Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 10/21/22

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CCSD Announces Teacher, Support Person of the Year

We are pleased to announce Mr. Sean Simpson, seventh-grade teacher at Clarke Middle School, as our 2022-23 Teacher of the Year and Ms. Andrea Cutts, head custodian at Cleveland Road Elementary School, as our 2022-23 Support Person of the Year!


Mr. Simpson and Ms. Cutts were announced as the winners on Thursday, Oct. 20, during the CCSD Teacher of the Year/Support Person of the Year awards banquet at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. All 23 school-level teachers of the year and 22 school-level support people of the year were celebrated at the banquet by CCSD in partnership with the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County and Georgia United Credit Union.


Click here to read the full press release and here to see a full gallery of photos from Thursday’s banquet.

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Family Fun Day is Saturday!

CCSD's Department of Family and Community Engagement will be hosting Family Fun Day on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 2-5 p.m. at Southeast Clarke Park, 4440 Lexington Rd., Athens.


Approximately 40 community vendors will be on-site to share information about their work and provide support. Come watch performances from student groups; munch on free hot dogs and drink refreshing water, or visit other food vendors on-site; enjoy a pop-up park and music from a live DJ; meet Disney characters; and more.


We look forward to seeing the community there!

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Dr. Hooker Announces Series of Town Halls

Superintendent Dr. Robbie Hooker today announced a series of upcoming town hall meetings throughout the Athens-Clarke County community, where he will share his vision for CCSD, answer questions, and listen to concerns from community members.


This initial slate of town hall meetings will begin Nov. 1 at Clarke Central High School and will conclude Dec. 5 at Pinewood Estates. All meetings will be from 6-7 p.m. and will be open to the public.


The schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, Clarke Central High School Auditorium, 350 South Milledge Ave., Athens
  • Monday, Nov. 7, Rocksprings Community Center, 285 Rocksprings Ct., Athens
  • Monday, Nov. 14, Nellie B. Community Center, 200 Zetella Ln., Athens
  • Thursday, Nov. 17, Cedar Shoals High School Auditorium, 1300 Cedar Shoals Dr., Athens
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, New Grove Baptist Church, 1228 Moores Grove Rd., Winterville
  • Monday, Dec. 5, Pinewood Estates Library and Community Center, 1465 US-29, Lot 14, Athens.


You can submit questions for the town hall meetings in advance by clicking this link.

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Committee Announces Recommended Academic Calendars for 2023-24, 2024-25

CCSD's Academic Calendar Committee has concluded its work and shared last week with the Board of Education its recommended calendars for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years.


Per Board Policy AEA, the Superintendent is to recommend a calendar for approval by the board. The BOE will be publicly presented with the recommended calendars at its Nov. 3 work session, and a vote is scheduled for the board’s Nov. 10 meeting.


Click here or on the PDF files below to view the recommended calendars and the survey results that informed the committee’s recommendations. The committee wishes to thank the more than 1,500 people who participated in the survey.

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Opening Reception Held for Student Art Exhibition

We had a tremendous turnout at the Lyndon House Arts Center on Tuesday, Oct. 18, for the opening reception for the CCSD Student Art Exhibition, "RE-."


Several hundred people made their way in over the course of the 90-minute reception to view the fantastic works of art from our students in grades K-12 and hear performances by musical groups from Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals high schools.


As a reminder, the exhibition will be on display at the Lyndon House through Jan. 14. All exhibitions are free of charge and open to the public. Exhibitions are on view during regular gallery hours — Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please note that the center will be closed on Saturdays, Nov. 5 and Nov. 26, due to home University of Georgia football games.

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2022-23 REACH Scholars Announced

This week, we announced our 2022-23 cohort of REACH Scholars. Five middle school students will be awarded scholarships through REACH Georgia (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen), a mentoring and scholarship program providing students a framework of support (educational and financial) to aid their successful journey through high school and beyond.


Scholars must maintain at least a 2.5 grade-point average and good behavior and attendance throughout middle and high school. Upon program completion, students are awarded a $10,000 scholarship, which can be used at any HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia. A majority of Georgia colleges match or double-match this scholarship.


The scholars and their families will participate in a signing ceremony on Dec. 15, where they will commit to satisfying the program requirements. They will also be recognized that evening at the scheduled Board of Education meeting.

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Students: Interested in a trip to Peru?

Dr. Lynne Sparks at Clarke Central High School will be taking up to 10 students to Peru in June 2024.


For a slideshow of trip information, please click here. For questions, please attend the Zoom meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, or send an email to sparksl@clarke.k12.ga.us.

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Clarke Central FFA Students Have Strong Showing at Georgia National Fair

The Clarke Central High FFA chapter recently had several winners at the Georgia National Fair competition. Congratulations to these students.


