District News

LCHS Job Shadow Program Helps Prepare Future Workforce Job Shadowing

LaRue County Schools is piloting a new program to empower students to strengthen their college and career plans and make more successful transitions to life after high school.  “Our graduates must be prepared for what comes after high school, and one way we can ensure that is to provide opportunities for more meaningful career exploration,” Skaggs said. “This type of experience really makes a difference for students.”

LCS Celebrates Arlie Gardner Day Arlie Gardner celebrates his 90th birthday.

While some may find it difficult to image reporting to work at the age of 90, Arlie Gardner remains focused on a job well done.

On Monday, his 90th birthday, he walked into a conference room at the LaRue County Schools Board of Education with a step ladder on his shoulder and a roll of duct tape in his hand. Led to the room under the guise of a maintenance project, Gardner was met by coworkers and friends gathered to celebrate the longtime LaRue County Schools employee.

Gardner, a part-time maintenance specialist, started working for the school district in 1973.

Sidebottom Nominated for Special Education Teacher of the Year Sidebottom Nominated for Special Education Teacher of the Year

  Casey Sidebottom, a special education teacher at LaRue County High School, has been named LaRue County Schools’ nominee for The Kentucky Special Education Teacher of the Year.

LCS Welcomes New School Resource Deputy School Resource Deputy - Brandon Boone

  LaRue County Schools welcomed the district’s first school resource deputy in October. Deputy Brandon Boone, an employee of the LaRue County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the school district, provides a law enforcement presence particularly at LaRue County High School, but is serving all the district’s schools.LaRue County Schools welcomed the district’s first school resource deputy in October. Deputy Brandon Boone, an employee of the LaRue County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the school district, provides a law enforcement presence particularly at LaRue County High School, but is serving all the district’s schools.

Hep A Vaccinations: Mission Accomplished Hep A Compliance

As far as LaRue County Schools’ 2300-plus students being in compliance with state-required hepatitis A immunizations, it’s “mission accomplished” according to Rip Collins, the district’s director of pupil personnel.

LCS Invites Parents, Community to School Safety Forum Safety Forum Oct 23, 6 p.m.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students, staff and visitors,” said LCS Superintendent David Raleigh. “The forum is an opportunity for the entire LaRue County community to come together to share concerns, ask questions and learn more about the measures we’ve taken to enhance school safety.”

ExCEL Nominees Share Passion for Student Success (left to Right) David L. Raleigh, Superintendent LaRue County Schools; Karlotta Cecil, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Misty Bivens, LaRue County High School; Tim Gross, LaRue County Middle School; and Lacy Hatfield, Hodgenville Elementary School.

Four LaRue County teachers are nominees for the 2018-19 LG&E KU and WHAS-TV Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award.They include Karlotta Cecil, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Lacy Hatfield, Hodgenville Elementary School; Tim Gross, LaRue County Middle School; and Misty Bivens, LaRue County High School.

Innovative Females in Technology Playing a video game that teaches basic computer coding are, front to back, Jocelyn Corletto, Natalie Sampson, Izabelly Diaz, Abigail Whittington & Adrianna Smith.

Walk into one of the classrooms at LaRue County High School about 2 p.m. on any early-release Friday and you are likely to see about 20 female elementary students energetically engaged in learning about technology.

Morning Fitness at HES These girls enjoy talking while walking during 15 minutes of morning fitness at Hodgenville Elementary School. From front left/right are Jocelyn Corleto and Gracie Hay; Izabelly Diaz and Kyleigh Markham; and Kaylee Clark and Rachael Hammons.

They walk; they talk; they run, but most of all early arriving students to Hodgenville Elementary School start their day with 15 minutes of moving in what is called Morning Fitness or Fitness Club.

FastPath Cuts Emergency Response Times School Safety

FastPath Cuts Emergency Response Times

LaRue County Schools hosted a training session Thursday for its newly implemented FastPath Hallway Navigation System. The navigation system makes communication between schools and public safety agencies more efficient and cuts the time it takes first responders to get to the exact scene of an emergency.

State Assessment & Accountability Results Released State Assessment

State Assessment and Accountability Results Released

LaRue County Schools leaders are analyzing data and developing plans to narrow achievement gaps after the Kentucky Department of Education on Wednesday released results from 2017-18 statewide assessments.

My School Menus Mobile App! Download Menu App!

LaRue County Public Schools is pleased to introduce their new My School Menus™ mobile app for parents and
students. Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play!

LCS proposes 2018 tax rates A regional comparison of real property tax rates.

Shortly after the start of the school year, all Kentucky school districts must determine local school tax rates. The LaRue County Schools Board of Education is considering proposed 2018 tax rates of 50.3 cents on real property and 50.3 cents on personal property. 

As the Board of Education’s decision approaches, LCS wants to ensure the LaRue County community has important information on school property tax rates and school funding needs.

LaRue County High School Athletic Hall of Fame LaRue County High School Athletic Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Individuals may be nominated in THREE categories:

  1. ATHLETE – A former high school athlete whose achievements as a high school athlete were extraordinary.  In order to be eligible an athlete must be out of high school at least 5 years.
  2. COACH – A former coach whose accomplishments as a high school coach merit recognition who has been inactive as a coach for a minimum of 5 years.  Coaches would be considered on the merits of their high school coaching achievements.
  3. CONTRIBUTOR – An individual who has made outstanding contributions to athletics in some capacity other than athlete or coach.  Such as, areas including athletic administrators, sports medicine, sports media, or financial support.
Glow Run Glow Run

LaRue Track and Cross-Country Glow For It 5k Glow Run

Cecil Wins National Award Cecil Wins

This past week at the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Speech and Debate Tournament, 2018 LaRue County graduate Elena Cecil was named the National Student of the Year during the awards ceremony on Friday evening. Earlier in the year, 78 NSDA Districts from all over the United States submitted their District Student of the Year for consideration for the top spots.  Elena was named the Kentucky District Student of the Year in March, and in May was announced as a top six finalist for the national award. “I was so surprised and happy when my mom got the email saying I was a finalist,” Cecil said, “I just kept thinking it was such an honor to be recognized for something that has just been such a huge part of my life for these past four years.”

Bryan attends prestigious summer institute in D.C. Kendrick Bryan

Kendrick Bryan, a Social Studies teacher at LaRue County High School, is attending Georgetown University for the four-week James Madison summer institute.

Bryan was awarded the 2017 James Madison Fellowship for Kentucky. As part of the program, he was awarded $24,000 to study constitutional history. He is also a graduate student at Western Kentucky University.

David Raleigh David Raleigh - Superintendent

Greetings Hawk Nation!

I am extremely excited to begin my new journey as superintendent of LaRue County Schools. Out of respect for Mr. Sanders, I held off on sending you this letter of introduction until my first official day on the job.

Sanders retires with greatest goal achieved Sam Sanders

When Sam Sanders was named superintendent of LaRue County Schools 16 years ago, he set out to help make our school district one of the best in Kentucky.

As he took the helm in 2002, LCS ranked 131st of 176 school districts. Today, as Sanders finishes his last month with LCS and prepares to retire as one of the state’s longest serving superintendents, I’m in awe of how much our district has accomplished during his tenure.

Perhaps the most tangible sign of our progress is student performance in state assessments. For the past five years, LCS has been a top 20 district and was the eighth-highest performing district of 173 statewide in 2016. Further, it was a tremendous honor to be one of only a handful of districts named a 2015-16 District of Distinction by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Wilkerson named Abraham Lincoln Elementary principal Wilkerson named Abraham Lincoln Elementary principal

Veteran educator Crystal Wilkerson has been selected as the next principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, the school’s Site-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council announced Friday evening.

Wilkerson has 22 years of teaching experience and currently serves as an exceptional education teacher and facilitator at John Hardin High School.

“I’m honored to be selected as the next Abraham Lincoln Elementary School principal,” Wilkerson said. “ALES is an excellent school and I look forward to supporting and maintaining a positive school culture and academic progress for all students.”

Price named Hodgenville Elementary Principal Price named Hodgenville Elementary Principal

LaRue County High School assistant principal Chris Price has been selected as the next principal of Hodgenville Elementary School.

Price served the district as a high school math teacher for 19 years before taking the role of assistant principal five years ago. During his 24 years as an educator, Price also coached various levels of basketball and baseball for 18 years, including eight years as the LCHS head baseball coach.

“I’m excited about this opportunity, and I am grateful to Mr. Sanders and the SBDM for having the confidence in me to place me in this role,” Price said. “I look forward to working with the staff, students and families, as we focus on the continuous goal of making Hodgenville Elementary one of the top elementary schools in Kentucky.”

Grant helps LCS upgrade van for students relying on wheelchairs LCS Upgrades Van

An $8,600 grant will provide students from LaRue County Schools who rely on wheelchairs easier access to field trips, other school activities and even job opportunities.

A 2011 Dodge Caravan owned by the district was retrofitted in February to make it wheelchair accessible at a cost of $8,680. The money was provided by the WHAS Crusade for Children, which raises funds for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children.

Students Participate in Mock Interviews Job Interview GFX

How should a person prepare for interviewing for a job? How should the person dress—formal, informal, casual? What questions should he anticipate?

To help LaRue County High School students answer these questions as well as to give them a feel for actually interviewing for a position, all the school’s seniors will participate in mock interviews with community members at the high school Friday.

LCHS senior raking in awards for words and deeds Elena Cecil

Not only is Elena Cecil living her family’s legacy of speech and service, the 17-year-old LaRue County High School senior is winning awards for both. A lot of awards. Major awards. So many, in fact, that she could fill a trophy case.

Incoming Superintendent Raleigh: It’s a Great Day to be a Hawk LaRue County Schools

I am humbled and honored to have been chosen as your next superintendent of schools. LaRue County Schools has developed a reputation of being one of the best school districts in the state, so I am extremely excited about becoming part the team and your community.


Chess Club at ALES Chess Club at ALES

Since the arrival of video games, many young people are growing up without enjoying the fun of sitting across a table from an opponent, contemplating their strategy while playing on actual boards.

