Scott Smith Leads State Technology Center Students

February 4, 2009 | | Internal Press Release

February 4, 2009 Sandy Smith, Marketing Coordinator sandy.smith@chattanoogastate.edu (423) 697-3159

Scott Smith leads State Technology Center Students

Scott Smith recaptured something he thought he’d lost at Chattanooga State, his drive. After high school, somewhere between the ages of 16-20, Mr. Smith was happy making what he considered “all the money I needed to get by.” He continued in this state of complacency for several years until his daughter Trinity, now two years old was born. According to Mr. Smith, “I recaptured the excitement (I had) after high school graduation.”

Mr. Smith worked in the security and fire alarm business for eight years prior to returning to school. After you’ve worked in that industry for a while, he says “anyone can tell who wired a box when they open it.” He was always pleased when his work was identified because he tried to go that extra 25 percent above the 100 percent. “I always go above and beyond because that’s all I know to do.” When he made the discussion to broaden his horizons and further his career, Mr. Smith chose to study industrial electricity at Chattanooga State’s Tennessee Technology Center. Over the course of the past year, not only has he distinguished himself as an outstanding student, but also as a leader. He was elected the local president of Skills USA. He’s also among 27 finalists, chosen from across the state, vying for the honor of being the Tennessee Technology Centers’ “Student of the Year.” “The person chosen for this honor will serve as a spokesperson and represent all of the Tennessee Technology Centers at Tennessee Board of Regents meetings and the Tennessee Legislature until March of 2010,” says Mr. Smith.

Nine regional winners from the east, west and middle regions of Tennessee have been chosen for recognition at the American Technical Education Association (ATEA) national conference awards banquet on March 11 here in Chattanooga.

Initially only five regional finalists were to be chosen, but after intense interviews of all the candidates by ATEA board members, legislators, business and community leaders, nine were chosen. The regional winners will each receive a laptop. However, the state winner receives a new, fully loaded Kia Rio. In addition, the winner’s instructor and TTC coordinator will be honored. In December 2008, during a meeting in Murfreesboro, Mr. Smith was elected the statewide president of Skills USA. With the help of other state officers, Mr. Smith’s goal for his term of office is to travel the state encouraging other technology centers that are not participating with Skills USA to become involved or as he puts it, “get with the program.” The statewide Skills USA conference will be held in Chattanooga at the Marriott, April 19-22. Mr. Smith will complete his studies at the TTC in May with two diplomas, one in industrial electricity and the other in electronics, He is the consummate overachiever, and plans to perform his duties as local Skills USA president through August and as state president through November of this year. Mr. Smith says his mother is “tickled to death’ about his accomplishments. He is the first person in his immediate family to attend college. His grandfather quit school in the third grade to go to work. When his grandfather died, Scott’s father quit school in the eighth grade to support his family. His father died when Scott was 15-years-old, Mr. Smith plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. However, those plans will be on hold because he promised his wife Andrea she could complete the last two years of her nursing degree. When asked how he manages to handle all his responsibilities, Mr. Smith says, “Trinity is my secret weapon, my pride and joy and the motivation for me continuing my education.” His advice to high school students pondering their future is simple. “It’s best to go to school now. Starting 20 years later, many people don’t get the chance I did to have a successful career. Don’t take your education for granted.” ###