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February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

The Bridge

February 2012

ExCEL Teacher of the Year Nominees Honored by School Board Four of LaRue County’s finest teachers have been honored by the LaRue County Board of Education. These four exceptional teachers were nominated by their colleagues to be this year’s LaRue County Teacher of the Year Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award Winner. Nominees include:    

Tom McGovern (LaRue County High) Jim B. Phelps (LaRue County Middle School) Heather Cline (Abraham Lincoln Elementary) David Edwards (Hodgenville Elementary)

The purpose of the LaRue County Teacher of the Year Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award is to recognize, reward, and renew the importance and contributions of the public school and teaching profession to the development and wellbeing of our young people and community. This award is to recognize public school teachers who exemplify excellence in the teaching profession through innovation, excitement, and enthusiasm in teaching methodology; meaningful personal relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and community members; an exemplary role model of professionalism and citizenry; and a personal commitment to continued professional development and enhancement. The ExCEL award is sponsored by EOnUS and WHAS-11. For over twenty years, WHAS-11 has been honoring the best teachers in our region. Recipients are celebrated at a local award ceremony hosted by Gary Roedemeier, WHAS news anchor. At the ceremony, teachers receive a golden apple award and a $1000 scholarship. The LaRue County Board of Education awards the winner an additional $500 to be used for their classroom. In September, winners from all participating districts are honored at a formal


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

gala hosted by Gary Roedemeier at the Olmstead in Louisville. LaRue County is one of only eight Kentuckiana school districts to participate in this prestigious award program. We have worked very hard to bring this award to our district. We believe our teachers truly are the best and deserve to be celebrated with such a high honor. Our four ExCEL nominees were selected by their peers and are in the process of completing an extensive, reflective application and evaluation process. Three different committees made up of community representatives and administrators from outside the district are determining the winner by evaluating their written applications, interviewing our finalists, and conducting observations in their classrooms. The winner will be announced in February. WHAS-11 will be sending a crew to our district in March for the official award ceremony at the winner’s school.

We so appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication these teachers have brought to educating the children of LaRue County, and in turn the difference their influence has made to the world around us.

New Faces at LCHS Michelle Jones joined LaRue County High School’s English department in January. She lives in Elizabethtown with her husband, Kenny, and daughters, Haley (sophomore) and Riley (8th grade). In August 2009, she transitioned from her previous career of nearly 16 years and returned to Western Kentucky University to complete her degree in education with an emphasis in Language Arts and Social Studies. Mrs. Jones is passionate about teaching our students and expanding their knowledge to help them reach their goals and achieve their dreams.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

In addition to teaching, she enjoys being a wife, a full-time mother to her daughters as she supports them in their many endeavors (including academic team, soccer, dance, and basketball), spending time with family, cooking, watching movies, and reading. Mrs. Jones says she is honored to have been invited to join the LaRue County Schools and feels blessed and so welcomed to this wonderful educational environment.

Elizabeth Marsh joined LaRue County High School’s Science department in January. She recently graduated from WKU in December of 2011. The LCHS students were already familiar with her as she was student teaching with Mr. Cecil last semester. She teaches college prep chemistry and integrated science. She also is in charge of ESS for science on Wednesday and Thursday of each week, so if you need help with a science class, go by and see her!

In her spare time she likes shopping, going to concerts, and doing anything outdoors. She is engaged to Todd Lockett and will be getting married in the fall of 2012. Hannah Allen is a senior at Lindsey Wilson College majoring in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education. She is student teaching with Mrs. Cecil’s classes this semester, and is teaching a unit over Of Mice and Men. Her favorite books include The Hunger Games trilogy and Gulliver’s Travels. Ms. Allen recently got engaged and moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She really likes playing COD: MW3 and Little Big Planet. She drinks Diet Mt. Dew like it’s going out of style. Ms. Allen is looking forward to working with LaRue County High School students and staff.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

Kayla Ernst is student teaching in the English department with Summer Garris. Mrs. Ernst says that throughout elementary, middle, and high school she had many great teachers who taught her to love learning and exploring. Once in high school at E-town, she began to favor one subject over all the others: English. She loved reading stories and novels just to see if she could decipher them. Most of her free time was spent reading, a trend that continues to this day. Her love of literature paired with the enjoyment that she felt working with young adults steered her in the direction of teaching high school. While attending Western Kentucky University she met numerous intelligent and interesting people there who only reaffirmed her chosen career path. This summer, she married a graduate of LaRue County High School and moved to Elizabethtown to settle down. So far, she says she has had a really great time here at LaRue County High, getting to know the students and the other teachers, and knows now that she has made the right choice.

Trevor Ervin is from Glasgow, Kentucky and attended Barren County High School. He is currently attending Campbellsville University pursuing a Music Education degree with Percussion emphasis. He is also an active participant in Drum Corps International and the Winter Guard International Sport of the Arts. Stephanie Scott is completing her student teaching here in Larue County. Upon its completion, she will graduate from the University of the Cumberlands with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) focused on Special Education. She received her Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (BSL)


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

focused on Social Sciences and Business from Excelsior College in 2009. Mrs. Scott and her family recently moved to Kentucky from Connecticut. They have a small horse farm in Campbellsville where she owns 4 horses, 2 miniature donkeys, 4 cats and 2 dogs. She enjoys running, kayaking, eventing, show jumping and spending time with her family. She is looking forward to beginning her new career as a Special Education teacher in 2012!

LCHS Students place 4th in Quiz Bowl at State Beta Convention 13 students from LCHS attended the State BETA conventions on December 9th and 10th. BETA club is a new club at LCHS. BETA club is an honor society whose mission is to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students.

At the convention, students competed in written events and group events. The group of Zach Lee, John Slack, Brandon Henning, and Tyler Skaggs placed 4th in the Quiz Bowl competition. In round one, students from 25 different schools took a 50 question multiple choice exam and the top 16 teams from this exam then competed in a single elimination quick recall format. After winning the first two rounds, LaRue was in the top 4 and ended in 4th place.

For a new club, Rex Hanson, the club sponsor, was very pleased with the results and the performance of the students throughout the convention.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

Matthew Hornback – iPad 2 Winner The Band of Hawks recently broke new ground by acquiring a Charitable Gaming License to legally hold raffles. The new fundraising efforts started with selling chances on winning an Apple iPad2 – 64GB Wi-Fi+3G. Jaime Smith, band director, said “We wanted to start this new venture in a big way. The iPad2 is a product that is becoming one of the most desired technology devices on the market, so we thought it would go over well in our community.” Overall, the band was happy with the raffle’s success. Chances were sold to community members, friends, and family from around the country. The band plans to do many more in the future. The winner of the iPad2 was LaRue County High School student, Matthew Hornback.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

A Message from Mrs. Reed Dear ALES School Community: I have been appointed by Superintendent Sam Sanders to serve as interim principal for the remainder of this school year. Although I am deeply saddened by the loss of Principal Amber Thurman, I am excited to serve as the interim principal. I began my teaching career in 1996 teaching math at LaRue County High School. I have served as Instructional Supervisor for ten years, focusing on curriculum, instruction, and assessment district wide. I completed Principal certification in 2009. I am looking forward to getting to know the ALES students, parents, and staff. I intend to be visible in the halls and classrooms. The safety and well-being of our students will be my top priority. I will work with parents, students, and staff to make decisions that put students first. ALES is an excellent school with a dedicated, hard-working staff focused on meeting student needs. Building positive relationships with students is an essential part of this mission. ALES has many honored traditions from full school celebrations to the principal’s lunch with students. Our celebrations won’t be the same without Mrs. Thurman, but I will make it a priority to carry on her tradition of keeping the “fun” in school. As a first step, lunch with students will resume this Friday. I want to thank Penny Cecil for supporting ALES as acting principal during this very difficult time. We are working together to make this transition as seamless as possible for your children. Mrs. Cecil is a curriculum specialist and former principal of HES. As curriculum specialist, she is a tremendous support for teachers as they plan and implement high-quality instruction. She will continue to support our school and be part of our ALES family as she returns to this role.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

Mrs. Thurman was a mentor, colleague, and a cherished friend to me. As a young teacher at the high school, it was Mrs. Thurman who inspired me to pursue a career in school administration. She can never be replaced, but my hope is to honor her memory by leading ALES in a way that would make her proud. I look forward to meeting you and your children. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely,

