“We are extremely proud to achieve Lighthouse Status. We will continue to teach leadership principles and provide a learning culture that enables students to LEAD and GROW,” said Danna Johnson, Sutton principal.
“The process for Newton Parrish began through the Race to the Top Grant. We took advantage of the free professional development offered through Franklin Covey and GREEC. This is our final year of the grant and we decided to take the leap of faith to see if our students, parents and staff had implemented the criteria for lighthouse,” said Steve Bratcher, Newton Parrish principal.
There are several schools that are Leader in Me Schools, which practice the seven habits. Lighthouse schools achieve a certain level of implementation based on the Core Paradigms (these are the schools that shift the following paradigms). A lighthouse school implements practices that promotes the follow changes:
Paradigm of Leadership- as a whole we truly believe that everyone can be a leader.
Paradigm of Potential- as a whole we truly believe everyone has genius.
Paradigm of Change- as a whole we truly believe that change starts with me.
Paradigm of Motivation- as a whole we truly believe that educators empower students to lead their own learning.
Paradigm of Education- as a whole we truly believe that education needs to develop the whole person.
“The certification means that we have and will continue to shift our thoughts in how we teach leadership principles, develop a leadership culture and align academic systems. Going through this formal evaluation from Franklin Covey has allowed us to gain valuable feedback on what our areas of strengths and celebration are and areas for continuous growth,” added Bratcher.
“Soon after implementation of the Leader in Me, we began to see immediate benefits throughout our school. Students are learning to work together, taking ownership of their learning and are acquiring leadership skills through the intentional process provided through the program. There is a belief at Sutton that everyone has the ability to lead and all students have leadership opportunities,” added Johnson.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to lead a great group of ladies both on and off the court,” said Jansen Locher, OHS Girls Basketball head coach.
OHS leaders who selected Locher to lead the Lady Devils say he displayed an incredible amount of energy and passion that they believe will translate onto the basketball court.
“It’s always a great day when we can welcome back one of our own as the leader of a student-athlete organization. I believe Locher has what it takes to lead a very successful basketball team,” said John DeLacey, OHS principal.
“My goal is to build a program that competes at the highest level. We are going to play hard, with pride, class and dedication,” added Locher.
Locher serves as a teacher at Owensboro Public Schools’ Newton Parrish Elementary. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He’s currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership. Locher graduated from OHS in 2007.
“I’ve always been proud to be part of the Red Devil family, so it’s an honor to now lead the Lady Devils,” said Locher.
“I’m incredibly proud of all of our students who’ve taken advantage of this unique program. This really opens a lot of doors for our students. They can now transfer those credits earned at OCTC to a four-year university. Many will start out as juniors in college at 18-years old,” said John DeLacey, OHS principal.
Last year, OHS had its first student graduate with their high school diploma and Associate Degree.
“To produce six graduates this year shows more students are taking advantage of this wonderful program. They’re receiving a high-quality college education at a cost of only their books for each class,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.
“We are truly proud of the six OHS students who have taken advantage of the Early College program. We are excited that many more of our young people will achieve similar accomplishments as a result of our continuing partnership with Owensboro Public Schools,” said Dr. Stacy Edds-Ellis, OCTC Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
Those students who earned their Associate Degree are: Aliyah Burden, Kathryn Feldpausch, Leah Fulkerson, James Blake Howard, Tyler Sovar and Trinity Washington.
“I cannot thank OHS and OCTC enough for the incredible opportunity I was provided with during my years at OHS. This will allow me to finish getting my bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Louisville early and let me be one step closer to becoming a veterinarian,” said Trinity Washington, Early College student.
The incoming junior class at OIA can begin taking courses at Brescia this fall. Degree options include: Associate of Arts in Integrated Studies, Associate of Science in Integrated Studies, Associate of Science in Health Science and Associate of Science in Engineering Studies.
“At just $90 a class, this gives our students an incredible opportunity to further their education. We cannot thank Brescia enough for offering this prospect for our students,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.
“When the Owensboro Innovation Academy presented this partnership to us, we felt it to be a perfect fit. Our institutions share the same intimate, one-on-one learning experience that caters to the educational needs of each student,” stated Father Larry Hostetter, President of Brescia University. “We admire the innovative educational approach that OIA provides students, and we are honored to be an extension of that educational experience. By taking classes at Brescia University, our hope is that the students at OIA will benefit from direct learning at the collegiate academic level that will allow them to seamlessly transition into college and find success in their lives,” added Father Larry.
The partnership will also allow all OIA students to use the new health complex that is currently under construction at Brescia.
“Our students will get to use brand new facilities as part of a comprehensive wellness plan for each student. This ensures that our students are not only getting a quality education in STEM fields, but will hopefully improve their overall health,” said Beth Benjamin, OIA principal.
“From day one, Brescia has opened it doors to OIA students and staff to offer unique spaces for different learning activities. This exciting announcement is another example of two education entities working together to produce the best options for the students of our shared community,” said Owens Saylor, DCPS Superintendent.
Brescia will also allow OIA to use some of its chemistry lab space making it easier to offer more science classes.
