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 - Education

August 20, 2014

BOE votes 4-1 on 2 cent tax raise;

Efforts for Community College in courthouse annex underway...

The meeting was called to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Next, the Kentucky Governor's Scholars students explained how they had enjoyed their experience and what they had learned from it. Jacon Osborne, Cole McCreary, Jacob West, Ben Mattingly, Laken Fitch, Abby Haynes, Ashleigh Adkins and Warren Price were the eight students that were selected from Lawrence County.

The Governor's Scholars Program is a summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors. Students who are selected attend the Program without charge. In the spirit of partnership, the Office of the Governor, the Kentucky State Legislature, and private enterprise come together to provide the financial support for the Program. The mission is to enhance Kentucky's next generation of civic and economic leaders.

The students explained that not only was the experience educational but it had help them to become more confident in their lives.

BOE chairman Jim See asked them what the greatest challenge was during the summer and most of them said it was being away from home and not being able to have their cell phones.

One student said that she looks forward to attending college and even though she didn't have her cell phone, she was perfectly fine without it.

Supt. Dr. Robbie Fletcher explained that for Lawrence County to send eight students was "awesome" and on behalf of the the Board gave each of them a certificate.

New tradition?

Dr. Fletcher explained that the school system is going to start a new tradition.

There will be a picture banner on each of the playing fields. Any group that competes and represents Lawrence County will have a banner made up of those seniors. The first of these is the fall group, Football, Cheerleaders, ROTC, Band, Soccer and Volleyball. He went on to explain that all the photos will be put together to be hung in the school.

Lawrence County Staff and Community Partners had their breakfast kick off to start the school year. The staff and administration served the food. The Community Partners are KEA, Modern Woodman, TRMC and Heath Preston who made their donations for the breakfast. Dr. Fletcher was the speaker.

Board members Garnett Skaggs, Heath Preston and Barb Robinson at Monday's meetingBoard members Garnett Skaggs, Heath Preston and Barb Robinson at Monday's meeting

Efforts for Community College in courthouse annex

Dr. Fletcher explained that County Judge John Osborne along with the fiscal court is working hard to try to get an extended campus here in our community at the courthouse annex which was emptied when the new $20 million state courthouse was built on U.S. 23. They are offering the annex free of charge to try to get this going. Dr. Atkins from ACTCS will be meeting with them next week to try to help write a grant to get this underway. There is also interest from EKU and Kentucky State, Fletcher said..

District of Innovation on August 20th  there will be a think tank at the University of Kentucky  to research district of innovation. By the next board meeting there will be more information.
Dr. Fletcher will be speaking at the Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit on September 22 and 23. He has been asked to present Best Practice in a 30 min time frame in the school setting. He was asked to go speak on his time as principal at Sheldon Clark but since Lawrence County also has 30 min classes then he will be using both schools to present. He will also be talking about the RTI.



* Response to Intervention Focus is what the schools have been asked to do. This is to help identify those students who are falling behind and how to help them to do better, Also, those students that are excelling that are getting bored in class to be challenged and not fall behind.

* The Mobile Dental Hygiene Grant was Awarded to LC Health Department. The grant will allow the Health Department to provide and serve all LC students. This grant was $160,000. LC will be the Primary site and will also help out Martin County as well. In two months it should take shape. 

* Terry Salyer, Energy Manager spoke to the board about a report that he submits monthly to the superintendent. Energy costs are up but there were reasons for that. He explained that some places are in process to put in solar panels and other things to save on energy. He also explained that everyone should be aware and to help conserve energy.


Public Comments...

Madlene Roberts checks figures during the meetingMadlene Roberts checks figures during the meetingA Lady from Blaine who did not identify herself explained that her 13 year old sister that was bused in from Blaine to the Middle School was told that she could no longer go to school there.

She was concerned that it is three weeks into school and she is just now told this.The reason that she doesn't go to Blaine it that there is more offered for her at the Middle School. She said that it is in the policy that she can not come in and that there are others that are being bused in.

She asked that it be looked into and addressed by Dr. Fletcher.

Ruth West asked Mr. Salyer a few questions on the energy project.


Heath Preston explained that there is a Mod Sled that is on the practice field and that it is rusted and the pads have rotted off of it. He stated that he felt that it needed to be fixed or either got rid of. He said that it is a safety hazard and that there are kids playing on it. Replacement pads are around $1,800, but a new one would be $6,000 or $7,000. 

"One trip to the emergency room if they slip off that thing is going to be more than $1,800." Explained Preston.Number two Preston explained that the Concession Stand is leaking and it needs to be addressed. He went on to state that him and some of his board members from the

Youth League had went in and fixed what they could out of their own pocket but this needed to be taken care of.

Bad odor at Blaine, Skaggs says

Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. "Something needs to be done. Those kids and no one else needs to be smelling that sewer." Said Skaggs.


Other BOE items...

