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HH HOMEGROWN HEROES “They need you every day to be their cheerleader.”

AMIE HARDY

One way Hardy and her teachers do this is by regularly providing snacks and breakfast for the students. “A lot of our students are coming from a lower income environment, and we provide a healthy snack like granola bars for children who may need to eat.”

Alternative Advocate While principal is her official title, “cheerleader” may be a more fitting unofficial title for Jenks’ Amie Hardy, who works with students who are challenged in earning a diploma in the traditional high school setting. BY LINDSAY MORRIS || PHOTOS BY MARC RAINS Amie Hardy is no ordinary principal. She’s the kind of principal who knows each one of her students by name and will do just about anything to make sure they get through high school. While principal is her official title, “cheerleader” may be a more fitting unofficial title for this principal of Jenks Alternative School. Jenks Alternative School is a place for students “who have an issue with transitioning into the high school with the 3,000 students there,” Hardy says. Some students need a little more attention, and Hardy’s school provides that, with a student-toteacher ratio of 15 to 1.

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Hardy and her teachers are also known to regularly provide pancake or muffin breakfasts for the students. One of Hardy’s favorite memories as principal at Jenks Alternative School was when a tutor at the school made a donation and asked her to buy a gift for each student. “I let the students request what they wanted, and most of them wanted food. I went to Wal-Mart for four hours and filled four carts.” One of her greatest joys during her time at Jenks Alternative School was watching each student open their gift.

Many of these students would have a challenging time earning a diploma in the traditional high school setting.

During Hardy’s 15 years as principal at Jenks Alternative School, each student who has earned his or her diploma under her watch is someone who was struggling to make it through high school for one reason or another. “Every student that graduates and gets their high school diploma is a success story.”

Jenks Alternative School is unique in several ways. For one, students are offered counseling for issues like alcohol and anger management. The school also has a senior strategies class that teaches about college education and career tech opportunities and a life skills class that teaches about grocery shopping, finances, and other essential tasks. Additionally, students at the alternative school can take any elective or extracurricular at the main high school that they are interested in.

“All students have to come through an interview process and have to be referred by a teacher or counselor,” Hardy says. “During the interview, we

Jenks Alternative School works with about 130 students, and Hardy says it’s very important to her personally to go the extra mile for her students.

Hardy’s career didn’t begin in education. With a degree in psychology, she started her career in youth mental health at Tulsa Boys Home, St. John

Students who attend Jenks Alternative School receive a Jenks High School diploma, but they are able to earn their credits through trimesters rather than semesters. That means they have an extra trimester to earn credits. They can also earn credits through working while in school.

see if they’re willing to make a change and adjust whatever they were doing.”

Profile for Preview 918

September 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 9)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

September 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 9)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...