Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

The faculty and staff of Ardmore High School would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It seems like just yesterday we started the school year in August with Meet The Tigers at First National Bank. You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun. Students return to school on January 3, 2013 and we look forward to great finish to another school year. We hope everyone remains safe during the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Exam Bell Schedule

Exam Bell Schedule

Day 1 Schedule – December 20 (Testing 2, 4, 6)

2nd period 7:55 – 9:26 (91)

RTI period 9:30 – 11:01 (91)

4th period 11:05 – 1:10 (124) (See Day 1 lunch schedule)

Break 1:10 – 1:24 (14) (Warning bell at 1:20)

6th period 1:24 - 3:05 (101)

Day 2 Schedule – December 21 (Testing 1, 3, 5, 7)

1st period 7:55 – 9:26 (91)

3rd period 9:30 – 11:01 (91)

5th period 11:05 -1:10 (124) (See Day 2 lunch schedule)

Break 1:10 – 1:24 (14) (Warning bell at 1:20)

7th period 1:24 - 3:05 (101)

*Teachers should post attendance EVERY period based upon who should be taking their exam.

* If a student did not show to take an exam that was expected, please e-mail Mr. Lewis.

Monday, December 17, 2012

School Safety

I certainly don’t believe I can make any more sense out of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown than the thousands of people that have been interviewed since the event took place. However, I did feel the need to communicate with the parents of Ardmore High School students. I will not make commentary on the causes, or contributing societal factors but will rather focus on the steps we are taking at Ardmore High School to make our school as safe as possible.

Like every other school we have a safety plan which includes a lockdown drill along with many other safety scenarios such as severe weather. We have two lockdown drills a year where we practice the proper procedures. We use these drills as times to evaluate and adjust our safety procedures. New research has come out since the Virginia Tech shootings which have caused schools to add a new component to the lockdown drills. We are constantly looking for the latest recommendations from the experts and I feel certain after the latest tragedy is studied new suggestions will be released through law enforcement and other school safety channels.

Our faculty and staff are very cognizant of school safety and are vigilant in supervision. We do not have a central entrance like many modern buildings, but we do monitor who is on our campus and visitors have a sticker which lets teachers know this person has been approved to be in the school. We also have a full time resource officer who is here when school is in session. In addition to our SRO, we have a close relationship with Ardmore Police and they are close enough to the school that they could be here in a matter of minutes to assist our SRO.

We must work to ensure we do everything we can to make our community and school as safe as possible. We rely on parents and community members to alert us to situations we may need to know about and working together we can accomplish so much more than working alone. We know there are no guarantees in life but we will continue to be vigilant to protect our most prized possessions which are our children.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ALSDE Newsletter

Click here for the monthly newsletter from the Alabama State Department of Education. The first article by Dr. Bice is especially good. Click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Morning Drop Off Line

I noticed this morning that very few people are using the lane next to the school to drop students off in the morning. Once buses have left the campus you are allowed to use any of the lanes in front of the school to drop off students.

Exemptions Procedures

Here are the Exemption Procedures for Ardmore High School December, 2012

1.     All first period teachers must pass out exemption forms 1st period to their students needing on Tuesday, December 18.
2.     Students will take the form around Tuesday to be signed by the appropriate teachers.
3.     Students must turn in their exemption sheet to their 1st period teachers Wednesday, December 19.
4.     1st Semester Exams will be cumulative and cover material from the beginning of the semester.
5.     The semester average will be used to determine exemptions.
6.     Absences will count for the entire semester to determine exemptions.
7.     The last day students exempting all exams are required to attend is Wednesday, December 19. Wednesday, December 19 WILL count toward the determination of exemptions! Signed forms are pending attendance on December 19.
8.     Students may leave without checking in/out through the office for classes they are exempt.
9.     Students may only check in/out one time during the day.
10. Students NOT exempt and absent will receive an unexcused absence. If they leave campus w/o permission disciplinary action will be taken.
11. First period teachers will collect exemption forms and turn them in to the office before leaving for Christmas break.

Ardmore Teacher of the Year

Here is a link to our website with some information about our Teacher of the Year. Click here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Inspirational Story

This a wonderful video.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bugs Under Electron Microscopes

Here is an article about a cool science website. Click here for the link.

Hunter's Highlights

This is a busy time of year at Ardmore High School. Actually there isn’t a time of year that isn’t pretty busy, but this is an especially busy time. The Thanksgiving Holiday is past and Christmas is right around the corner. Holiday activities abound in addition to our normal activities making this time of year wonderfully active.

 Ardmore students are always ready to help those in need and the holiday season is an opportunity for them to show their compassion. Our Sr. Beta Club and our Spanish Club are collecting food and other items for needy families in our area. If you would like to help either of these groups please feel free to contact the school for more details.

 Our band recently finished a very successful marching season and the annual Christmas Concert is a great transition in to concert season. We are looking forward to our Christmas Concert this year which will coincide with a silent auction to help raise funds for our band. We encourage everyone to come out and support Mr. Bowman and our band.

