Monthly Archives: January 2019

GOSA Awards MCAA $15,000 for Statewide Innovation in Teaching Competition

MCAA_Innovationlab_elementary_20180918_00035Media Specialist and Technology Coach Amy Crandall of Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA) was recently awarded as a Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) Innovation in Teaching winner. The statewide competition rewards teachers who utilize innovative instructional strategies to advance student achievement. This year’s competition focused on blended and personalized learning applied with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).

“The winners of the Innovation in Teaching Competition are model educators for teachers both in Georgia and across the country,” said Rebecca Ellis, Director of Innovation at the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. “We are excited to honor them for their continued dedication to the art of teaching and to their students’ academic achievement, as well as share their resources with educators across the state.”

As 1 of 3 winners from across the state, Amy will receive a $5,000 stipend, and MCAA will receive a $10,000 grant to support innovative instructional strategies. In addition, she will be highlighted by Georgia Public Broadcasting with an opportunity to discuss effective instructional strategies, management techniques, and the winning instructional unit. Amy’s video and teaching resources will be available online for other educators, educational institutions and the general public.

“MCAA is proud of Mrs. Crandall and we are excited about the future innovative practices that this grant will help her accomplish,” said MCAA principal Dr. Tricia Patterson. “Mrs. Crandall is leading the way in technology integration and we appreciate the Department of Education for recognizing her.”

The other two winners include; Kathleen Lanman of J.C. Booth Middle School in Fayette County, and Terra McMillan of Thomson Middle School in Houston County.

The competition was made available through Georgia’s Innovation Fund.

Weather Alert: Marietta City Schools Closed Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dear MCS Family,

We have been in contact with the National Weather Service (NWS) and surrounding school districts throughout the morning. Based on predicted inclement weather to hit our area tomorrow, all Marietta City schools and offices will be closed Tuesday, January 29, 2019. All after-school activities, practices, and events are also canceled.

All after-school activities and practices for today, Monday, January 28 will continue as normal (unless otherwise noted by the coach/sponsor).

Look for additional updates tomorrow regarding Wednesday, January 30. At this point, it’s too early to tell; however, please know we will notify you as early as possible.

Be safe, stay warm, and read with your kids tomorrow…

Grant Rivera

Final.Twitter Jan 29 Inclement Weather School Closure

Possible Inclement Weather – Week of January 27, 2019

Dear MCS Families,

I wanted to give you an update regarding possible inclement weather that may hit our area Tuesday morning.

At this point, it’s too early to tell exactly what we will get and when; however, the chance of inclement weather impacting school on Tuesday is a strong possibility.

Please know we will continue to collaborate with various state and regional agencies as well as other metro-Atlanta school districts – our priority is to make a coordinated decision that shows the greatest degree of safety and consideration for your family, our students, and employees.

We have several conference calls Monday with the National Weather Service – look for us to provide you with an update as early in the day as possible.  At the very latest, I will update our MCS families via email and social media by 5:00 p.m. Monday.  If and when the decision is made to not open school as normal on Tuesday, we will send an email, text message, and automated call to all MCS families.

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to predict the unpredictable.


Grant Rivera, Ed.D.

MHS Classes of 2023 and 2026 Rally to Show their Marietta Blue Devil Pride During Operation Graduation

When we first spoke to Marietta High School principal Keith Ball about Operation Graduation he told us, “Operation Graduation works to welcome students to the final stop on their Marietta educational journey, well before they ever officially step foot on campus as a high school student. Our high school team will visit all elementary schools and Marietta Middle School for a 30-minute pep rally – complete with MHS cheerleaders, student leaders, and a film crew.”

So how did students respond to the school visits? This video tells the story! Congratulations Marietta High School on a successful Operation Graduation!

Run, Jump, Swing: MCAA Students are Ready to Play

MCAA_Playground_00009The cold weather isn’t stopping students at Marietta Center for Advanced Academics from making the most of recess this week as they enjoy their brand new playground.

Recognizing the former playground was becoming too small, and outdated for intermediate elementary students, the Marietta Board of Education approved PlaySouth Playground Creators to build the new playground for $119,804 in October of 2018.

Dr. Tricia Patterson, Principal at MCAA shared that the students had a voice in the project, helping her with the design by voting on the playground equipment and color.

