February 2020
Staff eNews
Best Place to Work!
In celebration of Hopkins County Schools receiving The Messenger Readers’ Choice Award for Best Place to Work, the week of March 2-6 will be Hopkins County Schools Spirit Week. Yes, that is a JEANS WEEK! Principals and department chairs will provide staff members with more specific information. Thanks to all our employees for everything they do for our students, coworkers and community!
New Rules for TRS Retirees Returning to Work
These changes apply only to members who retired on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

  1. The required break in service will be measured from the date of retirement, not the last day worked.
  2. The break is required even if your new job with a TRS employer will not be a TRS position.
  3. Retirees returning to work with any TRS employer will have to sign, along with the new employer, a form certifying no agreement was made prior to retiring about returning to work.

  • A three-month break in service is required if returning to work for the same TRS employer part time or a different TRS employer part or full time.
  • A twelve-month break is required if returning to the same TRS employer full time.
  • These break rules apply regardless of whether the new position is certified or classified.
  • Retirees should always call TRS before doing anything for a TRS employer that they’re unsure is permitted during a break in service.
CO Lunch in the Schools
The Central Office Team introduced a new initiative during the month of February entitled, “Let’s Do Lunch!” CO employees went to eat lunch in the Cafe with either one or both of their schools adopted this year. They loved spending more time in their schools!
Board Approves Architectural Concept Plan for Hanson
Hopkins County Board of Education approved the architectural concept plan for Hanson Elementary School at the Feb. 18 meeting. The two-story, 78,798-square-foot building will be constructed behind the current facility. The next step in the process is design development. Click this link to view floor plans.
Construction Competition
An all-female construction class was offered for the first time this year at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School. The other construction class during the 2 nd trimester had only male students.

“The intent was to provide a better environment for female students in construction,” said teacher Brian Welch, “and the class has definitely met this ambition.”

Throughout the course, each class designed and built a set of bedroom furniture. After completion, the sets were put to a vote to determine which set people liked the most.

The girls won all three votes, winning this year’s challenge.

Both bedroom sets will be donated to local students through the Youth Services Center.
Statistics in Schools Week - March 2-6
Student Videos Will Promote Census
Marketing students at Hopkins County Career & Technology Center are doing their part to make sure local residents complete the 2020 Census. The students are creating a series of videos to promote the effort.

“Students are really taking initiative,” said marketing teacher Sonya Shockley. “They’ve done all the planning. They’ve done the cue cards. They’ve put the folders together.”

The Hopkins County Complete Count Committee, through Director of Pupil Personnel April Devine, enlisted the help of the students. The committee faced a challenge of getting the word out about how important it is to local agencies, including schools, that everyone is counted in the Census while having a nonexistent marketing budget.

The videos will feature several recognizable local citizens, including Superintendent Dr. Deanna Ashby, Sheriff Matt Sanderson, Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton, and more. Students created the scripts, filmed the videos, edited them, and will create a marketing strategy to present them to the public using social media, websites, and other methods.

“This is real world experience,” Shockley said. “They’re getting to meet people in the community. They’re having to learn deadlines, working with the timeline, being professional. It’s everything I try to teach them in the business classes.”
Welding Their Future
The last of 57 underground miner bit transport bins constructed by students at Hopkins County Career and Technology Center has left the Industrial Maintenance and Manufacturing Shop, and is on its way to a location within Alliance Coal.

“It has been rewarding to watch the students not only practice their welding skills, but, more importantly, learn to work as a production team,” said HCCTC instructor Eric Anderson.
The objectives of the project were to allow students to practice their welding and fabricating skills on a product made for an actual customer.

“We’re essentially fabricating these,” Anderson said. “They send us all the pieces and we set them up according to the blueprint and weld them out and fabricate the box.”

The transport bins carry the underground miner bits from the Central Region Roof Bolt Plant to the mine face.

“They carry about 500 bits each,” Anderson said. “They weigh almost 700 pounds. The guys and girls in this class over the past two years have built 57 of these. Webster County has built 15. These are the last two, right here.”