 We are always looking for a way to encourage students to bring in their boxtops to earn money for the school. Students raised $1000 worth of boxtops to earn the right to wear Halloween costumes to school. Now we are having a competition to see which room can raise the most money by boxtops (or cash) and the winner will earn a free lunch from Zaxby’s. We are excited about this competition and our students seem to be looking forward to a break from their normal lunch routine.

 Every year Ardmore High School honors our retired teachers. This year was no exception and we had several former school employees return to join us and tell stories of past experiences. We always enjoy this day and the retirees seem to also enjoy the camaraderie they experience. A special thanks goes out to Ms. Walker for coordinating this event as she does every year. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Graduation Rate

The graduation rates for the states have recently been released. Click here for the link.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Parent Technology Training

Special Education Department of Limestone County Schools is hosting a training on Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6-7:30 pm at the Career Technical Center.  Training will include apps for iPads, Promethean Board activities, educational websites, at home strategies, and a snapshot of Go Math- electronic version.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. We have a lot to be thankful for at Ardmore High School. We have a wonderful student body and a great faculty and staff. Our parents are very supportive and we have a community that cares about the school.

Many times society tends to focuses on the negative aspects of schools and young people, but let us not forget about the wonderfully positive things that take place every day in school. Our students as a whole are very caring and have learned to treat others as they want to be treated. On behalf of Ardmore High School I want to wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Crystal Apple Award

Congratulations to Linda Rolin for receiving the WAY-FM Crystal Apple Award for November. Mrs. Rolin was nominated by Justin Mealer who wrote a heart-warming essay that enabled Mrs. Rolin to win this award. It is great when our teachers get recognized for the impact they have on the lives of our young people. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Alert Now Call November 19

Hello parents this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. Tomorrow, November 20, we will be taking our 7,8, and 9th grade students to Tanner High School to attend a bullying program from a nationally renown speaker.

You do not need to do anything for your child to attend, but if you do NOT want your child to attend send a letter to school stating you do not want your child to attend the program. Once again you do not need to do anything in order for your child to attend, but if you do NOT want your child to attend send a letter stating that you do not want your child to attend the program.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Interesting Article

Click here for an interesting article about Gifted Education.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Classic Education Comedy

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WSLV Broadcasts

Once again this year, WSLV will be broadcasting Ardmore Tiger basketball.  Listed below is our tentative schedule for this season's broadcast.  We will broadcast both the varsity girls and boys game for each date listed.  During basketball season these games can be heard on or through a smart phone app. such as  The  regular season games will not be on the radio due to sign-off regulations with the FCC. 
Nov. 16th at Clements
Nov. 20th Westminster 
Nov. 30th at Elkmont
Dec. 4th West Limestone
Dec. 13th at Johnson
Dec. 14th at Catholic
Dec. 18th at Butler
Jan. 5th at Rogers
Jan. 8th at East Limestone
Jan. 14th at Tanner
WSLV will also be broadcasting all of the Ardmore games during the Limestone County Tournament including MS boys and girls, JV boys and girls and varsity boys and girls.  The area tournament games and any other post-season games will be also be broadcast. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tales From The Meeting

Here is a link with an article concerning Dr. Bice's presentation about the Alabama Education Budget. Click here for the article.

Alert Now Call November 2, 2012

Hello parents this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. Just wanted to remind you that Tuesday, November 6 is Parenting Day. There is information on the website and your student should have brought home forms. Conferences will be scheduled from 12:-7:00 and students will not attend school on this day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I have been asked about the proposed amendments a lot here lately. I don't feel comfortable making a suggestion concerning how people should vote. However, I do encourage everyone to do is to make an informed decision. Here is a link that will take you to the actual amendments. Click here for the link and then click on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot in the upper right corner.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Schools Deal With Tragedy

Unfortunately, the death of a student or recent graduate is a sad truth in schools. There are no magic bullets and no formula for how to deal with such tragedy. All schools try and provide counseling when students need it, and there are certain standard procedures recommended by experts, but each case is unique.

Students are very resilient and many times handle tragedy better than we expect. The outpouring of compassion from the community is overwhelming in times such as these. Schools receive many different of types of help from the community and it is wonderful to see how people work together to try and comfort those affected most by such tragedy. Memorials, plaques, or flowers will not bring back students but working together school communities can possibly provide some degree of comfort to family and friends.

With destiny in its hands, Ardmore on new ground

With destiny in its hands, Ardmore on new ground

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pictures on Website

Did you know that many pictures of the homecoming festivities are posted on our school website. Just click on the picture and you will be sent to a link with many more pictures. Click here for our school website.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Common Curriculum Helps You Create Common Core Lesson Plans

Common Curriculum Helps You Create Common Core Lesson Plans

Robotics Team

Ardmore High School was well represented recently when the Rocket Robotics Team was announced. Fourteen out of thirty two members of the Robotics Team were from Ardmore. The Rocket Robotics Team is based at the Career Technical School and students from all over the county work on this team. Our robotics team does very well in competitions and represents Limestone County admirably. We are very proud of our students who comprise the team and wish them good luck again this year. The members of the team from Ardmoree are: Nathan Bartlett, Lauren Black, Braden Nash, Lance Smith, Andrew Wiese, Brianne Brazell, Emily Horn, Jordan Kearns, Lance Perry, Levi Terry, Presley Price, Seth Harris, Tate Harriman, and Tyler Reetz .

