Cherisse Campbell – Winner: Shoot for the Moon (Leader of the Year) Award
Cherisse Campbell is the Principal at Amana Academy in Alpharetta, Georgia. Amana Academy is a diverse, EL Education Credentialed and GADOE STEM certified Title I school. In partnership with Mrs. Campbell’s leadership for the past 6 years, Amana has implemented the EL model with fidelity and achieved corresponding gains across all three dimensions of EL’s expanded definition of student achievement. Amana Academy delivers on its mission to “prepare students for high academic achievement beyond what they think possible,” and according to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, the school performs better than 95 percent of schools in the state. Mrs. Campbell is truly a lifelong learner and has a Bachelors in Chemistry from Spelman College, a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from GA Tech, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and another Masters in Educational Leadership (both from the University of Delaware), an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Charter Leadership from Kennesaw State University and will complete her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University this spring. In addition to being a school principal and student of life, Cherisse is the wife of an educator, mother of two amazing boys, fitness enthusiast, and lover of musical theater.
Judy Parks – Winner: Reach for the Stars (Teacher of the Year) Award
Judy Parks, a resident of Sumter County for over 30 years, currently serves as the Music Advisor for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade at Furlow Charter School in Americus, Georgia. She attended Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education with certification in Early Childhood Education and Music Education. She received her Master of Education from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia. She has a husband who encourages her in her profession, three sons who carry on the family heritage of music, two amazing daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren (who will attend Furlow Charter School in the coming years)! As a music educator, church pianist and pastor’s wife, Judy’s motto is “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” She believes that the educator’s job is not only to teach Standards of Excellence but to daily “shine” and impact the lives of students, parents, colleagues, and community members. Judy shares her musical passion with students of all ages, inspiring elementary, middle and high school students to give the gift of music to others. Her heart’s message is that she is proud to be an educator, impacting the lives of students – students that will continue to impact others for generations to come.