Carrollton City Schools has been recognized once again for providing an exceptional working environment as a Top Workplaces 2023 honoree, awarded this time by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The district was recognized as the first place finalist in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best Places to Work program in 2018.
The district placed sixth in the large employer category out of 25 large organizations.
The awards were based on surveys conducted by Energage, LLC, an employee engagement technology partner of the AJC. The confidential survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization, including alignment, execution and connection.
The achievement is a testament to the dedication and commitment of staff who consistently go above and beyond to create an environment where students excel, said Superintendent Dr. Mark Albertus.
“One of our top priorities at Carrollton City Schools is the well-being and professional growth of our employees and we want to ensure they have the support and resources they need to thrive in their roles of supporting our kids, families, and community. We are proud to have received this honor.”
According to the AJC, a record 7,998 companies were nominated or asked to participate by employees and community members for the 2023 Top Workplaces ranking process.
Of those nominated, 332 companies participated in the no-cost scientific survey program. These companies represent 98,438 workers in the Atlanta region.
Any public, private, nonprofit or governmental employer with a minimum of 50 employees in the 17-county metro region was eligible.
Based on employee feedback scores, the 2023 top 175 includes 25 large companies, 71 midsize companies and 79 small companies.
The AJC issued the following statement in a press release about this year’s Top Workplaces: “We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the organizations that made it to the Atlanta’s top 175 workplaces in 2023. Your dedication to excellence is an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to seeing how you continue to shape the future of work in Atlanta and beyond.”
Energage CEO Eric Rubino said earning a Top Workplaces award is a badge of honor for companies because it comes authentically from their employees.
“That’s something to be proud of. In today’s market, leaders must ensure they’re allowing employees to have a voice and be heard. That’s paramount. Top Workplaces do this, and it pays dividends.”
Employers are ranked in groups of similar size, and those that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Official rankings were revealed in the Top Workplaces Special Section of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this month.
For many, summertime means water time. Trips to the beach or lake, rides in boats or on jet skis, and spending time cooling off at pools are common summer activities.
But as much fun as water can be, it can also be dangerous — especially for children.
To help mitigate some of the risks associated with water play, Carrollton City Schools has partnered with the city to offer swimming lessons to students involved in the summer enrichment program.
This effort was the brainchild of Travis Thomaston, director of student engagement at CCS.
“The idea came together because of the need for students to learn to swim for basic survival skills in water,” said Thomaston. “The initial thought process was to ensure that as many of the students in our community get exposed to the activity as early as possible.”
Carrollton City Manager David Brooks connected the district with John Layng from the Carrollton Parks and Recreation Department who Thomaston said was instrumental in helping to secure swimming locations and personnel that will instruct students in the water this summer.
“We are excited to partner with the Carrollton City Schools for these lessons,” said Layng. “Swimming is a sure sign that summer is here, and through a progressive learn-to-swim program, we are providing these students with skills that will last a lifetime. Carrollton City Schools has always been a valuable partner to us, so we anticipate that this program will only continue to grow!”
As for the summer swimming lessons, Thomaston said the district is expecting nearly 240 students to participate.
“We are instructing around 100 students from Carrollton Elementary School and about 140 between Carrollton Upper Elementary and Carrollton Middle School.”
Thomaston said he believes swimming is a survival skill every child should learn.
"All students should learn to swim as early in life as possible,” said Thomaston. “I was fortunate to have a local pool at our recreation center growing up. That’s where I learned to swim and the ability to do so has saved my life in stressful situations in water. This partnership between the district and the City of Carrollton will provide a much needed service to our families. The idea is that if one life is ever saved due to this partnership, it will be a huge win for our community."
Teaching life skills to students is a priority for the district.
This spring, Carrollton High School held its second annual Senior Adulting Day — an idea CHS Principal Ian Lyle said is a way to better prepare students for the real world. The event featured different stations for seniors to visit to learn anything from sewing on a button to changing a tire to understanding the basics on how to take out a loan to buy a car.
Students may also take the Tools for Life course at CHS which teaches several of the items listed above as well as driver’s education which began being offered as an elective last year.
Carrollton High School graduates of the Class of 2023 received $9 million in scholarship offers from colleges and universities, not including the HOPE/Zell Miller scholarships, which awarded an additional $1.9 million to more than 400 graduates this year.
The majority of the awards were offered by educational institutions, but there also were private awards presented by individuals and nonprofit entities, including the Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation.
Though many students earned awards for academic success, five graduates were presented $10,000 awards from the REACH Scholarship program for their commitment to focus on academic achievement. The REACH Georgia Scholarship program promises students the support they need to graduate from high school and achieve postsecondary success. This year there are five recipients who received $10,000 scholarships to attend a Georgia college or university as a reward for successfully completing the mentoring/support program — Alison Steele, Dontavious Phillips, and Cynthia Gomez-Cruz, Ryshawn Powell and Zikera Watson.
Carrollton High School emphasizes a focus on academics, arts and athletics and has produced a mix of scholarship offers that recognize the outcome of this focus. Six students received significant scholarships for their academic excellence: E’Layiah Ackles received a full-ride to Davidson College with a scholarship amount totaling around $300,000. Kyleigh Smith is attending the University of Alabama and received a total of $151,000 in scholarship awards. A’Maya Philpot received approximately $136,000 to attend Tuskegee University. Emma Harris is attending the University of Georgia and received the Hagan Scholarship Award totaling approximately $60,000. Jocelyn Hernandez also received the Hagan Scholarship Award and will attend Auburn Univeristy this fall. Bobby Patel received approximately $114,000 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
"These students are the top academic performers at CHS, but are also well-rounded and multi-talented students involved in many school activities," said CHS Principal Ian Lyle. “I am excited to follow their college journey. I know they will continue to make us proud."