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Trojan Band reveals new uniform design to debut next marching season
  • Alumni
  • Arts
  • Community
Julianne Foster

Trojan band students modeled sample uniforms to introduce the updated look to fellow band members earlier this year. The new uniform look was revealed to the public Thursday afternoon at the conclusion of the annual CHS Band Boosters Barbecue.


Uniforms possible thanks to school, district, and community support

The decades-old tradition of supporting the Carrollton High School Trojan Band with the purchase of a barbecue sandwich was extra satisfying this year when Director Chris Carr revealed the new uniform the band will wear next marching season during the band's annual barbecue fund-raising event Thursday evening.  

Carr thanked band boosters and the community for their support before the reveal during the band’s appreciation show at the end of the day, pictured at right. The band holds several fundraisers a year to support the program, including the annual spring barbecue and the popular All-in-One fruit and meat sale in November, plus several other events. He said over the last few years money has been set aside in anticipation of the growing need for new uniforms. These dollars came from the fund-raising efforts and frugal management of the band’s annual school budget. 

“The last time we were able to take a picture like this was about a decade ago,” Carr told parents sitting in the visitors stands during the performance. He then shared the outcome of his meeting with CHS Principal David Brooks and district Supt. Dr. Mark Albertus when he outlined the program’s efforts to raise money for the uniforms and its need for more. He ended up getting approval from both and a nod of support from the Carrollton Board of Education to move forward. 

"This is major support from our school system,"  he said to the parents. "So if you get a chance, especially if you see them in person, please thank them.” VIDEO OF REVEAL

Carr said the uniforms are anticipated to be ready by marching season this August barring any delays in production. “The new design a modern new look while retaining traditional elements that honor our well-established legacy and identity,” he said. 

The new uniform features a vest construction which allows the band to customize the look for different occasions.  During performances in hotter climates the vest may be worn with a short sleeve uniform shirt that will provide a professional look while keeping students safe from overheating.  Carr said, in addition, the undershirt may be worn separately from the vest, reducing the wear-and-tear of the formal uniform components. 

“The uniform features many adaptable components to allow modernization of the Trojan Band look that will aid in our competitive pursuits while allowing us to make choices for a traditional look during appropriate performances,” said Carr.

Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation surpasses $1 million in assets
  • Academics
  • Arts
  • Community
Julianne Foster

CJHS student Tristan Gamble reads about various collegiate bowl championships at the Chick-fil-A College Hall of Fame while completing Math and STEM objectives during a field trip experience taken in March. The experience was funded by the Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation allowing 7th and 8th grade students to apply Math and STEM concepts in an environment to which they could relate.

Board broadens focus, appreciative of support

The Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation reached a new record surpassing $1 million  in net assets in the first quarter of 2021 despite a pandemic that has crippled charitable organizations nationwide. 

What began from humble beginnings with a $20,000 donation in 1993 has now grown into a robust non-profit awarding close to $1 million in scholarships and grants to support students and teachers at Carrollton City Schools since inception. 

Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent of Carrollton City Schools, has made the foundation a priority in his tenure at the district knowing its full impact will be realized in the years to come. 

“Our foundation's sole purpose is to support students and teachers. Building strong schools contributes to a strong community for future generations,” Albertus said. “ Achieving this milestone is a testament to our community and the priority they put on our students. Our foundation is just another example of The Gold Standard.”

The foundation primarily focuses on three program areas: scholarships for graduating seniors; classroom grants to support instruction; and enrichment field trip experiences for students throughout the school year.  This past year, 58 classroom grants were awarded to support instruction and 28 scholarships were given to the Class of 2021. Additionally, students from Carrollton Junior High School received an enrichment field trip opportunity to visit the Chick-fil-A College Hall of Fame where they were able to enjoy an interactive day learning STEM and Math concepts in a setting to which they could relate.

Ben Garrett, president of the foundation, has been a part of the organization for almost a decade and has seen the impact it has had on students each year. 