* Heath Preston made a motion to accept the Minutes from July 21, 2014 Regular Meeting and Skaggs second and all were in favor.

* Monthly Finance report was approved with a motion from Madlenne Roberts with Preston second all were in favor.

* Roberts made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda pending the proof of insurance from LWE and Barbra Robinson second all were in favor. Robinson made the motion to approve the second reading of updates to allow electronic signatures in lieu of sick card affidavits with no changes from first readings and Roberts second all were in favor.

* It was asked that the board approve to allow to bid security for all six schools. This is to add a buzz-in at all schools. The money for this would come from left over construction funds that can also be used for security. This will cost around $30,000, pending bids. Skaggs made a motion to allow bids and Roberts second it. All were in favor.

Approving the 2014-2015 Tax Rate brings board split

BOE chairman Jim See said he could not see raising property taxes at this time. Lazer photo by Elizabeth MooreBOE chairman Jim See said he could not see raising property taxes at this time. Lazer photo by Elizabeth MooreThere was discussion on why the Gas and Oil is included in Property tax. The Lawrence County Sheriff Office collected $3,130,999 in taxes last year and was compensated around $94,000 for their collection of the taxes. The current real estate and personal property tax rate is 49.9 and motor vehicle rate is 22 LC has the lowest motor vehicle rate in the state.

Mr. See stated that he takes a stand not to raise tax but he understood that there had to be a slight raise. He purposed to use 51.5 on property tax witch is under the 53 that the revenue departmernt listed as the compensating rate, and suggested a raise in the motor vehicle tax by a few cents. 

"I just don't feel like we in LC, considering all the economic things that have happened and see will happen, can not afford to raise taxes," See said.

Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. With the deadline looming next week the board could not table this matter.

Garnett Skaggs made a motion to make the property tax the compensating rate of 53 and motor vehicle to raise five cents. Robinson made a second and the motion failed.

Preston explained that he felt that it would be hard to tax more at this time.

Roberts made a motion to raise the property tax to 52 with the motor vehicle to raise five cents.

There was a split vote but the motion carried. Preston and See voted no.

Robinson made a motion to approve the Sheriff Collection fee Rate to stay at three percent and Roberts second it. All were in favor.

* Preston made a motion to approve District Indirect Cost Rate and Skaggs second it with all in favor.

* Robinson nominated Mr. See to continue to be the representative for District Improvement Planning and Roberts second. All in favor.

* Preston made a motion to add the class presidents to the District Improvement Planning Committee. Robinson second and all were in favor.

* Preston motioned to approve the Non-Traditional Instruction Application and Roberts second with all in favor.

Heath Preston suggested that the board jump to Executive Session to discuss student discipline since it was getting late and then finish once that was taken care of. Scaggs second and all were in favor.

No action taken.

Preston made a motion to approve Memorandum of Agreement with Commonwealth of Kentucky and Morehead State and Skaggs second all were in favor.

Skaggs made a motion to approve MOA dual credit between ACTCS, LCHS, and LC Board of Education and Roberts second all were in favor.

Roberts made a motion to approve all three items of New Business and Skaggs second with all in favor.

Robinson made a motion to allow maternity leave for Scott Johnson and Roberts second all were in favor. 


Superintendents Personnel Action/Update

August 20, 2014;

Two Louisa residents promoted from Associate Professor to Professor at ACTC;

Professor Jacqueline CavinsProfessor Jacqueline CavinsProfessor Debra JusticeProfessor Debra Justice

ACTC Conference will feature Julie Marie Carrier

The 2nd annual Young Women Lead conference at Ashland Community and Technical College will feature Julie Marie Carrier, a top national speaker, award-winning author and Emmy nominee.

As seen on MTV, Carrier is a success coach for “MADE” a self-improvement reality television series. Her messages of success have been featured in the New York Times best seller, The Success Principles, Chicken Soup for the Extraordinary Teen Soul and in BeYOUtiful, her book for girls and young women.

Julie CarrierJulie CarrierA self-proclaimed nerd in high school, she started her own business at age 14 to pay for college. Recognized as one of the Top 50 Student Leaders in the Nation and a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar to England, Carrier graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in Leadership Studies from The Ohio State University.

At age 23, she was hired to serve as a Senior Management Consultant in Leadership Development for the Pentagon. With her increasing successes, Carrier became increasingly frustrated with toxic media messages and negative role models that were leading young women away from achieving their own dreams.

She left her Pentagon career after four years in order to serve as a positive voice for young women on leadership, character and confidence. She competed for, and won, Miss Virginia USA as a way to help further her impact as a national speaker.  She was also a semi-finalist on NBC’s Apprentice TV show.

Carrier will share her story about how to stand up as a leader, develop self-esteem, deal with peer pressure, and achieve success.

Young Women Lead (YWL) is a leadership, education and development opportunity for high-school junior girls in Eastern Kentucky.  The conference is sponsored primarily by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.  in partnership with ACTC, SOAR, a women’s professional development organization, and local organizations.