Amanda Reed amanda.reed@larue.kyschools.us

A Special Thank You from the Staff of ALES We would like to say thank you to the wonderful people of Larue County for the love and support shown to us during the loss of our beloved principal, Amber Thurman; So many of you showed kindness by sending cards, preparing food, donating money and saying prayers to get us through those first days of shock and sadness. Thank you to the staffs of LaRue County High School, LaRue County Middle school, FYRC and the Central Office for providing lunches for our staff and for being there to help with whatever was needed. A special thanks goes out to our sister school, Hodgenville Elementary for lunch, the “hallway hearts” for the students, and for being there with us at school on Saturday morning when we were at such a loss. Thanks to the parents of our students who have been supportive in so many ways. We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the entire community. Sincerely, The Staff of Abraham Lincoln Elementary

The Staff of ALES would like to say… We are happy to welcome Amanda Reed to our school as Interim Principal. Amanda, we look forward to working with you. We also want to give a big thank you to Penny Cecil for all


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

her support the past few weeks in helping us transition. Our school is privileged to have both ladies working with us. Sincerely, The Staff of ALES

Memorial Balloon Launch As if on cue, the clouds disappeared, the rain ceased, and the sun came out last Tuesday as students and staff honored their late principal, Amber Thurman, with a celebration of life service and balloon launch. Superintendent Sam Sanders noted Ms. Thurman’s school spirit and her love for her school family and Sue Williamson, an instructional assistant at ALES, read a poem she wrote about Thurman. On behalf of the Thurman family, Jim Weiland thanked the community for their support and challenged the students to continue to do their best. The group will travel to Louisville with Music Educator, Penny Akers, in early February for rehearsals at the Kentucky Center for the Arts with their concert on February 9 at 5:15 p.m. Guest conductor for the event will be the noted Melissa Malvar-Keylock.

Shakespeare at ALES The age old story of Romeo and Juliet was rewritten with a happy ending because of a little creativity of the students at ALES. The selected scenes were presented as an interactive play for primary students and then again for the intermediate classes. The children also learned about William Shakespeare, dance, and acting. The performance was given by the Kentucky Shakespeare Company and was sponsored by Wonderful Wednesday.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

5th Grade Celebrates by Giving As the holiday season approached this year, the fifth grade teachers at A.L.E.S. began to make plans for classroom celebrations. In the past, there have been gift exchanges and donations to worldwide charities. This year it was decided that the students needed to experience the joy of giving on a local level. All the fifth grade classes collected money to donate to the Kelly Dean Sanders fund. In a week’s time, there was an overwhelming response! Mr. Rogers’, Mrs. Cecil’s, and Mrs. Riggs’ classes collected over $600! What a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday!

5th Grade Girls Basketball Team The 5th Grade Girls Basketball Team is made up 5th grade girls from HES and ALES Schools. They had a terrific regular season by going undefeated. Their only losses came during the year end tournament which they finished as Runner-Ups. They are continuing to play in some tournaments in the surrounding counties. These girls represent LaRue Co. very well with their hard work and great sportsmanship! The team members are: Emma Bell, Kristen Boone, Chloe Childress, Clair Keller, Haley McDowell, Bailey Rogers, Chloe Sandidge, Kylee Thurman, Ameena Wells and Ameera Wells.

Nine Area Students Advance to All State Chorus As the students, staff, and family moved to the school grounds and released their five hundred balloons, many with heaven-bound messages attached, the LaRue County Band of Hawks played the school song one last time for the outstanding educator. Nine local elementary and middle school students recently received notification of


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

their successful auditions for the 2012 Kentucky Music Educators Association’s Children’s All State Chorus. Of the nearly 660 Kentucky fifth and sixth grade students who auditioned, almost 600 had scores between the required 200 and 250 range making it more difficult than ever to become a part of the 200 member ensemble. Anna Grace Turner and Bridget Southwood will represent Abraham Lincoln Elementary and former ALES students Kalli Flanders, Mary Gearon, Alyssa White, Laurel Locke, Marissa Cecil, Taylor Ulrich, and Kathryn Reding will represent LaRue County Middle School. The young ladies were scored from their taped auditions in three areas- tonal memory, ability to accurately sing harmony passages without assistance, and the singing of a prepared selection which was Mozart’s Alleluia.