The students in the chess club at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, however, are competing the old fashioned way, learning the rules of the game as they challenge fellow club members.

“The number of members in the club varies, but it is open to students in the third to fifth grade,” said club adviser Monica Spencer who teaches second grade at the school. “For the spring semester we have nine students in chess club, but the club has had as many as 13 students at one time.”

LCS asks community to participate in school safety survey School Safety

LaRue County Schools officials are asking students, staff, parents and member of the LaRue community to provide input on school safety measures by taking a survey available on the district’s website.

Next LCS superintendent named David L. Raleigh

In a unanimous decision, the LaRue County Schools Board of Education on Thursday named David L. Raleigh the district’s next superintendent.

Raleigh, currently an assistant superintendent for Franklin County Schools, will officially begin the job July 1, and his annual salary will be $129,000, according to the employment contract approved at a special board meeting.

“The board members believe Mr. Raleigh is the one who can take our schools to the next level,” said board chairwoman Dawn Conner. “LaRue County Schools already is doing very well, and we are excited to attract a new superintendent who can lead us forward.”

Board members said they were pleased that one candidate earned the board’s undivided support, though four highly qualified individuals were interviewed for the job.

Board to interview four superintendent candidates Superintendent Search

The LCS Board of Education is moving into the interview phase of the search for the next superintendent of LaRue County Schools.

Parents urged to attend kindergarten registration March 22 Kindergarten Registration

ALES kindergarten teacher Melissa Newby engages her students during story time.

Healthy smiles for students Lisa Eberle, Cumberland Medical Center dental assistant, cleans and adds sealant to a student’s teeth.

If you happen to notice LaRue County school students wearing broader-than-usual smiles in the next few weeks, there’s a great reason for it.

Family Dental with Cumberland Family Medical has been in the district seeing middle and high school students February 22-27. They will see elementary students in the upcoming weeks, making sure to visit all schools.

LaRue superintendent search attracts 15 applicants 15 apply to lead LCS

The LaRue County Schools superintendent screening committee is reviewing 15 applications for the district’s top post.

The 15 individuals include four superintendents, three principals and eight educators working in central office positions. The pool consists of 14 men and one woman. Fourteen applicants live in Kentucky and one is from outside the state. Another four people submitted incomplete applications, which will not be considered.

The board of education charged the screening committee with recommending three to five applicants. The committee will finalize its recommendations March 15 and provide the recommendations in a meeting with the board March 19.

STLP Creates LaRue County Minecraft World STLP LCHS Minecraft

While reviewing the digital product online judging section of the Student Technology Leadership Program website last fall, members of LaRue County High School’s STLP club came across a competitive project that they couldn’t turn down.

State budget could deal serious blow to LaRue schools Transportation is among the largest cuts in a proposed state budget.

If Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget passes, LaRue County Schools could face more than $1 million in new financial liability in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The steepest of the governor’s cuts pulls back state funding for student transportation from about 57 percent to 25 percent of the costs. This shifts a new $550,198 responsibility to LaRue County Schools.

“Making up that kind of shortfall within the transportation department would be impossible,” said district finance officer Kay Bryant. “We would have to look for cuts in other areas.”

The district could consider using fewer buses to run longer routes or staggered routes, but that wouldn’t cut labor hours. The district also could look at forgoing replacement buses – the current plan includes $200,000 to buy two new buses – but district officials warn that districts that don’t stick to a replacement plan soon find themselves with a fleet that is expensive to maintain and even unsafe.

While it’s true that the governor’s budget holds steady Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding at $3,981 per student, local districts’ share of funding continues to increase. SEEK funding has remained fairly flat for nearly a decade, while the cost of educating a child has increased dramatically. Without considering cuts like the proposed transportation cut, SEEK funding for LCS is estimated at $10.4 million for the 2018-19 school year.

Early release Fridays to continue next school year Abraham Lincoln Elementary School fifth grade teachers, from left, Adryanna Warren, Heather Hynes, Daniel Thomas, and Todd Rogers examine curriculum data on a Friday afternoon after students have been dismissed for Early Release.

Early Release Fridays, in which LaRue County Schools’ students are dismissed each Friday at 1:30 p.m., will continue in the 2018-19 school calendar.

According to three veteran classroom teachers, the collaboration time is beneficial not only to teachers but also to students.

“This gives us time to meet with our other grade-level teachers, special education teachers, our school-wide staff, and with teachers at Hodgenville Elementary,” said Heather Sutherland, a fourth-grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. “Early Release Fridays are designed for teachers to meet to analyze student data, discuss curriculum and assessments, and plan lessons that best meet the needs of our students.”

LCMS Incident LaRue County Middle School

Parent Notice of incident that occured at LCMS on Feb. 15.

LaRue teachers earn National Board Certification From left, LaRue County Middle School teacher Ashley Carter and LaRue County High School teacher Savannah Boone recently earned National Board Certification.

LaRue County High School teacher Savannah Boone and LaRue County Middle School teacher Ashley Carter have been named National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement.

“This means so much to me as a teacher,” Boone said. “I wanted to develop professionally and perform to the best of my ability. I feel that earning National Board Certification means that I’m striving to do what’s best for kids and seeking to continually improve as an educator.”

Both teachers earned certification for exceptional needs specialist/early childhood through young adulthood.

“Working as an exceptional needs collaborator, I spend a lot of time reflecting on student behavior and learning processes,” Carter said. “National Boards allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practice. Through reflective analysis, I hope to improve the support I can give my amazing students.”

LCHS senior honored for service to others Elena Cecil with Melissa Maxcy Wade, former Director of Debate at Emory University

LaRue County High School senior Elena Cecil’s service to others has led to a very special honor. Cecil won the Melissa Maxcy Wade Social Justice Award earlier this month at the Emory University Speech Tournament in Atlanta.

The award has been a part of the tournament for the past few years and recognizes students who have made significant impacts in their communities through their service and compassion for those less fortunate. Cecil was nominated by her coaches in recognition of her work raising money for Hope Food Pantry over the past three and one-half years.

Hope Food Pantry will receive a $400 cash donation, and the LCHS speech team will receive $100.

Board members detail district successes, goals, challenges Board of Education members, from left, Price Smith, Joanna Hinton, Dawn Conner, Farrah Pruitt and Paul Handley

As school districts throughout Kentucky recognize their boards of education during January, remember these are members of our community who are dedicated to face the challenges facing schools today with the commitment of doing everything they can in the interest of our county’s students.

LaRue County Board of Education members include Dawn Conner, Division 1 (Lyons and Hod- genville West); Paul Handley, Division 2 (White City, Hodgenville East); Farrah Pruitt, Division 3 (Lincoln Farm, Buffalo); Price Smith, Division 4 (Barren Run, Upton, Magnolia); and Joanna Hinton, Division 5 (Otter, Attilla, Mt. Sherman).

Each of the local board members was asked what his or her major short- and long-term goals are; what are the biggest challenges facing our schools; and what good things are going on in our schools of which we can be proudest.

LaRue County Schools honored with ENERGY STAR LaRue County Schools receives Energy Star awards.

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education celebrated the district’s recent ENERGY STAR awards for all its schools at the Jan. 22 board meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

“The LaRue County Schools is committed having to energy efficient schools. It has been a great experience working with Harshaw Trane to achieve this status,” said Sam Sanders, LaRue County Schools superintendent. “It allows the district to spend more resources on our students and less on energy bills.”

Lincoln's Birthday 5K Shoe

Looking to give your health a boost? Always wanted to take part in a 5K, but never signed up?  Check this out!

Statement regarding school safety LaRue County High School

Wednesday afternoon, a LaRue County High School student made a threatening comment to another student in a side conversation during a class. After the class, a student who witnessed the exchange notified the teacher, who notified school leaders.

School officials talked with students in the class and the student who made the comment. At that time, the student did not recall his exact words but admitted to saying something threatening to a single student.

School officials determined a threat to the school was not made. However, it was important that school officials make it clear that such statements are entirely unacceptable. School officials notified the student’s parents, Hodgenville Police Department and Communicare, which provides risk assessments. HPD and Communicare told school officials they would interview the involved student Thursday morning. By coincidence, the student had prior arrangements to leave school early on Wednesday and was signed out by a parent shortly after the incident.

Confidential school disciplinary action has been taken. School officials are unaware of any criminal charges.

Multiple rumors about a threat have been circulating, especially on social media. We want to assure parents and students that there was no credible threat to the school at any time.

LCS instructional supervisor selected for Kentucky Women in Education Leadership Christina Boone

After a competitive application process, LaRue County Schools Instructional Supervisor Christina Boone is among 30 female educators selected for the first cohort of the Kentucky Women in Education Leadership (KWEL). Applicants were chosen based on specific leadership criteria.

These leaders, along with 30 of the state’s top female executive educators, convened Jan. 19-20 in Louisville for a leadership forum and induction ceremony.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity,” Boone said. “As a member of Kentucky Women in Education Leadership, I’ll have access to leadership and professional development as well as a network of exceptional educators. I’m really looking forward to growing as an educator and putting new skills and knowledge to work for our school district.”

New immunization requirements for students Immunization

Parents should begin preparing early for Kentucky’s new immunization requirements for children attending public schools next fall.

The law (902 KAR 2:060) requires all students to receive two Hepatitis A shots and students 16 and older to get a meningitis booster.

Rip Collins, LaRue County Schools health and safety coordinator, reminds parents that it’s imperative to start preparing now because the Hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses that must be six months apart.

“To be in compliance for enrollment next fall, they had better schedule their first appointment immediately,” said Collins.

Lisa Cox, school health team leader with Lincoln Trail District Health Department, said that Hepatitis A shots previously were recommended, not required. The new Kentucky regulation, however, requires the two shots not only for public school students in grades K-12, but also for those in child day care centers, certified family child care homes, and preschool programs.

Cox added that upon receiving the initial Hepatitis shot, the child will be issued a provisional immunization certificate that expires after six months.

