Emily Swafford named Bradley County Schools’ CTE Student of The Year

Bradley Central High School FFA has a long tradition of celebrating scholarship.  In the past, FFA has assisted with the award ceremony to honor CTE students from all career areas and their accomplishments.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, this celebration of success is taking on a different form, Bradley Central High School FFA and Bradley County Schools CTE Department are celebrating the completion of another successful year through the development of a CTE Student of the Year. 

The Bradley County Schools CTE Student of the Year Award is given to the student who exhibits traits of CTE excellence through Leadership, Community Service, Career Technical Student Organization participation, and Classroom/Academic Achievement.  Each Bradley County Schools Career Technical Education teacher was asked to nominate one student for CTE Student of the year.  Thirty-one students were nominated.  The ten finalists are Kylie Estrada, HaLee Kazy, Jacob Long, Kaylei Peak, and Emily Swafford from Bradley Central High School and Mariliis Bateman, Sydney Brady, Sydney Lawson, MaKaylah Shoemate and Maggie Thompson from Walker Valley High School.   A selection committee announces Emily Swafford as the 2019-2020 Bradley County Schools CTE Student of the Year.

Click Here for Emily Swafford’s CTE Student of the Year Video.


Thank you to Bradley Central FFA for producing this video recognizing the scholarship of the Bradley County Schools Programs of Study within Career and Technical Education.

Think Success-Think CTE.  Bradley County Schools Career and Technical Education


Congratulations to the Bradley Central High School CTE Student of the Year Finalists!!!

Kylie Estrada

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Kylie Joelle Estrada, a Bear Scholar graduate at Bradley Central, has focused her CTE studies in Health Sciences, specifically, nursing.   She has enjoyed serving in many leadership roles. She is the student council Vice President, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) Co-President, an officer in National Honor Society, member of the Chick-fil-a Leadership Academy, and the founder of Court Cuties (a group that works the concession stand for the basketball games).  By being a part of these clubs, she has grown as a person and learned that in order to be a true leader she must first know how to serve others. 

She has been able to lead and participate in many service projects. She participated in “A Night to Shine,” “ACT Study Day,”  “Literacy Party,” “Teacher Appreciation,” “Notes Week,”  “Firefighter Chili,” and monthly National Honor Service projects. She helped to provide health screens and checks to the students at Bradley Central High School and worked as a CNA in the mornings before school, using her Nursing Assistant Certification she earned in her CTE classes.  She has served on the medical staff for Peerless Road Church, where as a worship team member, she has assisted in the church nursery, a Backpack Giveaway and served groceries to the homeless and needy.  Along with participating in any church activity/fundraiser she can, she attended a mission trip to Panaba, Mexico where she spent 10 days ministering and helping develop children’s ministries and programs there.

Kylie has been involved in HOSA each year of high school and is currently Co-President. She has led many service projects with that club such as donating to The Caring Place, offering her services in health screenings, and leading a Halloween trick or treat for special needs students at Bradley.  She has also participated in Night to Shine, a special needs prom led by Tim Tebow’s organization, for the past four years through HOSA. Competing each year in HOSA at regionals, state and twice at nationals, she was a first place regional HOSA winner in the Dental Science category, finishing in the top ten at State. Kylie has been on the Gold Honor Roll since the 6th grade and is a B’s and Bars recipient. She was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to Lee University, where she has also competed 12 dual credit hours toward pre nursing through Lee University and was selected as a Lee University Rymer Scholar.

HaLee Kazy

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

HaLee Kazy, a Cambridge scholar who will be receiving her AICE Diploma, has focused in Agricultural Sciences and is currently President of the FFA at Bradley Central High School.  She has attended various leadership training events, including FFA Leadership camp and 212/360 Leadership Conference.  She has utilized the experience gained in these leadership activities to build connections with her fellow students to improve their experiences in high school. She is currently one of 18 state FFA officer candidates and hopes to continue practicing these leadership skills by helping lead the TN FFA during the 2020-2021 school year. 

