February 13, 2012 by wcobserver
WEST FORK – Like their peers who make big plays and win big games in athletics, the students with outstanding academic performance were given a pep rally of their own at the West Fork High School on Fri- day, Feb. 3.
A nationally-recognized initiative, Renaissance Program, works to acknowledge the educational achievements of students. Begun in West Fork in 2006, the program continues with a bang with the bi-annual pep rallies. And this time, the pep rally theme was quite appropriate for anyone who’s had to endure high school — it was “Survivor.” Those students with perfect attendance, a 3.30 GPA or above, and/or a .5 improvement in their GPA were recognized for their hard work with all sorts of prizes.
Of course, it wouldn’t much of a pep-rally without the student body cheering them on, so as their names were called, those academically achieving students burst through a throng of teachers during the event before setting down to draw prizes.
“The program is about recognizing kids for their academic achievements,” said West Fork Principal, John Crowder. “You know, so many times we recognize kids — and rightfully so — for their sports achievements or their band achievements, their extracurricular achievements. But sometimes, we don’t think about recognizing them for the main reason we’re at school in the first place.”
The program itself is improving every year with the help of the “Renaissance Sup- port Team,” comprised of members of the community and the WFHS staff. The team raises the money needed to purchase the event t-shirts and prizes for the academically successful students, like team jerseys and trophies for the athletes. The team — comprised of Doyle Baker, Beverly Boyd, Delmar Ferrell, Tim Helder, Rick Lawson and Lisa Sagely — is also hoping to expand the program, offering opportunities for further rewards, including a college scholar- ship giveaway, Crowder said.
The Renaissence Program wouldn’t have been possible, Crowder said, without the financial support from Hight-Jackson, Arvest Bank, Houndstooth, Delmar and Sherry Farrell, and Rick and Jo Lawson. Crowder said the program has set a goal of raising $3,000 for the hardworking students.