Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 28, 2014

In a Class of Their Own

Pulaski, Somerset & Southwestern among Kentucky’s finest high schools


Somerset —

(Visit for more information about the evaluation process.)
“It’s a great thing for our staff and our students to be recognized,” said Danita Ellis, Southwestern principal. “For Southwestern to be one of those (honored), it’s a tribute to how hard the staff and students work every day.”
Mike Murphy, principal at Pulaski County, referenced his school’s HUB status — as a school that had been considering underperforming that turned it around and now serves as a model for other schools — as a feather in their cap.
“Once again, our students have been recognized for their academic performance,” said Murphy. “This recognition, as well as our HUB school designation, conforms that we serve an amazing group of students at Pulaski County High School.”
Cornett noted that there was an emphasis placed on how students did in English and Algebra in the rankings’ criteria, and that’s one reason why Somerset excelled.
“There are quite a few of our students meeting proficiency in both areas; that’s a big one,” he said. “Our college and career readiness is very high, one of the highest in the state. That’s the ACT and CTE (Career and Technology Education) classes, completing industry requirements. ... We’ve shown high levels in that.”
Murphy said that AP (advanced placement) classes and advanced career track classes were key for Pulaski County.
“We have a couple of career tracks — engineering is a certified career track at Pulaski County, and just this week now, we’re bio-medical certified, one of only six in the states,” said Murphy. “Several colleges give college credits to students that take this classes. ... It’s evident that our community truly values and supports education and our staff puts the needs of students first.”
Ellis likewise credited the overall community support and values for helping create an environment where all three high schools could succeed.
“I think it’s just the value we place on education,” she said. “We recognize as a community how important it is for students to be very well-prepared for the next level. Our students answer the challenge every year and I think it’s pretty awesome.”

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