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Strand, Towery place at Inter-High Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 26 February 2015 04:18

Wauneta-Palisade students wait with other competitors to hear the results from Inter-High Day held Feb. 18 at McCook Community College. (Courtesy Photo)

 

Gage Bellamy wants to be an engineer.

Exactly what kind of an engineer – he hasn’t decided. However, the junior at Eustis-Farnam Public Schools is pretty sure of the route he wants to take to reach his goal. It starts at a community college.

“I’ve actually been thinking about Mid-Plains Community College,” said Bellamy, 17. “My sister is taking engineering classes at UNL, so I’ve been able to compare university and community college systems. I know she struggles with being able to get that one-on-one instruction.”

Bellamy took a tour of North Platte Community College about a month ago, but got an in-depth look at what the classrooms and instructors are like, thanks to the 48th annual Inter-High Day on Wednesday.

He was one of approximately 500 students from 28 schools across Nebraska that took academic tests on NPCC’s south campus. Meanwhile, on the north campus, about 100 students from 16 schools took tests in seven technical trade areas. Both groups vied for an estimated $26,000 worth of scholarships.

“The instructors I met were great,” said Bellamy. “I could definitely see myself taking the basic classes at MPCC, then transferring somewhere else for a bachelor’s degree. I’m already enrolled in an online communications class through McCook.”

Bellamy tested in math during Inter-High Day–one of many options available. Students were allowed to test in a maximum of two subject areas. Those areas included: literary analysis, information technology, health occupations, chemistry, fire science, athletic training, business communications and dramatic arts among others.

“Accounting was our most popular test area, followed by word processing,” said Brandon Pritchett, MPCC enrollment counselor. “More than 750 tests were given out altogether.”

According to Pritchett, Inter-High Day is a huge recruitment tool for the college because its faculty and offerings can be showcased to so many students at one time.

Kim Stengel, a guidance counselor for Maywood High School, took 23 students to the event.

“I just think it’s a really good opportunity for the kids to see the campus and test in an environment where they can compete against other schools,” said Stengel. “Academic competition is just as important as athletic competition.”

The three highest scoring individuals in each test area received up to three credit hours of free tuition for upcoming summer classes. The first place winners in each category also received a $500 scholarship good for the first fall that they attend college classes. Those scholarships can be accumulated from year to year.

Academic winners took home medals, while technical trade winners received prizes such as helmets and tool sets that applied to their particular test areas.

Schools got points based on how many winners they had. The top three point earners in each division were given trophies and received a $500 scholarship to award to a student of the school’s choice.

For Wauneta-Palisade, Nicole Strand and Lesley Towery placed second and third, respectively in Chemistry. Strand also placed second in Math.