Strategic Plan

Business Description:

Cherokee Central Schools has around 1400 students Pre-k through 12th grade. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality education while empowering the future leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. We offer a unique educational setting were incorporating the Cherokee culture is one of the top priorities.

Mission Statement:

Cherokee Central Schools, in partnership with its families and community, will develop lifelong learners by providing challenging educational experiences that empower students for cultural stewardship, civic responsibility, future-readiness, and academic success in a safe and healthy learning environment.


CCS commits to being culturally, intellectually, emotionally, and physically supportive to all students while providing a safe and healthy learning environment.

In partnership with its families and community, CCS will actively strengthen and enhance learning opportunities to support students’ success.

CCS will increase opportunities for growth to prepare learners to be personally and culturally prosperous.

CCS will provide challenging educational experiences to empower students for academic success.

CCS commits to be guided, supported, and maintained by innovative systems while responsibly managing the district’s resources.

CCS will collaborate with stakeholders to empower students to become lifelong learners through authentic learning opportunities.

CCS will produce globally competitive students with future readiness skills who demonstrate civic responsibility.

Management Team:


Assistant Superintendent

Principals and Assitant Principals 

Cherokee Elementary School

Cherokee Middle School

Cherokee High School




Community Fairs


Children Nutrition



Exceptional Student Services

Industry Analysis:


With my business being education, I am slightly in a different boat than most offering a good or service. We are not in the business of making a profit, but we still produce. This could be to our students or our community. I am going to break it down for you a little for a better understanding.

First, we have demographics. Our school services the entire Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Boundary. The majority of the Boundary is split between two counties. Swain and Jackson. We also have some tribal land located in Gramhm county. Students who are located anywhere on tribal land can go to our school. Also, enrolled members who live off the Boundary are allowed to enroll in our school. We also take others on a case-by-case basis. So, take all those factors and then look at our student population. These students have a lot of different choices on where they can attend school. Of course, we want them to go to school with us, but we do not appeal to everyone. Something we have been working on for some time now is our image in the community. Many people have their opinions on our district, which are no longer valid. Working on our overall appearance will help us appeal more and allow us to gain more students.

With us being a tribal school, we secure funding from several different sources. This could be the BIE, state, and gaming revenue. With that being said, we are a highly blessed district in an ideal economic situation. Each year we average spending roughly $10,000 per student. We have a universal food program, where each of our students receives free lunch. Our entire district is 1 to 1 when it comes to technology. Grades Pre-k-3rd have assistants in each classroom, which is only a few of the blessings we receive. This personally is a huge selling point when students are considering what school to place their students in.

Now that we have talked about two very positive points, let’s get into politics. With the fact being that we are a tribal school, we are government slightly different. We follow some federal rules, state rules, and tribal. Let’s use covid for an example of how we governed tribally when the rest of the world was shutting down, Cherokee shutdown. Minimal access on or off through checkpoints. Some of our teachers had to be granted special permission to even get in Cherokee to access the school. Another way that government affects us slightly different we have to follow tribal orders even if they are different from the stand. Currently, we are still under a mask mandate inside any building on the Boundary. This includes our school, and parents have to consider this when sending their child to us.

Now that we have touched on all these critical factors, I want to connect on what I believe to be our greatest asset, culture. When we are talking about MACROs, I know we do not precisely define culture in the way I am, but my entire situation is different, so why not run with it. There is nowhere, and I mean nowhere, where you can be exposed to the Cherokee culture other than Cherokee central School. You are told every single day. Often students feel more comfortable being around others who understand the social and cultural differences we face in our community. I know personally, it has helped my daughter. She has other friends who are not a part of their Cherokee community, and they do not always understand why she does certain things. Don’t get me wrong, she enjoys spending time with them, but her friends at school do not question it.

Lastly, let’s touch on technology. We are blessed with at Cherokee is the funding to give each student their device. Something that the school can not buy is access to the internet. This is where we are at a disadvantage to other districts. Many of our students do not have access to the internet at home or do not have it available where they live. When we were faced with requiring virtual instruction, we had a lot of hurdles to overcome. We did our best to help where we could to keep the students we had. We handed out jet packs to those who had cell service and gave the paperwork to those who had no choice. We lost some students because we went remote for so long when other districts did not.

When selling education, there is no one set of rules that work for all. Every scenario is different. In our case, we are constantly working to fix our shortcomings to be the best we can be for our community.

