A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

With 2019-2020 school year set to begin, teacher shortages will affect students across Kentucky

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Teacher shortages are taking a toll on students throughout Kentucky, as critical shortage areas have been identified in a number of subjects and disciplines in all areas of the state. Thousands of teaching positions in Kentucky schools remain unfilled as the start of a new school year approaches, and Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said that denies many students...

Recent Knox Central High School graduate making a career out of Youtube, surpasses 153 million views

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Kendall Gray is your typical eastern Kentucky teenager. He likes to fish, hunt and do practically anything outdoors. There is one difference, however. He broadcasts his outdoor adventures to more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and his videos have been viewed more than 153 million times. Kendall Gray, a 2019 graduate of Knox Central High School (Knox County), has...

Former New England Patriots player Malcolm Mitchell joins education leaders to emphasize early learning

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher A former National Football League player-turned-children’s book author told attendees at the Early Childhood Institute that it is imperative to focus on early childhood education and literacy because a lack of education can become a “generational curse.” Malcolm Mitchell, a former wide receiver for the New England Patriots who was named the 2016 Children’s...

Kentucky Teacher: Russell Independent school’s KRUSH program helps erase stigma of Incarceration

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing (KRUSH) has cultivated a sense of family for students that have seen their own families affected by the harsh reality of incarceration. A reality that has become far too common in the Commonwealth. According to data accumulated by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that focuses on child welfare, 15%...

Glasgow High School recognized as model school for helping students overcome barriers, achieve success

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher If the students at Glasgow High School want to know where they stand, they only need look around them. The evidence is on a wall outside the gymnasium, where banners tout not only the school’s athletic and artistic victories, but also its average ACT score ranking and its place in the annual U.S. News and World Report school rankings. In other hallways around the building,...

Embassy of Spain names Lexington’s Maxwell Elementary the 2018-2019 School of the Year

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Somos Maxwell is more than a slogan for Maxwell Elementary. “We say ‘Somos Maxwell,’ which means ‘We Are Maxwell,’” said Principal Robert Crawford. “We think about being kind, being cooperative, responsible and respectful. Not only in the local context, but at the global scale.” The Embassy of Spain’s Education office in Washington, D.C., recognized...

New Kentucky Department of Education website brings standards resources to central location

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has unveiled a new website designed to be a one-stop shop for information on the Kentucky Academic Standards. The site, kystandards.org, contains links to the Kentucky Academic Standards documents, resources to support the implementation of the standards and information regarding the standards revision process. Information available...

Kentucky Teacher: Summary of new legislation passed by General Assembly; most in effect June 27

By Jennifer Fraker
 Kentucky Teacher Local school boards and districts will see changes as a result of legislation passed during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2019 Regular Session, which came to a close on March 28. The most notable changes includes those in Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 8, Senate Bill 175 and House Bill 11. Per OAG 19-005, bills go into effect on Thursday, June 27, 2019, which...

McConnell Center Young Leaders Academy seeking applications from Kentucky High School students

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Applications are being accepted for the McConnell Center Young Leaders Academy, a summer residential leadership conference June 19-22 at the University of Louisville. The program, open to students who will have completed at least one year of high school by summer 2019, helps participants hone their leadership skills and further their understanding of American history. The...

Boyle Co. Schools bridging the gap for students who struggle in reading and math with SHARED learning

Crystin Moore, center, a teacher at Junction City Elementary School (Boyle County), talks with instructional assistant Christy Zettler, left, in their 4th-grade classroom. General education teachers such as Moore work with special education teachers and instructional assistants in a SHARED (Systematically Helping Achieve Rigorous Engagement Daily) learning model designed to increase student achievement...

Department of Education seeking nominations for 2020 Kentucky Teacher Awards; deadline Feb. 15

Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., sponsors of the Kentucky Teacher Awards, have opened nominations for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher Awards. Jessica Dueñas, formerly of Oldham County Middle School and now with W.E.B. DuBois Academy (Jefferson County), was named as the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year at a ceremony in Frankfort May 15. Tiffany Marsh, left, of Paul...

Wayne Lewis: 2019 legislative agenda prioritizes student success and parent empowerment

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted to approve a list of legislative priorities for the 2019 session of the General Assembly that places student success and preparedness and family empowerment at the center of our legislative efforts during the upcoming session. Admittedly, our agenda is ambitious, but I believe the legislative changes we are seeking are central to taking...

Kentucky Teacher: Visiting Teachers from Spain provides high-quality Spanish teachers to KY schools

By Alfonso De Torres Núñez Special to KyForward Visiting Teachers from Spain is one of two international programs developed by the Kentucky Department of Education with education authorities from another country to provide world language services to students and school districts in the Commonwealth. Visiting Teachers from Spain enables local school districts in Kentucky to hire highly qualified,...

Kentucky Teacher: Louisville Male’s ‘creek class’ immerses students in the learning of local ecology

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Angela Page’s students are gaining a new understanding of the waters that shape their lives. The city in which they live would not exist were it not for the Ohio River, and Page and the students in one of her classes at Louisville Male High School (Jefferson County) have been spending time on and along the Ohio and Beargrass Creek just outside downtown Louisville. They’re...

Fayette County Public Schools’ Manny Caulk named 2019 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators named Manny Caulk of Fayette County Public Schools its 2019 Superintendent of the Year. KASA Executive Director Wayne Young and Lesa Kay Hoffman from American Fidelity presented the statewide award Nov. 19 during a local school board meeting. Along with this recognition, Caulk received a bronze eagle sculpture, a ring, a $2,500 scholarship for an Fayette...

Fayette schools psychologist Patrick Ballard named School Psychologist of the Year by KAPS

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher Patrick Ballard, a psychologist with Fayette County schools, has been named School Psychologist of the Year by the Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools (KAPS). He also was one of five contenders to receive a Best Practice Award during the KAPS conference in October in Louisville. Patrick Ballard Ballard is in his second year in the Fayette County schools...

Wayne Lewis: Now is the time to break down educational barriers in Kentucky’s rural schools

Almost half of Kentucky’s population lives in rural areas. That means a significant portion of Kentucky’s students are being educated in rural school districts. Our rural schools face unique challenges compared to our suburban and urban schools. A recent report by the Center for Public Education called “Out of the Loop,” noted poverty rates are higher and more persistent in rural areas as compared...

Kentucky Teacher: Bowling Green teacher Elizabeth Forbes showing students the buzz around the bees

By Bobby Ellis Special to KyForward As the sun came up over the trees, warming the two painted boxes on the outside of the wall of the Bowling Green High School baseball field, Elizabeth Forbes laughed. “The baseball guys are going to be so upset with me,” she said from behind a mesh screened hat. The two hives of honeybees there had begun to wake up, and several thousand bees had begun to cover...

Five Kentucky schools named to U.S. Department of Education’s 2018 list of National Blue Ribbon Schools

Kentucky Teacher The U. S. Department of Education (USED) named five Kentucky public schools as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence. The five Kentucky schools and their districts are: • Huntertown Elementary (Woodford County) • Oak Hill Elementary (Pulaski County) • Paintsville Elementary (Paintsville Independent) • Spottsville Elementary (Henderson...

Bridget Powell: As a teacher, it’s my responsibility to help students to good mental health and resiliency

Every school year, I take my 5th-graders to the county jail and judicial facility as a culminating part of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. This is usually a somewhat emotional experience for my students. Most have never been in a jail. Walking through the jail doors as we are “locked in,” anxiety kicks in and this experience gets real for my students and me. Leading my students...