Superintendent’s Spotlight: Andy Dotson, Harrison County

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Andy Dotson
Andy Dotson

The administration of Harrison County has worked diligently in expanding a partnership with its certified staff, classified staff, students and community. Advisory committees from each group meet bimonthly and items discussed focus on how student achievement can be improved. These meetings have been extremely valuable in bringing about change from within each group that is in the best interest of the students.

The district is currently designated as a Kentucky System of Intervention model site for its work in Response to Intervention and college- and career-readiness. The district also uses a comprehensive K-12 interventions program that offers targeted support for struggling learners while also offering enrichment opportunities.

Community partnerships are growing in many areas. Through its facilities, student involvement and staff involvement, Harrison County supports local civic clubs and businesses through volunteer fairs, student government days, charity auctions and career readiness. Harrison County also is in a unique partnership with the Cynthiana City Commission, the Fiscal Court of Harrison County, the Licking Valley branch of Maysville Community & Technical College and the Cynthiana–Harrison County Economic Development Authority to renovate and expand the welding academy at the Harrison County Area Technical Center. Once construction is complete, the welding area will be open after hours for adults to gain welding accreditation.

In the area of student performance, the district is identified as Proficient under the Unbridled Learning Accountability Model. ACT scores are on the rise, as are the percentage of students who are meeting ACT benchmarks and those who are identified as college- and career-ready. Student involvement is a key component in making connections with children, an idea endorsed by the administration of the district.

In conjunction with University of Kentucky Adolescent Health and Passport Health, Harrison County began the “Beautiful Minds” grant project in 2014-15 for students in grades 6 through 12. The program offers extensive support services for at-risk teens, including counseling and medical services in the school setting each week. This unique opportunity offers extensive involvement with various community partners and was featured in KET’s special report on mental health, “What Does Every Teen Need?” that aired in April 2015.

On every page of the Harrison County website is the motto, “A Model of Opportunity.” This motto is reflected in the partnerships forged between the district and the community and in the areas where the district shines as an example to others.

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