By Kristi Reed
Thirty students representing the highest performing career and technical education students in the county were honored Wednesday, March 26, during the "Portraits of Success" banquet sponsored by Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and Buford City Schools.
Each school had its own method for choosing its representative in the competition. The school winners then participated in a rigorous countywide selection process which included an essay submission, transcript review and an interview by a panel of judges. The judges, said GCPS Technical Education, Computer Science and Work-Based Learning Director Jody Reeves, were looking for the student who exemplifies what a career and technical education (CTE) student should be.
The school winners, Reeves added, had a combined GPA of 3.5 and had collectively taken more than 90 advanced placement courses. The students' chosen CTE career paths included marketing, human services, audio/visual technology, business management and administration and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This year's honorees included 23 high school students and, for the first time, seven middle school students.
Each school winner was interviewed on stage during Wednesday night's banquet at Gwinnett Technical College's Busbee Center in Lawrenceville. Students were asked questions about their career path, their college plans and career goals in front of a sizable audience which included GCPS school superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, school board members Louise Radloff, Robert McClure and Carol Boyce, and State Representative Tom Kirby.
Simi Shah of Peachtree Ridge High School was named the 2014 Career and Technical Education Student of the Year. Second place was awarded to Benjamin Smith of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology and Geordyn Jenkins of the Grayson Technical Program placed third. Each of the top three students received a scholarship from the Gwinnett Employers Committee.
Local school CTE Student of the Year honorees included:
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Northern Gwinnett County news including the cities of Dacula, Ga. and Buford, Ga.