Funds from a memorial left for Bowling Green High School by a long-time employee is being used to boost student learning opportunities.
Carolyn Ulsh died in 2020 and left the high school “a significant amount of money to be used for students,” said Principal Dan Black at the Sept. 20 school board meeting.
Ulsh had served as a high school guidance counselor from 1964-85 and had been a Latin teacher for six years prior to that in Mt. Vernon, Black said.
She died Sept. 24, 2020.
A committee was formed to determine how best use the money, Black said.
Two scholarships have been developed for seniors going into education in the amount of $2,500 each, renewable for four years.
Last year was the first year for the scholarships, and by year four, $20,000 per year will be awarded, Black said.
“We don’t always have kids who are looking at education that early, but if we do, there is a very nice scholarship available to them,” he said.
The second area the memorial funds is being spent is on STEAM education. STEAM stands for science, technology, education, art, and math.
Black said $10,000 will be spent annually to support STEAM education at the high school.
“We have very good core curriculum programming, but we were missing the hands-on experiences that give our kids the edge,” he said.
K.C. Hale, computer science teacher at the high school, brought two VEX robots, which he gave to board members Ryan Myers and Tracy Hovest to try out, much to the humor of the audience.
Hale said by incorporating the robots into his class, it allows him to introduce cutting-edge technology and get kids a little bit more excited about what the program can do.
He said he has 35 VEX robot kits in his classroom.
“The goal is to better prepare students … and get them excited about computer science and what the future holds for them,” Hale said.
A room at the high school currently used for STEAM programming will be dedicated to Ulsh, and a slate sign engraved with her picture – made in art class with new technology purchase by the memorial funds – will hang in the room.
Students decided to call the room the Mind Cave and it will be dedicated later this year, Black said.
“As of right now, our stuff doesn’t move,” said high school art teacher Nikki Myers, but added she is working with Hale to change that.
Her department purchased a Glowforge Pro and used it to engrave the slate dedication sign.
The machine can engrave cork, wood and acrylic, cut paper into intricate designs, and print on textiles and food.
Ulsh had a passion for collecting rocks from around the world, and Myers showed how her class printed on a rock.
“That’s pretty sweet,” she said.