LaRue Schools to honor leaders during School Board Recognition Month LaRue County Schools Board of Education

Kentucky will again observe January as School Board Recognition Month and the LaRue County School System is joining in the celebration.

The LaRue County Board of Education is composed of Dawn Conner, Price Smith, Joanna Hinton, Farrah Pruitt and Paul Handley.

“The voters of our community have created a special group of education leaders in this board,” said Superintendent Sam Sanders. “They are true partners in the work to ensure every child in every classroom can experience high quality teaching and learning.

Blending talent: LCHS artists illustrate achievement Anna Webb and Katelyn Senesi

School district banners created by students are a favored tradition of the annual Kentucky School Boards Association conference. In this year’s display, a collaboration of high school seniors Katelyn Senesi and Anna Webb represents LaRue County Schools.

The banner is their interpretation of the KSBA 2018 theme, “Adapting and Achieving.” The painting shows a graduation scene, and in the background, the artists wove in Webb’s sunrise and Senesi’s galaxy.

“Getting your diploma – everyone knows the hard work and adapting you have to do to achieve that,” Webb said, adding that the sunrise and the nigh-sky galaxy represent the beginning and the ending of the day.

ExCEL nominees honored 2018 WHAS11/LG&E KU ExCEL Award nominees Eric Allen, Erin Hardwick, Natasha Price and Andy Arendt

Four LaRue County teachers, one from each of the district’s schools, are in the running to be named the 2018 WHAS11/LG&E KU ExCEL (Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership) Award winner.

The award recognizes and rewards the contributions of public schools and the teaching profession to the development and well-being of young people and the community.

District officials will announce the LaRue County ExCEL Award recipient at a dinner on Jan. 11. A ceremony will follow on Jan. 24 at the award recipient’s school.

Superintendent search underway Superintendent Search

The search for LaRue County Schools’ next superintendent has begun.

“LaRue County has more than the typical timeframe to find our next superintendent, but we are not delaying the search,” said board chairwoman Dawn Conner. “We’re glad to get the process started now, and we hope to have the next superintendent identified before the end of the school year.”

Skaggs awarded for ability to "rally" LCHS Denise Skaggs with the Rally On Me award

Denise Skaggs is the recipient of a “Rally on Me” award for her work as principal at LaRue County High School.

Skaggs, a longtime veteran teacher and administrator with LaRue County Schools, has served as LCHS principal since April 25 when she was selected to replace former principal Kyle Goodlett.

Presenters from HOPE (Helping Other People Excel Training and Professional Development, LLC.) gave Skaggs the award in November at Fort Knox.

New clubs help students reach full potential LCMS art students

This year, students at LaRue County Middle School have three new avenues to get involved and develop their skills and talents. The school has established or re-established the Pep Club, Art Club and the Health and Fitness Club.

Asked to bring forth ideas that would promote a positive school culture for the student body, the school’s student leadership group suggested expanding clubs.

Remembering Everett Glennie “E.G. Red” Sanders E.G. Sanders

E.G. Sanders, superintendent of LaRue County Schools from 1967 to 1991, passed away Monday, Dec. 4. He was 92.

Sanders started his long career in 1950 as a teacher and coach at Buffalo High School, and he became principal of Hodgenville High School in 1954. In 1958, when Buffalo, Hodgenville and Magnolia high schools consolidated, Sanders was named the first principal of LaRue County High School, a post he held until becoming superintendent.

“He loved LaRue County Schools, and the community will miss him. There’s no doubt about that,” said Corky Cox. Sanders hired Cox to coach basketball in 1956, and after working together for 31 years, they continued to be close friends who visited often.

Band of Hawks soared in 2017 Band of Hawks recognition at LCS Board of Education meeting.

The LaRue County High School Band of Hawks recently wrapped up an incredible marching season, placing third in its class during the state finals at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville.

Approximately 60 students are in the band – the most the school has had in recent years – and the talent and hard work of each made 2017 a successful season.

It's not too early to start seeking financial aid Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Though high school graduation is several months away and college may seem even more remote at this point in the school year, most counselors agree that it’s certainly not too early for seeking sources of financial aid.

LCS Help Desk a win-win LCHS Help Desk members Austin Skaggs (front), and Timothy Reip discuss the repair of one of the district’s 1,600 computers they help maintain and repair.

LaRue County Schools have found a “win-win” situation in the 18 high school students involved in the Student Help Desk.

Not only are they doing a service to the school through computer and other technology repair and maintenance, they are also gaining valuable skills and knowledge that will help them later in life.

“I do not think the tech staff could even begin to keep up with the district’s needs if we did not have the student Help Desk,” acknowledged Freddie Newby, the district’s chief information officer.

With each student in the high and middle school assigned a personal laptop, the five seniors, six juniors, and seven sophomores in Help Desk repair and maintain over 1,600 of the devices. Additionally, they are often sent to the classroom to troubleshoot issues related to projectors, printers, interactive boards, wireless access points, document cameras, televisions, screen beams, phones, external DVD players, computer docks and external speakers.


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LCHS average ACT composite score holds strong at 21 2017 LCHS ACT results

LaRue County High School scored an average ACT composite score of 21 when students took the state-mandated test as juniors last spring. The score is equal to the 2016 score, which broke a school record for the fourth consecutive year.


Hornback recognized as National Merit semifinalist Skyler Hornback

Skyler Hornback, a former LaRue County High School student who now attends The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, has been recognized as a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Approximately 1.6 million juniors entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as the initial screen of program entrants. 

From this list comes the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. 

Healthy Kids Clinic improves access to healthcare for LCS Healthy Kids Clinic APRN Katie Cruse, LCHS School Nurse Corey Morgan and Healthy Kids Clinic Provider Nurse Jene McCubbins

A partnership of LaRue County Schools and Cumberland Family Medical Center (CFMC) continues to help students receive a higher level of healthcare at school.

In addition to the existing school nurse program, last spring each school began Healthy Kids Clinic, a CFMC program. At the clinic, family nurse practitioner Katie Cruse, along with provider nurse Jene McCubbins, are available on a rotational basis at the district’s four schools to provide preventative services such as well-child exams and immunizations as well as acute care visits. Also, Healthy Kids Clinic will hire a licensed social worker to offer behavioral health services as early as September.

Late release for solar eclipse Late release for the August 21st eclipse

LaRue County’s public schools will release students 15 minutes later than regular dismissal time on August 21, the day of the upcoming solar eclipse. 

All schools have provided opportunities for students with signed parental permission to view the rare event that afternoon.

Information is being sent this week to parents informing them that in order for students to participate, the school must receive permission forms signed by the parent or legal guardian. 

LCS welcomes new staff members New LCS certified staff

Fourteen certified personnel join the ranks of LaRue County School teachers this year. Below are brief introductions to who they are, where they’re from, where they teach, and short comments from them. Introductions for this year’s new classified personnel also are included.

LaRue County Schools proposes 2017 tax rates 2016 Total Real Estate Tax Rates

Shortly after the start of the school year, all Kentucky school districts must determine local school tax rates. LaRue County Schools Board of Education is considering proposed 2017 tax rates of 49.1 cents on real property and 49.1 cents on personal property. 

As the Board of Education’s decision approaches, LCS wants to ensure the LaRue County community has important information on school property tax rates and school funding needs.

New procedures make schools safer Visitor badge

As the new school year starts, LaRue County Schools have made some changes designed to make the schools safer for students and staff, noted Rip Collins, director of pupil personnel.

Brown joins LCS as Director of Special Education Carole Brown

LaRue County Schools has welcomed Carole Brown as the district’s new director of special education.

With 15 years experience, Brown most recently served as special education consultant for Elizabethtown Independent Schools, working with administrators and teachers to develop special needs programs and strategies. Her previous positions also include resource teacher and moderate to severe disability classroom teacher.

“We are very excited that Ms. Brown is joining LaRue County Schools,” said superintendent Sam Sanders. “She is exceptionally qualified, and I’m confident she will help us continue to ensure all students are making gains.”

Cecil and Mather win National Service Award Kim Mather and Katy Cecil embrace after they were awarded the 2017 Richard Gaudette Service Award.

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, during the NCFL National Speech and Debate Tournament, former and current LaRue County Speech coaches Kim Mather and Katy Cecil were awarded the 2017 Richard Gaudette Service Award.  Established in 2008, the award, which is named after Richard Gaudette of Worchester, Massachusetts, a long-time member and servant of the National Catholic Forensic League, recognizes individuals who have promoted “service as well as ‘leadership through speech’ on the local, state, or national levels.”  The mission of the NCFL is to promote leadership and “humble service and articulate leadership to seek the truth spoken in charity.”  Mather and Cecil, along with their parents Garland and Ruth Blair, were recognized for their service work over the past 42 years at the state and national levels of the NCFL.

Alumni Photo Project gains popularity Alumni Photo Project


Since going online last month, LaRue County High School’s Student Technology Leadership Program’s Alumni Photo Project site has amassed thousands of views and its popularity appears to be growing.

District Chief Information Officer Freddie Newby said last Thursday, for example, the site had 2,094 visitors in that one day. The site contains individual senior class photos of LCHS alumni spanning the years from consolidation with former Buffalo, Hodgenville, and Magnolia high schools from 1959 through 2002, totaling 6,254 photos.

Theresa Banks, technology resource technician at LCHS, said the site is a result of an STLP project which students Simone Whalin and Nick Rojas presented at the state conference last month.

The project placed among the top five percent of those state presentations and most site visitors, many of them LCHS alumni, have given it top marks as well.

Teacher of the Year candidate driven by student success Jake Taylor and Austin Burgess discuss their agriculture project with Misty Bivens in the ag shop at LCHS.

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline likely found plenty of reasons to select LaRue County High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Misty Bivens as a 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award recipient and a candidate for Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

“Ms. Bivens is everything you hope to have in a teacher, whether you’re a student, a parent or a fellow member of the staff,” said LCHS principal Denise Skaggs. “She does an incredible job for our students inside and outside the classroom.”

Bivens is an accomplished teacher and advisor, and her drive is quickly noticed, her colleagues said.