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monthly Newsletter

Click here for the monthly newsletter published by the Alabama State Department of Education.

Study Tips

Here are a few study tips. Click here for the article.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mary Scott Hunter Newsletter

At least 10,000 students from across the country have already signed up to visit the new MathAlive! exhibit that opened Saturday at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Don’t miss it!
I have encouraged Dr. Deborah Barnhart, leader of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, to position the Center as the “Pied Piper” for Math.  Dr. Werner Von Braun believed his legacy was an Education Legacy.  Dr. Von Braun is the foremost American Mathematician and an Alabamian whose story is beautifully tied to an American milestone achievement – winning the “Space Race” and putting our astronauts on the moon. 
March of Dimes / Mary Scott’s 40th Birthday – Thursday, October 25!!!
On a personal note, I will celebrate my 40th birthday on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Westin Hotel.  You are invited! I have chosen to raise $40,000 for the March of Dimes to celebrate this milestone, and I will be chairing the Signature Chefs Event
My youngest son, Caleb, was born eight weeks early four years ago.  Premature baby medical science supported by the March of Dimes saved his life.  Read the story that inspired me to do this, and please join me for the party!  Individual tickets as well as group/table ticketing and corporate sponsorships at various levels of giving are available.  Please contact Pam Ogg to make arrangements -- or 256-585-6243.
K-12 Education Budget (ETF) / Education Trust Fund Update
ETF Increase -- I am increasingly optimistic that the current growth rate will be sufficient to fund next year's budget.  We anticipate an increase of $407.7 million for next year.  The Board had its first work session on the budget this month.  While not exciting, an item of need for local systems is restoration of “Other Current Expenses” or “OCE” which funds such items as school buses.
Education Employees -- The Board and Superintendent also hope to recoup the loss of 1,300 teachers – a necessary move in order to grow academic achievement. The Board also discussed raises for employees.  Dr. Bice presented the matter as it relates to “fairness.”  My comment was, "This is not so much for me a question of fairness as it is quality work force.”  I certainly believe teaching is a calling, but as with any profession, competitive pay keeps the field desirable to attract and keep high quality employees.  My comment seemed to be received by Dr. Bice and the rest of the Board favorably. For every 1% of pay increase, the ETF is drafted $35,000,000. 
My opposition to Diversion or Combination -- While I did not support the Constitutional Amendment on the Alabama Trust Fund, the good news is that the ETF should be safe from the practice of “diversion” which refers to moving proper general fund items to the ETF.  I remain opposed to a combined budget.  My comment at this month’s work session is that the ETF is a long term investment in prosperity while the General Fund goes mainly to our short and medium term operating expenses.  Both are important, but politics will usually sacrifice the long term for the short term.  I am not willing to chance that with a combined budget, and I believe my job is to protect the future of our state for the long term through solid education policy-making.
Community Colleges
New Chancellor -- Dr. Mark Heinrich was named Chancellor.  I welcome him and believe the Board made a great choice.  Fellow attorney and Educator, Susan Price, was our interim.  I commended her.  She took on some difficult problems and made headway in her short time. 
Athens State University – I supported the college gaining its own Board of Trustees independent of the Alabama Community College System.  This was the logical next step for this uniquely-missioned college which educates at the upper division two-year level.  I will sit on its first Board of Trustees and am looking forward to this honor.
Drake State Technical College – Drake gained its SACS accreditation, which represents a significant accomplishment.  I support and laud Drake’s desire to uniquely position itself in the future as a comprehensive community college with a focus on Technical Education.  This harkens to its legacy as well as the future of community college education. 
Calhoun Community College – Calhoun in Huntsville finally received permission from the Board to make some much needed improvements to the Huntsville campus.  Their proposal was rejected by the Board last year, but the proposal in August was unanimously supported by the Board.  Calhoun will, in partnership with Athens, be celebrating the grand opening of the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur this month. 
Northeast Alabama Community College – This month marks a very significant milestone.  I was privileged to speak at the groundbreaking of the new Technology, Science and Math Building.  The building will sit at the front of the campus and be prominent from Hwy 35, the main artery from Scottsboro to Fort Payne.  This investment in our work force in the Sand Mountain region will lead to good jobs. 
Gadsden State Community College – Much work was done this year to protect Gadsden’s budget.  Gadsden has historically been funded at a higher per-student rate than other colleges.  I commend President Staats, an able and gifted leader and a fellow Air Force officer.  His words to me: “Give me a glide slope I can land my plane on.”  Meaning, he understands the need to contract his budget, and I am supporting that process happening at a proper rate. Infrastructure needs will continue to be addressed, however, and I plan to spend time in Etowah County early next month to review those needs.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you. 
1_1349634376596381 class=yiv185433019MsoBodyText>MARY SCOTT HUNTER
Representative-Alabama Board of Education
District 8 (Limestone, Madison, Jackson, DeKalb, Etowah)
P.O. Box 18572, Huntsville, AL 358041-888-531-1312
On Facebook and Twitter

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hunter's Highlights

Picture Day culminates a week full of activities, but really every week is full of activities. Next week of course is especially full due to homecoming week. Ardmore will have its usual week full of crazy costumes and fun along with a parade. Homecoming is always a fun week for students and we are sure this year will be no different.

