117 Work Ethic Diplomas awarded to Carter County students

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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Despite a pandemic, 117 Work Ethic Diplomas for the 2019-2020 school year went out. 
They were awarded as follows: Cloudland High-22, Happy Valley-20, Hampton-29, and Unaka-49.
The Work Ethic Diploma is a workforce readiness credential that can be earned by high school seniors in participating counties. Those who earn this diploma will be given preference for job interviews at partnering employers.
Participating students will receive a list of standards, which include 14 achievement categories. Each achievement category has one, two, or three subcategories that are assigned a point value.
Students must score 20 points in order to receive this diploma. 
Various companies participate in this program including Wellmont Health System, Express Employment Professionals, and Kelly Services, to name a few. 
According to Terry Hubbard, who serves as Director of Special Education and is also over school guidance counselors, students begin this program in August of their senior year.
She said students continued working in this program this school year, despite the circumstances. 
Hubbard described the additional rules these students abided by, including maintaining a high GPA, having limited absences, limited tardiness, passing drug tests, completing projects, etc.
“Even though school was out, they still had to put in effort and work, it was hard on them but they managed to get it done,” Hubbard said.
During COVID when volunteer work was hard to find, Hubbard said these students persevered. They helped deliver meals, they checked on neighbors, and they participated in online work with real-life scenarios. 
Hubbard said those in charge of students that kept track of the work they completed were guidance counselors who she also gave praise to. 
“The counselors have done a fantastic job with this, and promoting it,” she said. “They support the students and track their progress – that’s a lot of work on a counselor but they really do a good job with it.”
Hubbard said she hopes the program can continue next year despite the uncertainty regarding the beginning of and implementation of school as of now. She said this program has been around for three years. 
In addition to the program, Hubbard provided information on the scholarships Carter County Schools have been provided. 
The four Carter County High schools received over 7 million dollars in scholarships and money still pending.
Respective schools and the amount received are as follows: Cloudland High 1.2 million, Happy Valley High 2.5 million, Hampton 1.5 million, and Unaka High 2.0 million.
“Carter County seniors, from the hard work they’ve put in and the counselors helping them find scholarship money, this is what has been awarded so far, with pending money still coming in,” she said. 
Hubbard wanted to share a message of appreciation to students. 
“I’m very proud of you and I know you’re going to make a difference for all your hard work,” she said.

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