Category Archives: High School

Marietta Blue Runs Deep.

“Marietta as a community, Marietta as a school district has always been special, better, [and] different,” said Adrian Wright, MHS ’01, to his former Blue Devil teammate and fellow MCS employee Coach Derrick “Bup” Tinsley. The two recently reminisced about the historical significance of Marietta being back in the football state championship for the first time since 1967, the year Marietta was integrated.  


Tinsley, who was inducted into the Marietta High School Hall of Fame this year for his accomplishments as a student athlete, was coached in his early football years by a member of the original ’67 State Championship team, Coach Harold “Buster” Brinson.  

“Me personally, my little league football coach – I’ll never forget – he used to take me to all the Marietta football games, even when we moved away from Marietta. To have a coach be on the ‘67 state championship team, and personally introduce me to Coach Friday, and for me to play at Marietta the way I did…it brings everything back together, so I’m connected to it [in] more ways than one,” explained Tinsley, MHS ’01.

Coach friday on the Championship team in 1967

To celebrate the journey of the 2019 statebound Blue Devil team, Marietta is hosting a week of #bluedevilpride festivities. The outpouring of community support is no surprise to Wright, who was in the stands with other Blue Devil alumni supporting his team in their semifinal win over Parkview High School last Friday. 


“I sat in the stands, and you had that class of the late 60’s in front of me and sitting behind me was the class of the early 80’s, and what I ended up seeing was those two classes interacting as family members because they were all Marietta Blue Devils,” said Wright. 

As the final moments of the fourth quarter came to an end with the Blue Devils leading 42 to 31, the visitor’s side exploded into chants of “we’re going to the ‘ship!” Coach Tinsley, who is the current running backs coach, understands why the support runs so deep in this community. 

“The fact that we are here [the championship], every Blue Devil has still been there, it just hasn’t been our time, but now that we’re back, that’s why you get all the support, that’s why all the alumni are still there…everyone always has been paying attention to Marietta, because you know, back in the day, Marietta was the team to beat!” 

The legacy of #BeSomebody, started by Marietta coach Ben Wilkins in the late 60’s and popularized by Coach Friday, is now being built upon by Coach Rich Morgan who is guiding his players to make an IMPACT (Integrity, Mental Toughness, Passion, Accountability, Courage, and Teamwork).

It is the hope of the current coaching staff that, win or lose and whether or not they continue playing football, the current Blue Devil team will carry on the legacy of being somebody by having an IMPACT on their community. 

“That’s what really matters,” says Tinsley as Wright agrees. “When you have that Marietta blue on, when you run into anybody, it’s immediately a hug; not a handshake, we hug. Because it doesn’t matter what year you are, if you graduated in ’77 vs 2007, we’re all family members across the board.” 


MHS Junior Marcos Rios Scores Perfect ACT Score

Marcos Rios, a Junior at Marietta High School, recently accomplished a pretty rare feat by earning a perfect score on the ACT; an accomplishment less than one percent of students nationwide achieve.

Marcos prepared for the ACT in a few ways. He took both the SAT and ACT early to get experience completing both tests, and once he had a feel for each test, he went over content he didn’t know well and made sure to get plenty of rest the night before the test. Additionally, Marcos participated in the prep class at the high school.

Marcos took the ACT previously and scored a 35, so he decided to take the test again to see if he could earn a perfect score.

“I set an alarm for 1:00 a.m. the day I knew the scores would come out, the Wednesday after President’s Day,” Marcos explained. “I woke up, logged in to see the scores, said a little prayer, then clicked on the score report. I fell out of bed, cheered a little, then took a screenshot that I immediately sent to the family group chat before going straight back to sleep. I woke up again at 4 a.m. when I heard my parents shouting upstairs with joy.”

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

In addition to his academic success, Marcos is involved in several extracurricular activities and leadership roles, including serving as the president of the Technology Student Association and Society for Pre Engineering, Vice President of Model UN, National Honor Society service coordinator, and Flute Section Leader and Band Librarian in the marching band. Outside of school, Marcos serves as the Youth Preparedness Programs Committee Chair of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council, and he’s a co-teacher for the special needs class at his church every Sunday.

Marcos’ mom, Margarita Ojeda, says that while she was so excited, she wasn’t surprised about the big news.

“A different score wouldn’t have changed what we think of him or his outcomes, but I am glad he gets to relax a little and cross off one of the things on his bucket list,” she explained.

“Marcos works really hard and likes to set goals for himself,” his mom continued. “I am glad he has enjoyed seeing them come to fruition. However, it is his servant heart and helpful and kind disposition that makes me most proud. No matter what he is working on, if somebody asks for help, he stops what he is doing and helps. That is not determined by a score or a grade.”