It is hard to believe it is already October and volleyball season is winding down. The Lady Tigers recently held Senior Night, which is always the last regular season home game, to honor their volleyball seniors. The county and area tournaments are coming up in the next two weeks and we are excited about our chances this year in volleyball. Our coaches and players have worked very hard to make this a great year.

Our football team continues its winning ways as well. Midway through the season our team is 4-1 and excited about the possibility of making the play-offs for the first time in a long time. The coaches and players are to be commended and we look forward to seeing what the remainder of the year holds in store.

Cross Country is the newest sport at Ardmore, but it is really catching on. Our Cross Country team improves every year and we are now beginning to be very competitive in the matches we attend. Many of the athletes we compete against have been running for many years and this makes a lot of difference in races. The athletes continue to work hard and we know they will do a great job during the remainder of the year.

Our band is having another exemplary marching season. The show this year consists of songs from the group Alabama. Our band is doing an outstanding job performing the songs and the crowds are enjoying the show. The band has one more marching competition remaining this year and we know they will continue the excellence they have shown thus far this year.

A group of young people valuable to our school is our cheerleaders. Our cheerleaders do an outstanding job at pep rallies and at the ball games. The cheerleaders work very hard during the entire year. The summer is spent practicing and since they cheer for football and basketball, they are busy all year. Our coaches and cheerleaders are dedicated to our school and do an outstanding job of helping with our school spirit.

We are very fortunate here at Ardmore to have such wonderful students, parents, and staff. We have a loving community that takes a lot of pride in their school. Our school continues to strive to provide a world-class education for our students and we are very appreciative for the place we call home.

Five Ways to Get Involved in Your Community Education

Click here for an article.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Student Release October 1, 2012

I want to thank all parents, teachers, and students for your cooperation on October 1, 2012. The most difficult situation is when decisions have to be made immediately before students are to be released, because time is a major factor. Every decision is based upon the safety of our children.

Know that we will never leave campus until every child has a ride home regardless of the situation. On days like today when buses are delayed we will keep them secure until the weather passes. On days when buses are not running at all, we will stay until parents can come pick them up.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Math Alive Exhibit

Here is a release from the ALSDE about a great exhibit at the Space and Rocket Center. Click here for the link.

Shigellosis confirmed in Limestone County school

Shigellosis confirmed in Limestone County school

Friday, September 21, 2012

School Nutrition

Click here for a publication from the Alabama Department of Education concerning school nutrition.

Hunter's Highlights

Hunter's Highlights posted on school website. Click here for the newsletter.

Ranking Limestone County's football teams

Ranking Limestone County's football teams

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Twenty Four Coins In a Day

Here is an article that makes you think.

Title – 24 Gold Coins In A Day – Teachable Moment

By – John Bishop

Primary Subject – Other

Secondary Subjects – Other

Grade Level – 5-12
    A man I know was given six months to live, yet his outlook on life was inspiring. I asked how he could stay so positive knowing he only had a short time to live. He shared these thoughts with me.
    “Each day when I wake up, I receive twenty-four gold coins, one for each hour of the day. I have to spend some of those coins for eating, sleeping, time with my family, and taking care of the day’s responsibilities. I choose to spend some of my daily hours (coins) having fun and helping others. At the end of each day, there are usually a couple of special gold coins left over. I spend these with particular care.”
    What an invaluable life lesson for us and our children. We live in a hectic, “there is never enough time to get everything done” world. Our future success, and that of our children, will be determined by how wisely we invest our daily gold coins.
Suggestions for implementation:
    Some ideas for spending your special gold coins include:
  • Helping someone without being asked
  • Starting a new book or project that you have “been meaning to get to”
  • Spending an extra thirty minutes a day on homework
Questions for discussion:
  1. How did you spend your gold coins yesterday? Today?
  2. Discuss with your family how you might spend your coins more wisely.
Quote for discussion:

    “The time is always right to do what is right.”

    Martin Luther King

September declared Workforce Development Month

September declared Workforce Development Month

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Alert Now Message September 18

Mandatory Baseball Meeting Wednesday night, September 19th at 8:15 New Gym. One parent and player need to attend.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Admit Slips

 We are off to a great start and we want to thank everyone for their help. As you know all our students meet in the gym before school and this is where we issue our admit slips for excused absences. This is the same as other years with the exception of the location. If your child is absent please remember to tell them they must go to the gym to obtain their admit slip. Thank you for your cooperation.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free/Reduced Lunch Forms

Free/Reduced Lunch Forms are due by September 19. Any student without a completed form this year must start paying full price after that date. Forms are available online from the school and district website or paper copies may be picked up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ALSDE News Letter

Click here for the monthly newsletter from the Alabama Department of Education.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Things Teachers Want Parents To Know

Here is an interesting article about parent/teacher communication. We always want to hear from you concerning your child. Click here for the article.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Alert Now Phone Message. Friday, August 31

Hello parents, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. I just wanted to remind you of that we are in school on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2012. This will be a regular day of school and regular rules apply. We look forward to seeing you at the football game tonight and GO TIGERS!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday Night Lights

In an effort to help alleviate the traditionally long lines at the Ardmore/Elkmont football game we will be pre-selling tickets. Student pre-sale tickets are $4 and adults are $6. The advantage for adults is the fact we will have a designated gate for the Elkmont game that will be exclusively for pre-sale ticket holders. This should help this line go fairly quickly.

