By Talbert Toole
The Lafayette County School Board recognized Monday during their first April meeting the students who accomplished a tremendous feat: scoring a 30 or higher on the ACT.
Sixteen students were recognized for their accomplishments including five seniors, nine juniors and two sophomores. Glenn Kitchens, Lafayette High School principal, recognized each student in front of the board with his or her score, extracurricular activities, and plans for a college education.
The ACT 30+ Club is something relatively new to the district, according to Kitchens, and is a project the district has been working on for some time. For many years, the district has recognized students for achieving perfect scores on the state achievement test; however, it is no longer able to identify perfect scores besides high scores and proficiency, he said.
Unable to add names to the perfect scores of the state achievement tests, the district wanted to share with the LOU community new information regarding student success, he said.
“We wanted to update new information to share with the public and our community, and mainly to our students of what they can achieve with hard work academically,” Kitchens said.
Each student who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, along with the PSAT, will have his or her name placed on a banner in the Lafayette High School commons.
“It’s remarkable,” said board member Brent Larson. “You all have come a long way to get where you are and to where you are going.”
In addition to announcing the success of the sixteen students, the board also gave recognition to LHS’s Hannah Gadd who was awarded the 2019 Mississippi Teacher of the Year Friday.
Gadd, choir director for 6th-12th grade, was notified last month that she would be the 1st Congressional District representative for the prestigious honor before being notified as the 2019 Mississippi Teacher of the Year. She now follows in the footsteps of her colleague, Whitney Drewery, who represents the state as the 2018 Mississippi Teacher of the Year.
Gadd pointed out that many of the students who scored a 30 or higher are a part of the arts in some form or fashion.
“The arts are so important in schools,” Gadd said. “We are so fortunate to be in a school district that supports the arts.”
Gadd said she is fortunate to come to school every day and be around students who want to give 100 percent.
“It is so transformative, the power of music,” she said. “It changed me, and it changes my students.”
Now as the teacher representative for the state, Gadd said she is excited to advocate for music and the arts on the state and national level.
Larson said it is a testament that the success of her students come from great leadership as a teacher.
“It can be said good students breed all good teachers, and good teachers breed all good students,” he said.
For more information on the Mississippi Teacher of the Year competition, visit the Mississippi Department of Education’s website.