Education Helps AHS Graduate ‘Ace’ Successful Career Pathway

Education Helps AHS Graduate ‘Ace’ Successful Career Pathway
Posted on 04/14/2023

Education Helps AHS Graduate ‘Ace’ Successful Career Pathway

Rashad Worth has become synonymous with Ace Northwest Hardware in Clifton Forge. With an outgoing personality and an effervescent smile, he has come to epitomize Ace’s popular advertising jingle, “Ace is the place with the friendly hardware folks.”

His climb to store manager with the hardware chain helped him appreciate the value of a good education. He now stresses the importance of education, and regular school attendance to his son, who is a student at Mountain View Elementary School.

A 1995 graduate of Alleghany High School, Worth has been the manager of Ace Northwest Hardware in Clifton Forge since 2021. Based in Roanoke, Northwest Hardware operates 12 stores and is known for offering a broad range of products and services to its customers.

The Clifton Forge location is on Main Street in the downtown historic district. Worth started at the store as a clerk, and he credits his upbringing and education for his success as a manager.

“I can remember several of the teachers who greatly influenced me. I had great teachers. They were tough, but fair, and the education I received in the local schools has definitely helped me,” he said.

A son of the late Lavern Cooper and Patricia Worth, Worth attended elementary school and middle school in Clifton Forge. The City of Clifton Forge and Alleghany County operated a joint school division at the time, the first iteration of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. 

While at Alleghany High School, Worth played basketball, and he credits his experiences on the hardwood for helping him learn important life lessons and the value of teamwork.

“I learned a lot from my coaches, and I picked up some valuable life lessons while playing basketball. I learned that teamwork is important, and that has served me well in the business world. I also learned that life is full of ups and downs, and when the down times come, you can’t pull yourself down by dwelling on them,” he said.  

After graduating from AHS, Worth attended Roanoke College for two years before he decided to leave school and enter the job market. The life lessons he learned from high school quickly came into play as he worked in jobs at Kmart, Bacova, and in the construction industry. He was eventually hired by Northwest Hardware as store clerk, and through hard work and dedication, he was promoted to store manager in July 2021. Worth celebrated eight years with Northwest Hardware in February.  

“I got here through hard work and commitment. I started as a store clerk, and worked my way up. I owe a lot of it to my upbringing and the teachers who helped educate me,” Worth said. 

Now as a parent, he stresses the importance of school and hard work to his son, Rakeem, who is a first grader at Mountain View. 

Mountain View is part of the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division, which was created in July 2022 when Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center merged. The consolidated school division is providing students with new opportunities at a more efficient cost to taxpayers.

Worth and Hakeem's mother, Regan, work with Rakeem so that he builds the habit of good school attendance at an early age. Studies show that attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves. 

“Rakeem does like school,” Worth said. “We regularly check the folder he brings home from school every day, and we make sure he completes his homework. We are really stressing reading and writing to him. Even at a young age, reading and writing are important to children. I always tell my son, ‘You have got to do the reading.’” 

Worth also knows that missing school can cause a student to fall behind quickly, and in the long run, negatively affect their employment prospects when they become adults. Research indicates that students can fall behind in school even if they miss one or two days every few weeks.

“If you are not in school every day, you fall behind easily, and employers look for things like that in your records,” Worth said.

Worth goes about his workday effectively interacting with employees and customers. Many customers know him by name and seek his assistance with their hardware needs. He says his people skills and management skills are largely due to the teachers and coaches who influenced him when he was a student. He also credits the education he received through public schools for equipping him to succeed.  

“Without graduating from Alleghany High School, I wouldn’t be in this position at Northwest Hardware,” Worth said. “I have wonderful memories of my years in school, and I can honestly say that my four years at Alleghany were great.” 



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