Vinemont High: 3 new programs engaging students

Vinemont High School Librarian Mindy Conquest, left, checks out a Chromebook and mobile hotspot to senior Mahala Bennefield Friday. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Students, faculty and staff at Vinemont High School are excited about three new programs happening on campus. Principal Robin Netherton gave The Tribune a peek inside to witness the new happenings.

The first stop was the library where, as of Friday, students can now check out Chromebooks and mobile hotspots just as they would books or other reference materials. The aim of this program is to make sure each student has internet access at home.

“All of the ninth grade has them,” Netherton said. “Everyone else has them in the classrooms in carts- 80% have a computer and internet at home and don’t need it. We are wanting to hit all those who do have a need.” 

Now, teachers can assign homework online, with all students having access while not at school.  

Next up was Coach Doug Webb’s classroom, where ninth graders are being taught a Dave Ramsey financial curriculum. The course is an elective and teaches students about personal finances.

Netherton explained, “Parents all the time say, ‘Schools teach all this advanced math, but they don’t teach money skills or real life.’ So, the local dentist, Dr. Carmen Moss, she purchased for about $25 a kid, a curriculum from Dave Ramsey. It’s fantastic and a very conservative approach to money management.”

Moss purchased the program for Vinemont as well as West Point High School. Students in Webb’s class shared what the program has taught them so far. Taxes, markets, the dangers of credit cards and the importance of saving were just a few things the kids mentioned. 

Finally, we stopped by Samantha Whisenant’s math classroom, where students were participating in John Baylor’s OntoCollege ACT prep program.

“It’s touted as one of the best things you can do to raise your ACT score,” Netherton said. “It takes about 20 days to it. It’s a prep for ACT. It will give them a huge leg up. Its gives them tips, tricks and advantages.”

This is the first year Vinemont has used the program. Students will be taking the ACT March 10. 

Netherton said he is excited about all the new things happening at Vinemont High School and appreciates the support from community members like Dr. Moss.

The principal took a moment to say he hopes the proposed 1-cent tax on the March 3 ballot will pass. If it does, the money will go both to Cullman County Schools and Cullman City Schools.

“We could build a new high school,” he said. “This building is 50 years old. If this passes for us, this will put us where we need to be.” 

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Coach Doug Webb, facing camera in red, teaches a Dave Ramsey personal finance class to ninth graders at Vinemont High School. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)
Vinemont High Math Teacher Samantha Whisenant, standing, speaks to students participating in John Baylor’s OntoCollege ACT prep program. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)