Advocate Staff Report
When Larry Coldiron became chairman of the Rowan County Board of Education, he was following in the footsteps of a legend. Now, in his 23rd year as a board member, he is being honored as the recipient of the award named for that legend.
Coldiron is the recipient of the 2012 Proudfoot Award for Outstanding School Board Member, created in honor of the late Dr. Warren H. Proudfoot, Rowan County’s former board chairman. The award, which recognizes a school board member for distinguished leadership and community service, is co-sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association and the Kentucky PTA and judged by the PTA. It was presented Feb. 4 at KSBA’s annual conference in Louisville.
Coldiron said he was at a loss for words to explain what the award meant to him and his district.
He praised the vision for education that Dr. Proudfoot had for the children of Rowan County and the state, “which is being carried out today.” Coldiron also singled out the first superintendent under whom he served, Kenneth Bland, “the man who taught me the ins and outs of being an effective board member.”
During Coldiron’s tenure, the landscape of education in Kentucky has changed, from the birth of education reform in the early ’90s to the current implementation of Senate Bill 1 or “Unbridled Learning.” His leadership has helped Rowan County Schools keep up with the times.
“Larry Coldiron is so deserving of this award,” said Superintendent Marvin Moore. “His 23 years of service to the Rowan County school district as a member of the Rowan County school board have exemplified his dedication to this district and the pride that he takes in representing the students and staff. The Proudfoot Award recognizes that dedication and service.”
In its nomination of Coldiron, the district lauded his passion for the school system and his efforts to ensure that the students and staff have the tools they need to succeed.
Some of those tools include the renovation of three schools, Clearfield and Tilden Hogge elementaries and the Rowan County Preschool Center; and the construction of three new schools, Rodburn and McBrayer elementaries and Rowan County Middle School.
Coldiron particularly championed the creation of the preschool center in 2006, which moved preschool classes from four elementary schools to a central location and has increased the number of students attending preschool.
“The plan for the Rowan County Preschool Center has allowed the district to centralize its preschool services, ensuring that every student is prepared to take the first steps on their educational path,” the nomination read.
Kelly Fleck, McBrayer Elementary PTO president, said her first child was born in 1991, the year Coldiron became board chairman.
“My older children have been through the school system and have experienced the high level of support that he and his fellow board members have shown for academic and extracurricular programs within the school system,” Fleck wrote in her support of Coldiron’s nomination. “They are members of many clubs, groups and teams ... and have continuously received the encouragement they have needed to succeed.”
Under Coldiron’s leadership, the district also has formed multiple partnerships to help students continue to be successful after graduating.
Partnerships with Morehead State University, Maysville Community and Technical College, and other area colleges and universities have led to the creation of the College Cohort program as well as an in-house dual credit program that is enabling students to get a head start on their college studies.
Coldiron said the award represented a “team effort” of his entire school board and went on to thank all school board members, superintendents and administrators present , “for what you do for the children of the Commonwealth – for truly, you do make a great difference in the lives of our kids.