From Our Schools, Boyle County

Published 9:26 am Monday, March 26, 2018

Seniors look forward to cooperative education opportunities



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Boyle County High School offers students many opportunities to prepare for future success. Following its own mission statement “to inspire and equip all students to be successful citizens through the self-disciplined pursuit of their unique abilities,” various clubs, classes and programs are provided to achieve this mission.

One particular offering available for seniors is the cooperative (co-op) work study program. This course allows students to extend their classroom beyond the school walls. They are given the opportunity to earn course credit while working for businesses in the area.

Over 25 years ago, the class was conducted as a vocational offering. Students were given the opportunity to prepare for a vocation by leaving in the afternoon to get started in the workforce learning workplace skills.

Today, the program offers students the opportunity to learn not only technical workplace skills but also important soft skills. Currently, there are two staff members that offer co-op classes. Teachers Toni Myers and Michelle Feistritzer offer agriculture and business education co-op’s, respectively.

Myers says, “When ag co-op first started decades ago, it allowed kids to go back to their family farms and work. This has, of course, changed over the years in this area, but I do have some that still work on a farm, but it’s the minority.”

Presently, students can choose to acquire a job in any field of interest, or they can volunteer to do an unpaid co-op that may give them an opportunity to work in a particular career field that would normally require a certification or license. Students in the co-op class must follow guidelines and meet certain requirements to maintain good standing in the program. This includes meeting grade and attendance requirements as well as securing a certain number of work hours during the school week.

Myers explains, “Students cannot be failing a class, have poor attendance, or lie about their working hours or they will have to be removed from the program and placed into a different class.”

Like any other course, grades are earned for graduation credits. Teachers are given important feedback from employer reports that determines a large portion of a student’s grade. Copies of work schedules and pay stubs turned in by the student/employee are also included in the grade calculation.

Photo by Carol Senn
At this time of the year, Kelsey Gaddis is very busy assisting customers with tux measurements and prom dress fittings at Carol’s Bridal.

For business co-op, students must enroll in a course called career work experience that offers career guidance for each individual that culminates in a job shadowing experience. Resume writing and interviewing skills are also taught.

While taking the course, students become eligible to leave school in the afternoon for their work study experience. Every day in class, Feistritzer emphasizes the importance of developing good soft skills.

“Business co-op gives students the opportunity to utilize soft skills such as responsibility, self-discipline, and time management while bringing a positive attitude to their workplace.”

We spoke to two seniors involved with the program, and the first reason given for taking the course was “to get out of school and make money.”

As seniors now about to graduate, they realize co-op offers many more amazing opportunities than just leaving school. Kelsey Gaddis of ag co-op feels that the program has made her grow to be more responsible, and it also gave her a taste of what the real world is like.

“I would recommend taking co-op to all upcoming seniors. I would tell them that there are many ways you as an individual can benefit from this program. I have gained friendships with customers, employers, and also the employees that I work with at Carol’s Bridal.”

Business co-op student Lucas Ross, working at Burkmann Feeds, recognizes other advantages, “I would definitely recommend this to next year’s seniors. I would tell them that they would be able to gain more hours, money, work experience, and savings for college and the future.”

Myers says with enthusiasm, “I love working with seniors and watching them transition to the workplace.” Reciting the mission statement of BCHS, teachers with the co-op program work to achieve the goal of helping students discover their unique aptitudes and abilities and to realize what they are gifted to share with others. Students quickly learn how important workplace skills are and that every day is an interview.

Senior seeks opportunities to positively impact others

Photo by Seth Stomberger
Loren Ladd truly loves people and is compassionate to all because of her love for God.


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou.
A person’s feelings can be impacted by the simplicity of an act of kindness. One particular senior seeks these opportunities daily to positively impact those around her with kind words and gestures.
Loren Ladd has been spreading kindness since she was young. In elementary school, she visited nursing homes where she played games and sang hymns to the elderly. She also worked in the nursery on Sunday mornings at her father’s Willisburg Christian Church. Ladd participated in many church service projects that even included extending a helping hand with yard work for families living near their church property.
Living as a pastor’s daughter for her entire life, Ladd has been blessed to witness examples of giving and service. “I think I have a unique understanding of service and its value. I have been able to grow up watching my dad and other servants in the church truly love people.”
This unique understanding empowers Ladd to strengthen her faith while finding ways to support others. “I understand service to be more than an ‘event’ or ‘activity.’ I believe it is an attitude and way of life.”
Ladd truly loves and is compassionate to all people, friends and strangers alike, because she loves God and wants to follow his example.
“Jesus, to me, is a prime example of love and compassion. My goal is to see people and their needs the way he did. His care and service were genuine and pure and the perfect example of compassion and service. He left us to follow both challenges, and he encourages me to love people in new ways every day.”
A club offered here at school gives Ladd an avenue for finding new ways to serve. In only her second year as a student at Boyle County High School, she was voted by her peers to serve as president of the Key Club, a chapter extension of the local Kiwanis organization. Within its mission statement of being a “student-led organization that provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership,” Ladd was meant for this role.
“Through Key Club, I have gained confidence and reassurance. Confidence in my ability to lead and reassurance that small acts of kindness can make huge, lasting impressions.”
With service being the focal point, the 45 members of the club work diligently to be involved in two service projects each month. Volunteering is the passion of each of its members and Ladd looks forward to every opportunity to do her part for the community.
Encouraging others at school to also spread kindness, Ladd, through the help of Pinterest, initiated a pay-it-forward project called Kindness Rocks.
“Kindness Rocks are a fun and inexpensive way to spread joy. Our members have shown off their creative abilities by painting adorable pictures and messages on rocks and then placing those rocks around Danville or giving them to friends”.
“We want students to understand that service is fun and that they can use their talents, whatever those talents may be, to impact their community”.
As graduation approaches, Ladd reflects on the time spent growing as a servant leader for the club. “Being a leader is stressful, time-consuming, and at times, challenging. However, it will always teach you rewarding and necessary lessons.”
After graduation, Ladd plans to attend Wheaton College near Chicago to major in biology in hopes of becoming a medical researcher. Fulfilling this plan would allow her to not only continue serving close to home, but around the world. “I hope to join clubs that focus on serving. I hope to go on medical mission trips abroad and maybe pursue medical missions as a career.”
Angelou would be very proud of this young woman who humbly makes people feel special through her good works. Even though this was never Ladd’s intentions, she will never be forgotten by those she has impacted.

Photo contributed by the Boyle County Key Club
Leaders of the Key Club share details of an upcoming community service project with its members.









Man’s best friend – and coworker Photo contributed
By Mitchell Paycheck
On Feb. 27, Officer Jeremiah Nimmo from the Louisville Metro Police Department visited Boyle County High School to speak about his daily life as a police officer. Similarly as he has done since 2009, he spent the entire morning in Michelle Feistritzer’s business classroom answering questions from students regarding law enforcement. “My favorite part about talking to a class is being able to let the students see a way of communication from a police officer that is not so professional and formal.” Nimmo stated. This year he got the chance to talk more about his recent experience with his canine unit and his friend Jaxson.