One Team, One Goal: Student Success!

Compensation & Certification Office

Superintendent  >  Human Resources  > 

Jennifer Hurst
Compensation Manager
P: 770-514-3886
F: 678-594-8585

Linda Cuomo
Compensation Analyst
P: 770-420-4988


590 Commerce Park Dr. Suite 175
Marietta, GA 30060

Compensation Staff

Michelle Rivera
Compensation Assistant
770-426-3520 | Email
Michele Balschi
Compensation Representative
770-426-3498 | Email
Lynette Wood
Compensation Representative
678-581-6748 | Email
Brooke Cotton
Compensation Representative
770-426-3521 | Email

Certification Staff

Sherree Hemby
Certification Representative Elementary and Parapros
770-426-3372 | Email
KathyAnn Conner
Certification Representative Middle & High
770-426-3396 | Email


Compensation manages the District’s Compensation Program and is responsible for ensuring pay structures and incentives are designed to compensate employees for their skills, abilities, performance, and years of experience. This includes evaluating experience and certification documents for step placement; processing employee transfers, reassignments, and terminations; developing and rolling out incentive programs; updating employee work calendars; administering salary increases and revising salary schedules; conducting job evaluations and approving job descriptions; and managing salary surveys to ensure salary rates are leveraged competitively.

The CCSD Total Compensation Philosophy:

The District’s goal is to have a compensation program that attracts, retains, and motivates a highly qualified and competent work force, and to provide employees with a total compensation plan that is competitive with other school districts.


The Certification Department is responsible for processing all certification documents for new hires and current faculty as well as renewal and conversion of certificate notification.

Please remember! When communicating with the Certification Department always include your social security number or certificate identification number as well as name, telephone number, and school location.


Important Links

Georgia Professional Standards Commission
200 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 1702
Atlanta, GA 30334-9032
P: (404) 232-2500
F: (404) 651-9185
Georgia Assessments
for the Certification of Educators (GACE)

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) issues all Georgia teaching, paraprofessional and administrative certificates. Once your documents have been submitted to the PSC, you may see your certificate information on their website Click on certification status then enter your social security#. You can monitor your progress at your convenience.

Certification Information

For "New Employees" with Cobb County in a teaching/administrative position, please submit the following to the Certification Department of the Cobb County School District:

  • PSC application
  • ALL Official Transcripts
  • GACE Test Scores
  • Out-of-State Professional Certificates
  • $20 online fee payable online

1. Certified employees of the Cobb County School District are required to hold a valid Georgia teaching certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission (PSC).

2. Click here to obtain a PSC application

3. Complete all 3 pages of the PSC application with specific details given to educational background.

4. The PSC and Cobb County will not process your application without an Official transcript.

5. All certification requests need to be sent to your Cobb County Certification Department. Please do not submit requests directly to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Your certification Representative will submit your documents for you.

6. Once you are an employee of the Cobb County School District (including new hires), the $20 fee will be exempted for you. However, all future evaluation and conditional certificate fees must be paid by the CCSD employee by money order, cashier's check or on-line fee payment.

7. Page 3 of the PSC application is the Personal Affirmation questions. Failure to complete ALL of this block will result in your application being returned unprocessed.

8. You may register for the GACE test at or click on the GACE link on the PSC website

9. Your certificate or letter of requirement(s) will be e-mailed to your MyPSC Account from the PSC and a copy forwarded to Cobb County School District for your personnel file. You will need to set up or access your MyPSC Account from the PSC Website.

10. It is critical that you complete your certification requirements at the earliest opportunity because wages are based on the type of certificate held. Also, if you do not hold a Clear Renewable Certificate within 3 years of initial certification, you will not meet the state Highly Qualified Requirements.


Types of Certificates

You may be issued one of thirteen types of conditional certificates:
For an explanation of each, click here.

1. Clear Renewable - Issued in all fields for teaching, service and leadership certificates for a 5 year validity period. All Georgia certification requirements have been met.

2. Performance Based

3. Non-Renewable Professional (N) - Issued in all fields and for teaching, service and leadership certificates for a 3-year validity period. One or more Georgia requirements are needed.

4. Non-Renewable Non-Professional (NN) - Issued in all fields and for teaching, service and leadership certificates for a 3-year validity period. One or more Georgia requirements are needed.

5. Non-Renewable Performance-Based


7. Core Academic

8. Clinical Practice

9. Permit - Issued for individuals who qualify for fields with a combination of work experience, specified educational requirements and assessments(s). Some of these include foreign language native speakers, art, dance, drama, music and JROTC.

