Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Book on Tom Shelton

This is the third of three reviews of the public record on finalists for the superintendency of the Fayette County public school district. The information is not analyzed so much as it is organized and presented for review by the public, and most importantly, the Fayette County Board of Education. It is our hope that the information will allow the board to make the best decision possible on behalf of our children.2009-2010 Interim Performance Report

Generally, the material is presented in three sections:
•First, the candidate's official resume, along with a collection of school district performance data, and where provided by the candidate, materials presented for consideration by the search firm, as well as other goodies we found
•the Herald-Leader's brief resume
•a chronological listing of public utterances as recorded in the press

This adapted from FCPS:
Friday Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton will meet with nearly 200 employees, students, parents and community representatives. School board members have expressed appreciation to all those who have agreed to represent their peers and provide the school board with feedback throughout the interview process.

At 3 p.m. Friday, Shelton will meet with members of the media. The news conference will air live on Channel 13 and replay at 11:30 p.m. If you do not have access to cable, Channel 13 programming streams live here: /administration/departments/channel-13/live-webcast.

At 5:30 p.m., everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend a public forum in Norsworthy Auditorium at the school district’s 701 East Main Street office. KET news anchor Renee Shaw will interview Shelton with questions submitted by our community. The forum will air at 7 p.m on Channel 13.

The Fayette County Board of Education is encouraging all stakeholders to submit their comments about each superintendent hopeful by emailing superinput@fayette.kyschools.us. All feedback sent there will be automatically forwarded to the five school board members.
Daviess County


This from WEHT_TV Evansville Indiana:

Shelton's Application Cover letter

Shelton's FCPS Application
Page 1
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Tom Shelton's Evaluation in Daviess County, Anonymous Administrator Evaluation of Superintendent completed by 20 School Principals and 12 District Administrators, and shared with Daviess Co Administrators and Board.

KASA:   Dr. Tom Shelton Awarded Kentucky Superintendent of the Year

...with gracious accolades from Lu Young.

NOTE: Dr Shelton's entries are being edited more heavily than were those of Ms Farris and Ms Young, simply due to the volume of hits our research produced. Every effort was made to keep a representative sample of the 698 citations we found.  We are also using a smaller font. 

State audit of Daviess school work planned
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, October 29, 1996
Author: Greg Kocher, Messenger-Inquirer

State auditors soon will begin an investigation of school construction projects, including three in Daviess County, to see if contractors needlessly increased their prices.

Funding for the audit isn't expected to be approved until next month, but Ed Lynch, a spokesman for the state auditor of public accounts office, said the office will conduct a special review of projects in Daviess, Meade and Fayette counties.

State Rep. Mark Brown, a Brandenburg Democrat, said he and other legislators on the House Labor and Industry Committee requested a special review in August. They did so, Brown said, after seeing news accounts detailing how construction projects were higher in those counties even before the state's new prevailing wage law took effect July 15.

The projects in those counties were put out for bid before that date…

On May 16, the county school board accepted an $8.9 million bid submitted by Peters Contracting to build the new east and west elementary schools. The average price per square foot for those schools is $68, said Tom Shelton , business manager for the school district.

On May 28, the board approved a $4.62 million base bid submitted by Rusher Construction to build the new central school. The average price per square foot for the central school is $72, Shelton said.

That $4.62 million bid for the central school was more than $1 million more than the district anticipated...

Daviess school board approves 2.3 percent raises for fiscal year
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, May 16, 1997
Author: Tracy L. McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County teachers and other staff members will see a raise of at least 2.3 percent in the coming fiscal year, according to a tentative budget approved Thursday by the Daviess County Board of Education.

The average raise will be 3.5 percent. That includes a 2.3 percent raise across the board, plus an average raise of 1.2 percent in the "step increases," which are based on experience, said Tom Shelton , business manager and treasurer…

Maceo school to be auctioned
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, July 7, 1997
Author: Greg Kocher, Messenger-Inquirer

Yet another county school building will go on the auction block.

