Two Spencer Co. schools to get new security systems with capacity for offsite monitoring; board lauds multiple students for "extra" accomplishments

Spencer Magnet, Taylorsville, March 30, 2016

Board meeting dominated by accolades and accomplishments
By Welsey Kerrick

Late afternoon sunlight streamed into the Spencer County Middle School media center Monday as the Spencer County Board of Education held a monthly meeting replete with good news and compliments.

“I can hardly contain myself with the information that I just received about an hour ago,” superintendent Chuck Adams announced. He said Taylorsville Elementary School is eligible for a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. That’s the grant that funds the Grizzlies Beyond the Bell after-school program at SCMS.

SCMS math teacher Luke Penrod received the Going the Distance Award. Penrod has established a group to “adopt” one of the district’s most at-risk students each year and take that student to Mt. Washington to purchase clothing and back-to-school items and go out to eat.

Adams and Spencer County Elementary School principal Mark Thomas honored SCMS sixth-grader Valerie Pucko for her 100-plus hours of community service. Pucko, who collects books and distributes them to kindergarten students, achieved her personal goal to earn the Presidential Community Service Award issued by President Barack Obama.

“She’s very much a high achiever, a high go-getter,” Thomas said.

SCES fifth-grader, Charley Miller, was recognized for having placed fifth out of 61 competitors in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee and 10th in a Scripps Spelling Bee regional competition.

TES academic team members Gabby Davis and Teddi Parks gave a presentation to the board about how a future-problem solving competition works. The team recently placed first in a district competition and advanced to also win regionals.

“We’re very proud of these students,” coach Brandie Kinzel said.

Students from Spencer County Middle School’s Junior Beta club were honored for their success at the state Junior Beta convention, where they placed third and qualified for the national competition this summer in New Orleans.

The board also recognized 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award nominees Ricky Reinle of TES, Amanda Butler of SCMS and Peggy Pickett of SCHS.

“The one thing that really amazes me more and more is, you hear ‘extra,’ ‘paying off,’ ‘recognition,’ and ‘teachers,’” said board member Bart Stark. “It’s really unheard of, how many teachers and children are excited to put in the extra time.”

In other action, the board approved:

• Installation of new surveillance technology at SCES and SCMS, with a total cost to both schools of $11,500. Additional cameras will supply footage of areas that haven’t been covered by the schools’ existing cameras, and the systems will save video for three months.

School resource officers and local law enforcement officials will be able to access the videos from outside the school.

• Construction of dugouts at the SCMS softball field. The dugouts have been paid for by an anonymous donor.

• Installation of a digital marquee at SCHS to replace the school’s existing sign near Taylorsville Road. The marquee will be donated by The Peoples Bank and include an advertisement for the bank.

• Spending up to $1,250 for archery equipment at SCES.

• The establishment of a SCHS bass fishing club as a school-sanctioned club and the addition of a $500 stipend to the extra-curricular scale for a certified staff member to oversee it.

“I don’t think anybody could complain that we don’t try to give everybody their little niche,” board chair Debbie Herndon said, “from academic niche to sporting niche."

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