The Drop Collaborative partners with Unaka High School for Award-Winning SAE Program

Published 9:14 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

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The Drop Collaborative is excited to announce a partnership with Unaka High School on their homesite at Stoney Creek, utilizing their Tennessee Department of Education CTE Award-Winning High School Model.

The Drop Collaborative SAE High School Model encompasses four mission components:

  • Provide Land
  • Teach Farming
  • Donate Harvest
  • Mentor Youth

This SAE will be supervised by Cody Ayers, Agriculture Instructor at Unaka High, with assistance provided by Mike Ensor, Unaka High Principal; Dr. Melissa Loveless, CTE Principal; Mark Revis, CTE Director/Supervisor; and Pattie Meyer, Executive Director of Drop Collaborative.

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The program involves developing a personalized learning plan (PLP), setting five SMART goals, and maintaining accurate records under advisor supervision. To earn one course credit, students must complete at least 180 hours of work, demonstrate mastery of Tennessee Department of Education standards, and achieve their SMART goals.

In addition to the students selected for the SAE program, other Unaka High CTE Departments will have the opportunity to participate on the homesite. These students will engage in projects that support the growth and maintenance of the space, as well as initiatives aimed at developing entrepreneurial and small business skills.

Thanks to generous past sponsors, garden beds, composting, gravel, and some tools are already in place. However, due to the scope of the latest endeavor, during the summer, Drop Collaborative and Unaka High will work together to further assess their needs and adapt the homesite.

Over the next several months, the partnership will focus on developing initiatives to include the local senior population, children, the Chamber of Commerce, small businesses, and the police department.