Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Literacy Coach Debbie Baker works with Desmond Hernandez, a 2nd-grader at Simmons Elementary, on building words with magnetic letters. The school uses the letters, white boards and sound boxes to help students build literacy skills. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Oct. 9, 2017

Building literacy from the ground up

At Simmons Elementary guided reading and a literacy coach help move more students to reading proficiency by 3rd grade.
Zoe Castle, an 8th-grader at Johnson County Middle School and academic team captain, writes down a math problem during a quick recall match. The school's academic team has won the Governor's Cup 15 times. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 19, 2018

Governor’s Cup makes academics “in”

For 32 years, Kentucky schools have been competing for the Governor’s Cup in a statewide academic competition designed to mirror athletics.
First-grade teacher Stephanie Maynard helps a group of Jefferson County Traditional Middle School students find new reading partners at Cochran Elementary School (Jefferson County). The middle school students wrote and illustrated their own books which they later read aloud to Cochran elementary students. Photo by Justin Willis, March 6, 2012

Collaboration between middle, elementary students the ‘write’ project

Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and Cochran Elementary have formed a partnership to give young authors a real audience, and young readers real role models.
Teresa Speed, principal at Murray High School (Murray Independent), greets students with a hug as they enter the building to start the school day. Speed hugs her students each morning, saying it helps her build relationships with students that are critical to their success. Murray was named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Photo by Mike Marsee, Dec. 11, 2015

Blue Ribbon school’s success story starts with relationships

Murray High School students start their day with a hug at the front door, then enter an atmosphere in which both they and their teachers are held to high standards.
Jackson White, a 1st-grader at Schaffner Traditional Elementary, reads a book under a desk during literacy center time in Sarah Dickinson's class. The Jefferson County school was one of five Kentucky public schools to be named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon winner. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 18, 2017

High expectations, structure, parental support help Schaffner shine

The Jefferson County school won a 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award.
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.
Junior Emma Roach-Barrette talks with students in Afghanistan about about famous role models during Randy Barrette's class at Menifee County High School. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 23, 2014

Creating global minds, cultural competency through high-tech classroom connections

Randy Barrette, a Spanish teacher at Menifee County High School, strives to make his students globally aware by participating in a virtual exchange program with a school in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Shauna Phillips helps 4th-grade students Ripley Martin and Nick Curran measure angles using pizza slices as a reference at North Middletown Elementary School (Bourbon County), a Blue Ribbon School, Oct. 20, 2011. Photo by Amy Wallot

Blue Ribbon school shares keys to success

North Middletown additions in arts, alignment pay off.
Four seniors graduated from Commonwealth Middle College this year with a diploma and an associate degree: Ali Greer, left, Jeremy Sneed, Jackie Lile and Katie Young (not pictured). All four plan on attending college in the fall. Photo by Amy Wallot, April 29, 2011

College-ready: Program merges high school, higher ed

Middle colleges put students a step ahead for postsecondary education.
Marie Cavanah helps 7th-grade students Michael Dotson and Dylan Cobb with class work at South Middle School (Henderson County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 2011

District uses computerized tests to MAP students’ skills, needs

Henderson County is one of many Kentucky school districts using a computerized program to assess students.