From Colonel to Cougar: Matthew Lund honored by KMEA

20150827 lundFormer Colonel marching band member Matthew Lund hopes to inspire a future generation of players as the music teacher at Crestwood Elementary. In his fourth year of teaching, Lund was recently named the Fifth District Elementary Music Educator of the Year by members of the Kentucky Music Educators Association.

The fifth district includes Oldham, Shelby, Henry, Trimble, Carroll, Spencer, Bullitt and Anderson counties. Lund will be considered for the statewide award along with 11 other district-level recipients.

Lund grew up in Oldham County, attending Centerfield and Buckner Elementary schools, then Oldham County Middle and Oldham County High.

When he began studying music, it was first on the piano in fourth grade. In middle school, he switched to the clarinet for a year before ultimately pursuing the saxophone.

“I became a music teacher because of Brad (Rogers),” he said, the long-time band director at OCHS. Rogers, along with SOMS music/band teacher Bob Parker, nominated Lund for the honor.

Rogers said Lund is one of several OCHS band students who have gone on to become successful music educators, including Kenwood Station Elementary’s Sherri Meier. “I was really happy to see him come home to work with students at Crestwood Elementary, and I am really proud he received this honor from his professional colleagues in the KMEA 5th District,” he said.

Crestwood Elementary Principal Candace McDaniel said Lund works collaboratively with the OCS music professional learning community to integrate reading, math, social studies and science into his music instruction. Lund said he tries to connect music class to the content students are learning in other classes — but he also tries to connect it to their lives.

“I bring pop culture into the classroom when I can,” he says, “I work to make it fun and exciting.”  This week, fifth graders interpreted poetry with dance and movement to tell a story. And last year, fifth grade students studied Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” — the song's lyrics referencing more than 100 headline events between 1949 and 1989. Students discussed what fires their own generation will be responsible for putting out. "Just like in the song people didn’t start the Vietnam War but they had deal with it," a student said. "We didn’t start Isis but our generation will have to deal with it.”

Lund also strives to incorporate a lot of instrumental work and movement, and isn’t afraid himself to “get down on the ground and be goofy and dance."

McDaniel said Lund is an amazing teacher — he has kindergarten students practicing addition number sentences using whole and quarter notes.

"He'll read aloud a text while students are clapping their hands or playing musical instruments to the rhythm of the words in the text," she said.

“This is not a ‘sit-and-get’ class,” he said, explaining he developed his style after student teaching in Warren County. “It was baptism by fire — she just turned me loose in the classroom,” he said.

Lund graduated from OCHS in 2008 and went on to Western Kentucky University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in music education and a master’s in music education/teacher leadership.  At WKU he was a member of the Big Red Marching Band, including serving Drum Major for two years. He was also the principal sax player in the wind ensemble for two years.

In 2012, he began his career at Crestwood Elementary. The award came as a surprise — he wasn’t able to attend the meeting and found out his colleagues chose him via a text message. He’s honored, he says, but adds that this isn’t a career one gets into because of the awards.

“Every day I come in here excited to teach,” he said.

College and Career Night and Regional College Fair

The district's College & Career Night programs are sponsored by all three high school PTSAs — ALL students and families are welcome and are encouraged to attend.

How to Select a College and Get Useful Information at the Regional College Fair

September 1, 7-8:30 p.m. SOHS Cafeteria

Learn what's important when selecting a college, how to find options that fit your needs, and what to ask college admissions counselors at the September Oldham County Regional College Fair. These and other related topics will be addressed during the program. (Suited for all grade levels)

Oldham County's Regional College Fair

September 10, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. SOHS Cafeteria and Auditorium

Pick up materials and meet college admissions directors from large, medium and small sized colleges, technical & career schools from KY, IN, OH, AL, IL, NC and more! Don't miss this opportunity to learn about programs, majors, and scholarships that the schools have to offer. (Great program for grades 10 - 12)

Oldham Co. Educational Foundation releases annual report

2014-15-annualreportThe Oldham County Educational Foundation was created in 1989 with an initial mission of partnering with local businesses to fund a computer in every classroom. For more than 25 years, OCEF has provided support to Oldham County Schools by fostering relationships with community members and local business — people who care about our community and the success of our students.

