Counselor Connection

Class of 2019

Counseling Department Newsletter November 2018

FAFSA is OPEN!

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a student's application for financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year and must completed by students planning to go to a postsecondary institute (2-year, 4-year, and technical schools) to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. The FAFSA application is available at FAFSA.gov. If you need help with FAFSA completion, please call (423-581-1600 ext. 1010) or stop by the counseling office.


Please remember that the FAFSA is FREE!! There are many internet scams which require payment to file a FAFSA. You should never have to pay for any part of this process.

After submitting the FAFSA, a student should be sure that he/she receives 2 e-mails: one verifying that the FAFSA was submitted and another stating that the FAFSA was processed.

Extended Hours

A counselor is available until 6:00 on the following evenings for your convenience. Please call 423-581-1600 ext. 1010 to make an appointment.

November 8 (open 4:30-6:00 because of county-wide counselor meeting)

December 13

January 10

January 24

Tennessee Promise Community Service

To remain eligible for the TN Promise Scholarship, seniors are required to complete and electronically submit 8 hours of community service between November 2, 2018, and July 1, 2019. Please check the bulletin board outside of the counseling office for community service opportunities.

WHAT COUNTS AS COMMUNITY SERVICE? Community service is time contributed to a nonprofit or public service organization. The community should be benefiting from the work you do! Students can also volunteer in their field of interest to gain experience. This means that job shadowing may count toward your community service requirement. Make sure you are volunteering with an actual organization (not an individual), you are not being paid, you are being supervised by someone who is not a family member and your activity does not include proselytizing (sharing faith). Click here for more information and for community service and job shadowing opportunities on the TN Promise website.

Also, many opportunities are posted on the bulletin board right outside of the counseling office (see picture below)!!

HOW DO I SUBMIT MY COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS? All community service hours must be submitted through the community service online form found here. After submitting your community service hours, you will receive a confirmation email. Print this e-mail as proof that you completed your hours - you will need this to earn points for your Work Ethic Diploma!

community service bulletin board

Work Ethic Diploma

One important milestone that many of our seniors have the ability to reach is successful completion of the Work Ethic Diploma (WED). Last year, about ( ) percent of the Class of 2018 was awarded the WED, and we plan to surpass that percentage this year! Students who reach this milestone are recognized at graduation by wearing with royal blue cords with their graduation regalia. They will also receive an invitation to the Senior Honors Banquet.


The Work Ethic Diploma was first offered in the 2015-16 school year as part of a LEAP (Labor Education Alignment Program) grant. The standards that students are required to meet to earn the Work Ethic Diploma reflect the skills and characteristics that are needed for students to be college and career ready. More than 30 Lakeway region businesses and industries guarantee an interview to students who have earned the Work Ethic Diploma and who meet other job-related qualifications..


Students received their Work Ethic Diploma folders during TNN in October. With the help of some new videos (you can find them here), students will be tackling one standard at a time. Click on the links below for more information. Work Ethic Diploma and necessary documentation is due to TNN teachers on April 13. Please contact the counseling office if you have any questions about the Work Ethic Diploma.


Work Ethic Diploma Standards

Work Ethic Diploma Industry Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

Major Clarity Career Exploration Program

This month, West High is excited to be rolling out Major Clarity, an easy-to-use on-line career exploration program, during TNN. If you would like to learn more about Major Clarity, please visit their website. Soon you will be able to have your child log in to his/her account at home to show you their career assessment results, possible career options based on those results, and other suggestions tailored to meet your child's needs. (Please do not create accounts - every high student already has an account through Hamblen County Schools.)

U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The Tennessee Department of Education is excited to share an opportunity for each Tennessee high school to nominate a maximum of two seniors to be considered as state finalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. One senior may be nominated from each school for the general academic component of the program, and one senior may be nominated for the CTE component of the program. The department will decide which students of these nominees will be state finalists and move on to the national competition. See below for details.

