The Cherokee County School District and Woodstock High School Principal Mark Smith are finalists for national school spirit awards. The school district is a contender for the Spirit of St. Jude Award, while Smith is in the running for the Most Spirited Principal award.
The Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards celebrate schools, organizations and individuals who “go above and beyond the call of duty to build school pride, student engagement and community spirit.” Winners will be announced May 11 at the company’s School Spirit Awards Show in Orlando.
“School spirit plays an important role in the success of a school, and we’re so proud and excited about these honors,” Superintendent of Schools Brian V. Hightower said. “Everyone who knows Mark knows he’s the school’s and the town’s No. 1 cheerleader. He cares deeply about every student and staff member, and all of their families, and that’s evident in everything he does. It’s also humbling to be recognized for having the Spirit of St. Jude. Kids are what we’re all about, and when kids are hurting, we all hurt. Visiting St. Jude’s and meeting those kids moves your heart, and so does seeing our own students put their ice cream money in a jar to help.”
Smith is one of five finalists named from a pool of thousands of eligible principals. The longtime educator and principal is known, not only in his school community, but also throughout Cherokee County, for his incredibly infectious school spirit and sincere support of all students and staff. He also is beloved for his hilariously charming hype videos on social media, usually featuring various costumes, the shouted chant “We are … Woodstock,” and, occasionally, wrestling.
The Spirit of St. Jude award, named for the children’s research hospital, honors schools and school districts that engage the majority of its students in fundraising for the charity, which is a major recipient of Varsity Brands’ philanthropy.