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Students awarded college scholarships

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By Sharon Graves

Current and future student achievement topped the agenda for the Carroll County Board of Education meeting held in the alternative learning center on the campus of the Carroll County High School.

In her report, Superintendent Lisa James said $1.3 million in scholarship money was announced during the academic banquet last week. James said she is pleased with the turnout from the community and the amount of money awarded to Carroll County students to further their education. Scholarship money was garnered from many local organizations and from universities across the country. 

Students Angelica Yazell and Katie Agrue gave talks and Powerpoint presentations they will present to an upcoming “Chain Link” rally in connection with Rachel’s Challenge to end bullying in schools.  Yazell’s  presentation was titled “Lifting the Weights,” as she explained how learning can be hard, but worth the effort. 

Agrue said participating in Rachel’s Challenge changed her life. Rachel Scott, the first student shot in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, left a legacy against bullying found by her parents after her death.  Rachel’s Challenge is a nationwide program that brings the problem of bullying to the forefront through “Chain Link” rallies which Carroll County participated in Monday, May 16. 

“You never know how far a little kindness can go,” Agrue stated during her presentation.  She also explained that desire, time and effort are needed to accomplish goals, and working hard is better than being smart. 

Pam Williams, elementary curriculum director for the district, gave the results from the TELL Kentucky Data survey, an online voluntary teacher survey to gauge if the methods and facilities being used to teach core subjects are successful. Williams said  only 65 percent of Carroll County teachers  responded to the survey, compared to 80 percent statewide. 

The survey did shed light, showing that minimizing paperwork is a chief issue, Williams reported. Class size was another issue raised by teachers. 

Topics receiving high marks are using testingdata to form instruction, teachers being held to high standards and safe school environments. Areas receiving poor marks are community and parent support, with professional development receiving the lowest responses in the state.

Williams explained that it’s not just one thing you do to have a good school but there are many components involved in achieving success. 

Board member Mona Kindoll questioned why so few Carroll County teachers responded to the survey.  “Did we encourage teachers to take this survey?”

“We weren’t allowed to encourage teachers,” James responded.  “They received an email about taking the survey.”

A fun, active and rigorous summer learning program was unveiled by the district’s public relations director and grant writer Jeff Fremin.  The school district wants this to be a different learning environment with lots of things to do and places to go, Fremin explained. 

Partnering with Carroll County Fiscal Court, Carrollton City Council, the housing authority, parks and recreation, Carroll County Public Library and General Butler State Resort Park, Carroll County schools will be offering many activities for local students for five weeks throughout the summer.  Activities will be pointed to help students avoid a summer learning loss. 

There will also be opportunities for students who are behind to recover credits.  Board member Tom Unker questioned how many credits could be recovered by students participating in the summer program.

“A student could possibly recover one to three credits if they work hard,” Fremin responded. 

More than 100 elementary students and 40-60 middle and high school students will be participating in the program and it is being paid for completely with grant money, Fremin explained.  No money for the program comes from the school district’s budget.