Unaka High School brings home honors during Appalachian Fair

Cloudland High School was not the only school to receive honors at the Appalachian Fair this year. Unaka High School left with many students becoming finalists in a variety of categories, highlighting the student body’s passion for their crafts and their competitive spirits.

Business Instructor and CTE Principal Melissa Loveless said their students do a variety of projects like this throughout the year, and she determines which of them should go to the Appalachian Fair competition.

“They have buildings specifically for CTE,” Loveless said.

The dozens of placements was incredible, she said, in part due to their school’s size, as Unaka has to compete with many different schools across the area.

“We compete with all of Sullivan County schools,” she said. “They often have three or four times the number of students compared to us.”

The fair brings students together from across the East Tennessee region to compete in a wide variety of events, from beef cattle to computer science.

In particular, Loveless highlighted Matthew Wilson’s third place computer components display, in which Wilson created a life-sized model of a computer, down to the wiring in the back, with components such as clay.

Loveless said she uses the competition as a way to motivate her students throughout the year.

“I have a bulletin board in my room, and it has all the ribbons of students who have won in the past,” she said.

She said the number of finalists this year even surpassed what they got last year, a sign Loveless’s methods of inspiration are working.

“Every year, as we learn more about [the fair], it increases the number of students who get recognition,” she said.

Another category they emphasized was Urethane Single Stage Paint competition. Unlike other competitions in this category, the single layer means there is no chance to “buff out” any mistakes. Colby Jones and Cody Edwards either had to get it right on the first try or fail completely, so to win first place was quite an achievement.

She said they are looking forward to participating next year, as well as hopefully bringing home more blue ribbons to hang on the bulletin board.

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