Jane Sapp among role models named by ACHS female students who responded to survey

Mrs. Jane Sapp, Title IV Coordinator for Adair County Schools, was mentioned in answer to the Adair County High School survey question, "who is your woman role model". One student put as her reason, "because of Mrs. Sapp's strength in the face of hardships". Another's response said "she is a compassionate, understanding person".

Role models of today's Adair County High School students ran the gamut from "mom" the biggest category, to "Cinderella" to "Hillary Rodham Clinton and Oprah Winfrey because of their independence and success" to "Harriett Tubbman because she led some of my people to freedom."

About Ms. Sapp's responsibilities

Jane says that because of the nature of her responsibilities as Title IV Coordinator, she works closely with the health department to help young people get the information they need in the areas of self protection, lifeskills and family planning in order to give them the knowledge to make positive decisions about their futures.

"Abstinence is promoted," she says of her Family Life, Parenting and Health classes at school, "However, I don't believe in stopping there and pretending the statistics don't exist."

Her classes attract a lot of attention when, once each year, both boys and girls in the class, get to experience being responsible for parenting a baby 24 hours a day. She says her students have a lot of fun in this focus on family planning where students are challenged to carry a "baby" (a five-pound bag of sugar) around for a week.

"They must treat it with care all week, bring it to class with them, take it with them everywhere they go and discuss their experiences with it in each of the week's classes during this assignment," Jane says, "then the following week, they write a paper on their experiences as a parent.

"Many of the students take the assignment very seriously, dressing up their "baby" and giving it a personality and a name.

"Hopefully," she says, "some of the things we talk about in our class will help delay sexual activity and teenage parenthood."

OTHER TEACHERS named in the survey:

"Mrs. Hadley because she's very good at what she does and I learned a lot from her."

"Ann Ballou Young because she's a positive, can-do thinker."

"Mrs. Taylor because she brings out the best in her students."

"Mrs. Judie Alley because she's pretty, nice, smart, talented and outgoing." "Mrs. Leslie Tupman Melton because she is pretty and smart, liked by all and has power to influence young people."

"Mrs. Troutman in Spanish because she's exceptionally knowledgeable and has good morals."

Local women who were named individually included:

"Sandra Schmidt who taught me to take care of myself."

"Donna Feese, Diane Hill and Shannon Biggs because they are hard working women, dedicated mothers and wives."

"Carolyn Gardner because she attends church, has a family and a career."

"Linda Roy because she is successful."

"Angie Arnold because she has pulled through hardships."

"Linda Bell, a single working lady who still has time for family and friends."

"Tammy's mom because she's someone I can talk to."

"Kellie Martin - a positive, can-do person."

"Sandra Denton - she has a great attitude."

"Nikki Taylor because she is never into any trouble."

"My cousin, Tammy, for overcoming difficulties and becoming a nurse."

"Sandy Dean who helps me see the best in me."

"Kim Graham - she's strong and positive."

"Karen Wolf, C.N.M. a successful nurse midwife."

"Brenda Carli because she owns her own business &endash; she is courageous and brave."

"Tanya Campbell because she is generous, kind and sweet."

"Myself because I want to create my own path."


"M O M" was the biggest winner in "role model" question

The one role model named most often was "my mom". Thirty four per cent of the students who responded looked to their mom as the one person they will most pattern their own lives after. It looks like a lot of moms are doing right by a lot of daughters in this county.

In the "why" section of the question "who is your woman role model" the variety of reasons mom was the role model included:

..."she's a life teacher", she's "kind", "sweet", "successful", "intelligent", "pretty", "stands up for her beliefs", "she is always there for me",

...she "works hard", "is a single parent", "talented", "strong", "independent", "submissive, yet willful", "nobody walks on her", she "sets a good example", "is a great woman", "my best friend, we're so much alike",

...she "shows me how to do things", "is patient and will do anything for me", "a goal setter", "gives the best advice", "teaches me self respect", "came out on top of hard times", "I can trust her", "she's cool",

..."she loves me".

Other family members named in the survey included sisters, sisters-in law, step mothers, and grandmothers.

Several wrote the answer 'teacher' and/or 'best friend' without giving a name.

Celebrity role models

"Hillary Rodham Clinton because she is a strong woman who wants to make changes for the better in her country...because she has decided nothing will stop her...because she's smart...successful...stands up for her beliefs", "All the first ladies", "Loretta Lynn - she's a survivor", "Paula Abdul, a good choreographer",

"Susan Minton, Barbara Bush-women of knowledge with sincere hearts", "Oprah, smart...successful", "Reba McIntyre...great personality...talented", "Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford - beautiful and independent", "Joan of Arc, Cinderella and mom, strong women who make the most of any situation", "Demi Moore, beautiful and successful",

"Women of the Supreme Court because they demonstrate that all jobs should be equally available to both sexes", "Mariah Carey", "Whitney Houston - sings well...good attitude...fame didn't go to her head", "Nicole Kidman because she's married to Tom Cruise", "good friends", Loraina Bobbitt, she stands up for what she believes in...she didn't take anything off her husband", "S.E. Hinton - became a famous writer even without good grammar", "Georgia O'Keefe because she set the stage for female artists...she's independent",

"Janet Reno, our first female Attorney General...holds an important position in leadership" "Madonna and Demi Moore - strong minded, know what they want", "Nancy Kerrigan who kept going in the face of very hard times", "Jackie Joyner Kersey - a good athlete", "Kirstie Alley because of her fame and beauty", "Naomi and Wynonna, great talented people", "Marley Martin, the deaf actress", "Janet Jackson-gorgeous, sexy, in shape, helps others", "Ann Lebonith - an accomplished woman photographer", "Shannon Daugherty", "in general women who refuse to be pushed around", "I don't need a role model", "unsure of any particular ones", and "Michelle Pfiefer &endash; she's pretty, yet small chested".


Students responses to survey question: What (if anything) would you do differently from your own mother when you are an adult?


The majority of students responded that they" would go on to college after finishing high school".

The second highest response to the question of what today's teenager will do differently from her mother: "be more open minded and less strict - let my kids do more".

Other responses to that question include: "college and a career", "not have kids so young", "wouldn't be snobbish", "I'd be nicer and funnier", "I would take care of my children", "Nothing - very satisfied with my mom"

Answering the question,

"What (if anything) would you do differently from your mother?" students responses included:

..."not work in a factory", "not have as many kids", "travel and learn more before marrying", "wait to get married older", "I'd be a whole different person", "not be a teacher",

"have a cleaner house", "not be so silly and get a good job", "exercise", "not smoke", "control my temper", "be more sociable",

..."I'd plan to live".


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Rural Kentucky Women is an ongoing project to celebrate the women heroes in Kentucky's heartland, promote social change toward a better quality of life, and to find role models wiling to help future generations work smarter, not harder, as women develop their full potential.

Copyright 1994-2000 Linda Reid Marcum Waggener
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