Thursday Oct. 26, 2017
Heath High School shooting survivor Missy Jenkins Smith shares chapter from upcoming book, message of hope as shooting’s 20th anniversary approaches
Dec. 1 will mark 20 years since a shooting at Heath High School claimed the lives of three students — Nicole Hadley, Jessica James and Kayce Steger — and wounded five others. Hadley’s sister, Christina Ellegood, and one of the five wounded, Missy Jenkins Smith, shared a plan with the board Thursday night to turn the tragic anniversary into a day for hope and positive change.
In mid-November Jenkins Smith will release her second book, Lessons from a School Shooting Survivor. She and Ellegood hope McCracken County Schools and schools across the country will use it as part of a larger initiative to spread love and kindness, especially on Dec. 1.
Superintendent Brian Harper expressed his eagerness to share Jenkins Smith’s book with school counselors and students throughout McCracken County Schools. Ellegood said the outpouring of support from the community, first for the new monument across form Heath Middle School, and now for the book, makes her feel like her sister, James and Steger have not been forgotten.
Board members hear KPREP performance highlights
Though the state’s accountability system is undergoing a massive overhaul, including the eradication of labels like Proficient, Distinguished and Needs Improvement, Assistant Superintendent Heath Cartwright told board members he’s confident McCracken’s “label” has not changed.
“There’s no doubt that we continue to be a distinguished district,” Cartwright told them.
McCracken elementary schools’ academic achievement ranged from being in the top 35th percentile to the top 3 percentile of the 712 elementary schools across the state of Kentucky. Together they had academic achievement scores in the top 8%.
• Hendron Lone Oak Elementary was 20th out of 712, putting them in the top 3%
• Concord Elementary was 25th, in the top 4%
• Lone Oak Elementary was 59th, in the top 8%
• Heath Elementary was 79th, in the top 11%
• Lone Oak Intermediate was in the top 21%
• Reidland Elementary was in the top 26%
• Reidland Intermediate was in the top 35%
McCracken middle schools also showed outstanding academic achievement.
• Reidland Middle was 23rd out of 342 middle schools (top 7%)
• Heath Middle was 25th (top 8%)
• Lone Oak Middle was 31st (top 8%)
McCracken County High School came in 22nd of 168 districts for its junior class’s performance on the ACT, with a composite score of 20.9. The state average is 19.8. MCHS also increased its graduation rate by 5.1% to a rate 8.1% higher than the state average.