Boone County superintendent, Russellville Independent board member recognized for advocacy work

KSBA has saluted two local education leaders for their work as state and local ambassadors for Kentucky’s public schools with its inaugural CAPE (Celebrate Advocacy for Public Education) Awards.

Boone County Schools Superintendent Randy Poe and Russellville Independent Board of Education member Davonna Page were recognized during the association’s Summer Leadership Institute July 8-9 in Lexington.

“There can be no more effective advocates for the needs of students and teachers and their vital support systems than the superintendent and the board members in each district,” said KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong. “Whether the focus is legislators in the General Assembly, our members of the U.S. Congress, or officials within the state and federal departments of education, the genuine, front-line insights of these district leaders carry more weight than any other petitioner seeking the attention of decision makers in Frankfort and Washington, D.C.”

KSBA Director of Governmental Relations Hope McLaughlin said Poe and Page were selected for the CAPE Awards because of their individual histories of K-12 advocacy.

“Davonna really stepped up when we put out the call for school board members to make their voices heard when FRYSCs (Family Resource and Youth Services Centers) were at risk of having their funding cut. She came forward with compelling stories illustrating the importance of this funding to children across the Commonwealth,” McLaughlin said. “When KSBA made a trip to Washington D.C. to advocate for public education, Davonna was ready to go and came well prepared with the impact federal actions will have on Russellville Independent and many other districts across Kentucky.”

Poe, a past recipient of the F. L. Dupree Outstanding Superintendent Award, is a well-known face around Frankfort, according to McLaughlin.

“Dr. Poe never hesitates to make his voice heard on issues important to public education. He keeps in close contact with legislators in his district and engages on the ground in Frankfort,” she said. “In his advocacy efforts, Dr. Poe understands the importance of building and maintaining partnerships within his community and is a great example of an ambassador for public education.”

Nearly 200 local education leaders were involved in KSBA’s summer meeting, which covered professional development for local board members in areas such as the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act and school issues such as bullying prevention, school safety and academic progress.

PHOTO ABOVE: KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong and Governmental Relations Director Hope McLaughlin (far left and far right) present the 2016 CAPE awards to Russellville Independent school board member Davonna Page (second from left) and Boone County Board of Education member Karen Byrd, who accepted on behalf of Superintendent Randy Poe.

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