January serves as national School Board Member Appreciation month. 2015 marks the 20th year that Kentucky has joined other states across the country in recognizing school board members during the month of January.  Here in Cynthiana, Kentucky the Harrison County School District boasts a dedicated team of school board members that most definitely merit that appreciation.

Harrison County Schools are governed by a group of individuals who have a big heart for caring about and serving the children. They work harmoniously to make the best possible decisions for our students. Not every school board operates in that manner, and we are proud to honor our local school board members and the tremendous work they do.

A school board member shoulders many duties and responsibilities. It is no easy task! Click here if you would like to know more about the administrative end of public schools and just how much investment is involved.

Mary June Brunker, Kristy Carey, Gary Dearborn, Gary Lizer, and Ed Taylor are dedicated to our youth because they are committed in helping to shape a desirable future for our community and our world.

Please read the responses of Harrison County school board members to this question…




“The school board is the provider and keeper of public education in Harrison County, Kentucky. I am a school board member to ensure every child in this county that is school age is given that right to a public education. I believe strongly that the most important job of the school board is to keep the school district strong economically, safe and secure, and the district academically distinguished.  It is a great privilege and honor to be a member of the Harrison County School Board.”



“I serve on the HCBOE because of the 2,961 students that are enrolled in Harrison County Schools. I am approaching my 7th year on the board and it is an honor to serve. I believe each and every child is important and should be educated to their highest level so they can reach their full potential. Every decision I make is guided by one question – “is this what is best for our students?” The highlight of serving is watching our students grow and develop into productive citizens. The better educated our community is the greater potential for growth. Thank you for allowing me to serve.

I encourage you to become involved – there are many volunteer opportunities available. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.”



“I chose to serve on the Harrison County Board of Education to help make our school system the best in the state! I have spent a lifetime in public education and in the twilight of my years, I want to be able to still make a difference in young people’s lives. I am blessed to work with outstanding individuals to ensure that the young people in our community are getting the best education possible.”



“I serve on the school board because I care about our future, the children of Harrison County. They are our leaders of tomorrow. We owe it to them to provide the very best education possible. In today’s world, this is not an easy task. Each child needs to feel special and that they are important. If each administrator and teacher feels the same, and I believe they do, then we are on the road to success.”



“The reason I joined the school board, and continue to serve on the board, is to be an advocate for our students….to advocate and ensure that our students have the best teachers, facilities, and administration possible.  I am firmly convinced that a student’s formative years sets the stage as to whether that student will be successful as an adult.  The education and welfare of our children are an adult’s primary responsibility.”







Shared with permission, the following information is courtesy of Cynthiana Vision and Family Focus Eyecare:

Signs your child might need an eye exam

When young children are having vision and eye-health difficulty, they frequently aren’t aware of it. They have no baseline to judge if something is “off.”

Experts agree that 80 percent of a child’s learning is processed through the visual system. Good vision and eye health establish an excellent foundation for learning and healthy self-esteem. In addition, some kids are mistakenly labeled as having behavioral disorders such as ADD or ADHD when an unaddressed visual problem is the actual culprit. When a child can’t see properly in the classroom, their energy may be channeled toward disruptive activities.

Watch for these symptoms, which could indicate that your child has a vision issue:

• Squinting to read
• Frequently losing their place while reading, or using their finger to guide their reading
• Doing anything and everything to avoid reading
• Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close to the face
• Tilting the head from side to side or covering one eye while watching television or reading, which may be a sign of double vision or possibly a cataract
• Headaches or “tired” eyes, or frequently rubbing their eyes
• Their grades are suffering

The best preventive measure parents can take is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for their child. Those who don’t need vision correction should be examined every other year. Those who do require vision correction should have an exam each year, or as recommended.

Brought to you by:
Cynthiana Vision Center – Cynthiana, KY
Family Focus EyeCare – Paris, KY


Did you know…

Kentucky State Parks offer reduced lodging rates at select parks for public school employees, current and past, through their Commonwealth Connection program.  This offer includes school board members. You can take advantage of these reduced rates November 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  Be prepared at check-in to provide proof of school employment by producing your ID badge or other requested identification.

Visit the Kentucky State Parks website for more information.

ky state park


Daylight Saving Time Ends

daylight saving ends

Don’t forget to “Fall Back” by setting your clock back an hour !