In fact, Marcos has great advice for other students who aspire to score high on the ACT.

“To any other student trying to score high, the best thing I can recommend is being prepared for the test, outside of the test,” Marcos explained. “Read a lot and keep your math skills sharp…I also recommend taking the test early on, so you know what you do well on and you know what you can improve on.”

Marcos is the third Marietta High School student to receive a perfect score on the ACT in the past year.

Marietta High School Girls’ Basketball Welcomes New Head Coach

Marietta City School announced Derrick DeWitt as the new head varsity coach for the girls’ Blue Devil basketball team at Marietta High School.

Coach DeWitt joins the Blue Devil family from Cherokee County School District after coaching the Sequoyah High School Girls Basketball Program for seven years and taking them to the State Playoffs for the past six consecutive years. His teams have 147 wins and 61 losses and shattered five team records.

Coach DeWitt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Stetson University and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education from Brenau University. DeWitt received Academic All-Conference honors in basketball as an undergraduate.

Over the past ten years, Coach DeWitt has successfully been a head coach of highly competitive basketball teams for Class 5-A and 6-A high school athletic programs. DeWitt played Division-1 Basketball for Stetson University where he ranks #2 in all-time three-pointers made and played in more than 100 games.

“Two things that stand out immediately about Coach DeWitt are his enthusiasm for working with young people and his commitment to doing things with integrity,” said Craig McKinney, Athletic Director, Marietta City Schools. “His personality and value system fit the culture of the Marietta Basketball program.”

Coach DeWitt is married to Renee DeWitt, also a Stetson graduate who played for the Lady Hatters. Coach DeWitt and Renee have two daughters, Leah and Alana. The district will formally introduce and welcome Coach DeWitt and his family Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Marietta High School in the Seminar Room.

Parents, students and community members with an interest in girls’ basketball or who want to support the program are invited to attend.


Marietta Students Place First in State at Georgia Literary Contest

Marietta High School (MHS) students Calvin Rausch and Carson Shearer took home 1st place State wins at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Literary Meet, held at Buford High School, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The GHSA Literary competition, created to advance sportsmanship and an appreciation for the study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions. This was the first time in 15 years that Marietta has competed in this prestigious competition.

Marietta High School finished 2nd overall with three students advancing to the State competition as region champions.

Calvin won 1st place in the International Extemporaneous Speaking category, and Carson won 1st place in the Humorous Interpretations category.

Congratulations and job well down to our MHS Literary team led by Coy Dunn, Fine Arts Director, and a special thank you to the team’s coaches and instructors – Lars Grevstad, Carla Mills, Shannon Lawson, Theresa Duarte, Tim Nielson, Holly Smith, and Craig McKinney.

MHS Students, Two of Twenty Georgians Chosen as Pages at Georgia State Capitol

On March 14th, the Georgia State Capitol hosted the 4th Annual Type 1 Diabetes Day and invited children living with Type 1 Diabetes between the ages of 12 to 18 to apply to serve as Pages to the Georgia Senate or House for the day.

Marietta High School seniors, Breanne Barco and Aili Fisher, were two of only 20 students selected to participate in Georgia’s Senate Page Program and serve as a Page to several Georgia State Senators.

This day was sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, with the goal of raising awareness of issues facing diabetics in the state of Georgia to our legislators. These include step therapy, Kevin’s Law and insulin pricing awareness.

The Senate Page Program offers students a first-hand opportunity to visit the Capitol to observe and participate in the legislative process. Senate Pages serve the Senators by delivering important information and messages to them in the Senate Chamber during the legislative session day.

Aili and Breanne were chosen from a record number of applicants to page and both were honored to be part of a Senate Resolution recognizing March 14th as Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day at the Capitol.


Letters of Love from MHS’ Air Force JROTC to Veterans

Valintines 2Learning about what is really important. . . . What an amazing experience for the Marietta High School Air Force JROTC cadets who wrote letters to our Veterans at the Greenwood Assisted Living Facility last month.

The 165 cards that were delivered and read to the Veterans brought tears of joy and happiness to everyone in the room, including the cadets.

Quoting Master Sgt. Victor Graham, 92 years old, who Landed on Omaha Beach (AKA Bloody Omaha) on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day)……..”young people have just made my day!”
He and the other Veterans were grateful for the visit from the high school cadets and had many memories to share with the students.
Our Marietta community is better because of these brave men and women who call it Valentine's Day 3home.
The mission of Marietta’s AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The goal of the program is to instill in high school cadets the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.
The JROTC program will educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals. AFJROTC is one of eleven MHS Career Pathways that has been approved for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), an innovative education framework incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique programme specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
Valentine's Day 1

MHS Exceptional Students Manage Successful Coffee Cart for More than a Decade

Darby_Exceptional Students_00024

MHS student Darby Parker collects money from a science student during the early morning Coffee Cart delivery. This is the 12th year that the school-based enterprise has been managed by students with special needs.

