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Cobb County School District
Board of Education Newsletter
January 2015

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Susan Thayer Sworn In

David Chastain Sworn In

Newly-Configured Cobb Board Takes Shape

Long-time Cobb resident and Board Vice-Chairman Randy Scamihorn has been elected Chairman of the Cobb County School District Board of Education. Post 7 representative Brad Wheeler was elected as Vice-Chairman.

During a called meeting Jan. 6, two newly-elected members of the Cobb County Board of Education were sworn in to service. Post 2 representative Susan Thayer (top photo) and Post 4 representative David Chastain (bottom photo) were sworn in by Justice Harris Hines of Georgia’s Supreme Court.

Family, friends, District employees and members of the Cobb community were in attendance for the ceremony. Returning Post 6 representative Scott Sweeney was also sworn in for his second term as a member of the Board.

Thayer brings more than 30 years of experience in education to Cobb, including school administration, instruction and counseling in Cobb, Clayton and Douglas Counties. Chastain is a Cobb County native and Wheeler High School graduate (’79 C). He has spent the past 17 years as a logistics analyst in the aeronautics industry.

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Cobb Schools Exceed 2014 State Averages For College and Career Readiness (CCRPI)

Scores for Cobb County schools on the 2014 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) surpassed average scores for Georgia schools at all three levels – elementary, middle and high. The Georgia Department of Education released the third year of ratings under the statewide accountability system. The CCRPI measurement is on a 100-point scale rating the academic achievement and progress of individual schools and their school systems.

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School Choice: New for 2015-16

The Cobb County School District offers School Choice (HB 251 and SB10) transfers for the 2015-2016 school year. Individual school capacity information and applications are available on the District website. The application window for the 2015-2016 school year will open on February 1, 2015 and close at midnight on February 28, 2015. No late applications will be accepted.

New for next year:
Current fifth and eighth grade choice students applying to continue in the choice school feeder pattern will be given first priority in the lottery process. These students must re-apply when moving from elementary to middle or middle to high but will be given priority in the lottery process

  • Once those students are placed, siblings of current choice students applying to attend the same school will be given next priority in the lottery process.
  • The next lottery will give priority to new sibling groups applying to attend the same school.
  • The final lottery process will be to fill any remaining available seats.
  • Students not chosen in the random lottery for their first choice school will be placed on a waiting list based on the outcome of the lottery.
  • Acceptance of a school choice transfer:
    • Once a school choice transfer is approved, the parent/guardian must contact the receiving school by May 1, 2015 in order to indicate whether the transfer offer will be accepted.
    • The parent/guardian must also submit a school choice transfer enrollment form to the receiving school by May 28, 2015.
    • Note: Failure to complete either of the above steps will result in the school choice transfer being nullified and forfeiting of the student’s seat.
  • Individual schools will use a waiting list generated during the lottery process to fill any available seats that are vacated.
  • Students chosen from the waiting list will be notified by the local school by July 15, 2015.

For more information, please see our 2015-16 School Choice webpage.

Atlanta Braves Visit
Mountain View Elementary

The Atlanta Braves visited Mountain View Elementary as part of their 2015 Braves Caravan Tour on Jan. 21. Braves stars Todd Cunningham, Braeden Schlehuber and James Russell joined 2013 sixth-round draft pick and former Mountain View and Lassiter High School student Steve Janas. The players, and mascot Homer, joined a group of students in the library for research about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play Major League Baseball.

Board Recognitions

Congratulations! The Board recognized the following individuals or groups for outstanding accomplishments at the January 29 Board of Education meeting:

Walton High School Band: The year started off sunny for Walton High School’s marching band. The band represented Walton High School, Cobb County Schools, and the State of Georgia in the 126th Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. The popular and time-honored tradition is one of the country’s favorite New Year’s events. This is the third time Walton has been invited to take part in the parade.

North Cobb High School State AAAAAA Volleyball Champions: For the first time since 1983, North Cobb’s Volleyball Team won the state athletic championship. The team defeated North Gwinnett High School in five sets to win the Class 6A State Volleyball Championship in November. The Lady Warriors finished the season with an impressive 44-13 record. Congratulations to Head Coach James Auld and his team.

Kelly Paynter of Sprayberry High School: Kelly has been named Georgia Library Media Association Media Specialist of the Year. Kelly is the Media Specialist at Sprayberry High School. Kelly embraces the role of instructional partner through collaboration with classroom teachers, creation of interdisciplinary lessons, and integration of technology tools. By modelling best practices and providing professional development opportunities, she truly serves as a teacher leader in her school and in the Library Media Department.

Beth Finnegan of Kennesaw Elementary School: Beth was recognized as having an Exceptional Elementary Media Program at Kennesaw Elementary School. Beth's passion and enthusiasm for her role as media specialist is abundantly apparent in her interactive lessons, her collaborative partnerships, and her creative practices. Whether in a costume or integrating technology, she consistently engages students in their learning.

District Employees with 40+ Years of Service: Student success is a passion of the recipients of recognition of four or more decades of service and CCSD 40 year pins. These dedicated and loyal Cobb Schools Team members have served the District faithfully and with great enthusiasm for their profession. Ranging from Fleet Maintenance to Transportation and classroom instruction, they represent our district well through their commitment and consistency. They embody our theme of One Team, One Goal: Student Success.

  • Thomas Matthews is a teacher at Eastside Elementary School. Has been with the District for 40 years.
  • James Pitner of the Maintenance Department has been with the District for 40 years.
  • Barbara Furr of the Transportation Department has been with the District for 42 years.
  • Virginia Edgar, also in Transportation, has served the District for 43 years.
  • Ronnie West, in the Fleet Maintenance Department, has served 44 years in the District.
  • Annette Hansard is a Social Studies and ESOL teacher at Osborne High School. She celebrates 45 years in Cobb.
  • Gail Whitlock is a Science teacher at Walton High School, and has been with Cobb for 43 years.
  • Betty Greer is in her 49th year of service in Cobb! She loves her work in the Transportation Department of Cobb County Schools.


Each of the recipients proudly wears a CCSD 40 year service pin. It is impossible to measure the impact of our 40+ year employees. However, their engagement and pride in being on Team Cobb shows how Cobb County Schools play an important role not only for our students and school community, but also for our staff.


Cobb County Board of Education
Randy Scamihorn, Chair - Brad Wheeler, Vice-Chair
Susan Thayer - David Morgan - David Chastain - David Banks - Scott Sweeney
Superintendent, Chris Ragsdale

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