We will have every person we can round up to help with tickets, but we are expecting the usually large crowd. Hopefully this will help minimize the wait. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Great First Week

Ardmore High is off to a great start this year. Thanks to the hard work of teachers and staff, cooperation of students, and patience of parents we have had a great first week of school. New routines and procedures always present challenges, but the transition has been very smooth. We are looking forward to a wonderful school year!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Interesting Article

Here is a link to an interesting article concerning tips for parents. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Meet The Tigers

We had a great turn out for the Meet The Tigers event sponsored by First National Bank. The weather was great and we were delighted by the great crowd. The band and cheerleaders did an excellent job, as usual, getting the crowd fired up and we are ready for the beginning of the fall sports season. Any time we can recognize young people for the positive things in life they accomplish, it is time well spent. A special thanks to Dr. Sisk for coming out and speaking to the crowd.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Great Start

The 2012-2013 school year got off to a great start. The hard work of the staff through the summer and days leading up to students arriving paid off. There are always some schedule changes to be made and we ask for your patience in this matter. The number of changes seem to be down this year, but there are still several remaining and we will work through them as quickly as possible. In a small school setting there a limits to what is offered each period making some changes impossible. We have some classes that are only offered one period a day which makes scheduling a challenge.

The students will never admit it, but they actually seemed excited to be seeing some of their friends they haven't seen for a couple of months. We have great students at Ardmore and are looking forward to a great year. The new morning procedures will go into full effect this morning since everyone now knows about the changes. We believe this will help our students be more safe and secure. We are always looking for better ways to secure our campus in order to protect our children.

We are excited about the new school year and look forward to working with each of you. It truly does take everyone working together to provide the best experience for our children. If we can help you please do not hesitate to call.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Parent Meeting Phone Call

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore HS. It is that time of year again and we will be having our annual parent meeting Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the New Gym. We will distribute schedules immediately following the meeting. Sixth grade parents will receive additional information after the first meeting. We look forward to seeing you and thank you for entrusting us with your children.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

How far is the carpet above the sand?

College Scholarships

Here is an article with some good advice about obtaining college scholarships. Click here for the article.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Favorite Teacher

Most all of us have that one teacher we recall fondly and refer to as our “favorite teacher.” These teachers made a positive impact on our life and typically we found ourselves liking the subject area they taught even if it was not previously our favorite subject.

I am thankful for all my teachers, but I too had a favorite teacher who recently retired and I have been thinking about the impact she made on the lives of young people. I have been fortunate to keep in touch with this teacher due to working in the school business and the fact she took a job with Alabama Science in Motion helping area teachers conduct labs for their classes. Ms. Nancy Giles was an outstanding teacher and I took every class she taught including biology and zoology. One example that demonstrates the type of things she would do for her students occurred while we were on a field trip. Our zoology class collected cans around the school to raise money for our field trips and we were fortunate enough to take a couple of trips a year.

This particular trip was very low budget because we drove out to the Wildlife Checking Station in Black Warrior Management Area in Bankhead National Forest on the opening day of gun season. In the management area, each deer must be aged and tagged by the wildlife biologist assigned to that area. We were able to talk with the biologist and learn a lot about biology and the job of a wildlife biologist. Coincidentally, or not, one of our classmates eventually graduated from Auburn with a degree in wildlife biology.  Our class also had the opportunity to witness several deer being aged and examined to learn hands-on about mammal anatomy. Of course nearly every boy in our class was a deer hunter so this was an especially enjoyable trip. The trip in itself was great, but what happened after the trip is what really stands out. One of the hunters brought a deer by and (like we did every hunter) we asked how far from the road he field dressed the deer. Of course we were glad when he told us the “remnants” were not very far from the road. We decided a great idea would be for us to bring these back to the checking station and do a little hands on examination of the “inner workings” of the deer.

Ms. Giles agreed to allow us to bring back the deer intestines to show the rest of the class. A couple of us loaded up and went with the hunter (riding in the back of the truck in freezing weather) to bring back the prize. Of course the fact we were able to load up in the back of a truck with an armed stranger and ride in the mountains in freezing temperatures shows you how much times have changed, but that is another story. We brought back the deer intestines and did a little examination thinking this would be the end of the lesson. However, Ms. Giles saw a chance to go a little bit further. She brought the intestines back to school and spent a great deal of time that night taking a water hose and cleaning out the intestines, laying them on a lab table in the relative position they would have been found in the deer. Consequently, the next day in class we were able to conduct a much more thorough examination of the deer parts greatly enhancing our understanding of internal anatomy.

I am sure this is not how she wanted to spend her night, but I still remember her efforts to this day. Selfless acts like this made a lasting impression on her students through the years. Although the last several years of her career were spent working with teachers more than students she made a difference in the education of students by the many teachers she helped mentor and train serving with ASIM. I am sure we all have stories about our teachers who went above and beyond the call of duty to help students learn valuable lessons both in and out of the classroom. Ms. Giles has retired and hopefully will enjoy her much deserved rest, but the impact on the lives of the young people she taught will continue for years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting Away From Grade Levels?

