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What We Do

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The GateKey Scholarship program was implemented in 2007 with our first 16 scholars signing in 2008.  Today, this needs-based scholarship program has touched the lives of more than 238 students.   

GateKey assists students in preparing to attend college through mentoring and college prep assistance. Upon graduation from CHS, GateKey will provide $5,000 in scholarship funds to be used within four years paying up to $1,250/semester after Pell, HOPE/Zell, and other scholarships have been applied to the student's college account. 


The eligibility criteria include: 

  • Currently be enrolled at CHS, in grades 9 through 12 

  • Have maintained a “C” or above in all classes 

  • Have a qualifying family income (similar to free/reduced lunch criteria in the past)  

  • Have had no discipline issues 

GateKey Scholars are currently attending Georgia Highlands College, Chattahoochee Technical College, Georgia Tech, Mercer University, UGA, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Jacksonville State University, Furman University, Georgia Southern University, Valdosta State University, Marist College, Presbyterian College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Coastal College of Georgia, Florida A&M, SCAD, Purdue University, Shorter University, and Virginia Tech. 

One hundred percent of the funds donated to the GateKey Scholarship program go into the scholarships.  There are no administrative costs associated with the program.  


REACH Georgia is a needs-based scholarship program that pairs rising 8th graders (Scholars) with a mentor and academic coach to help prepare them for college and for the 21st century workforce. REACH Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded up to $10,000 for up to four years of college attendance ($2,500 each year) at a University System of Georgia college or technical college of their choice. Scholars may have an opportunity to receive additional funds through the college they attend.

Currently, the Cartersville Schools Foundation is supporting 29 REACH Scholars. 


The Hurricane Strength Scholarship is awarded to a Cartersville High School senior who has excelled academically while overcoming some type of adversity during his or her high school years. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year at the CHS Honors Night and is made possible by Dr. Howard and Susan Hinesley. 

The 2022 recipient was Alexis Barnes who is attending Kennesaw State University.


Through a peer nomination/selection process, the Teacher of the Year program recognizes one teacher from each school in the system.  The applications of those four teachers are then sent to Kennesaw State University, where an independent committee reviews them and chooses one teacher to represent the system in the State Teacher of the Year program.  The Teacher of the Year Luncheon is sponsored by Renasant Bank. The Foundation provides a financial gift to each of the teachers.  


Each school system department selects one stand-out employee yearly to be recognized for their performance and dedication to the students and staff of Cartersville City Schools.  Selected employees are honored at a breakfast sponsored by Ameris Bank. 


The Cartersville Schools Foundation serves as fiscal agent for student support programs as well as the Garrett Black "For for the Love of the Game" Baseball Scholarship.


The Mentor Canes program helps to empower youth in our schools to make positive life choices that enable them to maximize their potential. The mentoring program engages adult volunteers who commit to support, guide and offer friendship to a young person for a period of at least one year. By becoming part of the network of adults and community members who care about youth, the mentor can help youth develop and reach positive academic, career, and personal goals. Mentors are needed at all grade levels in the Cartersville City schools. Contact Paula Womack at to change the life of a student!



The Least of These program supports our homeless and low income students with basic needs not covered by federal grant funds.  The intent is to "level the playing field" and provide them with access to all opportunities available in the schools, as well as supplying them with basic needs.


56.39% of the students in the Cartersville City Schools qualify for free/reduced lunch.  Many of these students have limited access to food over the weekends. The BackPack Buddy program provides weekend food to any student in need. Program referrals are made by school counselors, social workers, or homeless liaisons.  Parental permission is then obtained for each student.  Backpacks are packed delivered to schools on Thursday/Friday by community volunteers and are distributed to students at release time on Friday. Students return the bags to the school on Monday morning.

Garrett Black "For the Love of the Game" Baseball Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded yearly to a senior CHS baseball player who has great character and exudes a love for baseball.  This $1,000 scholarship is provided by Eric and Kim Black in memory of their son, Garrett, and is awarded at the annual baseball banquet. Recipients include:

2021 - Mica Earwood

2020 - Alan Thacker

2019 - Preston Welchel & Jordan Wilkie

2018 - Devin Warner           

2017 - Noah Daniel

2016 - Austin Lunde

2015 - Jack Mayo

2014 - Hunter Osborn

2013 - Connor Justus

2012 - Asa Williams 

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