KSBA’s School Energy Managers Project (SEMP), which has been helping school districts save money through energy efficiency for the past four years, was selected as a 2014 national ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.
The award was scheduled to be presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on April 29. SEMP was recognized for helping schools reduce energy costs and for building greater energy awareness among local education leaders, students and their families. The project was chosen from among the 16,000 organizations nationwide that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.
KSBA’s SEMP, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2011, was honored for its leadership in establishing a statewide focus on intelligent energy choices for new and existing schools, in large part through its support of school energy managers. SEMP assists school system staff through professional development, technology evaluation, analytical support and implementation of energy management plans.
“The KSBA SEMP initiative sets a high standard for organizations across the country that deliver energy efficiency and environmental programs,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe.
KSBA Interim Executive Director David Baird also applauded the achievements of school energy managers, and SEMP Director Ron Willhite said the honor is being accepted “on behalf of the efforts of Kentucky school districts.”
The project was launched with a federal grant that covered partial costs for 35 new energy managers to work in 144 school systems, as well as supporting 14 existing energy managers. Since the federal funding expired in 2012, KSBA and SEMP have received assistance from several utilities to support the work of energy managers. In all, SEMP now aids 37 energy managers in 78 districts, and provides technical and analytical support for school facility management staff elsewhere.
Students in 10 Kentucky high schools will get career counseling and other opportunities through a $5.5 million, five-year grant to the Kentucky Educational Development Corp., based in Ashland. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, will support the federal Youth Career Connect program. The KEDC grant was one of 24 such grants nationwide announced in April.
Through the program, more than 1,800 students in the 10 high schools will get career counseling and training that combines academic and technical subjects about specific industries and careers. The 10 high schools are in these school districts: Lawrence, Middlesboro Independent, Casey, Johnson, Lee, Garrard, Pulaski (two schools) and Knox (two schools).
The Carroll County and Taylor County school systems were among 30 districts nationwide to be recognized for innovative uses of technology in education. The recognition comes from the National School Boards Association and the Center for Digital Education.
The honor is based on the 10th annual Digital School District Survey, in which Carroll County tied for fourth place and Taylor County placed ninth in the small district category.They were recognized during ceremonies in New Orleans during the 2014 NSBA national conference.
Russell, Walton-Verona and Science Hill independent school systems are the 2012-13 Kentucky Districts of Distinction.
The districts earned the title under the second year of the state’s Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All accountability system. It was the second year that Walton-Verona won the honor.
The state Board of Education has given each district a banner and letter of commendation, along with a District of Distinction logo that can be used to promote the achievement.
The recognition is based on overall accountability score, Annual Measurable Objective and participation rate. Districts with a focus or priority school are not eligible.