A cookout was held for the Union County High School Class of 2013 on Thursday, offering students not only food and fellowship, but also a voice.
Approximately 80 students participated in Thursday’s cookout. They were asked to sign in as they arrived, and each one was given a color-coded card. They were then asked to sit at the table matching the color of their card. Lyles said he does this each year to get students out of their comfort zones and encourage them to talk to someone new.
Each of the cards had the following three questions printed on it:
What do you enjoy most about Union County High School?
What do you dislike about Union County High School?
What are some things you would like to see implemented during your senior year?
The students discussed their answers in the groups and wrote them on a poster-sized sheet of paper. Answers covered various topics including dress code, the length of lunches, seven-period days, pep rallies for sports other than football, cell phones and senior privileges.
Following the discussions, students were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings, which were grilled outside by the cooking crew of Randy George, John Rampey and Interim Athletic Director Will Hickson.
After the meal, a spokesperson from each student group came to the front of the cafeteria and discussed the groups’ feedback.
Lyles thanked the students, explaining that some things are district policies, which would have to be taken to a completely different level to change. He told them that some areas, such as ISS, would be different in the coming school year. He explained that students will have the opportunity to stay after school — on their own time — to get demerits erased, avoiding ISS.
Lyles also mentioned a new campaign known as Jacket Power: Every student. Every teacher. Every parent. Every day.
“Our whole mindset is, ‘How are we going to make our culture different?’” Lyles said. “How are we going to make it a better place for students?”
District Career Facilitator Julie Conard unveiled a sample t-shirt with the Jacket Power message.
“I feel like the momentum is changing, and it’s a new opportunity for our students to be successful,” Lyles said.
Following the meal and discussions, students enjoyed a dance contest and other games.
Lyles said donations were made by Food Lion, Walmart and Bi-Lo for the event.
“Food Lion went above and beyond as always,” he said.