Thursday, March 23, 2017
Marquis Estill, center, jokes with Special Olympics athletes during the skills clinic portion of the night. Former University of Kentucky players ran through shooting drills, ball handling and defense with Special Olympics athletes during the night. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Feb. 21, 2017

Star players

For kids all over Kentucky, the dream is to someday stand on the floor at Rupp Arena and shoot that game winning shot, hearing the crowd go wild and having a championship-winning player pat you on the back.
Brayden Barckholtz, a 7th-grader at Gray Middle School (Boone County) paints a part of a mural on a hallway wall during an after school art club. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 24, 2017

Community, academics and arts lead to Blue Ribbon

Gray Middle School’s success hinges on supportive parents, rigorous academics and placing emphasis on the arts.
Frances King, left, and Lindsey Highley, center, students George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County), are shown a machine used to test medicine by Pavan Dasari during a tour of a laboratory in which they will be working at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Winchester. The students have been hired through the Youth Employment Solutions (YES!) program, through which students can gain real-world experience at businesses that previously might not have been able to hire them. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Feb. 9, 2017

Employment initiative opens doors for students, employers

The Youth Employment Solutions program allows schools and businesses to work together to give students real-world work experience.
Brooke Whitlow, the instructional technology coordinator for Hardin County schools, and students in her coding class at the Hardin County Early College and Career Center attempt to help Savannah Haynes as she tries to use code to draw Mickey Mouse for a project. Whitlow has adapted the Girls Who Code curriculum designed for after-school programs as an entry-level class for freshman and sophomore girls interested in learning how to code. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 30, 2017

These coders have class

Hardin County school becomes first in Kentucky to offer Girls Who Code as a class.
Simpson Elementary Librarian Sam Northern spent seven days exploring Antarctica as part of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow program sponsored by National Geographic and Linblad Expeditions. Photo provided by Sam Northern

Icy exploration leads to lessons

Sam Northern, librarian at Simpson Elementary, is bringing his Antarctic expedition to the classroom through interdisciplinary lessons.
Jonathan Miller, the principal at Graves County Middle School, helps direct his team to put a rod on the ground as part of a group exercise during the Leadership Institute for School Principals. The institute is an initiative of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce that provides executive-style leadership training to school principals. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 26, 2017

Taking it from the top

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s training for principals aims to improve schools by developing stronger leaders.
J.T. Snow, left, Luke Dailey and Abby Cunningham practice a musical number from Mozart's opera "Bastien un Bastienne" during a rehersal at Beaumont Presbyterian Church. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 18, 2017

Three-man show

Students at Fayette County's School for Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass prepare to put on Mozart's one-act opera, "Bastien und Bastienne," which Mozart wrote when he was only 12 years old.
A Harrison County High School student meets with, from left, Counselor Allison Earlywine, Assistant Principal Jenny Nichols, Director of Pupil Personnel Bow Switzer and Chief Academic Officer Jenny Lynn Hatter. Students who are considering leaving school meet with committees tailored to them as part of the district's effort to help students persist to graduation. Photo by Mike Marsee, Dec. 13, 2016

A team approach to helping students succeed

Harrison County’s multi-layered approach to getting students to graduation has helped students stay in school and stay on track.
Students at the Breckinridge County Area Technology Center are building a wooden version of the Kentucky Department of Education's logo that will be displayed at the KDE offices in Frankfort. Students such as Nick Stinson, left, are working on the logo under the direction of carpentry instructor Will Farmer. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 21, 2016

Filling the halls of KDE’s new home

Breckinridge County ATC students are among those whose works will be displayed at KDE’s new home.
Kentucky Board of Education member Alesa Johnson, left, speaks with KBE Member Ben Cundiff during the boards' June 2016 meeting. A resident of Somerset, Johnson was one of five new members appointed to the board last year. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 8, 2016

Johnson says state board needs to keep its eye on the whole child

When people talk about the need to increase the number of women in science, improve communication between industry leaders and educators, or get more parents involved in schools, they’re all kind of talking about Alesa Johnson.