2008 Graduate – Samantha Head
Andrews is located in a serene valley in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
It is approximately 90 miles southwest of Asheville, 85 miles south of Knoxville and 75 miles east of Chattanooga.
In the early 1800s, when most settlers began arriving, the area was known as Jamesville, after James Whitaker. An Indian Trading Post was established in 1837 and soon after the community was known as Valley Town.
The present town was established like many other southern towns, through a land auction. In the late 1880s, Col. A.B. Andrews, who was a second vice president for Richmond and Danville railroad, was sent to the area to establish a commissary for workers in the Nantahala construction camps. Andrews bought 50 acres of land for the sum of $1,200.
In 1905 the town was incorporated, with David Samuel Russell appointed as the first mayor of the new town. Each year riders from around the country gather in Andrews to take part in the nation’s oldest wagon train.
The community sits between two of the best known whitewater rafting spots – the Nantahala Gorge and the Ocoee River, a venue for the 1996 Olympics. Andrews is home to indoor flea market known as the “Hillbilly Mall.”
Miss Samantha Head may enjoy going to the mall, but, she’s no hillbilly. She is a finely educated, extremely motivated young woman. The motivation is most evident in here desire to earn a high school diploma outside the command and control of the public, government run, school system.
Samantha enrolled with Citizens’ High School in October of 2004. In a mere 2 years, 7 months, 30 days, she completed a full four years of high school curriculum. How’s that for motivated? Samantha did attend public junior high as well as a charter school. The only comment we could get out of her was “It was horrible.”
Samantha is so pleased with Citizens’ that she has encouraged two of her friends to enroll. Samantha told us that her high school experience with us was “Fun” and “Easy”. “If I needed help, I just called and got it.” Samantha also enjoyed working at her own pace; a pace way quicker than our mostly marginal public schools.
Samantha did not rest on her accomplishments for long. She marched herself down to the local community college in Murphy, NC. She is pursuing the career goal of being a police officer. We know she will do well. If she has any control over it, she will finish the syllabus early. We are extremely pleased with Ms. Head and wish her all the success and good fortune due her. Citizens’ High School was proud to play a part in her education and we are pleased at the self discipline she exerted in finishing early and moving on to college.