Students lead tour of Sherman Avenue Elementary School for visiting educators

Published 3:43 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

Students at Sherman Avenue Elementary School gave a tour to visiting faculty and staff of the Simpson County School District on Tuesday.

Dozens of students had prepared presentations for the approximately 35 guests in attendance to show them their school and what they have accomplished over the current school year.

Dr. Furlinda Travis is the Associate Superintendent for SCSD and helped organize the tour. She said she was particularly interested in how VWSD is using the Leader in Me program, an educational model used to teach students leadership and life skills.

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“I organized the tour for our school district because we are becoming a Leader in Me district,” Travis said. “And one of the things that I really wanted was for (our) teachers, administrators and board members to see what it meant to be a Leader in Me school and to see all of the advantages (the program) had to offer.”

Travis said she was pleased with how the event turned out.

“It was a great tour, (we) got to see students being leaders,” she said. “I was super excited.”

A key part of the event is that it was designed and hosted primarily by the students themselves.

Kathy Parker is the librarian at Sherman Avenue and helped students get ready to lead the tour and practice the presentations they gave so that they would feel comfortable in their roles as hosts.

“I think our tour went very well,” Parker said. “Our student leaders really got so excited about hosting visitors in our building and showing them around our beautiful school. Many of our students were actually disappointed when our guests had to leave because they still had more to share with them.”

Parker also helped students Keiwayne Minor, 2nd grade, and Layla Ramsey, 1st grade, craft the introductory remarks they made to the visitors before the tour started.

“Keiwayne and Layla made me laugh because they kept changing their minds about what they wanted to say,” Parker said.

During the introduction, the two students welcomed SCSD faculty and staff.

“We hope you learn so much from your tour today,” Minor said.

“Remember, here at Sherman Avenue, our motto is ‘Sherman Avenue is the place to ‘B!’” Ramsey added.

The guests then broke up into three groups to visit each of the student’s stations. The SCSD guests asked questions and viewed the presentations that students had set up in areas along the hallways of the school.

Some students had binders of their school work to show the guests what they have been working on in class. Others presented data they had organized on bulletin boards about their school. Many students, for instance, enjoyed showing off their good attendance records.

Prior to arriving at Sherman Avenue, SCSD guests toured Bowmar Elementary School. After the tour, the group went to see the Academy of Innovation. The event was part of a series of monthly, student-led interactive tours put on by the school district which are designed to educate people about how VWSD operates and what its students are accomplishing.