Those who remember the columns I wrote during my tenure at The Carthage Press may recall that nearly every year I wrote at least one defending teenagers. Of course, those columns were written at a time when nearly every dealing I had with students concerned some positive activity in which they were involved.
For the past seven years, I have thankfully discovered that my instincts were not fooling me when I wrote those columns. Yes, there are hooligans among our young people, just as there have been in every era, but they are far outnumbered by teenagers who take an interest in more than just the latest songs and fashions.
A group of those teenagers, about one-third of the eighth graders at South Middle School not only participated in the annual Project Citizen in Jefferson City Monday, but half of those students qualified for the national Project Citizen conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
History teacher Rocky Biggers has spearheaded the school's involvement in the activity over the past few years. He appreciates the idea behind Project Citizen: students suggesting improvements that can be made in their communities, researching problems and proposing solutions. Each of Rocky's classes presented proposals to faculty judges and the top two qualified for Monday's trip to Jefferson City.
Rocky's first hour team qualified for nationals with its portfolio. I will provide more information later about the proposal the students presented.
Students who qualified for the Salt Lake City trip were:
Cheyenna Beck, Maddison Billings, Zack Brower, Shelbi Cooper, Paco Gonzales, Rusty Grasser, David Greene, Angelica Himojosa, Michelle Holden, Sierra Hutchinson, Tilly Ingram,Candra Kaderly, Danielle Kleeman, Roni Leonard, Shelby McMillen, Blake Mills, Alex Needham, John Ness, Tabitha Robbins, Ryan Simpson, Adam Sonnier, Jeff Taylor, Miranda Veith, and Ashton White.