A unique collaboration is taking place between Buckner Elementary and the other schools on campus. Each week, groups of students from Oldham County High School, Oldham County Middle School and the Arvin Education Center come to Buckner to assist with different tasks.
Students from OCHS lend a hand with kindergarten and PE classes. Young adults from the Arvin Education center help make copies and sort and deliver mail to the classrooms. Every Friday, OCMS 8th graders help 3rd graders with a project called “Question Quest”. “It’s a time in the day where all the 3rd graders get to choose something they like to learn about, research it, then the 8th graders come over to just kind of help us,” says 3rd grade teacher Kevin Puckett. "Sometimes the things are had to learn about, it’s too in depth for my kids to understand it, so the 8th graders are there to help them and support them understanding it.”
“I like that we get to do our project with the 8th graders and we don’t have to do it all by ourselves,” says 3rd grader Haley Klein. “They help us research and if you don’t know a word, they’ll help you with it."
Puckett says it’s a win-win for both the 3rd graders and the 8th graders. “8th graders enjoy it as well because they like to help, so they’re getting that feeling of helping, but they’re learning right along with my kids. I’m introducing technology to both of them, so they may not know some of these apps that we’re using or the technology, so they’re learning too."
NOHS Engineering Class builds high-tech equipment using 3-D printed parts
It has taken months of study, research, and trial and error, but students in the Engineering Concepts class at North Oldham High School have built a high-tech speaker system from the ground up. The speakers have crossover features and the work is similar to what would be done in a 3rd year college level electrical engineering course, according to teacher Peter Williams. “The product is wonderful. It has a great sound. It’s sturdy, it’s smart, it’s well thought out. They understand what they are doing. It’s very high level.”
Another student, Mark Scherer, is working on a water propelled drone glider and is almost ready to test it. “You release it and it launches up to about 200 feet and it glides with wings I attached to it. It glides up to a half mile if everything goes right.”
Parts for both projects were printed on 3-D printers at both U of L and Camden Station Elementary. NOHS senior Yoni Smolyar says the collaboration with U of L was critical to building the speakers. “We had to outsource a 3-D printer, so what we did was we contacted the University of Louisville. They allowed us to print a 3-D printed driver. It was a huge help because without that, I don’t know how we could have done that by hand.”
Williams says he is proud of the students for taking the initiative and seeing the projects all the way through. “It shows what students can do when they have the passion about something and the freedom to do it.”
Gatton Academy announces 4 OCS students accepted to Class of 2017
Alexander Banaszak (OCHS), Maria Clark (SOHS), Aaron Kirtland (SOHS) and Logan Parker (OCHS) are part of a "remarkable group," according to Dr. Lynette Breedlove, director of The Gatton Academy.
“The competitiveness of The Gatton Academy’s admission process has continued to increase over the years,” Breedlove said. “This year was no exception. We look forward to our expansion next year and being able to admit a greater number of students. Kentucky has a wealth of exceptional students of whom the state can be proud.”
Applicants were evaluated based on ACT/SAT scores, high school grades, awards, extracurricular activities, responses to essay questions, and letters of recommendation. Last month, 108 candidates were invited to interview with community leaders from across the Commonwealth and Gatton Academy alumni. Students from 39 counties represent the Class of 2017.
The selected students scored an average composite of 30.82 on the ACT and 30.58 on the mathematics portion of the exam. The highest possible score is a 36.
“The Gatton Academy welcomes members of the Class of 2017, a group of outstanding young women and men with high interest in mathematics and science. They come from school districts around the Commonwealth, a testimony to the fact that The Gatton Academy extends advanced learning opportunities to young people in all Kentucky school districts,” said Dr. Julia Roberts, Executive Director of The Gatton Academy. “The Gatton Academy partners with all school districts in Kentucky, having had students from 114 counties in its first nine classes.”
The goal of The Gatton Academy is to enable Kentucky’s exceptional young scientists and mathematicians to learn in an environment that offers advanced educational opportunities, preparing them for leadership roles in Kentucky. Moreover, The Gatton Academy assists in preparing Kentucky to compete in a knowledge-based economy by increasing the number of scientists and engineers who live and work in the state.
Students will complete their junior and senior years of high school living in Bates-Runner Hall this upcoming school year before moving back into a renovated Florence Schneider Hall. The renovation of Florence Schneider Hall will allow for The Gatton Academy to admit 100 students each year, starting with the Class of 2018. At the end of their two-year course of study, students will graduate from high school with a minimum of 60 college credit hours.
The Gatton Academy provides a rich living and learning environment designed specifically for academically talented adolescent students that features clubs, organizations and community service. Additionally, students are able to participate in advanced research with WKU faculty members. Research conducted during students’ time at The Gatton Academy has been honored in the nationally competitive Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, and the Department of Defense Science, Math, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Program. The majority of Gatton Academy students also participate in a study abroad or global learning experience in locations such as Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, England and China.
The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first state-supported, residential program for high school students with interests in advanced science and math careers and one of only 15 such programs in the nation. In 2012 and 2013, Newsweek named The Gatton Academy the nation’s top public high school and in 2014, The Daily Beast named The Gatton Academy the nation’s top public high school.
District announces incoming Chief Academic Officer
Amy Cordrey has been named the district’s new Chief Academic Officer, Superintendent Will Wells announced March 13. Cordrey has served as the district’s Elementary Level Director/Supervisor of Instruction for the past three years. She will fill the Chief Academic Officer vacancy created by the retirement of Anita Davis in July.
"I am confident Amy will continue the great work we have started,” Wells said. “I know she will have a positive and long-term impact on our students and our district."
Wells said Cordrey is passionate about education and not afraid to adapt and innovate to ensure student and staff success.
"Her work leading initiatives like Reading Recovery, the Reading Academy, National Board Certification and Camp Literacy Live are all testament to the spirit and vision she will bring to the position,” he said.
Before joining the central office team in 2012, Cordrey served as Kenwood Station Elementary’s principal from 2010-2012, and as interim principal at Goshen for a year prior to that. From 1997-2009, she filled several positions at Goshen, including as a teacher, instructional coordinator and assistant principal. She was also a teacher at Bardstown Independent Elementary and at Christian Academy of Louisville. Amy is entering her 21st year as an educator.
Amy also holds National Board Certification and educational leadership certification from Indiana University Southeast, as well as undergrad and Master’s degrees in education from the University of Louisville.
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