Inside EAST at Cross County High School

Last Updated:1/23/2024

EAST Student Contributor Emma Kelley shares an inside look at a couple of projects students are tackling at Cross County High School.

Cross County High School has a very active EAST program. They recently got a new facilitator and have continued to work on projects in their community. Their new facilitator, Carla Witcher, has shared some of her personal experiences and what she is planning for the program.

In her words, she plans to “continue to grow the program by encouraging my EAST veterans to partner up with my students new to EAST as a mentor.” New EAST students usually struggle with finding things to do. They also struggle with making connections with other students in the program and making their time in EAST a good experience. Mrs. Witcher’s plan will help these students make connections with not only those who are currently enrolled in an EAST class but also community partners and alumni of EAST. She also said that she has “enjoyed learning along with her students.” She is not only new to EAST at Cross County but also EAST as a whole, so she has learned through this program and its students. 

Some projects currently going on at Cross County are the Village Creek Disc Golf Course and the Unmarked Cemetery from the 1800s. 

The Village Creek disc golf course project was created due to a coach at Cross County who is an active member of a disc golf club. He noticed there was no course in the area and reached out to some EAST students, including Student Champion Kale Searcy, to see if they could help. Kale and his classmates found this intriguing and decided to reach out to Village Creek and see if they were interested in creating a course there.

They then met with Megan Wallace, the park interpreter, to discuss the details of the project. Currently, they are waiting on a response about details to continue with this project. Their facilitator said she is excited for this project and how it will provide a local course for current players and introduce the growing sport to more.

Kale Searcy says, “I believe that the installation of this course will be a great place for people getting into the sport and for the park to raise money hosting tournaments.” This course will not only benefit Cross County EAST but also benefit their community which is what EAST is all about. 

The other project Mrs. Witcher believes is very important is the Unmarked Cemetery from the 1800s. There is a cemetery that is from the 1800s and is located on private property. The markers that were used are now gone, and they don’t want these people to be forgotten along with pieces of history in Cross County. The students working on this project met with Dr. Scott from the University of Arkansas to discuss the steps to begin working. They decided that their next steps would be to clear the area and actually go to the cemetery to search for plots.

As you can see, EAST at Cross County works on lots of things that have a lot of sentimental meaning as well as significance to the community. The students of this EAST program work extremely hard to show progress in their projects. Mrs. Witcher should be extremely proud of her students and herself as she grows the program and shows these students what EAST is all about. 

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