Every weekday morning, students at Marietta High School can be seen taking a quick break to pick up their coffee and hot chocolate orders as the school’s “Coffee Cart” makes its way down the hallways. On any given day they will meet Darby Parker, one of the leaders of the small business, who helps to organize the orders and collect payments from students and faculty members.

A school-based enterprise operated by students with intellectual disabilities, the Coffee Cart has been in operation at MHS for 12 years with 25 students participating in its daily operations. The cart provides students like Darby with the opportunity to work on the real-life skills they are learning in class and can translate to life after high school such as counting money, making eye contact with customers, greeting customers, prepping beverages, and stocking the carts.  Participating students, like Darby, work on three domains: education/training, employment, and daily living skills.

“Exposure precedes preferences, so it is essential to provide students with the opportunity to try various jobs, skills, and activities, so they can understand what their preferences, strengths, and interests are,” says Angelina Snider, Transition Specialist and Success Coach in the district’s Department of Special Services (DSS). “Participating in the coffee cart provides the students with an opportunity to grow in confidence and their skills. The students interact with almost everyone in the building.  The teachers begin by placing the students in jobs according to their strengths and the students rotate through the jobs throughout their time at the high school.”

“Darby and her peers receive individualized support from their teachers, based on their individual needs,” explains Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “School-based enterprises are essential for students with intellectual disabilities to practice real-world job skills with support while in high school.”

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

Darby_Exceptional Students_00009Marietta serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” says Bealing-Sayles.

So the next time you see the Coffee Cart coming down the hallway, know that it is more than an opportunity to take a break and enjoy a beverage, it is a specially designed program created to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities for our exceptional students so that they graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.


Marietta High School Students Win Big at GHSA Literary Meet


Marietta High School students competed in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region Literary Meet at North Cobb High School on March 2, 2019. MHS finished 2nd overall with three students advancing to the State competition as region champions.

The GHSA Literary competition was created to promote sportsmanship and an appreciation for and study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions.

This is the first time in 15 years that Marietta has competed in this prestigious competition. Other high schools participating included Hillgrove, McEachern, North Cobb, and the overall region champions – Kennesaw Mountain High School.  The state meet will take place on Saturday, March 16 at Buford High School. Learn more about the upcoming state competition here.

Rhetorical Essay – Samira Butts, REGION CHAMPION

Extemporaneous Speaking – Calvin Rausch, REGION CHAMPION

Humorous Interpretation – Carson Shearer, REGION CHAMPION

Dramatic Interpretation – Jocelyn Floryance, SECOND PLACE

Duo Interpretation – Jessica Napier & Vesey Banuel, SECOND PLACE

Girls Vocal Solo – Nailah Williams, SECOND PLACE

Boys Vocal Solo – Aidan Fortenberry, THIRD PLACE

Girls Trio – Nailah Williams, Calvin Rausch, Lourdes Skeete-Dennis, THIRD PLACE

Boys Quartet – Aidan Fortenberry, Daniel Jacobs, Thomas Lewis, Nicholas Sims, THIRD PLACE

Argumentative Essay – Wyatt Strassman, FOURTH PLACE

Personal Essay – Cameron Payne, FOURTH PLACE

Congratulations and job well down to our MHS Literary team, and a special thank you to the team’s coaches and instructors – Lars Grevstad, Carla Mills, Shannon Lawson, Theresa Duarte, Tim Nielson, Holly Smith, and Craig McKinney.


How to Access Your Child’s MAP Scores

In Marietta, we believe in empowering families, allowing home to become an extension of a child’s classroom.  In an effort to better engage families, Marietta City Schools has updated the district’s assessment webpage with a new video that explains both how to access Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores and how to leverage such scores to better support students.

Marietta City Schools invites parents with students in grades K-9 to learn more about this assessment, which is given up to three times per year and gives valuable information to MCS staff and families about how best to support children. MAP is a state-aligned, computerized adaptive assessment program that provides Marietta City Schools educators with the information they need to improve teaching and learning and to make student-focused, data-driven decisions. Educators use the growth and achievement data from MAP to develop targeted instructional strategies and to plan school improvement.

With the help of Sarah Pulley, West Side Elementary School’s TOTY this past year, we offer this video resource to answer two basic questions: 1) where do I find my child’s MAP results, and 2) what should I be doing at home with these results?

View the MAP Parent Toolkit:

Learn more about assessments in MCS:

« Older Entries