JVG award

Smyth Career and Technology Center has once again been honored by the Jobs for Virginia Graduates program for its educational curriculum. Barry Glenn, from left, with JVG, presented awards to Connie Wyatt, lead JVG specialist, Smyth School Superintendent Dennis Carter, and Rick Blevins, principal and CTE director.

For the ninth consecutive year, Smyth Career & Technology Center has been recognized by the national affiliate of Jobs for Virginia Graduates for outstanding student achievement.

Barry Glenn, president and CEO of JVG in Richmond, attended the September meeting of the Smyth County School Board to announce the award and present certificates to the school and personnel. He said the national recognition from Jobs for America’s Graduates was presented at the national training seminar in Orlando, Fla., in July.

The award is presented for high performance in achieving all five standards of JAG for the Class of 2018.

For the Class of 2018, the JAG standards were 90 percent for graduation rate (SCTC had 100 percent), 60 percent for civilian jobs/military (SCTC had 97 percent), 80 percent for positive outcome (SCTC had 97 percent), 80 percent for full-time placement (SCTC had 86 percent) and 60 percent for full-time jobs (SCTC had 72 percent).

SCTC had 41 JVG members among the graduates earning their diplomas in May and, of those, 11 were going to work full-time, two were entering the military, 22 planned to work part-time and go to school in the fall, and six expected to attend school full-time.

JVG is a non-profit affiliate of JAG serving disadvantaged and at-risk youth in graduating high school and transitioning from school to work. The method used includes a unique combination of in-school and out-of-school services provided by a job specialist.

Some of the barriers Smyth County students overcome to achieve success include 55 percent living with a single parent or grandparent, 24 percent having low academic performance, 71 percent not passing state proficiency exam, 44 percent have a past record of excessive absences, 22 percent have been suspended, expelled or put on probation in high school, 42 percent are economically disadvantaged as defined by public assistance, and 38 percent have a family environment not conducive to career goals.

JAG’s mission is to keep students in school through graduation and provide work-based learning experiences that will lead them to career advancement opportunities or encourage them to enroll in a postsecondary institution that leads to a rewarding career. It is a nine-and-a-half-month program with a 12-month follow-up.

The national organization serves approximately 1,250 high schools, alternative schools, community colleges and middle schools across the country with the help of partners in Virginia including the Virginia General Assembly and Virginia Department of Education.

Glenn, who has spent 48 years in education, and plans to retire this year, presented awards to Rick Blevins, principal and CTE director, and to Connie Wyatt, lead JVG specialist at SCTC. This is Wyatt’s sixth year for the national award.

Glenn said he is proud of the continuing excellent results and congratulated the school and its principal and teachers for the accomplishment as well as the county school board and administration for their support.

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