Tag Archives: Marietta City Schools

MCS Communications Team Earns Ten National Awards from NSPRA

The Marietta City Schools Communication Team earned 10 awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). For more than 50 years, NSPRA has recognized exceptional work in school communications, and is currently the national governing body for school district communicators.

NSPRA’s Publication and Digital Media awards recognize exceptional work in educational communications: print, digital, video/TV/radio programs, audio, e-newsletters, websites, social media, infographics, and blogs. The submissions are judged on overall excellence, including quality as compared to other entries in each category. Top awards are Award of Excellence, Awards of Merit, and Honorable Mention.

Marietta City Schools Communication Team earned the following awards.

  • Award of Merit – E-Newsletter (internal audience) – Board Notes
  • Awards of Honorable Mention:
    • School District Blog – for Blue Devil Blog
    • Branding/Image Package – for Park Street Elementary
    • Branding/Image Package – for Mayor’s Award
    • Marketing Materials (electronic) – for Welcome to Marietta City Schools
    • Excellence in Writing – for MHS Exceptional Students Manage Successful Coffee Cart for More Than a Decade
    • Social MediaKeeping the Community “In the Know” Using Instagram Stories
    • Special Purpose Publication Technology Plan 2018 -2020
    • Video (produced in-house) – for Marietta Honors Veterans in Its Classrooms
    • Video (produced in-house) – for Musical Theatre at Marietta High School

 “An award from the National School Public Relations Association is the highest honor that can be received by communications offices that work on behalf of school districts,” said Tammy Garnes, the district’s outgoing Executive Director of Communications. “During the 2018-2019 school year, our office made an effort to broaden the district’s social media reach with Instagram posts and stories, increase storytelling through video production, and communicate to stakeholders using a new blog and newsletter. Being recognized with ten awards was unexpected, but a testament to the hard work of our communication and public relations team.”

To see all of the award winners and to find out more about the NSPRA, visit their website at www.nspra.org.


Susan Coviello, Natalie Roush, Tammy Garnes


Leon Grant (1)Marietta High School teacher Leon Grant’s love for teaching and youth influenced him to become a teacher. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth minister, a pastor, an adjunct professor, and now a high school teacher.  

“I prefer the dialogue of teaching to the monologue of proclamation,” Leon explained. “I love the learning that takes place in preparation to teach…I love finding innovative ways to teach new and old concepts.”

Each fall Leon’s first-year students are introduced to the engineering design process. This year students were paired in teams of two and had to design a lunch container for a school-age student in a country that they drew out of a box. Students had to work cooperatively and communicate in and out of class to develop a solution.  They had to research the people for whom they were developing a solution.

The Engineering design cycle was taught in context with a just-in-time delivery model. Each step of the process was introduced as a tool to solve the problem. Finally, they had to create food models and a prototype lunch container to evaluate against their constraints.  Students communicated their solutions and how they met the constraints via a 12×24 graphics ad and a 30-second promotional video. This approach helped students to see the design process as a tool for solving problems that is valuable whether you are an engineer or not.

Leon Grant_resizedIn 2013, upon joining the Marietta City Schools family, Leon established the Engineering Pipeline at Marietta City Schools.  The Engineering Pipeline is a K-12 engineering education initiative that provides resources, academic partnerships, and industry partnerships with deep STEM immersions across elementary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary grade bands centered in real-world engineering problems/projects.  As the Engineering Pipeline Founder & Director, he provides vision and maintains program oversight for partner development, program funding, and teacher development.

The Pipeline hosts three major events each year: the Engineering Pipeline Open House; the Summer of Exploration Conference, and the Research Symposium.  The Pipeline has developed deep partnerships with over 45 partners such as Google, Lockheed-Martin, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Pipeline has raised more than $150,000 in grants and in-kind giving that has been shared between high, middle, and elementary school partners. The Pipeline currently partners with the Middle School and three elementary schools and has reached over 1200 students this year through various events.

The Pipeline efforts have been recognized at the state and national levels by the Technology Association of Georgia, DiscoverE, The Association of Career and Technical Educators, and the Women Engineers Proactive Network. The American Society of Civil Engineers is using the Engineering Pipeline as a model to reform their Civil Engineering Club initiative. 

But, beyond the accolades and accomplishments, Leon is most proud of the connection he has been able to build with his students.

“My greatest accomplishments in education are winning the trust of my students, helping students discover their passion, and coaching students to levels of excellence,” Leon shared. “Classroom procedures and expectations are extremely important to maintain classroom discipline.  However, I have found that I can lead students who trust me much farther than I can mandate students who don’t trust me.”

From having former students ask him to perform their marriage ceremony to being named the godfather of another former student’s child; Leon counts the impact of these long-lasting relationships as treasures in his teaching career.

