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As local schools are getting back into the rhythm with academics, after school programs, as well as athletics one of the speakers at Monday night’s Greater Jasper Consolidated School Board meeting was Jasper High School Athletic Director, Andy Noblitt, who gave his annual report on the state of the athletic department.

Others on hand last night included Jasper High School Boys and Girls tennis coach, Scott Yarbrough, who presented a building structure project at the tennis complex that would provide spectators a shaded open space. The cost of the project would come at around $75,000 that Yarbrough explained was all spoken for and would be at no cost to the school corporation.

Greater Jasper Schools Superintendent Dr. Tracey Lorey extended her gratitude of the donation for the project.

After Yarbrough’s presentation the Greater Jasper Board approved the project and shared their gratitude to Coach Yarbrough for bringing the idea to the board’s attention and also expressed their gratitude towards the generous donors.

In addition, another future asset to the school corporation was presented to the board by Jasper High School counselor, Holly Hughes, and Assistant Principal, Glenn Buechlein, who would like to bring what is know as comfort dogs to Jasper High School.

Buechlein explained that the presence of the dogs would serve as a source of support for students who find themselves in difficult times dealing with tragedy or stress in their lives.

Hughes added that at times she is being sought by students on a regular basis and visits with as many as 16 students within a 7 hour period day.

She says those numbers do not include students she does not get to see which could benefit from having time to be around a comfort dog to relieve them from stress or anything else weighing on them.

Dr. Lorey elaborates on the issues some students possibly face throughout their daily life that can benefit from a comfort dog as another source of support.

It was discussed that this a voluntary resource if there are students that are allergic or afraid of the animals they will not be subject to them.

Buechlein explained that this support initiative would not cost the corporation money since the the dogs are owned by faculty and staff and would be trained by one of his former students who has around 10 years in experience with training and has worked with the canine training for the Department of Defense.

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