North Oldham High names Wallace new principal

wallace A new principal will take the Mustang reins this summer after the North Oldham High School Site-Based Decision Making Council announced its choice for the top post April 17.

Craig Wallace will begin as principal July 1 following the retirement of Lisa Jarrett. Jarrett served as principal for eight years.

An associate principal at NOHS since 2006, Wallace began his teaching career in Oldham County 16 years ago, first at South Oldham High then moving to North when it opened. He was excited to be part of “opening” a new school and seeing it develop. Wallace holds degrees from the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Georgetown College. He is currently pursuing his superintendent’s certificate from the University of Louisville.

Superintendent Will Wells said Wallace's commitment to education and district’s philosophy will make him an exceptional leader at NOHS. Wells announced his acceptance of the school’s site-based decision making council April 15. 

“Craig is passionate about education, values professional development and recognizes the importance of communication between all stakeholders,” Wells said.

Wallace said the success of many students is built upon the relationships that are established within a school.

“As a classroom teacher and as an administrator, I have always worked very hard to build strong, supportive relationships with my students and colleagues,” he said. “Likewise, creating a common vision for a school, working together to improve teachers’ instructional practices and positively impacting student learning can best be accomplished when strong relationships are built and maintained between administrators and teachers.”

Wallace emphasized his dedication to ensuring the learning of every child, and his dedication to ensuring each teacher has the capacity to reach that goal. As principal, Wallace said he will protect time for professional learning communities on early release days, meet with PLC leaders regularly and find quality professional development that improves and grows teachers’ toolboxes.

“Each teacher needs to know that their growth professional is one of the most important items on my plate,” Wallace said. “It is only when dedicated , highly reflective and acutely skilled educators work together toward a common goal can all of a school’s students reach their potential as learners.”

With that, Wallace said it is important each teacher makes time to “take the pulse” of each student to gauge their individual level of learning. At that point, teachers can differentiate instruction so every student can be appropriately challenged.

And while life-long learning is important professionally, that desire to constantly be learning is important for teachers to model for students, too.

“Students need to hear that you just read the last book in the Harry Potter series or that you went to see ‘Wicked’ at the Kentucky Center for the Arts,” he said. “If they can see your excitement for learning is real, then maybe it will inspire them to greater heights as a learner.”

As he steps into his new role, Wallace said he will emphasize openness and communication with parents and other stakeholders. He said the school’s use of e-newsletters and social media will continue, but that he will also be constantly looking for new ways for parents to “stay plugged in” to their child’s educational world. 

Wallace knows his new role will come with its own set of challenges as North strives for excellence. But, he sees that as his mission and the mission of the school and staff.

“Everything that we do and every decision we make as educators flow from our love for kids and their learning,” he said.

20 students selected for Governor's Scholar Program

20140415-gspThe Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program class of 2014 was announced this week, including acceptance of 20 Oldham County Schools students from all three district high schools. 

GSP is a five-week summer program for rising high school seniors. Over 1,000 Kentucky students are selected yearly based on a thorough application process detailing their academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, volunteerism, and personal integrity. For the duration of the program, located at three local college campuses chosen through a bidding process, scholars have the rare opportunity to experience college life while attending classes on a daily basis. The Governor's Scholars Program emphasizes wide-ranging representation of all Kentucky regions, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

Each student that is selected is eligible to receive scholarships to any in-state public university within the state of Kentucky, as well as a handful of private institutions. The Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program was established in 1983 as an attempt by Kentucky leaders to keep the state's "best and brightest" interested in furthering education and potentially starting a career in the commonwealth instead of traveling out of the state to do so.

Eight students selected for Governor's School for the Arts

The Governor’s School for the Arts class of 2014 will include eight exceptionally talented students from across Oldham County’s three high schools. GSA is a three-week residential program that provides hands-on arts opportunities in performing arts, visual arts and music. Students are selected through a rigorous application process, including auditions.

Oldham County Schools students accepted to this year’s program represent instrumental music, visual art, vocal music and creative writing.

“While many schools have reduced or entirely eliminated arts programs, we continue to believe they are a vital part of education,” said Superintendent Will Wells. “We are proud to offer arts opportunities for our students both at their schools and through our Arts Center, a unique opportunity most districts do not have."

