March 30, 2018
Pension Updates

Senate Bill 151, which was approved by the General Assembly on Thursday, contains changes to the pension systems. The bill is expected to be signed by the governor, however the attorney general and others say they will file legal challenges. We will keep you updated. For more information, please see the following:

Hopkins County Schools' staff held "walk-ins" at their schools before class and held signs outside the old Courthouse to share their feelings about the state funding / pension debate. A select group also traveled to Frankfort 
this week and met with legislators.
Last Day of School Set

The last day of school for students will now be Wednesday, May 23. The 2017-2018 school calendar has been amended to include May 23 as a make-up day for March 12, which was a snow day.
Tuesday, May 22, will be a Staff Development Day. (This was moved from March 16, which was used as a make-up day.) Several of our school buildings are polling places, so schools cannot be in session for students that day. Closing day for teachers will be Thursday, May 24.

2018-2019 School Calendar Approved

The Board of Education has set the school calendar for 2018-2019. Opening Day will be Wednesday, Aug. 1. We will welcome students for their first day on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

The calendar includes the following Professional Development Days:
  • Thursday, Aug. 2 - The morning session will be #TeamHopkins Day at Madisonville North Hopkins High School, and the afternoon session will be PD at the individual schools.
  • Monday, Aug. 6 - This is the only flex PD day.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6 - PD day for data disaggregation and instructional planning; mandatory for all teachers.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 2 - PD day in your building; mandatory for all teachers.  This was a request from the Calendar Committee.
2018-2019 School Calendar
Jerry Hershberger
A Lion Chaser does not play it safe, but will run toward the roar. They dream big and go after it even if it scares them. They know that impossible odds will lead them to a miracle.  They have an eye for opportunity, and go forth seizing the day. Their actions inspire others to dream again. A Lion Chaser is one who guides the innocent and less fortunate. We see an example of this in the lives of the faculty and staff of the high school in Parkland, Fla.,  and as a bus driver for Hopkins County Schools.

The Parkland faculty and staff showed their Lion Chaser traits by risking their lives for the students and themselves. They lived their lives to guide students in the right direction, empowering the youth to stand up for what they believe to be right. The bus drivers in Hopkins County also have great influence upon the youths of the community. They treat their buses as a classroom. As drivers, we have the responsibility so show that we are Lion Chasers by molding the younger generation and guiding them along their way.

Following the roar of a lion is what Hopkins County Schools encourages. It is necessary if one is to be a Lion Chaser and chase their dream, to encourage others along the way, ensuring respect and confidence from the students.

A Lion Chaser knows that if their dream does not scare them, it's too small. They will dare to have dreams bigger than themselves and to always seek to be an example to the youth that are in their charge. Lion Chasers view their charge as their pride (tribe) and see their responsibility as something that cannot be refused nor neglected.

- Jerry Hershberger
Bus Driver

How are YOU being a Lion Chaser?
Finance Notes

Anyone who is planning to retire at the end of the year, please realize that both KRS and TRS are very busy this time of year. You need to get your paperwork submitted as early as possible.


Also, summer payrolls are processed before June30, and then direct deposited to your account over the summer months. You cannot change your direct deposit bank account after June 15. This may cause delays in receiving payroll.

Game Changers: WBES Workforce Team

West Broadway Elementary School's Workforce Team was honored by the Board of Education West Broadway Workforce Team on March 5 with a Game Changer Award. This is a new program for 5 th -graders. Each applicant goes through an extensive application and interview process that includes submitting references to FRYSC coordinator Julie Faulk. They apply for specific job placements, such as special events/assembly crew, health/environmental crew, cafeteria crew, reading/math tutors and more. Students receive WBES bucks for their work. This may be spent on choices such as free homework pass, extra art, extra recess, and time assisting Mrs. Julie. Students must follow the school's Guidelines for Success and be positive role models. The program has improved students' motivation, responsibility and work ethic, while preparing them for real-life experiences such as applying for a job and being held accountable for their work performance.

Lions Club Man of the Year Board member Steve Faulk with Kelly Forbes
Hopkins County Board of Education member Steve Faulk was named Madisonville Lions Club 2017 Man of the Year. The award was presented March 20. He was recognized for his involvements for school sports programs and his service on the school board. Woman of the Year was Kelly Forbes.

HCEF Grant Applications Available
Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Hopkins County Education Foundation Mini- Grant. 
Applications are due Friday, May 11, 2018.  Applications may be scanned and emailed to Jennifer Luttrell, sent to the Board of Education Central Office via interoffice mail, or mailed to 320 S. Seminary St., Madisonville, KY 42431.

Foundation Accepting Scholarship Applications

Hopkins County Education Foundation is accepting 2018 Scholarship Applications. The foundation awards the following scholarships:
  • Pat Mickle - Awarded to a Madisonville North Hopkins senior planning to major in education
  • Waverly F. Lee - Awarded to a Madisonville North Hopkins senior involved in band.
Completed applications are due to the MNHHS guidance counselor by April 20.

Community Partners

The community organizations that #TeamHopkins will highlight in April are Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake (Browning Springs Middle) and Habitat for Humanity (Career & Technology Center). 

