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'TeachForAmerica' program implemented in school district, strives to help students achieve 'educational equity'...

Other new teachers hired...see list of 18 new faces in county

TFA teacher Michael GenevaTFA teacher Michael Geneva  TFA teacher meagan Horney or "Mrs. H" as she is referred toTFA teacher meagan Horney or "Mrs. H" as she is referred to

By Catrina Vargo

Louisa, KY -- Facing a large number of holes to fill for teacher positions this year, the local school district has scrambled to get classrooms filled. One new program mplemented in the Lawrence County School District that has seen success throughout the country.

Teach for America is a national service program through the U.S. Peace Corp which is being incorporated into low income areas.  The goal is to close the achievement gap between different populations, regardless of culture, or economic background, making sure every child has educational equity.

The program was featured on a segment of 60 Minutes on CBS TV last year.

The official website for TRA says only 8% percent of kids growing up in low income communities graduate from college by the age of 24, resulting in more people being stuck in the poverty cycle.

Teach For America works to eliminate that problem by finding, training, and supporting individuals who are committed to equality and placing them in high need classrooms across the country, according to its website at

Through these experiences, they become life long leaders for a better world.


Three in Lawrence County

This year, the Lawrence County School District has three teachers in the Teach for America program; including Michael Geneve, Meagan Horney, and Sarah Perotti.

Mr. Geneve is a math teacher at LCHS who teaches a variety of math classes to all high school grade levels.  He is from Lexington, KY, and has a background in architecture and engineering. Geneve earned a graphic design degree from UK as well as a graduate degree in community development.  He served in the U.S. Peace Corp in Mozambique, a country in Southeast Africa from 2003-2005.  Geneve is happy to be teaching in Lawrence County.  

"There is a close sense of community here.  You don't get that in Lexington," said  Geneve.

Mrs. H, as she is referred to, is from Summersville, WV.  She is a graduate of Marshall University with a Bachelors Degree in Math.  Currently, she teaches freshman students.  

"The staff here has been very welcoming and accepting and the students are very inquisitive," said Perotti.  She explained that the idea of educational equality is that a student here has the same opportunity to learn what a student in California, or any other part of the country is learning, regardless of their location, income, or other situation.

Sarah Perotti teaches special education at Louisa West Elementary. She is from Nampa, Idaho and received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, with an endorsement in Special Education.  Perotti did a teaching internship on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho. That experience is what sparked her interest in fighting against educational inequality.  

Perotti said, "Through Teach for America, I have been able to teach others about the importance of educating our youth invested in the importance of making positive changes in our community here in Louisa. It has also allowed me the experience of living in a new town, exploring new places, meet people from around the U.S, and work with some of the kindest and most supportive people I have ever met."

The training for Teach for America is rigorous and applicants, once accepted, are placed in a region, according to what is needed.  Salaries range from $24,000 ro $51,000 the website says. The host school pays for what it would pay a regular teacher and TFA makes up the difference plus extra pay for training and other expenses.  

Teach for America has been in place in the Appalachian region for four years.  This is the first year it has been introduced to Lawrence County.  

The Martin County School System has had the program for four years. Superintendent  Robbie Fletcher, who worked with at least two of the new teachers as principal of Sheldon Clark High School.before coming here asthe new Supt. He did not comment for this article.

"We have had a busy start to the school year," quipped LC principal Christy Moore. "This year we have lost a number of teachers; seven to other counties and three to administrative positions."

This year, the Assistant Principal at LCHS is Mr. Joe Cecil, who has been the Assistant Principal at LMS for several years and is currently the LCHS Football Coach.

There is also a new Freshman Academy Coordinator this year.  His name is Matt Maynard, and he will be focusing on the transition into high school from middle school.

Other new faces...

There is several new faces in the Lawrence County School District this year, as a total of 18 teachers were hired as of July 1, for the 2014-2015 school year.They are:


Craig Brown, Tina Hall, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. H., Michael Geneve, Angela Chaffin, Travis York, Steven Blevins, George Salyers.

Blaine Elementary School

Carolyn Heston, Tammy Stevens

Blaine/ Fallsburg Elementary Schools

Connie Miller

Fallsburg Elementary School

Ronald Miller Jr.Cindi Laney

Louisa West Elementary

Gamble May, Sarah  Perroti, Kimberly Collins,
Jennifer Jefferson

Homebound Instruction

April York

Lawrence County Board of Education Regular Meeting

September 15, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Lawrence County High School

Louisa, Kentucky




Mission: Every Child College and Career Ready; A Community Involved and Informed



3.A. LCHS Mass Media/Journalism Class: Cable Access Television Project


4.A. Superintendent's Update

4.A.1. CT4GC Implementation

4.A.2. RtI Work  (Shared during Superintendent Summit)

4.A.3. Learning Walk Process  (Shared during Superintendent Summit)

