Superintendent Randy Poe

Superintendent Randy Poe

FLORENCE – Service learning sounded like a superb world class education strategy to Superintendent Randy Poe until sixth-graders at Camp Ernest Middle

School proposed a beehive pollination project.

When Poe endorsed the project, they told him “we have to build them and place them on the roof,” he recalled.

“I’m sitting there thinking … OK, this is really great. What am I getting myself into now?”

What he was getting himself into was one of the most successful initiatives in Boone County Schools’ five-year strategic plan to make every student college, career and life ready by 2020. Poe provided an overview of the plan and progress update at the Florence Rotary Club meeting on June 12.

The instructional core of the strategic plan calls for resource optimization, student empowerment and world class education. Requiring students to participate in a service learning project or what educators call “passion-based learning” is one of ways Boone County is developing 10 skills the business community identified as essential to career success.

“Just a knowledge base will not get you there,” Poe said. Service learning projects not only involve students in the learning, but also empower them by teaching them how to put knowledge into effective action.

Service learning is “not just doing projects,” Poe added. “They have to be tied back to the classroom and learning.”

The curriculum, teachers and students comprise the instructional core of the strategic plan, according to Poe. “Resource optimization” puts a premium on hiring the best teachers and providing professional develop for bus drivers, cafeteria workers and all other staff.

Providing a world class education also puts responsibility on parents. Poe encourages parents to ask “what can I do and what can we partner together to do” to get a student who fails to meet achievement benchmarks back on track.

As a result, about 4,000 students are attending extended school this summer, Poe said.

In addition, every student in Boone County must participate in service learning on a once-a-year basis. Each of the 21,000 students in the school system, in which 62 languages are represented, must learn a foreign language.

That’s cause for another “what am I getting myself into” moment for Poe, too. “When I go into the restroom, students start speaking Spanish so I won’t know what they’re saying,” he said, smiling.

He’s certain what Boone County is getting itself into is a step closer to a world class education system. The bee hive project taught students the importance of time, temperature and sunlight to pollination and important uses of bee pollen.

“It turned out to be a fantastic project” Poe said. “… If you go to San Francisco now, every hotel you see will have bee hives on top.”


Lincoln Grant Scholar House

May 31, 2017

FLORENCE – The results are in for the first semester for Lincoln Grant Scholar House students, and the grades are good … very good. Lincoln Grant Scholar House, which opened in Covington earlier this year, provides affordable housing and family services for 45 single parents enrolled in post-secondary education. “The exciting thing is the high […]

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Travel Tools for the Tech Savvy Commuter

May 24, 2017

FLORENCE – Didn’t expect the highway construction delay on southbound Interstate 75 over the weekend? Should have checked the Weekly Road Report for District 6 on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website at Didn’t anticipate that accident that backed up Mt. Zion Road (KY 536)? Could have accessed the WAZE app you can download from […]

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Host Families Needed – Youth Exchange

May 23, 2017

Update from James Glass via Jack McAllister District 6740 has 4 Youth Exchange Students scheduled for our district this this coming 2017 – 2018 school year. We are urgently looking for host families. If you or someone you know may be interested in hosting a student (remember, they do not have to be Rotarians), then […]

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May 10, 2017

Sign up here for the Florence Rotary Clayshoot!               Contact Adam Howard with any questions.

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Three Ring – 4-H and Utopia Fair is Coming to Town

May 9, 2017

No need to lament the closing of the Ringling Brothers circus this month. The Boone County 4-H and Utopia Fair is coming Aug. 7-12 with a daily three-ring spectacle of its own. “We’ve got a horse show every night, a motor sports event every night and a carnival every night,” said Sandra Cupps, a member […]

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Aviatra Accelerators Visits Rotary

April 18, 2017

Florence, Ky. – What’s in a name? The change in name from Bad Girl Ventures to Aviatra Accelerators personifies a new growth strategy for the seven-year-old women’s business accelerator in Northern Kentucky. The name change signals an expanded emphasis on attracting new clients, opening new markets and “encapsulating who we are,” said Angela Ozar, the […]

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Willis Music Comes to Rotary

April 5, 2017

Florence, Ky. – Need to rent a musical instrument because your child wants to try out for the high school band? Willis Music will rent you the instrument at reasonable cost, repair it and replace it if lost. What about sheet music and lessons? Willis publishes a huge music catalog and arranges lessons at three […]

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Rotarians Meet the Boone County Distilling Company

March 13, 2017

Florence, Ky. – The inclination for the Boone County Distilling Company came from a casual conversation between friends over adult beverages. The inspiration came from a bit of “forgotten history.” After Josh Quinn and Jack Wells sipped on the idea of making their own brand of bourbon, they googled “Boone County bourbon,” as Quinn tells […]

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CVG and Amazon Drive Boone Economic Growth

March 10, 2017

Florence, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University’s top economic analyst expects Amazon’s $1.49 billion expansion of its e-commerce operations in Boone County to impact industry growth, air cargo operations and salaries for workers positively. “Greater Cincinnati is one of the top ten e-commerce hubs in the United States,” said Janet Harrah, senior director of the NKU […]

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Dream Comes True at Richwood on the River B&B

March 6, 2017

Florence, Ky. – Colleen Sutton’s love story reads like a business plan. In fact, it was a savvy business plan that made her lifetime dream come true for the wedding planner turned owner of Richwood on the River B&B in Milton. “This is a love story of a mother and wife who really loves her […]

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Our Famous Zoo Babies

January 30, 2017

FLORENCE – When Gladys’ mother rejected her at birth, the Cincinnati Zoo and its “Zoo Babies” program came to the rescue. Zoo keepers dressed in gorilla suits and attended to her needs 24 hours a day until she got used to her new environment. Family matters to gorillas, you see. They are social animals that […]

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