SCOTT BURSMITH IMPACT AWARD
Scott Bursmith Impact Award
In 2008, Allatoona High School opened its doors led by Principal Scott Bursmith. In his seven years as the Buccaneer principal, Allatoona rose to become one of the top schools in the state of Georgia in academics, athletics, and the arts. Mr. Bursmith was instrumental in creating a school environment that focused on creating and shaping the students of Allatoona to become servant leaders in a competitive global environment. Through his competitive spirit, Mr. Bursmith believed in a collaborative community that helped to build strength of character in the students and faculty he served. The Scott Bursmith Impact Award was established in 2017 to recognize those that continue to serve the students of Allatoona High School in this capacity.
The Purpose of the Award
The Scott Bursmith Impact Award should be given to the individual who has most positively impacted the Allatoona High School community in a manner that promotes student achievement across a variety of avenues.
The selection committee shall consider:
- Must have positively impacted the Allatoona community in some manner.
- Open to parents, current and former students, community members and current and former teachers and administrators, regardless of age, race, sex or religion.
- Must have served the school in some capacity throughout academics, athletics, the arts, PTSA or other volunteer opportunities.
2020 SCOTT BURSMITH AWARD WINNER
Nominated by: TEACHER EMILY VARNER
On Friday, October 16, 2020, during halftime of the Bucs Varsity Football game vs the Wheeler Wildcats, Phil Sherer was presented with the 2020 Scott Bursmith Impact Award. Present with him on the field were his wife Maria and their three children Zach, Spencer, and Sarah as well as former principal Scott Bursmith and current principal Candace Wilkes.
Beyond his role in his regular day job, Phil has been an integral part of the Allatoona football booster club since the school opened in 2008. Phil served as the first president of the football booster club that year, and every year since then, even long after his own children have graduated. Even though Phil serves as football booster club president, his impact has been felt by just about every program and extra-curricular activity on campus. Phil is often a resource for new booster presidents for athletics and fine arts as he helps them through their transitions into the roles. He accepts each of these new volunteers with open arms and helps them in any way that he can, because he believes that by helping them, he makes the lives of the students at Allatoona better.
Phil’s impact at Allatoona is many times never recognized, as he is not a man that wants appreciation or accolades. He was once overheard telling a teacher that he wants the kids to have a great high school experience so that they always have something positive to look back upon. Because he wants this, he works tirelessly to create a Friday night experience that not only the players can enjoy, but also the parents, cheerleaders, Hotshotz, and band. We would be remiss to not mention that many times Phil has helped other booster clubs on campus with raising funds, promoting their teams, and assisting at setting up and hosting events. Phil is also quick to help the school out as well. Many times when the school opened, funds were tight and Phil always found a way to help the school and different programs in need so the kids could be successful. Many times this help was never known, as Phil is always quick to offer help but never wants to take the credit. Former band booster club president Chris Davenport and his wife Sherri are self-described “Big Phil fans.” They first got to know him when working on the annual band competition The Conquest. “His advice and assistance helped immensely with crafting a solidly successful event. He is definitely a band fan – always available to help coordinate details that smooth the way for band performances, at home and away.”
Nominated by teacher and wife of head football coach Emily Varner, Emily believes that Phil is truly one of a kind. “Phil’s work started because his son played football and someone volunteered him,” Varner states. “His son did not play football after his freshmen year and Phil, Maria, and their three children have continued to pour their hearts and souls into this program and community. They work every piece of the operation and care so much for all involved. Their selfless attitudes and servant hearts have had a huge impression on me, our family, and the Allatoona community. His work supports so many and it is mostly done in the background, from his heart and his love for the community.”
Former athletic director and current Pickett’s Mill Principal, Dr. Benji Morrell believes that “Phil Sherer has a work ethic like I have never seen before. He has been a huge reason for the success of not just the football program but all of the Allatoona Athletics programs. He has mentored booster club presidents and helped booster programs across all sports at Allatoona and at other schools in the area over the last 13 years while running a hugely successful football programs booster club. Coach Varner and his football coaches can focus on football because they know Phil Sherer is going to do an excellent job with the operations of the booster club.”