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the premier national mentoring organization, that has been matching children with caring mentors for more than 100 years. The local organization offers community, site-based and high school buddy mentoring programs. Bowl for Kids' Sake, the main fund-raising effort, will be April 21 at Melody Lanes.

Habitat for Humanity of Hopkins County is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing. The agency builds houses in partnership with qualifying low-income families in need of simple, decent affordable housing.

Click image for a printable copy
Click image for a printable copy

Student Awarded  Wendy Gamblin and Emma Gibson
Disney Grant

Emma Gibson, a 5 th -grade student at West Broadway Elementary School, has been awarded a Disney Summer of Service grant through YSA (Youth Service America). The grant will support Gibson in leading a community service effort involving The Primrose Project.

Her goal is to plant more primrose flowers throughout Madisonville. WBES teacher Wendy Gamblin assisted with the grant application.

Gibson is one of 270 young leaders across the country awarded a $500 Disney Summer of Service grant to organize projects to help make their communities healthier, greener and stronger. 
Hopkins County teacher launches education blog

South Hopkins Middle School teacher Garris L. Stroud has recently launched Kentucky School Kentucky School Talk logo Talk, an education blog dedicated to honest conversation about what's working and what's not when it comes to public schools in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky School Talk is the result of Stroud's partnership with Education Post, a national Garris Stroud organization focused on improving equity and excellence in public schools across the country. Founded by Peter Cunningham, former assistant secretary of communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education, Education Post seeks to "elevate the voices of the people who matter most in the movement to improve schools: parents, kids and teachers."

"I am grateful for this opportunity to continue elevating student, teacher and parent voice in a meaningful way," Stroud says. "Through these platforms, I have access to a statewide and nationwide audience of people who genuinely care about making meaningful changes for our students."

The blog has already caught the eye of Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt. "This is an excellent piece," commented Pruitt on a recent blog post. "Thanks for what you do for our kids!
Stroud, who envisions Kentucky School Talk as "the Kentucky Sports Radio (KSR) of Kentucky schools," also serves as a Kentucky State Teacher Fellow, one of 28 across the state of Kentucky. Stroud received a three-year appointment to the Commissioner of Education's Teacher Advisory Council in February, and is a 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year nominee. Recently, Stroud was invited to speak on teacher leadership at the 2018 Global Issues in Multidisciplinary Academic Research Conference in Tokyo, Japan.

Stroud's site recently launched at His writing can also be found on the Education Post blog.

Student appointed to Juvenile Justice  Board

Hopkins County Central student Jontae Minor has been appointed to the Juvenile Justice Jontae Minor Advisory Board by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Jontae Minor, who has been a part of the Light of Chance, Hopkins County-based Breathe Youth Arts program for six years, will serve a three-year term, starting Sept. 15, representing youth and young adults under 24. He is the only high school student to be appointed this term.

"I am honored I have been selected to be a part of this program," Minor said. "I really appreciate the opportunity, and I am excited to start voicing my opinion."

The JJAB established a subcommittee for youth called the Subcommittee of Kentucky's Youth. This allows Kentucky's youth to voice their opinions and experiences to make improvements to the juvenile justice system. This board develops program criteria for early juvenile intervention, diversion and prevention projects. It is made up of members from across the state, who are between the ages of 16-24 when appointed. Those involved are made up of youth advocates, current or former system involved youth and high school or college students who want to be involved in systems of change. Members are expected to have a mature and responsible attitude at all times.

Annual Military Inspection

Madisonville North Hopkins High School's Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps went through an Annual Military Inspection on March 21. This included an award ceremony and pass in review in the school gym.

6th in the Nation

NJROTC Academic Team
The Madisonville North Hopkins High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps National Academic Team placed 1st in Area 3. There are 163 teams competing from Area 3, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The team finished 6th out of 1,779 teams nationwide.

Perfect Score T Sanchez

Hopkins County Central High School junior T Sanchez shot a perfect score of 300 in a recent match. This is only the 5 th time this mark has been achieved in the 17-year history of the National Archery in Schools Program! In the recent NASP Regionals, Sanchez placed 1 st overall in the male division, and was named top overall archer in the competition. The HCCHS team placed 2 nd in the competition.
Handwritten Notes to Service Members

JROTC cadets review letters before sending them
Hopkins County Central students wrote handwritten notes to service members across the world Jan. 31. The project was organized by the AFJROTC program and the English department. The letters were written to attach to cookies distributed to deployed service members through the nonprofit organization Grammy's Cookie Convoy. There were 601 students who participated.

Grapevine Elementary School Junior Beta Club collected personal hygiene products, which they donated to local veterans.
Hanson Tops in Book It! Participants

Hanson Elementary School received the award for having the most participants in the Book It! 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Walk. Some of the participants are shown above after the race. The annual event, which was held March 10, is a fund-raiser for the Hopkins County Literacy Celebration. Participants are allowed to pick out a free book.

Event Calendar

April 2-6 - Spring Break

To submit information for upcoming issues, email Communications and Community Engagement Specialist Lori Harrison

We are one team,
      one mission,
      one community