Laurel schools recognize students, veterans

Nov. 16—The good news on Laurel County schools continues and administrators and school board members recognized several initiatives Monday evening, including a special program to honor veterans.

The South Laurel High JROTC presented the colors, with the London Elementary Choir filing in behind them to perform the National Anthem.

Then all school district employees who have served in the military were recognized with a certificate of appreciation.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett then recognized the South Laurel Middle School 6th grade basketball team for winning the KBA Middle School 6th grade state championship with an overall record of 31-1.

Also recognized was Hazel Green Elementary, which scored in the "Blue" ranking — the highest level — on test scores for the 2021 testing. Those high scores put Hazel Green into the Top 32 schools of 720 elementary schools across the state and placed it in the Top 5% of scores across Kentucky. Principal Brad Mullins accepted the award on behalf of the school.

In other business, board members got updates on construction projects for the school district. Ray Vaske and David Jackson showed slides of the progress of the expansion and additions at the Laurel County Day Treatment Center as well as slides of progress on the North Laurel High cafeteria expansion. While the design of South Laurel High School has presented some issues in the cafeteria and media center expansion, Vaske and Jackson said excavation has begun.

The school district also received a clean audit report from Matt Shackleford with Cloyd & Associates. Shackleford mentioned several sections of the audit report regarding the district's financial statements for board members, but added that there were "no findings" on the audit. Bennett commented that the financial transactions for the district numbered approximately 40,000 per year and that the Finance Department had three employees to process those claims. That brought out recognition to Finance Manager Adam Hooker and his department.

Board members approved the Sheriff Tax Collection fee of $545,749. The Sheriff's Office is the designated tax collection agency for property taxes and generates funding through the tax collections.

A Special Needs Assistant at Johnson Elementary, a secretary/bookkeeper at Laurel County Day Treatment, a Gear Up academic interventionist for the district and a Special Needs Assistant at Sublimity Elementary were the positions that were re-created during Monday's meeting, while board members voted to create a Title I Assistant for Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary.

The Laurel County Board of Education meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in the Central Office meeting room at 5 p.m.