Phil Sherer has given as much time and energy to Allatoona High School in his role of volunteer than most do in a full-time job. Athletic Director Amie Howard describes him as a servant leader. “Phil Sherer helped me when we opened the school, and I was the head volleyball coach. He helped me when I moved into administration, because he was always available to answer questions I had when helping the academic and fine arts booster clubs. And he helps me today with my current role. Just the other day I asked for his assistance in helping our new flag football coach get acclimated to the school and with help starting a booster club. I truly don’t know where any of our extra-curricular activities would be without him. He has set the standard for what every program tries to achieve-a heart for the kids, a heart for the parents, and a heart for the community. Just like the Allatoona creed states, Phil believes in servant leadership, serving the community for the Greater Good.”
Phil’s dedication to Allatoona can best be summed up by Principal Candace Wilkes. “Phil Shearer is a person that any leader or coach would want to have in their corner. He is a giver, not a taker…he cares for his community and shows his leadership and character through his devoted support of Allatoona High School. While he has served for over a decade as the only Allatoona football program booster club president, he does much more. He has built trusting relationships with our coaches, players, families, and community members. He quietly shares his knowledge of booster programs, fundraising, and skills to develop positive relationships with anyone on our campus. If you don’t know him, you should take the time to meet him. You can find him driving a red golf cart around the stadium helping set up for games, walking along the sideline checking on his volunteers and coaches, or making sure things are running well over at the red barn. He is always happy to talk, willing to listen, and open to an idea that is good for Allatoona. His actions are his message…they tell us to buy in to your local school community, give your time, and our families will all benefit from the effort. Phil, you have made a lasting impact at Allatoona High School, we appreciate you.”
2019 SCOTT BURSMITH AWARD WINNER
Nominated by: Assistant Principal Carrie O’Connor
In 2008, Allatoona High school opened its doors led by Principal Scott Bursmith. In his seven years as principal, Allatoona rose to become one of the top schools in the state of Georgia for academics, athletics, and the arts. Mr. Bursmith was instrumental in creating a school environment that focused on shaping the students of Allatoona to become servant leaders in a competitive global environment. The Scott Bursmith Impact Award was established in 2017 to recognize those that continue to serve the students of Allatoona High School. Open to anyone who has positively impacted the Allatoona community, this award honors those who go above and beyond to promote student achievement in a variety of avenues.
On Friday, October 25, 2019, prior to the Bucs Varsity Football game vs the Osborne High School Cardinals, Anthony Hampton was presented with the Scott Bursmith Impact Award. Beyond his role in his regular day job, Anthony has served as an Allatoona parent every year since the school opened, with his last daughter graduating last year. Beginning in 2008, Anthony served as part of a team to install much of the technology in the school. That carried over into his help with the football team as equipment manager as well as technology specialist. Anthony has done everything at the school from fixing sound systems on Friday night, setting up new technology in classrooms, and running the sound so we are able to host graduation here on campus. Anthony supports all programs on campus, regularly attending other sporting events as well as fine arts concerts.
Anthony’s impact can most be seen through the members of the teaching staff at Allatoona. Many times, he has helped give advice on home and car repairs. He is well connected in the community, and his contacts have helped many Allatoona staff when in need. He and his wife Deborah have assisted the Allatoona community many times in last minute t-shirt and embroidery designs through their store in downtown Acworth. Overall, Anthony provides his love of the school and community of Allatoona to anyone that needs assistance.
Nominated by Assistant Principal Carrie O’Connor, Carrie believes that Anthony is the most underappreciated member of the Allatoona community. Whenever there is a major event on campus, Anthony is here to make sure that everything flows smoothly. Former principal Scott Bursmith said of Anthony, “Anthony Hampton is most deserving of this honor because he is a true friend of Allatoona High School. He also is a great friend to me personally. If I ever find myself in need and had only one phone call, it would be to Anthony Hampton. His work and devotion to this school, faculty and students has contributed to Allatoona’s greatness. He loves America, loves the Buccaneers and never gets tired of winning.” Athletic Director Amie Howard says of Hampton, “For the past four years, Anthony has kept me sane on set up for events at Allatoona. Whether it be a microphone malfunction on a Friday night, setting up for graduation, or giving advice on technology that can help Allatoona become a better school, Anthony has been there to make it happen. His children have long since graduated, but he still spends his time helping the students, faculty, administration, and community of Allatoona. He is one of a kind, and half of what he accomplishes and does behind the scenes is never known. We wouldn’t be able to do half of the things that we do without him.”