Last year was an exciting year for the Oldham County Educational Foundation — with a renewed focus on fundraising efforts, the foundation greatly increased the amount of support it was able to provide to Oldham County Schools. 

And, OCEF's board of directors also dedicated countless hours to updating our strategic plan, including revising the vision and mission. 

OCEF's mission is to raise funds to elevate the public education experience for Oldham County Schools students. As a nonprofit, OCEF does this through the support of individuals, businesses, charitable and civic organizations. Simply put, OCEF exists to elevate the educational experience in Oldham County Schools. 

The board of directors also tasked themselves with a goal: increase our revenues to $500,000 a year by 2020.

Last week, OCEF released its annual report for 2014-15 and also shared the year's accomplishments with the Oldham County Board of Education

During 2014-15, OCEF's focus remained on five key initiatives: Pyramid Awards for innovative classroom instruction, the OCS Arts Center, gifted and talented education services, literacy intervention and initiatives, and STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math). 

OCEF also sponsored a student showcase for OCS Arts Center performers and hosted our annual Drive a Ford fundraiser — with the largest attendance yet! Students also had opportunities to participate in the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens sculpture show and Project Graduation thanks to funding from OCEF.

OCEF President Clay Jones said he is excited about the year ahead. "We know OCEF can accomplish great things — but only with your help," he said. "Please consider volunteering with one of our committees or making a donation today. Help us elevate the educational experience in OCS!"


Board of Education votes to maintain current tax rate

On Monday, Aug. 24, the Board of Education voted unanimously to retain the existing property tax rate of 76.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value, the same as last year.

Interim Superintendent Rick McHargue said current property assessments and enrollment estimates will yield enough revenue for the district to meet its financial obligations, including a 2% salary increase for all staff, without a tax increase this year. This follows two years of tax increases and about $3 million in budget cuts that were necessary to end a reliance on contingency funds for recurring expenses. Last year’s tax increase was also directed to provide an additional 1% salary increase for teachers.

Approving the tax rate is the second of three steps in the annual budget process. The board passed the 2015-16 tentative budget in May, and will conclude the process by passing the working budget at the Sept. 28 meeting.

Of the recommended 76.5 cent tax rate, only 54.1 cents are available for operational expenses through the general fund. A portion of the local tax revenue generated must be set aside for the building fund per state law. These funds are used to pay the debt service on existing buildings, as well as pay for renovations on existing buildings and construction of new facilities.

The board of education voted to raise the tax rate in each of the past two fiscal years upon the superintendent’s recommendation. Over the past decade, the Oldham County Board of Education has increased tax rates by a total of 9.5 cents (per $100), averaging an annual increase of 1.36 percent.

Morrison, Rairick recognized for conservation contest entries

morrisEast Oldham Middle School student Luke Morrison is the winner of the 2014 Conservation Writing Contest for Oldham County and the Area 4 winner for the state. 

The purpose of the contests, sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation and Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, is to educate students on soil, water, forestry and wildlife conservation. Curriculum is available for teachers to use in their classrooms, and students in grades 1-5 may submit artwork, and students in grades 6-12 may enter an essay. This year’s theme was “Protect Kentucky’s Soil.” This year more than 47,000 students participated in the art contest and more than 17,000 participated in the writing contest.

Science teacher Dennis Mangum assigned the contest entry to the class. “I like science and I really enjoy writing,” said Luke. “I wanted to try it out and get as far as I could.”

Congrats also to Owen Rairick, Camden Station Elementary School, Oldham County winner in the Jim Claypool Art contest.

The Courier-Journal featured this accomplishment in their "Achievers" column.

New principals, administrators welcomed to district


Familiar faces will fill administrative roles in Oldham County Schools for the 2015-16 school year, including principal positions and at central office. 

New at central office: Interim Superintendent Rick McHargue, Chief Academic Officer Amy Cordrey, Director of Student Services Jonathan Wosoba, Elementary Level Director Michele Horn and Secondary Level Director Brent Deaves.

New principals: Jessica Kasten (OC Preschool), Liz Dant (Buckner Elementary), Eric Davis (Kenwood Station Elementary), Suzie Hackmiller (Harmony Elementary), Mark Robson (East Oldham Middle), Beth Carter (Buckner Alternative High) and Rich Graviss (Oldham County High).

Former chief operations officer Rick McHargue was tapped by the Board of Education to serve as interim superintendent. McHargue retired in 2013 after serving in Oldham County Schools for 37 years. During his career, he served as principal of Crestwood and Buckner Elementary schools, and taught 2nd grade and music at Crestwood Elementary. The University of Louisville named McHargue a distinguished alumnus in 1997. In 1996, he was named a national distinguished principal by the U.S. Department of Education. He also earned a Kentucky Association of School Administrators leadership award in 1992.

Amy Cordrey is the district’s new Chief Academic Officer, following the retirement of Anita Davis. Cordrey has served as the district’s Elementary Level Director/Supervisor of Instruction for the past three years. Before joining the central office team in 2012, Cordrey served as Kenwood Station Elementary’s principal from 2010-2012, and as interim principal at Goshen for a year prior to that. From 1997-2009, she filled several positions at Goshen, including as a teacher, instructional coordinator and assistant principal. She was also a teacher at Bardstown Independent Elementary and at Christian Academy of Louisville. Amy is entering her 21st year as an educator.

"I am confident Amy will continue the great work we have started,” said Interim Superintendent Rick McHargue. “I know she will have a positive and long-term impact on our students and our district."

McHargue said Cordrey is passionate about education and not afraid to adapt and innovate to ensure student and staff success. "Her work leading initiatives like Reading Recovery, the Reading Academy, National Board Certification and Camp Literacy Live are all testament to the spirit and vision she will bring to the position,” he said.

Cordrey also holds National Board Certification and educational leadership certification from Indiana University Southeast, as well as undergrad and Master’s degrees in education from the University of Louisville.

And, Jonathan Wosoba will join the central office team as the Director of Student Services, a position vacated by the retirement of Dan Orman. Wosoba has served as principal of Buckner Alternative High School since 2004, and was the associate principal there for four years prior to that.

“Jonathan has been a tremendous asset to our district for the past 15 years, working to develop Buckner Alternative High School into a safe, supportive learning environment,” McHargue said.

While at BAHS, Wosoba developed relationships with every middle and high school in the district, including the administrators, teachers and support staff. Wosoba has also established a rapport with the county’s judges, juvenile justice system, local agencies, law enforcement, mental health providers, substance abuse programs and others who provide services to students.

Before coming to OCS, Wosoba served as a principal, assistant principal and teacher at several schools in Jefferson County, including Westport, Bruce, Carrithers and Noe middle schools. Wosoba graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Kentucky University, and earned his superintendent certification from the University of Louisville.

Michele Horn will also join district-level administration, serving as the Elementary Level Director/Supervisor of Instruction — the position formerly held by Cordrey. Horn comes to central office from Harmony Elementary, where she has served as principal for the past three years.

Horn has 22 years of experience in elementary education and has served as principal of Harmony Elementary since 2012. At Harmony, she has also served as a teacher, literacy coach and instructional coordinator since 2005. She joined our district in 2003 as a teacher at Goshen Elementary. Prior to that, she taught in Carmel, Ind., from 1988-2001 — another high-performing district. 

“Michele is a passionate educator and commands a strong knowledge of elementary curriculum, assessment and research-based instructional practices,” Cordrey said. “She also understands the power of identifying structures and processes that support student learning."

Horn holds National Board Certification in literacy and is an adjunct professor for Bellarmine University, teaching in the district's Reading Academy program for teachers. She earned her certification in instructional leadership from Bellarmine University, and holds a master’s degree in elementary education from Spalding University and a bachelor’s in art education from Ball State University in Indiana.

Serving middle and high schools will be Brent Deaves, who served as interim Secondary Level Director/Supervisor of Instruction this year and has accepted the post in a permanent role. Deaves served as Oldham County High School’s principal from 2008-2014. From 1998-2008, he filled several positions at Oldham High, including as a teacher, dean of students and assistant principal.

Deaves is currently in his 17th year of working for Oldham County Schools. 

“We are excited to have Brent on our team for the long-term,” McHargue said. “He is very forward-thinking and passionate about changing the landscape of secondary education to better prepare students for college and career."