Student Gabe Knowles explained the process: “You’ve got to take a soapstone and a measuring tape, and you’ve got to line up all the sides first for the bit bin.” Alliance Coal provided the material, including nearly 25 tons of plate steel, and several hundred pounds of welding rods and wire. Students welded the pieces together.

“It was pretty fun,” Knowles said. “It gave me hands-on experience actually building things for a company.”

While this project for Alliance Coal has been the largest one the program has taken on, students have also made sign frames and rebuilt trailers. Now, they’re getting ready for to go for their welding certifications this spring.
Anderson thanked Alliance Coal for the opportunity.

“Projects like this help the students take concepts they have learned, and transform that into a customer product,” he said. “We want to be a great support and partner with our local industry in not only building products, but helping to train the future work force.”
Transportation WOW Award

Rosetta Jenkins is the recipient of our February WOW award. She has been a full-time driver for Hopkins County Schools since March 1997. Rosetta loves horses and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a heart for others and truly loves the students on her bus like her own. Rosetta is a valuable team member of our transportation family and respected by her co-workers. We wish her the best in her upcoming retirement!
Unsung Hero Award

Alexander McCaskill III, instructional assistant at Pride Elementary School, was awarded the 2020 Unsung Hero Award from the Concerned Citizens Society on Feb. 1. The award is in recognition of his “exemplary service and contributions to the staff and students at Pride Elementary School and strengthening of the Hopkins County Community.” McCaskill was also honored for “putting service above self.”
#LionChaser / #GiantSlayer Awards
Cafeteria staff and a group of faculty/staff at Earlington Elementary School were honored with the #LionChaser / #GiantSlayer Award at the Feb. 18 Board of Education meeting. They were the first team to implement At-Risk Suppers in the district. Cafeteria staff stay after lunch service each day and prepare about 80 suppers that are served to late bus students and students who are staying for after-school activities. Several teachers volunteer to help serve the meals every afternoon. The program is called "Power Up Snacks." Staff members recognized include Megan Bean, Jamie Brooks, Heather Dunlap, Valerie Epperson, Kay Gipson, Danielle Harper, Jenny Haw, Tracie Mason, Scott Moore, Ginger Putman, Rachel Sandberg, Alaysha Scott, Stacie Stanley, Brooke Stuart, Mary Vandiver, Julie Vaughn, and Katie Wyatt.
James Madison Middle School 8 th -grade reading teacher Amy Belcher was honored with the #LionChaser / #GiantSlayer Award for teaching several lessons that really connected with her students. Her lessons not only made the students think, but also included her own experiences, and provided a connection to the real world. Lessons included the importance of thinking of others, not just yourself, and appreciating what you have instead of wanting more when your needs are met. Great job!
Ready Kids Read Initiative
The Ready Kids Read Initiative, a partnership between Hopkins County Schools and the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, is promoting school readiness. Jennifer Luttrell, director of Elementary Instruction and Early Childhood, provides an introduction to the program in this video. Seven hundred books will be given to young children as part of this program.
Happy Feet Fundraisers
March 31 will be Happy Feet Day. Hopkins County Schools will be participating in a fundraiser to donate $1 per person to wear tennis shoes to work that day, pending board approval. April Devine will provide additional information next Tuesday..

Also, Hopkins County Happy Feet March Mania will be held on March 31. The event will raise money to help provide shoes for students this year. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the event at Ballard Convention Center. Tickets are $280 for a reserved table of eight guests, or $40 for individual entry tickets. For tickets, contact April Devine at april.devine@hopkins.kyschools.us .
Pop Tab Collection
for Ronald McDonald House
The Occupational Health Club at Browning Springs Middle School is collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. The collection is in honor of classmate Pravion Stafford, who is fighting cancer. They also hope to raise awareness of childhood cancer. After a story appeared in The Messenger, additional donations have come in from the area, including one couple who donated a 55-gallon bucket full! Anyone who would like to contribute to the Pop Tab Drive should call the school at 270-825-6006.