Knox Central ‘leads’ students in college and career readiness

Currently the only school in Kentucky to offer the Lead Initiative program, Knox Central High School (KCHS) is on the fast track to helping create workforce ready students. At the October 31 Knox County Chamber of Commerce meeting, Principal Jeff Frost discussed the Lead Initiative, among other programs implemented at the school, which help his students achieve success after graduation.

“In this role as principal, I truly believe that we are preparing your workforce,” began Frost. “Our ultimate goal here is to establish a workforce here in Knox County that you all are pleased with, that there are productive workers and productive citizens out there to create a partnership.”

Lead Initiative is a high school adaption of Leader in Me used in elementary and middle schools across the nation. The program is currently in its inaugural year at KCHS. The program aims to encourage students to step up in the school as leaders, arming them with skills that will also translate to their professional lives. One component of the program is ILead time, a 30-minute window where students talk about career skills, employability skills and the Leader in Me seven habits.

Rather than talk specifically about the program, Frost turned his presentation over to student leaders who explained their experiences with the program at KCHS.

“What we learn here is that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can be a leader,” said student Devin McVey. “Knox Central isn’t just focused on sports or academics or college. It’s about all of those. It’s about being college ready, it’s about being ready in your extracurricular activities and it is about being ready in the workforce.”

Along with college readiness, Lead has helped students prepare for the military, various careers and has reduced behavioral referrals across the school by 100 in comparison to this time last year.

Frost also used his presentation time to ask the Chamber, which is full of his students’ future employers, “How can we create a stronger workforce for our community? What do you need in our students to create a strong workforce in Knox County?”

In other Chamber news, the annual Chamber Banquet will be held Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Union College.

The next Chamber meeting is scheduled for November 28 at 11:45 a.m. at Union College with guest speaker Tyler White of Kentucky Coal.