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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Being one of only three Kentucky high schools selected as a Close the Deal site definitely had advantages for Bullitt Central graduating seniors.
The Class of 2013 earned $3,539,380 in scholarships and $235,288 in KEES for a grand total of $3,774,668.
In 2012, BCHS seniors earned $3.6 million in scholarships and KEES funds.
The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) means seniors who made the most out of their high school experience by studying hard and making good grades have even more money already set aside for college.
Counselor Shannon Sellinger said the school was chosen for Close the Deal, an initiative started by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson while he was Louisville mayor, to increase the number of students applying to college.
Abramson was present in October to speak to the students.
“It was a big event where we had 30 representatives from various colleges, financial institutions, and local business people to speak to the students about admissions, financial aid, and college life,” Sellinger said.
After the deal, BCHS staff continually reminded seniors the importance of post-secondary education.
“Throughout the year, the staff worked hard to reach every senior and try to get them to apply to college,” Sellinger added.
The efforts paid off.
“We ended up with 90 percent of the senior class applying for scholarships,” she said. “We also had several events for help with financial aid. We had 60 percent of our students fill out the FAFSA which was the biggest jump in the state.”
Principal Christy Coulter equated Close the Deal with striking a motivational match for students.
“Close the Deal provided the spark that ignited the fire for helping our high school seniors get a plan for life,” she said. “This program focuses school counselors and administrators to track every student.”
District Title IX Coordinator Susan Bibelhauser said Close the Deal, “was a great partnership between the State, the colleges/universities, school personnel and community representatives.”
“The state provided the template for the program,” she continued. “The colleges/universities provided their guidance, expertise and information regarding their programming; school personnel such as counselors, social workers, and youth service center coordinators worked together to make sure kids were prepared for the event, and central office staff helped coordinate and plan details of the college fair portion of the event; Paroquet Springs personnel worked with us to help put on a quality event.”
Bullitt County Public Schools Superintendent Keith Davis praised the concept of Close the Deal and lauded Bullitt Central’s participation.
“Close the Deal fits perfectly into our primary focus of preparing every graduate for college or a career,” Davis said. “The success of the initiative at BCHS is a credit to Mrs. Coulter, Mrs. Sellinger and the entire BCHS team. Next year, we are expanding the event to all three high schools.”
Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.