10. International Exchange - A professional, time-limited certificate designed to allow those from other nations to teach in Georgia for three (3) consecutive years.

11.  Life

12. GATAPP Intern - At the request of an employing school system, the Intern certificate may be issued to indviduals accepted into a Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (TAPP). Intern certificates will be initially issued for a 2-year validity period.

13. Waiver - Issued to individuals who have not satisfied all certification requirements due to special circumstances. The waiver certificate is issued for a 1 year period.


Renewal for current Cobb County School District Educators
(PLU Requirement Temporarily Suspended)

The State of Georgia mandates that professional teaching certificates be renewed every five years with either ten Professional Learning Units (PLU’s) or ten-quarter (six semester) hours of college credit or a combination of the two. These credits must be accrued during the validity period of the certificate to be renewed. For example, if your certificate is valid July 1, 1998, to June 30, 2003, credits must have been earned between those dates to count toward certificate renewal.


Upgrade Procedures for Certificates

All certificates are issued with a “level” of certificate based on the type of degree held. Level 4 for bachelors, level 5 for masters, level 6 for specialist and level 7 for the doctorate.
Once a program has been completed and the “final” transcript has been issued, the certification office needs the official transcript and 3-page certification application from the PSC website.
When the PSC issues the new “upgraded” certificate, the compensation department is notified to process the upgrade in salary.


Adding-On a New Certificate

A new certificate field may be added-on to an existing certificate when the requirements have been met. This may include passing the GACE content knowledge test, completing a program or by experience verification. The certification office needs the 3-page certification application from the PSC website There is no salary increase for an add-on.

Paraprofessional Certification Information

All Georgia Paraprofessionals must hold a valid state certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission.

*The applicant must hold at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent and satisfy all other federal hiring requirements appropriate to designated positions and phase-in time lines outlined by ESEA.

New Federal Requirements - paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002 shall have one of the following:

A. Completion of at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education; or
B. An associate's (or higher) degree; or
C. Met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate through a state or local academic assessment

i. $35.00 test and registration fee for GACE Assessment -
ii. Knowledge of, and ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or
iii. Knowledge of, and ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.

Existing Paraprofessionals - have four (4) years after date of enactment (January 8, 2006) to satisfy the requirements.

Click Here for the PSC Paraprofessional Application


1) Where do I go for general certification information for the state of Georgia?
The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) issues all Georgia certificates. Visit their website at Click on "rules" for specific information regarding various teaching fields. Also, see information on certificate types and certificate levels.

GA Professional Standards Commission Certification Section
Two Peachtree Street, Suite 6000
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3141
(404) 232-2500

2) What documents are needed to apply for a Georgia certificate?

  • The 3 page certification application (download and complete from the PSC website,
  • All Official college transcript(s)*
  • Copies of teaching certificate(s)
  • Copies of test(s) taken for certification
  • $20 fee payment can be made online to the PSC website to begin the process or once employed by the Cobb County School District, we will apply for your certification.

3) What if I am coming from Out-of-State?
In addition to the above requirements (#2), the Experience Verification form (download from the PSC website, needs to be completed by your present/former school district(s).

4) What if I am coming from outside the United States?
If you're coming from outside the U.S. (including Puerto Rico), this is the first step you must take. In addition to the above requirements (#2), all foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the approved PSC Accepted Credential Agencies for evaluation of credit earned outside the U.S. (See rule #505-2-.21 on the PSC website). Contact each agency for their appropriate fee payment for evaluation.

Click here for a list of approved agencies.

5) What test(s) are required to obtain a Georgia certificate?
The Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) provide both the basic skills (reading, writing, and math) and content (subject-matter) test. The GACE link is on the PSC website or go to:

6) Can I exempt either test?
The basic skills may be exempted if you've met the scores on SAT (1000), ACT (43) or GRE (1030). Content tests are required by Georgia Law. Specific tests will depend on which field of certification you select.

7) When should I apply with Cobb County Schools?
We only recommend for employment teaching applicants who've shown on their application that they will be certified by the time-frame for which they're applying. If you're an out-of-state certified teacher or have already begun your Georgia certification process (per GAPSC direction), you should proceed with our application. Please make sure you update your application as your certification progresses.

You can find our STAR online application by going to:

*See Question #4 for Out-of-Country Instructions