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WHS Seniors Earn TCC “Take Stock in Children” Scholarships; Hutchins Named Mentor of the Year

Margo Thomas, TCC's "Take Stock in Children" program adminstrator


Photo left to right: Katherine Spivey, J.D. Metcalf, Grace Wallace, Julianna Lockwood, Nhi Hoang, Tatum Tucker, Tavelle Curry, Tia Unsell, Derek Allen, Wanda Lewis, Sue Hutchins


May 26, 2017


Eight Wakulla High School 2017 graduating seniors earned full scholarships to Tallahassee Community College under the “Take Stock in Children” (TSIC) state program in partnership with the Florida Department of Education and the TCC Foundation.


In addition, Wakulla educator Sue Hutchins was named the TSIC Mentor of the Year for Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla Counties.


Scholarship recipients are Wakulla High graduating seniors J.D. Metcalf, Grace Wallace, Julianna Lockwood, Nhi Hoang, Tatum Tucker, Tavelle Curry, Tia Unsell and Derek Allen.


TSIC is based on the belief that children achieve academically when they are given extensive support combined with motivation and accountability. Students must follow through on meeting criteria throughout their middle and high school years to earn the scholarship.


Recommended middle school students sign a contract agreeing to several requirements. First, they must maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average throughout middle and high school.  They also must attend several Saturday TSIC Academies that deal with topics such as state and federal financial aid tips, character building, applying for college, and managing personal finances. In addition, they are required to do many hours of community service, plus meet monthly with the mentor assigned to them.


TSIC targets students in middle school who are recommended by their teachers and administrators.  Middle school educators recommend students based on being the first generation in their families to attend and/or complete college; financial need; and evidence of effort to keep up their grades. 


Eight of the original 17 Wakulla County school system students recommended for TSIC in middle school are graduating with scholarships because they adhered to all the TSIC requirements throughout middle and high school.


“Being in AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) is not a requirement, but all eight of this year’s recipients are AVID students. AVID is a grades 6-12 college prep program for students who meet the same type of requirements as those for TSIC,” states AVID District Director Katherine Spivey.  “I believe that AVID played a role by these students having the structure of an elective class every year that incorporates tutoring, mentoring, and accountability.” In Wakulla, AVID is offered at Riversprings Middle, Wakulla Middle, and Wakulla High School.


Sue Hutchins, experienced middle and high school educator in Wakulla public schools, was chosen by TCC as the TSIC Mentor of the Year for Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla Counties because of all her hard work with these students.  Their mentor in earlier years, Wanda Lewis, was also on hand to celebrate their success.  TSIC Program Administrator Margo Thomas from TCC awarded the scholarships and Mentor of the Year plaque at Wakulla High School.


States Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “These deserving students will have many more career opportunities by earning this TSIC scholarship. They already know what it takes to work hard to achieve a goal.  And their mentor Sue Hutchins certainly helped keep them on track. Mentor of the Year is a very appropriate honor TCC bestowed on her.”