The Kentucky Board of Education and ACT joined together yesterday to recognize several Kentuckians who exemplify the state’s commitment to college- and career-readiness and preparing students for success.

The recognition is part of ACT’s third annual national College and Career Readiness Campaign. The campaign is designed to bring attention to the hard work and exceptional achievements of those who epitomize college- and career-readiness success across the education and workforce continuum.

“College/career-readiness is vital to our students and our state,” Commissioner Terry Holliday said. “Students who are college/career-ready have the skills and the knowledge needed to succeed in postsecondary endeavors, which, in turn, creates a quality workforce that can attract high paying jobs, grow the economy and improve the quality of life for Kentuckians.”
The following individuals and organizations were honored today as part of the College and Career Readiness Campaign:

• Kendra Gayle Silvano, a senior at Allen Co. – Scottsville High School, received the Student Readiness Award for her exceptional academic achievement, including her performance in relation to ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Kendra has been a high school cheerleader for four years and is the leader of her squad. She also is a member of the Drama Club and has performed in numerous school productions. Kendra will receive a $500 scholarship from ACT toward attendance at the postsecondary institution of her choice. She plans to attend to Murray State University in the fall.

• Beechwood High School, in Ft. Mitchell, received the College and Career Transition Award. Beechwood High School is being recognized for its efforts to connect secondary education with postsecondary success. In addition to 8th-grade and senior-level College and Career Readiness courses, Beechwood has a thriving dual credit program, open enrollment for Advanced Placement courses and access to multiple programs at the Boone County Area Technology Center. The school also offers many opportunities for students to learn and display leadership.

• Madisonville Community College, in Madisonville, earned the Career Preparedness Award. Madisonville Community College is being recognized for offering a robust array of career programming and partnering with area businesses on job training and to provide real-life work experience for students. Through its Personal Effectiveness Skills initiative, faculty routinely assess and develop students’ “soft” skills as they relate to personal commitment, responsibility, communication and behavior. Madisonville Community College also offers an intensive advising and career counseling program which has increased its retention and persistence to graduation rates.

• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in Georgetown, was recognized with the Workplace Success Award for its commitment to creating a culture of continuous improvement for team members. The company provides numerous classes and opportunities for employees to develop their skills. A tuition reimbursement program encourages team members to take college courses that support their personal growth and career advancement. The company also partners with Bluegrass Community and Technical College to offer an Advanced Manufacturing Technician model career pathway program. The dual-track, five-semester program matches students’ education with real-life work experience, giving students the opportunity for an education that prepares them for a career in manufacturing, while earning an associate’s degree.

“Highlighting each state’s consistent and successful efforts will provide motivation and inspiration to other students, along with education and workplace leaders, to follow in their footsteps in making college and career success a reality for more individuals in their state,” said Scott Montgomery, ACT vice president for policy, advocacy and government relations.

An ACT selection committee will review all state nominations and choose the national semifinalists in early April. A national selection committee comprised of education and workforce development leaders will then select one honoree per category for national recognition at the ACT National Gala for College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C., on June 9.

Kentucky is one of 30 states participating in this year’s campaign. The other states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.