Kentucky School Advocate
A UK first
Elaine Wilson, a 17-year member of the Somerset Independent school board, has been recognized by the Kentucky House of Representatives for being the first woman of color to lead the 38,000-member University of Kentucky Alumni Association.
The House citation honoring Wilson was the first one passed during the 2015 legislative session. Wilson is the director of Cultural Diversity at Somerset Community College. “It has been wonderful to represent the over 200,000 graduates of UK,” Wilson said.
Energy intervention No. 2
KSBA has been granted permission to intervene in a second utility rate increase request before the Kentucky Public Service Commission. The Kentucky Power Company is seeking a $70 million rate increase that could affect 23 school districts in the eastern third of the state. If granted, the new rates would represent an average 13 percent increase for public schools. Affected districts are currently being asked to help support the intervention effort, as did the districts involved in a similar pending Louisville Gas & Electric-Kentucky Utilities rate case (see inside back cover of this magazine).
More than half of the proposed Kentucky Power increase is to recover costs associated with the acquisition of half of the Mitchell Plant in West Virginia and costs from retiring the Big Sandy Unit 2 in Louisa.
Owensboro Independent Magna-tized
Owensboro Independent Schools is an honorable mention winner in the national Magna Awards program sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal and supported by Sodexo. The Magna Awards recognize school districts and their leaders for innovations that improve the lives of their students and their communities.
The Owensboro district was one of five honorable mention programs in the category for districts under 5,000 students. The award, presented during the NSBA’s annual conference in March, was for Owensboro’s READS initiative, which challenges students and the entire community to pledge to read 30 minutes a day. The program also includes summer reading camps, contests, a website, book exchanges, involvement by the public library and renewed emphasis on reading in schools.
A Kenton County Schools technology teacher has been named to the national 2014-15 “20 to Watch” list of education technology leaders. Amy Braunwart, who teaches at Ryland Heights Elementary, was honored for her work with student-produced news shows, for helping other teachers use digital tools at the Northern Kentucky Writing Project Tech Academy and for her expertise with electronic white boards.
The recognition program is sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s Technology Leadership Network. Honorees are recognized for the ability to inspire colleagues and for embracing innovative technology solutions that support instruction and personalized learning experiences for students.
Five Kentucky school districts are among the 62 nationwide that were recognized for innovations in the March 2015 round of District Administration magazine’s Districts of Distinction.
Montgomery County Schools’ reading initiative and Owensboro Independent’s communitywide READS literacy program were honored in the literacy category. Taylor County and Owsley County districts were recognized for their personalized/individualized learning projects – Owsley County for its virtual learning program and Taylor County for its performance-based education model.
Eminence Independent was honored in the college and career readiness category for its standards-based learning system.