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The Bearcat Cafe Exceptional Brew By: Jayci Lucas
The great red, white, and navy Bearcats of Anderson County High School: known for their amazing teachers, intelligent students and… coffee? Teachers Mrs. Kristen Shouse, with the help of Mrs. Ashley Norton-Gary, has touched the hearts of many students and staff members this year with a new project—a coffee cart called The Bearcat Cafe Exceptional Brew.
    Mrs. Shouse has been teaching for sixteen years. In 2006, she graduated from Campbellsville University with a Bachelor's in Social Work, and in 2009 she gained her Master of Arts in teaching at Georgetown College with an emphasis on learning behavior disabilities. Then in 2011 she added a moderate and severe disabilities (MSD) certificate to her resume. Currently, Mrs. Shouse works with MSD students at Anderson County High School. While working on the core subjects such as reading, writing, and math, Mrs. Shouse also emphasizes social skills, daily living skills, community-based instruction, and her favorite adaptive skills. In her own words “these adaptive skills are used for helping the students become self-sufficient individuals and become as independent as possible”. Mrs. Shouse's emphasis on social skills also helps her teach the students about the community and the workforce that is available to them. And what better way to work on all these skills than establishing Anderson County High School’s very own coffee cart: The Bearcat Cafe Exceptional Brew.
    With the help from Mrs. Gary, Mrs. Shouse found a way to incorporate life/job skills and social skills into a project that their students could enjoy. Mrs. Shouse and Mrs. Gary help their students to make and give away hot coffee as well as select cold drinks such as sweet tea and lemonade. These MDS students walk around the hallways of the school on Thursday mornings giving out their sweet treats to thirsty staff members. The staff are greeted with very big smiles from Mrs.Shouse and her students and, in return, the students get plenty of practice working with people and socializing with them. English teacher, Mrs. Samantha Tucker, stated, “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn real-world skills, and it is a bonus for staff to have an opportunity for some caffeine!”
    Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee served with a warm smile, because the staff at Anderson County High School sure does! Thank you Mrs. Shouse, Mrs. Gary, and your wonderful classes for gracing us all with your kindness and with your coffee.