Grant is one of three Teacher of the Year finalists for Marietta City Schools. The district will celebrate its award-winning teachers and employees May 28, 2019, at its annual Teacher of the Year and Employee Awards Luncheon at Roswell Street Baptist Church.

2019 TOTY Finalist Announcement.Final

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.

Four MCS Students Place in Georgia PTA State Reflections Competition

This year celebrates 50 years for the National PTA Reflections Program, a National PTA and Georgia PTA cultural arts competition.

The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to express their creative ideas and talents through their own original works. The excitement and enthusiasm that the program generates for students, parents, schools and communities is unmatched with the majority of Georgia PTAs participating in the program at all PTA levels. The 2018-2019 Reflections theme was “Heroes Around Us.”

Marietta City Schools is proud to recognize the students who won at the state level of the competition:
* Julian Tam, Grade 2 – Photography 2nd place, and Literature 2nd place, from A.L. Burruss E.S.
* Wynn Shoemaker, Grade 5 – Photography 3rd place, from West Side E.S.
* Anna Kate Oglesby, Grade 4 – 3D Visual Arts 1st place, from West Side E.S.
* Quadriyah Williams, Grade 9 – Film 1st place, Marietta High School

Students from MCS participated in all 6 PTA Reflections categories including, Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Music Composition, Dance Choreography and Film Production.

The PTA Reflections Celebration is a powerful tool for encouraging students to explore and be involved in the arts. Together, school leaders and families offer positive reinforcement for participation in the National PTA Reflections program.

The Students will be honored at the High Museum, this Sunday, March 24 with the other state winners, at which time they will find out if they are moving on to Nationals.

Stephanie Grogan: March Employee of the Month

EOM2Stephanie Grogan serves as a paraprofessional at Park Street Elementary where she has a continuous impact on the lives of students, staff, and families. Stephanie has a kindhearted and genuine spirit, and her love and commitment for MCS runs deep.

“Ms. Grogan works very hard for Park Street,” said Diona McIntire, the principal at Park Street Elementary. “She goes above and beyond and consistently does all she can to meet the needs of students. Not only is she a Park Street alumna, but she regularly serves the Marietta City community. Ms. Grogan’s care and passion for education shows in her work every day. She is a role model for students and staff and is always willing to lend a helping hand where needed. We are truly blessed to have Ms. Grogan as part of our Park Street Family.”

Stephanie has worked at MCS for 33 years, but MCS has always been a huge part of her life and who she is. She, along with her family, have all attended Marietta City Schools.

“After graduating from college I came back to Marietta to put back what Marietta gave me–a solid foundation of encouraging students and teaching them that they can do and become anything they want to,” she explained. More than anything, Stephanie loves the students she gets to interact with and impact every day.  She enjoys seeing their progress inside and outside the classroom, and she is always excited to go to a game or see a play that her students are performing in at MCS.

Stephanie often goes above and beyond, lending a helping hand beyond the parameters of her role. One example of this is when a child was choking in the cafeteria during lunch and Stephanie immediately administered the Heimlich maneuver. Now, every day when the child sees her he thanks her for helping him.

In her free time, Stephanie is very involved in her church and community. She serves as a Daughter of Zion, a member of E.L. Keys, Zion Women’s Ministry, The Pastor’s Aid, the Food Ministry, Transportation Ministry, and the sick and shut-in ministry.

“It is truly a great honor to be selected as employee of the month for Marietta City Schools,” Stephanie said. “I attended Marietta City Schools which makes it an even greater honor. I have seen many changes throughout Marietta City Schools as a student and as an employee. I would like to say thank you to Marietta City Schools and the community at large. Go Big Blue because we are #AllIn !”

We congratulate Stephanie Grogan for being recognized as the March District Employee of the Month!


Board of Education Approves K-11 Math Adoption

The Marietta Board of Education approved the purchase of the Pearson Math Program for kindergarten through 11th-grade students. During the 2018-2019 school year, the Office of Academic Achievement and Programs worked with various MCS departments, administrators, teachers, and community members to recommend the purchase of a district mathematics program (K-11th grade).

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted in October 2018 and interested vendors submitted proposals. These proposals were vetted by a review team comprised of school-based coaches, district coordinators, executive directors, and the deputy superintendent. This collaborative team worked to ensure alignment of the MCS Balanced Mathematics Framework and the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

In accordance with Policy IC, quantitative data and qualitative input were used to narrow the interested applicants to three vendors: Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Math. In the next phase of the adoption process, 40+ MCS staff (including but not limited to teachers, coaches, assistant principals, principals, and district leaders) viewed formal presentations by each of the three vendors.

