‘Extraordinary Shake’ competition puts interpersonal skills to the test

JACKSON, Tenn. — A local school hosts a unique competition for its students.

Jackson Central-Merry started their “Extraordinary Shake” event Tuesday morning. This event is a four-day competition between sixth and seventh graders.

This competition is all about developing their interpersonal skills that can help them as they leave school and go into the world.

“Well, we want our students to believe, the same way we do, that there is nothing out of reach for them. That whatever they set their minds to, whatever dreams they have, whatever goals, they have the ability to achieve them. We want to equip them with the skills and tools that they need to go into the real world and present their very best selves,” said Christina Warren, English teacher and Extraordinary Shake coordinator.

The first competition was an introduction. Students went around the gym speaking with various volunteer judges from around the community. It was all about making a good first impression. The students were expected to lead a conversation for sixty seconds.

“So today we are testing their handshake and their ability to make a solid first impression,” Warren said. “So today the students will go around this room here and shake about thirty-five adults’ hands, introduce themselves and carry on a conversation for sixty seconds.”

The competition will last the remainder of the week. They will participate in many other events, including interviews, open forums, mixers, and a debate.

“Later today they will present a commercial that they have prepared for our school,” said Warren. “Tomorrow they will go through something called ‘The Gauntlet,’ where they will have to deal with an angry customer, how to fire an employee, how to calm an angry board meeting. They also have a series of interview-type questions tomorrow called ‘The Circle of Doom.’ They also have an open debate as well as a networking event, kind of like a mixer.”

The participants will also have a lunch with the Mayor, and the finale will be on Friday at The Ned.

This is the second Extraordinary Shake event, and organizers say it has gotten bigger and better this year.

Click here for more information and a schedule of events.

For more news in the Jackson area, click here.

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