4.A.4. Credit Recovery Process at LCHS (Special Thank You to Mr. Cecil, Mrs. Parsons, Mr. Hall, Mrs. York, Mr. Short, LCHS staff)

4.A.5. Continuous Education Summit (September 22 and 23)

4.A.6. District of Innovations Work

4.A.7. "Flu Clinic Days" for Each School (Ms. Victoria Moore)

4.A.8. State Testing Results Release Within the Next Few Weeks

4.B. Ad Hoc/Planning for Progress Committee Update

4.C. Public Comment


5.A. Approve Minutes of the August 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting

5.B.  Monthly Finance Report

5.C. Approve Claims and Orders of the Treasurer


5.D. Approve all Consent Agenda items, as presented:

5.D.1. Per diem and expenses for members present

5.D.2. Contracts:

5.D.2.a. Superior Office for Central Office copier maintenance: IR6000#NSN20760: $500

5.D.2.b. Renaissance Learning with Lawrence County Schools: $25,607.68

5.D.2.c. Walworth Yearbooks with Lawrence County High School: $7,500

5.D.2.d. Tri-State Independent Medical Examiners, PLLC with Lawrence County Board of Education for drug testing: $50 per test

5.D.2.e. 2014-2015 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Commonwealth of Kentucky Community Early Childhood Council (CECC) Early Childhood Development Grant: $7,735.00

5.D.3. Requests:

5.D.3.a. Fundraisers:

5.D.3.a.1. Lawrence County High School

5.D.3.a.2. Louisa Middle School

5.D.3.a.3. Fallsburg Elementary School

5.D.3.a.4. Blaine Elementary School

5.D.3.a.5. Louisa East Elementary School

5.D.3.a.6. Louisa West Elementary School

5.D.3.b. Use of Facilities:

5.D.3.b.1. LMS field behind school by U12 FC Kentucky Girls Soccer Team; Steven Lycans and Kyle Shiateck (insurance provided)

5.D.3.b.2. LCHS cafeteria by Ladies Auxillary; September 26, 2014; Melissa Cox (pending proof of insurance)

5.D.3.b.3. LCHS gymnasium by HOSA Club for Blood Drive in conjunction with Kentucky Blood Center; Sharon Pack

5.D.3.b.4. LCHS for Sheldon Clark High Schools’ Fast Lane Classic basketball tournament; November 28-29, 2014; Robin Newsome (pending proof of insurance)

5.D.4. For Review:

5.D.4.a. School Activity Fund Reports - August (eMeeting)

5.D.4.b. SBDM/Advisory Council Minutes (FES; LWES)

5.D.4.c. Tax Collection Information; Local District’s Reconciliation of Taxes Collected

5.D.4.d. Fresh Fruit/Vegetable Grants Awarded (LEES and FES)

5.E. Approve the information as provided within the KETS FY14 Technology Activity Report (TAR)

5.F. Approve Lawrence County Schools 2014-2015 Working Budget

5.G. Approve Achievement Gap Targets for closing the achievement gap in schools (BES, FES, LCHS, LEES, LMS, and LWES)


6.A. Approve creation and/or change(s) regarding position(s) for 2014-2015

6.B. Approve updates to Lawrence County Schools 2014-2015 Salary Schedule

6.C. Approve Superintendent Professional Growth and Evaluation System (SPGES) as the evaluation system for the Superintendent

6.D. Superintendent's Personnel Action/Update


Kendra Epperson, ACTCS culinary arts graduateKendra Epperson, ACTCS culinary arts graduate

ACTC Announces 3rd Annual Science Fair;

Area fourth to twelfth grade students are invited to participate in the third annual FIVCO Area Science & Engineering Fair that will be held February 6 at the Ashland Community and Technical College Technology Drive Campus.

The students must be enrolled in public, parochial or home-based schools in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence Counties in Kentucky.

“ACTC continues to coordinate this fair in order to promote and recognize student achievements in science and engineering,” said Dr. Barbara Walters, a retired ACTC professor and the Science Fair Director. “We are trying to encourage young people to pursue the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects that will help them become the scientists and engineers of the future,” Dr. Walters said.

Last year, several hundred students participated in a school or district science fair, and the ACTC regional fair had over 100 entries from more than 20 different schools.

“The registration deadline is not until January 23, but teachers and schools will need to begin thinking now about their projects,” Dr. Walters said.

Each student may enter one individual or group project, and team projects are limited to three student participants. There are five project category areas: Life Science, Mathematical Science, Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics & Astronomy. For judging purposes, students will be grouped into three grade categories: grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. All projects must meet INTEL and safety guidelines which are available at:

Winner in each category will receive a medal and the overall winners in grades 6-8 and 9-12 will receive cash prizes and will be eligible to advance to a regional science fair.

