Gracie Hudspeth named 2019 Cullman County Career Technical Education Student of the Year

Left to right are Health Science teacher Tracy Smith, Cullman County Career Technical Education Student of the Year Carmen “Gracie” Hudspeth, and Health Science teacher Adriann Basch. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Carmen “Gracie” Hudspeth, a Hanceville High School senior enrolled in the Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) Health Science program, was recently selected as CATA’s 2019 Career Technical Education (CTE) Student of the Year.  This year she completed studies at CATA to qualify her as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and also completed a Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course at Wallace State through a landmark dual enrollment partnership between the community college and county school system.

CATA’s Health Science teachers both had words of praise for their star pupil.

Tracy Smith told The Tribune, “Gracie is the perfect example of a successful Career Tech Student.  She is reaping the reward of her hard work and determination.

“Gracie started her junior year at CATA, unsure of which health-related career she wanted to pursue.  She used these last two years to explore career options and to gain useful hands-on experiences. These experiences afforded her a greater understanding of the requirements for having a successful career in health care while solidifying her desire to work in nursing.  

“Gracie has never shied away from challenges both personally and academically.  Gracie has maintained a job since the age of 16. Not only has she worked the maximum number of hours possible while being a high school student, but she has also maintained an A average and a spot in the top 10 of her class at Hanceville High School.  This year, Gracie has successfully passed her Nurse Aide Certification (CNA) through our program. Additionally, Gracie completed Wallace State’s Basic EMT Dual Enrollment program with eligibility to become certified after graduation later this month.

“These are just some of the amazing accomplishments Gracie has been able to accomplish while in high school.  Gracie has proven to herself, her family and her peers that nothing or no one will come in the way of her achieving her goals in life.  I am excited to see what the future holds for Gracie, her drive and determination will lead her to a path of success in both career and life.”

Adriann Basch added, “Gracie Hudspeth is more than deserving of the prestigious honor of being named 2018-2019 CTE Student of the Year.  Gracie represents all the qualities of an exceptional CTE student. She holds herself accountable, never makes excuses and works hard to achieve her high goals.  Gracie truly has a servant’s heart and is genuinely a good person. Tracy and I have enjoyed having her in class, and we see a wonderful health care provider in the making.  We could not more proud of Gracie and all of her many accomplishments.”

Hudspeth said of her studies at CATA, “It’s meant so much, because all I knew was that I wanted to be in health care.  And the first thing I thought I was going to be was like a pediatrician. I don’t even like kids; I like kids, but I’m not good with them!  So, when I came here and found out what I wanted to do, and they would make us search up careers and stuff in health care, and I figured out what I wanted to do.  This has really inspired me. It’s helped me find out who I wanted to be and what I want to do when I grow up. Well, I am grown up, but you know what I mean: when I get out to the big world!”

Hudspeth plans to become a travel nurse working in surgery/anesthesia, and will start at Wallace State this summer before transferring to UAB to complete her studies.

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W.C. Mann