Education in Brief
Kentucky School Advocate
Preschool wing named for former KSBA president
The Whitley County school board voted unanimously in an Aug. 31 special meeting to rename the preschool wing in one of its elementary schools the Delmar D. Mahan Early Childhood Center.
Mahan, a longtime board member who also served as KSBA’s president and on its board of directors, died in July.
At the meeting and preceding ceremony at Oak Grove Elementary, Kerri Schelling, KSBA executive director, honored Mahan’s service to KSBA and Whitely County.
“For 26 years the students of Whitley County had a champion in Delmar Mahan, and for 12 of those years so did the rest of Kentucky when Delmar served on the KSBA board of directors,” Schelling said. “Delmar was passionate in his belief that public education had the power to change people’s lives and, when he took the reins as KSBA’s president in 2009, that was the focus of his inaugural address.”
In addition to the name on the building, the district unveiled a plaque with Mahan’s picture and an inscription dedicating the center in Mahan’s honor.
Joining the board
As of mid-September, at least six Kentucky school boards had appointed new members under a new state law that allows boards to fill their own vacancies. Harlan County was the first to use the law when it appointed Emma Donnece Henson on Aug. 16. Since then, Jefferson County has appointed Joe Marshall; Hardin County appointed John Emary, who had previously served on the board; Bullitt County appointed Shannon Cummings; Paintsville Independent appointed Roger Short; and Pike County appointed Stephany Lowe. When Lowe was sworn in, she became the first female Pike County board member in more than two decades.
Boards have 60 days to appoint a new member after a vacancy occurs. If the board does not appoint a new member in that time, the commissioner of education appoints someone to the seat. Resources to help districts through process can be found on our website.
Safe schools week
This year's theme for Kentucky Safe Schools Week is “Our Safety Story!” The week, sponsored by the Kentucky Center for School Safety, will be Oct. 20-26.
Board members, educators, students and parents are all encouraged to get involved during Kentucky Safe Schools Week to champion the idea that everybody should enjoy school equally and be treated with respect. This year’s theme is based off the movie “Toy Story 4” in which Woody, Buzz and Bo welcome a new friend, Forky, and help him find his purpose.
Anyone can take the Safety Story pledge at www.kycss.org/sswpledge. KCSS asks that all Kentucky schools embrace unity, kindness and empathy to enhance “Our Safety Story” during Safe Schools Week and every week. More resources for the week are available online.
Graduation requirements town halls
The Kentucky Department of Education is holding four town halls across the state to get feedback on the state’s new minimum high school graduation requirements. The first town hall was held Sept. 23 in Shelbyville. The remaining town halls are:
• Oct. 10: 6-7 p.m. EST, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative, Hazard
• Oct. 15: 6-7 p.m. CST, Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, Bowling Green
• Oct. 30: 5-6 p.m. CST, Hopkinsville Community College, Hopkinsville
The town halls were required by Senate Bill 175 which passed the legislature this past spring. The bill also requires KDE to report a summary of the meetings and feedback to the legislature. In addition, KDE must report how the new requirements will impact current students and options for students not meeting the requirements.
More information about the new minimum high school graduation requirements is available on our website.