By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
Two new sports will be offered by Corbin High School this school year after the Corbin Board of Education approved three coaching positions during their regular meeting Thursday night at Corbin Primary School.
Both swimming and bass fishing are sports sanctioned by the KHSAA, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, which Corbin High School is a member of. In addition to approving the two new sports, board members approved the positions of swimming coach and bass fishing coach, with an annual extra-service pay of $900 each. Also approved was the position of assistant archery coach at the annual extra-service pay of $500, which is effective for this school year.
Board members also learned that the application for a multi-million dollar federal grant from the “Race To The Top” program has been submitted on time. It was due in Washington, D.C. last Tuesday, Oct. 30.
The Corbin Independent Schools district is part of a group of four schools known as the Southeastern Kentucky Race To The Top Consortium, which made the announcement back in September. Also in the group are the Whitley County, Williamsburg and McCreary County school districts. Corbin Independent is the fiscal agent for the project.
If the consortium gets the grant, the four districts will receive a total of $120 million over a four year period — $30 million a year for four years.
“It’s 658 pages long,” said Corbin Superintendent Ed McNeel about the grant application.
The decision is expected to be made in Washington in December.
The board approved the awarding, purchase and installation of lighting protection at the Corbin Primary site to include the main building and soccer building to Bluegrass Lighting Consultants, Inc. for $35,095. In addition, an Emergency BG-1 (Buildings and Grounds) document for the purchase and installation of the lighting protection at the school for $39,350, to be paid with capital outlay funds, was approved. A capital funds request form to use capital outlay funds for that project was approved, as was KTA as engineer for the project at an hourly rate, with the total cost not to exceed $2,500.
All four actions are pending approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.
Change orders on 11 bid packages for the Phase 2 cafeteria project at Corbin High School were approved. The packages involve purchases which include construction, masonry, roofing, hardware, carpeting, painting and fire protection, and came to a combined total of $215,416, pending state Department of Education approval.
A contract between the school district and the Whitley County Health Department, to provide nursing services from Jan. 7 to June 30, 2013, was approved. The board was told the contract reflects a reduction of the health department’s work hours, which means they would come in at 8 a.m. The action also gets the district through the remainder of the current school year.
The board also granted McNeel permission to provide a recognition program for all Corbin staff members, the result of achieving what they called “Kentucky’s Highest District K-PREP Test Score Award with a 97th percentile score… A District of Distinction.”
Much of the session involved recognizing the district’s success with the state test scores that were released just over a week ago. Assistant to the Superintendent Dave Cox told the audience the Corbin district placed fourth in Kentucky on the scores, behind the Beechwood, Fort Thomas Highlands and Murray school districts.
Individual principals in the district’s schools also gave reports on the recent scores, and their plan of action for the remainder of the year.
“The focus for us is math and reading. We’re using what’s called ‘K-PREP Data Analysis Action Plan.’ We want to take education to another level,” said Corbin Primary’s Principal, Travis Wilder.
“We target our ‘Gap’ kids. We’ve identified these kids, and we have an action plan. We’re upbeat and excited,” added Chris Webb, Principal at Corbin Elementary School.
Corbin Intermediate School Principal Bill Jones pointed out, “When we look at our Growth and Achievement scores, we’re right in line with our other schools in our district. Our Gap scores were down. Obviously, we want to close that gap.”
“Our science scores increased greatly, but our reading and math scores did go down, because of the new standards. Overall, we were very pleased with the Achievement tests. We’re very happy with our scores, but we can’t sit there. Our job at the middle school is much easier, because we have such a great K-6 program. They realize it’s important to stress all subjects, and that makes our job easier,” noted Corbin Middle Principal, Ramona Davis.
Corbin High’s Principal, John Derek Faulconer, told the meeting, “We scored well about the state average on the test scores. It’s because of the staff at the high school. They’re adapting to the standards, teaching the kids, and you (the board) let them do what they do so well with the tests. A big push for us is college and career readiness, and our graduation rate is in the upper 90’s. We don’t allow kids to drop-out in high school, because it’s Corbin.”
“You’ve got to want to do it, and strive to do it,” McNeel told the principals.
Earlier in the meeting, teachers, coaches and students were recognized in front of a large audience at the school’s gymnasium. Among them was Corbin Middle School teacher Kristal Doolin, who was given a big ovation for being named the “2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year” and “2013 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year.” Recognition was given to Corbin High School’s band for placing seventh in the recent State Band Competition, while the school’s boys soccer program was named the 13th Region Champion and state semi-finalist.
The Corbin High Girls Volleyball program was the 13th Region Champion, while Coach Liberty Roberts was named 13th Region Volleyball Coach of the Year. School Psychologist Loribeth Brock was given a School Psychology Regional Award, for being named Regional School Psychologist of the Year. And Corbin Primary Redhound Enrichment Program — STARS for Kids Now — was singled out for earning a “3-Star” designation in an accreditation visit, the highest honor given.
Both Corbin High JROTC teacher Colonel Rick McClure, and Corbin Middle food service manager Bobbie Phillips were awarded engraved bowls by the school board, after both announced their retirement.
The meeting was also attended by Stephen Mulberry, who was elected last Tuesday to serve on the school board, along with current members Angela Morris and Todd Childers. In January, Mulberry will replace current board member Lynne Huff, who decided not to run, in order to spend time with family in South Carolina.