School board honors Eagle Scout for  preschool playground improvements

Eagle Scout and Croatan High School rising senior Luke Kahrimanovic holds a certificate of recognition he received June 8 from the Carteret County Board of Education for work he did on the playground at Carteret Preschool Center in Newport. Standing with him are, from left, board members Kathryn Chadwick, Chairperson Clark Jenkins, Brittany Wheatly, Travis Day, John McLean and Katie Statler, and next to Luke on the right is preschool Principal Jeanne Huntley. (Cheryl Burke photo)

BEAUFORT — The playground at Carteret Preschool Center in Newport got a much needed facelift recently thanks to the efforts of Luke Kahrimanovic as part of his Eagle Scout project.

The Carteret County Board of Education honored Luke, a rising Croatan High School senior and member of Troop 446 in Cape Carteret, for his efforts during the June 8 board meeting in Beaufort.

The school’s principal, Jeanne Huntley, as well as Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson and board members praised the Eagle Scout for his work in designing communication boards for the playground, as well as other improvements.

Board member Brittany Wheatly said, “I commend you for helping every child to be able to play on that playground.”

Luke said, “It was fun and a great opportunity to help.”

The communication boards will assist non-verbal and limited-verbal students communicate their needs and wants. The boards contain colorful pictures of various items and actions, along with the spelling of them. Students can point to a picture correlated to their need.

Luke also raised funds to build a bike shelter and buddy bench and purchased new pots and pans for another play area. In addition, he and volunteers powerwashed and repainted the tires and bike track on the playground.

He said he chose the project after discussing the idea with his mother, Beth Kahrimanovic, who teaches the 3-year-old exceptional children’s class at the school.

With help from the school’s speech therapist, Kelly Mabalo, he designed the communication boards for the playground.

He then raised $1,420 for the project thanks to donations from friends, family and community members. He was able to have his design converted into the two large boards to be displayed on the playground.

Money not used for the communication boards went to purchase supplies to construct the bike shelter and buddy bench and make other playground improvements.

Parents of students at the school, as well as other Scouts, assisted Luke with the project.

The Eagle Scout said he plans to have an additional workday prior to school opening Monday, Aug. 23 to spruce up the playground and make sure it is ready for students.

As well as being an active Scout, he works as a lifeguard at the Sports Center in Morehead City. He is also a member of the CHS swim team and the National Technical Honor Society. He has served as senior patrol leader of Troop 446 for the last 10 months.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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