By Bobbie Poynter
Knox County Public Relations Director Frank Shelton and Knox Schools Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles were the guest speakers for Tuesday’s Knox County Chamber meeting. The school officials shared some updates on projects the school district is currently working on.
Sprinkles said of the Unbridled Learning test scores, “Yes, we are improving Knox County Schools. Are we where we need to be? Are we where we want to be? Absolutely not. But, if we constantly strive to improve across the board, our students are going to benefit.”
He showed the members how Knox schools have steadily improved since the program began in 2011. The district’s goal, he said, is for Knox schools to achieve the Proficient Category, and in order to do so, the schools must make the 70 percentile.
“There is a ways to go to get there,” he said, “but that is an achievable goal for our students and our schools.”
Sprinkles explained that Knox County schools’ ongoing goal is to see a Career Technology Center built in the near future.
“Money’s not going to fall out of Washington or Frankfort,” he said. “And, we need a place where we can create our own well-trained workforce.”
Shelton described the proposed programs for the new technology center that would improve the Knox County workforce, programs that would include Microsoft IT training, career and college preparation programs, continuing adult and community education programs, HVAC and building maintenance, medical health program, and pre-engineering and biomedical programs.
Shelton also spoke on a new free Lunch and Learn program, which would help, not only graduates, but businesses in the community with subjects like resume and presentation skills, multi-taking and time management, financial literacy, dress and appearance, social skills, and refresher courses. The first workshop will be titled “Customer Service in the Workplace” and is open to any member of the community.
“This is a great new program that we will be able to offer not only to our students,” he said, “but to the community as well.”
Shelton then invited chamber members to join an advisory group that would assist the Lunch and Learn program develop workshops to aid graduates, including internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships and cooperative education.
Before officially closing the meeting, acting chair Jay Nolan invited members to the Chamber Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Union College Student Center. The guest speaker will be Sandy Curd, Promise Zone representative. Terry Forcht will be honored as the chamber’s 2014 Man of the Year and Susan Liford as Woman of the Year.