“I believe it was her passion and dedication that came through in her application and made her stand out,” LCHS agriculture teacher Chris Thomas said. “She will push herself and students to become the best that they can in whatever they are doing. Her passion in everything she does is unmatched.”

On the job with new LCS Child Nutrition Coordinator Stephanie Utley

Stephanie Utley credits her smooth transition into her position as child nutrition coordinator for LaRue County Schools to a hard-working staff of 21 food service employees and to her predecessor, DeeAnne Sanders.

“I walked into a very good program with some of the nicest kitchens you’ll see,” said Utley, who worked as a central office account clerk for the district before transitioning into her new position.

“All the schools are equipped with the latest equipment,” she explained, “and the people who work in the kitchens work harder than anyone else I know.”

KPREP testing is May 7-16 KPREP testing is May 7-16

LaRue County Schools students and teachers are putting a year of work to the test as annual Unbridled Learning assessments get underway.

Students in third through eighth grade will complete Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-PREP) assessments May 7-11. High school students will complete K-PREP assessments May 15-16.

On Friday, May 11, all schools will be in session for a full day rather than following the early-release schedule.

Denise Skaggs named principal at LCHS Denise Skaggs

Interim Principal Denise Skaggs has earned the permanent leadership role at LaRue County High School. The school’s site-based decision-making council selected Skaggs at the close of a council meeting Tuesday.

“Mrs. Skaggs has proven during her years of service to LaRue County students that she has the dedication and strong instructional background it takes to continue the high school’s academic achievement,” said superintendent Sam Sanders, who chaired the principal selection meetings and was part of the process. “In addition, she is an effective communicator with the ability to promote a positive school culture, and she has earned the trust of our students, staff and community.”

Skaggs said she was honored and excited to accept the position. Since taking the interim principal post in October, she has had a clearer view of the school’s successes and strengths.

“There are a lot of great things about our school and our district, and that’s what led me to make the decision to apply,” Skaggs said. “Knowing this is a long-term opportunity gives me a sense of peace because I care about our kids and I enjoy being around them on a daily basis.”

Bivens named Kentucky Teacher of the Year candidate 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year candidate Misty Bivens

LaRue County High School FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Misty Bivens has been named a 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year candidate.

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline™ have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in May. The programs have recognized more than 500 teachers and awarded three-quarters of a million dollars since 1988. 

LCHS delegation honored at KUNA KUNA participants Maddie Royalty (Outstanding Ambassador), Josh McCourt (Outstanding Parliamentarian) and Symone Whalin (Outstanding Speaker)

Eleven students from LaRue County High School traveled to the Galt House in Louisville for the Kentucky United Nations Assembly from March 26-28.

The following LCHS students attended the conference: Chandler McLaughlin, Hunter McLaughlin, Jacob Cecil, Seth DeVary, Symone Whalin, Virginia Taylor, Hayley Cecil, Josh McCourt, Seth Newby, Maddie Royalty and Noah Thompson.

LCHS students prepare greenhouse LCHS Greenhouse

Students in Chris Thomas’s crop technology class at LaRue County High School have already begun transplanting seedlings as they learn about growing plants and also provide income to help fund the greenhouse and agriculture department needs through public sales.

Some of the main objectives Thomas has set for the class include plant nutrient requirements; pests and diseases in the greenhouse; transplanting plants in the greenhouse; integrated pest management practices that can be used in the greenhouse; how different fertilizers are mixed and how the mixture ratios contribute to plant growth.

Three LC teachers earn Excellence in Teaching award Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award recipients

Three LaRue County school teachers have been selected as the 2017 Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award recipients.

Laura Evans, a fifth-grade teacher at Hodgenville Elementary School; Pam Baker, seventh-grade math teacher at LaRue County Middle School; and Jessica Beaven, a LaRue County High School eleventh-grade algebra and English teacher were recognized for their accomplishments at the district board of education’s meeting March 20.

Students create virtual Rube Goldberg machine STLP students create Rube Goldberg Machine

When most people think of accomplishing a task, they look for the easiest, straightest path with fewest steps to reach their goal.

An American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor named Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), however, turned that pattern of thought on its head as he is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, multi-step ways to produce a falling-domino effect. His process of problem solving gave rise to the term Rube Goldberg machines.

Four LaRue County High School students are in the process of creating their own virtual Rube Goldberg machine for the state’s Student Leadership Technology Program. Their challenge asks them to use their machine to shoot off virtual fireworks in the computer game, Minecraft.

“The more complex and varied the process to achieve this, the better the team’s score will be,” noted Theresa Banks, LCHS technology resource technician.

LaRue County Education Week LaRue County Education Week
LCHS teacher visits James Madison’s Montpelier LCHS teacher Kendrick Bryan Seminar in Montpelier
LCMS eighth-grader earns national awards for volunteer service Biven Turner with LCMS principal Jason Detre

Biven Turner, a student at LaRue County Middle School, has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

Soil conservation art, writing contest winners announced ALES Art

LaRue County winners of the Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests have been announced.

Overall writing winners include students Biven Turner and Yasmeen Hamada from LaRue County Middle School and Myah Meredith from LaRue County High School.

Overall art winners are Ella Thomas and Emily Detre from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School and Makayla Benningfield from Hodgenville Elementary School.

Career Launch: Preparing students for success Career Launch

School teachers and staff work hard to prepare their students for success not only while they are in school, but also for the time when they will enter the adult world.

A very important part of that goal is planning—choosing the classes that are the closest “fit” to the interests and aptitude of each student.

On Monday, Feb. 20, LaRue County students in eighth through 11th grades came with their parents to the high school for Career Launch, which, as the name suggests, helped them take off on an optimum career path through their high school years.

13 LCHS seniors earn State Registered Nurse's Aide Certification December 2016 State Registered Nurse's Aide Graduates

As far back as she can remember, LaRue County High School senior Emma Bowling has wanted to follow in the footsteps of the women on her dad’s side of the family and enter the medical field as a career.

She and 12 senior classmates reached a first milestone toward accomplishing that career goal as they passed all coursework, a practicum and the final test toward state registered nurse’s aide certification.

The course, which ran August through December at the Brockman Center in Hodgenville, was offered through Campbellsville University’s Technology Training Center’s Allied Health Program.

LaRue County Elementary Schools Excel at District Governor’s Cup Governor's Cup 2017
LCS seeks substitute bus drivers School bus closeup

Ronald Whitlock, the school district’s area coordinator of transportation, said the need here is not so much for immediate permanent route drivers, but for substitutes.

“We don’t have any routes open at this time,” Whitlock noted. “However, we do have one driver retiring and may have more before summer.”

He said drivers typically start out as substitutes, driving on an as-needed basis with pay starting out at $12.94 per hour.

“We currently have 29 ½ routes daily and like to have three or four good subs at all times,” said Whitlock. “I am looking to hire four sub drivers at this time.”

Applicants would need to be flexible, good with children, and be able to pass a CDL physical along with drug screening and a TB skin test, he remarked.

“We provide training to get a class B CDL with passenger endorsement and school bus certification,” Whitlock commented. “Sub drivers are in line for full time positions as they come available.”

LCS recognized as District of Distinction at state board meeting District of Distinction

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and the Kentucky Department of Education recognized 16 school districts including LaRue County Schools as Districts of Distinction at the board’s meeting Feb. 8 in Frankfort.

2017-18 kindergarteners must be 5 by Aug. 1 kindergartner boarding a school bus

Starting with the 2017-18 school year, children entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before Aug. 1. The cutoff has been Oct. 1, but the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly moved back the cutoff date based on the premise that younger students might not be ready for school.

Healthy Kids Clinic opening at each school Nurse practitioner with child

LaRue County Schools students soon will be able to receive a higher level of healthcare at school thanks to a new partnership between the district and Cumberland Family Medical Center.

Along with the existing school nurse program, each school will house Healthy Kids Clinic, where children may be seen by a family nurse practitioner. The family nurse practitioner will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on a rotational basis at the district’s four schools to provide preventative services such as well-child exams and immunizations as well as acute care visits.

“The Healthy Kids Clinic will give our students and their parents one more option for student healthcare,” said Rip Collins, director of pupil personnel for LaRue County Schools. 

School Board Appreciation Month LaRue County Board of Education members

January is the month when school districts across Kentucky recognize the hard work school board members do and the dedication they show for their students.

“Our school board members are all committed to the betterment of our students and school system,” noted Sam Sanders, superintendent. “Having a high quality school board is one of the reasons LaRue County Schools is a top 10 school district.”

LaRue County’s board members were asked to express the good things that are happening in LaRue County Schools and things they would like to see accomplished in 2017.

Seeking School Board Nominations Seeking School Board Nominees
ALES honored with ENERGY STAR certification ALES Energy Star Award

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education honored Abraham Lincoln Elementary School for its recent ENERGY STAR certification at the Jan. 17 board meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

“The LaRue County School District is proud to work with Harshaw Trane to achieve ENERGY STAR certification at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School," said LaRue County Schools superintendent Sam Sanders. "Obtaining this efficiency will allow the district to spend more dollars in our classrooms and not on utility bills.”

Technology students to launch website featuring LCHS alumni photos Sweet Memories

Thanks to the hard work of several students in LaRue County High School’s technology classes, the school’s alumni and general public will soon be able to go online to view individual’s pictures from their senior class.

“Our expected launch date is March 15,” said Symone Whalin, an LCHS senior who with fellow senior Brandon Hurt and junior Dylan Sullivan will present the site construction as a competitive project in the Student Technology Leadership Program conference in April at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.

2017 ExCEL winner Mr. Houston Cruse 2016-17 ExCEL winner Houston Cruse and family

Teachers, students, elected officials, family and friends came together on Wednesday, January 11 at LaRue County High School to celebrate the 2017 LaRue County ExCEL award recipient, Houston Cruse, an LCHS teacher who through his positive impact has helped students rise to unexpected levels of achievement.

LCHS senior participates in Distinguished Young Woman state event Symone Whalin

Symone Whalin, LaRue County’s 2017 Distinguished Young Woman, is participating in state DYW competition at Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington this week.

