December 2, 2022

Trent North Named 2023 Georgia Superintendent of Year 

The Douglas County School System is pleased to announce that Trent North has been named Georgia’s 2023 Superintendent of the Year. Superintendent North received the honor on December 1 at the Georgia School Boards Association/Georgia School Superintendents Association’s Conference in Atlanta.

Each year, Georgia school boards, Regional Education Service Agencies, business organizations, and education professionals nominate leaders for Superintendent of the Year. Following a rigorous process, a committee of former award winners and education administrators selects a winner.

As Georgia Superintendent of the Year, North will now compete for National Superintendent of the Year. The School Superintendents Association will award the title in February 2023 at their national conference in San Antonio, TX.

Superintendent North said the recognition belongs to the thousands of students throughout the district. “This award represents the teachers and families that helped build a school system focused on strategic and continuous growth. Their support, coupled with leadership from the Board of Education, helped propel students to success. Good superintendents could not exist without good governance or dedicated staff members,” North said.

Superintendent North has led the district since 2017. Before joining Douglas County, he gained broad educational experience as a middle school teacher, elementary school principal, middle school principal, alternative school principal, and human resources director.

Board Chair Tracy Rookard says Superintendent North is a transformational leader. “He inspires achievement because he sees the potential for excellence in every student. Through Superintendent North’s diligent efforts, the educational outcomes and experiences for our students have greatly increased.”

Rookard states Superintendent North also seeks continuous improvement for the district. She says he uses data and student and parent feedback to advance the district’s current and future strategic goals. “He is a fierce advocate for our district and never fails to put students first. His positive impact is felt in all areas of our district. We are grateful for his visionary leadership and the endless learning opportunities he has created,” Rookard explained.

Superintendent North was recognized along with three other finalists during Thursday’s event. The remaining finalists for Georgia Superintendent of the Year were Beverley Levine of Oglethorpe County Schools, Brian Hightower of Cherokee County Schools, and Fred Williams of Dublin City Schools.

Real Men Read Spreads Literacy Love At Eastside Elementary School 

An Eastside Elementary School literary tradition returned this year for a day filled with reading and inspiration. Real Men Read brings males from across Douglas County to read from the pages of their favorite books. This year’s community readers included Principals Dr. Chris Small and Keith Racine, James Strong, Juan Bell, Marty Guy, Marcus Harley, and many others.

Media Specialist Dr. Linda James says Eastside Elementary School hosts the popular event so students can see that teachers and librarians are not the only adults who value reading. “Success as an adult starts with acknowledging that reading is a valued skill and means of entertainment,” Dr. James said. “It is essential for students to see men in their community and men they view as role models are readers and hold the habit of reading in high regard.”

Principal Timothy Jenkins explains they host the event to see students succeed. “We invite men to come because they make a difference,” said Principal Timothy Jenkins. “The students always greet our visitors with a warm welcome, and in return, our students receive support and encouragement. Volunteer readers reinforce the idea that reading is fun and the community cares.”

Eastside Elementary School will continue its love of literacy this spring with a “Ladies of Literacy” event. 

World Series Trophy Makes Final Stop at Sweetwater Elementary

Sweetwater Elementary School is not only home to this season’s three millionth fan, but for one day it was also home to the World Series trophy! The Atlanta Braves kicked off a morning of surprises by first declaring November 18 Ms. Anita Outlaw’s Braves Day. In September, the Braves welcomed the Sweetwater fifth grade teacher as their three millionth fan to Truist Park. As part of the celebration, Outlaw received a personal visit with the 2021 World Champions Trophy.

The trophy’s arrival surprised students and delighted teachers and staff members. Fans excitedly took photos with the trophy during its last tour stop. The visit also inspired, as Outlaw says, students to keep dreaming big. “We could have the next World Series champion here in our school.” Outlaw said. “We have soccer stars, basketball stars, academic all stars and lots of other champions here at Sweetwater Elementary. Everywhere you look, we have champions in training here in our school system, and I am glad to be a part of it.“

Ms. Anita Outlaw’s Braves Day included more surprises from the Atlanta Braves. The Braves donated books to the school library and honored teachers with a catered lunch and Braves Hats.


Outlaw’s visit makes the first time since 2000 and the first time at Truist Park that the Braves have welcomed three million fans during the regular season. It is the sixth time in franchise history that the Braves have had attendance over 3 million. Outlaw also won free Chick-fil-A for a year, a shopping spree at the Atlanta Braves store, and the opportunity to say “Play Ball” before a game and be featured in Atlanta Braves marketing materials.

DCSS Schools Celebrate Parent Involvement in November

November was National Parent Involvement Month, and several schools around Douglas County took time to thank parents for all the ways that they support learning each day. 

At Arbor Station Elementary School, PTSO members helped recognize parents during the afternoon pick-up line and while parents were picking up students from the after school program.

“My parents loved this and they were super excited,” said ASES principal Dr. Emily Felton. “This will be something we celebrate every year.”

At Mt. Carmel Elementary School, recognized parents with the theme All Hands on D.E.C.K. (Dedicated, Enthusiastic and Committed to Kids) to honor their parents the week before Thanksgiving. 

Teachers welcomed parents into the classroom on November 17 to work with students on various activities throughout the day. Students were excited to have their parents engaged in their learning. Parents enjoyed getting a glimpse of all the work that goes into a school day.

“The parent involvement time allowed parents to see the realities of the classroom, this helped to foster the relationship between parents, teachers and school,” said Jessica Atkins, a third grade teacher and parent. “We all can learn from each other, and the kids need to see that we are partnering and working together.” 