Maceo Elementary School, declared surplus property by the Daviess County Board of Education, will be sold at auction at 10 a.m. July 17…

Tom Shelton , business manager for the Daviess County Public Schools, said an Indiana developer and a local physician have expressed interest in the building, which opened in 1934.

The unidentified developer is interested in the building for possible office space. And the physician thought it might make a good location for a clinic in the Daviess/Hancock county area, Shelton said.

The Maceo property contains six acres, a kitchen, cafeteria, theater stage, tennis and basketball court and baseball diamond. The tennis and basketball court is leased to the county Parks and Recreation Department until the year 2000, Shelton said…

On March 13, the Owensboro Catholic Schools bought the old Sorgho Elementary School at auction for $166,000. It will become the new site for Holy Angels Elementary School of Sorgho. Holy Angels is now at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Sorgho.

Shelton said proceeds from the sale of schools has gone into the school system's general fund, but the school board has not yet decided how it will use that money.

The old Sutherland school on U.S. 431 south of Owensboro, now used for storage of student and financial records, also will be auctioned. A sale date has not been set, but Shelton said the central office has received some calls about interest in that building as well.

Shelton said proceeds from the sale of Sorgho school may be used to build a new records-retention area to the bus garage near Apollo High School.

Bookstores are in a bind
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, August 15, 1997
Author: Stewart Jennison, Messenger-Inquirer
Coping and hoping. Coping and hoping.

Regular customers of strikebound UPS - including some college bookstores awaiting texts for classes that begin next week - are coping by using alternate carriers when they can and hoping merchandise already in the UPS "pipeline" when the strike began will eventually arrive…

Meanwhile, RPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service are picking up most of the slack.

Officials for Owensboro and Daviess County public schools say the timing of the strike could have been a lot worse for them.

Most books and other supplies were ordered early and already have arrived, said Tom Shelton , business manager with Daviess County Public Schools. Alternate carriers are taking care of last-minute supplies, he said…

$40,000 to go for filing system
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, August 21, 1998
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

In an attempt to streamline record-keeping, the Daviess County Board of Education voted to purchase a $40,000 electronic record filing system Thursday night…

The price includes a $3,500 service agreement with Kimco Systems International, which sold the system to the board. The service agreement is needed for future software upgrades, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations.

Initially, only student records will be scanned into the system, Silberman said, but eventually all documents will be stored electronically. The system will also be networked via computers to all of the district's schools, he said.

Daviess school tax rate cut OK'd
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 18, 1998
Author: Tracy McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

School taxes will drop in Daviess County this year, but that doesn't necessarily mean your bill will be less.

The Daviess County Board of Education approved a slight drop in its tax rate during a meeting Thursday. The Owensboro Board of Education will consider dropping its rate during a special meeting Monday…

"If a person has property in the county that was not reassessed, their tax bill is going to go down," said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations at Daviess County Public Schools.

If you live in a $100,000 house in the county school district, you paid $480 in school property taxes last year. This year, you will pay $473.

But, if your house was reassessed for $110,000 this year, your bill would increase to $520.30 Although real estate values increased, Shelton said the values for personal property and motor vehicles dropped. The Daviess County rate for personal property and motor vehicles will remain at 48 cents per $100.

Heavy rains flood area roads
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, January 23, 1999
Author: Steve Vied and Matthew Francis, Messenger-Inquirer

Heavy rains, which began with overnight thunderstorms and continued most of the day in the Owensboro area, covered portions of at least 20 Daviess County roads Friday.

And county officials are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, which calls for more rain today before ending Sunday…

Daviess County school bus drivers searched for ways to avoid water-covered roads while taking children home but were unable to do so in a few instances, said assistant superintendent Tom Shelton . Parents of children whose homes were on flooded streets were called and asked to come pick up their children, Shelton said.

Flu making way through schools
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, January 29, 1999
Author: Tracy McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

Owensboro and Daviess County school administrators are keeping an eye on a flu bug moving through local schools. But they say the illness is not widespread enough to lead to school closings…

Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said conditions were improving Thursday.