Anthony Hampton is the embodiment of the Allatoona mission to be Anchored in Excellence. Instrumental to the Allatoona community, Anthony Hampton is best summed up through the words of Principal Candace Wilkes, who was here when the building was opened, and believes that the work and support of the many families who volunteer on our campus helped to create the Allatoona high school that we love for our students to attend. “Anthony Hampton is one of those parents who has spent over a decade giving his time and support to Allatoona High School. When you get to know Anthony, you learn that he is dependable, trustworthy and willing to go the extra mile for you. He is the type of person you hope to call a friend. You can find him arriving early every Friday morning during football season to set up for the home game. He is the type of person you can call with a problem, and he knows someone who can find the solution. The solution may be driving to Dalton, Georgia, because he has a friend willing to donate carpet, or spending hours to set up the sound system so we can hold graduation on campus. I feel honored to call him a friend and know he has truly made an impact on Allatoona High School.”
2018 SCOTT BURSMITH AWARD WINNER
Nominated by: Assistant Principal Carrie O’Connor
The recipient of the 2018 Scott Bursmith Impact Award is Mike Linch, senior pastor of North Star Church. Mike is joined on the field by his wife Anne Linch and son Casey Linch, as well as former principal Scott Bursmith and current principal Candace Wilkes.
Beyond his role of pastor at North Star Church, Mike Linch is the parent of Allatoona High School graduates and currently serves as an assistant Allatoona Baseball coach and the football team pastor. Beginning in 2008, Mike helped to establish the baseball booster program and served as the head of the board for several years before beginning as an assistant coach. Baseball coach Keith Hansen describes him as being selfless, and always here to help in whatever capacity we need him. Mike has done everything from cleaning the field…to coaching and mentoring our ballplayers. Football coach Gary Varner agrees with this assessment saying that Mike is the first to encourage students and never misses a practice or game. Mike’s support is not only felt by our football and baseball teams. He drove to Columbus last Thursday to cheer on our Lady Bucs softball team and stood in the stands Tuesday night as volleyball defeated Alpharetta.
Mike’s impact also goes beyond the athletic fields to teachers, students, custodians, and the community. Last year, Mike helped to cast the vision for the 10 year celebration of Allatoona, AIO, a decade of excellence at Allatoona High School and has previously sat on the principal hiring committee for the school. Throughout every school year, Mike and his team can be seen hosting teacher tailgates, working concession stands, and bringing gifts during teacher appreciation week. During times of crisis, Mike provides support to the students of Allatoona by serving in whatever capacity they need. He does all this while also taking the time to encourage individual teachers as he walks through the halls of Allatoona. From hosting events in his church to mowing a lawn on campus, Mike does everything with a heart of service for the Buccaneer family. Many describe him as essential to Allatoona, our students, our staff, and our community. Mike Linch believes in building leadership capacity in any and everyone around him. Mike lives this out through his monthly Lunch with a Leader program and podcast.
When nominating Mike, former staff member, Benji Morrell described him as, “the ultimate servant leader… someone who has made Allatoona what it is today.” He has served as a role model for thousands of kids and parents, as well as many teachers and coaches who have walked through the doors of Allatoona.” Allatoona student Hunter Paulsen says that Coach Mike “makes everyone feel good
when he is around… He never lets you down and would do anything for you.”
Mike Linch is the embodiment of the Allatoona mission to be Anchored in Excellence. Instrumental to the Allatoona community, Mike Linch is best summed up through the words of Allatoona 11th grader Asante Das, he “inspires us. He makes us tune into the player and person that is the better half of us.”