OCS students selected for the Governor’s School for the Arts:

  • Kyle Burney, SOHS, vocal music
  • Alyssa Dewey, NOHS, instrumental music
  • Kristen Dudding, SOHS, instrumental music
  • Zack Hargrove, NOHS, visual art
  • Marielle Hug, OCHS, vocal music
  • Ellie Miller, OCHS, instrumental music
  • Kennedy Ricci, SOHS, dance
  • Lexie Stepro, OCHS, creative writing 
Whitelaw earns national medal in photography

whitelawAfter qualifying the past two years for the national competition, a North Oldham High junior has earned his first national medal in the Scholastic Art Awards. 

Dean Whitelaw had three photographs earn Gold Key awards at the regional level and qualify for national judging, along with two regional honorable mentions. Last year, one of his photos moved on to national judging and a second earned a Silver Key Award.

Whitelaw is the district’s only national medal recipient, although nine students earned the honor. 

The Scholastic Art Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers.  Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

In the last five years alone, students submitted nearly 900,000 original works of art and writing. During that period, more than 60 top arts institutes and colleges have partnered with the awards to make $40 million in scholarships and financial aid available to regional and national Scholastic Award winners.

Take a 'Book' At What’s Happening at Kenwood Station Elementary!

20140415-ksebooksKenwood Station’s Student Council began a book drive on March 17, with an initial goal to collect 600 new/gently used books by the end of April. By April 7, students had collected 936 books and the books keep coming in! The books collected will be used by Kenwood Station’s Summer Reading Program, a program that helps improve reading skills in students by providing them reading opportunities over the summer months. Any books not selected for use by the Summer Reading Program will be donated to local charities.

Students on the Student-Organized Activities Committee of the Kenwood Station Student Council first came up with the idea to have a book drive by brainstorming as a team about ways students could help the KSE community. The students then came up with a list of tasks that needed to be completed to make the book drive a success. The students then applied these tasks to a timeline to create an overall plan for the book drive. 

As a result of their excellent planning and synergy, the book drive has been a huge success. Part of this success can also be attributed to the student’s comprehensive marketing plan. Students publicized the book drive by creating and performing in a segment for the school’s televised News Cast, by creating and distributing flyers to each family, by writing articles for the school newspaper and by regularly coordinating book drive information to be included in the school’s morning announcements.

The committee’s motto for the book drive is “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” - Margaret Fuller. It looks like Kenwood Station Elementary is well on its way to becoming a school of leaders!

This article was written by the members of the Kenwood Station Student-Organized Activities Committee.

Students qualify for National History Bee

Summer vacation will start in Atlanta for three North Oldham Middle School students — but it won’t be the relaxing weekend their peers are enjoying. These students will be competing at the National History Bee after qualifying at the regional competition April 2 in Lexington.

Ryan Biddle, Libby Foster and Mark Ge will join top finishers from 37 regional finals to compete for the national title at the National History Bee, an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. The competition is divided into three stages — a mandatory online regional qualifying exam, regional finals and national finals. Students participate in several rounds of verbally answering questions with a buzzer system at both the regional and national competitions. The middle school champion of the 2014 National History Bee will receive a $5,000 scholarship prize.   

Each question has multiple sentences with multiple clues, arranged from hardest clue to easiest clue. Each clue points to the same answer and theoretically the student who knows the most about that answer will be able to identify it quickest. The majority of questions are answered towards the end, where the clues refer to far more common historical facts.  


QUESTION: This name is the first name of a co-founder of Standard Oil with the last name Flagler and it is also the first name of the Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams. One English king with this name ordered the death of Thomas a Becket while another was victorious at Agincourt. What name is also the middle name of short-lived President William Harrison?

ANSWER: Henry  

QUESTION: This ruler forced one of his followers, Seneca, to commit suicide for his role in the Pisonian Conspiracy, and a rebellion led by Vindex may have led him to commit suicide. What Roman emperor supposedly “fiddled while Rome burned” in 64 AD?

ANSWER: Nero  

QUESTION: This man’s time as Secretary of Commerce included managing recovery from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. This politician defeated Al Smith to gain the presidency, and his name was used for shanty towns built during the Great Depression. What American President served during the 1929 Wall Street Crash?

ANSWER: Herbert Hoover


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