Grad Track Student Spotlight: Josh Aten

Josh Aten

Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy (BASA) senior Josh Aten is a true example of a “Comeback Kid” with his desire to overcome obstacles and persevere toward successfully graduating in May. Josh’s struggles with staying on track for graduation began because of the struggles he faced during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years when the COVID Pandemic drastically changed the way teachers taught and students learned. Josh had a challenging time adjusting to this change, and as a result, failed biology and several elective classes.

A turning point for Josh occurred when Graduation Specialist Amber Hagy scheduled an Academic Support Meeting. This collaborative meeting included Josh, his parents, teachers, counselor, academic interventionists, graduation specialist, and administrators. Everyone shared their concerns about Josh’s lack of motivation and lack of academic progress in his three academic classes needed to graduate in May. The meeting included outlining an action plan with clear steps for Josh to follow so he could regain momentum and get back on track for graduation.

One important part of the action plan required that Josh work with BASA Academic Interventionists, Kendall Argo and Katie Conrad, to recover missing work, make up assessments and complete current work on time. Ms. Conrad shares, “Josh worked with me during 4th period multiple days to ensure he caught up in all his classes. I am very proud he took things seriously, made changes and met his goals. I know he is very capable of continuing to be successful in school and life.”

In addition to working hard to stay on track as a student, Josh is also part of the Work-Based Learning program which allows him to work at Phil Wright’s Pine Straw Farm approximately 8 hours a week. Josh is gaining valuable work experience that will help him meet his current and future goals. Following graduation, Josh aspires to continue his work on the farm while he invests time and energy into growing his own business, Evergreen Lawncare. Josh has already successfully completed several jobs for customers. He is excited about graduating from BASA and is looking forward to devoting more time to his business while also utilizing all the academic, social and life skills he has learned while being a student in the Barrow County School System.

Grad Track Student Josh Aten

We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.

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