Saturday, February 17, 2018
Amber Florence, a business teacher at Harrison County Area Technology Center, counts out money as sophomore Morgan Nickerson pays back a loan she received in Florence's entrepreneurship class. Florence has retooled the school's business program, which was in danger of being dropped due to low enrollment before she was hired in 2016. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 5, 2017

Business is booming at Harrison County ATC

A program that was in danger of being eliminated less than two years ago has seen swift and sharp growth thanks to the efforts of a nontraditional teacher.
Ella Simpson, a kindergartener at Second Street School (Frankfort Independent), sleds down a hill in front of her house in Frankfort. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 13, 2018

Snow day!

If you're not a fan of snow and the cold, 2018 may not be off to the best start. Kentucky Teacher photographer Bobby Ellis took in the fun Franklin County students had during one recent snowy day.
Brooke Powers, right, a 7th-grade mathematics teacher at Beaumont Elementary School (Fayette County) who was named a Milken Education Award winner Jan. 9, poses for a selfie with former Milken award winner Greta Casto, the chief information officer at Russell Independent schools, following the announcement of Powers' award. Powers is one of 44 Milken Educators who will be honored in 2017-18, and the only one in Kentucky. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 9, 2017

An unlikely math teacher shines as Milken award winner

Brooke Powers, a 7th-grade mathematics teacher in Fayette County, is the first Kentucky educator in three years to receive prestigious recognition.
Earl Simms, a graduate of duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County), has returned to Kentucky to lead the Kentucky Department of Education's Division of Charter Schools. Simms said charters are schools that will offer families another public education option. Photo by Bobby Ellis,, Jan. 11, 2018

New director to guide charter schools

Earl Simms will bring his experience working with charters in Missouri to bear as the state finalizes regulations governing new kind of public school in the Commonwealth.
Fourth-graders Cruz King, left, and Eli McGuffey use tiles to work out a word problem in Crystin Moore's math class at Junction City Elementary (Boyle County). Moore is using inquiry-based lessons as part of pilot program to spread inquiry-based learning to more subjects. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Nov. 30, 2017

Inquiring minds

Boyle County schools have expanded inquiry-based learning to multiple subjects and grade levels as part of a pilot project that educators hope will help students develop critical thinking skills.
Everly James, a 2nd-grader at Rich Pond Elementary, walks to the Blue Ribbon celebration. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 4, 2017

Family atmosphere key to success at Rich Pond

Warren County's Rich Pond Elementary School is one of two Kentucky public schools to be named this year as a Blue Ribbon winner for the second time. There are only eight public schools in Kentucky to earn the award twice since the program began in 1982.
Laura DeVettori, left, a teacher in the Spanish immersion program at Bryan Station High School (Fayette County), talks with student Maria Vela about a piece of literature tied to the painting "Saturn Devouring His Son" in her Spanish immersion AP literature course. Students at Fayette County schools who become proficient in at least two languages are eligible to earn the Seal of Biliteracy from the district. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 7, 2017

The benefits of biliteracy

New programs in two school districts are recognizing students who are proficient in more than one language.
Buddy the Elf, Holden Stamper, lifts Jovie, Anna Story, into the air during the closing number of "Elf the Musical Jr." Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 8, 2017

A professional middle school musical

If there's one thing that Carlee Cornett does not want someone walking out of the plays put on by Lincoln County Middle School to say it's this: "That was cute." 
Rae Burgess, a Kentucky Department of Education safe schools consultant, records a video of Grant County Middle School students as they recite a pledge during the Sources of Strength training.

Finding the strength

Kentucky schools using the suicide prevention program Sources of Strength, which mobilizes student social networks to promote positive behaviors.
Adam Grigsby, an instructor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Danville campus, demonstrates how to use robots in his classroom. High school students in regional career academies being developed by New Skills for Youth Kentucky could be learning some of the same skills Grigsby's students do, as the academies are being designed to help students prepare for high-demand careers in their areas. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Nov. 30, 2017

Focusing on the future of career education

School districts, postsecondary institutions and other entities are pooling their resources to create more opportunities for students through New Skills for Youth Kentucky.