Owens Saylor is in his second year as superintendent of the Daviess County school district. His leadership has been marked by a major commitment to setting clearly defined goals and demonstrating visibility and direct involvement as an instructional leader at all levels. From this involvement, in 2012, the Daviess County Board of Education approved a performance structure titled “Great Expectations,” establishing ambitious academic goals and comprehensive college- and career-readiness (CCR) supports for the 11,000 students enrolled in the district.Academically, “Great Expectations” goals were a driving force in the district earning Distinguished (92nd percentile) status on 2013 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) results, with 14 of 17 Daviess County schools earning Proficient or higher, including all three district middle schools performing at the Distinguished level.
“Great Expectations” also sets the course for CCR supports for all students. At the high school level, the district’s full-time college- and career-readiness coaches are providing comprehensive intervention and career guidance supports. Elementary guidance counselors are leading efforts to fill “expectation gaps” for students coming from homes where college is not the expected norm. During the current 2013-14 school year, more than 4,000 Daviess County elementary school students will visit a college campus and all 5th-grade students will sign commitment cards declaring they are going to college or are going to be ready to obtain and hold a “family sustainable career.” These cards will be returned to them during their junior year of high school to remind them of that commitment.
Most importantly, Daviess County is experiencing renewed energy and focus around the core beliefs of “All means ALL,” and that every student deserves a world-class education, delivered by top-flight teachers and passionate, dynamic leaders who care deeply about their future.