Monday, December 19, 2011

Alert Now Message (Monday, December 19, 2011)

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21st will be exams for students across Limestone County. We will be testing periods, 2, 4, and 6 on Tuesday and periods 1, 3, 5, and 7 on Wednesday. In order to give students more time for each exam we will be on a different bell schedule these days. For complete details please see our website. Thank you and have a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Alert Now Message (Friday December 16)

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. Semester exams are given December 20 and 21. Monday, December 19 is a regular day for all our students. Sixth grade will be having regular classes through December 21 since they do not take semester exams. For complete details concerning semester exams please see the school website. We hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Superintendent (Article from

ATHENS, Alabama -- The Limestone County school board is seeking input from school employees and residents on what they want in the district's new superintendent.
The board is conducting an online survey to determine what characteristics and skills the next leader of the 8,900-student school system should possess. Former Superintendent Barry Carroll retired on Dec. 1.
The survey is anonymous and takes about 10 minutes to complete, said Karen Tucker, director of technology, public relations and professional development for Limestone County Schools. Board members will meet in early January to review the results and set the criteria for choosing the superintendent.
The board anticipates launching the search on Jan. 20, Tucker said.
The survey link, which will remain open through Jan. 1, can be found on the district's homepage at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Band Honors

Our Ardmore High School Band is renown for its excellence. Mr. Bowman and the band members work very hard to stay at the exemplary level considered to be the norm for Ardmore. Our students are great musicians and students so not surprisingly they win many honors individually and as a band.

The latest honors are for Veronika Gerhold, Jessica Davis, and Sandra Woodard who were selected to participate in the University of Alabama High School Symphonic Honor Band. It is a great honor to be selected, as nearly 1,000 high school band students from across the South apply each year, and only 350 are selected.

Our band performs in their annual Christmas concert Thursday night, December 15 in the gym. Please come out and support our band.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Preparing for Semester Exams

Semester exams are quickly approaching and students are scrambling to make sure they end up with the grade they desire. Santa doesn’t do semester exams, so preparation and hard work are necessary. Of course the real answer is to learn the material as the year progressed so studying is just a review. It is similar to saying don’t wait until your child is about to start college to start saving.

When the preparation hasn’t been done, a student must still have a plan. It is never too early to start studying for the exams. Just a little time each night reviewing notes and textbooks can pay huge dividends, especially with exams only a week away. As the exams draw even closer, nearly all teachers will pass out study guide for the test. These study guides should be completed (not copied) and in doing so the material is refreshed in the mind of the student. Once the study guide is complete a little studying and quizzing from someone else can pay off. If you want to really surprise your parents, ask them to help you study. After you pick them up from the ground (because they passed out from the shock) they will be more than happy to help you study.

It is important to make sure and plan ahead depending on your exam schedule. Depending on your academic schedule your really hard exams may be spread out, or could end up on one day. This is an important consideration when budgeting your study time. This is an excellent skill to learn for college bound students because amount of time studying generally equates to grade earned.

We hope our students have prepared themselves for what is to come and the good news is that it is never too late to try. As long as the paper hasn’t been turned into the teacher there is still time to study, and maybe a say a little prayer.


For those of you that might not be familiar with CARE, it is an acronym for Core Assignment REcovery (CARE). The acronym isn't perfect but it gets the point across. We want all students to do their work. We do not accept students coming on campus and not doing work. When students do not do their work, they are given a "CARE" sheet which means they must make up the work by the assigned date. Many teachers do not award full credit for the assignment since the student didn't do the assignment when it was given.

If students still do not complete the assignment, their name is sent to the assistant principal and they are assigned a day of In-School Suspension (ISS) to do the work. This ensures students do their work and although they may not make as good as they would have the first time it keeps them from receiving a zero and hopefully encourages them to do the assignment the first time it is assigned.

If your student brings home a CARE form please note that unless it is a test, they do not have to come to school to do the assignment. We have detention available before and after school for them to take tests and studnets are certainly allowed to do other work during this time, but if the work is homework or classwork they can do it at home.

We want to help students understand that doing the work assigned by the teacher is very important and improves not only the grade, but the comprehension and retention of the material. Working together we can make a difference.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

President's Roosevelt's Declaration of War

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Here is a video on Fox News about Pearl Harbor.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Coach Mike Jackson for being chosen Ardmore High School Teacher of the Year! Coach Jackson has been with LCS for thirty-one years. Prior to obtaining his teaching certificate he was a volunteer coach seven years at West Limestone and Owens. He is working on his twenty-fourth year of teaching and coaching at AHS. Coach Jackson has a BS degree in Biology and PE and a Masters degree in Biology with an endorsement in General Science. He has taught Physical Science, Environmental Science, Earth Science, and Biology. He has been the department chair for Science for the last seven years. In addition to teaching, Coach Jackson has coached softball, basketball, baseball, and is currently coaching football and golf.

Teaching and coaching have presented many memorable experiences, but there are two that are top on his list. His coaching moment came in the top of the seventh inning in 1993 when he called time out in the final game of the State Softball Tournament to pinch hit for Sissy Vanhouser. He stated, "We met halfway between home and third base.” She said “Coach, I can get on.” He continued, “I let her bat and with the first pitch she dribbled it down third base line and when the third baseman picked up the ball Sissy had already crossed first base which led to the winning run of the State Tourney."

For the past twenty-one years, Coach Jackson has required his Science classes to do a Periodic Table assignment in which each student must draw and print the Periodic Table on poster board as well as memorize the elements and their symbols. When asked about a most memorable teaching experience, he stated, "I had decided to stop the Periodic Table assignment due to the complexity and mass amount of information required. However, I had a student to come to me and say, 'Coach, I would have never passed Science in college if you hadn't pushed me to do the Periodic Table Project.' "

Coach Mike Jackson doesn’t limit his teaching to the classroom. He is certified in AMSTI Science and Motion and takes advantage of the hands-on-learning experience, utilizing the labs that are available from Athens State College. He also implements teaching and learning through various computer software applications and virtual labs. Field trips to The Space and Rocket Center are a highlight for many students of Coach Jackson. Coach Mike Jackson is an outstanding teacher and coach and continues to have a positive influence on many students. We are most privileged that he is at AHS and are proud to have him named as the AHS Teacher of the Year.

AHSAA Eligibility Rules

Here is a PPT from the AHSAA website concerning athletic eligibility. Click here to view slides.

Alabama High School Graduation Exam

The Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) is given three times during the school year. Schools administer the exam during the fall, winter and spring. Alabama guidelines determine who is eligible to take the exam. As a general rule (there are exceptions to everything) students will take the test for the first time in the spring of their tenth grade year. An exception would be a student completing Algebra I or Biology before their tenth grade year. This first administration is actually called the pre-graduation exam because technically the test is on the eleventh grade level and tenth grade students are given the test to prepare them to take it in the eleventh grade. Of course many students pass the test while in the tenth grade and once a portion of the test is passed it does not have to be taken again.

The test itself consists of five parts: Reading, Language, Math, History, and Biology and in order to obtain a standard diploma, all parts must be passed. Students may earn a Credit Based Diploma is they pass Reading, Math and one more section of the AHSGE. Students are prepared for the test in their regular classes, but if they have trouble with the test they are offered specials skills classes to help prepare them for the test. Each junior that failed any portion of the exam is scheduled in a skills lab class. Although parents may opt out of this class for their junior year, all senior students that haven’t passed all portions of the AHSGE must take a skills lab to prepare them for the test.

