Rachel Joy Scott was the first student killed during the Columbine High School shooting of 1999, but her memory lives on and is making a difference in young lives all over the world as well as in Gainesville.
The “Rachel's Challenge” initiative was introduced on all Gainesville Independent School District campuses during fall 2012. The “challenge,” once accepted, equips students and adults to combat bullying at its core — with the main idea being to curb feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion.
“Its implementation continues to improve student moral, integrity and anti-bullying efforts and it has really made a difference in the last year,” said Lori Hart, counselor at Lee Intermediate School. “Our goal is to continue to improve the climate of our schools and help students to think about the feelings of others and realize how their actions affect others.”
Accordingly, all of the Gainesville ISD campuses formed clubs, started an act-of-kindness chain in their respective hallways and students signed the “I Accept Rachel's Challenge” banners that were displayed on all of the campuses. For example, Lee Intermediate School alone compiled 2,332 documented links of paper down their hallways, each link representing an act of kindness toward another student or teacher.
"The first Rachel's Challenge assembly brought tears to many student's eyes,” said Anna Wiles, counselor at Gainesville High School. “You could see the impact of Rachel's story written on their faces. Every young person has either felt left out at one time or another. This program brought attention to how we are all more similar than we are different. This is our first year using this program at GHS, and I anticipate it growing next year in our district.”
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GISD teachers thank school board at meeting
Gainesville Independent School District (GISD) teachers rallied at the Monday school board meeting to thank the board for the recent GISD district extra duty pay given out at the first of December.
NCTC honors graduates at commencement ceremonies
North Central Texas College hosted two commencement ceremonies last week to honor the Fall 2013 graduates.
Additional candidates file before deadline
Local candidates in the March 2014 election assembled on the Cooke County Courthouse steps recently for a group photo. Pictured, left to right, are Carroll Johnson, Lee Tatum, John Morris, Aaron Smith, Vince Rippy, Jason Brinkley, Byron Berry, Neil Trice, Leon Klement. Front: Patty Brennan, Rebecca Lawson, Susan Hughes, Dorthy Lewis. Not pictured is B.C. Lemons.
Icy weather forces changes during NCTC finals week
North Central Texas College officials dealt with the county’s recent winter weather by rescheduling semester finals and managing campus walkways, but an expected freeze during this coming week should pose fewer problems.
Chamber guests donate food for VISTO
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce held its holiday mixer at Fuzzy's Taco. The restaurant provided nachos for the event. In addition, mixer guests were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for VISTO's food pantry. Pictured above are Shari Kuykendall, Kelly Corbett, Mary Jo Graham, Rhonda Beam and Renea Stephens. Fuzzy's patrons can still donate to the food drive.
NCTC president is also a talented artist
A bronze bull dog named Sadie Mae is one of several works of art created by North Central Texas College President Dr. Eddie Hadlock. The busy college president makes time in his schedule to enjoy art.
Abigail's Arms agents talk to Lions Club about new program
A recent Gainesville Lions Club meeting included a program about a community initiative to help sexual assault victims.
Fatality reported near Love County
LOVE COUNTY, OKLA. — Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported a pedestrian fatality that followed a one-car collision Monday evening on State Highway 32.
Combs announces allocations for December
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported Wednesday that state sales tax revenue in November was $2.41 billion, up 2.8 percent compared to November 2012.
Morris seeks re-election
Incumbent County Court-at-Law Judge John Morris has opted for an additional term in 2014, following a long history of local service.
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