2015 Power To The People 1

Roger Cook

Taylor County School District
2015 Winner for Power to the People Award (Tie)
About Power to the People Award

Empowers teachers, students and other administrators to take on leadership roles and participate actively in system-wide innovation.

Provide an overview of the project, practice or product that your video represents, and how your work encompasses the principles and ideals of the award that you're applying for.

Our video portrays several of the practices that our Superintendent has implemented at Taylor County School District with his innovative style of teaching through his leadership and guidance. Our Performance-Based Education system encompasses a “wagon wheel” of learning. This means that each student is placed into a “spoke” of learning based on the learning style best suited for him or her. Not only are students placed in the spoke that is most advantageous to their learning, but they are also placed in a grade level based on their mental capacity instead of just chronological age. Performance-Based Education has also led to the success of our zero percent drop out rate because we are able to tailor learning to each student’s individual need. Mr. Cook has worked diligently with our administrators, principals, and teachers to ensure and lead the success of this program. In order to promote leadership and participation from teachers within our district, Mr. Cook established the Roger Awards as a way to celebrate and encourage our teachers. The award ceremony takes place mid-year and recognizes exceptional teachers from each individual school.

Explain the long-lasting impact of what you've presented in this video, and provide any qualitative or quantitative data that supports this impact.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Cook, Taylor County Schools have implemented Performance-Based Education, which is an innovative and creative approach to teaching and learning that places students in grade-level content areas based on mental capacity rather than chronological age. Our Performance-Based Education model, which is so successful due to the leadership of our administrators and teachers, has gained recognition and attention both locally and nationally. During the 2014-2015 school year, we had over 70 guests from over 17 school districts and five states outside of Kentucky visit Taylor County School District. One of the benefits of Performance-Based Education is our zero percent dropout rate for the past six years. According to Kentucky School Report Card, Taylor County School District had a graduation rate of 100% in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, while the state average was only 86.1% and 87.5%, respectively. According to the 2015 Kentucky TELL Survey, 78% of teachers felt they played a large role in devising teaching techniques and 80% of teachers agree/strongly agree that they have an appropriate level of decision making at the school. Based on the high percentage of teachers who feel like they play a large role in decision-making and how they teach, it is evident that Mr. Cook’s leadership enables teachers to feel empowered.

Tie Winner for Power to the People Award

Steven Dunlap