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Ashdown High School

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  A great year is in store for all with Ashdown High School currently housing 448 students 9 – 12.  Our Seniors account for 106 students with many leadership skills and talents.  We are looking forward to providing this last year at Ashdown High a wonderful year for not only Seniors but all.  Our Freshmen consist of 119 students, 108 Sophomores and 115 juniors. We welcome Mrs. Lindsey Adebowale to our math department. She will be teaching Geometry and Algebra 2.

With our work on becoming a School of Innovation with the goal of being designated this upcoming year, we have been afforded many opportunities for our students at AHS that are significantly beyond the reach of other area schools. Last year was our first year to graduate 7 students with CNA certificates. This will allow these students to work beyond minimum wage and to have an edge up in a career in the medical field.   The Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI) will continue to provide a world of opportunity for an additional seven AHS students this year. Making the total attending this program now 14. Those that are selected for this program will graduate from AHS with NCCER certifications for the workplace with college credit if one chooses to pursue further education.

This is our second year for Teacher Cadet which is offered for Juniors and Seniors that wish to pursue teaching as a profession.  We have an enrollment increase this year and foresee this “Growing our Own” program to benefit Ashdown by providing great teachers for the future. Students that begin this program will graduate high school with six hours of college credit after attending 1 semester at Southern Arkansas University or any other state-affiliated university. Arkansas Teacher Cadets is a nationally recognized teacher recruitment program aimed at attracting the best and brightest high school students to the teaching profession. It features a curriculum based, hands-on approach which educates students on how to become a successful teacher and enables them to put their knowledge to work through a classroom internship.  Our JAG (Jobs for American Graduates) is continuing with over 28 students receiving work experience while gaining soft skills through a highly rigorous program that continues to help students become more career/work force ready. 

Our Science department is gaining a new Chemistry teacher, Sybil Rice, who has extensive teaching experience which includes teaching Concurrent Classes in Biology and Chemistry. Her many accolades in teaching science at the high school and college-level elevates our students to be able to enroll in more concurrent credit classes.

Students will continue to progress with instruction being pushed out through Google Classroom as more teachers become trained and challenge our students to create, use and access information from an endless amount of information available on the web. 

We welcome Ashdown’s alumni Ginger Hillis to our staff who will be teaching Drama this year. Mrs. Hillis has previous years of teaching Speech and Drama prior to moving back to Ashdown. We are thrilled to have her join our staff and are excited to know she will be working with our many talented performing arts students.

An additional agriculture teacher will be joining us this year, William Gentry. He brings many shop skills in which he will be teaching such as Metals, Mechanics and Power Systems. Acquiring a Plasma Cutter is a goal for this year to provide an extended skill for our students at AHS

Our Art Department continues to grow with 191 students signing up to continue their learning in this realm. The addition of Ceramics classes brought about by Mrs. McGraw’s desire to offer more pottery classes. Acquiring pottery wheels and a tabletop slab roller was made possible with help from the Margaret Daniel Foundation. The Spring art show brought a huge focus to the many talents that our students possess and a zeal for going forward with their learning. Several AHS students received recognition at the Spring Whistle Stop Festival and some will be entering their work at the Little River County Summer Art Show. Mrs. McGraw is continually seeking additional outside funds to support the many art needs for her classes that continue to expand. This year we are introducing two new electives in the art program, Studio-2D and Studio-3D. Each are a semester long. A goal this year is to acquire a Pugmill/mixer that will allow us to reuse and recycle clay scraps and diminishes the dust in the ceramics room.

Students will continue to develop soft skills for life beyond AHS with all students being fully engaged in rigorous instruction and elective classes that prepare students beyond high school.  Our campus will continue to provide 1 to 1 devices for students to use for assignments and research that will broaden their knowledge and provide the tools beyond the classroom. The school’s success with handling devices proved to be a success and plans for giving students more choices in their use will be provided this year.

More opportunities for students to acquire college credits toward degrees and certifications for various careers will be continually sought and welcomed as career choices of students are discovered. This year we begin our first ever Pharmacy Tech class with teacher, Mrs. Amy Silva, RN. This class will allow students to sit for a certification exam and the course count toward a medical completer. We are entering our second year of offering CNA with opportunity for certification upon successfully completing this class. Our first class for CNA included 7 and this year the number is more.

A Career Coach has been added to our campus this year, Ms. Kelsey Smith. She will be working with all students on their Student Success plans and directing our Advisory periods each week. The Advisory Periods will lead each student into career exploration, academic strengths, and constant awareness of their wellbeing. An AHS teacher will continually be checking on each student’s goal through a career planning platform during their Advisory Time each week. A staff of over 40 caring adults will be the catalyst that will teach, motivate and inspire each and every student at Ashdown High.  Our staff consists of 47% of staff with Master Degrees and 2.6% doctorial.  The entire staff continues to be immersed in Professional Learning that advances their own skills in order to move our students to their highest levels.

This year we are adding a “Makerspace” to our library/media center which is a collaborative work space inside our library for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.  The AHS Makerspace is open to students and teachers and has a variety of maker equipment including a 3D printer, an electronic cutter that can be used to cut paper, vinyl, wood, leather and other materials, a soldering iron, a sewing/embroidery machine, a robotics kit, a circuit kit, a binding machine and a plotter printer. This space will help to prepare those who need the critical 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  It will provide hands on learning, help with critical thinking skills and even boost self-confidence.  Some of the skills that are learned will pertain to electronics, 3D printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics, and even woodworking. Students will have the opportunity to schedule work time in the Makerspace during flex time that students acquire throughout the week when they have met class expectations in core classes. Mrs. Smith, the library/media specialist, is continually looking at additional equipment and tools that can be added to this innovative area to enhance our students’ learning and skills.    

 

Mrs. Brittany Crow will be joining our Special Ed. Department and brings with her knowledge of our community and student expectations as she is a recent alumni of Ashdown. She will also be our Cheer Coach for the 2019-2020 school year.  

 

Georgeio Milam comes to us from Nebraska via SAU and Arkansas Tech to join our coaching staff. Milam will be an offensive coach for football and assist with other sports throughout the year. His teaching assignment will be in the physical education department.

 

Our students’ successes continue to be recognized across the state as many of our athletes have signed with major universities and many are being sought after this year as well.  Our business department continues to have over 136 students that have Microsoft Certifications and some placing as high as 4th in National Finals competition. 

I am excited about this school year and welcome the opportunity to continue to help make Ashdown High School the best high school in the state, where students are excited to be a part of and prepares each for their future. 

 

Kay York Wortham. Principal

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