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KSBA News Article

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Kentucky School Advocate
October 2020

First Degree Scholarship deadline extended to Nov. 18
For the 10th consecutive year, the Kentucky School Boards Association will award scholarships to members of the Class of 2021.

Thanks to the generous support of statewide fundraising efforts, this year the KSBA Board of Directors will award four $2,500 First Degree Scholarships to eligible Kentucky high school seniors.

The application deadline for KSBA’s First Degree Scholarship has been extended to Nov. 18. One male and/or one female student is eligible per school district, selected by the school board. For application, criteria and more information, visit ksba.org/FirstDegree
CollegeScholarshipProgram.aspx.

Oldham’s Woosley appointed to academic competition board
Oldham County board member and KSBA Board of Directors member Kevin Woosley has been appointed to the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition (KAAC) advisory board.KAAC coordinates academic events for our Commonwealth’s students, including the Governor’s Cup competition. Woosley will serve a two-year term ending in Dec. 2022.

The advisory board is comprised of representatives from educational stakeholders in the Commonwealth who bring issues involving their constituencies to the voting KAAC Board for consideration. The advisory board also includes members from the Kentucky Education Association, the governor’s office, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Board of Education.

Lincoln County board member, KSBA past president retires
Tom Blankenship, former KSBA president, recently announced his retirement from the Lincoln County school board where he served for a total of 35 years.Blankenship, Lincoln County board chairman, was the longest-serving member in the board’s history. In 650-plus meetings, he was never absent. Blankenship is a former classroom teacher and administrator who also spent 12 years on the Kentucky Board of Education.

“As KSBA president he left an indelible mark on the association’s history when he envisioned the First Degree Scholarship program that to date has helped 22 Kentucky students become the first in their immediate family to pursue a post-secondary degree,” said Kerri Schelling, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association. “As he begins a well-deserved retirement from local school board service he will be remembered as an outstanding school board member and an even better friend.”

Blankenship served on the Lincoln County board from 1977-1993 and again from 2001 until his resignation in September. He was KSBA’s president from 2011 to 2013 and served terms as regional chairman and director-at-large.  

Jefferson Co. student becomes first student KBE member
Solyana Mesfin of Louisville was selected as the first active public school student to hold a seat on the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE).Mesfin, a junior at Eastern High School in Jefferson County, was appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear to a two-year term as a non-voting member on Oct. 1 and will represent her fellow students throughout Kentucky. As an ex-officio member on the KBE, she will provide input on policy decisions that affect public schools.

“Kentucky’s students are who our system is designed for and they bring such a valuable voice, as they often bring light to problems and offer solutions that simply don’t occur to adults,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason Glass.

Mesfin, 16, is a second-year member of KDE’s Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, which advises the commissioner on issues relevant to high school students. Students on the council were eligible for the KBE position and nine applied and Mesfin was chosen in a drawing.

“I want to give a student perspective in hopes of impacting policies for the better,” she said. “Being a student member on the Kentucky Board of Education will mean much more than myself and title, it will mean giving a voice for students.”

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