A Cherokee County School District parent mentor has earned a top statewide award for her service!
JoEllen Hancock, a 13-year parent mentor who supports the families of students served by CCSD’s Office of Special Education, won the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership’s 2018 Phil Pickens Award.
Named for the late Georgia Department of Education Special Education Director who founded the Partnership, the statewide honor recognizes outstanding leadership in special education and collaborative work between home, school and community to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.
“JoEllen makes an incredibly positive difference in the lives of not only our students and their families, but also their teachers and schools,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “She provides invaluable support by identifying needs and collaborating to develop solutions, such as new resources and training for families and teachers. We’re so proud of her and this honor.”
Among her many roles and accomplishments, Ms. Hancock is the leader for CCSD’s Self Determination Program; serves as an ASPIRE (Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement) program trainer; is a certified youth mental health aide responder; developed a PTA Exceptional Children’s Committee; and has held leadership positions on the regional Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council.
“The Parent Mentor Partnership is made up of the most dedicated and passionate individuals, and I believe we have made a difference and continue daily to make a difference for the lives of students with disabilities, their families and communities,” Ms. Hancock said.
Ms. Hancock was honored with the award at the Partnership’s annual conference this month, and will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and the Superintendent of Schools at a School Board meeting later this fall.
Cherokee County School District Parent Mentor JoEllen Hancock, right, and Clarke County Director of Special Education Heidi Hill congratulate each other on their honors from the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership.