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Davis Journal

Interact high school Rotary club raises money for students in Panama

Oct 07, 2022 12:23PM ● By Becky Ginos

(Left to right) Bountiful Principal Aaron Hogge, Intern advisor Jan Wray, Jill Everett, president of the Rotary Foundation and Erick Knutsen, Rotary President receive a donation from the Interact high school Rotary club for the Rachel Project. Photo by Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—Bountiful High’s youth Rotary Interact kids presented a check for more than $1,000 to the Bountiful Rotary at last week’s meeting to be used for the Rachel Project that provides tablets and laptops to students in Panama.

 “It’s from our kids to their kids,” said Jan Wray, Davis School District Intern advisor and Rotary member. “It’s a great project.”

“We provide 10 tough books that wire into the Rachel Plus,” said Erik Knutsen, president of the Rotary. “They download the content then bring it back. Some of the kids walk two hours to get to school. This gets modern stuff in the classroom that’s in the middle of nowhere.”

After the presentation, featured speaker Bountiful High Principal Aaron Hogge gave an overview of what’s happening at the school.

“I’ve been the principal for six years,” said Hogge. “It’s been wonderful to be around you.”

Bountiful High opened in 1951, he said. “There were only ninth and 10th graders and students would go to Davis to graduate. The first graduating class was in 1957.”

It was remodeled in 2014, said Hogge. “The district is going for a bond on the November ballot. That would help us with improvements that are needed. We’re desperate for air conditioning. Learning first is our goal. How does that affect learning? We’re all about student learning.”

Hogge said the school follows the three Rs. “Respectful, resilient and relentless. It’s part of our School Improvement Plan (SIP). The first is ACT and second is graduation, the culmination for a student to receive a diploma and go on to a college or trade school.”

The state average ACT score is 18.5, he said. “We’re 21. We all need to improve our scores and provide access to socioeconomic at-risk kids.”

Hogge said they’ve placed a big emphasis on regaining losses due to COVID. “There are academic losses but I’m worried about social emotional losses. Kids in eighth grade may not know how to treat people or interact with them because of the isolation. It’s a struggle.”

As part of the district’s Social Emotional Learning plan, Hogge said they have been brainstorming on how to help students. “We have a school psychologist that comes one day a week and a social worker who also goes to Millcreek Junior High and Viewmont. We share but if there’s a crisis they’ll come over. School counselors are not trained to deal with all the emotional issues.”

Hogge said they also need a Teen Center at Bountiful High for at-risk or homeless students to shower, do laundry and receive other resources. “The Davis Education Center has raised $300,000 to build one. We don’t know that someone is sleeping in their car. We don’t know if someone needs a place to shower. They don’t have a community or family or support group helping them through life.” λ