Very interesting article. Click here for the article.

Sports Mascots

Here is an article about the most unusual sports mascots in Alabama. Click here for the article.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Here is the link to the latest newsletter from the ALSDE. Click here for the link.

Between Teacher and Child

Between Teacher and Child

I have come to a frightening conclusion,
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous,
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child is humanized or de-humanized.
Haim Ginott

Monday, July 2, 2012

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”

A plaque in the Library of Congress reads, “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” Certainly education is one of the most important aspects of a civilized, democratic society. Most everyone agrees education is important but many different opinions exist concerning the best way obtain a quality education.

Exciting, and sometimes scary things are taking place at the national, state, and local levels that have the potential for great change in our educational system. A nationwide curriculum called the Common Core has been adopted by 46 states including the state of Alabama. No Child Left Behind still has many unanswered questions and revisions are currently being discussed in Washington.

Great leadership is crucial to positive change. Alabama has a new State Superintendent of Education and Limestone County has a new Superintendent. Our systems are in good hands with these two leaders providing direction and guidance for our school system.

At Ardmore High School we look forward to addressing the changes and challenges to be faced this year and the years to come. Times of great change can be disconcerting, but the potential for making our school system even better far out weighs the uncertainty of change. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ardmore Student Second in Nationals

Skyler Verworren recently placed second in Computer Maintenance Technology at the National Skills USA Competition. To place second in the nation is a huge honor and Skyler is to be congratulated. Here is a link to the website to see the official announcement.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

AMSTI is Ten Years Old

Ardmore is very proud to be an AMSTI school. AMSTI is a program that has transformed math and science education across the state of Alabama. Many states have analyzed Alabama's methods to build a similar model. Here is a press release from the Alabama State Department of Education with more information. Click here for the link.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Reading

Reading is an important part of education and the summer is no exception. Here is an article with information about summer reading. While much of the focus is on elementary, the principles are the same for high school. Click here for the article.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ardmore chosen to administer the PISA

Ardmore High School has been chosen to administer the PISA this fall. What is the PISA? The Program for International Student Assessment is the correct name of the assessment given to students across the globe. The PISA is the leading assessment used to measure student educational performance across the world. The results of the PISA are used to shape educational policy and revise current laws and standards of the world’s industrialized nations.

Schools are randomly chosen to participate and 15 year old students are randomly chosen to be tested. The data is analyzed from across the country and individual scores are not tabulated or available. We will have more details as school gets closer. Click here for a link with more information.

We feel very honored to have the opportunity to participate in an assessment having national and international implications. We will be able to contribute to information which will help to improve all schools across the nation.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Seven Online Smithsonian Activities for Students

Seven Online Smithsonian Activities for Students

Bus Drivers

Here is an article about a new requirement for bus drivers. Click here for the article.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Alert Now June 14

Due to rain on Monday, June 11, Ardmore softball will be holding a try-out on June 18 @ 6:00 p.m. for all girls grade 7-12 interested in playing softball at AHS. You must have a current physical and insurance form on file.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From Homeless to Harvard

Have some tissue available.


Of course I would never do anything like this.

Reed Makes All-State

Here is a News Courier article about Cody Reed making the All-State baseball team. Click here for the article.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Alert Now Call June 7

Here is the information contained in the call going out June 7th. There will be try-outs for all girls grades 7-12 interested in playing softball at Ardmore High School for the 2013 season on June 11. All 7th and 8th grade students will try-out at 6:00 p.m. and 9th-12th grade students at 7:00 p.m. Everyone must have a physical and insurance. If you are out of town or are unable to attend, there will be an additional try-out in the fall.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Associate Degree on the Weekend

Here is an article featuring a new program by Calhoun. Click here for the article.

Friday, May 25, 2012

7-Day Forecast for Latitude 34.85°N and Longitude 87.05°W (Elev. 699 ft)

So far the weather looks great!
7-Day Forecast for Latitude 34.85°N and Longitude 87.05°W (Elev. 699 ft)

Alert Now Message

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. School is out and summer has started and I know everyone wants their report cards. If your child brought a self-addressed envelope we will mail report cards, hopefully on Friday. If not, the office will be open from 8:00-11:30 and 12:30-5:00 Tuesday May 19- Thursday, May 31. I hope everyone has a great summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alert Now Message

Hello, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. As you know we are administering our second day of semester exams on Thursday, May 24. I just wanted to remind you of a couple of things. First, remember we are on an extended schedule in order to give plenty of time. We will be administering 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th period exams on Thursday. Second, in order to protect the testing environment students must remain in class during the entire testing period. Please check the schedule on the website so you know the times you are able to check out your students.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

State Superintendent Addresses Challenges

State School Superintendent addresses education challenges

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Reading Challenge

The Alabama State Department of Education has a new program to encourage students to read during the summer. Check out the link .