“MCAA is excited to share our new playground, said Dr.Patterson. “We appreciate the MCS BOE recognizing that our students needed an upgrade to keep them safe and healthy.”

Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Marietta City Schools, Erick Hofstetter said the district is excited to construct playgrounds that will help students grow and make childhood memories.

“Play is an essential and important aspect to child development. Our focus is on providing a play environment that is comfortable, safe, and encourages children to interact.”

Take a look at some of the fun playground moments we captured below as the MCAA 5th graders used the equipment for the very first time.

NFL & Super Bowl LIII Host Free Family Festival at Marietta High School


Can’t get downtown to the Super Bowl? No worries, the Super Bowl experience is coming to Marietta High School.

During Super Bowl LIII week, the third annual Play Football Family Festival will take place at Marietta High School (1171 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta) on ​Saturday, Feb. 2​ from ​10 a.m.–1 p.m.

The Play Football Family Festival will include fun football-related activations, special guest speakers, a parents’ forum, youth league sign-up stations, music, food trucks, and giveaways. Clinics will be led by USA Football certified coaches.

The event is open to football fans of all ages and FREE of charge.

Super Bowl LIII brings much more than football to the Atlanta area. Throughout the weeks preceding the game, more than 30 charitable activities and community outreach events will enrich the community and provide lasting legacies.

To learn more about Play Football visit or follow #LetsPlayFootball on social media.

Burruss Elementary Students Win District Reading Bowl, Head to Regional Competition


Students from eight elementary schools competed in the annual Marietta City Schools Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, January 18 at the Marietta Performing Arts Center.

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl is a rigorous reading competition in game format created by former Dekalb County media specialist Helen Ruffin as a way to use books from the Georgia Children’s Book Awards to encourage students to read.  Teams from different schools compete to quiz their knowledge on the selected books.

Today Bowl is open to students in grades four through twelve across the state of Georgia.

This year’s MCS Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Winners include:

1st Place – AL Burruss Elementary

2nd Place – Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA)

3rd Place – West Side Elementary

The top two teams, A.L. Burruss and MCAA will compete in the regional competition on Saturday, February 9 at the University of West Georgia. The top two winners of the regional competition will advance to the divisional competition, and the winning teams from the divisional bowls will meet at the Annual Conference on Children’s Literature in March to compete in the state finals.

Marietta Students Compete in Annual District Spelling Bee

Marietta City Schools hosted its annual Spelling Bee Friday, January 11 at the MCS Administrative Offices. Students from each MCS elementary school, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy and Marietta Middle School competed for an opportunity to represent the district at the District 2 spelling competition. This year, the Cobb County Association of Educators sponsored the event.  

Drumroll Please……The winning word was amnesia!


Emmanuel Cooper, a 5th-grade student at Dunleith Elementary spelled the winning word correctly, and Charlotte Common, a 5th-grade student at Marietta Center for Advanced Academics placed as the runner up.

Throughout the school year, schools across the district have hosted school-level spelling bees.

The school-level winners advanced to the district spelling bee. School-level winners who competed in the district spelling bee included:

A.L. Burruss Elementary: Lillian Burkhead

Dunleith Elementary: Emmanuel Cooper (District – Winner)

Hickory Hills Elementary: Roman Crider

Lockheed Elementary: Jordyn Simpson

Park Street Elementary: Aryianna Griffin

Sawyer Road Elementary: Imani McIntyre

West Side Elementary: Chloe Herrero (District – 5th Place)

Marietta Center for Advanced Academics: Charlotte Common (District – Runner Up)

Marietta Sixth Grade Academy: David King (District – 4th Place)

Marietta Middle School: Summit Troutman (District – 3rd Place)


“We are appreciative of the Cobb County Association of Educators who planned and led the MCS district spelling bee this year,” said Jennifer Hernandez, Executive Director of Academic Achievement. “Events like this give students the opportunity to represent their schools while also gaining competency in spelling and vocabulary that positively impacts all subject areas.”

The objectives of the MCS Spelling Bee are to help students spell quickly and accurately; to promote students’ correct word usage in meaningful activities; to help students learn to compete; and to provide an environment to promote students’ self-esteem, character development, and sportsmanship.

