RI Board Recognizes Students, Hears High School Report | Democrat News

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The Fredericktown School Board has gathered for its regular meeting scheduled for June 21st.

The first order of business for the council were three special student guests, Matthew Starkey, Lucy Pham and Kyndal Dodd. All three recently graduated as part of the class of 2022 from Fredericktown High School.

FHS Principal Craig Gibbs first spoke about Matthew Starkey, one of three students to score a 30 on his ACT.

“We’re super proud of Matthew,” Gibbs said. “He also graduated from high school with an associate of arts degree. Matthew, we’re proud of you and all the accomplishments and all the things. You’re one of those kids, an athlete of three sports, you’re busy all year, you’ve been doing this for a long time, and you’ve always been a student first and foremost, that’s something you can be very proud of.

“I appreciate everyone’s continued support,” said Matthew Starkey.

Next up was Pham, who was also the FHS Class of 2022 Salutatorian.

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“I could talk a long time about Lucy,” Gibbs said. “She stood the test of time and had four amazing years of education. But while she was doing that, she’s incredibly talented artistically. I can never do her justice with all her accomplishments with her art, but I know she excelled in the MAC art competition.”

Gibbs said, pretty much every time Pham is involved in an art contest, she either wins or ranks very, very high.

“We are so proud of her high school accomplishments, both academically and how she excels in the artistic world as well,” Gibbs said. “We know she’s going to do great things as she enters adulthood and we’re very proud of her.”

Finally, Coach Micah Reutzel spoke about Dodd, who will be attending Mineral Area College on a full basketball scholarship.

“Kyndal Dodd, what can I say,” said Reutzel. “Last summer we talked about what Kyndal’s goals should be for the coming year, and she had several, but one of them was getting a scholarship to play college basketball. That’s what we’re recognizing her for tonight. She’s going to go to MAC for a full spin and play for the women’s basketball team.”

Reutzel said it was her first year as a basketball coach and Dodd had already established herself as the best player and top scorer on the women’s team before her arrival.

“She didn’t have to buy anything I was selling,” Reutzel said. “She could have said I’m going to do my own thing and take care of myself and that’s it, but she didn’t. She totally bought into our team and our culture and it paid off, not only for her but for our team and for me.”

Retuzel said it was very rewarding to coach Kyndal this year and he is very grateful to him.

“I’m super excited to see how far she can go,” Reutzel said. “She was on the Dream Team, she was first-team all-district, she was first-team all-conference, she was seventh-highest scorer in women’s basketball history, 8th or 10th in rebounding She just broke into the top ten in all major statistical categories, and she’s had a huge year this year.

After the three students were recognized, Gibbs delivered his administrative report to the board. This was the final report on the building, as the other four buildings had presented it at previous meetings.

“One of the main goals of high school is transitioning from our eighth graders to our ninth graders,” Gibbs said. “Research tells us that this is a huge time in the lives of teenagers as they transition.”

Gibbs said they’re working to try to add safety nets to try to help kids, so that as they progress through high school, they have a foundation built and have the best chance of succeeding.

FHS uses a similar level program as other buildings. This program makes it possible to quickly identify students who need help.

Gibbs also talked about attendance, cell phones, the working lunch program, and using QR codes to help students seek help without peer judgment.

“Before I go, I wanted to talk a bit about our juniors and seniors to give an update on what happened in high school this year,” Gibbs said. “We’ve had 52 seniors graduating with A+ honors this year. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot out of 140 and you might think it should be more than that, but when I look at the conference as a whole, we are surprisingly higher than many other schools.”

Gibbs said more than 90 students this year earned some type of college credit, whether they were sophomores, juniors or seniors. He said 86 students attended UniTec this year.

“That’s the most we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Gibbs said. “It’s a phenomenal program, and it’s getting better. They’re trying to offer more programs and there’s a real need for these career technology areas. I’m so grateful that you allow us to be part of UniTec and that we are making it a priority in our high school. Not all kids need to go to college from the start. Some kids need to go to trade school. Some kids need to go to work. Some kids need to go to college. going to the military, and we have to find out what that path is and provide a means for it.”

Gibbs said that this year, 85 graduates received some kind of scholarship.

“Obviously I want it to be more, but I’m glad it’s not less,” Gibbs said. “We will continue to strive to give our students the opportunity to win scholarships.”

Finally, Gibbs once again highlighted the fact that three of this year’s graduates also earned their Associate of Arts degrees.

“It takes a lot of work for the kid to want to do this, and I think that’s very admirable,” Gibbs said. “Doing the things they want and need to do in high school, having their high school experience and at the same time going beyond and doing it. I’m super proud of our senior age group.”

In other business, council approved Claim #4 for the High School Trail Project in the amount of $231,364.90.

During his superintendent’s report, Chadd Starkey updated the board on summer plans, including painting the board office and the need to update the middle and high school cell phone policy.

The next Fredericktown RI School Board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., August 16, at the district offices.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at [email protected]

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