The district has named several new principals for the 2015-16 school year:

OC Preschool: Jessica Kasten, currently the assistant principal and instructional coach at Locust Grove Elementary. Since beginning her teaching career nearly 15 years ago, Kasten has worked in Oldham County Schools as well as Bullitt, Henry and Shelby counties.Kasten began her career as a special education teacher and is also a trained Reading Recovery teacher, a nationally-known reading intervention program used in Oldham County Schools. At Locust Grove, she has served as instructional coach, assessment coordinator, intervention co-chair and gifted/talented coordinator. Kasten earned her Master’s degree and administrator certification from Indiana University Southeast, and completed her undergraduate degree at Hanover College.

Buckner Elementary: Liz Dant, who began her teaching career at Buckner Elementary in 1999. Over the years, she has been a teacher, assistant principal, literacy coach and intervention coach at Buckner. She’s also served as a literacy coach, intervention coach and ARC Chair (special education) at other elementary schools in the district. Dant is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Indiana University Southeast. 

Harmony Elementary: Suzie Hackmiller returns to the district with 25 years of education experience, including serving as an elementary school principal in Illinois for the past eight years. Under her leadership at Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School, the school significantly decreased achievement gaps between subgroups and experienced double-digit growth in both reading (92.5 percent meeting/exceeding expectations) and math (93.8 percent meeting/exceeding expectations). Early in her career, she taught special education at Oldham County Middle School.

Kenwood Station Elementary: Eric Davis will come to Oldham County Schools from New Castle Elementary school in Henry County, where he has been principal for the past two years. While at New Castle, Davis led implementation of the Leader in Me initiative, which has been a cornerstone of KSE for several years. Davis previously was an education recovery specialist in mathematics for the Kentucky Department of Education, aiding schools in Trimble County. Since beginning his teaching career in 2008, he has also served as an assistant principal at Spencer County Middle School, a math teacher for Spencer County Middle and High schools and as a math teacher at East Oldham Middle. Davis is a 2004 graduate of South Oldham High and completed his undergraduate degree at Georgetown College, then attained a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bellarmine University and his principal certification from the University of the Cumberlands.

East Oldham Middle: Mark Robson, currently the school’s associate principal, will step up to the principal position. Robson has served as the school’s associate principal since 2011, a position that has included supervising staff, instruction, operations and athletics. Before coming to East, Robson was an assistant/associate principal and math teacher at Oldham County High School. He taught math from 2000-2005 and then moved into administration at OCHS. Robson began his teaching career at Warren East High School in 1999, near his alma mater, Western Kentucky University. At WKU, Mr. Robson graduated with an undergraduate degree in mathematics education. He then earned his Master’s in education from Indiana University Southeast and is completing his superintendent’s license this June.

Oldham County High: Rich Graviss has served as the school’s interim principal during the current school year and has accepted the permanent position for the 2015-16 school year. Graviss began his career as a social studies teacher at OCHS in 1998. He then served as the school’s athletic director before becoming an associate principal in 2006. Deaves said Graviss brings a strong sense of collaboration and a focus on making decisions that are best for students.

Buckner Alternative High: Beth Carter is a 19-year veteran of BAHS, serving as assistant principal since 2004 and a teacher for 8 years prior to that. She is committed to the BAHS philosophy of “no excuses, find a way” – BAHS strives to be a positive school community, even when adversity brings a student to the school. BAHS serves an average of 90 to 125 students every day, including full- and part-time students. A student-focused philosophy based on relationships and mutual respect has resulted in more than 400 graduates in 18 years.

EOMS's Morris Earns Presidential Award

20150831-morrisPresident Obama named 108 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching — including Robyn Morris, a 7th grade teacher at East Oldham Middle. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event later this summer.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The awardees named today teach 7th through 12th grade.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events, and visits with members of the Administration.

"These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” President Obama said. “Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math. The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow.”

President Obama is strengthening education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in order to fully harness the promise our Nation’s students. Investing in exemplary teachers like these awardees is vital to inspiring the next generation of explorers and innovators. That’s why President Obama launched the “Educate to Innovate” campaign, which has garnered more than $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs. It is also why the President has called for preparing 100,000 excellent science and mathematics teachers over the next decade, leading to the creation of “100kin10,” a coalition of leading corporations, philanthropies, universities, service organizations, and others working to train and retain STEM teachers across the Nation. In addition, the President’s proposed STEM Master Teacher Corps aims to leverage the expertise of some of our nation’s best and brightest teachers in science and mathematics to elevate the teaching of these subjects nationwide. 

To learn more about these extraordinary teachers, please visit


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