Thursday, April 17, 2008
Hollowell picked for leadership institute
By SUE WATSON
Holy Family School in Holly Springs got some exciting news last week.
Brianna Hollowell, daughter of Belinda McDonald, was chosen as one of the few eighth graders statewide to participate in the 2008 Lott Leadership Institute training in June.
She is one of only 36 rising ninth graders from a large pool of applicants from public, parochial and private schools across the state invited this year to join the Institute’s summer program, according to principal Mille Smith.
Four students from Holy Family - Torris Brown, Klaudean Moncrief, Roleshia Wilkins and Hollowell - filled out applications for the leadership conference this year, according to Ruby Pinson, guidance counselor.
Smith organized a formal announcement at a specially called assembly Tuesday afternoon, April 8, for the cause of celebration.
On hand for the announcement was Holly Springs Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, who congratulated the teachers and the school for this prestigious selection.
“Brianna, I know you are going to do the city proud,” he said. “We appreciate all the work you put in every day. Thank you.”
Pinson said with opportunity comes new challenges for Brianna to continue to accept the responsibilities that go with leadership.
“We are happy because we feel like our students are capable,” Pinson said in a separate interview. “The students had to answer questions in their own words and obtained recommendations from their teachers.”
She said taking leadership roles will help students to obtain college scholarships down the road.
Smith said many staffers helped organize the quickly arranged assembly after the school received the news.
“It was a very tearful but wonderful experience,” she said. “Anytime I can brag on my children, it makes me so happy. This is a wonderful example of how we have successful students when the home works with the school.
“This will open many doors for you, Brianna. Never, ever settle for less than you can be.”
Smith announced that 113 students reached their Accelerated Reader goals and have certificates to take home to their families.
Students were treated to popcorn and fruit drinks immediately following the assembly after being told that Wednesday would be a free shoe day as an added bonus to the celebration. Free-shoe day means the children can wear non-uniform shoes for one day.
Pinson said this is the first year the school has asked students to apply for the Trent Lott Leadership Institute summer camp which begins on the Ole Miss campus June 8 and runs to July 4.
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