Class II-III to Tallulah
It will take a lot of work to go from the Cartecay to Tallulah in a year. Here are some suggestions for marking your progress. Try the Nantahala, Section 3 of the Chattooga, Ocoee, Section 4 Chattooga, Tellico, Cheoah and maybe North Chickamauga. You should be solid reading and running everything easier than North Chick. Be sure to run Section 4 and Tellico at decent water levels (>2' on Chattoga and >2.5' on Tellico) before attempting North Chick.
You need to be able to read the water and pick your own lines and not simply follow the back grab loop of the boat in front of you.
To start, I'd suggest working on catching small eddies, playing hard and attaining easy rapids to make more boating sharper.
I'd recommend a park and huck at Baby Falls on the Tellico and at the bottom ledge of Bald River Falls near the confluence with the Tellico. These drops are miniscule compared to the big ones on Tallulah.