Recognizing an Outstanding StudentCentennial High School, Roswell, GA: At Centennial High School in Roswell, GA, students in the Law and Justice Pathway learn the skills required for a career in law enforcement. Instructor Thomas Washburn, a former law enforcement officer, points to the many opportunities available to his students. He is proud of them, noting that twenty- five former students have enrolled in law school, nine have careers in state or local law enforcement, and three have federal careers. He is especially proud of student Holly Groover, who received a national gold medal in Criminal Justice this year at the SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City.Tom Washburn looks for fingerprints along with National SkillsUSA
award winner Holly Groover“Holly really excelled” said Washburn. “She is probably a better law enforcement officer at 18 than many seasoned professionals.” Groover has won respect from teachers and peers for her enthusiasm, hard work, and community service. She demonstrated leadership skills when she coordinated volunteers from SkillsUSA to work with North Fulton Charities, an agency that runs thrift stores and drives for food, toys, and school supplies. She also applied her course work in a successful internship with the Roswell Police Department. At school, she served as a SkillsUSA officer for two years and was president of her chapter in her senior year. She participated in a three-member team that won the state prize in a mock crime scene event sponsored by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “The students collected forensic evidence, evaluated it, wrote reports – everything an actual crime scene team would do,” said Washburn. She also competed as an individual in Criminal Justice, demonstrating her abilities in constitutional law, search and arrest procedures, and interview and interrogation techniques. She won the state prize and took a first at the national level—the first Fulton County student to do so. Through dual enrollment, Groover received a Specialist in Criminal Justice certificate from Lanier Technical College.Washburn facilitated the start of the Career Tech Program at Centennial High School, which was immediately popular with students and is now a model for other schools that want to offer this pathway.