The faces of three West Lincoln High School graduates are featured on posters promoting Western Carolina University.
Kristina Reid, Emily Whitener and Amanda Stevens are each listed on personalized posters describing their successes at the university.
â€œThe purpose is to recruit students primarily and also to show how students from our high school have gone on to that college and become successful,â€ said Linda Hacker, guidance counselor at West Lincoln.
Reid graduated from WLHS in 2000. She works for Dynamac Corp. at Kennedy Space Center in the biomecular and microbial ecology laboratory.
Whitener also graduated from WLHS in 2000. She is now a teacher at S. Ray Lowder Elementary School.
Stevens graduated from WLHS in 2001. She is studying European history and secondary education at WCU.
The posters also include a picture and quote from each student. They hang in classrooms, the cafeteria and Hackerâ€™s office at the school. They arrived at the school two months ago and will hang on the walls until they fall apart, Hacker said.
Tom Sain, an English teacher at West Lincoln, has his eye on the Stevens poster in Hackerâ€™s office. A graduate of WCU, he has Reidâ€™s and Whitenerâ€™s posters hanging on the wall of his classroom. He covets the third poster that would complete the collection.
â€œThese are all my former students,â€ he said. â€œI even taught that poor girl to drive.â€
Whitenerâ€™s poster also hangs in the cafeteria where her mother, Pattie, works. Pattie Whitener said the poster is a reminder of her daughterâ€™s success. She hasnâ€™t received a big reaction from students, but there has been some feedback.
â€œTheyâ€™ll come through and ask who it is, and Iâ€™ll say, â€˜Thatâ€™s my daughter,â€™â€ she said. â€œIâ€™m very proud.â€
Hacker has asked that more posters be sent from the college. She hopes the familiar faces will peak studentsâ€™ interest.
â€œItâ€™s an excellent marketing tool,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s a conversation starter.â€
Sain has no problems conversing about his alma mater, but he understands the important topic is college in general.
â€œI donâ€™t try to push kids to go to Western. I encourage them to go to college,â€ Sain said.
Hacker also realizes the posters are a recruitment tool for WCU, but she promotes anything that encourages students to further their studies.
â€œItâ€™s very important for students to get as much education as they can,â€ said Hacker. â€œTheyâ€™re then able to make better decisions about what they want to do with their lives.â€
by Diane Turbyfill