City school board recognizes academic teams, board member

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

During their February meeting, the Harlan Independent School Board took time to recognize the accomplishments of the school’s academic teams and a board member.

“We want to recognize some of our students from our academic teams,” said Board Chairman Dr. Matt Nunez shortly after the beginning of the meeting.

Superintendent C.D. Morton addressed the audience, including many students from the district’s academic teams.

“Many of you have been here many times before,” Morton said. “I’m going to knock on wood before saying this. We are on an amazing run of academic team championships. Our elementary school, our middle school, and our high school – there’s no other way to say it other than complete domination when it comes to our district.”

Morton noted the academic teams had performed well for many years.

“We’re really proud of our coaches and students that helped raise the bar of everything that we do,” Morton said. “We want to be great at everything, but we absolutely have to be great at what we’re doing academically. The kids that we have here today help us do that, and you set a standard for everyone else to aspire to.”

Morton pointed out multiple academic competitions in which the teams have participated. He explained the board would recognize two groups at this time, the 6th Grade Showcase team and the JV Challenge team.

“Historically, we would do all these at once, and we would be standing room only for an hour,” Morton said. “This year, we’ve decided we would just do these as they get done.”

Morton handed out plaques to the members of both teams who were present at the meeting. Team members not in attendance will receive their plagues at another time.

“Our academic teams do a phenomenal job,” Morton said following the presentations. “We have done really well in the district and region for the past five or six years in a row. The coaches really put a lot of time and effort into this, we appreciate what they do, but we absolutely couldn’t do it without these wonderful students we have who make us what we are. We are known for our academic excellence, and that rests on the backs of our teachers and students. We appreciate them.”

Nunez also recognized the recent accomplishment of a Harlan Independent Schools board member.

“Being a board member is not always an easy job, and sometimes thankless,” Nunez said. “They play a vital role helping to steer the direction of a school district. So, we appreciate the work of all our board members.”

Nunez stated board members are obligated to stay current on laws, trends, and policies.

“In Kentucky, there’s the Kentucky School Board Association that nearly every school district in the state is a part of,” Nunez said. “They offer a series of trainings as you progress through those, you achieve different levels. We’re very proud to have one of our board members who has reached Level III, and that’s Mr. Will Miller.”

Morton presented Miller with a certificate recognizing his Level III status.

According to a news release, Kentucky law mandates varying hours of training based on each board member’s years of service.

“The lower levels of KSBA’s Academy of Studies include courses such as the basics of the board’s role, school finance, superintendent evaluations, and facilities planning,” states the release. “As a board member advances in the certification process, the courses become more specific to issues, such as evaluating the boards’ effectiveness, doing advanced budget planning, becoming better advocates for children, and grasping the boards’ responsibilities in school and student assessment and accountability.”