Cherokee Central Schools Porter’s five forces are broken down:

  • Competition in the industry

When looking at schools and how we compete in our industry, You have to think outside the box slightly. What is our goal as a school district? Well, that depends on what aspect you are looking at. The top product we would like to provide our students is a well-rounded education. To do that, we must have students to teach. That is what I am going to be focusing on while looking at Porter’s Five Forces. What competition do schools have when it comes to students. Well, the first aspect that comes to my mind is other schools. So now, let’s look at the area. The Qualla Boundary is split up into two counties, Swain and Jackson. Students who reside on the Boundary can choose their county school or Cherokee Central. Many families can also choose to go to either county school and then Cherokee Central on top of that. That said, I would say that those two schools are our top competitors, with Swain being our number one. They better match us in size, and their distance from the Boundary is much closer.

  • Potential of new entrants into the industry

In today’s time, Charter schools are popping up more and more. I consider those and private schools the underdogs, but still a potential threat. These schools are much smaller in our area and can not provide as many choices as public schools or our tribal schools can. What they can offer are smaller classes and the most personalized education. Though I truly believe that schools in our area do an outstanding job providing an exceptional education for our students. It is tough to compete with small classroom sizes or low student-to-teacher ratio, but we can offer some fantastic perks that make Cherokee Central Schools stand out.

  • Power of suppliers

In the business of schools, I would consider our teachers our suppliers. They are the ones providing goods (education) to our students (consumers). In this case, our teachers can have a significant amount of power. A few years back, Cherokee Central Schools decided to raise their pay wages much higher than the states. This was decided after talking with current teachers and in hopes of recruiting the best we could. To get the best supplies (teachers), we must pay better than our competitors.

  • Power of customers

When it comes to driving prices, our customers do not have much effect. Our customers (students) receive the same grade of the product (education) no matter how much the supplies (teachers) prices increase. At Cherokee Central Schools, we do our very best to offer equitable education to all of our students.

  • The threat of substitute products

For substitute products in the school business, you must consider other schools that our students can attend. They can also switch back and forth between districts when they feel they need to. In the end, the students are the ones who ultimately suffer from this. The number of students that go back and forth between schools is relatively low.

Keys to success for Cherokee Central Schools


  • Access to unlimited educational resources
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • 1 to 1 computer access for all students
  • The capability of remote education if needed


  • Provide the highest quality of education
  • Hire the best team possible
  • Provide continuing education and professional development for staff
  • Provide great benefits to keep the top educators in the area


  • Allow equal educational opportunities for all students
  • Create alternatives for those who do not have access to the same resources
  • Provide classroom resources
  • Staff/Student Support


  • Multiple outreach sources to keep parents informed
  • Parent involvement nights
  • Clear Communication
  • Parent/teacher communication

Organizational Capability

  • Large amounts of resources
  • Ability to quickly push information
  • Experienced leadership
  • Centralized campus
  • Tribal support

CCS Top Driving Forces

Household Income/Cost of Education

In Western North Carolina, we are blessed to have great options when it comes to public education. We have an increase in charter schools in our area as well as excellent state schools. At Cherokee Central Schools, we average spending over $7,000.00 a year on each student. Since we still live in such a rural area, we can ensure that our students are provided equal opportunity. When compared to the student schools, we have a huge leg up.

Qualified Workforce

Location, location, location. Cherokee Central Schools is very blessed to university in their back yard with one of the best educational programs in the united states. At CCS, we are constantly partnering with WCU educational program to bring students in to experience the culture at CCS. Often, we can hire some of those exemplary teachers straight out of college. This allows new and innovative staff and gives us a leg up from our competitors.


Our top driving forces, technology and our access to the leading technology offered. Let’s focus on our performing acts theater for one second. We have the top of the line in almost all aspects of our theater. Our students can come in and work on the exact equipment that is used on broadway. In addition, all of our students are assigned a device just for them. Teachers have the top technology offered to them and are at their fingertips. This gives staff and our students a huge leg up in school as well as in the workforce.

2021 Marketing Plan Strategy Outline  

Cherokee Central Schools 


What are your Business Objectives for 2021 year? 

Increase the amount of information that reaches our target audience, promote school events, and help guardians keep up with the calendar.

What are your Business Goals for 2021 year? 

Reach those who do not have phones.

Help remind guardians of scheduled events.

Promote said events.


What are their primary competitive advantages? 

Other schools in our district

A local business that makes money for school events. 

