School resource officers Christian Mellen and Mark Jacobs have spent the beginning of the week touring classrooms at Malletts Bay School telling the story behind the Red Ribbon Campaign and this year’s slogan: your future is key so stay drug free.
Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. “I’m only one person”, he told her, “but I want to make a difference.”
In honor of Camarena’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red ribbon. In Colchester, officers handed out red bracelets to students to wear as a symbol of support and commitment to their community.
After sharing Kiki’s story, Officer Mellen facilitated a discussion with students to encourage them to examine their own communities, both at school and at home, to see how they could make a positive impact. The students proposed cleaning up trash in common areas, donating food or time to a charity, contributing to small acts of kindness like holding a door open for someone, and being a “upstander” to bullying.
The kids sported their red bracelets to show their support of staying safe and drug free while doing their part to help the Malletts Bay School and Colchester communities.
This morning, Colchester High School administered a total of 309 Practice SATs to students in grades 10 and 11 thanks to the VSAC Gear Up Grant. The Practice SAT or PSAT is designed to measure readiness for college, access scholarships, and practice for the SAT. The test is composed of four sections: critical reading, writing skills, and two math sections. It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
Approximately 3.5 million students across the nation take the PSATs to get a feel for the exam and to use their scores to discover what areas they should focus on in advance of taking the SAT.
Typically, families have to cover the exam cost and provide transportation to and from a testing facility on a Saturday. Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, CHS was able to cover the cost for all students and administer the exam right at CHS during the school day. This gave all students, regardless of their ability to pay, the opportunity to prepare for the SAT.
PSAT scores are also used as the qualifying test for entry into the National Merit Scholarships Program. In September, the 16,000 students who scored in the top one percent of the nation were notified that they had qualified as a semifinalist in their state. This year, CHS is proud to have three students among those with the highest scores in Vermont; Charlie Davidson, Megan Lagerquist, and Jacob Dell.
The three CHS semifinalists will be notified in February if they have advanced to the finalist round with a chance to win a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500.