Kennedy instructional assistant Chandar Smith said she had no idea she had won a $10,000 Tenn-K scholarship from WGU Tennessee until it was announced during an awards day at Kennedy, where she is a special education instructional assistant with teacher Roberta Nielsen. So Smith said she was in shock after being oblivious about the award until WGU Tennessee Chancellor Kimberly Estep asked her to step forward in front of a cheering crowd of students and parents in the Kennedy gym.
“We are really proud of Mrs. Smith and this accomplishment,” Principal Janice Irvin said during the Kennedy Kudos ceremony. Superintendent Lyle Aishie also attended the event.
Of the seven $10,000 scholarships awarded to students admitted to WGU Tennessee, Smith is the only recipient in Northeast Tennessee this year and one of only two in East Tennessee. “We had 363 official applicants,” Estep said of a pool that was narrowed by judges in Salt Lake City, where WGU is based, after application forms, essays and interviews.
“We have a partnership with Kingsport City Schools to support its employees with continuing education, so it’s extra special to be able to award a scholarship this big to an employee from the Kingsport system,” Estep said. “Our annual Tenn-K Scholarship is very competitive, and Chandar’s achievement is a testament to the quality of employees in this school system.”
The money, Estep explained, will be spread over four six-month terms that cost $2,890 each, so it is almost a…
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