Dalton Public Schools News

Melanie Franey Receives Dale Cook Support Educator of the Year Award
Melanie Franey with Dale Cook's son

Melanie Franey, media center clerk at Dalton High School, is this year’s winner of the Dalton Education Foundation’s Dale Cook Support Educator of the Year Award. 

The award was created by the family of former Dalton educator Dale Cook and the Dalton Education Foundation in 2020 as a way to recognize those support staff members who have made significant contributions for the educational opportunities of children in Dalton Public Schools. This award recognizes staff members who operate in behind-the-scenes roles that help the district run smoothly. A support staff member is defined as a non-certificated, non-classroom position at either the school or district level.

Franey’s nominator said that she has impacted thousands of students and staff members during her tenure working for Dalton High School.

“You will find her in the media center helping students discover and maintain a love of reading, encouraging them in their studies and projects, assisting students and staff with technology, and much more,” the nominator said. “As she completes her daily tasks, she also works to build lasting relationships with students that stretch beyond academics. Most Dalton High School students know her by name and seek her assistance often.” 

In addition to her work during school hours, Franey’s nominator said she is a supporter of the school and its students after hours as well.

Melanie walking to receive her award, with blurred people clapping around her

“You will also see Mrs. Franey working the entrance gate at many sporting events where she takes opportunities to get to know students and families,” the nominator said. “She supports all extracurricular activities and is always visible helping with special events. Melanie is one of the go-to people at DHS. Her value is immeasurable.”

For her long-time commitment to keeping the Dalton High School media center in world-class condition, Franey earned this year’s Dale Cook award. As the winner, she received a check for $500 and a commemorative certificate.

Dale Cook was the media specialist at Dalton High School for 23 years. Dale's son, David, is a Dalton High School graduate, lives in Dalton, and serves as a Trustee of the Dalton Education Foundation. Her grandchildren are all students in Dalton Public Schools. She is fondly remembered as an avid supporter of Dalton High and the school district.

Nominees were judged based on their interactions with co-workers, their impact on the district, their work ethic, and overall attitude. 

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