Eighth-graders Evan LaRoy (far left) and Bria Lawless (far right) flank assistant principal Kristin Boynton and guidance counselor Daniel Gregory, as the four of them hold up the third banner recognizing Siegel as a Path to College school.

By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools

For the third consecutive school year, Siegel Middle has been designated a Path to College school for 2020–2021 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Believing it is never too early to impress upon their students the importance of looking ahead at their respective futures, administrators at Siegel — assistant principal Kristin Boynton and guidance counselor Daniel Gregory — planned and hosted a series of four Path to College events in each of the past three school years.

They have hosted and participated in the annual Tennessee College Application and Exploration Week, Tennessee FAFSA Frenzy, Tennessee College and Career Planning, and Tennessee College Signing Day.

The commission recognized Siegel’s “commitment to expanding a college-going culture” by presenting the school with its third banner in as many years.

“Thanks again for the great work you do to ensure all Tennessee students have the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education,” wrote Suzette Telli, statewide service coordinator for the commission, in a letter informing Gregory of Siegel continued success.

Siegel Middle Principal Kim Stoecker said, “This early education is important because it provides many opportunities for students to prepare for high school. While in engaging in activities, students also explore RCS high schools and the pathways available to them. This insight allows students to view future course possibilities and become excited about their next steps.”

September is Tennessee College Application and Exploration Month.

The ongoing lessons include everything from exploring careers to researching colleges, universities, and technical schools as well as learning about financial aid opportunities.

However, the pandemic has limited some of the activities and prevented guest speakers from meeting with students in-person, but the school has continued to collaborate with the community and business partners to provide learning opportunities for students, Stoecker said.

“As students become cognizant of their future possibilities,” Stoecker said, “they can begin to brainstorm and envision their hopes and dreams for their lives.”

Stoecker then concluded, “Siegel Middle is proud to earn its Path to College and looks forward to continuing this tradition.”

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