County school board approves Florida trip for HCHS cheer squad

Published 3:25 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

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The Harlan County School Board heard a request from Harlan County High School cheerleaders to travel to Orlando, Fla., for the UCA High School Nationals competition.

Harlan County School Board Chairman Gary Farmer brought the matter to the attention of the board during a recent special called meeting.

“The first item is Harlan County Cheerleaders to UCA High School Nationals in Orlando, Florida,” Farmer said.

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Harlan County Schools Superintendent Brent Roark called on HCHS Cheer sponsor Taylor Fields to bring the board up to date on the matter.

“Every year, you have an opportunity to be a UCA squad,” Fields said. “We did that this summer. We had a UCA camp. We had UCA instructors come to Harlan County and do a two-day camp with us.”

According to Fields, the Harlan County cheerleaders competed at the state level in Lexington, winning the runner-up position.

“What we’re asking is to be approved to go to the national championship,” Fields said. “It would mean the world to the girls. They come in every single day and practice, and this is the goal we set on day one.”

The date of the competition is Feb. 9 – 13.

Board member Myra Mosley mentioned the cost of the trip would be approximately $27,000, asking if the money had already been raised.

“We started in June raising money for things that we could possibly need throughout the year,” Fields said. “We have $22,000 in our cheerleading fund.”

Fields stated there were multiple fundraisers coming up that should bring in approximately $12,000 in additional funds.

“We would definitely meet that goal,” Fields said. “The kids are not going to have to pay for anything.”

Mosley expressed concerns that multiple school groups raising money for large trips every year may create a financial burden for the community.

“I’ve sat in this seat for 22 years because I’m for the kids,” Mosley said. “I’m not against the kids going anywhere. But we are putting a burden on our community and on the staff at the high school with selling for all these trips.”

Mosley suggested considering limiting large trips in the future to one school group per year.

“I’m always willing to donate,” Mosley said. “But it’s a hard time right now for some people, and I just think we’re putting a big burden on our community.”

Board member Hiram Fields pointed out people in the community have the option to donate or not.

“I think we can work it out where we can do it once every two or three years so they’ll all have one opportunity for big giant trip, and they’re not killing our businesses trying to raise $30,000 every year,” Roark said. “We can work that out and rotate it around.”

Following some further discussion, the board unanimously approved a motion for the Harlan County High School Cheerleaders to attend the UCA Nationals in Orlando, Fla.

In other board activity:

• The board approved the second reading of the Absence and Excuses policy.

• Emergency Certification for a HCHS Spanish Teacher was approved.