Monday, May 14, 2012

Alert Now Call May 14

Hello, my name is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. This call is concerning athletic physicals to be given Wednesday, May 16 in the new gym. Students currently in grades 6-11 will need to be here at 4:00 p.m. The 5th graders from Johnson and Cedar Hill will be here at 5:00. Any student planning on participating in sports at Ardmore High School for the 2012-2013 school year will need to participate in these physicals.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ardmore Recognized

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked high schools across the nation. Ardmore High School was given a Bronze ranking which by their defintion constitutes a "High-performing schools based on state exam performance." The rankings are based upon test scores and the percentage of low-income students. This is a great honor for our students. Three schools in Limestone County were given a Bronze Award. Approximately 78% of schools are not given any recognition. To see Ardmore's official ranking please visit click here.

Great Human Interest Story

Click here for the article.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Heart of A Teacher

Here is a great link in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Click here for the link.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Golf Team Going to State

Here is a link to a News Courier article concerning our golf team. Click here.

New Testing?

Here is an article concerning the state superintendent's plan to overhaul the testing system in Alabama. Click here for the article.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Going to College?

Here is an article about what you should know how to do before you move off to college. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Article Concerning Possible Alabama Calendar

Here is an article link to the News Courier concerning the state legislature passing a bill pertaining to school calendars. Click here for the article.

Alabama Budget

Here is an article to keep up with what is happening with the Alabama education budget. Click here for the article.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bring Your Own Device

Here is an interesting article for your consideration. Click here for the article.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here is a great picture found in the Shopper of Senior Night. We want to thank the Shopper for allowing us to use their pictures. The Shopper is a great supporter of Ardmore High School.

Governor Proclaims Skill Trade Week

This is a memo from the Alabama State Department of Education about the governor's proclamation. Click here for the article.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What's New | A Education Partnership

What's New | A Education Partnership

This is an article about some of the budget talks in Montgomery.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gardening at School?

I am not having luck with my home garden, but this is a great article about students learning through gardening. Click here for the article.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Special Olympics

We are excited to announce the first annual Limestone County Special Olympics Run that is taking place Thursday, April 19. The participants are running from each Limestone County School to encourage the Special Olympic participants. They will be running a total of 72.5 miles. Here at Ardmore, we are asking for supporters to come out and cheer them on as they arrive at the school around 6:00 p.m. They will come up Mooresville Rd. toward Ardmore. We hope to have groups of supporters cheering them on as they get closer to our school. They will be here for a brief stop and then heading on to Elkmont. We encourage everyone to come out for this great event!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Changing the Face of Farming

Here is a link to a great article about the mother of our wonderful Agriscience teacher, Lauren Graham. Mrs. graham does a wonderful job teaching Agriscience and sponsoring FFA. The article mentioned that Mrs, Graham is the first female Agriscience teacher in limestone County. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Parent Meeting for Middle School Trip

Parent meeting for Middle school trip to Washington D.C. on Monday, April 16 @ 6:00 p.m. in the library. This is a mandatory meeting. If you have questions, please contact

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Study Probes Charters' Spending on Instruction, Administration - Charters & Choice - Education Week

Study Probes Charters' Spending on Instruction, Administration - Charters & Choice - Education Week

Bryant/Jordan Banquet

Daniel McNeese was honored at the annual Bryant/Jordan Banquet held in Birmingham. Alabama has over 150, 000 student athletes and 96 were Bryant/Jordan finalist so this was a huge honor for Daniel and his family. You can find more information about the Bryant/Jordan Award Program at or read previous articles from the blog.

Speakers included Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the AHSAA, Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education, and Representatives from The University of Alabama, and Auburn University. Ardmore is fortunate to have had a representative at the banquet for the last three years. This is a testament to our fine quality students, parent, teachers, and coaches.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Formula for Graduation Rate?

Here is a link to an article describing the new "Cohort Method" of calculating graduation rate. As you can see it is not a simple issue. Click here for the article.

Special Education Records to be Destroyed

Here is an article from the ALSDE about special education records. Click here for the article.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ideas Worth Sharing

This is about 20 minutes long, but if you can't listen to all of it, fast forward to the last minute.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Class Reunion

The members of the Ardmore High School Class of 1954 recently had their 55th class reunion. It is good for students today to see that everyone was a student at one time. The picture is courtesy of the Shopper.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two of the Greatest Qualities in Life

Patience and Wisdom

Just for Fun

Just for fun. This is how I feel when I prooof-read.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Students Test Knowledge On-Line

Here is an article about an opportunity available to students to test their knowledge and possibly earn a scholarship at the same time. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why is it Called Public Education

Public education is a hot topic across the United States and really across the world. So many things are written and studied about public education it is really difficult to sift through it all. “Research shows” is a phrase that people on both sides of an issue use frequently. This article is not about pedagogy, policy, or No Child Left Behind, but rather the personal side of education.

Public school officials deal with a variety of issues every day and many are not directly dealing with instruction. Counselors, administrators, and teachers deal with custody issues, students with mental illness, poverty, behavioral problems, and students that resent being placed in their current residence. Dealing with these types of issues is why it is called “public” school.

