Highlighting Southampton High’s students and changing perceptionsPublished 11:29am Saturday, May 4, 2013
BY CARLIE CLARK/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COURTLAND—In 2007 Jackie Harris, a teacher at Southampton High School, along with five of the schools administrators attended the Honor School Project conference.
This conference made the administrators and Harris begin to brainstorm about ways that they could highlight the students of Southampton High and change the perception of today’s teenagers.
Suddenly the idea came to Harris to create the Senior Achievement class.
“Most people only see that handful of teenagers that are bad and think that all of them are bad,” said Harris, “but they don’t see the majority which are great kids who do want to help the community.”
The students that aspire to get into the Senior Achievement class must meet certain criteria such as: good academic standing, no history of disciplinary action, and a background in community service, Harris explained.
Senior Achievement also has three major goals for their students each semester — to help in local elementary schools, to assist the students with their decisions on what to do post graduation, and to give back to the community.
Senior Achievers are sent to the local elementary schools twice a week to assist with the pre-K and kindergarten students. Most of the students in the Senior Achievement program indicate they find this to be the most rewarding.
“I want to be a pediatric nurse,” senior Jasmine Lane said.
“Working with the kids has been the biggest influence.”
Students are required to look into their future career fields and plan what they may have to do to meet career goals.
If a student does plan on attending a college or university, they are made aware of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, Harris explained.
Most of the class curriculum consists of community service projects in Southampton County but also internationally.
According to Harris, this year the class participated in the Treats for Troops program, collecting names of soldier who were related to students or staff at Southampton High and sent them care packages. For the second consecutive year the Senior Achievers collected 207 pairs of blue jeans to donate to homeless shelters locally.
Their most recent project was to assist in the Safety Jamboree.
“These seniors have much more to give and will soon begin work on another large service project,” Harris said.
- Criteria to qualify for the Senior Achievement class is good academic standing, no history of disciplinary action, and a background in community service.
- Senior Achievement also has three major goals for their students each semester: to help in local elementary schools, to assist the students with their decisions on what to do post graduation and to give back to the community.
- Most of the class curriculum consists of community service projects in Southampton County but also internationally.