Any student interested in being nominated for either program should see his/her school counselor by Monday, November 5.

General Academic Component
For this component, high school seniors will be considered based on academic success and perseverance. The program emphasizes the following areas on their application: academic achievement, leadership skills, community involvement, overcoming obstacles, and strong writing skills.

CTE Component
For this component, high school seniors will be considered based on excellence in career and technical education (CTE). This component emphasizes the following areas on the application: academic rigor, technical competence, employability skills, and ingenuity and creativity.

Project Graduation 2019

Project Graduation provides a safe, drug and alcohol free place for our students to celebrate the milestone of high school graduation! It includes a night of music, games, food, fun, and memories to last a lifetime. Graduates can win cash and prizes contributed by area businesses and the community.

To carry out these ambitious plans, lots of help is needed. Parent volunteers may contact Carol Manning at 423-312-3808 or Projectgraduationhamblen@gmail.com. There are many ways for parents to help (set up, clean up, food, decorations, publicity, etc)- you are not required to spend the night.

Upcoming Events

We have a new calendar of events (see below) posted right outside of the Counseling Office. Stop by frequently to see what's new!


November 1: Class of 2019 deadline to apply for TN Promise Scholarship

Nov. 2, 2018 - July 1, 2019 - complete and report 8 hours of community service (must report on-line) (Please note that students may only use community service hours performed between these dates.)

February 1: Complete FAFSA to ensure Tennessee Student Assistance Grant availability (based on income) and TN Promise eligibility

March 18: 2nd TN Promise meeting - Mandatory- at 5:30PM at West High cafeteria

April 15: Deadline to submit Work Ethic Diploma Requirements

April 15: Deadline to submit Tennessee Scholars Applications

November Calendar of Events

Credit Recovery

Seniors who need credit recovery should see their counselor for an application. After-school credit recovery began on October 16. Sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-6:00 p.m. . Payment may be made on MyPayments+ on the West High website or in the Business Office at the Hamblen County Board of Education.

College Scholarship Deadlines

Below is a list of FIRM scholarship deadlines for some local colleges. Please note that in some cases, students must apply and be accepted before they are able to access the scholarship application(s). It is important to apply well before the stated deadlines!


Carson-Newman University - Apply Early

East Tennessee State University - December 15

King University - Apply Early

Middle Tennessee State University - December 1

Tennessee Tech University - December 1

Tusculum College - Apply Early

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - December 1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville - November 1 (competitive); December 15 (general)

Walters State Community College - February 1

College Day

Each senior is allowed one college day during their senior year. Students are required to submit a parent note to Mr. Kinsler BEFORE going on the college visit. Upon visiting the college, students are required to submit a letter of attendance from the college to the front office to excuse the absence.

Please keep in mind that the best days to visit colleges are Open House or Preview days (typically held on Saturdays) because students and parents have the opportunity to see more campus facilities and have access to more faculty to inquire about specific program requirements, financial aid, admissions, scholarships, housing, etc. A list of these events for some local schools may be found below.

College Visit Opportunities

Click on the school's name to schedule a visit or register for a special open house event.


Carson Newman College

November 3 (Showcase Saturday)

February 23 (Showcase Saturday)

March 26 (Eagle Experience)

April 9 (Eagle Experience)

East Tennessee State University

November 3

King University

November 10

February 23

March 16

Middle Tennessee State University

November 3

Tennessee Tech University

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

November 3 (Blue & Gold Preview)

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Nov. 3 (Rocky Top Tailgate)

Manufacturing Day 2018

ABB in Morristown graciously hosted a group of Hamblen County students on Oct. 5 to learn about careers in manufacturing and celebrate Manufacturing Day 2018. Check this great infographic for more information about careers in manufacturing.
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College and Career Spotlight

Every month we will feature a different college and a different career path on our bulletin board outside of the Counseling Office. Stop by and check out what's new!
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Morristown West High Counselors

Students are assigned by the first letter of their last name.

