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CTAE students of year announced
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Newton County School System Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education 2017 Students of the Year, along with their teachers. From left: Zach Pitts, engineering teacher Alcovy High School; Joshua Yang, high school CTAE student of the year; Caleb McGowan, middle school CTAE student of the year; NiQuan Alston, engineering technology teacher at Veterans Middle School. (Submitted Photo | The Covington News)

The Newton County School System (NCSS) recognized countywide career pathway and two overall Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education students of the year at its first ever CTAE Awards Ceremony on February 28 at the Porter Performing Arts Center. The 2017 CTAE Students of the Year are listed in the accompanying table.

The countywide pathway students of the year were selected from school-level CTAE awardees named in each pathway. School-level winners were selected based on an application, resume, and essay as well as an interview. At the award ceremony each of the school-level awardees received a medal.

Countywide awardees in each pathway were selected from the pool of school-level winners in each pathway and named as well as given a trophy at the award ceremony.

The two overall CTAE students of the year, Caleb McGowan of Veteran Memorial Middle School and Joshua Yang of Alcovy High School, were also named.

“Tonight is intended to honor our amazing CTAE students and to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent, in her welcoming remarks. “The students who are here tonight represent the best of our CTAE program. They are here because they have demonstrated great academic success and strong leadership skills while also showing that they have what it takes to compete in a 21st century workplace.”

She added, “We also want to use tonight to highlight the importance of workforce development and the role our school system plays in building the high skills and high demand careers of tomorrow.”

Strauss and Frost, LLC was recognized as the 2017 Work-Based Learning Employer of the Year. In presenting the award, Debra Lary, work-based learning coordinator, said. “NCSS has many business partners and employers who work with our students every year. Strauss and Frost law firm has taken interns for as long as I can remember. They go well over and above what is expected of employers. Because of the internship experiences our students receive, many of them will continue working in the field of law.”

Near the end of the ceremony, Tim Schmitt, CTAE director, offered  these remarks, “As we work with the chamber and economic development office, we have begun to work with a phrase that I think is fitting to share with you as we come to a close tonight: ‘Newton County is about fostering passions, creating opportunities, and driving success.’ And when we say that, we do not just mean the school system, we mean our entire community. CTAE is happy to be part of that work. I want to stress how important it is to find that passion, the opportunity, and success in what it is you do. The kids we have highlighted tonight have done that.”

Newton County School System’s overall and pathway-level Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education 2017 Students of the Year as named at the 1st annual CTAE Awards Ceremony February 28, 2017.



Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education Students of the Year


Middle School

Caleb McGowan

Veteran Memorial Middle School



High School

Joshua Yang

Alcovy High School




Middle School CTAE Pathway Students of the Year


Business Education

Natalia Sanchez, Veterans Memorial


Caleb McGowan, Veterans Memorial

Family and Consumer Science

Jermaine Plunkett, Clements




High School CTAE Pathway Students of the Year


Agricultural Education

Emmalee Richardson, NCCA


Shekima Champagnie, NCCA

Business Education

Maggie Malcolm, Eastside

Career Technical Instruction (CTI)

Kayla Selmer, Newton


Kia Kilgore, Alcovy


Joshua Yang, Alcovy

Health Science / Biotech

Jessica Books, NCCA


Jeffery Vega, NCCA

Nutrition / Food

David Kendall, NCCA

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

Macharia Belgrave, Newton

Work Based Learning

Allen Miller, Eastside