AAIMS Assembly Commences

Zainab Bashir, Reporter

   Spurring into action on  Feb. 25, the AAIMS Assembly awarded AP Scholars and Students of Excellence, took place in the auditorium. Two assemblies marked the annual event to accommodate for social distancing.

   The awards presented ranged according to the difficulty of the academic courses taken. Students of Excellence and AP Scholars earned recognition awards. Advanced awards which included AP Scholar with Honors, AP Scholar with Distinction, National AP Scholar, and Capstone Diploma recipients were also recognized. Recognized students received yard signs, medals, and name recognition at the ceremony.

   “It was very rewarding to be recognized for my accomplishments in my AP classes. I really look forward to the AAIMS assembly and I just think it’s a great way to encourage kids to do better,” senior Haris Rana said.

   Due to setbacks created by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year required some creativity during the planning process.  Administrators and staff worked together to find the safest solutions to allow recognition of the academic accomplishments while meeting CDC protocol.

   “Last year we were able to invite parents and the student body to celebrate with us.  With COVID requirements, we had to change to a closed event with no additional guests, we had to have two separate assemblies in order to fit our honorees in a safe manner, and we offered live streaming to those who could not make it as well as the student body who could watch from classrooms,” organizer Natalie Throneberry said.

   Dr. David Hunton served as guest speaker. Hunton served as a member of the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education from 2004-2017.  During the Covid-19 pandemic he served not only as the Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Hospital, but also as the President of Mercy Clinic, Fort Smith.  

   Hunton remains consistent in his admiration of Southside with his two children graduating from Southside in 2007 and 2013.  

   “He was very kind to work us into his very demanding schedule, especially after the snow caused us to reschedule the event,” Throneberry said.