2021 is coming!

December 9, 2020

Greetings, Aiken High School Rotary Interact Club Heroes!

I just put up this poster on the white board on the wall across from the doors to the AHS cafeteria:

If you are at school any time on or before December 18, please write a thoughtful response on the white board. Let’s show our classmates that a wonderful year is possible even as we endure a terrible pandemic! Maybe we can give them the gift of hope.

Tip: Be specific. I wrote that I will be more patient in 2021. That would certainly make 2021 a better year – a slightly more wonderful year – for my friends, my family, my students, and my colleagues. And for me, too, of course. And is is doable. I can certainly try to be a little more patient in the coming year.

Remember that science tells us that hope keeps us going.

Research indicates that hope can help us manage stress and anxiety and cope with adversity. It contributes to our well-being and happiness and motivates positive action. Hopeful people believe they can influence their goals, that their efforts can have a positive impact. They are also more likely to make healthy choices to eat better or exercise, or do the other things that will help them move toward what they are hoping for.

– https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/imperfect-spirituality/201902/why-hope-matters


Mr. Lader asks: “In some states, not SC, the schools have closed for the rest of the year…

March 21, 2020

Mr. Lader asks: “In some states, not SC, the schools have closed for the rest of the year. Instruction will be online. What do you think? Should we do that?”


  • “No”
  • “Definitely as it has become a global pandemic so closing schools will help reduce any spread until a vaccine is made”
  • “No because kids like me need that face to face instructional time so we can better understand the subject.”
  • “I think we should, CDC projects this could go on for 8 months and the virus is no joke”
  • “In My Opinion, Only If The Number Of Cases In Our State Continue To Rise As In If It Gets Worse (Days From Now) Rather Than Better”
  • “I am praying for Gods healing and that it doesn’t come to that. Some students really need the structure of the classroom and the daily support from their teachers. Additionally and unfortunately- school is a welcome distraction from some students home life. Those students need our prayers. Prayers for you and your families safety. Thanks.”
  • “Personally, I would not want to have online school like we have had this past week, I would like to have regular school but only if we know it will be safe and I know out others in my grade who feel the same way. This week I’ve come to find that searching for an answer to a question on the internet actually takes longer than simply asking a teacher in person, so if we were to continue with online school I would prefer some type of video call classes, that way students could have the closest option to regular face to face school during quarantine.”
  • “I would hope not due to not having social interaction”
  • “no”
  • “I don’t think we should close for the rest of the year unless there is absolutely no other solution. I feel that closing for the rest of the year would hurt our student population academically as well as socially. It also prohibits the actions of certain clubs like ours, which thrive on being a part of our school and city community.”
  • “Yes. I think it would be better for the students to have individual time to do school work.”
  • I dislike the idea of doing online classes for the rest of the year, but It may be a necessary evil because a school is an ideal place for this dangerous virus to spread. There are over 1400 students enrolled at Aiken High and over 1500 people in our building everyday! If the virus is contracted by one person in our school, it will spread like wildfire! It is better to take precautionary steps and be proactive. We don’t want to be nonchalant and act when it is too late. This is too big an issue to NOT take precaution with. So as much as it sucks, it’s important to look at the bigger picture and cease the contraction of this virus for the safety of us, our families, our schoolmates, out teachers, and our leaders. As one intellectual once said, “We will never know if we overreacted to the situation, but we will know if we did not react enough.”

Leadership Conference Agenda April 2020

March 9, 2020

Dear Aiken High School Rotary Interact Club Hero,

Our Leadership Conference will take place April 1, 2020. Please sign up now! – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0b45afa623a0f94-rotary

Art Lader signature

P.S. Our agenda is below in red. 

Theme: Collaboration

Collaboration is teamwork with moral political and economic outcomes rather than just a score.


  • 8:55 Art Lader and John Lindsey Welcome
  • 9:00- Forest Mahan- Welcome
  • 9:15 Chuck Munns Speech & Q& A
  • 9:45 – 11:45 : Individual breakouts : (Students will be in small groups with Rotarians, 15 minutes each then rotate to the next until all 5 groups have cycled through):

Collaboration and Compromise in:

  • Marriage and family- Brian Coulture
  • Medical & State of Emergency- Melinda Woodell
  • Community- events working together: Betty Ryberg
  • Military & Diplomatic: Candee Hamilton
  • Religious – Suzanne Jackson- Homeless Coalition

11:45- get Lunch

12:00: Political Panel:  Collaboration in Politics

  • Lessie Price
  • Rick Osbon
  • Andrew Siders
  • Andrea Gregory
  • Gail Diggs- Special Guest
  • Camille Furgiuele- Special Guest

12:35: Finish with coin Presentation- Linda Strojan and Art Lader





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