Stories from Scott 2

Your story matters. You matter.

February 18, 2016

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Two SHS students receive full-tuition college scholarships

As senior Dakota Binkley and his brother, sophomore Wyatt Binkley, climbed up a 55-foot utility pole during the annual Indiana Municipal Electric Association Lineworkers Rodeo, they saw the sunrise on Scottsburg’s horizon.

“I am afraid of heights,” Dakota Binkley said. “It’s kind of breathtaking.”

While the Scottsburg High School students were admiring the view, the crowd below, consisting of lineworkers from all across the United States, were taking notice of the next generation. The brothers caught the eye of a vice-president of a vocational technical college in Idaho. The college specializes in training and preparing future lineworkers for the field after students finish high school.

“The vice-president of the college called us and thought it was cool how we were interested in it,” Wyatt Binkley said.

The Binkley brothers were each offered a full-tuition scholarship to the lineworkers’ college.

“I was pretty excited,” said Dakota Binkley, who will start at the vocational technical college in August. “It was pretty amazing to me.”

The interest in becoming lineworkers and climbing tens of feet up utility poles stems from their father, who is the electric superintendent for the City of Scottsburg. For the last five years, the boys have been working with their father in their backyard, practicing climbing skills, learning techniques and procedures that are part of the trade.

“It’s outdoors. It’s not in an office,” said Wyatt Binkley, who started climbing when he was 12 years old. “You get to help people.”

“I started climbing with my dad. It kind of opened my eyes to it. I saw him climbing, and ever since I’ve tried it, I’ve just enjoyed it,” Dakota Binkley said.

After high school graduation, Dakota Binkley said he will start the lineworkers’ college in August. The program takes about four months to complete, so he will graduate in December 2016. From his technical education in Idaho, he will become an apprentice, which takes about four years to complete before becoming a journeyman. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a lineworker in 2014 was $61,740 per year and $29.68 per hour.

“I’d kind of like to work in Scottsburg,” Dakota Binkley said about his future.

Following in their father’s footsteps and putting in the hours of practice has paid off for Dakota and Wyatt Binkley. At Scott County School District 2, the Binkley brothers’ story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.

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SHS senior receives prestigious IU Wells scholarship

These days, Scottsburg High School senior Kaleb Mount is breathing a little easier.

“I’m done. It’s so relieving,” Mount said. “I’m not checking out academically. I am doing everything I need to do to prepare myself.”

Mount is not just breathing easier because there are about 60 school days left until graduation — he is breathing easier because he is one of 25 students worldwide offered the Indiana University’s most competitive and prestigious awards, the Wells Scholarship.

“The greatest value of the scholarship is the scholarship program itself. It has a reputation,” Mount said.

The Wells Scholar Program has produced students, who have “gone on to win more than 75 national and international scholarships, fellowships, and grants, such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Fulbright, and Goldwater,” according to the program’s website. By being a Wells Scholar, Mount will receive full-tuition to IU Bloomington, a one-time stipend of $10,000 for living expenses, a one-time award of $25,000 for foreign travel, and $2,000 to use toward a research project or an internship.

“I’m excited to see my options there,” said Mount, who will be double majoring in law and public policy and physics in the fall.

To be considered, Mount had to be nominated by Scottsburg High School in mid- to late-September. He had to submit his résumé and meet a list of criteria, including, but not limited to, having outstanding academic prowess and exceptional leadership and character. From there, two were selected from each school in Indiana and others were throughout the world. The 55 finalists found out in mid-November that they would move to the next round: the interview. In December, the finalists were invited to IU for the group and individual interviews.

“After I spent the weekend at IU, I felt like IU was where I needed to be. I absolutely love the campus,” Mount said. “All the professors are so qualified.”

On a Sunday evening, Mount received a phone call. He knew the Wells Scholar Program coordinators were supposed to call to let the finalists know whether they received the award. The call was supposed to take place around noon, but Mount did not receive his call until 9 p.m. because he was third to last on the list of 25, who were from different time zones, states, and even countries, including Indiana, Australia, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and California.

“It was pure torture,” Mount said as he waited by the phone all day waiting for the call.

As a Wells Scholar, Mount will be assigned an advisor to help him navigate through his undergraduate years. He said his advisor is a leading authority on intellectual property and the head of the Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

“They help you towards those graduate scholarship,” Mount said. “It will also be helpful when I look at law school.”

While at IU, Mount will need to maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average to keep his scholarship, will be part of the Honors program, and will be living in the Civic Leader Center. The Civic Leader Center is a living-learning community that is under the guidance of Paul Helmke, a graduate of Yale Law School, three-term mayor of Fort Wayne, and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. Those living at the Civic Leader Center take a yearly trip to nation’s capital, Mount said.

One thing Mount will not need to worry about is about 40 hours of college credit he has earned by passing dual credit classes at SHS.

“I have a little more wiggle room,” Mount said about earning college credits while in high school. “I have a year out of the way through dual credit.”

As the countdown to graduation continues, Mount can focus on finishing his high school career and not focus on financing his undergraduate college education.

“I want to thank all my teachers for preparing me,” Mount said.

All the preparation and hard work paid off for Mount. Now, he can focus on the next chapter of his life in college. At Scott County School District 2, Mount’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.

Upcoming District Events

Events For Week Beginning Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Board MeetingTime: Starting 2/23/2016 at 6:00 PM
Event Groups: Event Groups: District Events, School Board Meeting
Location: Scott County School District 2

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Destination ImaginationTime: Starting 2/27/2016
Event Groups: Event Groups: Vienna-Finley Elementary Events
Location: Vienna-Finley ElementaryEvents For Week Beginning Sunday, February 7, 2016