FRANKFORT, Ky. (1/16/13) – Education Commissioner Terry Holliday has made good on his promise to visit all 174 school districts in Kentucky. He completed his mission yesterday with visits to Green and Hart County School Districts.
“It’s been terrific,” said Holliday. “Our teachers, principals, superintendents and other staff are doing a great job educating our students in spite of budget cuts, new standards and assessments, and higher expectations. If the people of the state could see what I’ve seen, they would be impressed with the dedication and professionalism of our educators,” he said.
Holliday said most educators he talked with agree that the Kentucky General Assembly had the right vision when it passed Senate Bill 1 (2009) mandating reform. Educators’ biggest concern is that there were not adequate resources to support implementation.
“They’ve done an amazing job in meeting the challenges before them. All their hard work is paying off,” Holliday said. “The state is not only seeing progress in student achievement but also in the college and career-readiness of our students and the number of students who graduate,” he said.
Holliday’s journeys took him to more than 400 schools across the commonwealth and he admits that his global positioning system (GPS) didn’t always know the way.
“I’ve gotten to know some of the more rural areas of Kentucky pretty well,” he joked.
In addition to meeting with teachers and administrators, Holliday has served school lunches, helped teach classes and, on more than one occasion, had a chance to return to his roots as a music teacher and lead the school band.
“I was impressed with the students I met,” Holliday said. “Based on that, and the job our educators are doing, Kentucky’s future is bright.”
Holliday made the commitment to visit every school district in the state shortly after he was named commissioner in 2009. In fact, he felt it was so important, he asked the Kentucky Board of Education to include it as one the goals on his performance evaluation.
“Terry is committed to improve K-12 public education for every student in every school district in Kentucky,” said Kentucky Board of Education chair David Karem.
“I applaud the commissioner for taking the time to make these visits and for listening to Kentucky’s educators and students. It is important that their experiences inform the work we do as a board and at the Kentucky Department of Education,” he said.
Holliday said even though the challenge is over, there is much work that remains to be done and he will continue visiting schools throughout the state on a regular basis.
Information provided by Rebecca Blessing
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