Congratulations to Oldham students and staff

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By Paul Upchurch

As we begin this exciting new year with our students it is very important that we take time to appreciate the many accomplishments of 2008 and to recognize the dedication of those individuals throughout our school district and community who continue to excel in the district’s mission of preparing students to be competitive in a global economy.

It is our strong belief that every student regardless of demographics or personal circumstances can become an extraordinary adult who is equipped with the above life skills that enables them to make a significant contribution to our world. The following list is composed of students, staff and schools who have been recognized by the Oldham County Board of Education this school year 2008-09 (July – December).

Congratulations to the following individuals, teams and schools for their outstanding achievement. 




National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholars

Oldham County High students honored include Andrea Atkin, Sean Kruer, Elizabeth Schaller and North Oldham High student Joshua Rosenberg.




NOHS Cross Country State Champions – Boys’ Division

North Oldham High School boys’ cross country team won the state championship in the boys division. Team members are Alec Horn, Andrew Beno, Andy Powers, Austin Roberts, Austin Wilkins, Boone Lewis, Brayden May, Colin Grandon, David Hou, Eric Hou, Eric Taglieri, Jeremy Rice, Justin Roenigk, Nathan Yates, Ryan Kalmey, Sean O’Nan, Seth Fowler, Steve Terkula, Taylor Horn, Taylor Sanders, Troas McWilliams, Will Shive and Zack Mitchell.Coaches are Drew LaMaster and Matt Weingardt.



SOHS Cross Country 




State Champions – Girls’ Division

South Oldham High School Girls’ Cross Country team won the state championship in the girls division. Team members are Elissabeth Gamsky, Jessica Murner, Kacie Niemann, Morgan Nieto, Kami Orrender, Christen Profancik and Katherine Taylor.

Murner also took first place in the girls division.




SOHS Boys’ Cross Country – third place State Championship

South Oldham High School boys’ cross country team finished third overall at the state championship. Team members are Jason Berry, Jeffrey Law, Thomas Catalano, Austin Pfeifer, Joseph Chappell, Kyle Wiedemer and Jacob Law. 

Law took first place in the boys division.




KDE & Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement award

Craig Grimm, a teacher from North Oldham High School, was recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement. Grimm is a 2009 recipient of a teacher achievement award and is one of 24 Kentucky teachers being honored. 



Kentucky History 




Teacher of the Year

Keely Green, a teacher from North Oldham Middle School, was named Kentucky History Teacher of the Year. 




OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” award

Tina Taylor, a kindergarten teacher at Crestwood Elementary, was awarded OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” award, which included $1,200 in classroom supplies. Taylor has been a teacher at Crestwood for the past three years and taught at SOMS for 11 years before that. She has taught special education classes in addition to kindergarten. Her principal, Lori Wright, nominated her for the award saying Taylor deserved this recognition because of her energy and enthusiasm for children.




Elementary PE Teacher of the Year

Cindy Meyer, PE teacher at Goshen Elementary School, was selected by the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as the Elementary PE Teacher of the Year. 




National Board Certified Teacher program

Fourteen teachers have successfully completed the National Board Certified Teacher program. These teachers join the ranks of 80 other distinguished teachers in our district who have earned this certification. Oldham County continues to lead all other school districts in Kentucky in the percent of our teachers who are National Board Certified. Becoming National Board certified requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. 

They are Heidi Cantrell, Kenwood Station Elementary; Bonnie Lindsay, East Oldham Middle; Tamme Clawson, Kenwood Station Elementary; Laura Mattingly, South Oldham Middle; Kim Fitzgerald, Oldham County High School; Jennifer Napier, South Oldham Middle; Scott Gerlach, Oldham County High School; Lynette Newkirk, Oldham County High School; Jenny Graff, Buckner Elementary; Robert Parker, South Oldham Middle; Alison Hafner, Harmony Elementary; Tammy Redecker, Oldham County High School; Clay Holbrook, South Oldham High School; and Tara Steedly, Oldham County High School.




Energy Star Award

Harmony Elementary School has earned for the second time the United States EPA Energy Star Award. The Energy Star Award is the mark of superior energy performance and identifies Harmony as one of the nation’s most efficient buildings.




Three-Star Rating

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has a rating system program for childcare centers across the Commonwealth which is called STARS for Kids Now. Centerfield Elementary’s Cub Club has received a three-star rating from the Cabinet. The Cub Club has met all the standards set for Level Three rating for the STARS for Kids Now. This is the first 3-Star rating for any of the after-school care programs in Oldham County. In fact, none of the private childcare centers in Oldham County have received a three-star rating. Shallen Rich, the director of the Cub Club, is commended for her leadership in providing high quality care for students who need this program.




Best High Schools 2009 Search

U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business has named North Oldham and South Oldham high schools in their Best High Schools 2009 Search. Both high schools received a Silver rating. Academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools from across the country was analyzed to find the very best high schools in the U.S. Out of 144 school districts in Kentucky, only seven high schools from Kentucky made the cut and Oldham County was fortunate to have two of those schools. 

I believe this is a direct reflection on the leadership we have at both NOHS and SOHS. Lisa Jarrett and Dorenda Neihof are to be commended on the high standards they are setting for their respective high school.

Paul Upchurch is the Oldham County Schools’ Superintendent. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.