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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A valuable summer program for teachers has returned after being canceled by COVID last year.

The Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce Summer Teacher Internship program gives teachers the opportunity to learn real life skills and bring what they learned back into the classroom.

Tresa Hatchett is a teacher at North Asheboro Middle School. For a week, she has been interning at the JP Thomas warehouse, learning how they supply auto shops across central North Carolina.

“In all of the jobs I’ve shadowed, they work. They do whatever they need to do, but they are on the floor working,” Hatchett said. “Communication skills are also very important.”

Work ethic, communication and teamwork are words Hatchett preaches to her middle school career technical education students. Now she can tell her classes that she has done those things, and employers want those skills.

Meanwhile, in downtown Asheboro, Wheatmore High School teacher Misty Nance is learning the same lesson.

“‘You know when Ms. Nance tells you to do this and do that, well, this is what I had to do this week,'” Nance said.

Hatchett and Nance are a part of 14 Asheboro City and Randolph County school teachers participating in the 30th summer teacher internship program, gaining real life work skills they can pass on to their students.

Chelsey Butler works for the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce. She explained that the summer teacher interns are also building lasting relationships with businesses.

“A lot of businesses end up helping teachers in their classrooms. They end up coming back to help them later on with a lesson plan, so we create lasting partnerships,” Butler siad.

Nance is hoping to turn her new partnerships into job training and perhaps paying jobs for her exceptional students.

“They have to build a portfolio which goes with them when they graduate,” Nance said. “They can present the portfolio to employers of their past work experience, job skills and any references.”

Creating a brighter future for their students is the reason why 14 teachers are giving up a part of their summer.

“Education never stops,” Hatchett said. “Just because it’s the summer, there are still things to learn. I don’t mind putting in the time to do that.”