About 75 businesses and individuals were recognized Wednesday as school Partners and Volunteers of the Year for their support of schools in the district at a CCSD recognition ceremony.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo joined many district officials to thank the people and businesses that offered support to various elementary, middle and high schools throughout the 2013-14 school year.
“We salute you, we appreciate you and we wish we could clone you,” Petruzielo said to a crowd of more than 300 at the ceremony. “Since that is not possible, we hope that by sharing the story of your service, others will be inspired to join you in caring for our students and schools.”
One individual and one business partner were selected for surprise awards at the ceremony, recognizing them as the district Volunteer and Partner of the Year.
Carolyn Timcoe was chosen as the district Volunteer of the Year for her work at Ball Ground Elementary School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy; and Russ Sanders, president of Factorymation, was selected as the district Partner of the Year.
School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby read comments from Ball Ground Elementary Principal Doug Knott, describing Timcoe’s contributions to the school.
“Carolyn volunteers every day of the week, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,” Jacoby read Knott’s comments. “Carolyn’s contribution is extraordinary for many reasons, but perhaps the most outstanding is the amount of time she gives.”
Many teachers at the school explained their experience with Timcoe, and Jacoby highlighted their comments at the ceremony.
“She is definitely a great asset to our school, staff and students,” read kindergarten teacher Amanda Abbott’s comments.
Dependable, kind, caring, essential and hard-working were just some of the words teachers used to describe Timcoe, which Jacoby detailed at the ceremony after announcing Timcoe as the district Volunteer of the Year.
“She works hard and expects nothing in return,” third-grade teacher Renay Wigley noted, Jacoby said.
Jacoby detailed how Sanders and the Factorymation business partnered with Cherokee High School to provide important assistance and expressed why he was selected as the district Partner of the Year.
“Like many extraordinarily successful businessmen, Russ Sanders is a doer, a creator and a visionary,” Jacoby said, reading comments from the school administrators. “Russ is fully committed to making our schools and school district better, both with his time and financial support.”
Sanders, through the partnership between Factorymation and Cherokee High School, has sponsored countless events and programs, the school noted.
Sanders has provided more than $10,000 in scholarships, thousands of dollars in technology materials, nearly $4,000 to the Cherokee Literacy Project and much more, Jacoby said.
Sanders was described as a business champion who believes in the children and the school, Jacoby said.
“Mr. Sanders fully understands the power of a community working together in support of a quality education,” Jacoby said, reading the administration’s comments. “We have several mottos at Cherokee High School; one of my personal favorites is ‘saving the world, one child at a time,’ a sentiment that Russ Sanders understands better than any community member I have ever known.”
Petruzielo said the district decided to conduct the recognition ceremony because the support of business partners and volunteers “has made all the difference” as the district “grappled with state funding cuts and larger class sizes.”
“Tonight’s recognitions are just the first in what will become an annual tradition,” he said.
Petruzielo and Jacoby were joined by other school officials at the ceremony to recognize the partners and volunteers, including School Board Chair Janet Read, Cherokee County Educational Foundation President Billy Hasty and School Board members Rick Steiner and Robert Wofford.
Read congratulated the volunteers and partners, and their families, on behalf of the Cherokee Board of Education.
“This event is a result of the school board and superintendent’s desire to provide recognition for our outstanding partners and volunteers both in individual schools and districtwide,” she said. “The school board is very appreciative of every one of our partners and volunteers.”