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"Scott County Central high school celebrates 50th anniversary"
Article by Leonna Heuring in the Standard Democrat
Fall 2010

SIKESTON, Mo - Joe Karnes described his first day at Scott County Central High School as chaotic. "The first few days were really rough," recalled Karnes, who was a member of the high school's first graduating class in 1960. When the new high school opened in fall 1959, it merged Morley High School, which was home to the Bears, and Vanduser, home of the Yellow Jackets. "They took the two rivals and put them together.  It would be like putting Bell City and Scott Central together today," said Karnes, who attended Vanduser High School. The first graduating class had different class rings because students had ordered them from their respective schools their junior years.  The class didn't have a yearbook because there wasn't enough time to organize one, Karnes said. "It was different," Karnes said.  "I had classmates I didn't even know." If there was one highlight, it was the students were involved in choosing the school's new mascot - the Braves - and school colors - black and orange. "By the end of the year, [the situation] was a whole lot better.  We had a good graduation and a graduation party," Karnes said. To commemorate the 50-year milestone, the basketball homecoming set for Friday is themed around the anniversary. "Last year when we did homecoming, we noticed that 2010 will be the anniversary of the first graduating class," said Dee Cookson, who is a high school teacher and co-sponsor of the History Club. Members of the 1960 class will be honored at halftime of the homecoming basketball game.  They'll receive certificates of appreciation and commemorative T-shirts. Also all past Scott County Central basketball players, cheerleaders, managers and homecoming queens will be recognized during the homecoming ceremony, Cookson said. Cookson said History Club students will create a display of the 50 years of the high school, highlighting valedictorians and salutatorians as well as other alumni and milestones. "We want to highlight the changes, styles and fads over the years," Cookson said. Activities are still in the planning stages and organizers are open to any celebration ideas from the community Cookson said. Margaret Jackson, who worked as the superintendent's secretary from the high school opening until her retirement in 1998, said she saw many changes in the district over the years. "At the time, there wasn't an early childhood center or the programs they have now.  And they did not have as many computers as they do now," Jackson said. The elementary building opened in 1973, and additions were made up until the early 1990s when the high school was also completely renovated.  In 2005, a junior high wing was added as well as the Ronnie Cookson Gymnasium, which was named in honor of the boys’ basketball coach. The school also worked through the integration in the school system, Jackson said. "We had a real organized method.  They integrated the 12th grade first and then the 10th and 11th and down into the freshman class.  It was a slow integration. Worked fine with the school district.  We were blessed," she said. Another change has been the drop in student population.  The high school's first class graduated 40 students while the class of 2009 had 25 graduates. "We won a lot of state championships [a combined 20 state titles for girls and boys basketball], which was always exciting for the children and faculty when that came along.  There were a lot of programs that we had that benefited the students, too," Jackson said. Superintendent Alvin McFerren agreed. "There's more to Scott Central than athletics," McFerren said. During the 200-2001 school year, the district was accredited with academic distinction.  It has produced doctors and lawyers form the school as well. McFerren said the school produces well rounded and prepared students for college or the work force.


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In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act o f1973, title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX, the following notification is made:

Students, their parents, and employees of the Scott County Central School District are hereby notified that the District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap, in admission or access to, treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against, or the district is out of compliance, you may file a grievance report with the individuals listed below.  The grievance procedures may be accessed online (under the Board of Education Tab) or by contacting the Superintendent’s office.  Copies of the grievance procedures are also located in the high school and elementary offices.


The regulation implementing Section 504 requires that an agency/facility "…adopt and implement procedures to ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information as to the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by disabled persons." (45 C.F.R. §84.22(f))

Scott County Central and all of its programs and activities are accessible to and usable by disabled persons, including persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind, or who have other sensory impairments.  Access features include: Convenient off-street parking designated specifically for disabled persons. Curb cuts and ramps between parking areas and buildings. Accessible entrances. Fully accessible restrooms, public waiting areas, water fountains, classrooms, and cafeteria. A full range of assistive and communication aids provided to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind, or with other sensory impairments.  There is no additional charge for such aids. Some of these aids include: Readers and taped material for the blind and large print materials for the visually impaired. Flash cards, alphabet boards and other communication boards. Assistive devices for persons with impaired manual skills. If you require any of the aids listed above, please contact the Superintendent’s office at 573-471-2686.


Scott County Central Schools