In May 8-14 issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal ReporterABOVE: Students at Russell Springs Elementary watched their principal drop prizes in a fund raising event for for the school’s PTO on Tuesday. The local school year ends May 23.
RUSSELL SPRINGS - With less than two weeks until the end of school, the county's students are making the most of their final days in, or out, of the classroom.
All four county elementary schools, Russell County Middle School and Russell County High School have begun their stretch run, completing CATS testing and having special activities until school lets out on May 23.
With fun days, picnics and time with friends a plenty, the students of Russell County schools are enjoying a break from those pesky quizzes and tests that have haunted them since August.
Russell Springs Elementary had their first ever PTO Hot Air Balloon "Drop for Cash" on Tuesday with the $5,000 grand prize going to Kathy Casey and the second place prize of a State Dock houseboat weekend on Lake Cumberland going to Ronda Jones. Two others received $100 prizes and four others received $50 prizes.
Mike Wade, owner and operator of H.I. Flights, Inc, in Nicholasville brought the hot air balloon to the school for the event, according to Principal Kathy I. Hammond.
"We really had a great turnout," she said. "We've really done well."
Hammond said that with the funds raised from the selling of tickets for the "Drop for Cash," the PTO would be able to purchase some new items for the children next school year.
"I think the kids really enjoyed it," Hammond said. "They really enjoyed seeing the balloon in action and how it worked."
She said the weather and the smiles on the student's faces made for a very "memorable," day.
Hammond said that the school has something planned for the students every day until May 23, the final day of school, including field day, a dog show, track day, karaoke and several dances highlighting the final two-week schedule. The 6th grade will also take a trip to Kentucky Kingdom on May 15.
She also said testing had gone well so far and that the kids had been "very focused."
"It was the best testing atmosphere that we've had," she said.
Hammond said the date for school being moved up two weeks from June 4 to May 23 put the school's administration into "rush mode."
"We just had to condense everything but we made it work," she said.
School Secretary Freda Aaron said the school's 6th grade graduation is on May 23 at 8 a.m.
At Salem Elementary, School Counselor Dorothy Parson said events had been planned but the dates were still being finalized as the ending school date had been pushed up.
"We've just kind of had to squeeze it into fewer days," she said.
She said that the school's kindergarten graduation would be at 9 a.m. May 21 and the 6th grade graduation would be at 9 a.m. on May 22.
"We got a school Field Day on May 15 but some of the picnics are still being scheduled," she said. "On May 9 our 6th graders are having a dance and on May 13, they will be taking a trip to Wolf Creek Dam."
She said testing at Salem had gone well so far and that the students had all tried their best.
At Union Chapel Elementary, Principal Cynthia Roberts said her school was also getting involved with various recreational activities during the final two weeks of classes.
"We have our PTO sponsored 'fun day,' which includes the whole school, on May 19," she said. "This will involve the big inflatables and our yearbook will be passed out on this day as well which is always a big event."
Roberts said 6th grade graduation will be on May 22 at 8 a.m. and the K-5 awards will be that same day at 9 a.m.
She said her school had planned accordingly for the ending school date being moved up and that it didn't affect their schedule too much.
"We just had to condense things," she said. "It is kind of like an accordion, you know, you just have to squeeze it up a little tighter."
At Jamestown Elementary, Principal Wayne Ackerman said he had also had to rearrange some things on the schedule to get them to fit after the last day of school changed.
Finally, Russell County High School has already began their eventful stretch run as seniors have already job-shadowed at local businesses and prom was held last Saturday. Currently, many of the graduating class are on a trip to New York City where they are touring the Big Apple and taking in all the sights and sounds of the big city.
Principal Darren Gossage said that CATS testing had been a success and that next on the agenda was a rewards picnic this Friday along with prepping for finals.
Kelly Pierce, a secretary at the school, said the Bank of Jamestown 4.0 GPA Banquet will be on May 15 at 6 p.m.
May 19 is set to be underclassmen and senior awards night at 6 p.m. at the school while on May 20, the First National Bank Hall of Fame Banquet will at 6 p.m. at The Cove restaurant, Pierce said.
May 21 is senior movie day and picnic while May 22 is the senior awards breakfast and graduation practice. High school graduation and commencement will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 23.