A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Interim Joint Committee on Education hears from KDE, stakeholders on reopening schools amid virus

By Sky Carroll Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education heard updates this week regarding reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), along with other Kentucky education leaders and the commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA). On June 24, KDE Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown...

Kentucky Department of Education seeking family input on support needed due to COVID-19 crisis

In preparation for the reopening of school for the 2020-2021 school year, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) would like to better understand families’ and caregivers’ experiences with distance learning last school year due to COVID-19. KDE is seeking input from families across the state in a brief survey on the challenges they experienced during the implementation of non-traditional instruction...

Lee County health teacher named SHAPE America National Health Education Teacher of the Year

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Jessica Napier, alongside friends and family, waited to hear if she would be named the 2020 SHAPE America National Health Education Teacher of the Year during the May 5 virtual ceremony. The awards ceremony originally was scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City, but due to the COVID-19 emergency, plans had to be altered. While this is an unprecedented and uncertain...

Kevin Brown: Each day brings new challenges, and Kentucky’s students and teachers rise to meet them

Every day brings something different. Every day since the COVID-19 emergency began to take shape has brought new challenges for all of us who serve Kentucky’s students, and probably for all of you who are more intensively involved in your children’s education than ever before. On the other hand, every day also has brought new and encouraging examples of how families have adapted to non-traditional...

EKU discounting summer tuition for teachers in grad education programs; applications due May 5

The learning environment may be changing during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the commitment shown by Kentucky educators has not wavered. To show appreciation for the dedication shown by Kentucky teachers, Eastern Kentucky University is offering a Kentucky teacher tuition discount for graduate teacher education programs taken in summer 2020. The reduced tuition rate of $395 per credit hour will be available...

Kentucky’s 2020 Superintendent of the Year leads turnaround in Fleming County Schools

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Sitting on Fleming County Superintendent Brian Creasman’s desk alongside family photos and Georgia Bulldog memorabilia sits a trophy with a yellow note placed upon it that reads, “Kentucky School District of the Year.” Lift this note and you will find that it is the trophy he received for being named Kentucky’s 2020 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky...

Vaping and mental health are key concerns for Kentucky students in latest risk behavior survey

From Kentucky Teacher Based on the 2019 Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, middle and high school students in the state are using electronic vaping products much more than they were in 2017. The percentage of middle school students who ever used an electronic vapor product increased from 15.1% in 2017 to 31.4% in 2019. A significant increase also occurred among high school students...

2020 Ky. Teacher of the Year Erin Ball to spend semester promoting minority teacher recruitment

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Life has been different for Erin Ball since being named the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year in May of 2019. But probably not how you may expect. “In August, my husband and I began fostering two young siblings – a toddler and a baby,” said Ball. “Going from zero kids to two kids has been an incredible whirlwind and learning how to balance being a mother...

Kentucky Department of Education opens nominations for 2021 Teacher of the Year awards

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., sponsors of the Kentucky Teacher Awards, have opened nominations for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher Awards. Nominations may be submitted electronically by visiting the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year website at kentuckytoy.com. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. Any full-time public school teacher in the state with at least three years of...

Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind is registering school teams for tournaments across the state

Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind is registering schools with teams of students for its regional tournaments across Kentucky. Odyssey of the Mind is an international extracurricular educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities and 21st-Century skills development for students from kindergarten through college. Working in small teams, students apply their creativity to solve...

Kentucky Teacher: New data paints grim picture, Kentucky is suffering a student outcomes crisis

By Mike Marsee Kentucky Teacher When Kiley Whitaker wants to explain to schools why Kentucky’s graduation requirements have changed, he points to the numbers. Whitaker, the assistant director of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement, has examined statistics that look into postsecondary outcomes for Kentucky students, and he didn’t like...

Wayne Lewis: School resource officers are an integral part of each of Kentucky’s communities

Part of my daughter’s morning school arrival routine is stopping to say “Hi!” to Officer Steve, her school resource officer (SRO). And daily, even with all he is managing during morning drop-offs, he never fails to share a smile or a laugh with her. I am there enough to know that Office Steve enjoys similar relationships with many kids, not just my daughter. As a parent, I am more thankful for...

Five Kentucky public schools designated national Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Dept. of Education

The U. S. Department of Education (USED) named five Kentucky public schools as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence. The five Kentucky schools and their districts are: Barret Traditional Middle School – Jefferson County East Valley Elementary School – Morgan County Murray Elementary School – Murray Independent Perryville Elementary School – Boyle County Shopville...

Kentucky Teacher: Taking on electronic cigarettes, students join forces to stop the epidemic

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky teacher E-cigs. E-vape. E-hookah. Electronic cigarettes may have many aliases, but it can’t hide from the alarming statistics. According to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention 2018 statewide trends report, electronic cigarette use doubled or nearly doubled in 6th-, 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade students, the only grades that were included in the survey, from 2016 to...

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...