November 2, 2014 – Daylight Saving Time Ends

When local daylight time is about to reach Sunday, November 2, 2014, 2:00 AM, clocks are turned backward 1 hour to Sunday, November 2, 2014, 1:00 AM local standard time instead.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 2, 2014 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning.



DST aka Daylight savings time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another. The DST schedule in the U.S. was revised several times throughout the years. From 1987 to 2006, the country observed DST for about seven months each year. The current schedule was introduced in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month. Today, DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Currently, most of the United States observes DST except for Hawaii and most of Arizona, as well as the U.S. insular areas of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

Information courtesy of:

Employee Health Insurance

Please don’t forget…

The deadline for all Harrison County Schools’ employees to enroll in the 2015 Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan is Thursday, October 30th. Click HERE to enroll now.

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact -
Vickie Switzer, Benefits Coordinator
Tammy Klapheke, Personnel Director


Unity Day for Bullying Prevention

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. If you, or someone you know, is a victim of bullying please report it by using our bully hotline number: 859-588-8081.

Harrison County Schools also provide an online reporting method found on our district’s website called S.T.O.P. (Safety Tipline/Online Prevention).

You can also show your support for anti-bullying by wearing ORANGE on Unity Day, Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

The Kentucky Department of Education provides resources on the topic of bullying. Please use the link below for more information:






Harrison County Schools

Blue Ribbon Day

April 2, 2014


The Blue Ribbon Story…

In the spring of 1989, a Chesapeake grandmother began what was to become the Blue Ribbon Campaign. It was a testimonial to her 3 year old grandson, who was murdered by his mother’s abusive boyfriend. Bonnie Finney was the grandmother whose misgivings about the way her grandchildren were being treated were confirmed in the most tragic way. She spoke to a Richmond newspaper reporter about her feelings. “One day I was just thinking about all the bruises I had seen on my grandchildren. I just decided I was going to tie a blue ribbon on my van. Why blue? I intend never to forget the battered, bruised bodies of my grandchildren. Blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for protection for our children.�

Harrison County students and staff will wear blue ribbon stickers on Wednesday, April 2nd, to show support of families and children who have suffered from child abuse in our community.


January is school board recognition month in Kentucky. The Harrison County School District wishes to extend a heartfelt “thank you� to our dedicated school board members. These individuals work tirelessly for the students of Harrison County, and we appreciate all they do for Harrison County Schools!

Our thanks go out to:





  • Create a safe and orderly climate where students and teachers can  learn
  • Focus on and make decisions that best serve our students and community
  • Continual progress toward our objectives through appropriate plans and actions
  • Lead by exemplary teamwork and positive relationships
  • Prepare for (i.e. seek answers in advance) and contribute to our discussion, deliberations, and oversight responsibilities
  • Seek and share understanding
  • Agree to disagree agreeably
  • Address potential conflict efficiently and effectively
  • Delegate implementation
  • Recognize achievement
  • Recognize and strive to meet the needs of Harrison County Schools’ diversified population
  • Respectfully remind each other of these commitments as appropriate


“School board members are the dedicated few who you elected, or appointed, to represent your community’s values and thinking about public education in your community. The bottom line for these individuals is keeping alive the dream of public education for every child and making sure students achieve and succeed!â€?

– National School Board Association



The National School Board Association initiated National School Board Recognition Month in 1995 when its Delegate Assembly adopted a resolution for school board recognition month. States followed suit by dedicating a time of the year to recognize the contributions of local board members.

NSBA knows that school boards are — and should be recognized as — a proud heritage of our country. School boards are democracy in action!

Quick History on School Boards

In 1721, local government authorities in Boston delegated part of their control over schools to lay citizens. Why? In a nutshell, the town selectmen were burdened with the details of education as defined by the Massachusetts Laws of 1642 (establishing the right of the government to demand universal and literacy) and the Old Deluder Law of 1647 (establishing compulsory schools for the young).

In 1826 Massachusetts took the final step in the evolution of a district school board by ordering each town in the state to elect a separate school committee to have “the general charge and superintendence of all the public schools” of the town. This law marks the final transfer of educational functions from the selectmen to the new body, created specifically for administering public education in the towns.

Eight Characteristics of an Effective School Board

1. Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision.
2. Effective school boards have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
3. Effective school boards are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
4. Effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
5. Effective boards are data savvy; they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.
6. Effective school boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals.
7. Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
8. Effective school boards take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts