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Hancock County teachers tell of success with new training programs

Hancock County School boardThe Hancock County Board of Education regular monthly meeting was held on Thursday, March 23rd. HCHS and NHES Principals presented to the Board their successes with the new trainings, and three teachers spoke about the improvements they’ve seen in their classrooms as a result. Two HCHS Students were recognized, Rylann Kessans and Adalyn Boutcher.


North Hancock Elementary Principal Kelly Moore presented to the Board showing the successes with Orton-Gillingham and LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Trainings and the implementation of those into the schools.

Two NHES teachers spoke, one in-person, Ms. Garrison, 3rd Grade Teacher, and one via recorded video, K-1 Teacher, Ms. Gray. They both spoke to the effectiveness of the trainings, and also expressed appreciation to the Board for providing those.

“Our entire staff was trained and certified,” Principal Moore said. “We had custodians in training, all of our assistants, teachers, office staff, everybody who worked in our building, unless they had some kind of medical emergency, they attended.”

Moore showed a video of NHES students who are on the “News Crew” as their leadership role, reciting the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as part of the Leader in Me educational leadership program, which is a school-wide model. They are 7 positive habits paired with affirmative statements, like “I’m in charge of me.” For the full list, and to read more about the program, visit

“That’s just the very basic component of where we start,” Moore said, “just knowing what those habits are. Our next step is really embedding those highly effective practices, where they can actually put that into practice in their life. Not just at school, but with their peers and with their families at home.

Some teachers are in volume one this year, some are in volume two. Interventionists, staff coordinators, every one of them, and me, are in the middle of this training. So, we are all talking about the same types of things when we talk about those beginning reading skills.”

HCHS Presentation

HCHS Teacher, Mr. Husk, spoke and provided his presentation of how the trainings have yielded great successes with students at the high school as well. He echoed what many teachers in each of the schools have said. They are all seeing better results now that these trainings are being put into practice in their classrooms.

HCHS Principal Ginger Estes said, “We are thinking about ways that we impact our community and impact students. And so, we listen to all of the things our students do after high school. Some of them continue from early college and continue it into college. Some of them, we’ve started a new program with TRACK (Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky) through the Kentucky Department of Education, where it’s kind of like workless learning, but they continue on even after, which is really kind of cool. We have pathways and industry certifications.

We also have students that do work-based learning. We have the Health Care Innovation Center that’s coming with Mr. Dorrell from Owensboro Regional, and then the MedCert is something that our family resource people have put together, to not just help our students, but their parents and those qualifications are very interesting.

I want you to be able to look out for those, because it’s for everyone, and they encourage people that have had some type of hardship, whether it be prison or they just haven’t graduated high school – they encourage those people to come and get some help. So, that’s pretty cool.

Our pathways: engineering, agriculture, graphic design, culinary, early childhood, allied health, welding, industrial maintenance, diesel mechanics, and our business has: accounting, financial services, entrepreneurship, and administrative support. We offer all of these with some really fantastic teachers.”

Student Recognitions

The Board recognized two HCHS students – Rylann Kessans, who made the 2023 All State Choir, and Adalyn Boutcher, National Beta State Convention Painting Champion. All in attendance at the meeting gave a big round of applause in celebration of their outstanding accomplishments.

Rylann, freshman, competed against students from all across the state to make the All State Choir this year. She performed in Louisville at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on Thursday, February 9th, in conjunction with the KMEA Conference.

“This is the second year Rylann has competed at All State,” Superintendent Robby Asberry said. He invited her up to speak, and tell about her experience at the conference. “At All State, it’s a really positive environment,” Rylann said. “All these talented people together with this renowned conductor. It’s just a really fun time.”

Adalyn, senior, won First Place in Painting, Division 2, at the National Beta State Convention this year in Lexington, on January 16th, for her acrylic self-portrait. She is now eligible for the National Beta Competition held in June. “It was the first self-portrait I’ve ever done,” Adalyn said.

HCHS Art Teacher, Greg Tate, spoke to the Board about Adalyn’s achievement. “She had painted another piece that she was going to enter, and Addie’s strong point is her portraits. They’re out of this world. We talked a little bit before the contest and about what could push it over the top. Last year she had earned third place doing a portrait of someone else, so we talked about her doing a portrait of herself. This was a picture someone else had taken of her. She painted it in two and a half days. This girl is so talented.”

Superintendent’s Closing Statement

“I felt like those two presentations and ones we’ve had before show that we have a lot of great things going on in our district,” Asberry said. “I have an outstanding administrative team here at central office and all of our buildings’ administration. It’s a team effort. I can’t take any credit on any of these things by myself.”

He listed many achievements they are proud of: “We’ve implemented a new social studies curriculum K-12, improved reading proficiency with new reading curriculums K-5 & 9-12, helped elementary teachers to be trained in Orton-Gillingham and LETRS, which we’re almost at 100%, we’ve improved reading proficiency adding tier one and tier three reading programs, we’ve provided reading interventions for all students K-5 at 30 percentile and below, we’ll be implementing a new science curriculum this year, we have a top 30 school district overall, top 30 high school district, and top 25 middle school district. And, everything else that was said tonight and the last time the middle school and South (Hancock) presented. You have a lot of things going on and, obviously, student achievement and instruction is at the forefront of what we strive for every day.

As we saw with some of the videos tonight, I feel like the culture is really good right now in the district, because we feel like we’re all a part of the same team and we’re all going toward the same goal. I feel like you can tell that when you talk to the teachers.

We communicate expectations and goals during all of our opening day speeches and emails and everything that we’ve put out, conducted multiple media interviews, continued to maintain school safety and scheduled updates, we’ve established visibility in the schools of the community, we’ve recognized multiple recognitions of student success to the board members, and helped fill-in jobs during staff shortages. All-in-all, I feel like our instruction is going right where we need it to go, and I feel the same way about our culture.”

Last Day of School Change

The Board approved an amendment for the 2022-2023 School Calendar. “Last day of school will be Friday, May 19th,” Asberry stated. “Graduation will be that night at 6 p.m.”

Treasurer’s Report

Kara Eckles, Board Treasurer and Director of Finance, reported: “We had receipts of $1,444,492, expenses of $1,268,951, and that balance, at the end of the month, at $7,144,030.

By Jennifer Wimmer

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