Area students given ‘PRAISE’

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, April 8, 2010

Students from high schools across the county were honored along with their teachers at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce PRAISE Banquet Thursday for outstanding performances on the American College Testing (ACT) exam.

After an invocation and lunch, the top-scoring seniors from each of Charles Henderson High School, Goshen High School, Pike County High School and Pike Liberal Arts were recognized by family and friends, before they introduced the teachers that helped them stand out among their peers.

Joesph Sharp of CHHS thanked his history teacher Kevin Watson.

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Sharp commented on how “Coach” Watson helped him develop critical thinking skills and prepare him for college test taking.

He also said Watson taught him to view controversial issues from different perspectives.

Watson was excited about Sharp’s future.

“I look forward to seeing what he does,” Watson said. “I know he’s going to go far.”

Sharp will get a little help wherever he goes. With the highest ACT score of all seniors in the county, he earned the $1,000 PRAISE Scholarship.

Next, Joshua Richards accepted his award for GHS’s highest score.

He hugged his favorite teacher Kathy Scholfield before she took the floor.

“Children like Joshua keep us going,” Scholfield said. But the math teacher couldn’t take all the credit.

“I think his parents raised him right,” she said.

Shayla Terry had the highest score for PCHS, and she could have been voted the class clown of the banquet.

Terry jokingly suggested that her math instructor Melinda Defee may have done her a favor by passing her in Trigonometry, but she was genuine in her anecdotal admiration.

“You just have to love her,” she said. “She’s the smartest most amazing blond I’ve ever met.

PLAS’s Kelly Cash was the final student to speak to the room.

As homecoming queen she honored her mentor, Kim Dillard, who also once stood atop the PLA homecoming court.

“It was easy teaching someone like Kelly,” Dillard said

“She’s very conscientious, and that’s what I appreciate about her. While Kelly is very attractive her true beauty lies within.”

The PRAISE Scholarship has been awarded annually for more 25 years.

This years sponsors included Troy Bank & Trust, Hank and Eulane Jones, the City of Troy, Troy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Felton-Smith, Ann Ammons, and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.