Governance

Georgia Charter Educational Foundation

Cherokee Charter Academy is governed by the Georgia Charter Educational Foundation. The Georgia Charter Educational Foundation is a Georgia not-for-profit entity organized exclusively for educational purposes and is comprised of respected leaders in the state of Georgia that are committed to providing high quality educational options for the citizens of this State. The Board of Directors is responsible for developing and outlining the mission, vision, and values of the school and developing the appropriate policies to ensure those fundamentals are maintained. The Georgia Charter Educational Foundation Board of Directors has contracted with a professional education management organization, Charter Schools USA, to provide all necessary management and professional expertise. Charter Schools USA assists in developing, planning, and marketing the School, as well as finance, human resources, curricula and school operations. Charter Schools USA is responsible for developing and implementing the ongoing operational procedures in accordance with the mission, vision, and values outlined by the Governing Board. The Georgia Charter Educational Foundation is responsible for the legal and financial obligations of each school. The Governing Board establishes policy consistent with the school's mission and ensures the school's programs and operations are faithful to the terms of the Charter including compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. The Governing Board will continue to uphold the mission and vision of the school through visible leadership and stewardship of the school, including the following:

  • Communicating the mission and vision of the school to the community
  • Recruiting and mentoring Governing Council members to ensure they have shared values
  • Holding Charter Schools USA accountable to achieving the mission and vision of the school
  • Participating in fund raising and other community events on behalf of the school
  • Leading by example in their personal and professional endeavors

