By Andy Kanengiser
Clinton High School leaders say they are thrilled to be granted a charter of one of America’s premier honor societies.
What makes it such a noteworthy achievement to gain a Phi Theta Kappa chapter is that the distinction puts Clinton High in rare academic company. CHS will be the first high school in the forty-eight states of the continental U.S. to form an alliance with PTK. A high school in Hawaii was the first.
Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves students as the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic colleges. Founded in 1918, the organization has helped millions of high-achieving college students reach their full potential. There are more than 3.5 million members worldwide.
Benefits of membership include opportunities for students to earn college scholarships and develop their leadership skills. Membership to PTK is open to stellar students on an invitation-only basis. Members can receive tutoring and mentoring opportunities, along with much more.
It’s certainly an achievement that Clinton Public School District officials say is worth trumpeting. And PTK leaders agree.
Clinton High Principal Brett Robinson says he sees only positives from the school’s affiliation with PTK for years to come. It’s a wonderful initiative for Clinton students, he said, one that reflects a high-achieving Mississippi district.
“The work being done at Clinton High School and throughout the Clinton Public School District has always been on the cutting edge,’’ Robinson said. “We are proud to continue leading the way in education, not only in the state of Mississippi, but nationally.’’
“We are so honored to have Clinton High School as part of Phi Theta Kappa,’’ Dr. Tincher-Ladner said. “The rigor of their college-level learning environment fully meets the standards of chapter membership. We are so proud to recognize the academic achievements of their top students and help them connect to life-changing scholarships and family-sustaining employment.’’
Phi Theta Kappa chapters have long existed at Mississippi’s fifteen community colleges. The list includes Hinds Community College, Holmes Community College, Itawamba Community College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Many of the Phi Theta Kappa members go on to attend and graduate from four-year institutions across America.
The organization’s member benefits also include a free online learning program known as PTK Edge. It helps students build a resume, negotiate a salary, enhance their communications skills and teaches general research skills. Phi Theta Kappa scholarship programs total nearly $1 million, with many covering all college tuition costs. PTK sponsors a number of service projects to advance students’ leadership and professional skills.
Assistant CHS Principal Brock Ratcliff says he is elated to see Clinton High partnerships with Phi Theta Kappa lead the way to more successes ahead for students.
Teaming with PTK, he said, “opens doors to more scholarships, more academic advancements and a greater network of career possibilities for over half of the student body who already participate in our dual enrollment courses and CTE [Career and Technical Education] programs.’’
The first group of Clinton High Arrows will be inducted into PTK in the spring of 2021.