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Eight CHS students earn biliteracy diploma seal
  • Academics
Cali Jones

From left are Carrollton High School biliteracy seal recipients Steven Slappey and Alec Siek after graduation in May.

Eight Carrollton High School graduates met the criteria to earn a state biliteracy seal which was awarded last month.

This designation recognizes Kate Albertus, Nathally Arias, Javier Lopez Miranda, Mikenli Moreland, Adamary Maldonado, Estefenny Perez Martinez, Alec Siek and Steven Slappey as graduates with a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in another language. To earn the seal, the students had to receive a high score on the IB Spanish exam to demonstrate their command of the language. 

The Georgia Department of Education offers this recognition program to honor students who realize the importance of proficiency in a language other than English. By earning the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy, the students will be able to highlight this designation on their resumés, giving them a critical advantage over others seeking future employment in an ever-increasing global economy.

“These students were exceptional on many levels, but achieving the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy is a major achievement,” said CHS Principal Ian Lyle. “I am proud of their efforts and pleased they received state recognition.”

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DOE reports 91% graduation rate for Carrollton High School
Julianne Foster

This drone shot of Carrollton High School’s 2021 graduation captures the largest class in school history, and one that also posted a record $23 million in scholarship offers and a 91 percent graduation rate.


Largest class in school history also posts record $23 million in scholarship offers

The Georgia Department of Education’s formal release of the 2021 statewide graduation rate Oct. 21 shows Carrollton High School’s Class of 2021 left a strong legacy with a posting of 91 percent.

The data shows CHS maintained the same rate as the previous year, despite continued challenges caused by a global pandemic that greatly impacted the traditional school year.

While it is important to acknowledge this increase as a metric indicating school improvement,  it is also prudent to recognize the overall preparedness of the graduates and what their post-secondary plans entailed, said Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent.

“We are extremely proud of each individual for achieving this important milestone and we are also proud to see what our graduates are doing after they leave the halls of CHS,” he said. “But this class, the largest in school history, continued to hold high standards and accomplish great things.” 

Of the Class of 2021’s 424 graduates, 69 percent planned to attend a four-year college or university and 11 percent planned to attend a two-year school/program. Five percent of the remaining students joined the military and 15 percent had plans to enter the workforce. This is a big change from last year, when former CHS Principal David Brooks noted college numbers were down because students decided to wait to have a true college experience, not a virtual one, and postponed their secondary education until the pandemic was under control.

“I cannot express enough how proud I am of our students and teachers in maintaining such high expectations,” said Ian Lyle, CHS principal. “As our numbers have grown, we have remained true to our relentless pursuit of excellence, and this is demonstrated by the solid graduation rate performance each and every year.” 

Lyle also noted the Class of 2021 earned $23 million in scholarship offers and more than half were honor graduates. The class also produced the largest number of Georgia Scholars at 17, far surpassing any other school, public or private, in the state. College admissions at the state’s two flagship public universities, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, also proved exceptional, with 100 percent of CHS applicants receiving early acceptance or deferral at UGA and 80 percent at Tech. 

Dr. Albertus noted CHS offers many paths for students to succeed, no matter what their ultimate goal may be.

“Whether students need the academic rigor of our International Baccalaureate program and Advanced Placement courses, or require increased flexibility in their learning environment, Carrollton High School is able to provide the time, energy, and resources to meet their needs,” he said. “Graduation and success beyond high school are the ultimate goals we have for each and every student who is enrolled in our district. Our school board and community are passionate about providing the highest quality of education for our students, and our graduation rate and the post-secondary plans of our students,  provide evidence of this commitment.”


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CHS student helps fund cancer research
  • Community
Cali Jones

Carrollton High School junior Zeke Ussery poses wearing the sneaker he designed for Saucony’s Run For Good Children’s Program.


A Carrollton High School student is making strides to help fund cancer research with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Zeke Ussery, a junior at CHS, was admitted to CHOA when he was just 12 years old after a virus invaded his liver, spleen and bone marrow. Eventually, he was unable to produce blood cells.

Ussery was diagnosed with Viral Hepatitis Induced Aplastic Anemia and placed in a year-long immunosuppressant treatment that restarted his entire immune system. In 2019, he began the final stages of treatment completion.

After overcoming his illness, Zeke wanted to give back to CHOA. Through Saucony sneaker brand’s “Run For Good” Children’s Program, he was able to do just that.

Saucony developed four limited-edition sneaker collections, helping its “Run For Good” Children's Program in raising money for children’s hospitals or their designated charity. Each shoe within the collection takes design inspiration from the hospitals’ young patients, conveying their personal stories.

“I honestly did not know that my experience with my sickness would give me the opportunity to design a shoe for the Saucony shoe company,” said Ussery. “But when I found out about it, I couldn’t pass up the chance. I was excited to make my own shoe, or at least inspire one, and I think that it can show others that good can come from bad events and experiences.”

Saucony pledged to donate 20 percent to the children’s hospitals or their designated charity, collectively with a minimum donation of $200,000.

Ussery said designing the sneaker is an experience he will never forget.

“The design process and ultimate result were incredible,” said Ussery. “Saucony asked me some personal questions that helped them to understand who I was and what I liked to do. Then, they took those responses and put them into a shoe design.”

Ussery’s mother, Kim, said she was happy her son could participate in the project.

“This was such a cool experience for Zeke,” she said. “He was able to be at the launch party, meet people, sign autographs and help sell shoes! I feel like it was his way of giving back to CHOA, and we really couldn't have done it without the support of our family and community.”

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