The LaRue County High School senior arrived in Lexington on Sunday for the weeklong series of events that result in winners being awarded college scholarships worth thousands of dollars.

How LCS team makes a snow day decision snow

Weather in this area of the state is so localized that low clouds may be laying down a layer of ice on roads in one end of the county while only a cold rain covers the roadways in another section only a few miles away.

That variance makes the decision of calling off school even more difficult for LaRue County Schools Superintendent Sam Sanders.

Helping him, however, to obtain the best possible and most timely advice on road conditions are Phil Fulkerson, director of transportation and maintenance, Ronald Whitlock, area transportation director, and Nathan Wheeler, head mechanic, who when ice or snow threatens, arise around 3 a.m. to inspect road surfaces.

Each man travels to different areas of the county where buses cover almost 2,000 miles of road daily along 37 routes.

Fulkerson checks out the Maxine area and southern part of the county. Whitlock inspects the Levelwoods, Ball Hollow, Mt. Sherman-Ward Road area, and Wheeler travels the Roanoke area and northern part of the county.

Cheer squad takes regional championship Hawks competitive cheer squad

The LaRue County High School competitive cheer squad won a regional championship on November 19 at Nelson County High School. The team won the All-Girls Medium division and they now advance to the KHSAA Competitive Cheer Championships on Saturday, December 10 at the Alltech Arena in Lexington.

LaRue County High School Scores High Marks Again on State Testing LCHS Receives High State Testing Results Again
Hawk KYA Delegation Honored Hawk KYA in Frankfort

Several LaRue County High School students got a close up and personal look at the workings of state government as they participated in the Kentucky Youth Assembly Nov. 20-22 in Louisville and Frankfort.

“Three of our four bills reached the desk of the Governor,” said Kendrick Bryan, LCHS social studies teacher who with Lindsey Bryan and Ben Schell chaperoned the LaRue County students who joined others from throughout Kentucky.

Houston Cruse honored with 2017 LaRue County ExCEL Award 2017 LaRue County ExCEL recipient Houston Cruse

Talk to 2017 LaRue County ExCEL recipient Houston Cruse, and you’ll find out how important family has been, not only to his becoming a teacher, but also to his continuing in that profession.

“My family has always been a wonderful influence on my life,” said the advanced placement world history and world civilization teacher at LaRue County High School. “From the time I was of a young age, both of my parents constantly explained that money and prestige should never be a deciding factor concerning an occupational choice. Both of them always pushed me to do what I love, regardless of the situation.”

Sandidge recognized as a standout Building Assessment Coordinator Kelly Sandidge with family and assistant superintendent for student achievement Amanda Reed

Kelly Sandidge’s goal is to create a streamlined, stress-free environment where students and teachers are prepared for and at ease with standardized testing.

His work — which his colleagues credit for helping transform LaRue County High School into a model for student achievement — has earned statewide recognition as the Kentucky Association of Assessment Coordinators named Sandidge the Kentucky Building Assessment Coordinator of the Year.

“There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Along with others at the high school and district level, I’m in constant contact with our students and our teachers to make sure testing is as successful as possible,” Sandidge, the school’s director of student services, said.

LCHS Parent School Safety Survey High School Parent School Safety Survey
LCHS Y-Club members attend lecture series LCHS Y-Club members attend lecture series. Pictured: Seth DeVary, Emma Bowling, Breea Kirkpatrick, Jessi O'Bryan, Abigail Hazelwood, and Seth Newby
Skaggs named LCHS interim principal Denise Skaggs

Instructional supervisor Denise Skaggs will lead LaRue County High School through the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.

LaRue County Schools superintendent Sam Sanders appointed Skaggs interim principal during a meeting of the high school’s site-based decision-making council Thursday afternoon.

LCS ranks 8th of 173 Kentucky school districts LCS ranks 8th in the state, is named District of Distinction

LaRue County Schools is the eighth highest performing of Kentucky’s 173 school districts and ranks higher than any district in the region, according to data from the Unbridled Learning Assessment and Accountability System.

“Our scores have reflected a high level of student achievement for several years, and our mindset in LaRue County is continuous improvement. To rank eighth in the state is an incredible accomplishment for our students and our dedicated teachers and staff,” said superintendent Sam Sanders.

With an overall score of 78.4, LCS has earned its first District of Distinction designation. Across the state, 15 districts achieved District of Distinction status.

Two schools in the district – Hodgenville Elementary and LaRue County Middle School – earned School of Distinction status.

Learning at an earlier age Children and parents participate in a school readiness program.

Futurist Buckminster Fuller in his 1982 book Critical Path is said to have written that if all the knowl- edge that mankind had accumulated and transmitted by the year One A.D. were equal to one unit of informa- tion, it took about 1500 years or until the sixteenth century for that amount of knowledge to double.

The next doubling took only 250 years, until about 1750, and by 1900, knowl- edge had multiplied by 8 units. Today, futurists like Fuller estimate the doubling speed is now between one and two years.

With so much continuously increasing knowledge, the impetus for educators to prepare children for learning at earlier ages becomes greater and greater.

LaRue County’s family resource coordinators Machelle Durham, Melissa Pearman and assistant Jessica Skaggs offer two programs, Wee Time and KHIC (Kindergarten Here I Come), to help fulfill that need for early learning preparation.

Juston Milby: A knack for fixing things Juston Milby prepares to check inventory on his computer.

Juston Milby discovered he had a knack for fixing things while he was a young boy helping his dad repair equipment on their farm at the edge of LaRue and Hart County.

“I helped Dad work on our tractor equipment and also that of our neighbor, Ralph Lobb, whose farm was near us,” he said. “Ralph would tear it up, bring it to us, and we’d fix it.”

His skill as a mechanic led to a career in that field, a career that will come to an end Sept. 30 when he retires as LaRue County Schools’ vehicle maintenance manager.

Phil Fulkerson, the district’s director of transportation and maintenance, said Milby has been a tremendous help over the years and will be sorely missed.

“He is always particular about his workmanship. He has always believed that the job isn’t finished when the last bolt is tightened but rather when the passenger is safely home,” Fulkerson noted. “Whether it’s teaching a class of mechanics, working on a truck, a car, a school bus or farm tractor, there is no one I’d rather have on the job than Juston.”

Senior Parent Night set for Sept. 6 Senior Parent Night set for Sept. 6

This year’s 182 members of LaRue County High School’s Class of 2017 and their parents who attend Senior Parent Night on Sept. 6 will learn about many of the important requirements that must be completed, opportunities available and schedule of events during their final year of high school.

“The program will begin at 6 p.m. in the LCHS auditorium,” said Clarissa Thomas, school counselor, who will provide information about college/career fairs and local scholarships.

“Students need to attend in order to learn about various opportunities and events that take place during their senior year, to understand the college application process, and to learn what they can do now to make the process easier,” she noted.

Thomas said parents also need to attend to be involved with their children’s activities during their final year of high school and to be aware of the costs involved.

FFA brings honors back to LaRue County FFA students receive awards at LaRue County School board meeting.

The LaRue County School Board of Education was proud to recognize many FFA students at its regular August meeting. Congratulations to each of these students and recent graduates for their hard work and for representing LaRue County well at the state convention. Best of luck to those competing at nationals in October.

LCS welcomes new teachers Photo of some of the new teachers joining LaRue County Schools in the 2016-17 school year.

Several teachers have joined LaRue County Schools’ certified staff. Here's a look at each of their backgrounds and goals. 

Construction crews to avoid school-day disruptions Construction crew working at LaRue County High School.

As the new school year approached, students and parents likely noticed some construction in progress on LaRue County Schools campuses. Early in July, the district began work on its Guaranteed Energy Savings Project.

The project includes varying levels of work at each of the district’s buildings including HVAC at the high school and the sixth-grade wing of the middle school. Crews also are installing automated building controls at the middle and high schools and Hodgenville Elementary. In addition, lighting upgrades are planned for each school. Students already will notice new LED lighting in some areas including gymnasiums.

Students, staff and parents may see some evidence of construction. For example, hallway ceilings will be left open while crews need access to mechanical systems. But district officials and project managers are carefully planning to prevent interrupting the school day.

LCS enrollment, state funding expected to drop Empty student desk

LaRue County Schools officials forecast an average daily attendance of 2,149 students for the 2016-17 school year, a decrease of 35 students, which would prompt a reduction in state funding.

“Average daily attendance typically fluctuates, but we are troubled by the decrease because it will be the sixth time annual average daily attendance has dropped in eight years,” said Superintendent Sam Sanders. “That’s a net loss of 76 students since the 2009-10 school year.”

Local school districts receive state funding based on average daily attendance. The funding, called Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK), provided the district approximately $10.85 million last year.

In the coming school year, that funding is expected to drop more than $410,000 to approximately $10.44 million.

LCS Board presents superintendent evaluation LCS Board presents superintendent evaluation

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education presented Superintendent Sam Sanders’ annual evaluation at its monthly meeting Monday night.

The evaluation, a part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Superintendent Leadership Plan, assigned one of four rankings – exemplary, accomplished, developing or growth required – to seven standards.

LaRue County Schools named National District of Distinction Trophy awarded to LaRue County Schools by the National Beta Club.

The National Beta Club has named LaRue County Schools a 2016 National District of Distinction. This award is given to those deserving districts who offer National Beta in all schools in their district, and who induct qualifying students in all eligible grades (fourth-12th). LaRue County Schools is the sole recipient named for the 2015-2016 academic year, and one of only three districts to receive this award nationwide.

“Through the exceptional efforts of Superintendent Sam Sanders, club sponsors and deserving Beta members, LaRue County clubs have flourished since the district’s initial club charter in 2005,” National Beta CEO Bob Bright said. 

This national award speaks highly of LaRue County School’s commitment to academic excellence, leadership development and service involvement, and illustrates their dedication to preparing students for college and career readiness, Bright added. The students in their district understand the importance of these qualities and exemplify the Beta motto, Let Us Lead by Serving Others.

