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Extraordinarily strong public showing for Satellite Campus

Community shows solidarity for the satellite campus, with many of the 50-plus present speaking, many calling it a dream come true
Click on headline or story with large Shamarie Claiborne photo album

By Ed Waggener

There was a extraordinarily strong showing of public support, with community leaders from almost all walks of life packing the Adair Annex Basement for the meeting, a preliminary to Tuesday nights Adair Fiscal Court meeting.

For most in the packed courtroom, it was being described as a dream come true.

It was for Superintendent Alan W. Reed, who said that since the 1970's, the constant question has been: Why doesn't Adair County have a vocational school? Now he said, Adair County will be getting the very next best thing, a satellite campus of Lake Cumberland Area Technology Center. The main campus, in Russell Springs, has long served Adair County students.

However, Mr. Reed and several others in the audience said, as short as the bus ride is to Russell County, it still was a tiring ride which suppressed interest in vocational training.

Judy Keltner, Columbia, KY, representing Lake Cumberland Area Development District, Russell Springs, KY, told the group how pleased she was at the turnout. And that, she said, was the purpose of the meeting. Over 50 people signed the register, which is part of the evidence of strong community support, as funding elements are moved along.

In the audience, also, was Darryl McGaha, Columbia, also a member of the LCADD staff. He also spoke of the event as being a dream come true, and a very important element of the "Work Ready Community" application. "We showing that we are making progress," he said.

Superintendent Reed told the audience that the satellite campus, which will offer welding for students, now means that Adair County seniors will be better equipped to get jobs immediately upon graduation. "We are making them Career and College Ready. As we see it, it will strengthen the local colleges and universities. These graduates can enter the workforce with good to great earnings, and with those good earnings for entry level jobs, they will be able to attend and pay for college as they go."

He noted that with the grants for the satellite campus, Adair County will get a 3-to-1 advantage with its dollars. Only $325,000 of the school's $1.2 million cost will come from the District, and that will come from allocated capital funds, not from School Taxes.

He singled out the work of the Columbia/Adair County Chamber of Commerce and the C/AC Economic Development Authority and their leaders for the work they did getting Adair County's successful Work Ready Community application accepted, with a Working Ready in Progress designation already realized.

Doug McCammish, representing both groups, was present, and commented that the campus is a wonderful thing which will help in the EDA's search for new payrolls.

Also present was past C/AC Chamber President Ron Heath, who had done a spectacular job producing the soft skills improvement plan for the Work Ready Application, putting the concept in understandable terms and outlining a plan for improvement. The community support will be a big factor, he said, in getting full accreditation as a Work Ready Community. "It will move us closer to that dream," he said.

Testimonials endorsing the campus were volunteered like sentence prayers at an enthusiastic revival.

Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton expressed delight at the outpouring for the meeting. "I just wish we got this many at all our Fiscal Court meetings, she said, adding, "I want everyone to know that Adair Fiscal Court is on board. This is a wonderful thing for Adair County."

Columbia Mayor Mark D. Harris gave the project his blessing, as did Columbia City Councilman Ron Rogers, and June Parson, the only announced candidate for Mayor of Columbia, who said the campus definitely fills a need, and commended the Superintendent and Board for making it happen.

District Judge Mike Loy told the audience, "This is the moment we all have been waiting for," adding a hidden benefit - that he saw it as a way to broaden appeal of school for all Adair County students, reducing his workload and that of Director of Pupil Personnel in their endeavors to enforce mandatory attendance laws.

Debra Wimmer, art teacher at Adair County High School, and Cassie Davenport, Columbia, art teacher at Green County High School, gave the audience another aspect of the campus, its benefit to artists and sculptors.

Richard Walker, former Adair County CJE, said he fully supports the satellite campus. "It is desperately needed," he said. "It will help young people prepare, and it will help the Economic Development Board. Not every student needs a college degree to succeed," he said, "and this offers a opportunity for them."

Ann Martin, President of First & Farmers National Bank in Columbia, welcomed the announcement and commended the Superintendent and School Board for making a reality.

Darrell Treece, Superintendent Reed's predecessor and in whose tenure the consolidate campus became a reality, spoke in support of the technical school campus.

Troy Young, Adair County High School Principal called the satellite campus a "Great opportunity, a great thing," and expressed his belief that having classes on campus will greatly improve participation. At the meeting the audience was told that as many as 500 ACHS students may be served by the program.
BR> Winston Keltner, an independent businessman with Master Welder's credentials, told the group this prepares young people for the future. "The more we train young people for the future, the better future they will have." He related the problems he encountered getting training. The rides on the busses to Russell County and the out of town - even out of state - travel required, and expressed gratitude that this will no longer be required.