"Right now we are meeting with Brescia leaders and are hammering out all of the details of the new opportunity. We will host a parent information night on May 22 at 6 p.m. at OIA to let parents and students know what the next steps are to starting their degree,” added Benjamin.
This is the second major lacrosse grant Owensboro Public Schools received. Earlier this year, the Owensboro Middle School physical education department earned a Soft Stick grant providing supplies for gym classes.
“Given how new the sport is to the Owensboro area, the generosity of US Lacrosse in providing the Soft Stick grant to OMS and the equipment grant to OHS shows the commitment from US Lacrosse to expanding the game’s reach in Western Kentucky. OHS is proud to be at the front of helping the game grow in Western Kentucky and we hope other schools in Daviess County and the surrounding area will form teams to further that growth from youth levels all the way to the high schools,” said Matthew Madej, OHS lacrosse coach.
The purpose of the grant is to help expand participation in underrepresented regions and communities. According to US Lacrosse, the First Stick program seeks to expand participation beyond traditional boundaries and inspire kids to play hard, dream big and act responsibly.
“With the grant, we were able to reach out to those who can’t afford the equipment and further expand our program. This also provided a sense of unity throughout our team as it means the world to a young program," said Bryan Sapp, OHS lacrosse player.
“For some of us on the team, money is hard to come by and getting the grant allows all the players to play without having to worry about paying for the protective equipment,” said TJ Leach, OHS lacrosse player.
OIA Physics classes explored rockets and the laws of motions and principles of action and reaction. Students built rockets, experimented, and filmed results of their tests. They displayed the rockets as the science section of their overall exhibits. The students built two large gantries, launch towers, to house their experimental results and display monitors that provided museum guests an inside look at their exploration of rockets.
OIA Humanities class researched speeches throughout history and examined the impact of oral communication on society. The sophomore students (who built exhibits last year for a much smaller event) created, after writing speeches and researching public domain and fair use restrictions, “two-minute tributes” to veterans.
The event was held on May 4 from 5:30 – 7:00 at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History. Entry to the event was $5 and all proceeds went to Pets for Vets (a community partner) and to help fund Veteran Honor Flights. Veterans were invited to the event at no cost.
Check out all of the fun summer camps we offer at OPS. There's academics, sports and arts camps.
“We wanted to let girls younger than us know that computer programming isn’t something that just males can do. Some of us are just as good if not better in some cases at aspects of coding,” said Jalia Williams, OIA student.
Coding is a term used to write programs in computer software. OIA students taught some of the Girls Inc. participants about writing websites and how it can become a lucrative thing to study and practice as a career.
“This is another wonderful example of how our students partner with community organizations to make Owensboro a greater place. Our students were excited to have a positive influence on Girls Inc. students,” said Beth Benjamin, OIA principal.
“No one else does a percussion concert that involves all the forms of art when it comes to the secondary school level like we do,” said Aaron Klausing, OPS percussion director.
What makes the show even more unique is six of the 14 songs that will be performed are arranged by Klausing, making them world premieres. One of the featured songs this year is Coldplay’s “Head Full of Dreamsead Hdasfasdfasdfsdfa.” Klausing took the original song and rearranged it to allow fifth- and sixth-graders to play it. Owensboro High School student, Trevor Elliott, even got in on the arrangement mix and wrote/arranged a tune for Red Steel, the band’s steel pan band. The song is called “Na Na Na” with the original being written by Pentatonix.
“The percussion concert is important because it gives percussion a chance to play other music than the concert band music, which can often be boring for percussionists. We get a chance to play more challenging percussion music and play more music that we enjoy,” said Miranda Phelps, OHS student.
The show will follow an original script written by Abby Lane, Klausing’s sister-in- law. OHS theatre students will portray a group of friends at Davidson High School who are waiting for class to start when they become aware of the latest in a recent string of media blackouts. The information blackouts affect all broadcast media and internet communication, and people all over the country are discussing their theories and worries about who is behind them—but struggling to communicate them with others. When evidence of a plan to close their school as part of a mysterious new government training program arrives at the office, the friends begin to form their own plan to make their voices heard above the strange new silence.
“The percussion concert means I get to hang out with all of my closest friends at once and do something I love at the same time, which is play music,” added Phelps.
Admission is free.
“Many of our students aren’t exposed to farming because of where they live. Agriculture is such an important part of our community. I wanted to bring the country to them,” said Lauren Coomes, Estes teacher.
Students and staff have been planting seeds in pots and cups in their classrooms. Those seeds have sprouted and were ready to be moved to the garden behind the school. Students planted several vegetables and fruits like banana peppers, asparagus, cabbage, tomatoes and melons just to name a few.
“I can’t wait to get the seedling in the ground and watch what I’ve created grow. I hope it tastes good,” said Wesley Prude, Estes student.
All students have learned about agriculture through their classroom science curriculum. Teachers say being able to turn that curriculum into hands-on learning makes the knowledge stick with the students.
“It’s one thing to talk about plants and the importance of eating your fruits and vegetables. It’s a completely different experience when you’re actually growing and harvesting your food,” said Coomes.
Depending on how the crops pan out, students and staff are hoping to be able to eat some of the food in the cafeteria and maybe even sell some of it at the farmer’s market.