In the best case scenarios a student could have 6 attempts to take the exam. The test is administered once as a sophomore, once as a junior, in the summer before the senior year and three times during the senior year. Of course if a student is absent the day the test is administered, or if they transfer in out of state they can miss opportunities to take the exam.

This is a brief explanation of the rules of the AHSGE but you can click here for more details.

Friday, December 2, 2011

What Makes A Great School?

Schools are rated in a variety of different ways. Tons of research has been done and millions of dollars spent to find out the difference between poor schools, average schools, and great schools. Countries, states, and systems are constantly looking for an edge that will make them rise above the others.

Multitudes of programs, and teaching methods have been tried throughout the years with varying degrees of success. For a while, schools were built in pods because that was going to be the thing that finally changed education. This trend came and left causing many systems to renovate round, open rooms to move back to a more traditional building.

Technology has changed drastically in the last ten years. Anyone that knows me knows I love technology and I truly believe technology used correctly is a great resource for teachers. We do our students a huge injustice if technology is not an integral part of what we do in the classroom. Having said this, technology itself is not the answer to public education.

I could go on and on about what I believe is important in education, but I can sum it all up by saying the most important aspect of education is the teacher. Research has shown what we intuitively know, which is that the teacher in the classroom makes all the difference in the world. A great teacher can teach in any shape room with any number of distractions, or no distractions at all, and the students will still learn. Great teachers take technology and really transform education. Poor teachers can have access to the same technology and it is useless.

I am not trying to lay the entire burden on teachers because they can’t do it by themselves. Parents, administrators, students, and society must do their part to help teachers. I am just trying to make the point that regardless of what takes place nationally or state wide, good teachers will continue to make sure students learn. We have gone through a difficult time financially and we all have had to tighten our belts and despite having hurdles to jump great teachers have prevailed.

We are very fortunate to have some great teachers at Ardmore and they continue to provide outstanding instruction to our students. We want to continue to improve because as it has been said, “When you stop getting better, you cease being good.” We are looking for ways to improve our school and it all begins with great teachers. I hope as you run into your child’s teacher in the grocery store or at a ball game you will tell them how much you appreciate what they do for your children. We have all learned from someone and we can only hope we had great teachers to guide us as we went through school. The lessons we learned can help us the remainder of our lives.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ACCESS Instruction

Here is an article about the ACCESS program available to our students. Click here for the article.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weather Make-Up Day Dilemma

Whether or not to cancel school, arrive late, or dismiss early seems to be a decision having to be made all too often the past several years. Whether it is El Nino, La Nina, global warming, or just a coincidence, the weather has played havoc with the school schedule. However, the most important thing to everyone is the safety of the students.

Being out of school is an inconvenience to parents, teachers, and yes even students (although they probably won’t admit it). Parents must find a way to get the student home if they don’t ride a bus, and even for bus riders, parents of younger children must have someone to stay with them while they are at home. Because businesses are not dealing with the lives of thousands of young people, many times they do not shut down because of weather conditions that cause school schedules to be altered. The days must be made up so the plans of student and parents are changed as the year progresses.

The people that make the tough decisions must rely on weather predictions from meteorologists that admit predicting weather in the Tennessee Valley is a very tough proposition. School officials listen to the latest predictions and make their call. The officials must always error on the side of caution, and after a tragedy like April 27th, everyone is on edge with that day still very heavy on everyone’s mind.

We had more snow last year than I remember in my lifetime (although I really am not that old) and we missed several days due to snowy roads. Once again this year has started off rough with storms and now the prediction of snow in November, so who knows what this school year holds for us. None of us want plans to have to be altered due to make-up days, but they are unfortunately part of what we may be forced to deal with as the year progresses. What ever the future holds rest assured that the people making the decisions will try and make sure we are at school if at all possible, but must always have the safety of our children at heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bryant-Jordan Award Program

Many of you may not have heard of the Bryant-Jordan Award Program, but everyone has heard of the namesakes of the program. This is a quote from the Bryant-Jordan brochure about the program: “Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and Auburn Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan earned their reputations as much by their accomplishments off the playing field as by their victories on it.” The program is one of a kind and the state of Alabama is fortunate to have a program that honors students.

The Bryant-Jordan program has two sections. One section is the Scholar Athlete Award and the other is the Achievement Award. The Scholar Athlete Award recognizes high school seniors who have achieved a high level of excellence not only athletically, but academically as well. These students have high GPA’s and ACT scores in addition to their athletic achievements. It is always heartening to hear what great students we have in Alabama that participate in athletics.

The Achievement Award recognizes student athletes who have achieved in spite of an unusual hardship. These students achieve academically and athletically as well, but the focus is on the way they have overcome obstacles. Going to the state banquet in Birmingham, you hear heart-warming stories how these students have overcome physically disabilities, deaths of parents, rough home lives, and many other obstacles in their lives. Each student has a story of triumph and achievement.

Ardmore High School, along with all schools in Alabama, chooses their candidates who then submit paperwork to compete in the area, and then region competition. The region winners advance to the state competition where they compete for scholarships. This is a great program and we are proud to have to outstanding students to represent Ardmore this year. Daniel McNeese is our Scholar Athlete nominee and Allison Hodges is our Achievement Award nominee.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snake Infestation?

I thought this was an interesting article. We always say that you never know what is going to happen in a school. Thankfully, we haven't had to worry about something like this.........yet. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ardmore is Still 4A

The new classifications from the AHSAA are available on the AHSAA website. Ardmore remains a 4A school for another two years. For those that don’t know, every two years the AHSAA reclassifies all the schools in Alabama. The classifications are based upon the number of students in grades 10-12 and 9th grade hold backs.

Many people think there is a “magic number” that causes a school to change classifications. This is actually not the case, but instead classification is on a scale that depends on the size of other schools in the state. The schools are arranged from largest to smallest according to student numbers and the lines are drawn in order to balance the number of teams in each classification. Once the classifications are determined, the area or region must be determined. Several factors are considered such as the number of schools of the same size and where they are located geographically.

A school could remain the same size and change classifications based upon changes in the enrollment of other schools. Schools may stay the same classification and change areas due to other schools changing classifications. The AHSAA looks at all the data and makes the best arrangement they can based upon numbers. I hope this helps explain some of the process.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sporst Banquets

Sports banquets cause a variety of responses and the response you receive many times depends on the position of the person. They are a time to reflect and celebrate the accomplishment of a team. For example, players typically like banquets because they are recognized for their accomplishments and (for the guys especially) there is good food. Some players had rather be getting a tooth filled than sitting and listening to coaches talk, so it is impossible to say all players like banquets, or all players dislike banquets.

The same can be said for parents. Every parent likes to hear positive comments about their child, but the entire banquet experience can be a little less than enjoyable to some parents. Parents love that someone else recognizes how truly special their child is, but if someone fails to recognize their uniqueness some parents do not take this very well. Perhaps the parents with the most mixed feelings are the parents of seniors. It is great to see your child honored as a senior and have the satisfaction they have reached a great milestone in their life. The joy often dissipates due to the realization they will soon be leaving high school and possibly your house.

Coaches, as a whole, are not big fans of banquets. Coaches spend 364 days of the year preaching team and one day having to say the dreaded words, “And the MVP for this year is….” Banquets basically go against what most coaches believe in but in order to honor the team and the players banquets continue. Don’t get me wrong, coaches love recognizing the accomplishments of their team and players, but the balance between honoring one player and offending another is very delicate. In front of every great running back is an offensive line that typically doesn’t receive the accolades the running back receives. A similar scenario exists for every team sport.

