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Student role models land on posters for others to learn from

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By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE -- Fourteen local students were recognized for their commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the Bullitt County Public Schools’ VIP Youth Poster Campaign, sponsored by the Bullitt County Partners in Prevention (PIP) program.

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The event is organized by the BCPS Safe and Drug-Free Schools program. Students become the focus of posters sharing their stance against implementing harmful substances into their lives.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools coordinator Jaime Goldsmith said each student was selected through a process including nomination by a teacher, a written essay and selection by a panel of six judges.

“It was an honor to get to know them,” Goldsmith said of the students. “We expect to see great things from them and hope to see them become leaders of this community.”

Posters include photographs of each student taken in an environment the student selects as an example of their drug-free lifestyle. Portions of their essays are included on the posters.

An unveiling ceremony took place at the Shepherdsville Government Center.

Among the dignitaries in attendance was superintendent Keith Davis, who was proud to meet students that promoted a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.

“I was very impressed with their poise and their speaking abilities,” said Davis. “The personalities of these students showed well tonight.”

Each student was congratulated by Bullitt county Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts and Shepherdsville Police Officer Jason Rives, who presented each with a PIP certificate.

Following the ceremony students personally autographed copies of their posters for families, friends and teachers.

Amanda Williams, a senior at Bullitt Central, was nominated by English instructor Susan Barrowman.

“(Amanda) turned in every assignment - a rare feat for a junior,” Barrowman said in her nomination. “She is also involved in extracurricular activities. Despite her heavy schedule, not only were all homeworks turned in, they were all scored at 100 percent.”

“I was excited to be nominated,” Williams said. “I’m pleased with everyone’s support.”

Bullitt East graduate Adam Herth was scheduled to arrive at Morehead State University the morning following the reception. He was nominated by counselor Dana Steinmetz.

“There is not a more well-rounded student in our school than Adam Herth,” Steinmetz said. “Not only is he drug and alcohol free, but his teachers also say that Adam is the kind of student that makes them want to be better teachers.”

“It makes you feel good to be a part of this program,” Herth said. “Hopefully others will see the posters and get involved in the program.”

The posters will be distributed throughout the county, being placed on the walls of schools and businesses as reminders of the importance of a drug-free lifestyle on students along with the responsibility of adults to assist with support.

“It was great being able to focus on the positive aspect of youth in Bullitt County,” said PIP co-chair Patty Gregory. “These students are a positive example of how Bullitt County students can be successful and lead alcohol, tobacco and drug-free lives.”

VIP Youth Poster Campaign participants include:

*Keenan Cischke, freshman, Bullitt East High School

*Amber Conover, Bullitt Central High School graduate

*Kayla Druin, senior, North Bullitt High School

*Craig English, 7th grade, Eastside Middle School

*Brittany Gajdik, senior, Bullitt East High School

*Adam Herth, Bullitt East High School graduate

*Alexia Higginbotham, freshman, Bullitt East High School

*Jessi Hottois, freshman, Bullitt East High School

*Emily King, 7th grade, Eastside Middle School

*Andrew Okruch, freshman, Bullitt East High School

*Dillon Sego, 8th grade, Eastside Middle School

*Mackenzie Terrell, 7th grade, Bullitt Lick Middle School

*Kalynn Walls, freshman, Bullitt Central High School

*Amanda Williams, senior, Bullitt Central High School