THINC students take home awards for HOSA, DECA, FIRST Robotics and National Technical Honor Society

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Students at THINC College & Career Academy have earned high honors for their career and technical skills with nationally acclaimed organizations. They have also been able to apply some of the skills they learn in the classroom to excel with a number of different groups, including the healthcare professional group HOSA, the emerging leader and entrepreneur group DECA, the international high school robotics competition FIRST Robotics, and National Technical Honor Society.

“Excellence in career and technical pathways is a cornerstone of our success at THINC,” says THINC CEO Kathy Carlisle. “Our students who are members of technical organizations are consistently excelling and proving the value of skills-based learning. We’re especially proud of the students with HOSA, DECA, FIRST Robotics and National Technical Honor Society, who have recently earned special awards for their achievements.”

One of those students is THINC Senior McKenna Johnson, who also attends LaGrange High half of the school day. Johnson recently placed second in Medical Assisting at the State Leadership Conference for HOSA-Future Health Professionals, held in Atlanta. To get there, she first placed top 50 in the state to qualify for the event in the state capital. During the conference, she placed top 17 in a Round 1 exam. This qualified Johnson to participate in the Skills Competition, where she demonstrated the Sterile Gloving technical skill from start to finish. She has also earned her Clinical Medical Assisting certificate, so when she graduates high school she will be eligible for a career as a medical assistant anywhere in the United States.

The purpose of HOSA-Future Health Professionals is to develop leadership and technical HOSA skill competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition, which is an integral part of the Health Science Education instructional program.

Outside of HOSA, THINC’s school-based enterprise, The Spark, is a school-based store that offers smoothies, packaged food items, and other beverages to students and staff at THINC and West Georgia Technical College. The Spark has achieved Gold Level Re-Certification and will be recognized at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida. It’s one of 483 school-based enterprises in the United States to earn this level. The students who worked on the certification were Keirsten Robinson and DJ Farrow, with the assistance of their advisor, Mrs. Jami Briggs North. The Spark has operated for four years at THINC, providing food, beverages and other retail items to students and local businesses.

A school-based enterprise (SBE) is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market. SBEs are managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate National Curriculum Standards in Marketing, Finance, Hospitality and Management.

THINC’s FIRST Robotics team spent part of their spring break at the state competition in Cartersville. Currently ranked #12 in Georgia, the THINC FIRST Robotics team placed fourth at the district event in Dalton in March, qualifying them to move on to the FRC Peachtree State Championship. Members of the team are Kaitlyn Bartlett, Jery Chadwick, Annazier Chelcy, Damien Cox, Sam Johnson, Ian Joyce, Grace Martin, Zyshonn Morris, Brandon Nestor, Dillian Potts, Justin Rachella, Drew Strickland and Eli Thrailkill.

FIRST Robotics Competitions are the ultimate “Sport for the Mind.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.

In addition, THINC recently inducted 22 students into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). The students were required to have a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.25 GPA in their career technical courses, be an active member of a career technical organization, and have an advisor recommendation. During the ceremony, held at Del’Avant, students received NTHS pins and certificates from their career technical student organization advisors, as their names were called, along with mention of their future college plans. The event also included a candle-lighting ceremony.

Since 1984, the National Technical Honor Society has been the leader in recognizing outstanding student achievement in career and technical education. THINC students inducted into NTHS were Austin Barber, Kaitlyn Bartlett, Zoe Billingslea, Damien Cox, Jaquavious Daniels, Ella Eiland, Gakhya Felix, Skyler Holden, McKenna Johnson, Ian Joyce, Akierriya Lovelace, Grace Martin, Zyshonn Morris, Brandon Nestor, James Powell, Bella Sanchez, Mariana Sanchez-Ramirez, KeOnthany Seals, Lily Skipworth, Jessica Sousa, Drew Strickland and Emily Watkins.