Sports banquets are a rite of passage, a part of growing up, and part of the high school sports experience. They hold many fond memories for some and unfortunately some very unpleasant memories for others. Like most everything else, banquets must be seen through the prism of the “big picture.” One should not get too overconfident from winning an award, and conversely not think less of one’s self for not winning an award. The true reward for playing high school sports is the lessons learned, not the awards received.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Parents, students, and faculty of Ardmore High School are encouraged to take part in a survey designed to provide feedback for national decision makers in the area of technology. The survey is anonymous and it provides vital information to policy makers as they look to the future of education.

There is a link to the survey on the school website. The password is included on the link and enables you to take the survey. We strongly encourage everyone to take the survey and let your voice be heard. Technology is a hot topic in public education and we need everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Here is a press release from the Alabama State Department of Education. Click here for the link.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cell Phones as Classroom Devices

Here is an article about using cell phones as classroom devices. Click here for the article.

Monday, October 24, 2011

RTI, PST, 4R: What Does It All Mean?

Many of you may have heard teachers or students talk about 4R, PST, Tier III, or RTI and may wonder what all of this is about. They are all connected and I will try to explain each term. First of all, RTI stands for Response to Instruction which is Alabama’s version of the nationwide Response to Intervention. RTI initially began as a method to identify students that might need to be evaluated to receive special education services. The concept is every student receives initial instruction called Tier I which takes place in the regular classroom. According to the data, some students need some additional help in the classroom and receive what is called Tier II intervention. This instruction is provided by the classroom teacher and documented so we can track what is done for theses students. This instruction could be in the form of small group instruction, peer tutoring, or computer based remediation just to name a few.

Students that don’t respond to Tier I, and Tier II instruction are referred to the Problem Solving Team (PST). The PST determines, by looking at data, whether or not a Tier III placement is warranted. The PST analyzes at least three sources of data and tries to make the appropriate placement. Tier III intervention takes place outside of the regular classroom using a research based instructional tool that helps place each student at the appropriate level for remediation. In Limestone County we use an instructional software called “Classworks” to provide this instruction.

Because we don’t want students to miss instructional time we provide a 30 minute time during the day which we call 4R. A small number of students actually receive Tier III interventions, but we know that all students could benefit from special remediation or enrichment. During the 4R period each student is assigned a class based upon careful analysis of the data. Some students do not meet the criteria for Tier III but need help with reading or math. Some students need help with the graduation exam. Other students may benefit from a class designed to enrich their knowledge of a particular subject beyond what they receive in their daily classrooms.

This additional time has turned out great for our seniors needing help with the graduation exam and we hope the spring grad exam will have similar results. In addition to helping students needing remediation we are constantly looking for classes geared toward our advance students. It is our hope that by fully implementing RTI all of our students will better get their needs met.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inspirational Video

This is a video that I believe is truly inspirational. It is about eleven minutes long, but I believe you will enjoy it.

Loryn Brown Scholarship Fund

This a video clip that appeared on Channel 19 concerning the Loryn Brown Scholarship Fund. Our hearts continue to go out to Coach Brown and his entire family. No parent that hasn't lost a child can truly understand what the family is going through, but we are proud of Coach Brown and how his entire family has dealt with this tragedy. Click here for the video.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Academic Trophy

Limestone County Schools presents an elementary and high school with an Academic Trophy each year. The trophy has been awarded to AHS ten out of the past twelve years. This Academic Trophy's criteria is based on test scores from the PRE-AHSGE, ACT, SAT-10, Jr. Scholars' Bowl, and Sr. Scholars' Bowl Competitions. A special CONGRATULATIONS goes to all the students, teachers, and administration for maintaining the academic excellence that has become a standard at AHS!

Getting to School Safely: Rural Challenges | Southern Education Desk

Getting to School Safely: Rural Challenges | Southern Education Desk

Monday, October 10, 2011

News Courier Article

Here is the Athens News Courier article about Friday night's homecoming victory. Click here for the link.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Alert Now Message (October 7)

The band will be having its annual chicken stew on Friday, October 7, 2011. The stew will be on sale after school until it runs out. Come out and support our band program.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Homecoming can be great time for reminiscing and catching up with old friends. It is a great time for students to have a good time doing things normally not allowed at school. Homecoming is full of traditions and customs passed down through the years. Many times students are still participating in the same activities as their parents did several years ago.

Of course, the culmination of homecoming activities is the football game played on Friday night and the crowning of the homecoming queen. Many people will show up at this game that will not be at another game all year. Some want to see old friends, some want to see how the team is doing this year, some want to see all the attendants and watch the new queen being crowned. Whatever their reason for coming, everyone usually has a good time and sometimes friendships are rekindled.

The current students at Ardmore High School also have a great time during homecoming week. Each day is an adventure with a different theme each day and students wear goofy costumes each day to celebrate. This week provides a little break in the action from the normal routine and students have a good time. The homecoming pep rally is always fun, and the homecoming parade is always a good time for everyone. I hope everyone has had a great homecoming week. However, I must honestly confess I am glad it only comes around one time a year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alert Now Message October 5

There will be a Diamond Club Meeting October 5, 2011 in the New Gym at 8:15 p.m. Each baseball player must have a parent at the meeting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Technology Article

Here is an interesting article dealing with technology and schools. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fundraising Overload

I realize we have bombarded everyone with fundraising opportunities this year. Let me assure you we don't enjoy them, but we are just trying to offset the recent losses in funding.

We are trying to find fundraisers such as Boxtops for Education, Publix card, and Deals for Schools that do not require additonal purchases. Instead, these fundraisers give the school money when people conduct their usual transactions. This creates no extra expenses for families, many of which are experiencing tough economic times as well.

We realize that everyone can't participate in every fundraiser, but if you find one that suits your buying habits and are willing to help we are very grateful. We challenged the students to bring in $1000 of box tops to earn the reward of wearing costumes on Halloween and they are $300 short of their goal. It is looking like they are going to reach their goal and we are trying to come up with something for next semester.

Congratulations Gavin Calder

Congratulations to Gavin Calder on being selected Player of the Week by the Athens News Courier. Gavin rused for 276 yards on 41 carries. He also had four touchdowns in the game and lead the way for the Tigers' first win of the year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

AlertNow Message

An Alertnow Message is being sent Monday, September 26 to explain a great new fundraiser for our school. Visit to help our school. Please see the website or blog article for more information.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deals for Schools

Ardmore High School

Dear Parents, staff and faculty:

We are excited to announce an exciting new way for our school to raise money - emails you great deals of 50% off or more on local, family-friendly products and services such as Restaurants, Shopping, Salons & Spas, Auto Services, Health Services, Golf and Family Fun and more. For every deal that is purchased, they give 10% of their revenue back to our school!

The way it works is simple:

1. Visit and enter your email address and choose your city. You will begin receiving great local offers of 50-90% off that are emailed to you.

2. If you decide to take advantage of a great deal then the school will get a check for 10% of's revenue. This can add up fast!

3. During checkout, simply enter our school's name as the school you would like to support.

Enjoy your savings and know that you helped your school earn much needed funds!

Thank you so much for your support!


Tommy Hunter

Click Here for the Deals for Schools Website

I-Now Fixed in Thirty Days?

Here is an interesting article about our computer system called I-Now. It has been the topic of many "discussions" in school across Alabama. I hope the title of the article is true. Click here for the article.

Monday, September 19, 2011

21 Things That Will be Obsolete by 2020

I do not necessarily agree with all the predictions, but it is an interesting article.

March 2, 2011 | 10:25 AM | By Tina Barseghian
21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020

By Shelly Blake-Plock
The 21st century does not fit neatly into rows. Neither should your students. Allow the network-based concepts of flow, collaboration, and dynamism help you rearrange your room for authentic 21st century learning.

