Unaka High School recognized as an Award of Excellence honoree

Published 8:36 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

NASHVILLE — Volunteer Tennessee’s School Award of Excellence program recently recognized Unaka High School for its outstanding commitment to service. Sixteen schools from across the state were honored at the 2020 Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning in Franklin on February 11. First Lady Maria Lee was the featured speaker during the recognition event and presented the awards to the schools with Volunteer Tennessee’s Board Chair, Tina Hodges.

“It was an honor to join Volunteer Tennessee in recognizing schools from across the state that have gone above and beyond at incorporating service-learning into their classrooms to spark community change and transform students into servant leaders,” said First Lady Maria Lee.

Unaka High School has been recognized for its commitment to service for the past two years. Service projects this year included blood drives, a backpack program, a community car show, a community trunk or treat, Angel tree, shoe and eyeglass provisions, Unicef, Ronald McDonald House, and homeless service projects.

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To be considered for the Award of Excellence, schools complete an application and submit a letter from a school administrator indicating their commitment to service. Critical areas of focus as high quality educational opportunities are food security, mentorship of school aged children, and homelessness, though all focus areas were eligible and encouraged to apply.

According to the principal, Betsy Oliver, Unaka High students believe in showing what good citizens do rather than just telling you. “We want to be the positive influence in our community, and this is evidenced by the large number of service projects we do.” 

Volunteer Tennessee is the 25-member bipartisan citizen board appointed by the Governor to oversee AmeriCorps and service-learning programs and to advance volunteerism and citizen service to solve community problems in the Volunteer State. Volunteer Tennessee’s board of commissioners launched the School Award of Excellence program in 2017 to provide annual recognition for K-12 schools engaged in exemplary service, service-learning, and volunteerism. The purpose of this recognition is to promote youth engagement in the improvement of their local communities.

Please visit www.volunteertennessee.net to find photos of the school honorees and learn more about the Award of Excellence Program.

For more information on Unaka High School’s service history and being recognized as an Award of Excellence honoree, contact Betsy Oliver at (423) 474-4100.