• 82°
franklin county times

Especially proud of my school

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
August 22, 2004
My pride swelled last week as statewide high school test scores were released.
There, at the top of the English categories, with a 100 percent pass rate in at least two of the English categories (and the top scores statewide in another English category), was my alma mater Clarkdale Attendance Center.
It was no surprise to me, but it still made me proud particularly when I think back to my own years at the school and the time I spent studying English. While many teachers made a lasting impact on me, my English teacher meant the most.
Mrs. Herrington is her name and she was the best. She was dedicated, loving and demanding. She was a great Christian influence who had the unique ability to be open-minded and listen to different points of views.
Tough teacher
She taught me a lot and cared about all of her students.
I don't think I'll ever forget my final two years of English class in her room with about 15 of my classmates. They were advanced placement classes and they were tough. But they made me better prepared for college and the rest of my life.
Even today, as I write daily stories and columns for my hometown newspaper, I keep Mrs. Herrington's teachings in the back of my mind.
I'm also careful to pay attention to detail and limit mistakes. I'm mindful of the possibility that Mrs. Herrington could read and critique my stories on a daily basis. I want to make her proud.
I still remember how Mrs. Herrington worked her magic in class. She would introduce a subject and get us to begin debating it. Sometimes it was just a random subject that would start the conversation. But for Mrs. Herrington, it didn't matter. She just wanted us to talk it out.
There, we learned to form our own opinions and articulate our beliefs. By the end of the semester, we had all formed clear, defined stances on everything from politics to religion to race relations.
We covered it all in her class. Sure, there were times that we had to learn the basics of English grammar and composition. But Mrs. Herrington had the ability to teach us those things without us even knowing we were learning.
Learning, after all, for a teenager in high school isn't always the cool thing to do.
Love of writing
Before I was in Mrs. Herrington's class, I had always loved to write. But in her class, I found the confidence to write with a flare and distinct voice. I don't think anyone has mastered the art of teaching students to write descriptive sentences quite like she did.
She taught us how to paint pictures with words.
My confidence came from Mrs. Herrington's tough as nails style of grading. You weren't given an "A" in Mrs. Herrington's class for simply doing the work.
An "A" was rare. And a lot of us had so much love, respect and admiration for Mrs. Herrington that we all worked extra hard to earn that "A."
She demanded excellence out of us. I honestly believe teachers like Mrs. Herrington at Clarkdale, along with my parents, helped me cultivate a desire in life to succeed and never be satisfied with the status quo.
Whether I'm playing basketball in my driveway with my teenage neighbors or working at The Star, I still have that self-motivated attitude to be the best. I didn't cultivate that on my own.
Today, as Clarkdale and schools throughout Lauderdale County celebrate last week's test scores, I salute all of the fine teachers who work to make those scores a reality.
I specifically want to thank those at Clarkdale and there are far too many to list that made a difference in my life, especially Mrs. Herrington.
You all are the reason Bulldog graduates everywhere can proudly call Clarkdale our home.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail fcarmichael@themeridianstar.com.

News

Russellville Parks and Rec adult softball league grows interest

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Thomas Randall Miller

Franklin County

Community Spirit Bank announces promotion

Franklin County

Police search underway for man wanted in three states

Franklin County

Local students earn collegiate honors

East Franklin

PHOTOS: East Franklin Junior High awards honors

News

Traveling band makes stop at Phil Campbell High School

News

Russellville Parks and Rec holds adult sandlot softball game

Galleries

PHOTOS: Community celebrates Fourth of July with annual Jam on Sloss Lake

News

Second Canadian Phil greeted by town

Franklin County

Franklin County Schools lead nurse school nurse named administrator of the year

News

Former Russellville resident performs in ‘Miracle Worker’

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville, Red Bay public libraries enjoy summer reading program events

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight: Robbie Richardson

News

University of Mississippi announces spring Chancellor’s Honor Roll

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

x