Foreign language acquisition is only a smartphone away. Get rid of those clunky desktops and monitors and do something fun with that room.

Ok, so this is a trick answer. More precisely this one should read: ‘Our concept of what a computer is’. Because computing is going mobile and over the next decade we’re going to see the full fury of individualized computing via handhelds come to the fore. Can’t wait.

The 21st century is a 24/7 environment. And the next decade is going to see the traditional temporal boundaries between home and school disappear. And despite whatever Secretary Duncan might say, we don’t need kids to ‘go to school’ more; we need them to ‘learn’ more. And this will be done 24/7 and on the move (see #3).

The AP Exam is on its last legs. The SAT isn’t far behind. Over the next ten years, we will see Digital Portfolios replace test scores as the #1 factor in college admissions.

The 21st century is customizable. In ten years, the teacher who hasn’t yet figured out how to use tech to personalize learning will be the teacher out of a job. Differentiation won’t make you ‘distinguished’; it’ll just be a natural part of your work.

Wikipedia is the greatest democratizing force in the world right now. If you are afraid of letting your students peruse it, it’s time you get over yourself.

Books were nice. In ten years’ time, all reading will be via digital means. And yes, I know, you like the ‘feel’ of paper. Well, in ten years’ time you’ll hardly tell the difference as ‘paper’ itself becomes digitized.

Bio scans. ‘Nuff said.

A coat-check, maybe.

Ok, so this is another trick answer. More subtly put: IT Departments as we currently know them. Cloud computing and a decade’s worth of increased wifi and satellite access will make some of the traditional roles of IT — software, security, and connectivity — a thing of the past. What will IT professionals do with all their free time? Innovate. Look to tech departments to instigate real change in the function of schools over the next twenty years.

School buildings are going to become ‘homebases’ of learning, not the institutions where all learning happens. Buildings will get smaller and greener, student and teacher schedules will change to allow less people on campus at any one time, and more teachers and students will be going out into their communities to engage in experiential learning.

Education over the next ten years will become more individualized, leaving the bulk of grade-based learning in the past. Students will form peer groups by interest and these interest groups will petition for specialized learning. The structure of K-12 will be fundamentally altered.

This is actually one that could occur over the next five years. Education Schools have to realize that if they are to remain relevant, they are going to have to demand that 21st century tech integration be modeled by the very professors who are supposed to be preparing our teachers.

No one knows your school as well as you. With the power of a PLN (professional learing networks) in their back pockets, teachers will rise up to replace peripatetic professional development gurus as the source of schoolwide professional development programs. This is already happening.

There is no reason why every student needs to take however many credits in the same course of study as every other student. The root of curricular change will be the shift in middle schools to a role as foundational content providers and high schools as places for specialized learning.

Ongoing parent-teacher relations in virtual reality will make parent-teacher conference nights seem quaint. Over the next ten years, parents and teachers will become closer than ever as a result of virtual communication opportunities. And parents will drive schools to become ever more tech integrated.

Nutrition information + handhelds + cost comparison = the end of $3.00 bowls of microwaved mac and cheese. At least, I so hope so.

You need a website/brochure/promo/etc.? Well, for goodness sake just let your kids do it. By the end of the decade — in the best of schools — they will be.

Within the decade, it will either become the norm to teach this course in middle school or we’ll have finally woken up to the fact that there’s no reason to give algebra weight over statistics and I.T. in high school for non-math majors (and they will have all taken it in middle school anyway).

In ten years’ time, schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%. And the printing industry and the copier industry and the paper industry itself will either adjust or perish.

Let me tell you about a feature of the Notify Me portion of our website I recently discovered. If you have been receiving the Notify Me e-mails you can now receive messages via text messages. If you put your cell number in the box when you registered for the e-mails you do not have to do anything to start receiving text messages. I will only enable the “texting” portion of the messages for urgent messages or cancellations because I know many people pay per test.

If you have not signed up for the Notify Me service you can visit our school website and click on the Notify Me section and follow the prompts.

This is yet another tool to help us communicate with our parents and students.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

AlertNow Message

A phone message will go out today (9-7) at 4:00 to announce the Diamond Club Meeting September 7, at 8:15 at the FNB Community Room.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hunter's Highlights

It is hard to believe, but the first three weeks of school are complete and progress reports will be going out soon. By this time of the year students are getting adjusted to their new schedules, friends, and teachers. Fall is an exciting time around a high school campus and research, experience, and common sense tells us that being involved in school activities makes for a more enjoyable and productive high school experience. Students who are engaged in school typically make better grades and are much less likely to drop out of school. We are proud of our students and are always looking for ways to improve the quality of education for all of our students.

I have been in many classrooms since school has started and I have seen many good things going on. Students and teachers are working hard to make sure we have another successful school year. Our teachers are always looking for innovative teaching strategies that can reach all of our students.

Someone has said, “The only constant in life is change.” I don’t know if that is entirely true, but change is inevitable and most of the time unwelcomed. We have made an attempt to make our middle school afternoon car pick up procedure much safer for our students. Students were walking across a parking lot to get in their car and having to dodge cars leaving with our students. Obviously, this is not a safe situation so now everyone loads through the circle drive and things have been much safer. School dismisses at 3:05 and the last couple of days the car line has been clear by 3:15 so things are running very smoothly. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try and make our school as safe as possible for our students.

Ardmore High School has partnered with WSLV to carry our football games on the radio and/or live stream them on the internet. We are not sure if all games will be carried live on the radio due to FCC regulations, but the games should be streamed online. We are excited about this opportunity to give our student athletes more exposure, which they certainly deserve. Join each play with home game announcers Tony Fogg and Johnny Tribble, and away game announcers Jeff Hodges and Tony Fogg.

Football, volleyball, and cross country season are moving right along. Players and coaches are working very hard to represent Ardmore High School. We are always proud of the effort and determination shown by our student athletes. We encourage everyone to demonstrate good sportsmanship again this year as we go through the various sports seasons.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Video About AMSTI

Check out this video about AMSTI. Ardmore is an AMSTI school and we feel fortunate to be a part of such a great program. Click here for the link.

What is a DIBEL?

You may have heard the term, DIBELS and wondered, “What is a DIBEL?” The acronym DIBEL stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. This is a reading assessment used mostly in grades K-6 to determine the reading level of students and to provide teachers with data to help students become better readers. Dana Rhinehart is our 6th grade reading specialist and does a great job administering the DIBELS assessment. She also does a great job sharing data with the other teachers to enable them to help their students.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Halloween Costumes

The students of Ardmore High School have been told they can dress in Halloween costumes if they raise $1000 worth of Box Tops for Education. Ms. DeGraffenried heads up the Box Tops program and came up with this contest with the help of students and teachers. So far students have turned in $260 worth of box tops and it appears are working hard to reach their goal. Stay tuned for updates and bring in those box tops. Visit the school website for more information concerning the Box Tops for Education Program!

New Pick-up Procedure

In order to ensure the safety of our students we have changed the pick-up procedure at the circle drive. We ask that parents choosing to pick up their students through the circle drive please go through the line and not drive through the parking lot. This will keep students from walking across the parking lot while cars are going through there as well.

We had an unsafe situation where students had to walk across the parking lot while cars were going through and we were afraid someone was going to get hurt. There may be a little longer wait until everyone is accustomed to the new procedure, but it is much safer for our students. Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Friday Night Football

Friday nights in the fall are special in the State of Alabama. This Friday we play our arch rivals, the Elkmont Red Devils. The pageantry and excitement associated with high school football is hard to match. The stadium is full, the band is playing, cheerleaders are leading the crowd in deafening chants, and the football team charges on the field ready for a victory.