Every day is an opportunity to help a student with a different need. We never know who is going to walk through the front door and say, “I am here to enroll my child.” Schools must, and should, welcome them with open arms and ask, “How can we help your child?” Perhaps a student has been placed with a foster family because the parents were sent to prison. This child may certainly resent not being with their parents. It is not the school’s fault this occurred, and in fact most of the time the incident did not occur in the same county as the school. However, the school must step up to the plate and help the child adjust socially while still serving their academic needs. Obviously, a child entering school under these circumstances will be less than interested in the subjects being taught that day in class and will most likely lash out at the teachers trying to make sure they do their work.

Sometimes it is students having trouble at home that are sent to school after a sleepless night due to domestic violence. Many times students are sent to live with grandparents or non-custodial parents due to issues at home. This student enters the school with many things on their minds other than the subject matter they are taught. However, schools are charged with teaching every student and ensuring they learn and succeed.

Teaching students with problems beyond the scope of what schools were designed to do is the challenge faced today. Schools are expected to perform up to government standards regardless of the situation of the students. Schools must not use social conditions as an excuse. We know that good teachers, administrators, and schools find ways to teach all students regardless of outside circumstances.

The concept of providing a free and appropriate education to every student regardless of circumstance is a concept championed by the United States and is something we truly treasure. While it is true public education is not perfect and systemic changes are many times required, it is good to remember that public schools take students as they are. I think the quote on the Statue of Liberty says it best:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

This greeting was intended for immigrants entering our country, but it is just as appropriate for students entering our school. As a society we must continue to fight the good fight and ensure the gift of literacy and education is available to all of our children.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr. Bice's Vision

Here is a presentation that shows what Dr. Bice plans for the State of Alabama. Click here for the presentation.

Proposals in Montgomery

I will periodically post articles about what is going on in the legislative session this year. This does not mean I endorse the changes or that I disagree with the changes, I am simply spreading the word to keep people informed. Click here for a slide presentations about some new proposals.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Graduation Rate

Here is a link to the Alabama Department of Education Website and a presentation concerning graduation rate. Click here for the link.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Bice on Technology

Here is an article by State Superindent, Tommy Bice on technology. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Child Left Behind

Here is a link to an article concerning the Alabama Department of Education applying for a waiver for NCLB. Click here for the article.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alert Now Message February 27th

Hello parents, this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. Pre-registration is a very important time of the year. Decisions are made during this time that will affect your child’s academic future. We are having a meeting February 28, to answer questions and provide information. We will meet in the school library at 6:30. Please make plans to attend if you have any questions concerning pre-registration.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Louis' Education Blog: More High School Graduates: How Schools Can Save S...

Louis' Education Blog: More High School Graduates: How Schools Can Save S...: More High School Graduates: How Schools Can Save Students from Dropping Out by Ben Levin c2012 Ben Levin served as Deputy Minister of Edu...

Benefits of AMSTI

We are very fortunate to be an AMSTI school. Our math and science staff have spent a great deal of time in training to provide our students with outstanding math and science instruction. Here is a link to a PDF file from the ALSDE outlining the benefits of AMSTI. Click here for the link.

Creative Thinking

Great article about creative thinking. Click here for the article.

Arts Education

Here are two articles discussing the value of the arts in the school curriculum. We are fortunate to have high school art classes and a great band program. Budget cuts make arts education more difficult, but maybe together we can help our students benefit from the arts. Click Here for one article. Click here for the second article.

Friday, February 17, 2012

State Department of Education Data

Here is a link to educational statistics by the State Department of Education. Click here for the link.

Six Ways to Publish Student Work

Here is a great link to an article explaining some new ways to publish student work. Click here for the link.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Funny Picture

Alert Now Message Thursday, February 16

Hello parents this is Tommy Hunter, principal at Ardmore High School. I have two announcements for you today. The first is to remind you that the Entry Form deadline for the Beauty Walk is 2pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. The beauty walk itself is March 10, but the deadline is Wednesday, February 22. Forms may be picked up in the front office.

Also, we will be in school on Monday, February 20 which is President’s Day. Once again we WILL be in school on Monday, February 20, President’s Day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Preparing Students for an Uncertain Future

Public education has the daunting task for preparing students for their future. In times past the future was relatively predictable in terms of what the students could expect. Most areas knew the kinds of jobs available to that region and we knew what colleges would expect students to know. Technology has changed all previous ideas and we are faced with the task of preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.

We are told that technology doubles every two years and we are living in times of exponential change. By the time we are trained on one device or program, it is obsolete. School systems, like any large organization, are sometimes slow to change and this can many times pose a problem. By the time schools are able to purchase the latest technology and get the infrastructure available to adequately use the technology, something new has come along.

Schools must continue to try and be on the leading edge, but must always continue to teach skills that will allow students to be lifelong learners. Most adults will have multiple jobs in their working lives and the better learners will have a huge competitive edge. We must challenge students and help them become thinkers and problem solvers in order to compete in the future. Using the most current technology is great, but having the capacity and desire to continue learning will enable a person to stay up with the latest trends. It is much like the old adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Many times even our best students want to know exactly what they need to know so they can memorize the answer and get an “A.” We all want our students to make good grades, but we must remember that thinking and problem solving is not easy. We must continue to challenge students to try and reach their full learning potential. Hard work and creative thinking will ensure our students thrive in their future.