SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — After a year of changes for students and teachers amid the pandemic, the top education leader in Kentucky visited schools in Shelby County.

What You Need To Know

  • Commissioner of Education for the state of Kentucky toured campuses in Shelby County

  • Dr. Glass got an in-depth and hands on view of the programs offered

  • CTE program trains students to enter the workforce

  • The commissioner of education will be visiting schools across the state in the near future

Christopher Cole, Senior at Eminence Independent Schools told Spectrum News 1, "it just stands out to me like not many people you actually see get out and interact with the students and stuff in the schools. It’s good for them."

On Wednesday, Dr. Jason Glass, Commissioner of Education for the state of Kentucky, stopped by to tour Shelby County’s Area Technology Center to check out how students were learning – and how teachers were teaching.

"I’m proud of what I do; I like doing this stuff, this is fun for me. So when other people draw interest in what I do its like a lead, it makes me happy doing what I’m doing," Cole said.

Students like Gavin Combs, a sophomore at Spencer County High School, were also thrilled to show Dr. Glass first hand the diverse academic accommodations they receive on a daily basis.

"I can’t just sit there and look at the board and learn. I have to actually do something to learn. I think it be really good if people could actually get the interaction with what they want to do in real life, suggests Combs.

During the tour, Dr. Glass got an in-depth and hands on view of the programs offered at the facility that’s actively engaging students with both academic and technical skills.

"It’s one of the key purposes of public education is to prepare students for jobs and so the skills that theses students acquire in these technology centers are direct connections to the kinds of work they’ll be doing when they leave our school," Glass said.

Serving students from Shelby, Collins, Spencer, and Eminence Independent Schools, Steve Coleman, director of college and career education for Shelby County Public Schools outlined the CTE program and how it trains students to enter the workforce.

He said the school offers a variety of courses including welding, auto tech, health science, and dentistry.

"For so many years students questioned the why, the why, the why, why do I have to learn this? Career and Tech Education answers the why I’m learning things," Coleman said.

Dr. Glass hopes this perspective will provide insight for state decisions that empower educators and enable students to succeed.

"It’s great for the students and staff to see that our state leaders in education and other areas are getting out and hearing from them directly," Glass said.

Education leaders also pointed to Shelby County’s Career and Technology Education Program as a model for how he would like state education to look in the future.

"Students are learning concepts in one minute and then they’re going and applying them the next. It's really the kind of education I'd like to see expand across the state."

Glass said he will be visiting schools across the state in the near future as school districts continue to adjust to new learning environments.