In the heat of battle, we can not forget that good sportsmanship is required to have a truly great night. When both teams are exhausted after leaving everything they have on the playing field and the victors (Tigers) celebrate, only poor examples of sportsmanship can ruin such a perfect night. Even when your team comes up a little short, the focus should be on encouraging the team and getting them ready for the next challenge and not showing a lack of sportsmanship toward the other team or the officials.

I am truly excited about the upcoming sports season at Ardmore High School and I hope our fans will continue to show everyone that Ardmore is a place with pride and class. Our teams did not have a single ejection or fine last year and we know this will continue through this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Alert Now Message August 22

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter principal at Ardmore High School. We have several very important announcements today. First, Wednesday, August 24 is picture day at Ardmore High School. Students are reminded to come prepared because we use these pictures for the yearbook. Also, If Ardmore students collect $1,000 of Box Tops before October 21, students will be allowed to wear a dress-code appropriate costume to school on Halloween Day. Box Tops can be sent to school and dropped in various boxes throughout the school or send them to the main office or Ms. DeGraffenried’s room.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alabama's ACT Scores

Here is a memo from Dr. Morton concerning how Alabama's students have performed on the ACT test. Click here for the link.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Schedule Changes

Students desiring a schedule change should have turned in the form to the counselor on Monday. We will accomodate as many changes as possible, but the schedule is very tight and unfortunately not every request is possible. Please be patient as it will take a couple of days to sort through all the requests. We will make every effort to make sure each student gets what they want, but we have to make sure the schedule works for everyone to get what they need.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What is Right About Public Education

The beginning of another school year is right around the corner and a variety of feelings are expressed during this time of year. Most everyone living today has at one time or another begun a school year as a student and has a unique perspective based upon their experiences in school. Public education has become a political hot topic used by many on both sides of the political spectrum as a bargaining chip or an opportunity to grind a particular ax they might have to grind. We will no doubt hear throughout the year what is wrong with public education; but let us pause and examine a few of the things that make public education special. Everyone, including people in the education field, understands that public education has issues that need to be dealt with, but this article will move past the politics and focus on what is right about public education as the school year is about to begin.

The first thing that is great about the American public education is that everyone in America is provided an opportunity to obtain a public education. The technical wording granted by law is “A free and appropriate public education” and students across the nation are entitled to this education. While the concept of educating everyone in the country may not be unique to America today, it is certainly considered a system that has been influenced greatly by the United States of America and many scholars believe this concept was developed by this great nation. We must all admit that educational opportunities may be different based upon the area of the country one is born, or the family in which one is born, but every child in this country has the opportunity for a public education. In order to be of any benefit, opportunities in our lives must be seized in order to have a positive impact and an education is no different. The education a person receives is directly proportional to the amount of effort one is willing to exert in this quest. We have great examples in our history such as Abraham Lincoln who pursued an education in spite of facing tremendous challenges.

Another thing great about the educational system in America is that no child is forced to pursue a particular academic path based upon another person’s idea or perception about the child. Even though school officials may strongly encourage a particular diploma style, the parents have the ultimate authority to determine their child’s educational path. Even students with severe disabilities are provided with an education that is specifically designed to meet their needs. Some would argue that only certain educational opportunities should be available to students based upon standardized test scores, and while other countries have a system similar to this, such is not the case in the USA. In this country we still have freedom of choice and the government can not force students or parents to make career choices early in life that would limit the economic opportunities later in life. A large part of the American Dream is that we are able to achieve based upon ability, education, drive, ambition or any other attribute we possess and the government should not impose restrictions upon our ability to succeed. Americans are not naïve enough to believe that some people are not born with great opportunities to achieve and some are born with a higher hill to climb, but our country is still a country that allows people to live according to their particular dream.

Another thing that is right about education is the people that work in the education field. Some people reading this article are saying things as they read this last sentence that could not be printed in this article. Just like every other profession, there are substandard teachers and administrators that have someway managed to survive in the profession for years and those people are the cause of the negative thoughts many people have about public education. The truth is that these people comprise only a very small percentage of the people that work in public education. Unfortunately, students are so impressionable in their young lives that one poor teacher can make a lifelong impression that will taint the person’s view of teachers and education for the remainder of their life. The fact that one negative person can have this great of an impact underscores the tremendous impact (positive and negative) educators can have on their students. The majority of the people in public education are dedicated professionals who are working to make a difference in the lives of the young people they work with on a daily basis. They work many hours before and after school to ensure students receive the best education they can provide when the students walk into their respective rooms. These teachers spend their own money to provide supplies if they are needed and perform tasks above and beyond what anyone would expect. Many teachers work weekends and summers to prepare themselves to be better instruments of learning for the students under his/her care. Teachers go back to school and pay for professional educational opportunities to help them further their own education in an attempt to make them the best teachers they can become.

Students learn to work with others and get along with people even if they are very different from themselves. Some of the greatest lessons learned in school may not be as a result of classroom instruction but might occur in the hallways before and after school. Students are being prepared for an adult life that may be filled with unfairness, unkindness, disparity, and people that would want to take advantage of you. Adults face many of these challenges and must learn to not only survive, but thrive while facing such challenges. Schools are a great place to learn life skills that will be perfected for the remainder of our lives. Students have caring adults that are not only there for their protection, but also serve as guides through these tough situations. The guides are the teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, and administrators available to students at school to help with not only the academic but social needs of students. Teenagers can sometimes be cruel, but so can adults. We must learn to deal with difficult people our entire lives, and public schools provide a great diversity of people with whom to learn life lessons.

As we begin another school year, maybe we can all reflect on the value of our public school system in this state and country. Just like any human organization, it is an imperfect system filled with imperfect people, but our educational system in this country is one thing that has allowed this country to become the greatest country in the history of the world. Dr. Barry Carroll has said that, "Public Education is the thread that binds our country together. As public education goes, so goes our country. If the public education thread ever breaks, our country will unravel and fail." We all want our country to continue to be a great country with the courage and resolve to face any challenge set before us. Let us all try and continually educate ourselves as this new school year begins.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ardmore Native in the News

I am always looking for good articles to share with everyone and this is a good one about an Ardmore graduate. Thanks to Zach Magnusson for sharing the article with me. Click here for the article.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Sportsmanship

Ardmore High School was recently honored for its sportsmanship. Ardmore High School had no ejections and no fines for the 2010-2011 school year. The school was presented a banner recently by the AHSAA at its yearly banquet during All-Star Sports Week. The school received a banner and we are looking forward to adding years to the banner to commemorate the years we do not have fine or any ejections. Thanks to the ardmore community for supporting good sportsmanship. You can read an article about the award and see a complete listing of the schools by clicking here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parent Conferences

Here are some helpful hints for parent conferences. Research has shown that parental involvement is key in student achievement. The article was from the Harvard Family Research Project.