"We had 7.8 percent absenteeism yesterday (Wednesday) ," he said. "But it's improved to 7.1 percent today (Thursday)." The biggest problem, he said, has been sick teachers.

Work will strengthen eroding bank near Daviess County Middle School
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, March 19, 1999
Author: Stewart Jennison, Messenger-Inquirer

State and federal grants will help pay for a summer project to control riverbank erosion near Daviess County Middle School…

The school, wedged between the river and U.S. 60, has no suitable area to relocate its athletic field, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance for Daviess County Public Schools…

Shelton also is expecting $228,000 in federal money. That leaves the school district to pay about $23,000 of the $325,000 total project cost.

DCMS battles river with erosion project Construction should finish by start of school
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Author: Tracy McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools and the Army Corps of Engineers plan to launch a counterattack on the Ohio River next week.

A $300,000 project to save the athletic field behind Daviess County Middle School is scheduled to begin July 7, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations for county schools. Contractors will use heavy equipment to reshape the riverbank behind the school and place large rocks, called riprap, there to fend off further erosion.

"They will be doing all the work by barge," Shelton said…

Schools will have new security equipment
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, July 1, 1999
Author: Tracy McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

When Daviess County Public Schools open in the fall, all will have new equipment to keep students safe.

Security cameras will be installed at the schools that don't already have them. During a meeting Wednesday, the Daviess County school board approved a contract with Modern Security for cameras and other equipment.

"The camera shows a constant view of the front door," said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations for the county schools. "We have all doors locked except the front door. If anything is going to happen it's going to come through that front door." …

DCHS entrance to open by Tuesday Stoplight planned for intersection
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, August 14, 1999
Author: Tracy McQueen

Spring Bank residents who pushed for changes to help ease traffic congestion on U.S. 231 are breathing a sigh of relief.

By the time Daviess County High School students return to class Tuesday, there will be a new entrance at the school aligning with the entrance to Spring Bank, a residential area just across U.S. 231. And a stoplight won't be far behind.

"I know every one in Spring Bank will be pleased," said Larry Harrington, a Spring Bank resident who has been meeting with city and school leaders in recent months.

Harrington said he believes the changes also will make that area much safer for students. "It's going to be a good situation for everybody."

Traffic on U.S. 231 has increased with the addition of Deer Park Elementary and College View Middle School in recent years. Owensboro Community College also attracts a lot of traffic.

Harrington said at peak times, when classes are starting and ending at Daviess County High School, it was nearly impossible for residents to get out of the subdivision. Residents also were concerned about students trying to cross the road between the subdivision and high school. A city police officer would direct traffic during those times.

After meetings between residents and representatives from the city and the schools, school leaders agreed to restructure the high school's entrance so it will align with the Spring Bank entrance. Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance, said the work began earlier this week and will be finished before classes begin Tuesday…

City crews are doing the work. "Their crews were available and able to do it," Shelton said. The school system will reimburse the city for the $14,700 project.

Shelton said state officials will install a traffic light soon after the entrance is changed. That light will be green to traffic on U.S. 231 except when motorists are leaving DCHS or Spring Bank.

After the light is installed, the city will supply a crossing guard instead of a police officer. "We wanted the guarantee of a light going in and a crossing guard being there," Shelton said.

School officials were reluctant to change the entrance at first, in part because of concerns about losing part of a practice field used by the band.

But Shelton said the band still would be able to practice on that lawn.

In addition to addressing safety concerns, Shelton said he hopes the new entrance will make it easier for students and parents entering and leaving the school. "It's going to be a very nice entrance into the school."

Students return to class Tuesday
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, August 15, 1999
Author: Tracy McQueen, Messenger-Inquirer

When Daviess County Public and Owensboro Catholic schools students return to class Tuesday, educators will have some big changes in store for their smallest clients…

Other changes for the county schools include major renovations at West Louisville and Utica elementary schools and a classroom addition at Country Heights Elementary School.