Shamarie Claiborne stepped out of her official role as Adair County School District Media Publicity Coordinator, and, speaking a mother, she told the audience that welding is a passion for her sons, and now they can realize their dreams right here in Columbia.

Joe Rogers recalled being a member of the 1976 FFA welding team. In his large farming operation, he still uses MIG welding skills. "This is definitely a plus for our county," he said.

Marsha Walker, long time advocate for core academics and vocational training, as well as a longtime District 2 School Board member, said the campus offers lots of new opportunities.

Judy Keltner told those present that the hearing has to do only with finalization of the satellite campus applications. The other component of vocational training, in the health sciences is a done deal.


This story was posted on 2013-12-12 04:57:35
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Before an event to remember



2013-12-11 - Adair Annex Parking Lot, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne, Adair Co. School District photo. Lake Cumberland Area Development District's Judy Keltner, conferred with Adair County School Superintendent Alan Reed prior to last night's public hearing to show community support for now nearly realized Vo-Ag Satellite campus of Lake Cumberland Area Technology Center. It was a pre-liminary meeting, to the main event, Adair County Fiscal Court meeting, one of a kind often to be used to fill in the paperwork, one which would have drawn 10 or 20 people coerced to be there. What happened was one of the most memorable in Adair County History. The Annex basement was packed. When the very brief meeting was turned over to public comment, testimony was from the heart, and memorable, with a common theme, "A dream is coming true." A decade's old answer to, "Why doesn't Adair County have a vocational school"? Now it appears to be almost a certainty.
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Satellite campus public hearing: Artist & Artisan support



2013-12-11 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne, Adair Co. School District photo.
Artist Cassie Davenport and Master Welder Winston Keltner chatted before the hearing Tuesday night, December 10, 2013, on the new Lake Cumberland Technology satellite campus public hearing was held. Davenport told the audience about having a welder-father who helped her get a start in the craft, but wishes that she could have also had classes available in high school or at the University of Kentucky to learn the craft. She's a noted artist, an Adair resident, and a teacher in the Green County School District. Winston Keltner, right told the audience of his excitement that welding classes will be readily at hand for Adair County students, how he'd had to travel - sometimes out of state - to obtain training essential to his livelihood. He's a Master Welder, an entrepreneur at the top tier of his calling, and operates a private business in Columbia. Back to camera Debra Wimmer, art teacher in Adair County schools, told the audience how importatnt the new campus will be to students in her classes. The intense interest from members of the art world came as a pleasant surprise when the welding center was first announced. Interest had been expected from Adair County's farm community, from local industry, and from vocational education advocates and Career Ready enthusiasts, but the artists' interests made the proposal even more convinincing.

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Doctor Rogers speaks for the Satellite Campus



2013-12-11 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne.
Columbia City Councillor Ron Rogerscenter told the large audience that that the Columbia City Council is very much in favor of the new opportunities Adair County Students will have a result of the new Lake Cumberland Area Technology satellite campus to be built at Adair County High School. Listening are Robbie Harmon, Director of Pupil Personnel for the Adair County School District, right of Dr. Rogers, and former Adair County School Board Member Marsha Walker.

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Satellite campus hearing: The Loys speak for satellite campus



2013-12-11 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne. District Judge Mike Loy said in the hearing that he was fully in support of the satellite campus. An added benefit, he said, was that it would help keep more kids in school. District Court deals with attendance - truancy, in 20th Century terms - and he sees the vocational education opportunities as a big help to his and Director of Pupil Personnel Robbie Harmon's efforts to keep students in school. His wife Robin Loy, is the Director of the Adair County School Districts first College and Career Readiness Center, at Adair County High School.
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Community leaders Supporting Satellite Campus



2013-12-12 - Adair Annex Parking Lot, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne. The hearing to measure community support brought out a widespread group of Adair County leaders, including, above, from left Adair County Treasurer Barry Corbin, Superintendent Alan Reed, Columbia businessman and former school board member Mike Stephens, Mayor Mark D. Harris, and Floyd Burton, chair of the Adair County School Board.
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Satellite Campus supporters: Rick Wilson, Robbie Harmon



2013-12-12 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Claiborne, Adair Co. School District photo. Adair County Jailer Rick Wilson left and Adair County School District Director of Pupil Personnel Robbie Harmon, at the meeting in support of the Satellite Campus at Adair County High School. - Shamarie Claiborne, Media Coordinator for the Adair County School District
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