Floral Design Exhibits


Junior Division:

  • 1st place - Dalila Duarte-Ulloa
  • 2nd place - Nevaeh Thomas
  • 3rd place - Nariah Thomas


Senior Division:

  • 1st place - McKinzie Johnson
  • 2nd place - CCHS FFA chapter design


Dendrology Notebook

  • 2nd place - Max Burnham


Landscape Designs


Junior Division:

  • 2nd place - Julianna Hardman


Live Plants


Senior Division:

  • 1st place - Kathleen Dykes - Succulent Dish
  • 1st place - McKinley Dykes - Succulent Design
  • 2nd place - CCHS FFA chapter Coleus
  • 3rd place - Kim Huu Vo Boston Fern


Live Floral Arrangements


Junior Division:

  • Grand Champion Overall - Dalila Duarte-Ulloa


Senior Division:

  • 4th place - McKinzie Johnson


Market Goat show

  • 4th place - Quinn Pendley

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Recognizing Fire Prevention Week

Over the last two weeks, as CCSD marked Fire Prevention Week, Sgt. Emily Thompson and other firefighters from Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services visited several of our elementary schools to teach our students about fire safety. Students had a chance to go inside and practice evacuating the Fire Safety House, learn about the different types of firefighting equipment, and explore all the components of a fire truck.


The fire department made stops at Howard B. Stroud, Cleveland Road, J.J. Harris, Barnett Shoals, Fowler Drive, and Gaines elementary schools. Thank you to Sgt. Thompson and the team for giving our students a fun and educational experience, and thanks to Safe Kids Athens and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center for your support of this safety program as well.

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District Attorney Gonzalez Visits Barnett Shoals for Hispanic Heritage Month

As CCSD continues to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we welcomed Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez to Barnett Shoals Elementary on Monday, Oct. 17, to read "Sofia Valdez, Future Prez" by Andrea Beaty.


DA Gonzalez read the book to students to highlight the importance of self-leadership and community action while answering questions from students about the book as well as her role as district attorney.


See the CCSD Facebook page for more Hispanic Heritage Month highlights.

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MLK Writing and Art Contest Kicks Off

CCSD is excited to kick off the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing & Art Contest!


The competition is open to students in grades K-12. Teachers will be sharing information about the contest with students and families. Entries are due to schools by Friday, Nov. 18, and school winners are due to the district office by Nov. 28.


All entries should address this year's theme — "King's Kindness in Action." A video featuring some of the winners will be created and featured at the University of Georgia Annual Freedom Breakfast, and winners will be honored at a Board of Education meeting as well.

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Georgia Museum of Art Invites Students to Participate in Photography Contest

The Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) invites CCSD middle and high school students to submit original photography to its Student Photography Contest: “Athens through Our Eyes,” in response to the theme, “What does living in Athens in 2022 look like to you?”


The project accompanies a special exhibition of Southern photography titled Reckonings and Reconstruction: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund.”


Complete contest rules and details can be found here.

  • Entry submissions are to be uploaded through two Google Forms — a student entry form and a parent/guardian permission form.
  • Winning entries will be printed and displayed in the GMOA's Education Center.
  • The deadline for contest submissions is Nov. 1.


If any student or parent/guardian has difficulty submitting forms or has other contest questions, please contact:

  • Callan Steinmann, curator of education at the Georgia Museum of Art — 706-583-0111 or callan@uga.edu.
  • Dan Smith, CCSD Fine Arts, Health, & PE Curriculum Coordinator — 706-546-7721, ext. 79505 or smithd@clarke.k12.ga.us.
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Fall Festivals, Events at Our Schools

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CCHS Baseball Team Holding Christmas Tree, Greenery Sale

From now through Oct. 31, Clarke Central High School's baseball team is taking orders for its 2022 annual Christmas Tree and Greenery Fundraiser, with free home deliveries on Sunday, Nov. 27.


If you would like to support the Gladiators, check the prices in the graphic below, and go to givebutter.com/cchsbaseballtreesale22 to order via credit card, check, PayPal, or Venmo, or order via cash or ask questions by contacting cchsbaseballtreesale@gmail.com

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Bus Drivers Wanted!

CCSD is now hiring bus drivers. Hourly pay ranges from $18-$26, and we offer part-time and full-time schedules, a $1,500 signing bonus (for full-time employment), and full benefits. It's a rewarding and flexible career move.


Click here to see what's waiting for you behind the wheel!

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How to Address Questions, Concerns

Have a question or concern that you'd like to address? CCSD has put together a matrix of who to reach out to depending on the situation.


Please click here to view this information. You can also go to CCSD's main site at clarke.k12.ga.us, go to the "I Want To" tab at the top of the page, and select “Ask a Question/Submit a Concern.”

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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, Nov. 10, 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 and Vaccine Opportunities

As a reminder, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are available at the Hilsman Health Center. Call 706-546-7463 to make an appointment. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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