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance for the county schools, said the $800,000 Country Heights project is almost complete, though some finish work remains. Work will continue for at least a month at Utica and West Louisville…
School bus, rig collide No one injured in accident at bypass
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

The first day of school was marred for eight Bishop Cotton Elementary School students Tuesday when the Daviess County school bus they were riding home from school collided with a tractor-trailer.

No one was injured in the accident…

Randy Bivin, director of transportation for the county school system, and several county and Catholic school officials were on the scene.

"We're glad nobody got hurt," Bivin said. "We can always replace equipment."

Tom Shelton , assistant director of finance and administration for the Daviess County school system, agreed.

"The good news is no one was hurt," he said. "Whenever something like this happens, that's all you can focus on." …
Help solving 231 traffic problem appreciated
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, August 28, 1999

We wish to express our appreciation to City Manager Ron Payne, Mayor Waymond Morris, Sgt. Gary Jarboe of the Owensboro Police Department, Superintendent Stu Silberman, Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton and the Daviess County Board of Education, and the Kentucky Department of Highways' Madisonville office for their efforts in resolving the traffic problem at Daviess County High School, U.S. 231 and Spring Bank Drive.

Through their collective endeavors, a plan was implemented to redesign the driveway to DCHS, aligning it with Spring Bank Drive. This alignment allows the Kentucky Department of Highways to install a traffic light there, improving traffic flow, allowing OPD to reassign police officers to other duties and improving the safety of the public, DCHS students and OPD officers.

We also would like to thank the Messenger-Inquirer for its coverage of the topic. The M-I's willingness to keep the community advised of local issues is greatly appreciated.

Edward and Cathy Belfiglio


County's rates to rise, city's to stay same
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 17, 1999
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer
School taxes for county residents would rise while city school taxes would remain the same under tax rates approved by both local school boards Thursday.

The Daviess County Board of Education unanimously approved tax rates that would generate about $1.2 million in new tax revenue, enough to cover the costs of a new all-day kindergarten program and cost-of-living increases, Superintendent Stu Silberman said.

"Actually, it's a 1-cent tax increase on property," Silberman said. Silberman had predicted a nearly 2-cent increase in May when the board approved all-day kindergarten.

The tax rate increase will be the system's first since 1994, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance…

The new tax rates will generate about $11.6 million in local taxes, Shelton said, about 11 percent more than last year. School districts are allowed to increase tax revenue by 4 percent each year, but that does not include new homes and commercial construction…

 Aull, Riley honored for leadership Two named as `Kentucky Leaders for the New Century'
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, September 19, 1999
Author: Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer
For Wes Aull and Kenith Riley, the pressure is on.

Leadership Kentucky Inc. has selected the Owensboro men as two of 44 "Kentucky Leaders for the New Century." …

Other nominees [included] Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance and operations, Daviess County Public Schools...

digest Daviess County Board of Education
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, January 21, 2000
During its meeting Thursday, the Daviess County Board of Education took the following actions: …

Approved a resolution designating Tom Shelton as the district's agent for the Federal Emergency Management Agency….

Six parents from Daviess County named to state leadership group

Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, January 26, 2000
Author: Messenger-Inquirer

Six people from Daviess County are fellows of the 1999 Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, having graduated from the program in a ceremony Dec. 3, according to a press release….

Tom Shelton of Owensboro, assistant superintendent for finance and operations for Daviess County Public Schools and PTO member at Tamarack Elementary.

Begun in 1977, the institute has trained 475 parents from across the state. The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is a nonpartisan, independent group of parents and other volunteers who have worked for better education for all Kentuckians since 1983.

Storm ripped up property values $34.5 million taken off city, county tax rolls, PVA says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, March 9, 2000
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer
In the days following the tornado that swept through Owensboro on Jan. 3, the Daviess County Property Valuation Administrator's office was faced with the monumental task of determining just how much private property value was lost to the twister…

Daviess County Public Schools will take the biggest hit, losing $122,587 in revenue. …

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance and operations for Daviess County Public Schools, said the loss, while significant, won't pose a big problem for the district, which has an annual budget of more than $68 million.

