Deer Creek Lodge hosts leadership conference

 
Messenger photos by Mike Munden
Students who completed the first year of Strickland’s “Closing the Achievement Gap” program gathered May 27 to celebrate their academic progress.

On May 27, Gov. Ted Strickland traveled to Deer Creek State Park in Mount Sterling to address students participating in the Student Leadership Conference.

The two-day event, sponsored by the Governor’s Office for Closing the Achieve-ment Gap, comes one year after the state kicked off an initiative to increase graduation rates, especially among African American males. Two thousand teachers, parents and business people attended the May 2007 conference.

“As a result, action plans were dev-eloped for 33 schools in the state with the highest dropout rates,” explained Keith Dailey, Strickland’s press secretary.

The program targets ninth-grade stu-dents who have at least one of the follow-ing risk factors—is over-age, failed two major courses the previous year, was suspended, or has a record of low attendance.

 
Gov. Ted Strickland addresses the Student Leadership Conference at Deer Creek State Park, a two-day event that brought young students from all over the state to the park south of Mount Sterling.

“Each participating building has a Closing the Achievement Gap coordinator, and each student gets a personal motivator who meets with them regularly,” Dailey said.

Additionally, each school is supported by a graduation action team that includes social service representatives and mentors from the public and private sectors. Parent involvement also is key.

“The idea of the Student Leadership Conference is to reconnect after one year to see what is working and to celebrate the successes,” Dailey said.

Students who completed the first year of the program will serve as mentors to incoming freshmen this fall.

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