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Superintendent hears concerns at Cameron High School

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Newly-elected Marshall County Superintendent Jeffrey Crook listened to concerns from parents and students at Cameron High School Thursday night during a public forum with the community.

The audience expressed they feel there is favoritism toward John Marshall High School when it comes to what is offered to students.

One concern was school lunches. Students at the meeting said Cameron High School offers less options and lower quality food compared to John Marshall.

"It's nice to have the free lunches, but most of it gets thrown away,” said senior Levi Scott. “Either it's not cooked right, or the portion sizes aren't big so kids are going home starving."

A hot topic for others was athletics. Some parents and grandparents were angry that Cameron cross country and track athletes don't have a track. Students run on roads and in the parking lot after school hours, which could put students at risk.

"We'd rather have a track,” said freshman cross country runner Madge Lucey. “We all talk about it. Or like turf. It would be way easier to run on that than it is to run on the course. It's really rough. A track would be way easier."

Crook responded by saying the priority is the students' safety as well as their education.

"Our main focus is to make sure that our kids are ready,” said Crook. “Athletics are a huge part of that, but academics, that's where they go. Not a lot of the kids will be playing sports once they graduate from high school, but they'll have to work and get a job."

Another concern was the condition of the city's baseball and softball fields, after recent mining had the field locked down. The city worked out a deal with Murray Energy, in that Murray would repair any damages done by the mining. Larry Hartley, who cares for the fields, brought that good news to the audience.

"We recently met with Murray representatives and they informed us that the plan is for everything to be rebuilt and ready to go before the winter weather hits this fall," said Hartley.

Crook is thankful that the community cares enough to come out and voice their opinions. With a new position and old problems still lingering, he said he's looking ahead.

"I just can't emphasize enough the community support for the schools,” Crook said. “It's huge and it's not like this everywhere. I'm just grateful and thankful that the community and county is focused on what's best for the kids."

Crook says he plans to hold more public forums. The next one will be at John Marshall.

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