McCracken Co. High School Ready for Students
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Note: To see all of the photos with this article, click one photo, then use the left and right buttons to scroll.
School board members past and present, teachers, administrators, and members of the community gathered at McCracken County High School Thursday evening for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the new facility, which will open for students on August 9.
Principal Michael Ceglinski welcomed everyone in attendance and praised the efforts of everyone involved in construction, but also those who have been getting everything else ready for when classes start.
"Our district office has put in so much time and so much effort to see that we have the best people, the best curriculum for the students here. And I thank all of the central office folks who have just given their time and lost sleep over this," Ceglinski said.
"We've surpassed all the doubters, and we're here to stay," Board Chairman Jeff Parker said, adding that this will be the school everyone wants to attend. Meanwhile, he said the school system has solved its problem with overcrowding.
Kenny Hunt, President of A&K Construction, General Contractor during construction, recalled when his company was awarded the contract, which was 2-1/2 times larger than any previous project.
"I was excited for about 30 seconds, and then I said, 'Oh, what am I gonna do now?' I might have said another adjective or two, but you know what? I thought about it a little bit, and said, 'We've got the team in place to do this,' and you know, they did an excellent job, and thank you guys," Hunt said.
School Superintendent Nancy Waldrop praised the efforts of parents, board members, business leaders, and the community for their partnerships that made everything possible. She thanked those who stepped up with their time, energy, and money.
She added, "This investment will bring a very good return."
Waldrop praised the students for their enthusiasm, intelligence, and participation in the process, especially her student advisory board.
"Their leadership has helped all of us embrace this new reality. It is because of these commitments that we stand here today in front of a landmark facility and a landmark educational program," Waldrop said.
With the building finished, the Superintendent said that now is when the real work begins, because the building is not a final product, it is simply a tool for student achievement.
She said, "This site will find its fulfillment in student success. The ultimate way to judge this building is the productive futures of our students and our community."
With students arriving in less than a month, Ceglinski said it was gratifying to see that day approach, and see teachers working on their curriculum.
"That's what this place is built for, it's for the kids, it's not about the adults, and so I'm excited for that. That's what I got into the business for - not building a building, but to educate kids. Now, we've given them a great opportunity here in the things that folks are seeing here, and so we look forward to seeing them here on August 9," Ceglinski said.
An open house is scheduled for Saturday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, and the public is invited.
During her speech, Waldrop outlined numerous opportunities, some that are new, and some that are enhanced in the new school:
Dual-credit courses and advanced placement classes that help students get a two-year college degree before they finish high school.
Establishing a career before graduation, through Computer Technician, EMT, Nurses Aide, Broadcasting, or Sports Medicine programs.
Preparing for a university specialty like mechanical or bio-medical engineering, business, marketing, accounting, speech, fine arts, agriculture, and more.
Enjoying marching band, orchestra, choir, theatre, dance, visual arts, or playing any number of sports on the courts, fields, tracks and pitches.
The school is organized into small communities of just under 400 students in each of five houses, with a Principal, Guidance Counselor, and teachers in each house. Incoming Freshmen will take most of their core classes in that house throughout their high school career, but can go to other houses for elective courses.