The Kentucky Board of Education presented the fifth annual Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award to Jefferson County Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dewey Hensley, Franklin-Simpson High School Principal Tim Schlosser and the Student Support Team at Franklin-Simpson High School this week.
The award recognizes those who exhibit leadership, commitment and service to promote high student achievement through instructional equity and in closing the achievement gap for all children.
Hensley was nominated by Dr. Christine Sherretz, Instructional Systems Specialist with the Fort Knox Schools.
“Dr. Hensley is motivated by one thing – always doing what is best for students,” she noted in her nomination letter. “He has a tireless work ethic, exceptional instincts, timeless wisdom and a relentless sense of urgency to ensure that all students in Kentucky achieve.”
Throughout his career in education, Hensley has served as a school principal, associate commissioner at the Kentucky Department of Education and Chief Academic Officer and is a frequent national speaker on closing the gap for children in poverty.
While principal at Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Jefferson Co., a school with a 97 percent free- and reduced-price meal population, Dr. Hensley dramatically closed the achievement gap in reading. Although the school was 51 percent white and 49 percent minority, the minority students actually outperformed the white students in reading.
The board also awarded the Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award to Franklin-Simpson High School Principal Tim Schlosser and the school’s Student Support Team. The school has been named one of only two Hub Schools in Kentucky, providing assistance to other schools by showcasing best practices and a systems-based approach to achieving student growth.
The board recognized the school’s dedication to “equitable learning experiences for ALL students in the school, striving every day to close the achievement gap.”
In recognizing Principal Schlosser and his staff, Kentucky Board of Education Chair Roger Marcum said, “an every child counts attitude and the initiation of a weekly, multifaceted progress monitoring of struggling students make Franklin-Simpson High School overly worthy of receiving this award. The leadership, commitment and service to promoting high levels of achievement among students are exemplary,” Marcum said.
The Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award was established to honor the work and dedication of the late long-time Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) employee, who served as an associate commissioner.
Dr. Grissom was employed by KDE from 1993 to 2010. She previously served as a director at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and as a teacher of special needs and gifted students in Red Springs, North Carolina.