The only required entry form, as well as project information and a rules guideline booklet, are online at: The rules booklet includes information about selecting projects and organizing and preparing the projects to meet judging guidelines.

Last year, ACTC received a $12,000, three-year grant from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. to support the fair.  “Our partnership with Toyota has been important in helping the college involve more schools and students in the FIVCO area,” said Dr. Walters.

“We would like every student to have the opportunity to work on hands-on science and technology projects that can spark an interest that stays with them for life,” she said.

The Fair is led by a planning committee of teachers from every school district and Holy Family School, and the committee is reaching out to area residents for help with the setup and judging of fair entries.  “This Fair is a great opportunity to help our young people focus on subjects important to their future,” said Dr. Walters

The committee is reaching out to area residents for help with the setup and judging of fair entries. “We invite everyone who is interested in school projects, student success or who has expertise in some area of science or technology to help with this project,” said Dr. Walters.

The committee is reaching out to area residents for help with the setup and judging of fair entries. “Our judges have come from industry, education and community organizations, and each year they have been amazed at how much our students know about science and technology,” said Mary Vannatter, a retired nurse and committee member who works with the fair judges.

“We invite anyone interested in STEM subjects to participate in this rewarding community service project,” she added.

For more information on the fair entire, or to volunteer, contact Dr. Walters at or call 600.922.2931.


Online College Fair for Adults

ACTC and Kentucky’s public universities and colleges, including ACTC, want to help people finish their college degrees. Project Graduate, an online college fair on September 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. will help people connect to college advisors for information about what to do next.

Project Graduate is a research-based, statewide program designed to recruit and graduate former students who have earned a significant number of hours toward a degree. Finishing a degree can help people more fully reach their career potential. ACTC is committed to helping former students, who do not have a financial hold, get the classes they need to finish.

Interested students can log on to to register.


Find Out about Registered Nursing

ACTC’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program will hold a preconference session Thursday, Sept. 18, at 3:00 p.m. in the College Drive Campus Teleconference Room.  The session will cover the classes taught, program requirements and admissions procedure.

The ADN Program is a selective admissions program, and the preconference session can help prospective students understand what is involved in applying for the program and what to expect if they are accepted.  For more information, contact the Health Science Division Office, 606.326.2086.


Cast-Iron Chef Winner Credits ACTC

“I don’t believe I would be where I am today without ACTC’s Culinary Arts Program,” said Kendra Parks Epperson, a Cast-Iron Chef winner at the Kentucky State Fair last month.

“The wonderful teaching skills of Professors Barbara Dunn and Peggy Bradley made me the chef I am today,” said Epperson, a 2006 ACTC graduate of ACTC’s Culinary Arts Program.

This was the second time the Southern Ohio resident won a Cast-Iron Chef award at the Fair. “I feel awesome that I have competed three times and won twice,” said Epperson who has been the chef at Natural Bridge State Resort Park for two years. “I compete to show people that Kentucky state parks have some of the best chefs in the state.”

In this year’s competition, Epperson was given secret ingredients for preparing a flawless entree in 30 minutes. She cooked sirloin steak with sautéed onions, fettuccine alfredo with vegetables and a creamy southwest roll up. Her award was based on taste, presentation and creativity of the dish.

A southern Ohio native and graduate of Green High School, Epperson started at Shawnee State University and had originally planned on a degree in deaf education at Kent State or Eastern Kentucky University.  She chose to stay in the area to take care of her ailing mother and decided to try culinary arts as a career.

“I’m glad I chose culinary arts, and I am lucky that there was a quality program so close to my home, which was then in Franklin Furnace,” she said. “ACTC has a terrific program. While it’s true that you don’t really know the restaurant business until you’ve been in it, I feel my classes and teachers prepared me really well for the real world.”

After graduating from ACTC, she was a chef at the Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, and that was when she won her first Cast-Iron Chef award.  As chef for the Natural Bridge’s Sandstone Arches Restaurant, she now lives on park grounds in Slade, KY.

As a way of giving back to the Culinary Arts Program, she serves on the advisory board to help with ideas on meeting today’s workplace needs and reaching new students.  “I hope to bring courage to young students who may be wondering about choosing Culinary Arts. I want to tell them that if you love what you do, you should go for it.”

Epperson plans to follow her own advice about’ going for it’ and wants keep moving up in her career. “I am not stopping at Chef 1,” she says.  “Who knows, you just might one day catch me on the Food Network,” she added with a laugh.

For information on the Culinary Arts Program, go to the website at or email or

The program combines cooking, management and people skills to help students succeed as a professional chef, small business owner or restaurant/food service manager. Classes are held in a restaurant grade kitchen as the Technology Drive Campus.

The Associate in Applied Science Degree program offers options in Catering, Culinary Arts, and Food and Beverage Management. Three diplomas and six certificates for specialized skills are also available.


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