  • Jill Reuschel: Students A-E
  • Erica Gillett: Students F-L
  • Renae Byrd: Students M-R
  • Melanie Justis: Students S-Z
  • Aimee Howerton: Counseling Office Secretary
  • Emily Ray: Niswonger Care Counselor eray@niswongerfoundation.org
  • Office Contact Information:
  • Fax- 423-581-3229

Free Standardized Test Prep

The following websites have practice test questions, full-length practice tests, and/or testing taking tips for many different standardized tests, including ACT,SAT, PSAT, ASVAB, and Advanced Placement.

Work Ethic Diploma

The Work Ethic Diploma was first offered in the 2015-16 school year as part of a LEAP (Labor Education Alignment Program) grant. The standards that students are required to meet to earn the Work Ethic Diploma reflect the skills and characteristics that are needed for students to be college and career ready. More than 30 Lakeway region businesses and industries guarantee an interview to students who have earned the Work Ethic Diploma and who meet other job-related qualifications.


Seniors will apply in their TNN classes. Students who successfully complete the application process will earn cords to wear during the graduation ceremony. The deadline for meeting requirements and submitting completed applications is April 15, 2019. Please click here to view the Tennessee Work Ethic Diploma standards. Here you will find new videos that explain each standard in detail. Please click here to view a list of frequently asked questions.


Students may use any provider they wish for the 10 panel drug test. To get reimbursed, they bring their receipt (must be under $50) and clean test results to Mrs. K.C. Alvarado at the Hamblen County Board of Education.

Class of 2019 Remind Messages

Don't miss out on important events and deadlines! Please sign up to receive updates from the West High Counseling Department! To receive messages via text, text @mowest2019 to the number 81010.

ACT Dates

Register on-line at www.act.org.


West High ACT Code 431-587 (Where your scores are sent)

West High Test Center Code 193810 (Where you take the test)


Upcoming Exam Dates


*December 8, 2018 - registration deadline is November 2 (November 19 for late registration)

*February 9, 2019 - registration deadline is January 11 (January 18 for late registration)

*April 13, 2019 - registration deadline is March 8 (March 25 for late registration)

June 8, 2019 - registration deadline is May 3 (May 20 for late registration)

July 13, 2019 - registration deadline is June 14 (June 24 for late registration)


Please visit www.act.org for information about late registration and photo upload deadlines.

*The test will be administered at Morristown West High School

Students will not be admitted to the test center without an admission ticket.

SAT Dates

To register and to check for late registration information, visit collegeboard.org/sat/register.


November 3, 2018 - registration deadline October 5 (October 24 for late registration)

December 1, 2018 - registration deadline November 2 (November 20 for late registration)

March 9, 2019 - registration deadline February 8 (February 27 for late registration)

May 4, 2019 - registration deadline April 5 (April 24 for late registration)

June 1, 2019 - registration deadline May 3 (May 22 for late registration)

Advanced Placement Exams

May 6 - U.S. Government and Politics, morning 8 a.m.

May 6 - Environmental Science, afternoon 12 noon

May 8 - English Literature and Composition, morning 8 a.m.

May 9 - Chemistry, morning 8 a.m.

May 9 - Psychology afternoon 12 noon

May 10 - U.S. History, morning 8 a.m.

May 10 - Studio Art portfolios due

May 13 - Biology, morning 8 a.m.

May 14 - Calculus BC, morning 8 a.m.

May 14 - Human Geography, afternoon 12 noon

May 15 - English Language and Composition, morning 8 a.m.

May 15 - Macroeconomics, afternoon 12 noon

May 16 - World History, morning 8 a.m.

May 16 - Statistics, afternoon 12 noon

May 17 - Microeconomics, morning 8 a.m.

Transcript Requests

Students who need their transcripts sent to colleges may see Mrs. Howerton in the Counseling Office to complete a transcript request form. Please allow at least two weeks to process transcript requests.
Wordle image of education terms