Thomas Stone se­nior named CRD Stu­dent of the Year

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Tiarra McIl­wain, a se­nior at Thomas Stone High School, was named the Ca­reer Re­search and De­vel­op­ment (CRD) Stu­dent of the Year for 2016 at the an­nual em­ployer/em­ployee break­fast held April 22. McIl­wain worked at Jour­neys, a shoe and cloth­ing store in the St. Charles Towne Cen­ter, as part of the pro­gram.

McIl­wain was se­lected for the award fol­low­ing three lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion both at the school and county lev­els. Com­mit­tees com­posed of staff mem­bers, com­mu­nity mem­bers and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­ter­viewed stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

“I loved the ex­pe­ri­ence, and I had fun as I learned a lot of skills,” McIl­wain said in the re­lease.

McIl­wain’s su­per­vi­sor at Jour­neys, Deme­tre Wells, said Tiarra ex­celled as a sales­per­son and con­sis­tently lived up to Jour­neys core value of driv­ing sales with ev­ery ac­tion. Wells com­mended McIl­wain for her work ethic and said she ex­ceeded the max­i­mum ex­pec­ta­tion for em­ploy­ees.

“I loved to see her clock in for work and I am go­ing to hate to see her leave,” Wells said in the re­lease.

Stu­dent nom­i­nees, all se­niors, are se­lected by the high schools and for­warded to a school sys­tem com­mit­tee for con­sid­er­a­tion. Nom­i­nees were Jor­dan Lancaster of Henry E. Lackey High School; Amayia But­ler, Se­lena Thomas and Am­ber Vasquez of La Plata High School; Ja­son Thomp­son of Mau­rice J. McDonough High School; Au­tumn Can­tor of St. Charles High School; Mea­gan Auth and Tiarra McIl­wain of Thomas Stone High School; and Tayha Top­pin of West­lake High School. The CRD Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee in­ter­viewed and se­lected three fi­nal­ists: McIl­wain, Auth and Top­pin.

Em­ploy­ers and stu­dent em­ploy­ees gath­ered at the Greater Wal­dorf Jaycees Com­mu­nity Cen­ter for the an­nual break­fast, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Eighty-two stu­dents and 62 su­per­vi­sors par­tic­i­pated in the 2015-16 school year pro­gram. The CRD pro­gram, for­merly known as the Co­op­er­a­tive Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram, pro­vides a bridge from school to work, class­room in­struc­tion, work ex­pe­ri­ence and on-the­job train­ing re­lated to a stu­dent’s ca­reer goals.

The Co­op­er­a­tive Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram was launched in 1971 at La Plata and Lackey high schools, ex­panded to Thomas Stone in 1972 and then to McDonough in 1979. West­lake started of­fer­ing the pro­gram in 1998. North Point launched the pro­gram in 2009 with its first se­nior class, and St. Charles High School added the pro­gram this school year. Stu­dents in­ter­ested in the pro­gram can con­tact the CRD co­or­di­na­tor at their school.


Tiarra McIl­wain of Thomas Stone High School, cen­ter, is the 2016 Ca­reer Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Stu­dent of the Year for Charles County Public Schools. Also pic­tured are Thomas Stone Prin­ci­pal Michael Meiser, left, and Deme­tre Wells, su­per­vi­sor at Jour­neys, the cloth­ing store where McIl­wain worked to com­plete the pro­gram.

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