Competitor #1: Swain County Schools

Competitive Advantages: 

a. Larger Audience

b. Larger Area 

Competitor #2: AA Design

Competitive Advantages: 

a. Free-Standing Store

b. Only does one thing

What are the critical differentiators over your competition? Where I am at school, I am at the mercy of what is going on. This includes budget and time.  

How are your products or services unique to your market? Often Schools do not offer the type of services that we offer. 

Is there a new product or service feature that would improve your competitive advantage(s)? 

I was just staying on top of the new releases and what is trending. 


Define the customers for each target segment. How do you want customers to identify or categorize your business for each market segment? How do you want customers to locate or order your product(s) or service(s) for each market 


The audience for Target Segment #1 

Essential Product or Service: Student Events

Market (local, regional, national) Local

Positioning for Segment: WE want as many people as possible to participate in our events. Involving the entire community is vital.

The audience for Target Segment #2 

Essential Product or Service: Calendar set events

Market (local, regional, national) local

Positioning for Segment: Helping keep our parents reminded of scheduled days help ensure on our end that everything runs smoother.


Define pricing strategy for your business and each product or service. (Lowest price or matching price or higher price in local markets) 

Types of discounts, incentives, or special offers: Promos, Free events, food

Customer service strategy: Make sure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. 

Main sales channels and distribution (see chart below) 

VARs = value added retailers  

VADs = value added dealers 


What are your Key Messages to be used in promotions? 

           One Nation, One Family. 

           One Nation, One Team.


Do you have customer testimonials, product ratings, or accreditations that you can include in your promotions? 

   Yes, we always have positive comments and feedback from parents on past events. 

What are your peak seasons for your business? When do you need to generate leads for seasonal sales? 

   Aug, Jan, and May

Do you plan to generate sales online? 

           Not a top priority 

What unique tracking mechanisms will you use to measure results from promotional campaigns? (Unique URLs, Analytics tools, couponing, etc.) Facebook


Cherokee Central Schools Operations Plan

CCS Goals:

  1. CCS will produce globally competitive students with future readiness skills who demonstrate civic responsibility.
  2. CCS will collaborate with stakeholders to empower students to become lifelong learners through authentic learning opportunities
  3. CCS commits to be guided, supported, and maintained by innovative systems while responsibly managing the district’s resources.

Steps to Achieve Goals:

CCS will produce globally competitive students with future readiness skills who demonstrate civic responsibility.

  1. Structured debates
    1. Brainstorm
    2. Organize Ideas
    3. Structure the speech
    4. Prepare the speech
    5. Prepare the Class
  2. Service-learning
    1. Brainstorm
    2. Focus
    3. Implement
    4. Evaluation
    5. Reflection
  3. Project-based learning
    1. Research an Issue
    2. Layout the facts
    3. Define the issue
    4. Research 
    5. Investigate a solutions
    6. Present 
    7. Review

These events will take place over the Fall 2022 semester. The budget is low ($300) due to the minimal supplies needed for the project.

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CCS will collaborate with stakeholders to empower students to become lifelong learners through authentic learning opportunities

  1. Real-life expo
    1. Personal Budgeting
    2. Jobs
    3. Connections 
  2. Internships
    1. Field of Intrest
    2. Pair with Professional
    3. Allow students to learn
  3. Work Professionals Meet and Greets
    1. Pick successful local professionals
    2. Pick students who might pair well with professional
    3. Organize meet and greet
    4. Provide talking points

These events above will take place over the Spring 2022 semester. 

The Real-Life Expo will be a one-time event. The budget is $4000. This allows for prizes to be raffled off and swag and supplies for the event.

Internships will take place consistently due to training being a regularly scheduled class. There is no budget needed for the Internship class. 

Work Professional Meet and Greet will happen weekly. Small groups of students will rotate in meeting different individuals. The budget is $2000. This will allow for coffee and small snacks to make the meet and greet more comfortable. 

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In partnership with its families and community, CCS will actively strengthen and enhance learning opportunities to support students’ success.

  1. Homework Cafe
    1. Provide teachers to help parents learn how to help their students at home better.
    2. Provide a meal for the family
  2. Parent Involvement Nights
    1. Pick Theme
    2. Promote Event on Social Media
    3. Get Students and Staff Involved

These events will take place over the Spring 2022 semester.

Homework Cafe will take place twice a month. This is an evening event, and the budget is $3000. This allows me to provide a hot meal and supplies needed to help with homework.

Parent Involvement Nighs will take place once a month. The budget for these events in total is $5000. This allows for refreshments for all three schools. 

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