Media center specialist Anne Graner and paraprofessional Diann Thrash received certificates from the board in a quick, 30-minute meeting with little action.
The media program was the only one in the state named as a Georgia Department of Education Exemplary Library Media Program, announced at the recent Council of Media Organizations Conference.
“These ladies do way more than just check out books and hold down the fort,” CHS Principal Dr. Mark Albertus said. “They are a constant and invaluable resource for our teachers and can help them with all their instructional needs.”
Graner said she is proud to represent the school system.
“This is huge for the school and the system as a whole to know that we were the only one in the state named ‘exemplary,’” Graner said. “And it’s something we won’t be able to apply for another 10 years, so this is really something”
Thrash has been in the media center for 15 years, working with several different media specialists and adapting to their leadership styles. Graner came to the school four years ago.
The award is the Department of Education’s method to honor, salute and spotlight outstanding media programs throughout the state.
Recipients are selected based on the school’s written application, three letters of support from the principal, assistant principal and community member, and a telephone interview or on-site visit. The award is judged on meeting school improvement goals and increasing student achievement in six different categories: student achievement and instruction; staffing; facilities, access and resources; administrative support; staff development; and integration of technology.
The rubric used to assess the programs is based on citations in law, policy and standards for the Georgia Legislature, the state board of education and the American Association of School Librarians.
The high school’s media program is the third school in the system — after Carrollton Elementary and Carrollton Junior High — to have its media program dubbed “exemplary” by the state DOE.
The name Graner has dubbed the media center — “agora” — is derived from the Greek term meaning a “gathering place” or “assembly” that was used to describe central spots in ancient Greek city-states.
Albertus said the media center has a positive environment and “enhances” the school experience.
Also recognized by the board was CHS Assistant Principal of Curriculum Joy Holley, who was named as one of four finalists in the state for the award of Assistant Principal of the Year.
Holley, who has been with the system for 30 years and has served as assistant principal for 12 years, has trained or “broken in” three principals during her time as an assistant principal, Albertus said.
“While she didn’t claim the top prize,” Albertus said, “we’re still proud of her being named a finalist, and I know I’m biased, but I don’t know how anyone could’ve done a better job.”
Holley spent a weekend in Savannah earlier this month, participating in a two-hour interview with 10 panelists for the honor.
“I know a lot of people say it’s an honor just to be nominated, but it really is,” Holley said. “And I know that what my parents and teachers and students think of me means a lot more than a panel of 10 people I don’t know in Savannah.”
Holley was one of only two high school assistant principals named as a finalist, with two middle school assistant principals in Georgia named as well.
Superintendent Dr. Kent Edwards reported to the board on the system’s SPLOST check, coming in at just more than $277,000 — a $17,000 decrease over last month.
The superintendent called the almost 6 percent decrease a “significant” one, saying he hoped it was an anomaly.
“I certainly hope that this turns around, and I think that it will as more people go shopping for the holidays,” Edwards said. “Hopefully this was just a blip, since we’ve been trending upward the past several months.”