Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado is resigning his seat in the Kentucky senate to accept an appointment as Tennessee’s new health commissioner. 

Per Kentucky law, vacancies in the General Assembly are filled with a special election. The date for a special election is set by the presiding officer or by the governor if the legislature is not in session.

Alvarado represented the 28th district which includes part of Fayette County and all of Bath, Clark, Menifee and Montgomery Counties.

FCPS Launches “Grow Your Own” 

Fayette County Public Schools will offer “Grow Your Own” (GYO), an initiative that supports education-related career opportunities for FCPS students, staff, and community members. The goal is to recruit, develop, and retain educators who are connected to the Lexington community and who share lived experiences with our students.

“FCPS is taking the next step through Grow Your Own to live out our mission and recruit the students, employees, and community members we need to build a workforce that truly represents Lexington and the students and families that we serve,” said Superintendent Demetrus Liggins. “We are excited to kick off what we believe will be a local solution to the national problem of recruiting and retaining talented educators,” he said.

The Grow Your Own program provides solutions for aspiring educators who face employment, financial, and other challenges, and it opens the way to a diversified workforce, stronger schools, and a connected community.

GYO pathways are available to four main groups:

  • High school students exploring a career in education;
  • FCPS employees interested in becoming certified to teach;
  • Community members considering a teaching career; and
  • FCPS educators and staff who want to grow into leadership roles.

“As we reimagine recruitment, support, and retention, the FCPS Grow Your Own program will advance the education profession to support student learning. This essential element will enhance our highly effective and culturally responsive workforce,” said Lori Bowen, director of educator development.

Vibrant partnerships with universities and organizations across the Commonwealth will empower GYO participants through scholarships, localized support and resources, and immediate practice in our schools. 

LFD celebrates Fire Recognition 

The Lexington Women’s Combat Challenge Team was recognized at the November 3rd Council meeting for their outstanding victory at the Firefighter Challenge World Championship in Sandy, Utah.

Mayor Gorton declared it  “Lexington Fire Ladies’ Day” and recognized Firefighters Chelsie Brown, Erin Lucas, Sarah McGill, and Michelle Spanyer for winning the Female Relay Finals at the World Championship. 

Brenda Cowan Fire Camp 

Lexington Firefighters recently hosted the fourth annual Brenda Cowan Fire Camp. The camp was open to girls, ages 16-25, and focused on firefighting, EMS, and rescue skills.

“Historically, the fire service has not done a great job of marketing a career in firefighting to girls,” said Lexington Fire Chief Jason Wells. “This camp is our way of bridging that gap and letting girls know they can pursue any career they want, including firefighting.”

Twenty-five girls are signed up to participate in the camp, designed to introduce them to a hands-on experience with the fire service, emphasizing sisterhood and empowerment. The day started with a meet and greet where the female campers got to know one another and asked questions about the unique challenges facing women pursuing a career in this male-dominated profession. Campers were also given the opportunity to advance hose lines, climb ladders, repel from ropes, and learn CPR and bleeding control basics.  Wells reported the LFD has an authorized strength of 620, of which only 27 are female. 

This free camp was named after fallen Lexington Fire Lieutenant Brenda Cowan, who was shot and killed in 2004 responding to an EMS call that turned out to be the scene of domestic violence. “Brenda was a role model for all, but especially young girls,” said Recruiting Battalion Chief Jordan Saas. “Naming this camp after Brenda was a fitting way to honor her memory and legacy.”

This article appears on pages 6-7 of the December issue of Hamburg Journal. To subscribe, click here.