"We do our budget very conservatively on taxes," Shelton said. "I budget very softly on assessment growth. Our assessments usually grow 4 to 5 percent a year, and we budget on the low end. We'll be able to absorb it." …

County OKs school renovation bids Cost for projects at five schools close to $5 million
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education on Tuesday approved spending nearly $5 million this summer for renovations at five schools.

Bids were approved for renovations to Apollo and Beacon Central high schools and Tamarack, Burns and Highland elementary schools. Work will begin immediately, and most work will be finished before school starts in August, officials said.

The renovations at Apollo High School, which includes a 5,000-square-foot classroom addition, will take until November, but students will not miss any days because of the construction, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

The construction work at Apollo and Tamarack will be done by Peters Contracting, which supplied the lowest of three bids: $3.57 million.

Other costs, such as architect, engineer and contingencies fees, forced the board to vote to sell bonds to cover the $4.2 million cost at Apollo and Tamarack on Tuesday. The bonds will be sold April 18, Shelton said.

The work at Apollo will also be the most expensive - about $3.2 million, Shelton said. The work will include new heating and air conditioning systems, renovations to the school's science and special education departments and a new roof to replace the temporary one installed after a January tornado tore parts of the roof off, he said.

Apollo's roof, however, was scheduled for replacement this summer long before the tornado hit, Shelton said. The renovation work at Apollo and Tamarack does not include any tornado repair work, he said….
Community Contributions
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, April 25, 2000

The Daviess County Public Schools "Misspellerz" won the "Community Bee 2000" benefit spelling bee.

The April 13 event at Owensboro Country Club featured nine community businesses and organizations competing in the charity event, which raised money for adult literacy programs at the Longfellow Education Center and for the Messenger-Inquirer's Newspapers in Education program.

Mary Pat Gray, a guidance counselor at College View Middle School; Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent; and Mary Coomes, media specialist at Apollo High School, are pictured with M-I mascot "Inky" after winning the championship trophy…
Area schools to get $6 million in improvements
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, June 4, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

More than $6 million will be spent to upgrade, renovate and improve local schools during the busy summer construction season, according to school officials…

More than $3.2 million will be spent on Apollo High School over the summer, but none of the work involves repairs from January's tornado, said assistant superintendent Tom Shelton .

The work, which has been part of the district's five-year school facilities plan, will add 5,000 square feet of classroom space to the school, which will be used by band and chorus groups, Shelton said. The addition should be finished by November, he said.

The science department is being gutted and rebuilt to add classroom space, and new space will be provided for special education, Shelton said. When all is said and done, the school will gain three new health/physical education classrooms, three science labs and three special education classrooms, he said…

The district has asked the Kentucky Department of Transportation for a new traffic signal at the entrance to Highland Elementary on Kentucky 54 but have been denied due to low traffic counts, Shelton said. No accidents have taken place there, but it's only a matter of time, he said…
DCPS's Shelton selected for part in Leadership Kentucky - OCC offers interpersonal course
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, June 15, 2000
Author: From staff reports

**DCPS's Shelton selected for part in Leadership Kentucky ***

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for finance and operational support for Daviess County Public Schools, has been selected to participate in Leadership Kentucky.

Participation in Leadership Kentucky is a competitive process open to persons living or working in Kentucky. The maximum number of individuals appointed is 55.

Leadership Kentucky provides participants with a network of peers across Kentucky, an understanding of the intensity and the complexity of the issues we as Kentuckians face and experiences such as touring a coal mine, riding in a Black Hawk helicopter and spending a day at Kentucky's maximum security prison.

Leadership Kentucky seeks representation from a cross-section of the state. These leaders are active in business, education, the arts, religion, government, community-based organizations, ethnic and minority groups and reflect the diversity of the state.

Shelton provides leadership and direction for all district operational departments, including maintenance, computer operations, food service, safety and security and transportation. He assists the superintendent in all aspects of fiscal responsibility of the district.

