Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Ben Banks ready for next step

With graduation only weeks away, many Unicoi County High School seniors anxiously look ahead into the unknown and reflect on four years of memories as their time at UCHS draws to a close.
Ben Banks, a 17-year-old senior, is one of many UCHS students readying for the transition from high school to college, from adolescence to adulthood, but it’s a journey he’s ready to take after four years of great high school experiences.
“High school has been a pretty awesome experience,” Banks said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve made a lot of memories and a lot of amazing friends.”
Banks is a student athlete, having played football for four years and baseball for three years. He is a member of the Beta Club, as well as the Drama Club. In fact, Banks won the role of Cinderella’s Prince Charming in the 2011 UCHS production of “Into the Woods Junior.”
Banks said one of his most memorable moments in high school came last year when the UCHS Baseball team went to the state tournament.
“It was the first time we’d gone to state since about 1995,” he said.
Scholastic opportunities for Banks have also been memorable, especially attending the club’s convention this year in Nashville.
“We came in third place at the convention this year,” Banks said. “It was pretty awesome.”
Some special UCHS teachers have also made their way into Bank’s list of fond high school memories, including English and Drama Teacher Lori Ann Wright, History Instructor Gary Howard and Government Teacher Glenn White.
“(UCHS) has extremely good teachers,” Banks said. “They’ve really taught me a lot over the years. Mrs. Wright is one of my favorite teachers, and Gary Howard and Glenn White have taught me the most. I like History. There’s always something to talk about, and it’s always relevant to what’s happening.”
Aside from the educational opportunities, Banks explained that his high school experience also helped him to make a group of great friends. Many of his fondest memories are of hanging at the river with fellow UCHS students Austin Arrowood, Aaron Shelley, Bobby Dawson and Zackery Smith-Lyon.”
Now that his four-year high school experience is rapidly coming to a close, Banks, like most other UCHS students, is making plans for the future. The next chapter of Banks’ life will begin this fall at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where he plans to get his basic coursework out of the way before deciding on a major area of concentration.
“I’m thinking about Civil Engineering,” he said, “but I’m still undecided. I’ll just take it one step at a time.”
Banks added that while he will miss friends and teachers he has come to know at UCHS, his education and his family has prepared him for all that lies ahead.
“We have one of the best schools around,” Banks said. “I’m going to miss all the people and seeing everyone between classes, but I’m pretty excited to go (to college). My family has been a great support during high school. They’ve always encouraged me with everything I’ve done. I’m worried I’ll miss high school, but I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.”
Banks is the son of Greg Banks of Erwin, and Denise Hollett of Ashley, OH. His grandparents are Red and Geraldine Banks of Erwin. He has one brother, Nick Banks.