In 2011-2012, the district developed a bold vision to Lead All of Kentucky’s Children by Achieving Top Ten in Everything We Do and I am pleased to inform that the district is well on the way to achieving this feat. The journey that we began has been met with several challenges, yet, we have climbed from an academic ranking of 132nd to 29th, have experienced tremendous job growth (approximately 50 jobs), made a significant increase in working conditions as evidenced by the TELL survey (2011-2013), and developed the largest financial reserve (28%) in known history. And, to top it off, the district was the only school district named “Best Places to Work In Kentucky” by the Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management, as well as being honored by the Kentucky School Board’s Association’s prestigious Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) award for the district’s music program.
With this, I am excited to view the district and individual school test scores from spring 2014 and see how well our students performed. I am honored to work alongside of so many outstanding educators and attribute the exceptional gains to the hard working, professional, and passionate educators of Montgomery County. I honestly believe that through the tireless efforts, we have developed the absolute best staff in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The district has undergone a dramatic and noteworthy transformation during the last three years. Although the district has improved in every area of school functioning in remarkable time, it has been met with criticism and obstacles. Some have been less than enthused about the changes. Simply put, the old way of doing things was unacceptable and new initiatives had to be developed. However, the professionalism and integrity of the profession has been established within the Montgomery County School district mostly due to the district shifting from being an adult-centered, top-down system to a student-centered, educator-driven school district. I am proud to be a part of the transformation, as should those that have help create this new system.
For the 2014-15 school year, I am excited to see programs like the Chinese guest teacher initiative where we have six guest teachers teaching grades K-4; Powell’s Priority: iRead to Succeed in which the goal is to have every student reading on grade level by the third grade; and the Montgomery County Accelerated Academy. These programs are beginning to come out of their infancy and I expect tremendous growth out of each this school year.
As for the school district, I want to assure you that Montgomery County is quickly developing into a premier school district and there is no other place that you would want your child to attend. In this district, I am proud to say that we are student-centered and have made commitments to provide only the best educators available to service the students that attend, despite the popularity associated with the decisions. Although the journey has been arduous, I am pleased to say that we are well on our way of achieving top ten in everything we do and I welcome each of you to our fine school district.
Joshua E. Powell, Ph.D.