PRESTONSBURG -- Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) established its first academic team in August. Amanda Slone, instructional specialist for the BSCTC Center for Enrichment Resources, developed and trained a team of 10 students (seven men and three women). Most of the team members will graduate this year, with only two or three members returning next year. However, "we look forward to welcoming new members to the team for the 2009-10 seasons," said Joel Vanhoose, BSCTC Student Affairs/Academic Team Coach. Vanhoose is coordinating and establishing promotional and advertising opportunities via the BSCTC Student Affairs Department for the 2009-10 seasons. The objective is to incorporate the academic team into the student activities at BSCTC, thus enhancing and promoting the team to the student population at BSCTC. The goal is to grow and expand the team. "Big Sandy Community and Technical College takes great pride in the accomplishments of the Academic Team," remarked, BSCTC Provost Nancy Johnson. "The Academic team provides encouragement and involvement for students, thus rendering a sense of 'Appalachian Pride,'" said Vanhoose. "Coaching and supporting the BSCTC Academic Team is very rewarding; it affords coaches and students one-on-one rapport, thus building valuable relationships and experiences with students." When asked what accomplishments are expected for next season, Vanhoose remarked, "Well, we came in second place this season, while competing in only three academic competitions, therefore our goal is to compete more and take 1st place next year!" The academic team competed in three academic competitions for the 2008-09 seasons: Louisville; Ironton, Ohio, and Georgetown. The team ended their season winning the final competition in Georgetown and placing second overall in their division. Regrettably, midway through the season Amanda Slone, the team's founder secured other employment, leaving a vacancy in the team's leadership, thus prompting Joel Vanhoose, BSCTC Student Affairs Assistant to step forward continuing the leadership and guidance previously provided by Slone. "Amanda Slone's expertise was a great resource for the College," Vanhoose said. "She provided outstanding leadership for the students at BSCTC and the Academic Team; she enhanced and improved the testing center tremendously in her short stay at BSCTC." Additionally, Vanhoose reports that several faculty and staff employees provided assistance and support for the academic team throughout the season. Funding was and continues to be a problem for the BSCTC Academic Team. Vanhoose, remarked, "Funding is challenging and we are continuously looking for ways to subsidize the team at BSCTC. For additional information about the BSCTC Academic Team or if you would like to make a donation, contact: Joel Vanhoose, Student Affairs/Academic Team Coach, 606-886-7387, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.