Monday night’s Webster County School Board meeting started the way district officials like to start every meeting, by recognizing a local student (or students) for a major feat or accomplishment. This time it was Justin Newton, a WCHS student recently elected as a national officer for the SkillsUSA program.

“I can’t say how proud I am of Justin,” said Jeff Jones, the local SkillsUSA chapter sponsor. “I’ve been a teacher for four years. The changes I’ve seen in this kid have made me a teacher for life.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The program not only looks to fill the gaps between the more traditional education model and the trade professions, it also gives students like Newton a chance to develop leadership abilities.

“Mr. Jones pushed me to become a state officer last year,” Newton said. “I didn’t know what that was. This whole year has been about learning how SkillsUSA impacts everyone’s lives.”

Exactly which office Newton will hold is expected to be announced soon, but from this moment on his life is about to get very busy. As a national officer, he will be making trips to many places around the country, including Washington D.C. where he and a group from WCHS were last week.

The position will also see him preceding over large groups of SkillsUSA students at conventions, and will most likely include a trip to the White House to meet the president. He will also be speaking in front of 10,000 SkillsUSA students and instructors next summer at Freedom Hall.

“He will be very visible throughout the US during the next year,” said Jones.

Newton, who works part time for the Journal-Enterprise, is looking to go into journalism after high school.

In other business, the board adopted several new and updated Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA) policies for the upcoming school year. Most of these are safety related changes, with some of them being mandated by state legislators.

One of those is a requirement that the district send out notices reminding parents and students that terroristic threatening is a crime (see attached story).

Webster County Ready Fest is scheduled for August 7 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Webster County Middle School.



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