Special honors at local schools

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Editorial: Oct. 2, 2012

ISSUE: Kudos for local schools
OUR VIEW: Always something to praise


Local public schools are enjoying fall break this week. But even during a holiday, there’s time for well-deserved praise.

Fortunately for this community, it’s not difficult to find praiseworthy events in the local districts.

DISTINCTIVE TALENT AT JTA. Perhaps Kentucky’s most distinctive honor for educators is the Ashland Teacher Achievement Award.

The latest list of 24 honorees includes Byron Witham, band director at J.T. Alton Middle School in Vine Grove. If this recognition were not enough, Witham’s selection also means he’s in the running for middle school teacher of the year.

The Ashland awards often go to teachers of core subjects. Witham said he found it “overwhelming” someone felt his work in the music department was important enough to recognize.

“It brought a smile to my face,” he said.

It also brings a smile to the faces of parents, students and his co-workers at JTA.

CLASSROOMS OF EXCELLENCE. An emphasis on early childhood education is more than a pledge in the Hardin County Schools. It’s obvious a commitment.

The new Classrooms of Excellence certification for preschools now is held by teachers at five HCS schools. Only 30 have been recognized across the state and one-sixth are in Hardin County.

Creekside Elementary School preschool teacher Samantha Hart was the most recent to receive the distinction from the Kentucky Department of Education. Teachers at Lincoln Trail, G.C. Burkhead, Heartland and New Highland elementaries previously were honored.

It’s a distinction that makes the district proud and certainly sends a clear message of commitment to our entire community.

NATIONAL MAGAZINE RECOGNITION. It’s always nice to be recognized but when the recognition is shared on a national stage that’s a special thrill.

Central Hardin and Elizabethtown high schools were listed among the best in the latest ranking from U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools national rankings.

The rankings are based on performance on state proficiency tests, performance of at-risk student populations on those tests, and results on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. That’s quite a battery and Elizabethtown High earned a silver medal and Central received a bronze medal.

It’s one more bright spot to celebrate during fall break.