Residents treated with updates, progress from Bartleby Program

Published 9:20 pm Monday, September 11, 2017

Leaving no stone unturned, Elizabethton High School students are ready to make their presence felt.
A brainchild of 23 students, community members gathered Monday to learn more about what the Bartleby Program has to offer during a ceremony held inside T.A.Dugger Junior High’s auditorium. The Bartleby Program was one of the 18 XQ Super School Projects to receive funding from XQ America to implement new ways on how to “rethink” the way of high school.
While receiving updates, representatives with Bartleby provided a viewing of a national broadcast given by XQ America over the weekend that highlighted the different ways the Super Schools are changing the way high school is thought of in the country.
Providing purpose and answers was the premise for Monday’s event, according to EHS teacher and one of the Bartleby founders Alex Campbell.
“We do have a lot of specific answers for how we’re doing this in Elizabethton, and that’s what tonight is all about,” Campbell told the Elizabethton Star before the start of the event. “We get a chance to tell the people of Elizabethton exactly what we’re going to do with our vision.”
And the vision has already hit the ground running for the 2017-18 year. Thanks to Bartleby, two new classes were developed – Community Improvement and Entrepreneurship.
“We decided to do a pilot this year,” Campbell said. “We can handle about 15 kids in each class. This year, it’s about getting the kids in these types of classes, see what doe and doesn’t work and plan for next year. We’re hoping next year we can have 100 students, then the next year 200 students. This is the perfect way for us to see what works and how our students can make an impact.”
Over 20 students make up the first group of Bartleby students. Those involved include Kira Dillard, Daniel Dougherty, Frank Duffy, Hannah Edwards, Sarrah Eggers, Jared Grindstaff, Tory Irmeger, Morgan Jones, McKenna Kiser, Abrien Kyte, Abigail Richardson, Emily Richardson, Caleb Skeen, Will Turner, Lawson Wagner, Sadie Whitehead, Megan Young, Ryan Browder, Colton Grindstaff, Jake Hensley, Chandlor Mullins, Geoffrey Munday, Dylan Nordby, Hannah Roaten, Hailey Smith and Tyson Vance.
The program is being spearheaded by five city school representatives. Terry Smith is serving as the program director. Campbell, Jessica Hayes, Dustin Hensley and Daniel Proffitt are each teaching classes this academic year.
Campbell added that he and Hayes are handling the class delving into finances. Students have an opportunity to learn what it takes to operate a business and management money with different mentors.
Currently, the community improvement class has a variety of projects under, including downtown beautification, Tweetsie Trail work, a teen support group and veterans’ assistance to name a few.
“One of the things about Bartleby was to tear down the walls between schools and the community,” Campbell said. “Instead of creating fake problems out of a textbook, we’re going to use real problems in the community.”
Seeing students get involved was one key reason to join in, according to Thomas Davis.
Davis, an award-winning financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments and active member of various nonprofit organizations, is one of the many individuals looking to make help mold the lives of students wanting to make a difference.
“You have to have that vision early on, and this is the earliest I’ve seen so far. Students having a vision, wanting to own a business or be involved with community service as a freshman or sophomore in high school. They sort of already have a head start,” Davis said. “I want to support that. I had an early start. I want to help logistically but also show where they may be some trouble.”
Throughout the evening, students also made their thoughts known. Eliana Rangel and Ty Lawson, graduates who helped spearhead the creation of the program, talked about its importance while Kiser added she was excited to see a new approach to high school.
Campbell added the program is still seeking more involvement from the area. Different business owners and community leaders can get involved in a variety of aspects, ranging from being a project partner, serving on class boards, helping with monetary donations to help the project sustain its growth or even being a guest speaker.
“Our community, just like any other, faces its own struggles,” Davis said. “These are high school kids that are trying to solve them. They are trying to address them directly. If there is anything our community needs, it is more people helping. Whether it is business or nonprofit, we need more. If you have kids that are coming out of high school ready to do that, no way doesn’t improve our community. So why not get involved?”
For more information, contact one of the following representatives with the Bartleby Program:
• Terry Smith –
• Alex Campbell –
• Jessica Hayes –
• Dustin Hensley –
• Daniel Proffitt –

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