Pilot Company Volunteers At Schools For Give Back Day

Pilot Company Volunteers At Schools For Give Back Day

Over 50 Pilot Company employees donated their time on Wednesday to improve district schools, with outdoor beautification projects for Pilot Give Back Day.

Four teams went to Amherst Elementary, Pond Gap Elementary, Ritta Elementary, and West Hills Elementary to work on specific projects that were chosen by the school’s administrators. 

“We’re really excited to have this community support,” said Kristen Jackson, executive principal at West Hills Elementary. “I think it builds a culture of the school helping the community and the community helping the school.”

Jackson and her team decided to spruce up the front of their building with flower planter boxes and benches to create a welcoming environment for students and the community. Pilot volunteers also built picnic tables for teachers and families to utilize on warm weather days. 

The team at Amherst Elementary revitalized the outdoor classroom space. They mulched, painted benches, and brought in a podium to create a safe, beautiful area that teachers will be excited to use.

“After getting connected with Assistant Principal Beth Spence and taking a tour of Amherst we saw the need and potential for the outdoor classroom,” said Brianna Bradford, Pilot Company’s project manager in construction and development. “Children and teachers spend a lot of time in school so having an outdoor classroom is beneficial.”

Ritta Elementary saw many changes around their school as the Pilot team enhanced the look of the land with rock gardens around multiple trees, the front marquee sign, and flag poles. They also prepped a space that will be the future home of a mural to brighten their facility. 

Another team worked on garden projects around Pond Gap Elementary for their students and staff to enjoy.

Knox County Schools is grateful for the partnership with Pilot Company, and excited about opportunities to work together in the future.

West Hills Elementary Visited By “Careers On Wheels”

West Hills Elementary Visited By “Careers On Wheels”

This week, West Hills Elementary had its first College and Career Week with a “Dress for the Job You Want” Day, guest speakers, and mobile professionals from across the county showing students their “Careers on Wheels!”

Visitors included the Knox County Sheriff’s Department with squad cars and motorcycles, KUB with a bucket truck, local radio station B97.5 with their mobile broadcast vehicle, EMTs with an ambulance, Knox County Animal Control with a kennel truck, the Knox County Fire Department with a firetruck, and two local food trucks

“It’s really awesome to see that it’s not all stationary. You don’t have to go into an office,” said West Hills Elementary teacher Melissa Brown. “All of these careers on wheels have been great and the community coming to our school has been amazing.”

Each class went from one career to another, listening and asking questions to the professional. Earlier in the day, these students were also exposed to 36 other careers with guest speakers. 

Nurses, dog trainers, government employees, and more spoke to each classroom about their chosen career field. 

“I think the kids have been able to make connections, and really experience and be exposed to some careers that they maybe hadn’t thought about or wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to,” Brown said. “It really has been fantastic, and I’ve loved the variety that has come through, too.”

The idea to begin familiarizing elementary students with various College and Career opportunities stemmed from the newly implemented 865 Academies, which reimagined the high school experience to better prepare students for post-graduation life by enrolling in college or trade school, enlisting in service to their country, or finding employment in a high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand profession with an entrepreneurial mindset.