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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

20150702-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

Board of Education update
Our Board of Education is tasked with ensuring that the district does what is best for students and staff, and is accountable to the community that is serves. Last week, during the Board’s annual evaluation of the superintendent, the board expressed several concerns. A special-called meeting was held Thursday evening to further discuss those concerns. At that meeting, the Board suspended the superintendent to allow for an investigation into the superintendent’s relationship with staff and its impact on staff morale, and board and community confidence in the superintendent’s ability to perform his duties. This was a difficult decision that was not made lightly by board members.
The Board has asked retired former Chief Operations Officer Rick McHargue to step in as interim superintendent. He was officially appointed during a special-called meeting Saturday and has begun that position as of today (Monday).
We have excellent, hardworking staff in the this district from our classroom teachers and school support staff to administrators and central office personnel, and we are conducting business as usual in Oldham County.
We are limited in what information we can share at this time but we will provide updates as they are available. The board of education is fully focused on making decisions that are best for the students in our community. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact your Board representative or central office.
Two Harmony students recognized in Young Writers contest


Two Harmony Elementary students were recognized for their entries in the annual KET Young Writers contest.

Charles Weaver won first place in the 2nd grade division for his entry, “An Out of this World Halloween Mystery.” Alexis Abboud placed third in the 3rd grade division with her entry, “Adoption is Love."

Nearly 600 submissions were received for this year’s contest, according to KET. "Whether it was a tale of a whimsical “cat-fairy,” a spooky Halloween mystery, a heart-warming story of a shared Christmas tree, or an allegorical fable about the origins of rats’ bare tails, the talent of Kentucky’s young writers was evident again this year in the originality and creative depth of the entries received,” they said in a press release.

This year, students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade were invited to submit illustrated stories, while students in 4th and 5th grades could enter KET’s short story contest. Full-color e-books of the K-3rd grade illustrated stories and PDFs of the 4th-5th grade short story winners are available online.

Bikes donated through staff team building exercise

20150619 0167-smallThirty students will receive a bicycle thanks to a creative team building exercise during the OCS Summer Leadership Institute Friday, June 19. 

Oldham County Schools administrators participated in a two-day professional development session, including school-level leaders from across the district. These principals, assistant principals, counselors, literacy coaches and other administrators formed random teams and raced to see who could build a bike the fastest. This challenge tested communication skills and the ability of these leaders to work together to achieve success — key elements of the training session.

Once finished, the 30 bicycles were donated to the Family Resource and Youth Service Center at La Grange Elementary. FRYSC programs are funded by the state to provide resources for families in need. La Grange Elementary hosts the only FRYSC in the district. The center offers a unique blend of programs and services to serve the needs of students and families.

Walmart in La Grange also supported this project by donating 30 helmets for the students who will be receiving the bicycles.

Click here to see more photos! 

Power up for summer fun!

20150603-summermealsOldham County Schools will again be offering FREE breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 and younger throughout the summer. This federally-funded meals program will run Monday through Friday, June 22 through Aug. 7, at La Grange Elementary.

No identification is required but food must be eaten at the school. This program is open to ALL children at NO cost. 

What: FREE breakfast and lunch

Who: Any child or teen 18 or younger

Where: La Grange Elementary

When: June 22-Aug. 7

Breakfast: 8:30 to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Información en español


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