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Student presents independent study project

Amos Schmidt gives a slide presentation on his independent study to the Verndale School Board Monday night in the school library.

High school senior Amos Schmidt outlined his independent studies project Monday as part of a heavy night of action by the Verndale School Board.

"Amos is one of those guys that in the building, out of the building, he is a great representative for the Verndale school," Verndale superintendent Paul Brownlow said.

Schmidt, who has all of the credits he needs for graduation, sought out Brownlow earlier in the school year and was given the green light to pursue an independent study.

Schmidt called his fall project Character 101. In addition to reading a number of Christian-based books, he also performed 25 hours of community service.

Schmidt worked through his church youth group to deliver meals to people in through Community Giveaway, which raised money and food and put them in boxes for a Christmas meal -- 116 meals in all.

"It was a real awesome experience because they didn't expect it and we didn't want them to expect it," Schmidt said. "When we walked up to the door they were just so thankful."

Schmidt was behind a fall festival for kids that was expected to draw 500 and drew 1,500 to Sundby's Arena for games and treats.

Schmidt asked the board for permission to continue his independent study plan in the second semester.

"It has helped me a lot personally," Schmidt said. "It makes you feel like you can do something in the community and make a difference."

Among other items, the board also gave Brownlow permission to call for van bids to replace the district's present van, approved 2009-10 teacher, support staff and bus driver seniority lists, accepted the resignations of Justin Sperling as head baseball coach and Steve Techam as driver safety instructor, approved the recommended advisors for the FCCLA, National Honor Society and Junior High Knowledge Bowl groups and gave Brownlow permission to participate in the State and Local Educational Agencies' Race to the Top program, which will seek to obtain funding from the U.S. Department of Education beginning in the 2010-11 school year.