“Derek was a national merit finalist, along with 1 1/2 million other juniors [and seniors] in more than 22,000 high schools,” O’Bryan said. “He became one out of approximately 16,000 semifinalists.”
According to O’Bryan, Snyder submitted a detailed resume, with details of his academic and extracurricular efforts. Snyder now qualifies for a National Merit Scholarship as one of 15,000 finalists.
Additional CHS students recognized included Grant Currin and Caroyln Cao. Both have been announced as Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Currin and Cao make up two of 34,000 students recognized by the program for their exceptional academic promise.
Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools, announced Kelly Kiser, Blythe-Bower Elementary principal, was named Southeast Principal of the Year. He said Kiser is now in the running for Tennessee’s Principal of the Year.
“He will join 17 others from across the state. We wish him the best on that. He well deserves that,” Ringstaff said.
Four students from CHS attended this year’s Student Congress on Policies in Education.
Patty Pucket, CHS teacher, said the annual conference allows students to experience school board situations.
Discussion this year focused on corporal punishment, mandatory community service, longer school days and Saturday school for failing students.
Grant Currin, Nick Melton, Meredith Markiewicz and Lauren Rutledge agreed the conference was enlightening.
“It is a lot different to be on [your] side of the table. I think [we] gain a real appreciation for what the board does,” Currin said.
Melton added the conference was an excellent experience.
Markiewicz thanked board members for sending them again.
“It shocked me how much you have to research a topic and debate all sides [before making a decision],” Markiewicz said.
She said it was more difficult than just standing before the board and sharing her opinion.
Rutledge said it was interesting to see students acting more like adults in presenting information and taking sides on relevant school issues.
Students researched for months prior to the conference.
Principal Randall Stephens and Sheila Webb received approval from the school board for an outdoor classroom and garden at Stuart Elementary.
Webb said a 12-by-12-foot pavillion would be constructed in the existing butterfly garden at Stuart. The pavillion will be concrete based with a wood-shingled roof. According to Webb, the Magnolia Garden Club has committed a year to clean and maintain the garden.
Stephens and Webb agreed the Parent-Teacher-Organization at Stuart has promised up to $2,000 for the project. PTO members will also be involved in the construction of the pavillion. Hal Taylor, maintenance and transportation director, has given a cursory initial site evaluation.
Board members approved the project.
Stephens also recognized Jane Littlejohn and Pam Silver as Stuart’s employees of the month.