| By Billy Davis
School administrators at South Panola High School are honoring and encouraging achievement on the ACT though a new academic club.
The 21 Club welcomed its first group of inductees Tuesday, February 14, at the school library, where students enjoyed refreshments and heard a pep talk from South Panola School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer.
The club is open to SPHS students who score a 21 or higher on the ACT (American College Test). The ACT is used for college and university admissions, and scholarship monies.
The average ACT score for SPHS students was 20 during the 2004-2005 school year, state Department of Education figures show.
Neighboring high school scores include a 21 average at Oxford High, a 19.8 average at Senatobia High and an average of 16.4 at Clarksdale High.
South Panola High principal Dr. Gearl Loden said 39 students, mostly juniors and seniors, scored well on the ACT in recent months and are "charter members" of the 21 Club.
"This is just another way to show students that we’re cheering them on and are proud of their work," Loden told The Panolian after the ceremony.
Shaffer read the Dr. Seuss classic "Oh, the Places You’ll Go," using a PowerPoint screen to read the rhymes.
The students’ faces had been Photoshopped into the book’s characters, creating chuckles from the audience as Shaffer read the book.
The 21 Club inductees are: Mary Arnold, Ashleigh Austin, Bud Barthold, Josh Boren, Addison Brewer, Charity Burgos, Molly Cox, Bethany Ellis, Miles Fowler, Summer Gee, Joby Griffin, Brittany Helmes, Lance Hendrix, Andrew Henning, Holly Henning, Savannah Hood, Vanesha Jaiswal, Lacy Jaudon, Tyler Jordan; Brittany Love, Wiley Macknally, Ashley Manning, Cedric McKinney, Sarah Kate McMillan, Anna Newcomb, South Oakes, Randy Presley, Hether Ragon, Ann Rhodes, Allie Sanders, Aleia Segars, Garret Stone, Kellie Sturdivant, Lauren Suratt, LaRico Treadwell, Daniel Waller, Thomas Wilkie, Drew Wilkinson and Cynthia Woolfolk.
| By Jason C. Mattox
Preparation is under way for this year’s March of Dimes Walk America event in Batesville on Saturday, April 22. Teams are already beginning their fund-raising efforts to reach this year’s $26,000 goal. Money goes to fund research on birth defects and treatment for premature babies.
"The people who participated in last year’s Walk America did a wonderful job for us," Community Director Connie Snell of Tupelo said. "We are very excited about this year’s event."
The 2006 Walk America will take place at the walking track at Tiger Stadium on Highway 51. Sign-up will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.
In an effort to help teams gain fund-raising ideas, Snell will be on hand at Parker-Hannafin Wednesday at noon for a captain’s training meeting.
Snell said approximately 20 teams of businesses, local civic groups, churches and families have signed up for this year’s event.
"These captains’ training events give team captains insight on new fund-raising activities and give them a chance to pick up the supplies they need," she said.
Another big fund-raiser several business teams participate in each year is the "Blue Jeans for Babies" t-shirt sale.
The idea is that teams purchase the shirts to wear to work with jeans on a designated day.
Anyone interested in attending the captain’s training should be at Parker-Hannafin by noon. Lunch will be provided.
The March of Dimes welcomes all companies and family teams to participate. Contact Connie Snell at 844-6901 to find out more about the Batesville Walk America.