More than 600 students from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and area private schools will gather Friday for the JCPS IdeaFestival, to be held from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Spalding University, 901 S. Fourth St.
With a theme of ‘connectivity,’ the student-centered conference will feature six presentations, highlighting discussion of current and forward-looking ideas and issues from a diverse group of speakers.
Student-planned and executed, the event provides young people with an outlet to express opinions and delve into timely issues, and encourage their peers to see the connection between these issue and their lives.
In 2014, the JCPS IdeaFestival evolved from the IF Manual event, a festival held at duPont Manual High School and inspired by the official IdeaFestival. The JCPS IdeaFestival has expanded to deliver thought-provoking presentations and festivals to the entire JCPS District and private schools.
Tim Holman, a duPont Manual High School government and politics teacher, is the first recipient of the Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award for 2017. Representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and from the award sponsors — LG&E KU and WHAS11 — honored the teacher last week during a ceremony at the school.
“Mr. Holman is an outstanding teacher who demonstrates many unique talents and innovative teaching techniques in the classroom,” Manual Principal Jerry Mayes said. “He is a valuable asset and resource to our school and community. The wonderful thing about having Tim as a colleague is that I am able to teach with an outstanding educator who is passionate about fostering democratic beliefs, values and skills in students.”
During his time at Manual, Holman has organized forums with political candidates, brought in speakers and provided his students with the opportunity to visit the State Capitol. In fact, Holman has been recognized by the Kentucky Senate for going “beyond the call of duty to provide vital educational opportunities and experiences.” Students in his classes have also had the opportunity to see political leaders such as Chief Justice John Roberts, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain.
Holman also has served in several leadership roles at Manual, including magnet liaison, School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council member, and sponsor of the Young Democrats and Teenage Republicans. Additionally, he has been the Manual cross-country and track coach for years, leading his players to the state championship in 2016. He also served as the girls’ basketball coach during Manual’s three consecutive trips to the Kentucky Sweet 16 Tournament, which included a state championship.
“He showed several students the path of being more than they thought they could be,” said Portia Wright, a Ballard High School teacher and former colleague. “I watched him effectively take students in his class and encourage them to run for him, which enabled him to earn a different type of respect and admiration. This made them want to work harder for him in the classroom.”
Before teaching at Manual, Holman was a social studies teacher at Meyzeek Middle School. He was later selected by the Center for Civic Education and Engagement at the University of Louisville to work for one year developing curriculum and working on professional development,
As an ExCEL Award winner, Holman will receive a $1,000 instructional grant from LG&E KU.
Earlier this week, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens announced that students from duPont Manual High School took honors in the recent U.S. Chess Federation 2016 National K-12 Grade Championships. Several students earned individual honors and two teams from Manual placed third in the overall competition.
“I am extremely proud of what our students accomplished and the manner in which they represented our JCPS family in their recent national competition,” Dr. Hargens said. “What our students accomplished is impressive, and I congratulate them on their victories.”
Individual Awards – 12th grade championship:
Individual Awards – 10th grade championship
The duPont Manual chess team has also won the state championship for three consecutive years and earned six titles since 2005.