- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—For their regular meeting Monday afternoon, the Laurel County Board of Education ventured to a new location.

Held at the board’s normal starting time of 5 p.m., the site was the large, multi-purpose meeting room, on the upper level of “The CFI” — the new Laurel County Schools’ Center For Innovation at 1100 East 4th Street in London.

It followed the first open house at the 76,000 square-foot facility, held from 1-4 p.m.

And the comments about the just-opened buiding came quickly.

“Surely we’ve got something to say,” Board Chair Charles “Bud” Stuber asked his fellow board members.

“Most of us are speechless. We’ve got a new beginning for the kids,” replied Board Member Joe Schenkenfelder.

Said Board Member Tommy Smith, “I just wish I cold go back to school.”

Added Superintendent Doug Bennett, “I just want to express all the hard work that was done by a lot of people, and it was a team effort.”

“Just remember, this is a tool that is to be used for the students to be college and career ready. That’s why we did it,” said Stuber.

At the same time the board met, the first of five orientation events for students already enrolled at the Center For Innovation was held from 5-7 p.m. That was for students in the Allied Health Science program, whose last names begin from A-J.

Four more orientation events continue Tuesday through Friday. All are from 5-7 p.m.

Tuesday’s orientation is for students in the Engineering Technology program. On Wednesday, the event’s for Industrial Technology students, while Thursday’s orientation is for students in the Biomedical Science program.

Friday’s final orientation is for Allied Health Science students whose last names begin from K-Z.

If parents or students have any questions, they can call the center’s principal, Dr. James Davis at (606) 862-4608.

A full description of all Center For Innovation programs is available online at www.laurel.kyschools.us.

Another open house will take place at the CFI on Thursday from 4-8 p.m.

The ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony will be held this Friday at 10 a.m.

Special recognition was given by the board to a South Laurel High School graduate, Daniel Neal, after he was named “Mr. Baseball 2015” by the KHSAA — the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

Bennett gave a Certificate of Recognition to Neal, who has signed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee. He’ll be headed to Knoxville this fall.

Neal’s accomplishments were listed over the past four years, starting with his being named Most Valuable Player for 2012 by the World Wood Bat Association. He was named to the All 13th Region Team in 2013, and repeated the honor in 2014 and 2015.

Also in 2014, Neal was named 13th Region Player of the Year, made the All-State Team, and threw a perfect game. For that, he was named a 2nd Team All-American.

This past season also saw Neal take three more honors — the 2015 13th Region Player of the Year, being named to the 2015 All-State 1st Team, and named Central Region 1st Team All-American for throwing another perfect game this year.

During his four years at South Laurel High, Neal hit 39 career home runs, and had a 24-game hitting streak.

He was given a hearty round of applause after the ceremony.

In board actions, the second reading of the Kentucky School Board Association’s Board Policy Updates and Employee Handbook for the new school year was approved.

The updates reflect the recommendations of the KSBA and Laurel County school officials. The first reading was passed by the board at their July 13 meeting. With Monday’s approval, the updates now become board policy.

Other actions were approved as a block.

They included approving the Teaching Strategies, LLC’s online services subscription agreement, and the Discovery Education Assessment Services contract, both for the 2015-16 School Year.

The full utilization local agreement for Fiscal Year 2016 with the Kentucky River Foothills Head Start Program was also approved, as was an agreement with the Laurel County Health Department for school nurse services for the new school year, and the hiring of up to 20 emergency certified substitute teachers.

Several school positions across the district will be re-created, thanks to board approval. That includes one Preschool Instructional Assistant position at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary, one Cook/Baker four-hour position at Bush Elementary, one Special Education Teacher for LBD (Learning and Behavioral Disorders) position at South Laurel Middle School, one Family Educator position at North Laurel High, and one District Secretary II position for 210 contract days.

The board minutes of the July 9 special meeting and July 13 regular meeting were also approved.

Board members later went into executive session, to discuss matters of litigation. No action was taken.

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(c)2015 The Times-Tribune (Corbin, Ky.)

Visit The Times-Tribune (Corbin, Ky.) at www.thetimestribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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