On Friday, MCES’ fathers, grandfathers and other male role models volunteered their time to greet students by assisting with car riders, hallway duty and cafeteria duty.

“Kids need to understand that they not only have their teachers to depend on, but other members of the community to support them,” said MCES parent Lavaris Frett.

Kaelia Bowens is a fifth grader at CHES who consistently exemplifies what it means to be respectful and kind. Principal K’Asha Davis says Kaelia’s charismatic spirit and kind ways are a breath of fresh air. Kaelia is consistent in her performance and welcomes constructive criticism. Her work reflects her commitment to utilizing the feedback, resources, and tools she is provided. It is obvious Kaelia gives her best effort daily. Although small in stature and soft-spoken, once a teacher encounters Kaelia they can immediately tell she is something special. Kaelia plays third base for Fairplay’s softball team “Team Storm” and will play basketball for Alexander in the winter. She loves to cook and occasionally works at a small art studio to earn her own money. As long as Kaelia continues to work hard, nothing can stop this “Quiet Storm.” Congratulations, Kaelia!

DCHS Basketball Preview

Lady Tigers Seeking Return to State Tournament

In his 43rd year leading the Lady Tigers program, Chet Forsch is as excited about this team as any he’s had in the past. After narrowly missing out on last season’s state tournament, Forsch is hopeful that last year’s disappointment will help motivate this year’s team. 

“We’re really looking forward to this season. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t quite make the state playoffs last year,” Forsch said. “We were close, but lost on a controversial finish at the buzzer last year, so we’re hoping not to find ourselves in that situation again this year.”

This year, the Lady Tigers will return a seasoned group from last year’s team, which will be led by All-Region Second-Team honoree Daija Preston and All-Region Honorable Mention recipient Jocelyn Faison. 

Along with these two, DCHS will also lean on Skylar Soli, Lyric Coleman, Ashley Ramos-Mayorga, and Destiny Davis. 

With a veteran, battle-tested team coming back, the Lady Tigers are well positioned to compete in a new Region 5-6A that includes three teams that qualified for the state tournament last season, including in-county rival New Manchester High School, who qualified for the Final Four last year.

DCHS’ hunt for the state playoffs began on November 15, and they will open up their region schedule on December 8 at South Paulding High School.

Tigers Looking to Rebound Under New Leadership

In his first season as leader of the Douglas County High School boys basketball team, Duane Kelley has a simple goal in mind – to see the Tigers program grow into the best program in the county. 

Kelley comes to DCHS from Lithia Springs High School, where he was an assistant coach last season. In year one, Kelley says that he’s seen great buy-in from his players and is excited to begin the new season. 

“Our kids are working really hard and practicing well to prepare for the new season,” Kelley said. “This season, I’ve really got a few simple goals for us. We want to qualify for state, win the region, and put DCHS back on the map as the top program in the county and one of the best in the state.”

To do this, Kelley will need to replace two All-Region Honorable Mention performers last season. Leading the charge will be senior guard Arthur Johnson, who was named to the preseason All-State Third Team. 

Along with Johnson, the Tigers will lean on guards Mekhi Kennedy, Braden Goines, Cole Henry, Braden Uhuru, and forward Shamar Echols to lead the charge this season. 

Entering his first season at the helm, Kelley will inherit a new, competitive Region 5-6A, which includes in-county rivals New Manchester and Alexander High School, who enters ranked No. 2 in the state. 

Along with these, the Tigers will also see Langston Hughes High School, who competed in the Class 6A Final Four last season, and Paulding County High School, who was a state playoff qualifier last season. 

The Tigers kicked off their state playoff quest on November 15 against Banneker High School, and they will begin their pursuit of a region title December 8 against South Paulding High School.

Families of eleventh graders, 

The State of Georgia requires that all children 16 years of age and older, who have entered the eleventh grade, must receive one booster dose of the Meningitis vaccine.  

In order to keep our students safe, healthy and in school, the vaccine will be offered on Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse

Vaccines may also be administered by your primary care physicians. 

If your child does not have the vaccine by Wednesday, January 4th, they will be withdrawn from school.

See flyer below for more information.

Come celebrate with the Atlanta Falcons for Freddie’s New Year Day Bash! The Falcons will take on the Arizona Cardinals on January 1st at 1pm! Each ticket purchased will come with a bag of fun 2023 New Year accessories, such as, glasses, glow sticks, and more!

The first 5 counties that reach 150 tickets purchased will win a visit from Freddie Falcon this school year, so be sure to select Douglas County before checkout! 

To purchase more than 10 tickets or if you have any questions, please reach out to Group Sales at [email protected]

December 5: BOE Work Session/Meeting

December 6: No In-Person Classes for Students/Teacher Work Day

December 15 - 16: Half Day for High School Students (for Final Exams)

December 16: Semester Ends; Grading Period Ends

December 19 -30: Holidays (Except 234 and 249)

December 21 -30: Holidays for 234 Employees

December 22 - 27: Holidays for 249 Employees

January 2: Holiday for All

January 3: All Employees Return; Teacher Work Day

January 4: Students Return

January 5: Report Cards (all levels)

January 16: Holiday for All

January 17: BOE Board Meeting

February 2: Progress Reports for Elementary and Middle Schools

February 6: BOE Work Session

February 13: BOE Board Meeting

February 20: Holiday (Except 249 Employees)

February 21 - 24: Holidays (Except 234 and 249 Employees)

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