As Kentucky observes School Board Recognition Month in January, the Wayne County School District is joining in the celebration. Larry Muse, Melissa Upchurch, Jarrod Criswell, Benton Sloan, and Joe Hancock are among the more than 850 school board members in the state’s 171 local school districts being recognized this month for their service.
This is the perfect time to thank school board members for serving in a role that has become increasingly complex, said Davonna Page, president of the Kentucky School Boards Association and member of the Russellville Independent school board. “Members of the Wayne County Board of Education are elected to shoulder important district decisions and to ensure success of all students,” Page said. “Among other responsibilities, the local board oversees a $24 million general fund budget, adopts policies based on ever-changing education laws and closely monitors the strategic direction of the school system. All this while completing hours of professional learning and state-mandated training.”
Wayne County’s dedicated board team works to give every child in every classroom access to high quality teaching and learning. Even in the face of new challenges, like rising costs and nationwide staffing shortages, Kentucky’s school board members continue to deliver on what’s necessary for their districts.
One of the local board’s (which includes several past members) many successful projects to the grounds and facilities on the Wayne County School campus has been the $14 million Wayne County Area Technology Center (WC ATC) building which was initiated through a bond sale in 2018. The new ATC facility is considered the jewel of the campus with its state-of-the-art building and fully furnished and updated equipment inside the classroom labs.
While it got a slow opening start during the pandemic, the students and staff have settled into the premiere state-of-art learning facility and are very thankful for all the new resources the building affords. It not only benefits high school students who can earn industry certifications that serve as stepping stones towards good jobs, but it is also very important to the community by providing work force readiness skills that attract future employers. Not every county has a technology center school, so Wayne County is indeed fortunate to have one that is conveniently located next to the high school. For many years, it has given many students a leg-up into the work force.
Today the ATC offers hands-on instruction in areas like: auto mechanics, industrial maintenance, carpentry, agriculture, machine tool, welding, health services, technology design, business, and Jobs for American Graduates (JAG). They have a very dedicated staff of teachers that make it prosper along with a booming enrollment.
During the monthly board of education meeting, the ATC’s auto mechanics department were recognized for the many students who have been employed as a result of the skills they learned at the ATC. Wayne County High School Senior Cole Crabtree shared his experience competing at the national level through the school’s SkillsUSA program, thanks to the series of classes he has been enrolled in at the ATC. Fellow senior and SkillsUSA President Dawson Piercy spoke about the SkillsUSA extra-curricular experience, while praising his classmate Cole’s success at national competition.
Throughout the month of January, share your appreciation for your local school board members in connection with your favorite Wayne County Schools class or school subject on social media by using the hashtag #LoveKySchoolBoards.