BETSY LAYNE – Betsy Layne High School had some special visitors on Wednesday. The Gates Foundation’s visited Betsy Layne High School on Wednesday, stopping by during a visit to Eastern Kentucky.
“Basically, the Gates Foundation contacted us about visiting Betsy Layne High School and that visit occurred today,” Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dr. Henry Webb said on Wednesday. ‘They called this a “learning visit” and their purpose was to see how Floyd County Schools and Betsy Layne High School does what they do for KIDS, from the roll out of the Common Core and other initiatives to every day instruction. The Gates Foundation also asked that we keep the visit confidential until afterwards and we respected those wishes.”
Bill and Melinda Gates, Alan Golston and Vicky Phillips interviewed Dr. Webb, BLHS Principal Cassandra Akers, teachers and students. They had lunch with students and spoke to the entire student body via the intercom as they weren’t able to meet all of the students.
Additionally, Gates Foundation representatives interviewed the Young Professional Forum that consisted of college students and former graduates outside the field of education who left the region to attend college and returned here to work. Three members of the forum were former BLHS graduates; Dr. Jeremy Parsons, Jenny Collins, physician’s assistant, and Kim Rowe, pharmacist.
According to Akers, Bill and Melinda Gates were gracious enough to be interviewed by students who compile and broadcast news programs throughout the school.
“They are very nice, down to earth people and they were extremely complimentary about our school,” Principal Cassandra Akers commented. “We’re thrilled that they chose to visit us.”
“Betsy Layne High School has made outstanding progress for kids and that’s what attracted the Gates Foundation to come here for the learning visit,” Dr. Webb added. “From the Professional Growth and Evaluation System (PGES) to graduation and college and career readiness rates, they asked questions. And simply the answer is that you have the greatest team members doing whatever it takes for the best kids in the nation and you have Betsy Layne High School.”