By Rima Austin – contributor SPARTA LIVE | March 29, 2018
By the time a high school student reaches the 11th grade, most have decided what they want to do beyond graduation. Those students have picked out a college, and while not all have picked out a major, some of them have. In addition to that, scholarship applications are filled out, and assessment tests are either taken or being prepared for. In some rare cases, however, a student will take the college preparation game one step higher, and this is what Karley Warner, 17, a junior at White County High School, has done.
Born in Florida, Warner and her family moved to Tennessee when she was 5 years old. It wasn’t until fourth grade that she joined the 4-H group at her middle school, but, when she did, that is when she and her family were hooked on farm life. Her mother, Wendy Warner, attributes her job working at the UT Knoxville Agricultural Extension Office, in Sparta, and her daughter’s involvement in 4-H programs, as the reason why Karley Warner is so passionate today.
“She started growing in 4-H,” says Wendy Warner. “That, riding horses, and showing sheep is part of the reason it all got started.”
By the time Karley Warner entered high school, she was still involved in 4-H but decided that joining the Future Farmers of America would get her even closer to her goals. When asked where she sees herself after college, Karley Warner says that her ultimate goal is to be an Extension Agent for UT Knoxville. While she would like to work for them she has decided that UT Knoxville is not where she would like to attend school.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good school,” she says. “But it’s the city, and I need to be in the country.”
Karley Warner has chosen to attend UT Martin located in Martin, Tennessee. It is at UT Martin that the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences is located and where she won a full paid scholarship to attend this summer. Karley Warner explains that it was not a hard decision when it came to whether or not she wanted to apply to the Governor’s School there.
“I really wanted to move forward so I could possibly graduate early,” says Karley Warner. “I wanted to get some classes in before I attended college.”
Applying to any Governor’s School is no easy feat; several people must be involved, including the student’s parents, several members of the high school faculty, and of course the student themselves. The application itself is 12 pages long, complete with a checklist, rules and regulations, and a list of all the essays and recommendations that the student must turn in with the completed document.
Mrs. Alex McGhee, White County High School guidance counselor, was one of the three people who wrote a recommendation letter for Karley Warner. She explains the topics she had to cover that were recommended by the Governor’s School board who review the applications.
“I talked about her academic strengths and GPA,” says McGhee. “I wrote about her involvement with FFA and anything she does outside as well as anything related to the school.”
Karley Warner leaves for Governor’s School at UT Martin, on June 2. For any student interested in attending the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences, more information can be found on their website located at http://www.utm.edu/departments/tgsas/.