LaRue County kindergartener shares dream and wins $1,000 for college Jace Detre gathers with his parents and Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust representatives at a Dream Out Loud Challenge ceremony.

The family of a Jace Detre, who recently finished kindergarten at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, has won a $1,000 college savings account after Jace shared his dream of creating an animal-friendly golf school.

Jace submitted an essay for the “Dream Out Loud Challenge,” offering how he would change the world after college by starting a golf school where golf balls were also food for animals. The Dream Out Loud Challenge is sponsored by the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT), Kentucky’s official 529 college savings plan

Lindsey Shelton to join Nolin RECC Washington Youth Tour Lindsey Shelton

LaRue County High School junior Lindsey Shelton is one of five area students awarded an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., through the annual Nolin RECC Washington Youth Tour contest.

Two LCHS students accepted to Governor’s School for the Arts Jake Cecil and Jessika Shanks

LaRue County High School juniors Jake Cecil and Jessika Shanks have earned spots in the prestigious 2016 Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts. 

Across Kentucky, more than 1,700 students applied for a total of 256 openings for nine arts disciplines, according to the program.

Cecil will participate in visual arts, while Shanks will participate in creative writing.

LCHS Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis Camp Tennis camp participants

The LCHS Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis teams will host a summer tennis camp for boys and girls completing grades K-8.  The camp will be held at LCHS tennis courts Monday, June 6th – Friday, June 10th.  Those participants that have completed grades K-2 will come from 9:00 – 10:00, grades 3 – 4 grades will come from 10:00 – 11:00, and grades 5 – 8 will come from 11:00 – 12:00.  The camp will focus on the basics of tennis including: rules, strokes, serving, and sportsmanship.

Unbridled Learning testing is May 9-13 Unbridled Learning testing is May 9-13

LaRue County Schools students and teachers will put a year of work to the test next week as the annual Unbridled Learning assessments get underway.

Students in third through eighth grade will complete Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-Prep) assessments May 9-13. High school students will complete the Quality Core assessments that same week, with K-Prep writing assessments May 18-19.

“Everyone in LaRue County takes pride in being one of the highest achieving school districts in the state, and we are looking forward to our students giving their best effort this year,” said Sam Sanders, superintendent of LCS.  

Seven LCHS students earn spots in Governor’s Scholars Program Kaylan Anderson, Seth DeVary, Alexa Herrin, Celeste Menard, Seth Newby, Virginia Taylor and Symone Whalin

Seven LaRue County High School students have been accepted to the selective Governor’s Scholars Program, a five-week residential summer program that takes place on three college campuses across the state. The program, which students attend during the summer before their senior year, strives to develop civic and economic leaders while providing the state’s brightest students an opportunity to discover their potential in Kentucky.

The 2016 Governor’s Scholars include Kaylan Anderson, Seth DeVary, Alexa Herrin, Celeste Menard, Seth Newby, Virginia Taylor and Symone Whalin.

Greenhouse students provide Buckets of Hope Students Rebecca Brown, Cayleigh Riggs, and Ami Druen thin young plants in LaRue County High School's greenhouse.

LaRue County High School agriculture teacher Chris Thomas and his greenhouse students are adding something special to their plant offerings this spring.

The LaRue County FFA chapter has been awarded a $2,500 grant as part of the FFA: Food for All program. The nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support year-long service-learning projects that address local hunger needs.

Thomas said the local project is called “FFA Buckets of Hope.”

“Our goal is to help fight hunger, literally one bucket at a time,” he said. “In our town there are children and even teenagers who go home to no food. With our program, we can help these families grow their own fresh produce.”

His students have sown and are cultivating several varieties of vegetables — tomatoes, okra, peppers, cucumbers, and herbs — in 150 10-gallon containers.

LCHS takes first place at state Student Technology Leadership Program competition Symone Whalin, Matthew Crain, Omar Collado, Samuel Lewis, Sean Smith, Ravin Sanders, Austin Hawkins and Josh Adams

Taking a video from concept to finished product in just 48 hours, the LaRue County High School Cinemania team earned first-place honors at the 2016 Kentucky Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship Cinemania Contest.

Students had already decided they wanted to produce a political satire video as they waited for Kentucky STLP to post the required video elements online. Once the elements were posted, the team had just two days to write a script, secure props and costumes, shoot and edit the video and submit their entry to the judges.

“I was blown away by their effort,” said Network Technician Paul Clark, who, along with Technology Resource Technician Theresa Banks, advised the team.

Durham in running for FFA Star award Customers crowd around Forrest Durham’s “Bull Durham’s Roasted Corn” booth.

Sometimes ideas for business ventures come from being alert to what is going on around a person.

Take Forrest Durham, for instance. A LaRue County High School senior, Durham is in the running for an FFA Star award in agribusiness because of what he noticed while working in his parents’ (Pat and Paula Durham) candy booth.

“There was a guy next to my dad’s fudge stand who had roasted corn at the St. James Art Fair,” the 18-year-old Buffalo resident said. “So after the first day of business I saw how much money he was making and decided to start doing research on the business. I helped him for free for the weekend to get the gist of what I needed to do for the business to be successful."

HES students explore Greek mythology through performance Hercules, played by Cutter Boley, fights a savage fire-breathing bull, played by Reed Greenwell, as one of his twelve labors.

This month Hodgenville Elementary School fourth-graders combined music, art, media and physical education to present Greek Mythological Allusions, a series of skits based on Greek mythology. The project not only provided students a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn about Greek mythology – a required curriculum component – but also an opportunity to build performance skills and create special memories. 

Claycomb Law Office to represent LCS Board of Education LCS logo

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education hired Claycomb Law Office in Hodgenville on Monday, naming new counsel for the first time since 1971.

Tom Claycomb will serve as the board’s primary attorney.

“We’re excited to work with an attorney as well trained as Tom, who lives in our community and is a product of our school district,” said Board Chairwoman Joanna Hinton.

Claycomb replaces longtime board attorney Jim Whitlow, who resigned because he plans to practice on a limited basis.

LCHS students take bake sales to new level for those in need
LCHS seniors ready for New York City experience Statue of Liberty

On April 19, LaRue County High School students and chaperones will hop a motor coach to a new, exciting experience.

These 38 students and 15 parents and chaperones are embarking on a senior trip tradition of traveling to a historically and culturally important city. This year they are once again headed to New York City. Past trips also have included Chicago and Orlando.

“It started as a way to give seniors an opportunity to take a culturally significant trip together,” said Summer Garris, LCHS English teacher and senior advisor. “Since we are in such a rural community, many of our students have not had the experience and diversity offered by a city. New York is a place very unlike our rural town of Hodgenville. It represents the perfect place to learn about the diversity of our country.”

Students explore poetry, drama through ALES production Abraham Lincoln Elementary School Poetry and Drama Club members

After weeks of preparation, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School Poetry and Drama Club presented an array of dramatic poetry readings during A Poetry Garden Party.

Club sponsor and ALES music teacher Penny Akers wanted to create a production in which students could develop all aspects of their performance, and poetry recitation was the perfect avenue, she said.

“Poetry recitation lends itself to succinct one-act plays” Akers said. “These are manageable productions through which students can experiment with their own creativity in the elements of drama as well as that of production and stage directing.”

LCHS speech students headed to nationals LCHS students who have advanced to national competition: Parker Anderson, Damon Helton, Zoie Webb and Elena Cecil

March Madness does not only infect basketball fans in the spring of each year. It is also how the competitive speech world refers to the weekly tournaments held during the month of March.

The tournaments determine which students will go on to represent the state of Kentucky at the two major National Speech Championship tournaments to be held later this year in May and June.

In early March, schools from across the state compete to join Team Kentucky at the NCFL National Championships, which are held Memorial Day weekend each year. Two weeks later, they compete to join the Team Kentucky delegation to the NSDA National Championships, which are held the second week in June each year.

LCS begins facility planning process LCS begins facility planning process

LaRue County Schools officials are preparing to start the District Facility Plan process, which charts a course for the district’s construction planning.

“This is a process all school districts go through every four years,” said superintendent Sam Sanders. “Through this process, the Local Planning Committee will assess and prioritize the construction needs throughout the district.”

The plan lays out all projects based on need, not the district’s ability to fund the projects. With low bonding capacity, most of the district’s facility needs are unmet.

To access funds restricted for construction and renovation, projects must be included in the District Facility Plan. Plans from all districts also are used by state agencies to determine needs-based funding.  

The Local Planning Committee, a group of 20, will develop the plan. The committee will bring together various teachers, administrators, district personnel, representatives of site-based decision-making councils and parent-teacher organizations, the board of education, local building and zoning and business/community leaders, according to Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Kindergarten registration is Thursday Kindergarten registration

LaRue County elementary schools are encouraging parents to register their incoming kindergarteners this week.

Abraham Lincoln and Hodgenville elementary schools will host 2016-17 kindergarten registration from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Springtime registration helps ensure a smooth start for students.

“We appreciate the time parents take to complete registration,” said HES principal Eric Hughes. “It helps our school, as well as the parents and the children.”

LaRue Adult Education begins nurse aide training pilot program Nurse in a long-term care facility

LaRue County Adult Education is one of four adult education programs in the state selected to participate in a pilot program developed to address a shortage of nurse aides in long-term care facilities.

The State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) Pilot Program, a partnership of Kentucky Adult Education and South Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center, provides students an opportunity to earn certification for $81. Training normally costs $900, but students in the program only cover the costs of their textbooks and scrubs, said Connie Goff, director of LaRue County Adult and Community Education. In LaRue County, the adult education center is supplying textbooks and students only buy scrubs.

“The program is an opportunity to earn a credential and get a reliable job,” Goff said. “We’re excited to be a part of a pilot program that removes the financial burden some students can’t overcome on their own.”

Kindergarten Readiness: Resources for parents Kindergarten Readiness: Resources for parents

Preparing for the first day of kindergarten can come with bouts of nerves, both for students and their parents. There are steps you can take to better understand school readiness and to help your child prepare for a smooth transition to kindergarten.

What is school readiness?

