Members of the High School Leadership Class of 2007-2008 outside the Hopkins County Courthouse in January during a day of informative sessions focusing on law enforcement and the judicial system in Hopkins County. Forty-one Sulphur Springs High School students have been named to next year's Leadership Class, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of rural schools in the county will be named at a later date.
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Forty-one from SSHS named to High School Leadership Class

Applications almost double for Chamber-sponsored journey beyond classroom

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 2, 2008 - Forty-one students from Sulphur Springs High School have been chosen from what appears to be a near record number of applicants to take part in next year's High School Leadership Class.

"This year, we had 78 applications from SSHS for the High School Leadership Class, which is almost double the previous year," said Meredith Caddell, president and chief executive officer of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the leadership group each year.

The High School Leadership Class takes some of the best and brightest students in Hopkins County on a journey of practical knowledge beyond the classroom. It's akin to a college course on critical thinking and how the real world works, with students taking part in discussions with community leaders on such subjects as the political system, poverty, the opportunities of the future and other topics.

An anonymous five-person committee was faced with a tough job of selecting the finalists for inclusion to the class. Caddell said the group would have liked to have added more names to the list, but the sheer volume of high-quality applicants forced the committee to make some tough decisions.

SSHS students chosen for the class includeCecily Adams; Eddie Arciga; Ben Barrows; Bailey Booher; Alyssa Burney; Baleigh Butler; Britney Cheatham; Kayla Chester; Brittani Crawford; MacKenzie Cross; Katie Dodd; Brandon Fain; Sarah Fox; Andy Ginn; Bonnie Grafton; Garrett Gray; Ross Hicks; Whitney Hu; Jace Jackson; Stephen Kramer; Brittany Lamphere; John Latham; Anna Longino; Kylie Lucas; Morgan Lutz; Richard McCroskey; Jamie McKinnon; Krista McMahan; John McSheffery; Jake Moreland; Sarah Nelson; Cammie Pingel; Alyssa Post; Kaitlyn Potts; Heath Robinson; Jake Russell; Dylan Rutherford; Kelsey Smith; Ayanna Smith; Cooper Welch; and Christopher White.

The class is not complete, however, as several students from rural schools in Hopkins County will be named to the group around the start of the coming school year.

The tentative schedule calls for students taking a Ropes Challenge Course in September to learn trust, confidence and team-building skills. In October, they will attend sessions with elected officials on "Justice, Order and Politics." November is penciled in for discussions on "Poverty, Crisis and Cultural Sensitivity." "Education and Tomorrow's Opportunities" is the subject of a January meeting, followed by the February session on "Ethical Decision Making." The class will conclude its activities in April or May with an end-of-school field trip.

Individuals, organizations and local businesses will be asked at a later date to help sponsor the Leadership Class. Caddell expects to send out letters to potential sponsors around the first of August, but anyone who is interested in helping contribute to the effort can contact Caddell at the Chamber by calling 903-885-6515.

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