Thomas Stone senior named CRD Student of the Year
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.