Middle school business students receive GeorgiaBEST certifications


After demonstrating their ability to perform the critical soft skills required to succeed in the workplace, Flat Rock Middle students in Ashley Hare’s eighth grade Business Education & Computer Science class have earned their GeorgiaBEST certification.

The GeorgiaBEST (Business Ethics Student Training) program focuses on teaching students’ soft skills such as punctuality, communication, professional image, teamwork, attitude and respect, time management, and good work habits.

This is the second year the program has been introduced to a middle school in Fayette County and Hare’s students have the privilege of being the only eighth grade class in the county to complete the GeorgiaBEST program.

Certificates were earned after students successfully completed an interview circuit during a two-day assessment. The students were interviewed by Fayette County community stakeholders including: Rhea Johnson, attorney at RS Johnson Legal, PC; Brandon Perkins, city manager of Tyrone; Keirsten Stepp, director of Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Dr. Sandy Golden, horticulturalist and educator; Colin Martin, president of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce; Michael “MJ” Johnson, vice president of Sales & Operations at B.E.G. Controls; Will Berry, Fayette County technology specialist; Dr. Ted Lombard, the school system’s coordinator of safety & discipline; Ben Marchman, CEO & Founder of NatureLink, LLC; Will Stone of McMullin Stone & Associates; and Kim Schnoes, financial planner.

Students also received quality feedback from the stakeholders who used a grading rubric that entailed some of the GeorgiaBEST standards from the Georgia Department of Labor’s workforce initiative that focuses on soft skills including: character, punctuality, teamwork, productivity, academic performance, organization, attitude, time management, business communication skills, professional image, and social media ethics.

“The stakeholders came out and gave authentic feedback to help the students and our student workers (who were showing hospitality). We were overwhelmed and grateful to receive feedback from these individuals who took time out of their lives to support the students in the Fayette County School System. What a privilege and honor!” says Hare.

A total of 36 students from Flat Rock Middle successfully earned their GeorgiaBEST certificate: Amara Berry, Janaiya Cook, Victoria Evans, Leyla Farmer, Jaciyah Fatu, Rivera Danila Feliciano, Jaylon Ferrell, Thaddeus Hendrickson, Giseel Hernandez, Fatima Paredes Jimenez, Angel Johnson, Tyler A. LeConte, Andrea K. Lewis, John-Paul Georges Lucate, Hector Garcia-Martinez, Gianncarlo Martin, Jordan McDaniel, Giovonni McLemore, Evan Miller, Edward Monterrosa, Justin Moore, Bobbi Olive, Chase Powell, Skylar Pulliam, Dodge Rhinehart, Tashany Simmons, Dillen L. Stepp, Kailynn Stubbs, Josephine Thomas, Christina Tran, Tega Tuoyo, David Valadez, Elizabeth Vidal, Arshan Virani, Raybrael Washington, and Steven White.

The GeorgiaBEST program was developed by the Georgia Department of Labor to address the concerns of Georgia’s businesses that found that many new hires lacked the soft skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce. Forbes Magazine reports that 89 percent of all new hires who lose their jobs do so because of a lack of soft skills.