Beshear attends celebration held by Boyle schools to recognize Top Ten status
Boyle County Middle School eighth-grader Suzanna Edwards welcomes the governor Thursday in the gymnasium at Boyle County High School during a celebration of the school district¿s success. (Clay Jacksonfirstname.lastname@example.org / December 21, 2012)
Thursday morning, students and staff did just that in a districtwide celebration held at Boyle County High School, complete with the attendance of Gov. Steve Beshear, who warned students of what they would face when they leave the halls of Boyle County.
“The world you’ll be competing in after you leave high school is not just the world of Kentucky. It’s not just the world of the United States. It is, indeed, the world,” he said, adding that he believes they are on their way to being competitive worldwide.
It was the first time all of the district’s 2,700 students were in one place, according to Superintendent Mike LaFavers. That was one of three things he emphasized during the large celebration, which included student volunteers and recognition of each school in the district.
“This has been a tremendous event. We have never brought all 2,700 kids to one place. We’ve never been a top 10 school district. And we’ve never had the governor speak to our entire student body,” he said, sharing that he is proud of the staff and student body.
Students from elementary to high school showcased their knowledge by addressing their classmates and community members in French, English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. The pep-rally style event included performances by the Boyle County High School band, choir and cheerleaders.
Beshear, who was introduced by Olivia Wardrip and Morgan Wilson, elementary students in the district, and expressed that it was the best introduction he had ever received. He then praised students, teachers and any community members present for their role in making the grade.
“You’ve heard that famous saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’ Well, it takes a community to make a great school system,” Beshear said.
Besides earning the designation as a District of Distinction, Assistant Superintendent David Young explained that Boyle County was one of just four districts to have every school score either proficient or distinguished on the state tests.
Each school within the district was then recognized for its achievements, ensuring them all of banners to be hung in their schools. Every banner contains a different message, one that is applicable to the school receiving it.
Perryville Elementary School was acknowledged as the only school in the district to receive the rating of distinguished in testing, ranking it in the 93rd percentile in the state, according to Young.
Before the event, he shared the magnitude of the day on not only the district but the community as a whole.
“The reason it is so special: It is a great way to honor the hard work that our students put in it, and our staff,” Young said. He was encouraged by seeing community members at the event, adding that their presence made it all that much more special.
Despite earning the ranking, Beshear and LaFavers encouraged students to see that their work is not over.
“Let me warn you, with big performances come big expectations,” Beshear said, “You’ve proven to everybody that you can succeed, I want you to do that next year.”
“The next 80 days are the key,” LaFavers said, reminding students to keep working hard in order to achieve the rating next year.
While the event was primarily focused on the academics, athletics, clubs and other organizations also were emphasized to the students, as was community involvement. Laura Elsea and Katie Noelker, student leaders of the “Change of Heart” club, shared with their peers that the district had collected more than 4,100 canned goods. These items will go to benefit the Harvesting Hope Food Pantry and the Backpack Program in the county, which sends food home with children who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend.
As a reward for their efforts in donating items, Boyle County High School teacher Mark Wade agreed to allow a student to throw a pie in his face (See photo gallery).