Parent–Teacher Conferences: A Tip Sheet for Parents
As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. You and your child’s school have
something in common: You both want your child to learn and do well. When parents and teachers talk
to each other, each person can share important information about your child’s talents and needs. Each
person can also learn something new about how to help your child. Parent–teacher conferences are a
great way to start talking to your child’s teachers. This tip sheet suggests ways that you can make the
most of parent-teacher conferences so that everyone wins, especially your child.
What should you expect?
􀂾 A two-way conversation. Like all good conversations,
parent–teacher conferences are best when both people
talk and listen. The conference is a time for you to
learn about your child’s progress in school: Ask to see
data about your child’s attendance, grades, and test
scores. Find out whether your child is meeting school
expectations and academic standards. This is also a
time for the teacher to learn about what your child is
like at home. When you tell the teacher about your
child’s skills, interests, needs, and dreams, the teacher
can help your child more.
􀂾 Emphasis on learning. Good parent–teacher
conferences focus on how well the child is doing in
school. They also talk about how the child can do even
better. To get ready for the conversation, look at your
child’s homework, tests, and notices before the
conference. Be sure to bring a list of questions that you
would like to ask the teacher.
􀂾 Opportunities and challenges. Just like you, teachers
want your child to succeed. You will probably hear
positive feedback about your child’s progress and areas for improvement. Be prepared by
thinking about your child’s strengths and challenges beforehand. Be ready to ask questions
about ways you and the teacher can help your child with some of his or her challenges.
What should you talk to the teacher about?
􀂾 Progress. Find out how your child is doing by asking questions like: Is my child performing at
grade level? How is he or she doing compared to the rest of the class? What do you see as his or
her strengths? How could he or she improve?
􀂾 Assignments and assessments. Ask to see examples of
your child’s work. Ask how the teacher gives grades.
􀂾 Your thoughts about your child. Be sure to share your
thoughts and feelings about your child. Tell the teacher
what you think your child is good at. Explain what he or
she needs more help with.
􀂾 Support learning at home. Ask what you can do at home
to help your child learn. Ask if the teacher knows of other
programs or services in the community that could also
help your child.
􀂾 Support learning at school. Find out what services are
available at the school to help your child. Ask how the
teacher will both challenge your child and support your
child when he or she needs it.
How should you follow up?
􀂾 Make a plan. Write down the things that you and the teacher will each do to support your
child. You can do this during the conference or after. Write down what you will do, when, and
how often. Make plans to check in with the teacher in the coming months.
􀂾 Schedule another time to talk. Communication should go both ways. Ask how you can contact
the teacher. And don’t forget to ask how the teacher will contact you too. There are many ways
to communicate—in person, by phone, notes, email. Make a plan that works for both of you. Be
sure to schedule at least one more time to talk in the next few months.
􀂾 Talk to your child. The parent–teacher conference is all about your child, so don’t forget to
include him or her. Share with your child what you learned. Show him or her how you will help
with learning at home. Ask for his or her suggestions.

Checklist: Before the conference
􀀹 Schedule a time to meet. If you
can’t go at the scheduled time, ask
the teacher about other times.
􀀹 Review your child’s work, grades,
and progress reports.
􀀹 Talk with your child about his or
her progress in school.
􀀹 Talk with others—family
members, after school staff,
mentors, etc.—about your child’s
strengths and needs.
􀀹 Make a list of questions to ask
during the conference.
􀀹 Think about ways you would like
to be involved in your child’s
learning so that you can discuss
them with the teacher.

Harvard Family Research Project 􀂂 Harvard Graduate School of Education 􀂂 3 Garden Street 􀂂 Cambridge, MA 􀂂 02138
Website: 􀂂 Email: 􀂂 Tel: 617-495-9108 􀂂 Fax: 617-495-8594

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Student Handbook

Click here To view the Limestone County Student Handbook for 2011-2012.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alert Now Message for Band Parents

Hello band parents, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. You are invited to come and meet our new band director Monday, June 27 at 6:00 pm in the bandroom. We are looking forward to Mr. Jamie Bowman leading our award winning tiger band. Once again this is Monday, June 27 at 6:00 pm in the bandroom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Reading Article

Here is a good article concerning summer reading. Good readers tend to excel in most every academic area. Click here for the article.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Article About Twitter

This is a very interesting article about using Twitter in the classroom. We use Moodle and other technological aides in our instruction at Ardmore including "clickers" that allow teachers with a Promethean Board to get instant feedback from students. Twitter is another tool that might be helpful (of course we can't use cell phones, but we can use the school computers). Click here for the link.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Do You Do in the Summer?

Many people wonder what we do in the summer when the kids aren’t here. I am asked many times how I am enjoying my time off and when I tell people that I work all summer the immediate question is, “What do you do in the summer?” Most of the time I just say, “paperwork and getting ready for the next year” and leave it at that because honestly it would take too long to explain and they probably wouldn’t believe it anyway.

First of all the custodians all work during the summer and work diligently cleaning floors and doing things that are impossible during the school year. This is a very important time for our buildings and is needed to maintain them and keep them clean. Our maintenance staff and custodial staff do a wonderful job preparing the buildings for the upcoming school year.

In a high school there are always sports activities taking place in the summer. We have teams practicing and teams going to camps most every week during the summer. The coaches order things they will need for the next year and of course the office staff must be here to assist them with what they need. Our book keeper does a wonderful job maintaining our budget and making sure all the money is spent appropriately.

Most people would be surprised how many parents and students will come by during the summer. People trickle in to get report cards and pay for lost items, ask about their schedule, make schedule requests, ask about the teacher they will have, and the list goes on. The summer is also when many people move and we always have students withdrawing and enrolling during the summer months.

Scheduling takes a lot of time for counselors and principals in the summer months. Doing the master schedule and making sure everyone has the classes they need and ensuring classes are offered in such a way to make sure everyone has the opportunity to take the classes they need takes quite some time. Budget cuts and the loss of teacher units makes scheduling an even more daunting task because the same amount of classes and students have to be taught with fewer staff which always makes things interesting and classes larger.

Possibly the most important thing I do in the summer involves personnel. The number one thing I can do to help our school is to make sure when we hire someone we find the best person possible. Interviews and preparing for interviews takes a lot of time and in summers when people move or retire, replacing them is a lengthy task that many times takes the majority of the summer. State law dictates that jobs must be posted 14 days and of course the board must approve all personnel moves so one board meeting officially accepts the resignation, then the job is posted and hopefully by the next board meeting a candidate can be recommended. Due to the tight schedule and laws concerning job postings, many times personnel moves runs right up to the beginning of the school year.

I hope this explains a little bit about what we do in the summer. Certainly the pace in the summer is a little slower, but it is a very important time of the year for planning and preparing for a school year that will be here before we know it. I hope everyone has a fun filled summer and is ready for school to begin in a couple of months.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alert Now Message About Report Cards

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. We hope you are having a great summer so far. We will be distributing report cards on Thursday, June 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the front office and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. If you sent an envelope, they will be mailed to you on Thursday morning. If you sent an e-mail, you will receive a link to I-Now to view the report card. Of course to do this you must have your I-Now username to view the report card. If you do not have an I-Now username, we will be giving these to parents on Thursday and Friday during the times we are handing out report cards. If you would like a written transcript of this message please visit our blog at or visit our website and click on the left side to view the blog. Have a safe and fun filled summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Due to the impending bad weather we have decided to plan on having our graduation ceremonies in the new gym instead of the football field. Due to the expected overcrowded conditions each senior will be given 2 tickets which will allow family members to arrive early for preferential seating. Doors will open at 2:30 for ticket holders and at 3:00 for everyone else. Only people with tickets will be allowed in the gym at 2:30. Due to overcrowded conditions, we are asking you to not bring outside chairs into the gym. Due to the fact that students will be on campus until 3:05, please do not park behind the school where we load buses. 5/26-After speaking with the NWS and the EMA we have decided to have graduation in the gym. There is a line of showers expected this afternoon. Although they are not expecting severe weather there is a possibility of rain and lightening. --Tommy Hunter, Principal

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The weather has caused a great deal of chaos this school year and brought many negative things to our community. Unfortunately none of us have any control of the weather and must make plans to deal with whatever might occur. With the prediction of possible severe weather we have a plan for during the school day and should something occur while we are at graduation.

If we enter under a tornado warning during an event such as graduation, the locker rooms of the gym have been determined by the EMA to be a very safe place for students. The students in the gym will be directed to the locker rooms; however since everyone will not fit in the locker rooms the doors of the school will be open for everyone else to get in the halls.

If severe weather occurs during a school day and we are in the halls due to a tornado drill we do not call students to the office to check out. We will tell parents where their child is located in the building and they have the option of joining their student in the hall or taking them home to their safe place. Parents take their child home at their own risk and we can not release students to anyone other than their parents while under a tornado warning.

There is no perfect severe weather plan and we are certainly open to suggestions to make our school safer. We have great parents and we try to be good stewards of your most prized possession while they are under our care.

Graduation Change

Due to the impending bad weather we have decided to plan on having our graduation ceremonies in the new gym instead of the football field. Due to the expected overcrowded conditions each senior will be given 2 tickets which will allow family members to arrive early for preferential seating. Doors will open at 2:30 for ticket holders and at 3:00 for everyone else. Only people with tickets will be allowed in the gym at 2:30 and we are asking people not to save seats. Due to overcrowded conditions, we are asking you to not bring outside chairs into the gym. Due to the fact that students will be on campus until 3:05, please do not park behind the school where we load buses. Should the weather clear on Thursday we will move the graduation to the football field. I apologize for the inconvenience, and we will continue to monitor the situation, but as of now graduation will be in the new gym. Please see our website for complete details.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Awards Day

Ardmore High School recently had its annual Awards Day celebration and over 1.2 million dollars of scholarship money was earned by the class of 2011. The Awards Day ceremony is always a big event for our school,especially our seniors and their parents. It is the first time they have worn their cap and gown and it really dawns on the seniors (and their parents) that this is really it, and they are close to graduation. Awards Day is a time to celebrate the positive things that have occurred during the school year and reward those that have worked so hard. We also honor underclassmen that have achieved high averages in each subject area.

A new feature of this year's Awards Day was the Top 5 Senior Roast. This year we actually had six because of a tie, but the seniors with the top averages asked teachers to make a short speech about them. The speeches are meant to be a little funny and share some insight as to the "real person" behind the averages. Hopefully this was a fun event for everyone and we look forward to this in the future.

The next big event on the school calendar is graduation, and we are all praying for dry weather, but we will be in the gym if it does rain. We are sure to have a crowd as we send the seniors out into the world.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Limestone County Scholar's Bowl

You don’t have to state your answer in the form of a question, but the answers would make Alex Trebek very proud. We are not talking about a new game show, or new reality show, but the Limestone County Scholar’s Bowl Competition. Every spring each school in Limestone County sends a team to compete in the annual Scholar’s Bowl Competition, and it is amazing the amount of knowledge our students display at these competitions.
The questions used in the competition cover many different categories including, but not limited to: pop culture, history, geography, literature, science, and mathematics. On some of the math questions students are given ten seconds, as opposed to the customary five seconds, to come up with the answer and may use pencil and paper. Ten seconds is not enough time for most people to even write down the question much less answer the question, but these contestants are not most people and it is amazing how fast many of the students can solve the math problems.
Limestone County has four divisions of Scholar’s Bowl teams: 4th and 5th grade, 6th grade, Junior High, and High School which compete for the county championship. Each team has a coach who prepares them for the competition by quizzing the team members with sample questions they may encounter at the competition and providing some helpful strategies that might help them compete against the opposing teams. Each team may consist of several students, but only four players may be at the table to field questions from the moderator. Each team member has a “clicker” hooked to a buzzer in front of him and when the students think they know the answer to the question they try to be the first person to buzz in with the correct answer. If students buzz in before the question is complete and give an incorrect answer, the opposing team has the entire question read to them again so buzzing in early is a calculated risk. For example the question may be something like, “This novel highlights the antics of two young boys on the Mississippi River in the mid 1800’s” and the student may buzz in with the answer The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but the remainder of the question might be, “Who is the author is this American classic?”
The competitions use the Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA) format which includes multiple rounds using a variety of questioning formats. For example, round two consists of a toss-up question that is available to members of both teams, followed by a bonus round only offered to the team that correctly answered the toss-up question. Round three is actually a “worksheet round” in which both teams are given twenty identical questions and two minutes to write their answers on the sheet. All six members of the team may help with the worksheet round, and these members must work together using their collective abilities and strengths to come up with the correct answers. This round is really something incredible to watch as most teams split up the questions and then at the last minute write the answers on the final answer document with just enough time to spare.
Two schools compete against each other in each match, but the members are not only competing as part of a team, but each person that answers a question also earns individual points that will be used to recognize the high individual scorer. At the end of the high school competition, the high scorers from the day’s competition compete against each other for the honor of being named the high individual scorer for the county. This round consists of thirty toss-up questions and the person earning the most points is awarded the honor of high scorer for the county.
The students of Limestone County are very impressive and perhaps no other event highlights the knowledge of our students like the Scholar’s Bowl Competitions. To win the competition takes team work, strategy, and above all an incredible amount of knowledge on the part of the students. It is very difficult to prepare for the competition so a lifestyle of reading and curiosity is what it takes to be successful in this competition. If you ever get a chance to come out and watch a Scholar’s Bowl even,t it is worth the time you will spend.
The great thing about all extracurricular events is that they give students a chance to succeed in whatever endeavor is of interest to them. Very few people are good at everything but everyone is good at something. When students have an activity that connects them to the school, they are more likely to be interested and succeed. The Scholar’s Bowl Competition is an excellent way to help nurture the love of learning in our students and we are fortunate in Limestone County to have such wonderful programs like the Scholar’s Bowl Competition.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

ACCESS Teacher

I have included a link about a local teacher that is up for an award on a national televeision show. This teacher teaches at Boaz, but she is one of the teachers our students take in their ACCESS classes. Quality teachers from around the state teach on-line courses which our students have an opportunity to take via the ACCESS program. Click here for the article.


Students that are members of FFA or FCCLA are having their annual Field Day on Thursday, May 12, 2011. This is a long standing tradition at Ardmore High School that began many years ago. The field day gives the students an opportunity to have a little "agricultural fun" and to be rewarded for their hard work throughout the year. This provides many of our students a connection to an organization that helps make school just a little more enjoyable. Research has shown that students that feel "connected" to the school are much more likely to graduate high school. A special thanks to Ms. Susan Miller and Ms. Lauren Graham for making this day possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Make-up Days

Limestone County Schools appealed for "Relief" from making up days to Dr. Morton on Friday of last week. We received his response and he has approved our request and we DO NOT have to make up days missed. It truly is a "relief" for us to not have to re-schedule days. I am very appreciative to Dr. Carroll, Dr. Morton, Gov. Bentley and the Alabama Legislature for their quick and reasonable decisions in this matter.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Disaster Relief

Ardmore High School students participated in a special day to distribute yearbooks and raise money for disaster relief. Yearbooks were distributed on the football field and students were given time to browse and sign their new yearbooks. Music was played over the loudspeaker and refreshments were served. The total numbers are not in, but through the generosity of Ardmore students, over $1,300 was raised to help those suffering from the disaster.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ardmore Family

Our area has been devastated by the storms that came through last week. This has been a very trying time for everyone and slowly, people are beginning to recover from a variety of personal tragedies. Although the scars will be with us for years, we will get through this extremely hard time. If you have needs please let us know and we will try and get you help. The Ardmore Family is very resilient and will pull through this tragedy even stronger than before.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alert Now Message for Wednesday May 4, 2011

This is Barry Carroll, superintendent of the Limestone County Schools. Although we continue to have issues related to the tornado damage, the Limestone County Schools will re-open on Thursday, May 5. We understand that some families, especially those in the East Limestone, Creekside and Tanner communities still face adverse conditions and we will work with you in every way possible to assist you with your needs.

