Excel at National History Day Competition

Thirteen CCSD middle school students combined to win nine first-place awards in the regional National History Day competition on Feb. 12 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. A total of 31 students are eligible to move on to the state competition in April with the chance to compete in the national competition in June.

Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle (BHL) students Carlos Flores-Carcamo and Alexandra Carcamo Villalta were named the Overall Junior Division Winners for their exhibit on the Dakota War of 1862. The pair also won the Exhibit Junior Group Award for their project.

Other first-place winners included:

•Clarke Middle students Zaara Bhuiyan, Samaya Ellis, and Iayah Edwards were the Performance Junior Group winners and also won the Southern History Award for “Atlanta Race Riot Conversations.”

•BHL students Kayla Walker, Kamron Lawrence and Donovan Acuna were the Documentary Junior Group winners for “David Walker.”

•BHL student Senya Kero was the Paper Junior Individual winner for “U.S. China Trade War.”

•BHL students Theresita Huaman-Vega and Mekihi Gaines were the Website Junior Group winners for “Boston Tea Party.”

•BHL student Miley Tenas-Balderas was the Website Junior Individual winner for “Iran Hostage Crisis.”

•Clarke Middle student Zayeed DeLane was the Exhibit Junior Individual winner for “Georgia’s Hostage Crisis.”

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Cedar Shoals Teacher Receives STEM Research Grant

Cedar Shoals High agribusiness teacher and CTAE department chair Julie Throne has received 2022 STEM Research Grant from the Society for Science. The organization awarded 95 grants this year to schools in 29 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico, as well as Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. Priority consideration is given to teachers at schools that support students from low-income communities and demographics traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

After working as an inspector for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Ms. Throne switched careers and became a high school agriscience teacher and FFA advisor in 2002. Her program at Cedar Shoals has a greenhouse, aquaponics, garden, and a research lab in which students learn the hands-on application of STEM principles.

As part of the grant, Ms. Throne will receive a STEM research kit — valued at $1,000 — with trail cameras, water monitoring kits, and other materials. She was one of three teachers in Georgia to receive a grant this year from the Society for Science.

Click here to learn more about the grant and the Society for Science.

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Substitute Teacher Job Fair Set for March 10

CCSD partner ESS will host a hiring event Thursday, March 10, for substitute-teaching opportunities within the school district.

The job fair will be held at the district office, 595 Prince Ave., Athens, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet with hiring managers to answer any questions and start your application.

Please bring along:

•two forms of identification

•resume (optional)

•proof of education

•any certifications (i.e., Georgia teaching certification or paraprofessional license)

For questions and more information, contact the local ESS representatives:

Melanie Bolton

Account Manager


Kayla Wade

Account Manager


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Update from the Department of Community Schools

Gaines Elementary Family Engagement Specialists Rodney Robinson and Harold Faison, in collaboration with the school’s Community School Organizer, Tamaine Jordan, have been providing several opportunities over the last month for students to receive important information on water conservation, dental hygiene, and bully prevention.

The after-school program at Gaines also benefited from a visit from the University of Georgia football team for some tutoring and a fun game.

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From the office of 21st Century and After School Programs:

The 21st Century students at Coile Middle School did an outstanding job participating in the Black History Month Culminating Activity on Feb. 24.

21st Century students served as dancers and as models for the fashion show. The dancers were Na'Sya and Yezmina Bashirrudin, Amariyah Carson, Princess Djatsa, Janiya Harper, Jhonique Moses, and Taraji Peek. The team was coached by Ms. Tamita Brown, Spanish teacher. We applaud the efforts of these talented students!

Thank you, Ms. Barnum and Ms. Manous, 21st Century Site Coordinators at Coile Middle School.

Click here to view the entire program.

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Apply to Be a Part of VILLA

Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy (VILLA), a new, annual program developed by the Georgia School Board Association (GSBA), is coming to CCSD next month and will offer CCSD parents the opportunity to learn more about the school district and its operations.

The program will cover:

•CCSD’s governance model and the role of school board members

•the school district’s strategic priorities and day-to-day operations

•discussions regarding curriculum, instruction, finance, and human resources

•visits to elementary, middle, and high school and district offices.

The 2022 VILLA program is open to 42 participants (two from each CCSD school). Parents of current CCSD students are invited to apply. Parents are asked to complete the VILLA application or contact your school’s principal. Participants will be notified of their selection for the class. The first meeting will be April 13 at the district office, 595 Prince Ave., Athens. Meeting times will be announced at a later date.

For more information or questions, please contact Heather Penland at or Soraia Felgenhauer at

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Get Involved: LSGT Candidate Declaration Period Now Open

Candidate declarations for CCSD's Local School Governance Teams are now open through Friday, March 25. Voting will take place April 11-15.

Click here for more information on how to get involved at your/your child's school — working alongside school leadership on the school’s strategic plan, budget approval, school-based flexibility solutions, and more.

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Coffee Fundraiser to Benefit Clarke Central JROTC

The Clarke Central High JROTC is partnering with Jittery Joe’s Coffee on a coffee fundraiser.

Now through March 18, click here to place your order. The JROTC program will receive $4 of support for every can of coffee sold. No orders will be accepted after March 18.

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Board of Education News

The Clarke County Board of Education welcomes community feedback. Here are ways you can share your voice:

  • Contact BOE Members: Click here to view a list of the BOE members and their contact information.
  • Attend a Meeting: Next regular meeting is Thursday, March 17, at 6 p.m. (in-person and broadcast on the CCSD YouTube channel).
  • Board Briefs: Click to read the "Board Briefs" overview from meetings.
  • Public Comments: Click here for information on how to sign-up to speak at a regular BOE meeting.
  • Review Policies for Review: View and comment on district policies pending public review.
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CCSD COVID-19 Testing Clinics

CCSD is providing free COVID-19 testing clinics for students and staff. Clinics will be held in schools across the district. Rapid antigen tests (results in 15 minutes) and PCR tests (results in 24-48 hours) will be available. No appointment is necessary, but registration is required.

Testing Clinic Information

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9th Annual Chess & Community Conference Promo
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