Archives for October 2015

What is it like to be an Academy of IB student?

I will admit IB was one of the most stressful two years of my life. Anyone who says it was easy either didn’t try or were probably a genius of some sort. However, it was also one of the best decisions I had ever made. I came from a small Christian school where I probably would have been valedictorian, but after freshman year I decided I wanted to challenge myself academically. I am beyond glad I did because going into college has been one of the smoothest transitions I could have imagined. I was prepared for the workload and had a significant understanding of most of the content already. I wrote my 4,000-word essay (the Extended Essay), but in college the longest paper I have written so far has been 400-700 words.

I can also say that I found a great family community in IB. I know that even after years I could probably remember all the jokes we made and all of the acronyms and experiences we had. Not only did I find good friends, I found friends in the teachers. Never have I met people so invested in wanting their students to succeed. Even when we were so annoyed, in the end it was in our best interest because we were pushed to do better than average. The teachers were also just great friends, and I know that if I ever needed anything I could email or call them and they would be extremely happy to help.

Overall I think I bring up IB in conversation at least once every two weeks. When explaining a concept to my friends they listen well because they know I learned it in IB and I know what I’m talking about. I mention that I was in IB to my teachers and some automatically see me as a different student because they know I’m essentially at a different level than my peers. The things I learned in IB will forever be relevant in my college career but also in life. I learned how to be aware of my global surroundings and to care about expanding my horizons. I wouldn’t be the open-minded person I am now without IB. Just know that IB is a true commitment and I wouldn’t do it if you’re not prepared to give it your all.

Hillsboro High School opens a working branch of US Community Credit Union for students to run


Hillsboro High School made history as it opened a working branch of the US Community Credit Union (USCCU) inside the school. Students will run and work in the branch as part of the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communication.

Today’s announcement also marked the official renaming of the Academy to include the US Community Credit Union naming rights. These rights are given for significant contributions to the Academy, including material supports, volunteer hours, job shadowing, internships, externships and more. USCCU is the first Academy business partner to earn naming rights at two different high schools: this one at Hillsboro and the US Community Credit Union/ Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality and Finance at McGavock High School.

For senior Ty Carney, a student financial service representative for the new credit union, his summer was unlike any other he had experienced, thanks to his paid internship at the credit union.

“I wasn’t just sitting at home like I normally do. Working at the credit union is something I will forever be grateful for. It has taught me that I am in control of my spending. I learned that I can make or break my future. Managing my money better has helped me plan and save money for the things I want. I have a better understanding of what I put my parents through when I surprise them with a text telling them I need $500 for a school trip that departs in a couple of weeks,” Carney said.

US Community Credit Union

Hillsboro, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the state of Tennessee, has emerged as an incredible school that is achieving at a high level. Community partnerships enhance the school even more, as students succeed by engaging more in school and in the community.

“Today we celebrate a total of eight branded academy partners across the district as well as two branded learning laboratories. To become a branded academy, a business partner must commit to at least $100,000 in donated community investment to an academy during the first year and $50,000 of community investment in the following years,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele explained. “The US Community Credit Union has far exceeded these requirements. Since their initial branding at McGavock High School, nearly 100 student interns have been trained, staffed and run a US Community Credit Union branch in their high school. Today these opportunities will be extended to Hillsboro High School. ”

Hillsboro High School Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham, who opened a bank account at the credit union after the ribbon cutting, remarked that the credit unions are well respected branches, often with high accuracy rates. Shuler is pictured below with student Ty Carney.


“This is what Academies of Nashville are all about- getting students excited about connecting what’s in the classroom with what’s happening in the real world,” Pelham said.

“It’s really fun working here,” said Hillsboro student Justin Stern, who said it is easy for students and teachers to open accounts – only $5 for a savings account and $10 for a checking account.

US Community Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Paul Johnson said there is no better way to embody the vision of the company of “people helping people,” than to “educate our students and provide them a real-life work experience… The Academies provide a pathway for student success.”

The credit unions have also been good for business, according to US Community Credit Union Chief Operating Officer Ben Johnson, since student employees have lower turnover rates in the summer and address what would otherwise be a work scheduling gap, he said.

“The students have really stepped in and filled that gap,” said Ben Johnson. “Our students at McGavock and Hillsboro have been some of the best employees we have had.” Some students have even been able to transition to full-time employment after high school, taking advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit as they continue on to postsecondary education. “We have retained at least one employee from each graduating class at McGavock for at least part-time employment since we’ve opened there,” Ben Johnson said.