The Georgia Charter Educational Foundation Governing Board

Ernest Taylor, Chairperson
Ernest Taylor is president of Beech Hill Group an executive search firm in Atlanta. He has been in executive search for 20 plus years after being a banker for the first 10 years out of college. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Honduras Outreach for over 15 years, based in Decatur, Georgia. This organization runs 5 schools, 5 clinics and 40 kindergartens in the mountains of Honduras. Mr. Taylor holds a BA in Marketing from the University of Tennessee and a MBA in Finance & International Business from Georgia State University. As a businessman in Atlanta for 36 years, Mr. Taylor’s contacts throughout Atlanta are quite extensive. He recently hosted a luncheon for Steve Forbes last October and had over 400 Atlanta CEOs in attendance in his role as Atlanta Committee Chair for the Washington based Heritage Foundation as well as hosting a meeting at the Atlanta History Center for over 250 top executives in Atlanta, with the Honorable Ed Meese, the former Attorney General of the United States as the speaker. Additionally, Mr. Taylor has facilitate numerous discussion around policy with Governor Sonny Perdue, Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss, and Congressman Tom Price as well as facilitating education seminars with Dr. Tom Meredith, former Chancellor, University of Georgia System, Atlanta; Dr. Terrence Moore, Principal, The Ridgeview Charter School, Fort Collins, CO; Mrs. Jeanne Allen, President, The Center for Education Reform, Washington, DC. As an example of many philanthropic endeavors, Mr. Taylor, as a member of Georgia State University Foundation Board, successfully chaired a $32 million campaign for the $84 million Life Sciences Building to teach science teachers (The State of Georgia provided the additional $52 million). Other affiliations include: Member of the Board of Directors, Honduras Outreach, Inc; Chairman of the Atlanta Committee, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC; Chairman of the Board, Awakening, Inc; Chairman of the Board, Le Reveil, Inc.; Former Member of the Board of the Georgia State University Foundation; Former Member of the Board of the Georgia Family Council; Former Member of the Board of Ward Howell International; Former Member of the Board of Southside National Bank; and Former Member of the Board of Boyden International.
Danny Dukes, Secretary/Treasurer
Danny Dukes is currently the founder and president of Danny F. Dukes and Associates, a financial management and CFO outsourcing firm in Canton.  He has spent most of his career managing many aspects of the financial institution and mortgage industries in the areas of financial management, accounting management, risk management, audit, compliance, investment management, consulting, investment banking, treasury management, shareholder relations and bank operations. He has served as a chief financial officer and chief operations officer for community banks in Georgia as well as an adjunct college professor of accounting at Clayton State College and University and Keller Graduate School.  Additionally, Danny is actively involved in many professional and civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Cherokee County, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Georgia Charter Educational Foundation Board, Cherokee County Republican Party, the Georgia College Alumni Board, Mercer University Alumni Association and serves as a member of the County Property Tax Equalization Board.
Marian Parker, Esq., Director
Marian Parker, Esq. is a skilled attorney with extensive experience litigating in state and federal courts. Her expertise in law extends to such areas as business, nonprofit, estate planning, and civil and criminal litigation. She is licensed to practice in Georgia, Illinois and Louisiana. She has served as a board member for several profit and non-profit organizations in Metropolitan Atlanta. She is an experienced and successful grant writer and has managed relationships with corporate partners, such as Bank of New York. She is an excellent teacher and communicator capable of building a solid, highly motivated team.
Federick Black, Director
Frederick Black is retired from a 30+ year career as an educator and administrator for several prestigious preparatory academies in Atlanta and Athens. He brings a breadth of experience in the education industry, including student discipline, school operations management, development of diversity programs, curriculum design, and statewide competitive athletic programs. He is a resident and native Georgian with a BA in History and a  MEd from Georgia State University. After his academic career he created a construction company that built a restaurant /bar in the Seaside,FL area and a luxury country home in Walton Co., GA. He presently serves as the Head Coach of the nationally ranked wheelchair basketball teams at Shepherd Spinal Center.
John W. McIntyre, Director
John W. McIntyre, Jr. is currently the executive director at Morgan Stanley & Co., Private Wealth Management Division based in Atlanta. Prior to this, he was a partner in Highland Associates, an Investment Consulting Firm. Mr. McIntyre has a BA in Economics from Washington & Lee University and a MBA from Harvard University. He is a valued member of his community, serving on the Trinity Community Ministries Board of Associates, a member of Northside United Methodist Church, on the Capital Campaign Committee of Woodruff Arts Center, and a former Board member of the Emory Board of Visitors. He and his family reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark Johnson, Director
Mark Johnson has practiced law for over 30 years in the Atlanta, Georgia, Cobb County areas. He obtained his JD/MBA from the University of Georgia, his LLM (Taxation) from Emory Law School, and his BA (Journalism/Advertising) from UNC-Chapel Hill (graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll). He represents entrepreneurs and closely held businesses and their principals in transactions, estate planning, probate, litigation, appeals and government approvals and has served as in house general counsel to a real estate development conglomerate with a $3 billion acquisition fund. He is an AV peer rated lawyer, is a graduate of the Coverdell Leadership Institute, Leadership Cobb, a Paul Harris Fellow, and served on the Hospital Authority of Cobb County and Wellstar Regional Health Board. He pioneered surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) law in Georgia, representing the first gestational, artificial insemination, and donor surrogacies, and has delivered papers before the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Annual Conferences in San Diego and Philadelphia. He is a Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) certified Judge and judges barbecue competitions across the state of Georgia.

Board Meeting Minutes


Budget Information

Cherokee Charter Academy Approved Budget for FY13

School-Based Governing Councils

To ensure local community involvement/control, each charter school will have a Governing Council comprised of community leaders and parents that will have primary oversight of the school. The Georgia Charter Educational Foundation will delegate broad authority to the Governing Council, including:

  • Setting school-specific performance goals
  • Approval of the school budget and finances
  • Operational oversight of Charter Schools USA
  • Monthly meetings to review school performance

Local Governing Council Members

Heather Blevins, Chairman
Heather Blevins is an Independent Sales Director with The Pampered Chef. Ms. Blevins recruits, trains and manages direct sales professionals. She sets monthly sales goals. Ms. Blevins is also the owner of the Corcoran Blevins Group, a non-profit consulting business that provides organizational support to local and national non-profits. This support includes event planning, grant writing, fundraising, financial oversight, and membership management.