We still do not have power at Creekside Elementary School. Additionally, we have been informed that Nick Davis Road, Capshaw Road and Sanderson Road may be closed tomorrow for utility repairs, therefore, we may not be able to open Creekside Elementary tomorrow. Parents of the students who attend Creekside will be contact by 7:00 p.m. tonight with an update on the status of Creekside.

We also have issues with buses being able to access areas in the East, Creekside and Tanner communities. If our bus drivers cannot drive on roads on their normal routes, they will be instructed to skip those areas and parents will have to bring their children to school.

Again we want to Thank the many people who have reached out to the families in need in our community. Although our hearts have been broken, we must come together and move our schools and communities forward in a positive, productive manner. As our motto states, “We are a school system, not a system of schools; we are a TEAM, we are a family.” The Limestone County family has certainly come together in this crisis and we will continue to do so in the days and weeks to come.

Thank you for your patience and assistance during these difficult times. We ask that you continue to be patient with us as we return to our schools tomorrow. Please continue to pray for those who have been impacted by the storms and for those who continue to work hard to restore utilities to our homes, schools and communities.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Robotics Team

In case you didn't know, Ardmore High School students have the opportunity to participate on a robotics team. The team is coordinated throught the Limestone County Career Technical Center. If you would like more information, please visit this link.

School Calendar

Here is the calendar for the Limestone County School System for the 2011-2012 school year. Please use this to plan for next year and hope it doesn't snow as much as it did this year. Click here for the link. This link may only work if you have Excel on your computer. You may also access the calendar by visiting the Limestone County Schools Website at

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pell Grant Article

Here is an article about Pell Grants parents may be interested in reading. Click here for the article.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Channel 48 Article

Here is a great article about one of our students. Click here for the link.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parent/Teacher Communication

The following link has a good article about Parent/Teacher Communication. Please feel free to check out the link. I believe communication between parents and teachers is one of the most important factors in school success.

Academic Pep Rally

We are constantly looking for ways to recognize the academic achievements of our students. We are trying something new this year on April 22, 2011 in the New Gym we will be having an Academic Pep Rally. This will be like other Pep Rallies in that we will have the band playing and cheerleaders leading cheers, but it will be unique because we are honoring our academic teams and those students with good attendance and grades.

This is a new event for us and we are excited about the opportunity. We will be recognizing out Scholar's Bowl Teams, Beta Clubs, students with exemplary attendance, just to name a few. Dr. Carroll will also be on hand to present the student body with the Limestone County Academic Trophy.


Our second annual AMSTI night will be held April 18, 2011. We ask that parents meet in the cafeteria at 6:00pm for a brief orientation meeting and then we will be visiting rooms our students are using for their experiments.

AMSTI Night highlights the activities our students engage in during their math and science classes. Our students are learning by doing and this is evident by the activities that are on display during AMSTI Night. The best thing about AMSTI Night is the students get to be the teachers and show everyone what they have learned. If you did not make it last year we invite you out this year, and I think you will be very pleased to see what a great job the students do with these activities.

Senior High Scholar's Bowl

Scholar's Bowl at Ardmore High School has a long tradition of excellence. This year Ardmore won the county competition for the fourth time out of the last five years. Our students work hard to achieve this high level of competition and we are very proud of them for their efforts.

Mr. Lewis was the sponsor for several years and Ms. Daly was his assistant, and Ms. Daly has done a great job taking over the team since Mr. Lewis moved to assistant principal. We want to congratulate Ms. Daly and the team for their fine achievement.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jr. High Scholar's Bowl

Our Jr High Scholar's Bowl Team won first place in the county recently at the annual county competition. Ardmore is always very well represented at the Scholar's Bowl Competitions and we are very proud of our team.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Alabama Education Continues to Improve

Here is a memo released from the Alabama State Department of Education highlighting significant gains on a nationwide standardized test. The hard work of students, parents and teachers is paying off.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Choking Game

Here is an article EVERY parent needs to read. Please be informed about this and speak with your children. Click Here for the article.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Morgan Cornelison

Here is an article that appeared in the Athens News Courier about Morgan Cornelison who tragically lost her life earlier this year. Click here for the article.

Not Your Typical AG Teacher

Not Your Typical AG Teacher
by Rusty Bates

When you walk into the Agri-science area of Ardmore High School, you quickly notice a major difference from most Alabama AG areas. The classroom is very similar to most in nearly all aspects. The shop is filled with welders, framing tools, and all kinds of equipment. The students are your typical teenagers learning new skills for the first time. The difference that sets this program apart is the teacher, Mrs. Lauren Graham. You read that correctly; the AG teacher is a female.

Lauren (Curtis) Graham grew up in Ardmore on the family farm. She attended Ardmore High School. After graduation, marriage, and the birth of her first child, she decided to go back to school. Agriculture is what she knew and loved. She chose to pursue that passion as a career. Her career choice would lead her to east Tennessee and then back home to her alma mater, Ardmore High School.

Graham understands that most students today don’t get the opportunity to grow up on family farms as she did. The Ardmore community is rapidly growing with subdivisions popping up everywhere. She feels that it is important to teach students and to make them understand that the very fiber of who we are and that the foods we eat all stem from agriculture. Mrs. Graham feels that this message is vital to our young people today.

There are many challenges facing teachers today. Graham says that being part of such a small minority can be one of those challenges. The state of Alabama currently has 306 registered Agri-science teachers. Only 17 of those are female. Graham relates this challenge with some of her earliest memories working on the farm with her mother. In her family, gender didn’t matter; finishing the job did. To her, hard work is just a way of life.

Graham credits her mother and father for her hard work and her success. She is very thankful for their support. She also speaks highly of her teachers and advisors at Middle Tennessee State University for their support as well. Former Ardmore Agri-science teacher Joe McKay also had a huge part getting her where she is today. Graham feels it an honor to succeed McKay, who retired last year.

Lauren Graham believes agriculture is all about life lessons, and from her personal life experiences, she has plenty to share. With the population growth of today, farmers are expected to feed more people on less land. New age farming technology must mesh with one of the oldest professions known to man. Mrs. Graham is certainly doing her part to help this process.

Note: Ardmore High School currently offers classes in Agricultural Exploration (which covers all things agricultural), Agri-construction Framing, Residential Wiring, and Metal Fabrication, all of which Mrs. Graham teaches. Ardmore chapter of The Future Farmers of America has 96 members and competes in 7 different competitions throughout the year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Parts of No Child Left Behind an 'abomination,' Alabama school leaders, congressmen agree

Here is a very interesting by the assistant state superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice.
Click here for the article.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Interesting article about the debate in Alabama over the state legislature mandating the starting date for schools. Click here for the the article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Athens Utilities

We are excited about a new opportunity for our community to help our school. Athens Utilities has agreed to allow us to ask the community to donate a monthly portion of their utility bill to Ardmore high school. We have forms at school that you must fill out if you are interested and we will return them to Athens utilities. Please have your student pick up a form or come by the school and pick one up. We will also have them at some of the sporting events and posted on the website. We hope you will be able to help us with this endeavor. Please look under the FORMS section on the website for the necessary form.

Counselor's Cabinet

If you haven't seen our "Counselor's Cabinet" please check it out at

Our high school counselor Ms. Leigh Ann Brown has created this especially for our seniors, but if you have a child in high school this is a great place to help with planning your child's future.