He is a certified public accountant and holds a master's degree in business administration from Murray State University.

Shelton and his wife, Gwen, have two daughters: Abby and Audrey.

Teachers will get 3 percent raise Boards of education vote unanimously
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, June 16, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Teachers in both Daviess County and Owensboro public school systems will receive 3 percent raises in July following decisions Thursday by elected school officials…

For Daviess County, the raises will increase the budget for salaries by $1.3 million, including cash for the step increases, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent. The district will spend roughly $39 million on salaries next year…

Ruling won't end local prayers yet Officials need time to digest decision, McGaughey says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, June 20, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Local school officials said the latest U.S. Supreme Court ruling won't end student-led prayer at public events at schools - at least for now.

Legal experts and state school officials will need time to digest the court's ruling before school districts begin changing how prayers at sporting events, graduations and other events are handled, said Owensboro Superintendent Carolyn McGaughey.

"I expect we will review our practices and make sure we're in compliance with legal expectations," McGaughey said.

"I think what we'll have to do is sit down with the board and discuss how those events are handled," said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for Daviess County Public Schools. "Currently, every event where we have a prayer is student-initiated. If this ruling says we can't allow that, we'll have to sit down with the board and review our events."

By a 6-3 vote, the court barred officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games at a high school in Texas.

In the Texas case, four high school students and their parents sued the Santa Fe Independent School District in Galveston County in 1995 over its policy of letting students elect a "chaplain" to lead "prayers" at graduation ceremonies and home football games. The court ruled that practice to be unconstitutional.

The ruling did not surprise McGaughey, who said it is similar to other rulings that have sought to protect the religious rights of "captive audiences" at school events.

McGaughey said voluntary, student-led prayer at graduation ceremonies has been upheld in other court decisions, but she doesn't know if this ruling will change that.

"With this ruling, we're treading on very thin ice," McGaughey said. "At this point, I don't know what changes we'll have to make."

Shelton said public prayer at school events is offensive to some people, but "personally, I think students should have that right."

Board's new lawyer has local ties Bowling Green man is Daviess County graduate
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, August 22, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education went all the way to Bowling Green to find its new board attorney.

But Bart Darrell, a Daviess County graduate, has a local office and even more local connections, said board chairwoman Mary Tim Griffin…

Darrell will sign a contract that will pay him $95 an hour for all hours billed, said Tom Shelton, assistant superintendent.

During the last four full years that Yewell served as attorney, payments to Yewell averaged more than $47,000 a year. In 1995-96, Yewell was paid $57,674; $42,579 in 1996-97; $50,359 in 1997-98; $37,756 in 1998-99; and $10,356 in 1999-00, according to district records…

City schools budget is OK'd Real, personal property tax rates fall in district
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, September 27, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Owensboro Board of Education approved a 2000-2001 working budget Tuesday that cuts real and personal property tax rates…

The Daviess County budget also includes a 3 percent pay hike for teachers and staff, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent.

Daviess school board cuts tax rates Rate still means more revenue
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 29, 2000
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education approved a 2000-2001 working budget Thursday that cuts real and personal property tax rates…

The new tax revenue will be used to pay for the higher salaries and instructional aides in all district kindergarten classes, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations…

Another $60,000 in new revenue will be used to purchase an as-yet undecided literacy program for elementary schools, Shelton said.

The new money will also go into instruction ($617,000), the district's building fund ($242,000), maintenance ($87,000), transportation ($76,000) and the cost of collections ($26,000).

Be mindful of school bus safety
By Tom Shelton
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, October 21, 2000

National School Bus Safety Week is held each year to continually and actively promote school bus safety. Daviess County Public School buses transport more than 9,200 public and non-public school children each day and travel nearly 2 million miles per year.

Please help us transport our students safely by being extremely cautious when school buses are nearby. Please remember that when the school bus stop arm is extended and the bus lights are flashing, motorists are required to stop.

We are so proud of our bus drivers and the entire transportation department who are very well trained and highly skilled. They are the people who get our students to and from school safely each day. We also are very proud of our students who are trained in bus safety. We need your help to ensure the safety of our children.