Ms. Blevins has lived in Cherokee County since 2000 and is active in the local community. She has served on boards for the Junior Service League of Woodstock and Leadership Cherokee. Ms. Blevins is currently a board member for the Anna Crawford Children’s Center in addition to her service on the Cherokee Charter Academy board.
Lyn Carden, Vice Chairman
Danny Dukes, Director
Danny Dukes is currently the founder and president of Danny F. Dukes and Associates, a financial management and CFO outsourcing firm in Canton. He has spent most of his career managing many aspects of the financial institution and mortgage industries in the areas of financial management, accounting management, risk management, audit, compliance, investment management, consulting, investment banking, treasury management, shareholder relations and bank operations. He has served as a chief financial officer and chief operations officer for community banks in Georgia as well as an adjunct college professor of accounting at Clayton State College and University and Keller Graduate School. Additionally, Danny is actively involved in many professional and civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Cherokee County, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Georgia Charter Educational Foundation Board, Cherokee County Republican Party, the Georgia College Alumni Board, Mercer University Alumni Association and serves as a member of the County Property Tax Equalization Board.
Jonathan Pfhol, Director
Mr. Pfohl is a seasoned business executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience in general management and finance. He has held senior management positions in both public and private companies. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer for publicly-traded Scio Diamond Technology Corp. and is the President of Rose Creek Associates, LLC a management consultancy practice. Prior to joining Scio Diamond Technology, he was the Chief Executive Officer for Wireless Express, LLC one of Sprint’s largest nationwide distribution partners. He has held senior positions with companies such as Movida Celular, AirGate PCS, Sprint and Frontier Corporation.

He holds a BS and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He and his wife Beth have lived in Woodstock for the past 15 years and have 4 children including a student at Cherokee Charter.
Sean Jerguson, Director

Sean Jerguson grew up in southern end of Cherokee County. He attended college locally where he served in leadership roles on the Student Government and as a Vice President of the Student Government Association and earned both his undergraduate degree in Biology (BS) and Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Kennesaw State University

During this time and upon graduation, Sean continued his community service as a teacher. He substitute in the Cherokee County Public School System and then taught mathematics and chemistry at the high school level for five years.

In 2000, Sean started Jerguson Construction, Inc. and began a career as a developer, builder, and property owner. He was successful in building that business and it is still in operation today.

In 2008, in the midst of a falling economy, Sean felt the need to roll up his sleeves and create more jobs. He developed and opened Hi-Caliber, a gun store and indoor shooting range which now employs over 17 people from our community.

Not only has Sean served Cherokee County’s children through teaching, but he has also served our community as a long standing elected official. He first ran for office in 2001 when he was elected to the Holly Springs City Council. He served 2 years on the city council as the Mayor Pro Tem and then acting Mayor.

In 2004, he felt a higher calling. Sean ran unsuccessfully, for the Georgia State House of Representatives. It was a hard fought campaign and he lost to former State Representative whom the community knew better. Sean’s passion and unwavering commitment to good government led him to try again just two years later. Sean won and was sworn into office as a State Representative in January of 2007.

Upon being elected to the House of Representatives, Sean rose in seniority, stature, and leadership. The Speaker immediately, seeing Sean’s leadership capabilities, appointed Sean to several high profile committees and he served as the Vice Chairman of the powerful Regulated Industries committee. He has served as the Chairman of the Congressional Reapportionment Sub-Committee and as Chairman of the Cherokee County Legislative Delegation. In January 2013, Sean made an unsuccessful bid for the Georgia State Senate to fill an unexpired term. Although this endeavor was unsuccessful, Sean’s commitment to out community is unwavering and as strong as ever. He recently has accepted a board position with the Cherokee/Pickens County Scout Council and coach’s baseball and football within Cherokee County.

Sean along with his wife, Kate, and their two children, Eli and Claire, reside in Holly Springs, GA. They are actively involved at First Baptist Church Woodstock.

Bill Dewrell, Director

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