Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from Owensboro Public Schools

As a an educator this Christmas, I cannot help but think about Malala Yousafzai the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace.  She is the Pakistani girl who risked her life to attend school.  Her boldness has led to subsequent violence by militants directed at schools and school children in Pakistan. 

Her determination and grit to push the boundaries to attain an education is an inspiration to all of us that work every day to educate the children in our little corner of the world.  Her commitment to education is the same commitment I see in the faces of staff members in our schools.  Many thanks to the staff of the Owensboro Public Schools for pushing the boundaries as we educate  the whole child.

Happy Holidays!

Nick Brake

Beth Benjamin chosen to lead Owensboro Innovation Academy

Beth Benjamin has been selected to lead Owensboro’s New Tech High School called Owensboro Innovation Academy.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to serve both the students and the community in this capacity,” said Beth Benjamin, Head Teacher, Owensboro Innovation Academy.

Benjamin currently serves as the Owensboro Public School’s College and Career Readiness Coordinator.  She has also taught mathematics and served as a Guidance Counselor at Owensboro Middle School.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Master’s Degree from Western Kentucky University in School Counseling and Rank I from Indiana Wesleyan University in Curriculum.

“Beth possesses the perfect combination of talents as a teacher, counselor and administrator to take on the challenge of being the inaugural leader of the Innovation Academy as it grows.  She is passionate about the students and the mission of the school,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.

The search committee that selected Benjamin consisted of representatives from Owensboro Public Schools, Daviess County Public Schools, the Economic Development Cooperation, and the Owensboro Community and Technical College. 

“In order to properly start a new school and ensure its success for years to come, the committee was looking for a visionary leader and also a detail planner.  Beth Benjamin showed these traits as well as a sincere and infectious passion.  Her belief in empowering students to build a culture of trust, respect, and responsibility will fuel the fire for the Owensboro Innovation Academy.  While we had excellent candidates and the decision was not easy, Beth’s energy and dedication were very impressive,” said Dr. Matthew Constant, OPS Chief Academic Officer.

Benjamin will be the leader of Owensboro Innovation Academy, much like a principal.  There will be four other teachers at this small stand-alone high school located in the basement of the Center For Business and Research.    Over 80 8th graders have signed up to attend Owensboro Innovation Academy.

“We are so pleased with the selection of Beth Benjamin as head teacher at the Owensboro Innovation Academy. Her background in College and Career Readiness will be a great asset to the academy and to the students it serves from across the Owensboro-Daviess County community,” said Owens Saylor, DCPS Superintendent.

Benjamin will start in January.  The other Owensboro Innovation Academy teachers will soon be hired and also start planning for the opening of the new school in fall of 2015.

“I will work to make Owensboro Innovation Academy a place where students empower their own learning to become college and career ready while receiving the skills needed in a high-tech, digital world,” said Benjamin.