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‘Focus’ giveaway returns to NH

‘Focus’ giveaway returns to NH
‘Focus’ giveaway returns to NH
North Harrison seniors sign pledge cards and an honor banner, that will hang in the school throughout the school year. 'It's a really good, quality program,' said senior Brittany Edge of Ramsey. 'It'll give us guidelines that we can use the rest of our lives. And Miss Indiana is an awesome singer.' (Photo by Lee Cable)

North Harrison High School and Heritage Ford of Corydon have teamed up again this year to sponsor the Character Education Kickoff, a program that gives students the opportunity to earn tickets toward winning a new Ford Focus and other prizes.
The kickoff of the program, on Aug. 14, included an address by Miss Indiana 2007 Nicole Rash on the importance of developing a good character and the signing of pledge cards and honor banner by the students.
‘I’m not a beauty queen,’ Rash told the students, who had assembled in the gym. ‘I’m a scholarship winner. And I believe that building good moral character should be everyone’s goal.
‘Courage, loyalty, virtue, fairness, tolerance and respect is important to all of us,’ she said. ‘And we must practice compassion and learn to help someone without getting something for it. If someone is struggling, help them out. Even if you can’t control what other people do, you do have control over your own decisions and choices.’
Rash told the students that some choices can hurt them later.
‘In the future, what if your employer doesn’t allow tattoos?’ she asked. ‘They may not be so cool then. And you need to surround yourself with positive people. You need to be punctual. Education is the key to success. You should also listen to your parents and grandparents. They have life experiences.’
Rash, a student at Ball State University, had the attention of at least most of the students from her very first sentence. The gym was quiet as she told them about herself and the type of student she was in high school.
‘Believe it or not,’ she said. ‘I drove an old 1988 Oldsmobile to school. I never wore Abercrombie and Fitch or any of the other fashions that a lot of students wear. And I was voted the most likely to become a rock star. And I love to ride my motorcycle.’
When she told the students that she was a singer and loved to sing in Spanish, one student held up his hand and asked her to sing for them.
‘This is kind of embarrassing,’ she replied, blushing a little.
Then she sang a verse of a Mexican ballad. The deafening applause signaled the approval of the whole audience.
After Rash’s address, North Harrison High School seniors were invited to sign pledge cards and the honor banner, which will hang in the school throughout the school year. The rest of the students would have an opportunity to sign pledge cards later.
The objective of the program is to reduce school tardies by 20 percent, improve school attendance to 98 percent, reduce the number of failures by 20 percent, reduce the number of discipline referrals by 20 percent and to increase the schools ISTEP passing percentage to 73 percent.
Students will earn tickets for entries for all the prizes to be given away in May, including the 2008 Ford Focus donated by Heritage Ford in Corydon. Students earn one prize entry for having zero tardies, zero failures, zero absences and zero discipline referrals. For 10 hours of community service, they earn another chance. Passing both sections of the ISTEP exam earns students two entries, as will being on the A-B honor roll. The A honor roll will earn students three entries.
Doug Dodge, the high school’s assistant principal, said that most of the goals set last school year were met.
On May 16, to be known next year as ‘Focus Friday,’ the names of 10 individuals will be randomly drawn from all the entry tickets for an attempt to win the new car. Those students will each select a vehicle key, including one that will start the Focus.
North Harrison implemented the character education program last school year. Megan Wiedeback, who was a junior then, won the 2007 Ford Focus. Heather French Henry, the 2000 Miss America, was the guest speaker at the beginning of that school year to help kick-off the program.

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