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Anita and Ruth Gough concerned for future St. George’s students

Daughter and mother, Anita and Ruth Gough, both members of the Appalachia High School Council, have fears for future students in St. George's
Daughter and mother, Anita and Ruth Gough, both members of the Appalachia High School Council, have fears for future students in St. George's

As Anita Gough gets set to leave her cherished Appalachia High School, she fears for students coming behind her now that both schools in St. George’s are up for review.

The active student in school life, who will be turning 18 soon, felt impelled to do two courses in advanced math and physics online this year because they weren’t offered at the school.
The alternative was to attend school in Stephenville. Although she knew other students who took the transfer to get certain courses or take part in extra-curricular activities, it wasn’t for her. That’s because of a sense of duty to the high school in her hometown, where she served on the student and school councils.
She fears for the loss of one or two of the schools in the town as she said the environments at both Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School and Appalachia High are so good.
Gough said it’s sad to see students transferring out because of the opportunities they can get at other schools, which used to be available at their school.
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On June 8, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District announced it was reviewing six different school systems with low enrolment. It included Appalachia High School and Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School.
The outcome she would like to see from the St. George’s school review is for Appalachia to join with Our Lady of Mercy so the school environment wouldn’t be lost completely.
He sister Laura Gough has one more year in the school, so she likely won’t be affected since the school district said any possible changes to the school systems under review will not take effect until the 2018-19 school year.
However, Gough is concerned for future students and so is her mom Ruth Gough, who is also a member of the Appalachia High School Council.
Ruth said although both her girls are escaping the review they still have a number of relatives who are in elementary and high school grades who could be affected.
She realizes the numbers aren’t high enough to maintain the current school system in St. George’s but said it's caused by taking away everything students need in the way of courses and extra-curricular activities.
She is nervous the school might be closed and students bussed long distances to other locations.
“For me, small children being on the road, especially in the wintertime, is not safe,” she said.

fgale@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: @WS_FrankGale
 

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