Superintendents’ spotlight: Mary Ann Gemmill, Christian County

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Mary Ann Gemmill
Mary Ann Gemmill

The Christian County school district is part of the fastest growing community in the state and is the beneficiary of a tremendous amount of support from partnerships with local businesses and organizations. The district’s shared partnerships with the community are extremely important and help guide the district’s growth and change.

Christian County participated in the third annual Literacy Celebration Week, which kicked off with a visit from First Lady Jane Beshear. Mrs. Beshear’s visit gave the community an opportunity to highlight several new and collaborative reading initiatives. Community members and principals shared ongoing efforts in their commitment to closing the literacy achievement gap of the district’s students.

Both the school and local community welcomed Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Christian County. In its first year, more than 3,000 children were registered to receive a monthly book. This collaborative work, supported by the Christian County Literacy Council, the Pennyroyal Arts Council, and the Christian County school district, highlights the importance of improving early childhood education opportunities for students in the community.

Another exciting reading initiative for the district has been implementation of several reading intervention programs throughout the school district. Supported by a recent Department of Defense Educational Activity Grant, schools are engaging students and parents through iREAD (K-2), SYSTEM 44 (3-5), and READ 180 (4 – 12) districtwide.

Christian County knows when families embrace literacy it opens up many doors for opportunities. To capitalize on those opportunities, the district recently expanded the career and technical education programs in the district. Students are provided opportunities to obtain hands-on experience and industry validated credentials beneficial to a professional workplace environment. The new Gateway Academy to Innovation and Technology will offer academies in health sciences and engineering beginning in fall 2014 and provide another valuable resource to prepare students for today’s ever-changing global economy.

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