  • School readiness means that your child enters school ready to engage in and benefit from early learning experiences.
  • Your child should be ready to grow, ready to learn and ready to succeed.

How do I help my child prepare for kindergarten?

Several kindergarten readiness programs are offered through LaRue County Schools and the community.

LCHS’s Hornback to attend Gatton Academy and national youth conference Skyler Hornback

LaRue County High School sophomore Skyler Hornback is going places.

In July, he will become the first LCHS student to attend the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA) for two consecutive summers.

In addition, he recently received an acceptance letter from the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky at Western Kentucky University. He’ll begin classes at the residential high school in August.

LCS recognized for meeting college and career readiness goal Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt recognizes LaRue County Schools Superintendent Sam Sanders and board of education members Farrah Pruitt and Dawn Conner for the district’s performance in increasing college and career readiness.

LaRue County Schools is among 111 public school districts statewide that delivered on a pledge made five years ago to improve the college and career readiness of its high school graduates by 2015.

All of the state’s 169 P-12 superintendents and local board chairs signed the pledge – known as the Commonwealth Commitment to College and Career Readiness – in 2011. (In Kentucky, five public school districts do not have high schools). Each of the districts had a unique goal based on increasing its 2010 college and career readiness rate by 50 percent by 2015.

LaRue County Schools had a goal for at least 63 percent of high school students to graduate college- and career-ready in 2015. In reality, 68.2 percent graduated ready as measured by the Unbridled Learning Accountability model.

Parent Evaluation Survey Parent Evaluation Survey
HES Hosts District Governor's Cup HES Hosts District Governor's Cup
ALES makes a big sweep at Governor's Cup Governor's Cup participants

ALES makes a big sweep at Governor's Cup

Drop Your Drugs! Drop Your Drugs!
Duncan receives Bobby McDowell Award Marsha Duncan
LCHS students earn statewide awards for computing Marissa Kappel and Symone Whalin
LCHS Beta students take third place in state Quiz Bowl Rachel Sheffer, Bryce Lawler, Cole Constant and Skyler Hornback

Two Hawk Beta members named national scholarship semi-finalists

LaRue County school board saluted this month School board members Dawn Conner, Price Smith, Joanna Hinton, Farrah Pruitt and Linda Pearman

Throughout January, administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members of LaRue County Schools are publicly thanking the system’s elected board of education members during Kentucky’s observation of School Board Recognition Month.

Dawn Conner, Linda Pearman, Farrah Pruitt, Price Smith and Joanna Hinton are among the 854 school board members being saluted in the state’s 173 local school districts. Their jobs are increasingly complex, said Allen Kennedy, president of the Kentucky School Boards Association and chairman of the Hancock County school board.

New measures increase school security Rip Collins demonstrates the security buzzer for access to LaRue County Schools’ central office.

LaRue County Schools have taken steps to increase security by adding more cameras, including some high tech ones.

“We added 65 cameras to the elementaries, the middle school and the high school as well as the board of education,” said Rip Collins, district director of pupil personnel. “With the 65 we are adding, we now have 164 total cameras.”

In addition, the district has added buzzer entry to its central office on College Street in Hodgenville.

Family resource, youth service centers equip families for success LaRue County Family Resource Center coordinators Melissa Pearman (Hodgenville Elementary School), Machelle Durham (Abraham Lincoln Elementary School), and Youth Service Center Coordinator Marsha Duncan

Just as our schools strive to prepare students to be ready for college and/or career, family resource and youth services centers, as they have done for their past 25 years of existence in Kentucky, seek to equip not only students but also their families for success.

“I think the major way that we help our families is by giving them the knowledge of the services that are available to them and how to utilize these services to empower them to become self-sufficient,” said Machelle Durham, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School Family Resource Center coordinator, who has served in the program since 1999. 

“This applies to all facets of life such as the knowledge of child development, to proper discipline, to parenting styles and also to family crisis,” she said.

This assistance is vital, according to Durham, because many of the families LaRue County Schools’ centers serve don’t have a support system in place.

“They just need some direction, positive support, and a friend,” she observed.  

2016 KSBA Banner From Chalkboards to Whiteboards - 8 Decades of Serving School Boards

Each year the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) conference has a theme.  This year's theme is "From Chalkboards to Whiteboards - 8 Decades of Serving School Boards".  The 173 public school district banners are all displayed during the annual conference in Louisville at the Galt House Hotel.

Lincoln 5K Run and Walk Runner performs stretching exercise.

The ALES PTO will be hosting the inaugural Lincoln’s Birthday 5K Run/Walk on March 5th at 9:00 am starting at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.  It will be a flat and fast course, so an excellent course for your first 5K or if you are looking for a new personal record.  If you are looking to do the couch to 5K program, this is a great goal to shoot for from this point forward.

Parents sought for district wellness committee Wellness

Rip Collins is looking for three or four parents of LaRue County School students to join him and others on the district’s wellness committee.

The committee, Collins explained, makes recommendations to the LaRue County Board of Education that ensure the district’s policy provides all students with a safe and healthy environment and promotes wellness through high quality health education and physical education to enrich student learning and ensure success.

The policy affects many school-connected areas including student physical activity before, during and after school; staff involvement; family and community involvement; and school nutrition education and promotion.  

Wheeler shines at Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation competition Wheeler shines at Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation competition

Like a doctor, Nathan Wheeler, vehicle maintenance manager for LaRue County Schools, formulates a diagnosis from the symptoms shown for what’s wrong with a malfunctioning bus and then prescribes a course of treatment to make the vehicle whole.

He showed his adeptness at finding and fixing bus-related problems by winning a timed competition sponsored by the Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation in Bowling  Green in July for school district mechanics from throughout the state.

District improvement plan draft open for comment District improvement plan draft open for comment
LaRue County delegation wins awards at Kentucky Youth Assembly LaRue County delegation wins awards at Kentucky Youth Assembly

The LaRue County High School delegation had a successful trip to the Crowne Plaza in Louisville for the Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA). The conference was held on November 22-24.

Junior Symone Whalin was elected by her peers to serve as the Secretary of the Cabinet. Sophomore Skyler Hornback was selected as an Outstanding Speaker and Outstanding Delegate. Hornback also received an invitation to the prestigious 2016 Conference on National Affairs held in North Carolina.

LaRue County Reads invites community to help young readers LaRue County Reads invites community to help young readers

For 10 years, LaRue County Reads has been providing preschoolers through fifth-graders valuable reading support and has proven a rewarding volunteer opportunity for the community.

The program links students with trained volunteers who typically spend 30 minutes each week reading to or reading with a child.

The goal of the program is to have every student reading at grade level within four years, said Connie Goff, LaRue County Reads training supervisor and director of adult and community education for LaRue County Schools.

“We also want to help children learn that reading is fun, opens the door to many other successes and builds self-esteem,” she said.

Kathy Ross, retired teacher and volunteer coordinator of LaRue County Reads at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, has been involved in the program from its inception.

“Volunteering is a great and comfortable way for the community to be involved with our children,” Ross said.

LaRue FFA members recognized at national convention LaRue FFA members recognized at national convention

The LaRue County High School FFA Chapter earned multiple honors at the 2015 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville.

Individual students and teams may earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating at the national competition, where only about 1 percent of the nation’s 600,000 FFA members compete, said LCHS FFA advisor Misty Bivens.

Ward named LaRue County Schools ExCEL Teacher of the Year Ward named LaRue County Schools ExCEL Teacher of the Year

LaRue County Schools named Karen Ward of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School the district’s 2016 ExCEL Teacher of the Year.

“I’m honored because I know I was nominated along with other great teachers,” Ward said. “When you work in a district full of excellent teachers, it’s surprising and overwhelming to be chosen for this award.”

Ward, a fourth-grade math teacher, was recognized at a dinner Thursday along with the district’s three other finalists: Cara Holt, an art teacher at Hodgenville Elementary School, Pam Baker, a math teacher at LaRue County Middle School, and Heather Blackwell, an English teacher at LaRue County High School.

“These four teachers are exceptional leaders in their profession, and LaRue County is fortunate to have them in our classrooms,” said superintendent Sam Sanders. “We’re very proud to honor their work and what it means for students.”

How test scores analysis influences teaching strategies How test scores analysis influences teaching strategies

While public statewide assessment data released earlier this month revealed how schools and school districts are performing, educators in LaRue County Schools are exploring the data in much more detail - subject by subject and student by student.

The analysis underway will help shape school-wide plans as well as strategies for individual students.

“This is not something we talk about during the month of October and move on,” said LaRue County High School principal Kyle Goodlett. “This will influence everything we do for the rest of the year, from individual lesson planning to comprehensive school planning.”

LaRue chapter competing at National FFA Convention and Expo FFA logo

Three teams from the LaRue County High School FFA chapter are competing at the 2015 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville this week.

The 2015 convention is celebrating its last year of its three-year run in Louisville Oct. 28-31.   More than 60,000 FFA members and guests from throughout the United States are expected at this year's event. 

Goals achieved at LaRue County Adult Education Goals achieved at LaRue County Adult Education

When 21-year-old Kyle Gron moved to Hodgenville from his hometown of Tampa, Fla., he didn’t have a job lined up, but he did have a goal in mind — to finish his high school education.

Connie Goff, LaRue County Schools director of adult and community education, hopes his success at achieving and surpassing that goal in a relatively short amount of time will serve as motivation for others.

A smooth fall break transition A smooth fall break transition

The rest and relaxation of fall break is important for students, and we hope the upcoming break is an opportunity for all our students to recharge and enjoy time with their families and friends. But it’s also important that teachers and parents are mindful of ways to ensure a smooth transition back to the classroom when the break ends.

“It doesn’t take long for kids to forget school procedures,” said Eric Hughes, principal at Hodgenville Elementary School (HES). “Our teachers offer many ways to keep them on track – such as encouragement, rewards and praise.”

Parents play a large roll in helping students maintain a learning environment over breaks. If your child is younger, read to them daily during fall break, Hughes said. If your child is older and reading independently they can start a new book or even establish a family reading time while away from school.

