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BOE Meeting Highlights

Board welcomes new members, elects chair and vice-chair
In its first meeting of the year Thursday, the McCracken County Board of Education welcomed three new members: Tiffany Watson, Melanie Burkeen and Chris Taylor. In November’s election, Watson, manager of Aloha Pools and Spas, won Dr. Don Heine’s District 2 seat; Burkeen, a real estate appraiser, won Jeff Parker’s District 4 seat; and Chris Taylor, a Legacy Oxygen sales technician, won Jerry Shemwell’s District 5 seat. All three new board members have children currently attending McCracken County Schools. The new members’ first meeting coincided with School Board Member Recognition Month, a statewide celebration of those who fill the at-times unheralded role.
The newly-assembled board elected Kelly Walker as chairman and Steve Shelby as vice chair.

Baptist Health delivers update on School Based Health Clinic performance
Jamey Locke, Baptist Health regional director of operations, updated board members on the hospital’s School Based Health Clinics at McCracken County High School and in the Heath, Reidland and Lone Oak areas of the district. In partnership with Four Rivers Behavioral Health, the clinics offer medical and mental health services to McCracken students, staff and parents, all on school grounds, alleviating access-to-care issues and reducing absenteeism. In the fall semester of 2016 alone, the clinics saw over 1,500 patients a significant increase over fall of 2015.
Janice Schofield, lead Four Rivers counselor at McCracken County High School, also updated board members on the mental health services offered through the clinics. Last semester alone the clinic delivered 451 mental health sessions to 152 patients, the bulk of them high school students. This amounts to a 29 percent increase over the same period last year. In response to the evident need for mental health services in the schools, the clinic now offers counseling sessions in the summer as well as extended hours throughout the year.

Board approves transfer of Hadley James Steger Memorial Scholarship and donation funds to Community Foundation of West Kentucky
Twenty years ago this December, McCracken County students Nicole Hadley, Jessica James and Kayce Steger lost their lives in the tragic Heath High School shooting. Scholarship funds were donated in memory of the three girls and have been in the Board’s accounts ever since. Since the 2013 closing of Heath High School, the scholarship funds intended for HHS graduates have gone untouched. The remaining balance is $14,803.93.
The late Nicole Hadley’s sister, Christina Ellegood, contacted the district recently on behalf of the girls’ families and requested the transfer of the remaining funds to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky to continue the scholarship in memory of her sister, James and Steger. Board members unanimously approved the transfer.
The board also approved the relocation of the Heath High School Memorial from the east side of the Heath Middle School campus to the grassy area to HMS’s west, across Metropolis Lake Road. This will make the memorial more accessible to the public.

McCracken County High School to benefit from West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s $3 million Work Ready Skills Initiative grant
McCracken County Public Schools (MCPS) will soon receive between $20,000 and $25,000 to through the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Work Ready Skills Initiative program, to be used for installation of a new digital services lab at the high school. MCPS was one of many western Kentucky educational institutions that partnered to submit a Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative grant application to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) was the lead on a proposal topping $4 million and involving the Purchase Area Development District, Murray State University, the UK College of Engineering, area school districts and technology centers, and regional business/industry partners. That request was partially funded at $3,040,000. The proposal uses modern equipment for secondary education training programs, expands dual credit offerings from post-secondary institutions and creates short-term credentialing opportunities all to enhance the career readiness of students and adults.

Board approves 2017 meeting dates
The board approved its meeting dates through January 2018. Meetings will be regularly scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office, 5347 Benton Road, on the third Thursday of each month unless otherwise noted with an asterisk below:
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
*Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
*Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017
Thursday Nov. 16, 2017
*Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018