KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Among the 700 Project Grad scholars who have gone on to complete their post-secondary education, several have come back to their alma maters to give back.
WATE met up with a former Austin-East Magnet High School athlete who still holds a record at the school and is now hoping to coach someone else to beat that record.
Aryiane Carrington walks in, turns on the lights and gets ready for the day. He oversees a different classroom at Austin-East each day.
“I am a permanent substitute here at Austin-East so if any teacher calls out, I am stepping in for them. That’s what I do to the dailies,” he said. “I don’t know what class I’ll be in, I just make sure they get their work and get it done.”
As any teacher will tell you, some days are easier than others. Carrington said his kids face some pretty big challenges.
“They actually just need relationships,” he said. “That’s it. They need to be able to build relationships, have someone they can trust in because most of these kids, you don’t know what’s going on at home. You know it could be anything, just treat all the kids the same.”
He continued, “Stay on top of them. Somebody has to care for them.”
Kids listen to the man they know as a coach.
He is the assistant boys’ track coach and showed WATE proof on the plaque in the gym. He holds the record for the triple jump from his time as a student-athlete at Austin-East.
“I hold it to this day,” he said with a smile. “I hope somebody can get it! But you know, until then, I want to be able to coach that person that gets it.”