“Many students who visited the Chick-fil-A Hall of Fame had never been to Atlanta. That may seem unbelievable to some but it is the reality of many students in schools today,” he said. “Many families are unable to provide these types of opportunities for their children. Schools are busy trying to meet instructional needs and budget constraints each year so this is a way that we can afford those opportunities to students who would not otherwise receive them.”

The foundation has leaned on the collective support of community donors to reach this important achievement. Laurie Fleck, executive director of the foundation, began work growing the endowment when she joined the organization in 2017

“We knew we had something special but, we wanted to find a way to impact kids in more than just the classroom,” Fleck said. “Building upon our scholarship and classroom grant programs, we knew that exposing our students to enrichment experiences outside of school would allow our vision to take root encouraging students to become life-long learners who take personal responsibility for improving our world.”

The foundation will begin its second year of annual giving with its Golden Giving campaign which begins in August, coinciding with the start of school. 

“Our goal is to have every family become a Golden Giver, whether that’s giving $10 a year or $10 a month,” Garrett said. “Our goal is to continuously grow and develop a sustainable organization so that we can provide incredible opportunities for more kids in the years to come.”

Deep-seated calling takes Andrew Gordon on walk of faith
Julianne Foster


CHS Class of 2008 graduate Andrew Gordon with his wife, Julie, and their daughter, Cesia.

CHS alum's spiritual side leads him
to where he needs to go, what to do

In this ongoing series, we reach out to CHS alumni to learn what they are doing now that they have the advantage of experience, education and self-reflection. This month’s pick is Andrew Gordon, Class of 2008. Andrew’s career path has been consistent, yet ever-evolving. His unwavering faith directs his next steps, but his responsibilities as a husband and father also influence where those steps will take them.

EDUCATIONAL PURSUITS:  A stellar student-athlete for the Trojans, Andrew earned a scholarship to Sewanee: The University of the South where he played football, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a minor in Spanish. “I’m currently in my second year of a three-year Masters in Divinity degree program with a concentration in Latinx Ministry at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, expecting to graduate in May 2022.”

EMPLOYMENT: Before heading to seminary as a graduate student, Andrew returned home to teach Spanish at CHS for three years and coached football and soccer. Prior to that, he taught at the Mayatan Bilingual School in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, where he also served as a coach and athletic director. Today, Andrew is a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. “This means I am on the path, God willing and the people consenting, to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church.”

PERSONAL: “My wife, Julie, and I (pictured at left at a Día folklórico celebration) had our first child in November of 2020. Our baby girl, Cesia, brings us immense joy (and not much sleep)!  We are cherishing the exciting, difficult, and holy moments of being new parents to our beautiful daughter.”

HOBBIES: Andrew enjoys running, gardening, woodworking, hiking and camping, in addition to spending time with his wife and daughter.

PROFESSIONAL ASPIRATIONS: “I hope to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in the coming years.  Lots of different ministries are exciting to me: Latinx ministry, camp ministry, hiking ministry, farming ministry, and traditional parish ministry.  Part of this process is welcoming in the willingness to listen to God and trusting that God’s call will lead me to where I am indeed called to be.  The work of the Gospel is endless, and it is my hope that wherever I may end up, I can serve as a bridge-builder focused on the power of human connection and potential of the human spirit, the hope of the resurrection, and the holy love that connects us all.” 

PERSONAL ASPIRATIONS: “Personally, I hope to grow as a husband and a father—those are my most important titles to date!  I want to always strive to live a life of adventure and exploration.  I hope to always continue to learn and experience new things, and to carry a sense of humor that meets my innate seriousness with a smile and a laugh.” 

WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT LEARNING SPANISH? “At this point, I’ve been studying Spanish in some form or fashion for over half my life.  The language has afforded me countless relationships and experiences that would have been impossible without it, and for that I am grateful.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned about language learning, it’s that it is a marathon, not a sprint.  While there will be times when everything is clicking, comprehension is near perfect, and production is clear, there are also times that feel like hitting a giant wall, where comprehension is minimal and production is almost impossible.  Keep pushing through those plateaus, because soon the climb will start again!  I don’t think there is ever an ‘end’ when learning a language.  Rather, it is an intentional process that, if committed to, can become endlessly life-giving.”

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