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent
Finance and Operations
Daviess County Public Schools

Schools reaping benefits through investments
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, January 2, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

…Aggressive investing in federal loan programs reaps thousands of dollars of new revenue for school districts each year, officials said.

Daviess County routinely has $6 million or $7 million invested each month, a practice that netted the district an extra $727,000 last year, said Tom Shelton , DCPS assistant superintendent of finance and operations.

That's about 1 percent of the district's $67 million budget…

Kentucky law prohibits school district from investing in the stock market as companies and individuals can. In fact, districts are limited to investing only in federally protected loan programs like Fannie Mae, federal securities and treasury notes.

"Anything that's backed by the federal government," Shelton said. "That way, we're guaranteed to get our money back."

Daviess County invests in things like the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Farm Credit Bank.

The amount of money invested changes monthly and depends upon the district's available cash and the district's need for cash, Shelton said.

In November, for example, only $3 million was available for investing. In January, however, Shelton expects to have $12 million to invest because local property tax money will begin to flow into the district then…

Investments are staggered to return to the district when the money will be needed, Shelton said. Some investments are as short as three months, he said.

Some money, however, is invested long-term. The district's $3 million contingency fund, for example, is invested for years for a higher return because it's money that can't be spent except in emergencies, Shelton said.

Most of the money earned through investments goes into the district's general fund to be spent on anything from curriculum supplies to school buses. Other money must be used for specific things, like the district's technology fund.

The $727,000 earned last year is a far cry from the $120,000 the district earned in 1995, the year before Shelton joined the district.

Shifting money from one investment to the next is an almost daily chore, but it's worth the hassle, Shelton said.

"It's just cash management," Shelton said. "That's money that goes back to the kids. They deserve all the money we can get." …

The districts are preparing to bid again for a local bank, and Shelton said he expects the bidding to be competitive. Bid applications were to be mailed by Jan. 1.

"The bidding will be more aggressive this time because there are more banks here now," Shelton said.

Rising bills impact City Hall, businesses Churches also feel pinch as natural gas costs jump
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, January 26, 2001
Author: Mike Baggett, Messenger-Inquirer

Residents are not the only ones being hit by the high cost of natural gas.

Governments, school systems, businesses and even churches are also being affected by utility bills that in most cases have more than doubled over last year…

The Daviess County school district collected $248,529 in utility taxes in December compared to $204,984 in December 1999, Shelton said. That left a net increase in costs of $25,335, he said.

"I believe the increased revenue will take care of a hit to our budget," Shelton said.

The higher gas bills haven't led school officials to change any policy or procedure regarding the heating of schools, Clarke said. The district likes each school to maintain a 72 degree temperature during the day, he said. The heat is turned down to 65 degrees in the buildings once all students and staff have left, he said.

The temperatures in Daviess County schools are controlled by a computerized system that reduces the heat when the buildings are empty, Shelton said.

Board's vote on snow bus routes expected in March
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

A vote by the Daviess County Board of Education on a proposed snow bus route plan won't come until March.

District staff members are still working with Owensboro, Daviess County and Kentucky road officials to design potential routes to be used after snowstorms when main roads are clear but secondary roads and subdivision streets remain unsafe for buses…

District officials have looked at snow route plans from Jefferson, Grayson, Meade and Webster counties, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton . Shelton said he's also met with Daviess County road officials, who have discussed adjusting their road-clearing priorities to help the district's plan.

Daviess school board approves snow plan Change in bus routes meant to reduce cancellations
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, March 16, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education on Thursday approved the development of a bus snow route plan that will allow buses to run before all secondary roads are clear of snow…

The longest distance a student would have to walk or ride to get to a bus stop would be seven-tenths of a mile in the rear sections of both Brookhill and Bon Harbor subdivisions, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent. The average distance would be about four-tenths of a mile - or about 3 1/2 city blocks, he said.

