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Congratulations to NC3’s May 2022 School on the Rise, Morristown West High School! Morristown West High School, located in Morristown, TN, has issued over 3,000 certifications since becoming an NC3 Certification Center in 2016. Morristown West High School’s success exemplifies their commitment to providing quality educational experiences for their community.

Offering both Snap-on and Festo certifications, the staff at MWHS have a common goal of bettering the lives of students through career and technical education. We had the opportunity to speak to two devoted educators from MWHS, Gregory Hardin and Wesley Harbin. Formerly members of the technical trades for several years, neither saw themselves as an educator when they were originally approached for their positions. After over two decades of teaching, their motivation to continue comes from their students. Mr. Hardin, the automotive service instructor at MWHS said, “I enjoy helping students achieve the goals I once had. That motivates me to keep going.”

As the industrial maintenance instructor at MWHS, Mr. Harbin emphasized the zeal students get when they receive NC3 certifications. As a secondary educator, he admits he isn’t often thanked by students. However, he recalled a recent event that brought him joy, “I was told by the administration that a student praised me and called me the best teacher at the school. You don’t get those moments often, but you realize the impact you make when you do.”

Surrounded by industry opportunities in their small town, MWHS developed a plan to help students enter the workforce or continue their education. Students graduating from MWHS are eligible to transfer their NC3 certifications as credit. In addition, Mr. Harbin said,

Most of the industry around us has come on board to assist students in finding employment. If students receive NC3 certifications, they are promised an interview. Our students are ahead of the game.

The staff at MWHS describe NC3’s curriculum as easily accessible and student-friendly. Having access to PowerPoints and Flipbook Student Manuals makes it easy to implement in their classrooms. The option to take exams more than once is particularly helpful for students who are nervous. Mr. Harbin said,

“NC3 offering students multiple chances to get their certification is a plus. The first time they take it, they may be too overwhelmed to get a passing score. They usually become more comfortable when taking it again.”

Every year, MWHS provides distinguished recognition to graduating seniors who obtain NC3 certifications. Motivation, confidence and a firm understanding are important for students to maintain throughout their CTE education and careers. Despite the former perception of technical education industries, Mr. Hardin believes the stigma is changing. Along with this change in perception, comes an increased need for industry workers. 

“Up until the last few years, most guidance counselors were pushing students to go to college. I think people are realizing there are other options. With this realization, we had to make a change.”

MWHS quickly responded to their community’s workforce needs. As they continue to expand their programs and course offerings, they hope to give students the enthusiasm and confidence necessary to achieve their goals. In the early stages, Morristown West’s CTE programs included a few Snap-on meter certifications. After adding PMI and Festo opportunities, the staff at MWHS are excited to continue attending NC3’s Train-the-Trainer events to expand their programs. 

Congratulations, once again, to Morristown West High School! We are honored to recognize you as NC3’s May School on the Rise. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your success in Career and Technical Education!


Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in June 2022!

Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985, Erika.Staackmann@nc3.net

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