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Adair Co. HS a finalist for PRIDE High School Campus of year

The achievement is the third time Adair County High School has been a finalist in the past five years. Two outstanding Adair County teachers, Sheila Willis and Debbie Bradshaw have been writing PRIDE grants for 10 years. Their efforts are showing big dividends.
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By Cindy Lackey, PRIDE
with additions
CORBIN, KY - Adair County High School (ACHS) was honored Friday at the PRIDE Envi Youth Conference at the Arena in Corbin. The school received a plaque as one of three finalists for the PRIDE High School Campus of the Year Award in the West Division. Nine ACHS and Colonel William E. Casey Elementary School students attended the conference.

Attending from Columbia were Ariel Harris, Baylee Johnson, Calli Antle, Ashley McLean, Jayden Taylor, Elton Cheng, Anna Parson, Don Franklin, Jr.; Ann Powell, and their teachers Debbie Bradshaw and Sheila Willis.During the awards ceremony, a video showcased the ACHS environmental education program. The school's Indian PRIDE Arboretum includes a classroom shelter, wetland, native plant life and walking trails. Here, students of all ages experience a wide variety of hands-on lessons, such as tree identification, plant life cycles and composting. ACHS students mentor Colonel William E. Casey Elementary students year-round, and treat the children to a special pumpkin patch event in the fall and Earth Day celebration in the spring. ACHS also has a 100% recycling program.

The video was seen by 2,300 students at the Youth Conference. The high-energy event featured motivational speakers who take personal responsibility for the environment and serving the community. They challenged the students to live up to their potential and make a difference. The event, including lunch, was free, and PRIDE will reimburse schools for transportation costs.

Debbie Bradshaw and Sheila Willis have by been writing PRIDE grants for 10 years and it has paid off for Adair County. "We won the ENVI in 2004," Sheila Willis said, and were were a finalist in both 2006 and 2009." She added, "Our outdoor classroom exists because of the grant money from PRIDE."The winner of the West Division this year was South Laurel Hgh School, London, KY.Love for learning and the environment is paying off, PRIDE's Engle says

"Students and teachers, you are a source of great pride to your community and our entire region," said PRIDE's Karen Engle. "Your love for learning, the environment and your community are a winning combination. You are on track for great accomplishments. Your recognition here today is just the beginning."

"Today I saw kids having a blast one minute and looking thoughtful the next minute," Engle said. "With the theme of 'PRIDE Needs YOUth,' our goal was to get students excited about their power to make a difference in their hometown and world. Judging by the looks on their faces, they got that message."

The annual PRIDE Campus of the Year Awards honor elementary, middle and high schools for environmental education programs that incorporate hands-on learning, are tied to state curriculum guidelines, and show creativity and community involvement.

Adair County is represented on the PRIDE Board of Directors by A.L. Sinclair, Adair County Solid Waste Coordinator. Adair County Fiscal Court PRIDE Coordinator is Lisa Lee in the office of Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton. Rhonda Loy is the PRIDE Coordinator for the City of Columbia, Patrick R. Bell, Mayor.

PRIDE is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The PRIDE web site is

This story was posted on 2009-10-31 15:30:12
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Adair Co. High a finalist for 3rd time in ENVI awards

2009-10-31 - Corbin, KY - Photo by Cindy Lackey. PRIDE photo. Teachers Shelia Willis and Debbie Bradshaw led nine students from Adair County High School and Colonel William E. Casey Elementary School to the PRIDE Envi Youth Conference. In the photo are, First row, from left, Ariel Harris, Baylee Johnson, Calli Antle, Ashley McLean, Jayden Taylor, Anna Parson, and Don Franklin, Jr. Second row Anna Powell, Mrs. Debbie Bradshaw, Mrs. Sheila Willis, and Elton Cheng.
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