Typically held in metropolitan areas, YWL came to Ashland for the first time last year. “Response from the students who attended last year was overwhelmingly positive,” said Karen Coburn, ACTC Director of Workforce Solutions and YWL committee chair. “We are pleased to continue the partnership with Toyota and Soar that offers so much to teenage girls.”

In addition to Carrier’s interactive presentation, the conference will include breakout sessions with women from local businesses and organizations who are experts on issues that high school girls currently face. Topics will include leadership, financial literacy, careers, social media, fitness and health issues.

The free conference will be held Oct. 14 and 15 at ACTC’s Technology Drive Campus with 250 students expected to attend each day, one-third more than last year.  Lewis and Rowan Counties have been added to the conference’s service area, which also includes Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties in Kentucky.

Interested girls who will be high school juniors in any of those counties may contact their school counselors in September to register.  For more information on the conference or to become a sponsor, email Karen Coburn at: or call 606.326.2129. Additional information is also on the web at

Find out about Surgical Technology

ACTC’s Surgical Technology Program will hold a Preconference Session Friday, August 28, at 1:00 p.m. at the College Drive Campus, Room 420A.  The session will cover the classes taught, program requirements and admissions procedure.

Attendance of a preconference session is an admissions requirement for the program, and the program will be taking applications next month for the Spring 2015 class. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Jacqueline Cavins at 606-326-2006 or email:

Faculty Promotions to Full Professor

Two Louisa residents have been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor at Ashland Community College effective July 1.

Debra L. Justice, a Lawrence County High School graduate, was promoted to Professor of English. She has a Master of Arts Degree in English from Marshall University and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Communication from Murray State University. She taught at Hopkinsville Community College before starting at ACTC in 2006.

Justice teaches writing, communication, humanities and literature courses. She is a member of the ACTC Faculty Council, ACTC Faculty Rules Committee and the KCTCS English as a Second Language and English Curriculum Committees.

She has received a prestigious Teaching Excellence award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and several ACTC Teaching Excellence awards.

Jacqueline L. Cavins was promoted to Professor of Surgical Technology. She is also Coordinator of the Surgical Technology Program. She has an Associate Degree in Nursing from the college and a Bachelor‘s Degree in Nursing from Morehead State University.

She has been at ACTC since 1997, and teaches many of the surgical technology courses.  She serves on the college’s Surgical Technology and Pharmacy Technology Selective Admissions Committees.

Two Lawrence Countians make the grade;

Scholarship students end summer work at D-12...

HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 – August 15, 2014 – Seven college students spent their summer working at Highway District 12 as part of their KYTC scholarship rewards: two engineering technology students and five who are pursing civil engineering degrees.

Ethan Erwin and Michael Paul Brown, both engineering tech students at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, worked with D-12’s surveying crew all summer. Erwin is a graduate of Lawrence County High School; he is the son of Keith and Sheila Erwin. A graduate of Magoffin County High School, Brown is the son of Paul and Paula Brown.

Andrew Mullins spent the summer on US 119 in Letcher County, what folks at D-12 call the Valley Floor Project. A graduate of Letcher County Central, he is a civil engineering major at the University of Kentucky. He is the son of Melanie and David Mullins of Jenkins.

Caleb McCool, a Johnson Central graduate, the son of Bobby and Deborah McCool, worked with the District Office Design Team. Among other projects, he did some preliminary design work on the Mountain Parkway widening. McCool started his college career at Big Sandy, and is now a civil engineering student at the University of Kentucky.

Sarah Hay, another Lawrence County High School graduate, the daughter of Cindy and John Hay, worked out of the Prestonsburg Section Office on a number of construction projects. She is a civil engineering student at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

Weston Cline, the son of Garred and Janet Cline, is a graduate of Pike County Central High School. A student at the University of Kentucky, he spent his summer on the Simpson Branch project, one of several supervised from the Prestonsburg Section Office.

Jarrod Johnson, a Pikeville High School graduate, is the son of Mike Johnson and Sandy Maynard Johnson Penix. He is a civil engineering student at the University of Kentucky, and worked all summer near Elkhorn City on one of the Bush & Burchett bridge projects that is part of new US 460.

The scholarship for students pursuing an Associate of Science in Civil Engineering was established by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in 2009. The current value of the full scholarship for the two-year program is $11,000.00. Recipients are selected on the basis of high school performance, ACT scores, aptitude in math and science, and interest in engineering as a career. They are guaranteed employment with the Cabinet upon graduation.

The civil engineering scholarship that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering was established by the Cabinet in 1948. Since then, it has been awarded to more than 1700 exceptional students from throughout Kentucky. Currently valued at $47,600, part of the scholarship program is the opportunity to work for the Cabinet during the summer months as well guaranteed full-time employment upon graduation. Like the engineering tech recipients, these students are chosen on the basis of high school performance, ACT scores, aptitude in math and science, and interest in engineering as a career.

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