EAGLE CORNER: Seniors receive recognition from governor’s office

By CHRISTY WRIGHTSMAN, guest columnist

May is here and it is celebration time for the Brown County High School Class of 2022.

Our seniors are preparing to walk across the big graduation stage and complete their K-12 education. As we lead up to this important moment, our school district and community will recognize these students for several of their accomplishments. One accomplishment 20 of our seniors have achieved this year is the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate. This certificate is aimed at recognizing seniors who have developed and demonstrated the employability skills and work ethic necessary to enter today’s workforce.

The Governor’s Work Ethic program connects employers to their local school district through a College and Career Readiness Advisory Council designed to create a collaborative partnership that benefits the community. Our GWEC Council meets three to four times a year and includes representatives from industry, school and community organizations. The program provides students with an understanding of necessary employability skills for today’s in-demand jobs and allows them an opportunity to demonstrate these skills while in high school.

This program also provides employers with potential workers who understand the values and importance of responsibility and perseverance in the workplace. The employers and organizations in our community and region have partnered with us to support this program through their participation in the GWEC Council, interviews for students, financial contributions, student rewards and, most importantly, their expertise.

I am happy to share that over the past three years this program has grown from a couple partners to over 20 industry and community partners. Likewise, student interest and achievement of the certificate has increased. In August of 2021, 34 seniors from Brown County High School committed to the GWEC program. Over the course of the year, 20 students met the requirements to earn the certificate.

Requirements include the completion of six hours of community service, a minimum GPA of 2.0 and one or fewer discipline referrals.

Students must also demonstrate perseverance, problem-solving and service to others. They possess a positive attitude and strong communication skills. GWEC students have an ability to be self-starters and critical thinkers. They are reliable, responsible, organized, punctual and practice self-management. The demonstration of each of these qualities and skills are verified by their teachers, administrators and employers in various environments and through specific activities such as creating a resume and engaging in interviews.

The following students met the requirements to earn a Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate: Abigail Bowman, Kelli Branson, Illyana Cox, Mackenzie Crum, Austen Deckard, Annika Evenson, Josephine (Marie) Fields, Zamilee Johnson, Josh Miller, Kali Newton, Abigail Padgett, John Redding, Aden Rice, Summer Romick, Mary Rygiel, Mattie Satter, Tristen Shields, Rhett Silbaugh, Samantha Smith and Kylie Workman.

I encourage other community organizations and employers to reach out to me and share your willingness to support this program.

Thank you to our current partners: Allison Steele Designs, Brown County Designs, Brown County Community Foundation, Brown County Drug Free Coalition, Brown County Visitors Center, Brown County Inn, Career Resource Center, Cummins Foundation Inc., Central Credit Union, Designscape, Hills O’Brown Vacation Rentals, McDonald’s, Mainstream Fiber, Purdue Extension, Rotary Club of Brown County, St. Vincent de Paul, Turning Point, YMCA of Brown County, Wagers Family Eye Care, Webb &Sons Auto Body and Work ONE.

Christy Wrightsman is the director of career connected learning for Brown County Schools. She can be reached at [email protected]