Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam took time during this week’s regular monthly board meeting to acknowledge students from the vocational school for their outstanding performance.
“I have asked Brett Thompson to come down and share with you all some successes that his students have made,”explained Gilliam. “We hear a lot from our four elementary schools and of course the high school but we don’t get to hear a lot from the vocational school, so he is going to represent all of the programs at the vocational school and kind of tell you what his three students did.”
Thompson spoke specifically about three students and their work with the Cisco program.
“I would like to talk about three students of your alls that I am beyond proud of — Nick Freeman, Brittany Skidmore and Darren Jackson,” said Thompson. “These students stood out head and shoulders above some of their peers and they really made a commitment at the end of the year to take the CCA exam.”
The exam stands for Cisco Certified Associate and Thompson explained that it is the same exam that many computer professionals have to take.
“You can basically keep a very high level computer network — like Bell County School — up and running. It is a piece of paper that says “I know what I am doing’,” explained Thompson. “It’s like a teaching certification, it just means you’ve got what it takes to make it happen.”
All three students graduated in May and then spent the week after graduation attending a “boot camp” to ensure they passed the exam. The hard work paid off — all three students passed the exam and have moved for school and work.
Gilliam also reported a half of a point gain in ACT scores for Bell High during her superintendent report.
“I wanted to put in Bell County’s ACT scores,” said Gilliam. “I am thrilled to death.”
Gilliam acknowledged the increase may not seem like much but, when put into perspective, it was significant.
“A point five gain doesn’t sound like a lot but on an ACT, when you’re talking about a zero to 18, a half a point is very significant,” explained Gilliam. “That is quite an accomplishment for the faculty, staff and most of all the students. I am so proud of their efforts.”
Reina P. Cunningham can be reached at 606-302-9100 on Twitter @ReinaMDN.