The review committee selected two vendors for public review: Pearson and McGraw Hill. Student and teacher math resources from both vendors were made available for public review from February 4-15, 2019.

All stakeholders were invited to complete a survey (see results below). Survey results from both the math committee and community members support the adoption of the Pearson Math Program.

Grades K-5 – Math Curriculum Overview<https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHT570D64/%24file/enVision_K-5_OverviewBrochure_1.pdf>

Grades 6-8 – Math Curriculum Overview<https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHX570EDB/%24file/enVision_6-8_OverviewBrochure_1.pdf>

High School – Math Curriculum Overview <https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHZ570FD9/%24file/enVision_AGA_OverviewBrochure_1_.pdf>

Math Committee Voting Results – Math Results<https://my.visme.co/projects/jwvrpewv-ke7lp9q363wg29mw>

Math Community Voting Results – Community Math Adoption<https://my.visme.co/projects/z4yroo6o-18r27v38zyen26qz>

Marietta Students Win Big at Local Art and Music Showcase

Marietta City School students participated in the Kiwanis Club of Marietta’s 4th annual Art & Music Showcase at the Marietta Performance Art Center on Sunday, March 17th.

The showcase provided students from the local community in grades 6-12 with the opportunity to demonstrate their talents in a competitive atmosphere, along with the opportunity to win scholarships in recognition of their talent and effort.

48 students participated, and all first place winners were MCS students, collectively winning over a thousand dollars.

See a list of our winners below.


First Place – Nailah Williams, Senior – Vocal Solo

Second Place – Rebecca Goodwin, Senior – Violin

Third Place – Jocelyn Floryance, Junior – Vocal Solo)


6th grade – Holly Hudson

7th grade – Gabriella Kern

8th grade – Nicole Alexa Munoz

9th grade – Fiona Vanwinkle

10th grade – Luis Badillo

11th grade – Jenaya Scott

12th grade – James Welch

Marietta City Schools, First in the Nation with Stop the Bleed Kits on Each School Bus

In mid-March, all Marietta City School bus drivers and monitors attended a three-day training to become American Heart Association certified in CPR, First Aid and Stop the Bleed Certified. The training was organized and led by MCS Head Athletic Trainer, Jeff Hopp and Project Save at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta.

The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched by the Georgia Trauma Foundation in 2017 to put the knowledge gained by first responders and our military into the hands of the public to help save lives by stopping uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations. If bleeding is severe, it can kill within minutes, potentially before trained responders can arrive. Research has shown that bystanders, with little or no medical training, can become heroic lifesavers. Similar to the use of CPR or automatic defibrillators (AED), improving public awareness about how to stop severe bleeding can be the difference between life and death for an injured person.

“Marietta City Schools as a whole is 100% committed to student safety,” said MCS Director of Transportation, Kimberly Ellis. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve, and this is just one more tool we have available to keep our students safe.”

WellStar Kennestone Hospital initiated Stop the Bleed training with MCS educators in 2017. Jeff Hopp shared that he and Marietta High School Assistant Principal, Jason Meade were apart of that initial training and made a commitment to lead the training for the school system. Since then MCS has trained approximately 350 staff members including the bus drivers and monitors that completed the training in March.

WellStar Kennestone Hospital has also partnered with MCS by providing Stop the Bleed Kits for each of the district’s school buses making, Marietta City Schools the first in the nation to do so. Ellis said the plan is to have them on the school buses by the time students return from spring break in April.

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: https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit/

Learn more about assessments in MCS: https://www.marietta-city.org/Page/776

Marietta City Schools Wins National Award for New Mobile Bus Application

Marietta City Schools has been selected as a 2019 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award winner. The award is for the district’s focus on student safety through the implementation of “Marietta Ride 360,” a mobile application from Traversa which gives MCS families the ability to access bus routes, stops, pick-ups and drop-offs in real time using GPS technology.

“Marietta City Schools Transportation Department is committed to safety and customer service and we are thrilled to be able to offer this new tool to our students and parents,” said MCS Director of Transportation, Kimberly Ellis. “We are grateful to our Board Education for approving this project and keeping student safety as their top priority.”

Marietta City Schools was the second school district in Georgia to offer this transportation service after months of research and development by transportation and operations employees. Launched in November of 2018, the application has enrolled 1,227 users in only four months. Parents can find the app in iTunes or Google Play Store by searching for TRAVERSA RIDE 360.  Learn more about the technology here.       

The MCS Department of Transportation will attend the Tyler Connect 2019 conference in April to receive the award.

Tyler Public Sector Excellence Awards recognizes public organizations for their significant commitment to public service and striving for greater efficiency and effectiveness in serving their community.

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