Take Note

Take Note

Take Note

Kentucky School Advocate
September 2017 
KSBA Director of Communications Mary Branham New communications leader
A veteran communications professional joined KSBA Aug. 7 as director of communications, succeeding Brad Hughes, who retired. Mary Branham comes to KSBA from the Kentucky Medical Association, where she held a similar position for more than two years, overseeing the KMA’s website, social media strategy, electronic and print publications and media relations. Prior to that, she spent nine years as managing editor for print and multimedia for The Council of State Governments, a national organization based in Lexington. Her work there included managing CSG’s magazine, Capitol Ideas, integrating video into CSG’s communications platforms, helping create an e-newsletter and managing the association’s media relations.

“Kentucky’s public schools play a critical role in helping to shape our society of tomorrow,” Branham said. “School board members across the Commonwealth strive every day to ensure our schools have the right tools to equip students with the knowledge and character they need to meet the demands of the future. I am happy to be joining an organization that helps members serve in that important role successfully.”

Branham’s byline appeared in the Kentucky School Advocate previously as a freelance writer. Earlier in her career as a journalist, she worked as news editor for The State Journal in Frankfort and the Times-Tribune in Corbin.

Branham holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Kentucky University, where she also was an adjunct journalism instructor for several semesters.

Tax talk
KSBA Governmental Relations Director Eric Kennedy will join representatives of the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties in a panel discussion on local taxes during the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Tax Summit Sept. 14.

The daylong event is aimed at providing “thoughtful discussion on improving Kentucky’s competitiveness through tax reform.” Business leaders, advocates and citizens will be able to hear from and talk with local, state and federal policymakers at the event, which will be held at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington. For more information, go to kychamber.com and click on “events.”

These schools rate
Schools have been chosen to participate in special electric rate tariffs for schools, the result of KSBA’s intervention in a rate increase request by Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities. The pilot tariffs were part of the settlement approved by the Public Service Commission, which also reduced the size of the utilities’ initial rate increase.

The settlement set a $750,000 cap for each utility on the amount of savings the pilot schools can generate with the new tariffs. In the KU service area, 168 public schools were chosen to participate in 67 districts; in LG&E’s territory, it was about 70 schools in four districts, plus the Kentucky School for the Blind. A number of private schools were also chosen for the special pilot tariffs, in cooperation with the Kentucky Non-Public Schools Commission. Private schools were included in the PSC order.

Curriculum council
Lee County school board Chairman William Owens will represent local school board members on the School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council. He was one of 13 people recently appointed to the council by Gov. Matt Bevin. Owens, a 26-year school board veteran, also is a regional chairperson on KSBA’s board.
KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling Schelling honored
KSBA’s executive director, Kerri Schelling, was named Executive of the Year by the Kentucky Society of Association Executives. The award is the highest recognition given by KSAE to the chief staff executive of a Kentucky association who exemplifies the very best in association management and continually brings credit to the profession and to the entire association community.

Honorees are recognized for demonstrating teamwork, vision and servant leadership. “Receiving this recognition from my peers across the state is one of the true highlights of my career,” said Schelling, a former president of KSAE and a certified association executive. “KSBA is an amazing association and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to work with and for such incredible people.”
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