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FHS students demonstrate ‘leadership’

Farragut High School’s Leadership Initiative held its annual Leadership Initiative Breakfast with Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce Monday, Feb. 18, in FHS Commons.

FHS junior Ashley Sutton said, “We are the community awareness group here at Farragut and we strive to inform the community about our school and also the school about our community.”

She added the class does several multiple service projects each year in keeping with their mission statement.

“Our mission statement is: Farragut Leadership Initiative utilizes the diverse qualities of Farragut [High School] and the Farragut community in developing a school of excellence while facilitating leadership and service,” Ashley said.

Students presented some academic facts about FHS to the chamber including FHS’s ranking locally, regionally and nationally as a Blue Ribbon school; FHS currently has 27 Advanced Placement classes, 15 Honors classes, and teaches five foreign languages and FHS’s ACT scores are 2.9 points higher than the national average and SAT scores are 220 points higher than the national average.

FHS principal Michael Reynolds said, “Farragut High School has a long tradition of excellence. And of commitment by staff and commitment by students in trying to get things done and being progressive.

“We set a challenge two or three years ago that we wanted to make our students competitive in a worldwide market and certainly that is where we have been headed,” he added.

“You wont hear us talk about things; rather you will see us do things.”

Because of the success of its recently established Science Academy, FHS has been working toward establishing academies in other disciplines as well.

Reynolds said, “We have a Science academy now, this is our second year. It is a science research academy. Last year we had 15 students in our Academy who did research at [Oak Ridge National Laboratories]. Last year those 15 students generate over $2 million in scholarships. This year we partnered with the [The University of Tennessee] over the summer and we still continue our partnership with ORNL and next year we will kick off academies in several other disciplines.

“[Some people] said students are not interested in doing research over the summer. I said give them the opportunity. They did and we had students that went to the University and gave up part of their summer to do research.

“It is amazing what happens when you give these students an opportunity,” he added.

Reynolds and the students asked FWKCC members to consider opening their businesses to student internships to help ready students for college.

“Why should the community be involved? Because if we are to keep our best and our brightest here, its important that the community offers them the chance to come back,” Reynolds said.

“We asked our faculty and our students to step up and they have. We have asked our parents and our Education Foundation to step up and they have. Now we ask our community to step up and step in and join us, to help make Farragut the best high school it can possibly be,” he added.

FWKCC president Bettye Sisco encouraged members to help.

She said, “It is always inspiring to me to see students that are in leadership and growing and learning.

“If any of you can come up with some ways to help the school grow and to improve its area and help with the theatre. Dig down deep and put those thinking caps on and lets see if there is a way that we can help this school continue to be one of the greatest in our area,” she added.


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