Hayti students changing the image of their school - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hayti, MO

Hayti students changing the image of their school

Hayti students changing the image of their school
By: Ryan Tate

HAYTI, Mo. - Eighteen Hayti seniors collected more than $1.6 million in scholarships from Universities and Colleges across the country this year.  For a school that almost lost accreditation, that is an accomplishment.

In fact, all 51 seniors will graduate this year, many of them headed to higher education.  Hayti High School Principal David Gilmore says the State of Missouri is provisionally accrediting the district for the next school year.

"I think there is a stigma directed at this district and the Class of 2007 changes that. I definitely think we've turned a corner," Kevin Kalich says. Kalich is a math teacher at the high school, and spent time working with the students on their college applications, test preparation and expectations of where they could attend school.

"What this class has done is open the eyes of other students in the district to see there are opportunities to go to any school anywhere in the nation," Kalich said.

Valedictorian Whitney McCalla is headed to Marist College in New York. Brittany Wright is headed to Holy Cross. Justin Johnson is headed to Bowdoin College in Maine, and Jeffrey Guyton is headed to Wesleyan College in Connecticut. Together, the four of them netted more than $500,000 in scholarships over the next four years.

"I believe this class is special. This success lets everyone know it's special. This district is not what everybody thinks it is," Justin Johnson said.

"It shows children they can achieve what we achieved at this school," Jeffrey Guyton said.

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