CHHS students take story to Chamber

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

Academic excellence is something students at Charles Henderson High School take seriously. In an effort to showcase this to the community, student speakers from the high school participated in a chamber membership luncheon on Thursday.

“We’re doing this to promote our school,” said Alison LeCroy, senior class president. “We would like to boost our enrollment rate and one of the ways to do that is to show off the positive aspects of our school and the various programs we offer.”

Dr. Kathy Murphy, principal, accompanied the students to the luncheon and offered insight on why she asked the students to present their insights.

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“I think sometimes in schools, one of the things we do is we fail to harness our greatest resource, and the greatest resource we have are the students who are in our schools,” Murphy said. “And so, often times, we feel that as the adults, as the principal, as the administrators or as the teachers, it is our job to go out and promote our successes; but, who better to share what’s going on at our schools and promote the successes of our schools than those students who are sitting right there in the middle of it.”

LeCroy says that sometimes she will hear people talking negatively about the public schools, and she wants to counteract those concerns.

“We just want the community to be familiar with the positive aspects of our school, because there really aren’t any negatives,” LeCroy said.

Kaitlin Garrett, president of the Key Club and the National Beta Club, echoed LeCroy saying the only negative thing she’s heard about CHHS were about the uniforms.

“A lot of the kids that leave here and transfer to other schools don’t like the uniforms,” Garrett said. She talked about the importance of being involved with school and taking on leadership positions.

“It’s very important because somebody has to step up and provide a positive influence for the other students,” Garrett said. “Just knowing that you’re trusted in the leadership position that you have, to lead students the right way, is a great feeling and can be really rewarding.”

Murphy, who is in her first year as principal, said she is excited about what is taking place on campus. “I can really feel the emotions of the things that are happening at school: the fun stuff, the academic stuff, the more challenging stuff and the stuff that’s going to take us to the next level,” Murphy said. “Our mantra for the year has been that we are going from ‘good’ to ‘great’.”

Murphy believes that a school becomes “great” by acknowledging areas that need a little bit more attention and highlighting areas in which the student body and the school as a whole is excelling.

“We’re doing some things really, really, well and we want the community to know about it,” Murphy said. “This community supports our school and this community has a right to hear from us and should know what our successes are and we should be using students to share those.”

Liz McGrath, membership and community development for the Chamber of Commerce, recognized the positive aspects of what the CHHS students were doing.

“My initial reaction was that I thought it was great that the school … took the initiative to get the kids together and get them out into the community,” McGrath said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get student leaders out in the community for things like this, because, too often, you have the ‘adult’ world separate from the ‘kid’ world and things like what these kids are doing is helping to mesh those two worlds together.”