Specialist Spotlight on Vickie Parsons

This month, we are featuring Fairview High School‘s JTG Specialist, Vickie Parsons, in our Specialist Spotlight. Vickie is known for fostering strong connections with her students, and she goes above and beyond to help her students succeed. One of her most notable yearly activities is helping her classes plan and prepare a full Thanksgiving lunch to build camaraderie and expand their confidence beyond the borders of the professional world.


Name:  Vickie Parsons

School:  Fairview High School

Years in Teaching: 11

Years with JTG: 11




Q: What is your favorite part about working specifically with JTG?

A: I enjoy the camaraderie that JTG shares within its organization. It’s very nice to work with a group of people who share the same passion for helping youth.


Q: What challenges do your specific students face in terms of getting to graduation?

A: Most of my students that are not on track to graduation is due to lack of credits. They have fallen behind in their classes as underclassmen.  For other students, it could be due to them having unstable family situations – moving from place-to-place or working long hours to help support their families.


Q: How would you describe your students from the beginning of the year to the end at graduation? What changes do you see in their mindsets?

A:  Much more confident self-assured in their abilities. They are not scared of the future.


Q: What special opportunities, units, or activities do you specifically plan for your students throughout the year?

A: We work on creating their own personal portfolios. We create and collect documents that will be helpful for them once they graduate and start looking for work. We spend time on leadership activities where students learn and understand the importance of working as a team.


Q: What has been one of the most rewarding moments with your JTG students?

A: Seeing your students become successful. During the follow-up with JTG students, you get to see and learn about all the things they are doing after high school. It is so rewarding when a former student comes up to me and shares that what they learned in JTG made a difference in their lives. They did not realize what they had learned in JTG was so beneficial until they got into the real world.  They tell me “Thank You,” and it makes my job worthwhile.


Q: Why do you feel high school classrooms need programs such as JTG as additional resources to help students toward graduation and beyond?

A: JTG would be beneficial to any high school students. Every standard we teach in JTG is needed by all high school students. In your traditional acadamic classes students and teachers do not have to extra time to build relationships. These relationship are so important in helping our youth to be successful.


Q: If you could improve upon the JTG program/model, what changes would you make?

A:  I would recommend having updated curriculum/resources that can be shared and used by everyone. Most of all my materials and lesson plans I had to create it by myself.

By |2018-03-08T19:20:23+00:00March 8th, 2018|Academics, Professional Relationships, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Specialist Spotlight on Vickie Parsons

About the Author:

Call it John Dwyer 2.0 After 29 years as a TV Broadcaster, Dwyer is President & CEO of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). JTG, an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding at-risk high school students toward graduation with follow through toward post-secondary education and/or job opportunities. Associated with JAG since 1981, JTG consistently obtains a graduation rate above 90-percent with a full-time job rate at nearly 70-percent. The most vulnerable, socioeconomically challenged young men and women, graduate with self-esteem with the realization and skill set to achieve success after high school. Does it get much better than that? Dwyer, is a resident of the Nashville area since 1996. He was sports director and/or a news anchor at TV stations in Nashville, Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Myers, FL and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a 10-time Mid-South Region Emmy Award winner, along with winning numerous other awards. He is also a former Heisman Trophy voter. John is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV while minoring in journalism. An avid running (or “plodder” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs in Nashville’s annual marathon. (Current tally: 7 Full, 10 Half). He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, be qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon in 2009. Married to Lynley, Dwyer resides in East Nashville with his wife and dog Lola. Dwyer served on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee board from 2006-2012, and was board chairman for three years.

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Supporting and Empowering our Communities of Color

COVID-19 Update

JAG and JTG Statement in Response to COVID-19

 As we are all feeling, COVID-19 has shifted how the world operates in a way that is unprecedented for our generation, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG), one of 39 JAG state affiliates, are no exception. The impact of the coronavirus and the immediate danger it presents has closed our education system, directly affecting students and their families. This is especially detrimental to JTG students, who often look to their JTG Specialists and classmates for steadiness and security in their lives.

We also recognize that our students and their families are disproportionately affected by the closure of restaurants, stores, bars, and other service-industry places of work. These jobs often provide the entry-level opportunities our students need to enter the workforce. A difficult environment is likely to continue for some time, so we are in the process to reposition our training and support to make the best case for our JTG students to be considered for employment.

At a time when we must social distance ourselves to protect each other, the thousands of JTG students we serve need us more than ever.  We are responding to and encouraged by the requests from many JTG Specialists to access online learning modules and platforms provided by JAG educational partners like the Skills to Succeed Academy, EverFi, and Tallo. We are excited to see the interest in the JAG Genius and the use of virtual connectivity and the online sense of community – something we all need in these times.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) recognize we need to modify the way we provide support and deliver competencies to our students during this time of uncertainty. In response to the way business and education are adapting (in real time) to COVID-19,  JAG National is establishing new protocols and processes to ensure full, virtual engagement with our young people to ensure they have the competencies they need to meet the very competitive job market ahead. That is why JAG is providing the immediate recommendations below that are of highest priority, which impact the day-to-day lives of our students and Specialists. Like our world right now, please know that these are in real-time and subject to change.


Moving forward, we will have ongoing recommendations that will be built into new practices that will serve as both short- and long-term solutions to continue JAG’s data-driven model. This will help us remain accountable to our students, our partners, funders, and each other.