Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Technology Student Association (KYTSA) will start 16 new high school chapters this fall thanks to a generous donation from Stan and Karen Pigman. All 16 schools are in the southeast region of Kentucky and will receive funding to start and maintain an active KYTSA chapter.

The selected schools are: Barbourville City School (Barbourville Independent), Belfry High School (Pike County), Corbin Area Technology Center (Corbin Independent), Floyd County School of Innovation, Harlan County High School, Harlan High School (Harlan Independent), Johnson Central High School (Johnson County), Knox Central High School (Knox County), Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation, Lynn Camp Schools (Knox County), Perry Central High School (Perry County), Pikeville High School (Pikeville Independent), Pineville Independent School, Pulaski County High School, Whitley County High School and Wolfe County High School. 

Each school will be known as a KYTSA Pigman Scholars Program and KYTSA will develop a new regional conference specifically for these chapters. The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) made up of students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Open to students enrolled in or who have completed STEM courses, TSA’s membership includes more than 250,000 middle and high school students across the United States. Kentucky’s TSA state delegation has over 3,300 members in 54 middle and high schools across the Commonwealth.

TSA chapters take the study of STEM beyond the classroom and give students the chance to pursue academic challenges among friends with similar goals and interests. Together, TSA chapter members work on competitive events, learn and apply leadership skills, and attend conferences at the regional, state and national levels.

Each high school will receive funding to offset student expenses including dues, conference transportation and state conference registration. In addition, each associated chapter adviser will receive a stipend to manage their TSA high school chapter. In total Stan and Karen Pigman will donate over $100,000 annually in each of the next four years if schools fulfill their responsibilities.

“Funding for dues, conference transportation and registration has long been an issue for TSA chapters, but even more so for rural southeastern Kentucky schools. This generous donation from Stan and Karen Pigman is transformational for the region’s students,” said Mark Harrell, KYTSA state advisor. “This donation allows these high schools to further expose students to STEM careers through hand-on competitions and leadership opportunities. KYTSA’s goal is to create a future STEM workforce ready for high-demand high-wage careers in Kentucky.”