By Portia Williams
GREENUP, Ky. — The doors of Greenup County High School (GCHS) opened on Thursday with a focus on student achievement, according to GCHS Principal Jason Smith. Smith said the new Greenup County School District Superintendent, Sherry Horsely set the tone for the district, and he plans to follow suit.
Smith said the GCSD began preparing for the 2014-2015 school year by highlighting student achievement. Smith also said he is pleased with the direction that the district is headed under new leadership. Horsely, was welcomed last month as the GCSD Superintendent, following the retirement of Steve Hall.
“I think that one of the things that Mrs. Horsely has made very clear to the administration, and to the faculty and staff of every school in our district is that our focus will be student achievement. We have spent the summer, and the first week of school this week focusing on those things. That is why we are here. It has been an awesome experience having a superintendent to focus on student needs and student achievement,” Smith said.
Teachers had to undergo two days of professional development Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the new school year.
“We began the week with two professional development days where every certified employee in the district that attended received training on Monday in particular in various topics. We focused a lot on program reviews, writing in the content area, and things of that nature. Then we spent Tuesday training our teachers on our new evaluation system in the state of Kentucky for teachers its called Personal Growth Effectiveness System,” he said.
He said the training was instrumental in getting the faculty and staff off to a good start.
“The training got our teachers off on the right foot, and got the week off to a good start, and then Thursday was the first day with students,” he said.
According to Smith, GCHS currently has student population of approximately 850 students.
“We had a very good day yesterday (Thursday). I got some feedback from the teachers yesterday afternoon, and they said that it might of been one of the smoothest first days they’ve ever had,” Smith said.
He also attributes the successful first day of school to faculty and staff retention.
“I think that it is due to the consistency in staff. We did not have a lot of staff changes this year, and I think that it is consistency in administration as well. This is my third year as principal, and having people in the same places makes things run smoothly,” he said.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-370-0712 or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.