100th Day Fun! The 100th day of school at ALES was packed full of exciting activities, especially for Kindergarteners! Students came to school sporting their 100th day shirts as well as collections from home of 100 items. Several learning activities centering around 100 took place throughout the day. Students enjoyed counting out 100 Froot Loops to make necklaces in Mrs. Smith’s class. Mrs. Newby’s and Ms. Lockett’s classes practiced counting to 100 while enjoying a delicious snack made from 10 different healthy snack foods. Students counted out 10 of each snack to make 10 groups of 10. Students in Ms. McDowell’s class got their creative juices flowing by creating a picture using the number 100. Mrs. Kelly’s students had fun forming the number 100 with their bodies in the school bus loop.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

HES Jumping Hawk News Hodgenville Elementary Jumping Hawks have been in full swing over the past few weeks as over 60 students have participated in the club, which is sponsored by the Hodgenville Elementary Family Resource Center. Students have worked to develop flexibility, strength, endurance, rhythm, and balance needed to perform various group and individual tricks. Students also learn perseverance and work ethic in order to develop their skills. Fourth and fifth grade Jumping Hawks have begun traveling to surrounding school districts to help kick off Jump Rope for Heart events in schools who participate in raising money for the American Heart Association. The two groups will end up presenting at 11 area schools over the course of four trips. The twenty eight 4th and 5th grade jumpers have been working almost two days per week since late October in order to perform as one of nine American Heart Association demonstration teams in Kentucky. The third grade club consisted of 36 students who learned individual, partner, and group tricks over a five week period. At the end of the club sessions, family and friends were invited to a short demonstration from the group.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

Skatetime at HES Hodgenville Elementary 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders just completed a five day quad roller skating unit in physical education that allowed them to develop coordination, balance and self-confidence. Students faced fears and nervousness as they worked to demonstrate proper technique by focusing on good skating posture and learning to glide from side to side. Most students attempted to gain check offs for various identified skills such as turns, crossovers, one foot glides, and low level skating. Near the end of the week each class held a limbo contest and 4th and 5th graders also held speed skating contests. The unit was made possible by parents of HES students who contributed $8 for their child and several who sponsored other students as well. Special thanks go to Sandy Lafollette who donated several hours in assistance by helping in a variety of ways. The unit culminated with a demonstration at a Friday morning assembly that consisted of 5th grade student skill demonstrations and class champions competing in limbo and speed skating contests. The overall limbo winner at assembly was Giselle Martinez. The girl speed skating winner was Kylie Thurman while the boy winner was Noah Davis. Elizabeth Walters and Trey Ireland were the speed skate runner ups.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

HES Artwork to be displayed in NYC Hodgenville Elementary fourth grade student, Lexi Hodges, won a school-wide vote for her artwork of a rainforest ecosystem. Lexi’s artwork will be seen in New York City at the National Art Education Association National Conference on March 2-3, on a 30’x16’ LED screen in Big Screen Plaza, located between 29th and 30th Streets. Approximately 900 artworks from across the United States will be on display in the slideshow with only one from each participating NAEA school. Along with Lexi’s artwork, her name, city, state, and artist statement will be on display. Lexi said in her statement that she enjoys doing all art activities and chose to depict a rainforest because she’d been studying ecosystems in science class.


February 2012

[THE LARUE COUNTY BRIDGE]

Award Winner

LaRue County Board of Education Superintendent - Sam Sanders Board Members Price Smith - Board Chairman Dick Greenwell - Vice Chairman Norbert Skees - Member Ronnie Chelf - Member Michael Hornback – Member

Tell your friends about The Bridge. To view the Bridge Newsletter archives visit http://www.larue.kyschools.us Subscribing to The Bridge is simple. Go to the LaRue County Schools website and click on “The Bridge” located just below the banner. The link to sign up is just below the image of The Bridge. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about The Bridge, please direct them to the LaRue County Chief Information Officer at freddie.newby@larue.kyschools.us


The Bridge 2012 Feb