Cobb School Board Recognizes County Achievements

Dawn Harrell (in black and white dress second from right) of Nickajack ES was recognized as the Elementary Teacher of the Year, with students and Cobb school board members and staff Dawn Harrell (in black and white dress second from right) of Nickajack ES was recognized as the Elementary Teacher of the Year. (photo by Rebecca Gaunt)

The first Cobb school board meeting of the 2018-19 school year filled the seats to overflow. Many attendees were there to receive recognition. Siddhant Mahapatra, a first grader at East Side Elementary, was recognized for his win in the PTA Reflections contest and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Other recognitions included Vaughan and Big Shanty Elementary Schools for achieving STEM certification and AdvancED STEM certification respectively, while Dodgen Middle School was lauded for its Georgia Middle School Science Olympiad State Champions. Patrick Duckett of North Cobb High School was introduced as the Georgia Student Technology Competition 3D Modeling Champion, and Nolan Moore, also from North Cobb, as the SkillsUSA National Champion for his plumbing abilities.

Sports recognition

The board also recognized sports achievements as the Pope High School baseball state champions shook hands with members. Two high schools received the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Director’s Cup: Walton for girls and Allatoona for boys.

Robert Kerley and Betty Stroup both retired after 40 years of service in the transportation department.

Dawn Harrell of Nickajack Elementary, Rachel Sanford of Harrison High and Fred Veeder of Dodgen Middle School were all recognized as Teachers of the Year. In addition, Veeder received District Teacher of the Year.

In more routine matters, the board approved easements at Brown, Vaughan and Nickajack Elementary Schools and Griffin Middle School.

Public comments at Cobb school board meeting

Five people addressed the board during public comment. Two raised concerns about the need for implicit bias training and the racial climate of Cobb schools, two addressed bullying issues, and the last discussed the need for recess and PE in middle school.

According to Deputy Superintendent John Adams, Cobb hired more than 800 teachers this year. About half are working in elementary schools. Twenty percent of those hires were promotions from within, and 82 hires were returnees who had left previously for other counties.

Board member David Morgan used his final comments to give accolades to South Cobb High, Clay Elementary, Riverside Intermediate, Cooper Middle and Pebblebrook High Schools for their growth on the Georgia Milestones testing.

“We’ve had a tremendously great and positive opening to this school year,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said in his final comments.

Rebecca Gaunt
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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