A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Education Notes: Nine Fayette students finish School for Entrepreneurs; PTA workshop a success


Nine high school students from Fayette County Public Schools participated in the 2017 Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, hosted in July by Transylvania University.

• Henry Clay High School: Elizabeth Piper and Will Roberts;
• Paul Laurence Dunbar: Eleanor Liu, Rachel Seevers, Sydney Sun, and Angie Xiao;
• Tates Creek: Ronald Delgado, Andrew Gazzaroli, and Sam Newman.

They were among 61 students from across the state selected for the three-week accelerator-styled summer program for rising freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. They experienced the ins and outs of creating a startup – engaging with successful entrepreneurs, building a prototype, and pitching to a live audience for a cash prize.

The GSE program is run by the Kentucky Entrepreneurship Education Network Inc. For questions, email keen@keenstart.org.

PTA workshop provides tools for leaders, support for school chapters

At a recent PTA summer gathering, parent Francesca Hessing hoped to fill her toolbox with ideas to bolster her school’s fledgling chapter at Coventry Oak Elementary. “I’m here because I’ve never done PTA before and now I’m president,” she said before the opening session. “We have a very new school and a very small PTA, so we’re trying to figure out what to do.”

The 16th District PTA’s seventh annual leadership training and vendor expo, held July 22 at Bluegrass Community & Technical College’s Newtown campus, targeted members like Hessing as well as veterans with years of experience.

The 16th District PTA encompasses Lexington’s public schools, most of which have a PTA or PTSA chapter. Its latest summer training offered sessions for presidents, treasurers, and secretaries and covered such areas as membership, programming, and advocacy for students with special needs (Photo Provided)

“The thing with PTA is it’s a constant revolving set of people coming through, so you almost always need the same resources,” said Brandon Sharp, the district’s corresponding secretary.

The event brought together a variety of fundraising options and other materials for chapter officers, who also took the opportunity to network and learn from each other.

“We’re trying to arm folks with the knowledge of how to advocate. One specific session was ‘Beyond the Bake Sale,’ about how to build partnerships and relationships,” Sharp said. “We really want to arm them with materials, information, and knowledge to go back and make a difference with not only their children’s education but all of Fayette County children.”

The 16th District PTA encompasses Lexington’s public schools, most of which have a PTA or PTSA chapter. Its latest summer training offered sessions for presidents, treasurers, and secretaries and covered such areas as membership, programming, and advocacy for students with special needs.

“We want to teach them how to find their voice and how to advocate for all kids in their schools and their community,” said Chris Medley, the districtwide president. “Through the breakout sessions, we also worked on family engagement and leadership in the individual positions.”

FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk, who stopped by at the start of the workshop, commended the participants for giving up a Saturday during summer break for a good cause.

“The fact that you’re here means you care about other people’s children as much as your own,” he told the group. “It takes the entire community to ensure the success of our schools. We’re talking about the people in it (not the bricks and mortar), the people who matter most – our young people.”

Eight principals participate in high-level leadership training

Eight principals in Fayette County Public Schools are among 48 from across Kentucky participating in executive-level leadership training in 2017-18.

The Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Institute for School Principals, in partnership with The BB&T Leadership Institute, includes:

• Amber Catron, Russell Cave Elementary;
• Grant Davis, Clays Mill Elementary;
• Lester Diaz, Frederick Douglass High School;
• Shamiah Ford, Coventry Oak Elementary;
• James McMillin, Bryan Station High School;
• Robin Steiner, Dixie Magnet Elementary;
• Stephanie Urbanek, Meadowthorpe Elementary; and
• Sarah Woodford, Garrett Morgan Elementary.

Research has shown that effective leaders have a positive impact on student achievement and school performance, and the principal is much like the CEO of a business. Therefore the institute delivers cutting-edge training in such as areas as fostering a high-performance culture and influencing others to ensure student success.

Thanks to donations from individuals, businesses, and communities, the program is free for participants. Meeting in four cadres, the principals gathered for a three-day session this summer in Greensboro, N.C., and continue with a two-day session in Frankfort in mid-fall and another there this winter.

From FCPS


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