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News

August 2, 2017


(L-R): Debra Lary, Allen Miller, and Alisa Echols.

Eastside High School and Newton College & Career Academy senior, Allen Miller, was recently awarded the 2017 Georgia Northeast Region Work-Based Learning (WBL) Student of the Year award from the Georgia Department of Education.  Miller received the award at the Georgia Association of Career & Technical Education (GACTE) Conference in July.

“Allen Miller is an extraordinary young man who honors our school and community as he carries himself with integrity and pride,” said Jeff Cher, principal of Eastside High School. “We are extremely proud of this unselfish, hardworking student who has earned this recognition.

According to Debra Lary, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator (YAP) for Newton County School System, “The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding Work-Based Learning / Youth Apprenticeship (YAP) student in each of the six established WBL/YAP regions. To be eligible for this award, a student must be chosen by the WBL/YAP coordinators who supervise the student.”

Miller was nominated by Lary and Eastside High School Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Alisa Echols. The award capped off a successful year for Miller, who was not only chosen as Eastside High School’s WBL Student of the Year but also the 2017 NCSS CTAE Student of the Year.

“To say that Allen Miller is an amazing Youth Apprenticeship student is an understatement,” said Lary. “We nominated Allen because he epitomizes what Youth Apprenticeship is all about. He proves that a student can maintain high academic standards and have a rigorous work schedule at the same time.”

She added, “Another reason we nominated Allen was because of his personal drive. He is very driven in everything he does and understands the importance of the job experiences he is gaining at his job site and his involvement with FFA. And lastly, because of his sense of service. Allen is Eastside High School’s FFA Chapter Vice-President. Even though he has a very rigorous internship schedule, he makes time to give back to his school and community.”

In addition to his recent awards, Miller serves as Eastside High School’s FFA Chapter Vice-President, is a Nursery & Landscape pathway completer, an FFA State winner and convention delegate, a National FFA delegate, participates on the Eastside High School Cow Show Team, and is the winner of numerous FFA Chapter awards. He was also the recipient of the Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship.

As an FFA Officer, Miller has attended all FFA conferences this year and competed in Landscape and Design Proficiency, where he placed second in the State. In January, Miller earned his livestock certification in artificial insemination. This certification allows Miller to breed and sell cows. In addition to his FFA activities, Miller is also a landscaping intern at Miller Properties and Landscaping in Covington, Georgia.

“By participating in Work Based Learning over the past year, I can proudly say that it has helped me decide on two possible career paths,” said Miller. “Before WBL, I knew that I wanted to do something with landscaping or diesel mechanics, but I was not exactly sure which area to pursue. WBL has allowed me to work in those related fields and has helped me focus more on what I want to do.”

Miller added, “All of my agriculture classes have been very instrumental in preparing me for the future. I have gained many technical and soft skills that I have already been able to use while participating in Work Based Learning. My nursery and landscape class really helped me learn techniques and skills that I use at my internship. I’ve also taken many workshops outside of school that have taught me leadership skills and additional landscaping skills. These are skills that I will need to be a successful entrepreneur. Many of the classes that I have taken during my high school career have helped me to become a better student and proficient learner.”

Noting his future goals, Miller said, “WBL has also allowed me extra release time to complete my internship, participate with FFA and keep up my studies. All of these experiences will continue to benefit me throughout my career. My plan is to go to ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College) or a technical school to get the training I need. Although it’s possible that I may not work with landscaping or diesel mechanics the rest of my life, my job has instilled in me responsibility, dedication, time management and financial management. Being in WBL has impacted me in such a positive way and I am so thankful that I have been a part of it.”

The Work-Based Learning Program is offered at all Newton County High Schools to rising juniors and seniors who are interested in a job or internship in their career pathway. Students should see the WBL coordinator at their school for more information.  

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