Marietta Senior Headed to Brandeis University on Full Scholarship as a Posse Scholar

Posse_2019_00138Over 1500 Metro Atlanta students were nominated to receive the prestigious Posse Scholarship. Marietta High School’s Judith Borraz Martinez is one of 60 in the metro Atlanta area who were awarded the four- year, full tuition scholarship as a part of the Posse Foundation program and honored at the Fox Theater during a recent ceremony.

Founded in 1989, The Posse Foundation looks for students with “demonstrated leadership ability, communication, and team building skills” who may have been overlooked by top colleges,” according to the organization.

Judith, a member of the class of 2019, said the thought of being able to go to college is something she often dreamt of but questioned the possibility of it actually happening because of financial reasons.

“Winning the POSSE scholarship means that all of my doubts about attending a college no longer exist. It means that I will be able to continue developing my academic and leadership skills throughout college while also forming relationships that will last a lifetime. It means that all of the sacrifices my parents made were not in vain.”

She will attend Brandeis University in Massachusett, and although she hasn’t declared a major, she has an interest in health and would like to one day become a doctor.

Judith chose Brandeis because it has proved to be one of the best campuses in the country for diverse students like herself. She shared that she grew up and currently lives in a city that is rooted in tradition, values, and purpose and that she considers this diversity a crucial part of her lifestyle, much like Brandeis.

“The fact that Brandeis is nonsectarian and liberal while also rigorous lets me know that it is a university that will allow me to express myself academically, culturally, and emotionally, said Judith.

During her time at MHS, she has remained at the top of her class academically, served as the French Honors Society Vice President, and served as a leader within the PROSTART culinary program, placing 2nd and 3rd in past competitions. Additionally, Judith has been involved with Mentoring for Leadership, Key Club and Beta Club.

“I am so excited for Judith and this opportunity that she has been awarded,” said Ebonee Todman Mahone, Marietta High School’s scholarship coordinator. “I’ve had a great time working with her through the POSSE process, and she deserves this and has worked so hard for her success.  This is just the starting point for amazing things to come.”

In addition to scholarship funds, Posse Scholars receive pre-college training, a “posse” of peers at their university, staff support during college, and career coaching and workshops.

Judith is thrilled to have her “posse” as a  support system when she arrives on campus.

“It is such an honor to be able to say that I am a Posse scholar, and I could not be more excited to begin this new chapter of my life with my posse.”

One year ago Marietta celebrated Peyton Wilson, a member of the class of 2018, as she accepted has Posse Scholarship. Peyton is enrolled at The George Washington University.

Judith begins her college journey this fall.

Marietta City Schools Elects Board Chair and Vice Chair


Jason Waters, Chair

The Board of Education of the City of Marietta unanimously voted to elect members Jason Waters, Chair and Allison Gruehn, Vice Chair, during the Board’s January 8 work session.

Waters, a Cobb County native, was elected to the Board in 2013 and re-elected in 2017.  “I am honored that my fellow Board of Education members have trusted me to hold this position for another year,” said Waters.

Professionally, he works as a Chief Financial Officer and Licensed Mortgage Originator and is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™. Mr. Waters earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Georgia. He and his wife Katie have three children, with the oldest two attending Marietta City Schools.

Allison Gruehn, a 1991 graduate of Marietta High School, first joined the Board in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017. Representing Ward 4, Gruehn and her husband Chris have


Allison Gruehn, Vice-Chair

two children attending Marietta City Schools. A graduate of Davidson College, Mrs. Gruehn is an agent with Johnny Walker Realty.

Board member Angela Orange will serve as the district’s Legislative Liaison and Kerry Minervini will continue for a second year as the Board’s liaison to the Marietta Schools Foundation.

In her capacity, Orange will work with the district’s legislative delegation to advocate for Marietta’s legislative priorities. She will also work closely with the Georgia School Board Association to better understand legislative policies that may impact the district.

Minervini continues to support the Foundation, which provides much-needed support to the district’s students and staff, updated monthly on decisions made by the Board and also informs fellow BOE members about the activities at the Foundation.

“As superintendent, I am grateful for our Board of Education and their continued commitment to the students, families, and staff of our district,” remarked Superintendent Grant Rivera. “I am honored to serve and support our Board officers as we continue to make MCS special, different, and better.”

The current slate of officers will serve for one year.

Marietta BOE 2018 jpg final 47 of 108

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