HaLee has assisted in River Rescue, Night to Shine and Rise Against Hunger.  As the 2019-2020 National Honor Society Vice President, HaLee played a leading role in activities such as the “Literacy Party,” “Adopt a grandparent,” “Parents Night Out,” and “Spring Fling.”  As a Beta Club Member, she has attended State Convention where she won first place in their state Ag-Science Bowl. She is a three year officer in the FFA where she has played a major role in the success of “Farm Day,” the Greenhouse Sale, and the National Chapter Award.  Each year, her participation in Poultry Evaluation, Meats Evaluation, Equine Evaluation, Livestock Evaluation and Floriculture Career Development Events has earned her “Freshman of the Year,”  “Sophomore of the Year,” “Junior of the Year,” and “Senior of the Year” recognition in the FFA Chapter.  She has been active in 4-H events such as Land Judging, the swine project, and she represented Bradley County 4-H at the 2020 Tennessee Cattleman’s Convention where her youth livestock team won 1st place in the Livestock Quiz Bowl earning the right to represent Tennessee at the 4-H National Livestock Quiz Bowl at the North American Livestock Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

HaLee won a $500 scholarship for her team’s first place finish at Tennessee Tech’s Ag-Science Quiz Bowl in 2017.  She received six hours of college credit for being accepted and completing the 2019 Tennessee Governor’s School for Ag-Sciences.  She has served as the Chair of the Parliamentary Procedure Team for the last three years and has recently been recognized as the 2020 Boyd Trew Scholarship Recipient and the Dekalb Leadership Award.

Kaylei Peak

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Kaylei Peak, a 2020 Bear Scholar graduate of Bradley Central High School, has focused in A/V Production and has served as both President of the National Honor Society and Vice President of Skills USA.  She has planned, led and attended community service projects such as “Fables and Fairytales,” the Salvation Army’s “Angel Tree,” “Parents Night Out,” and has volunteered at several parent-involvement events at Oak Grove Elementary School.  

 In April 2019, Kaylei and a partner used technical skills they had acquired in Audio/Visual Production classes to create a PSA that showcased the importance of CTE courses to compete at the state-level in the National Skills USA competition.  In November 2019, she competed in the technology portion of the TN Beta Convention.  She and her partner developed a video expressing how Beta Club prepares today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. They won 3rd place and are now eligible to compete at the National Beta Convention in June.  

Her studies gave her the opportunity to work closely with Scott Webb, BCS Instructional Technology Coordinator, to edit and write for Bradley County Schools monthly newsletter “The Director’s View.”  This experience enhanced her writing ability and professional publication experience while inspiring her to pursue journalism as a career.

Jacob Long

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Jacob Andrew Long has focused on Mechatronics and Principles of Machining during his time spent at Bradley Central High School. Jacob is a leader in his studies, often demonstrating his robots to multiple companies and to the school board.  Jacob has participated in “Stem on the “Greenway,” “Stem Nights,” and the annual “Ashley Lauren Clothing Drive.”

Jacob was the head programmer in the State Robotics team for Skills USA.  He served as the head programmer on the BETA Robotics Team, which placed 1st in the State and 5th in the Nation. He became the STEM Ambassador for BAYER during 2018 after winning an essay competition and scholarship to the Space Academy. Through CTE, Jacob has been mentored by an environmental engineer from WACKER which has allowed him to gain another perspective in the field of engineering. 

Jacob has developed various machining skills, as well as numerous trouble-shooting skills in the field of mechatronics. He has accumulated dual-enrollment credits in machining with TCAT as well as in mechatronics at Cleveland State. Jacob hopes to gain an engineering degree at UTC.  With a Siemens level I Certification and a NIMS Certification, Jacob has a great head start.

Emily Swafford

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Emily Swafford will graduate as a Bear Scholar at Bradley Central High School as an Education and Training and Family Studies concentrator.  As Vice President of FCCLA her junior year and President her senior year, she has assisted, led and organized many community service projects for Bradley Central and the community.  She has played a major role in the success of such activities as STEM on the Greenway, Showtime Savvy, Bears vs. Harvey, Red Ribbon Week, Paws for a Cause, the Special Needs Prom, Hands for the Homeless, Community Outreach, and Prom Perfect. She was selected to be a part of the T4 Committee, which is a drug prevention group whose goal is to educate middle schoolers on the dangerous effects of using drugs. She has completed nine mission trips to El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Topsail Beach, NC, and Clarkston, GA.  She also assists her church’s children’s church and Vacation Bible School.

During Emily’s junior year, the TAP class created the Educators Rising Club at Bradley Central High School to be implemented the following year. She became a member of the Educators Rising Club her senior year, where the main project was a Kindness Campaign. She has maintained a 4.0 in her TAP classes and Family Studies classes. She won first place in the “Classroom in a Box” competition and competed in “My Teaching Portfolio.” She was an intern for a fourth-grade class at Oak Grove Elementary School with Mrs. Trish Sherlin. This internship will advance her future plans to become an elementary teacher. 

Emily has been a member of FCCLA her entire high school career. Her sophomore year, she competed in the Star Events, state competition, where she placed fourth.  She has had perfect attendance for two years.  She was a Silver medalist at FCCLA state competition two times and a 1st place medalist at FCCLA district competition.  She received the Superlative: “Most Likely To Return As A Teacher.”

Congratulations to the Walker Valley High School CTE Student of the Year Finalists!!!

MariLiis Bateman

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

MariLiis Bateman has spent her time studying Sport and Human Performance during her time at Walker Valley, where she is a state honors graduate graduating with distinction. Her leadership has been displayed within several programs at Walker Valley. She has worked diligently with clubs such as BETA, National Honors Society, and HOSA for many service hours projects. Additionally, her leadership lives within the legacy of Walker Valley’s food pantry. As an officer and first president of the club, she helped establish a firm system to provide food and snacks for students who are in need. Most significantly, she is known for her leadership outside of school by teaching a taekwondo program to inner city kids with low incomes. 

She lives by the motto, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!” That is evident in her community service.  She is active with “Feeding The Valley” where she gives back to students who are in need of food.  Through Beta club, she has participated in many service opportunities to further build our community. These events include basketball game concessions, serving at Salvation Army dinners, club presentations, trunk or treats, aiding supplies to inmates, and Operation Christmas Child. She has assisted behind the scenes operations to aid in the success of the NHS Food Bank Community Food Drive.  With HOSA, she has assisted the community through medically based service opportunities such as blood drives and inner club fundraisers.

 She has completed her clinical hours at Benchmark Physical therapy, where she assisted a physical therapist with daily tasks.  Very active in HOSA, she participated by representing the club in competition at state and regionals (2019 Physical Therapy regionals: 3rd, states, 2020 Physical Therapy regionals: 1st place). While enrolled in Clinicals, MariLiis was able to achieve her clinical medical assistant certification.  Career-wise, her medical assistant license exhibits her understanding of basic and advanced medical routines, thus, indicating her readiness to work with clients. She has also been recognized with the Dream Keeper’s Award, AAU Outstanding Athlete Award, and 2020 Martial Arts Hall of Fame Award.

Sydney Brady

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Sydney Brady, a graduate of Walker Valley, has focused on Agriculture.  She has served as FFA President (19-20), FFA VP (18-19), and FFA Historian (17-18).  Throughout her high school career, she has had the opportunity to represent AG & CTE at various events on the local, regional and state levels.  By participating with various other organizations, she has been able to take part in community service projects, livestock projects, judging events and leadership teams.  She has helped to facilitate community partnerships at local events, along with promoting Walker Valley’s program in the county. She has participated in the Athens Area Art Council Summer Camp, CowPea Festival, and has served as her school’s 4-H Livestock Team mentor.

Sydney is a 2019 FFA State Degree Recipient.  In FFA, she participated in the State Dairy Handlers CDE, where she placed 4th in 2017, 3rd in 2018, and 2nd in 2017. In FBLA, she served as Historian, placed 6th in Region 6 Agribusiness test in 2019, and was Voting Delegate at State Leadership conference.  As a four year member of DECA, she served as a voting delegate at state leadership conference as well. She is a four year member of BETA Club and STEM Leadership Team.  As a leader in Bradley County 4-H, she has participated in the Swine, Beef & Dairy projects where she has won various awards at the Local, Regional, State & National levels. Her honors and recognition include 2018 & 2020 Jersey Queen, 2019 Angus Queen, Chapter Greenhand Award, 2019 TJ Caywood Senior Beef Showmanship Award Winner and 2019 Supreme Heifer at the Bradley County Summer Livestock Show.

Having the opportunity to complete hands-on projects throughout her Ag classes, she has learned valuable skills to practice at home on her family’s farm, and moving forward as she studies Animal Science at MTSU.  The computer & business class has allowed her to learn computer skills that are necessary for her career field of study and the ability to run her own operation sometime in the future. 

Sydney Lawson

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Sydney Lawson has studied in the Therapeutic Services Program at Walker Valley High School where she is graduating with honors and distinction.  From the time she walked into Walker Valley High School as a freshman, she knew she wanted to pursue a healthcare career. Since then, Sydney has been heavily involved in all things CTE. Being a HOSA member all four years, she had the desire to teach, inform, and to be a leader for others. Regardless of the size, importance, or difficulty of a given task, she strives to complete it to the very best of her ability. She has assisted other students in her classes especially during Pharmacology and as a Medical Therapeutics Service Learner. She truly cares about each student in the CTE classes and wants them also to be successful and accomplish their health care dreams. This year she had the opportunity to help HOSA contestants get ready for regional competitions. 

She has assisted and dedicated her time to “Have a Heart, Give a Sole 5K,”  the Samaritan Center, Bradley Healthcare, Salvation Army, “Operation Christmas Child,” school concessions, the NHS Induction Ceremony, the Walker Valley Food Drive, Wesley United Methodists Meal Preparation Program, and the Special Olympics.   Sydney worked and attended most HOSA meetings.  During the Fall of 2019, she attended the Lower East Tennessee Regional HOSA Competition as a Pharmacology Competitor and Conference Seminar Attendee.  She has assisted with sign ups for the annual Blood Assurance Blood Drive and assisted with elementary school biometric screenings.

During the past 4 years of being involved in CTE courses, Sydney has accomplished many things. She is a licensed pharmacy technician at Central Drugstore and a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. She kept her CPR certification up to date each year. She has completed three dual enrollment courses at Lee University: Comp.1 and 2, and Psychology. She has earned the Pharmacy Technician Certification and CCMA Certification. Her involvement in health science courses have helped her to discover a passion for nursing. She will begin pursuing a career as a Nurse Midwife this fall.

MaKaylah Shoemate

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

MaKaylah Shoemate is a Walker Valley graduate whose CTE Focus is Mechatronics.  While at Walker Valley, she has had the privilege to participate in multiple leadership opportunities, such as serving as club treasurer for Junior Civitan for three years and in Interact as the Appalachian District Governor. She has also had the opportunity to take part in STEM leadership and be an ambassador for YSYF (Your Skills Your Future). 

These leadership positions allowed her to participate in many community projects and share their importance. These activities included “Ronald McDonald House Adopt a Meal,”  “Life Bridges Pancake Breakfast,”  “Cowpea Festival,”  “STEM Day,”  “STEM on the Greenway,”  North Lee and Charleston Elementary Rocket Projects, and “STEAM Night” at Parkview and Waterville Elementary.  She has also participated in Bell Ringing, Empty Stocking Fund Party, 3 Kings Feast, and Angel Tree during Christmas.

Makayla is a member of Skills USA, NTHS, SWE, and STEM Leadership Team.  She has competed in the Engineering Technology and Design contest and placed 1st in State in 2018 and 3rd in State in 2019.  She has had the opportunity to complete an occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) 10 hour industry certification and dual enrollment mechatronics (Electrical Components, Mech Components/ Electric motor, Electro-Pneu/Hydra Control Cir, Digital Fundamentals and PLCs).  After high school, she plans on attending Cleveland State and participating in the Advanced Technology Institute. CTE dual enrollment gave her the ability to have 12 credited hours already completed.

Maggie Thompson

CTE Student of the Year Finalist

Maggie Thompson has concentrated in the Teaching as a Profession career cluster during her time at Walker Valley High School. Maggie has had many opportunities to contribute leadership to her high school and CTE. The classroom is a main area in which she has been a strong leader. She tries her best to lead others in finding ways to participate in any events that may be related to or to promote Career Technical Education.  Maggie has volunteered and served in the concessions for sports, Halloween bashes/ carnivals, the National Honor Society canned food drive, delivering books to elementary school students, Camp Living Stone, cleaning at Bellefounte Baptist Church, and working in the nursery.

Maggie’s Career Technical Student Organization Participation included “Educators Rising” where she prepared pencils and notes for middle school students doing state testing, wrote notes in books to give to elementary school students, and contributed to a sunshine cart to show appreciation to teachers.  She also participated in Teaching as a Profession III, where she observed an elementary teacher and students daily to see how their typical school day went, led a third grade class in their morning routine and work for several weeks, and worked one on one with students to simply help or catch them up. In TAP III and the other levels of the class, field trips were taken where she was able to work together with and help her classmates out in various areas.  She has also been awarded the Calhoun Alumni Scholarship which will be put towards her schooling at Cleveland State Community College.

          She has acquired various skills while in the Teaching as a Profession CTE classes such as communication, public speaking, leadership, working with peers and coworkers, knowing how to properly be an authoritative figure when that time comes, and knowing how to distribute her knowledge of things among people. She was able to put what she had learned in the classroom to practice when she observed at the elementary school. Through her CTE course work, she has ultimately gained experience, and that is a huge aspect of the teaching profession.

Bradley County Schools Career and Technical Education and Bradley Central FFA have partnered to develop the Bradley County Schools CTE Student of the Year Award and Scholarship.  The CTE Student of the Year Award is given to the student who exhibits the most employability skills through their Leadership,
Community Service, Career Technical Student Organization participation, and Classroom/Academic Achievement.  Each
Bradley County Schools CTE teacher was given the opportunity to nominate one student for CTE Student of the year. Thirty-one students
were nominated.  Each young man and woman will receive a CTE Student of the Year Medallion to wear with the graduation regalia.

Congratulations to these great students:

Bradley Central High School: Aleksey Kyslytsya-Machining Technology, Autumn Allen-Business, Brianna Bettis-Cosmetology, Bryson Cartwright-Welding, Cheyenne Harrell-Culinary Arts, Cuppie Kyle-Health Science, Dustin Barnett-Agricultural Engineering, Emily Quinn-Criminal Justice, Emily Swafford-Teaching and Education and Family Studies, Gunner Wright-Health Science, HaLee Kazy-Agriculture, Haley Atwell-Cosmetology, Jacob Long-Mechatronics, Jordan Frerichs-Information Technology, Kaylei Peak-Audio/Visual Production, Kylie Estrada-Health Science, Laney Jones-Business, Lucas Armstrong-Maintenance and Light Repair, and Ryan Lawson-Collision Repair and Construction.

Walker Valley High School: Alondra Suarez-Business, Andrew Starnes-Audio/Visual Production, Arizona Reyes-Business and Marketing, Cinnamon Warnock-Business and Marketing, Ethan Cavanaugh-Agricultural Mechanics, Griffin Walker Broome-Marketing, Luis Daniel Pastor-Computer Science, Maggie Thompson-Education and Training, MaKaylah Shoemate-Engineering and Mechatronics, MariLiis Bateman-Health Science, Mary Townzen-Health Science, Samuel Lauterback-Engineering and Mechatronics, Sydney Brady-Agriculture, and Sydney Lawson-Health Science.

Bradley Central High School Transportation Cluster Programs Collision Repair and Maintenance and Light Repair students and teachers hosted a car show at Bradley Central High School today, September 26, 2019.  The Bear Knuckle Car Culture exhibit featured over 50 cars ranging from off-road vehicles to classic street rods and everything in between.  This successful annual event has grown every year over the last three years.  Teachers Rob Parker, rparker@bradleyschools.org, and Tim Turner, tturner@bradleyschools.org open this car show up to the entire school during 3rd block/lunchtime.  Rob Parker explains that the teachers are excited about the growth of the show which is a great introduction to careers in the world of transportation and exposes students to the programs of study available in Collision Repair and Maintenance and Light Repair. Tim Turner added that he was proud of the efforts of the students who arranged the car show using volunteers, a community car club and high school student participants.  Turner also shared that this is a way for ALL students who love cars and vehicles to learn interesting information about transportation even if they are not able to take classes in the regular programs of study.  It is a culture…Bear Knuckle Car Culture.

Claire Townshend, Chase Lawson, and Virginia Willis, Walker Valley High School Criminal Justice students competed in National SkillsUSA and earn 2nd place.  The students were featured in a Cleveland Daily Banner article outlining the competition.  Bradley County Schools CTE recognized the students at the August 2019 Board Meeting.  See the article attached to this post.

Cleveland Daily Banner Article Click Here


Engaging Students in Authentic Learning Experiences Connected to Local and Global Issues is more than just a course for Shawn Williams and Dak Keylon who completed a Micro-credential certification in the subject area.  The subject is the concentration of everyday lessons in Machining and Mechatronics programs which the teachers instruct.  Both programs of study cooperate heavily with business and industry to produce authentic project-based learning activities.  Using the concepts learned in the micro-credential course, students in Keylon and Williams classes compete in Career Student Organizations of SkillsUSA and Beta Club Robotics.  Going above and beyond the expected demonstrated in completing the course is just one way to two teachers strive every day to prepare college and career-ready students.


Administrators, teachers, and students visited Resolute Forest Products as part of the Cleveland Associated Industries regular scheduled meeting and the Tennessee Manufacturers Association Roadshow presentation.  CTE school members learned about the employment trends of the state, needs of employers, and the various components of Industry 4.0.  Denise Rice, Director of Tennessee Manufacturer’s Association told those gathered about the history of the industrial revolutions 1, 2, and 3 while outlining the future of manufacturing and the industrial revolution 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things integration into practice in Tennessee.  Members of the group toured Resolute Foresty Products, CAI meeting host.  Connecting to Industry, looking toward the future: Growing Students, Building Futures in careers that have not even been discovered yet.