TOP PHOTO: Stewart Thacker (right) receives another award with help from Ken Hunley (left).

By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – After a year of hard work and extra studies, Eagle Scout Stewart Thacker earned his Boy Scouts of America Interpreter Strip Award and Certificate.

Thacker, who is a 2022 graduate from Campbell County High School, approached CCHS Spanish teacher Ken Hunley at the beginning of the school year about teaching him Spanish.

In order to earn the Interpreter Strip Award, Thacker had to translate a 200 word essay from Spanish to English, he had to write a letter, translate a speech and carry on a five minute conversation in Spanish.

Thacker worked all school year learning the language, working on it a “little each day.”

According to Hunley, Thacker put forth a great deal of hard work to learn a second language and a “big time commitment.”

“As a teacher, it was great to see his dedication. It was nice to have someone come in every day and want to learn something new. His determination to achieve his goals was pretty uplifting,” Hunley said.

BSA Eagle Scout Stewart Thacker earned his BSA Interpreter Strip in Spanish. Thacker, right, is pictured with his CCHS Spanish teacher Ken Hunley who worked with him over the past year on earning the extra merit.

Stewart said it was because he had “the best teacher.”

“I couldn’t have done it without Mr. Hunley’s help. If I had to learn on my own, I would still be stuck on ‘where’s the bathroom.'” Thacker said, adding that it “spoke volumes about the teaching staff” at CCHS.

He also had some help from Kelvin Alexis Cruz-Rios, an English as a Second Language (ESL) student in Hunley’s class.

“We would converse in Spanish in class and that helped a lot,” Thacker said.

Stewart’s dad, BSA Troop 310 Leader Chris Thacker, said he was proud of his son and “speechless” at his accomplishments.

Chris Thacker also wanted to say thank you to CCHS teacher Ken Hunley.

“We couldn’t do any of this without the wonderful people of this county, and Mr. Hunley is definitely one of those people,” Chris Thacker said.

Stewart, who is working with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency this summer, said he was excited about the opportunities that speaking a second language could provide in the future.

“It opens up so many opportunities, it opens up friendships, travel and more and I’m excited to see where it takes me,” Stewart Thacker said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/20/2022-6AM)

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