First Day of School… for Students and Career Coaches


On August 1, 2022 the 450 students at Greene County High School (GCHS) returned for classes in the morning and their 130 volunteer career coaches from the community returned for a kickoff in the afternoon.

The kickoff began the 5th year of the Career Coaching Program at the Greene College and Career Academy (GCCA) located inside GCHS. The largest class of new career coaches in the program’s 5 year history were recognized – 33 new career coaches to work with the 100+ new freshman students. Since last May was the first graduating class of students in the coaching program for all 4 years of high school, this year is the first opportunity for career coaches to return to the program even after their 3 or 4 students graduated – the 7 returning career coaches received a big round of applause.

Members of GCHS staff including Eddie Hood (Principal), Jessie Draper (Assistant Principal), Derrick Williams (Athletic Director) and Laura Ringer (Freshman Transition Class Teacher) welcomed the community volunteers and thanked them for partnering with the school. Eddie Hood expressed his appreciation for the career coaches by stating “Thank you for getting involved in building relationships with our kids. We want our kids to have positive relationships in a positive high school environment. We are into transforming a school culture that will one day transform our community”.

Members of GCCA staff including John Ellenberg (CEO), Mariana Mansfield (CTAE Director), Marjorie Ellis (Career Coaching Coordinator) and Greg Simmons (Graduation Coach) expressed their appreciation of the career coaches’ commitment to the GCCA Career Coaching Program. John Ellenberg reminded everyone that “Career coaches are making a difference. Promotion rates are increasing and discipline referrals are decreasing. Our students are more focused on their futures. You are part of the team and we thank you”.

The experienced career coaches were excited about returning to student meetings and working together on planning for their students’ futures. The new career coaches will meet their students in an assembly on September 13th and have been training over the summer to get ready. The first meeting of students with career coaches is truly amazing as 33 career coaches meet over 100 students all at the same time, beginning a 4 year relationship.

Greg Simmons demonstrated the enhancements to his career coaching website that serves as a friendly front end to the many involved functions performed behind the scenes. The website is a single source resource for many things contained in the GCCA Career Coaching Program. It is a truly unique tool making the many interactions of 130 career coaches with 450 students possible.

The meeting ended with Jonathan Daniel capturing the assemblage of many of the 130 career coaches with drone photos taken at the entrance to GCCA.

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