State tests rank LCS in top 10 percent of school districts State tests rank LCS in top 10 percent of school districts

LaRue County Schools ranks 18th of 173 school districts in the state and ranked higher than all districts in surrounding counties, results of the state’s 2015 Unbridled Learning school accountability assessment show.

“This latest round of test scores illustrates the tremendous efforts of LaRue County Schools students, teachers and staff,” said superintendent Sam Sanders. “Our schools and our community should be very proud that our district continues to make gains and is among the top 10 percent of Kentucky school districts.” 

4th District Treble Chorus 4th District Treble Chorus students

LaRue County Students Participate in Treble Chorus

Agriculture Program Success Continues Agriculture Program Success Continues

Being named one of six outstanding high school agricultural programs in America by the National Association of Agriculture Educators means that LaRue County High School teachers Misty Bivens and Chris Thomas are keeping abreast of the ever-changing face of agriculture.

“All high school Ag programs are made up of the same three components - FFA, SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) and instruction,” said Bivens. “The instruction component is where there are more differences from state to state and program to program. We offer classes in animal science, ag mechanics, food science, vet technology, greenhouse technology and have two introductory courses designed for freshmen and sophomores.”

That diversity of instruction is important and necessary, according to Bivens, especially since the number of small independent farmers nationwide is decreasing.

HES students take a trip back to Lincoln's time HES students take a trip back to Lincoln's time

Some students from Hodgenville Elementary School took a vicarious trip back to the time of the 16th President earlier this month, thanks to a “Walk through Lincoln’s Life” event at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

“The park first did this in 2006,” said park guide Gary Ferguson.  “It’s a two-day educational curriculum-based event for area schools.”

Ferguson said students followed a boardwalk at the visitors center to several stations where they experienced events and activities depicting daily life during the early 1800s when Lincoln lived in Kentucky.

4th District Honors Choir 4th District Honors Choir

The following students were selected through school auditions and got to perform with other top choir students throughout the surrounding counties. They rehearsed music before this event and then had a long rehearsal on Monday, September 21st at Central Hardin High School with all the other schools that were involved. The Jr. High and Senior High Choir both consisted on over 200 students from the surrounding counties, so to be selected for this choir was a high honor. The student then went to Campbellsville University on Tuesday, September 22nd where they rehearsed all day until their concert, which was at 7:00p.m. at Ransdell Chapel on the campus of Campbellsville University. Throughout, this experience the students not only grew as mature musicians, but also showed their Hawk Pride by representing LaRue Co. with much maturity, focus, respect, leadership and talent. They put on a fabulous concert! Congratulations for all their hard work!

HES Parent Night Sept. 14th & Sept. 15th HES Parent Night Sept. 14th & Sept. 15th

Parents are encouraged to come out for our HES Parent Night.

Safety a top priority on school buses Safety a top priority on school buses

School districts are given the responsibility not only to provide the best education possible for their students, but also to pick them up and return them home safely.

School bus drivers are trained and the buses are equipped with safety equipment all intended to make each student’s ride to and from school safe.

LaRue County Adult Education ranks first in state LaRue County Adult Education ranks first in state

LaRue County Adult Education Center topped the list in 2014-2015 yearend Top 25 Kentucky Adult Education Programs ranking.

“This accomplishment reinforces how hard our instructors and students work to succeed,” said Connie Goff, director of adult and community education for LaRue County Schools. “It says really good things about our program.”

Rankings, both monthly rankings and the year-end ranking, are based on enrollment, academic performance and GED attainment.

Dart Foundation funds new technology at LCHS Dart Foundation funds new technology at LCHS

LaRue County High School accepted a $2,205 grant from Dart Foundation that will fund calculators to better equip AP Calculus students. 

Several Dart Foundation committee members traveled from Dart Container in Horse Cave to present a check to math teacher Justin Craft, principal Kyle Goodlett and assistant principal Chris Price.

“These calculators do more than our basic graphing calculators, organizing and performing operations in a way that allows students to focus on learning the mathematics and seeing the real world applications,” Craft said.



LCS welcomes new teachers LCS welcomes new teachers

This year’s new LaRue County Schools’ certified staff come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and specialties as well as locations.

Teen Court
LCS Looks to Curb Unexcused Absences with Code of Conduct Changes Code of Conduct

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education approved several changes in the district’s student code of conduct during the summer.

“Almost all the changes deal with unexcused absences,” explained Rip Collins, district director of pupil personnel.           

Those changes include: A student who has reached eight unexcused absences (two unexcused tardies are counted as one unexcused absence) will lose the privilege to drive to school for the remainder of that school year. If that number reaches 10, the student also will no longer have the privilege to attend prom for that school year. Additionally, students who accumulate 12 or more unexcused absences will no longer be allowed to take part in graduation ceremonies for that school year.

Ensuring Smooth Transitions for Students Ensuring Smooth Transitions for Students

Those times when students progress from elementary to middle school and middle to high school are for some of them giant leaps into new environments with different teachers, administrators and rules.

Kellie Sandidge, LaRue County Middle School counselor, spoke about how those events affect students entering her school.

“It is very normal for sixth-grade students to feel a wide range of emotions entering middle school,” she said. “Some students feel nervous or anxious, some feel excited and some feel a combination of both.”

LCMS staff helps smooth that transition and ease anxiety in several ways, according to Sandidge.

LCHS Welcomes New Hawks Football Coach New Hawks Football Coach

Tony Hatmaker, a LaRue County High School graduate and longtime college coach, he has returned to LaRue County as head coach of the Hawks football team.


With the 2015 football season underway, he noted that one of his greatest motivations to become a coach was to positively influence young men.


“My goal is to win the state championship, but my purpose is to help young men reach their potential, both on and off the field,” said Hatmaker.

Ready for a great first year of school Ready for a great first year of school

We know the transition to kindergartner can be difficult for not only little ones, but also their parents. However, a little preparation can ease the transition.

Karen Downs, principal at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, encourages parents to teach their children independence before starting school to help make the experience as positive as possible.



Hawks Top State Averages, School Records on ACT Hawks Top State Averages, School Records on ACT

LaRue County High School 2015 ACT scores show students are exceeding state averages and breaking school records.


Students scored higher than the statewide average composite ACT score as well as the statewide average scores in each subject tested. The test covers English, reading, math and science.

Kitchen update improves cafeteria experience at LCMS Kitchen update improves cafeteria experience at LCMS

This summer, LaRue County Middle School embarked on a renovation project to make serving more than 750 student meals per day more efficient.

The $88,600 project included new floor epoxy and updated serving wall openings, which will ease congestion.

“We updated and improved our kitchen preparation area in such a way as to allow for better flow of students in and out of the lunch line,” said Sam Sanders, superintendent of LaRue County Schools.


Taking Care of Business 5k Color Run/Walk Taking Care of Business 5k Color Run/Walk

Taking Care of Business 5k Color Run/Walk

August 8, 2015

Entry Fee:  $25 by August 1, 2015

                   $30 after August 1, 2015

Start Time/Location: 9:00 a.m. at LaRue County High School

All proceeds will benefit Business & Technology students going to Walt Disney World in November.  Students will be learning about the Disney Corporation, marketing, advertising and technology used at Walt Disney World.

Participants can register at http://www.active.com/hodgenville-ky/running/distance-running-races/taking-care-of-business-5k-color-run-walk-2015-14275563?int= or by contacting Jennifer Bernard by phone: 270-735-3419 by e-mail: jennifer.bernard@larue.kyschools.us or Shannon Bowen by phone: 270- 537-5367 by e-mail: shannon.bowen@larue.kyschools.us

Newby to represent LCHS at statewide HOBY seminar Newby to represent LCHS at statewide HOBY seminar

LaRue County High School student Seth Newby will serve as the school’s ambassador at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar at Eastern Kentucky University.


The statewide leadership seminar, set for June 11-15, is designed to help high school students who recently finished their sophomore year to recognize their leadership talents and to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community, according to HOBY.

Brian Anderson wins national speech championship Brian Anderson wins national speech championship

Brian Anderson stands with his speech coaches Bill Thompson, Eric Cecil and Katy Cecil at the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Dallas, where he won the final round in International Extemp and the tournament overall.

Adult education holds graduation Adult education holds graduation
All LaRue Students to Eat Free Next School Year All LaRue Students to Eat Free Next School Year

A program that provides free breakfast and lunch to students will expand to all LaRue County Schools in the 2015-16 school year, helping to ensure students are ready to learn and cutting paperwork for parents.

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education unanimously approved free breakfast and lunch for every middle and high school student. Free breakfast and lunch already is provided at the district’s elementary schools.

Substitute Bus Drivers Needed Substitute Bus Drivers Needed - Contact Ron Whitlock at 270-358-4111

The LaRue County School District has an opening for a Substitute Bus Driver.  Job requirements include:  Type B CDL License - Passenger Endorsement, pass p-hysical, Training Program, Driving Test, and Criminal Background Check.  For more information, please contact the Ron Whitlock at the LaRue County School District bus garage at 270-358-4747.

Five LCHS students headed to Governor’s Scholars Program Five LCHS students headed to Governor’s Scholars Program

Five LaRue County High School juniors have been selected to participate in the prestigious Governor’s Scholars Program this summer.

Audry Schaefer, Randall Young, Chloe Owen, Matthew Crain and Nichole Thomas will attend the summer residential program on a Kentucky college campus, where they’ll take part in challenging classes, seminars, co-curricular activities, special events and more. In addition, junior Autumn Roten was selected as an alternate.

LCHS Ranked Best High School by U.S. News LCHS Ranked Best High School by U.S. News

For the third year in a row, LaRue County High School has earned a spot on the U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools list.

“This is a recognition of a job well done for students and staff,” said Kyle Goodlett, LaRue County High School principal. 

The ranking comes from information collected by U.S. News & World Report. It is a yearly compilation of school-specific data, including results of state assessments and Advanced Placement test, from 21,150 public high schools. The top-scoring 6,500 schools across the country were awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal.