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UC visits WISD to entertain and ensure college readiness


Williamsburg, KY.,- Educators all over the nation are finding success in collaboration and team work and it has been encouraged over the years for teachers to incorporate new teaching styles, methods, and ideas into their classrooms. Applying new approaches to teaching will help educators broaden students’ knowledge and better prepare them for the road ahead. University of the Cumberlands (UC) and Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) recently joined forces to educate students’ about college programs.

Recently, WISD arranged for UC to participate in their Career Day with several unique groups. The first UC group shared with the students their knowledge and experience about Athletic Training. Bryn Nottoli and Lauren Phillips, both from UC’s Athletic Training Department, discussed the career of an athletic trainer with the eighth graders and taught them anatomy, how to prevent an injury, what an athletic trainer’s day consists of, and the education in which it would take to achieve this career goal. The students were intrigued as they answered and asked several probing questions. Having UC visit the classrooms allowed students to get a closer look into a specific area of study that might be an option for their own futures.


“Athletic Trainers play an important role in the overall health of the student-athletes,” said Phillips. “We do more than treat injuries; we do what we can to prevent them as well. Proper stretching and conditioning will also help the body remain healthy with fewer injuries.”

Speaking to another group of students was Dr. Sonia Young from UC’s Physician Assistant’s (PA) Department. Young, a physical therapist that works in the PA department, explained the career of a physical therapist and welcomed questions from the students. Young spoke to the class about different types of injuries and passed around a model of a shoulder, specifically pointing out the rotator cuff. She explained to them what happens to baseball pitchers over time, especially if they are not safety conscious.

“This is exactly why pitchers are given a limit of how long they are allowed to pitch at one time,” explained Young. “It is not difficult to cause injury to your body so we must take good care of ourselves.”

UC’s Show Choir also performed for the school, showing the students a unique aspect to music and dance. The “Best of Glee”, which consisted of popular songs from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, left the crowd chanting for more as Dr. Jeff Smoak, director of UC’s Music Department, answered questions about the group.

“I thought the Show Choir was very talented,” said WISD nurse, Rhonda Foley. “They were fun to watch but it didn’t last long enough. They say a good performance leaves the audience hungry for more and that’s exactly what they did! They were really great!”

The Show Choir also performed songs like Madonna’s, “Like a Prayer” and Olivia Newton-John’s, “Let’s Get Physical”, and an a cappella version of the fan favorite, “Lean On Me.” The performance earned a standing ovation from WISD students. Having the students see college students having fun and promoting their university in such an artistic and educational manner, somewhat inspires the students to want to follow in their positive footsteps.

“I feel that this leaves an impression on the WISD students,” said UC student and Show Choir member, Kristen Keller. “I remember being young and in elementary through high school and having older people come perform for us. I always found it to be so interesting and motivating. I wanted this performance to do the same thing for these students.”

The UC Jazz Ensemble also performed for WISD students at Main Street Baptist Church. The students filled the pews and the instruments made beautiful music in the sanctuary of the church with UC’s Dr. David Threlkeld directing. The students clapped and swayed to the beat of the music.

“I want to play that really big instrument when I get to college,” said a first grader of the trombone. “I will be so good at it when I’m in college.”

The experience with UC and WISD might have been different for each individual but by the two schools collaborating and working together, they achieved many things for their students. WISD students have been motivated and encouraged to pursue the college life and the opportunities it offers while UC students were given the chance to practice performing and sharing their knowledge in their content area with others. It is amazing what can be accomplished when people choose to work together.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit