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Jenkins seniors to graduate June 6

Graduation date for the Jenkins High School Senior Class of 2015 will be June 6 and the eighth-grade graduation ceremonies will be held on June 5. Jenkins Middle High School Principal David Lee made the announcement at the March meeting of the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education. He also told the board that the Senior Trip to Charlotte, N.C., will leave on March 30 at 5 p.m. and the prom will be held on May 2 at the Holiday Inn at Norton, Va. The eighth-grade class will travel to Dollywood on May 1.

In other business, the board voted up make improvements in the high school gym and received assessment goals from Principal Lee and Elementary Principal Stacy Collier. Both principals told the board the assessment goal for both schools is to reach the level of Proficiency on this year’s tests. Lee said they used data from last year’s testing to set this year’s goals, and Collier added that she is confident that Burdine Elementary will meet its goal.

Principal Lee told the board that the middle school will need a good deal of work to meet its overall achievement goal, but he has confidence in the students and teachers. He said the goal for the high school is proficiency, with a 100 percent graduation rate, and that it is on his shoulders to make it happen.

Lee said that Jenkins Technical students participated in the Skills USA Competition at the Wise County Career Technical Center with students from nine southwestern Virginia counties. Lee said that four Jenkins students were involved in the competition and all four did well. Jacob Meade, Joe Ratliff, and Corey Houston placed second in the Team Building Competition, which involved building an eightfoot platform with walls, plumbing, and electricity in two hours. Josh Sexton took first place in the carpentry competition, framing in an 11 foot, 7 inch wall and putting in a window and door. The board also voted unanimously to approve the contract with the Wise County Career Technical Center for the coming year. The rate will be unchanged from the current year at $35,000.

Lee also announced that three Jenkins High School students have been selected to receive WYMT Scholarship Awards of $1,000 each. The winners are Jessie Gibson, Alyssa Newman, and Katie Branham. He also honored Tanner Goff for his winning pole vault of 13 feet, six inches at the State Indoor Track Championships. Rihanna Elswick placed fourth with a vault of eight feet in the girls’ competition. Lee added that the Lady Cav Basketball Team not only has the leading scorer in the nation in Whitney Creech, but also the leading shot blocker in the state in Alexis Stambaugh.

The board also voted unanimously to proceed with renovations at the high school gymnasium. Board members voted to accept the recommendation of Alt- 32 Architecture of Lexington to proceed with bidding for motorized bleachers and for bidding to secure a local contractor to undertake the demolition of the old bleachers. Board Member Pauline Sexton presented a drawing of the proposed renovation of the gym floor and the board approved it as well. The floor will be redone after the bleachers are installed. Completion date is expected to be August 5, which is also the first day of class for the 2015-2016 school year.

Federal Programs Director Sherry Wright announced that the testing window will be open from May 18 through June 1. Registration for kindergarten and pre-school will be held on March 31 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on April 15 at the same times.

Technology Director Damian Johnson announced that he had attended Apple Trainings in Louisville and that the school system will receive $22,000 in Apple computers for his participation. He added that the E-Rate (the state funding for technology) is moving away from landline telephones and that future E-Rates will fund Wi-Fi and switches. The Student Technology Leadership Program Team will compete Thursday at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

The board also voted to allow the Family Resource Center to participate in the “Give Me a Reason” project with the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department. The project is based on parent involvement and will make home drug testing kits available to parents at no charge. The kits can be used to test children if parents suspect they are using drugs, or as a preventative measure, so children will know they can be tested. Kits can be obtained at the Family Resource Center and Jenkins MHS.

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