But once the unfinished streets in the rear sections of Brookhill and Bon Harbor subdivisions get their final coat of blacktop, those streets can be cleared by snowplows and buses will be able to run on them, Shelton said.

And if requested, the district will dispatch a four-wheel-drive vehicle to those areas to pick up children, Shelton said.

Development of the plan has led to better communication between the district and road officials, Shelton said. District spotters can now radio county road crews directly, for example, if they discover a section of a road that needs additional clearing, he said.

And both city and county road departments have agreed to move a few selected roads or streets higher on their road and street clearing priorities at the request of the district, Shelton said.

Some area schools aren't aging well State offers little renovation money
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, May 28, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

… school districts in the Owensboro region will do very little renovating or building this summer, in part because of a lack of state funds available for such projects, school officials said…

The Daviess County school district has almost completed its facilities plan, which runs through the end of the 2004 school year, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton .

"This is the first time in six summers where we don't have much happening," Shelton said.

The only project going on this summer will be the renovation of West Louisville Elementary School, a project that will cost about $500,000, Shelton said.

The project will create a media center, classroom and lunchroom and replace the school's heating and air conditioning system, Shelton said.

Teachers' raises may be top in state Daviess district could move from 57th to 20th in average salary
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, June 3, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer
While all Kentucky schools are facing teacher shortages in certain subjects, few appear to be tackling the problem with substantially higher teacher salaries next year, school officials said.

Daviess County's 6 percent average increase for teachers and staff appears to be the highest in the state, especially among districts of its size: about 10,000 students.

That increase will move the district from 57th in the state in average teacher salary to about 20th, based on Kentucky Department of Education figures and an assumption that average teacher salaries statewide will improve about 3 percent. All districts must give at least a 2.2 percent increase…

…comparing salaries between districts isn't a fair comparison because of the many financial variables between districts like the cost of living, state assistance and district size, said DCPS Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton .

"I don't think it's relative," Shelton said. "Kenton and Boone (counties) are relatively the same size (as the Daviess County school district), but they're in the greater Cincinnati area. They're in a totally different market. It depends more on your particular area."

County schools honored for food service, finance Programs receive state recognition as exemplary
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, June 18, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

… the district's food service program is one of the best run in the state, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.

DCPS has earned participation in the eighth annual Exemplary District Partnership Program in two areas: food service and finance. The partnership program recognizes districts with exemplary management practices in food service, finance, facilities and transportation…

Daviess County has no secret formula for efficiency, but there are perhaps practices and policies in the food service and finance service areas that can be repeated with success in other districts, DCPS Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said…

While districts do not compete for the awards, they are difficult to win because of the depth of the self-evaluation process used to evaluate the service areas, said Shelton. In the area of finance, for example, the district had to meet the minimum requirements on a checklist of 181 items relating to budget, payroll, insurance, bank funds and other areas, he said.

Intersection project will result in detours School bus drivers will be looking for turn-around spots
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, August 4, 2001
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools transportation officials aren't looking forward to a big construction project starting next week at U.S. 60 bypass and U.S. 60 East. With all left turns banned throughout the construction zone, buses will have a hard time negotiating the area.

"But it's such a good project and so needed, we want to work it out to the best advantage of the kids," said Tom Shelton , the district's assistant superintendent. …

The $1.38 million project, expected to take two months to complete, is designed to greatly improve the intersection by adding dual left-turn lanes for westbound U.S. 60 East traffic entering the bypass on Owensboro's east side.

Students say U.S. no longer invincible
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Suddenly, America's spotless image in the eyes of many students has a stain, said Kyla Claise, a senior at South Spencer (Ind.) High School.

"It just shows that we aren't invincible," said Claise, 17. "Before, it was like nobody could touch the United States. Now, we know we can be hurt."…

Daviess County Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said the district's middle and high schools were advised to turn off televisions, but some high school classes probably continued to watch footage of the attacks during the day for educational purposes.

Bomb threats made against schools, City Hall
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 14, 2001
Author: Mike Baggett, Messenger-Inquirer
In the wake of Tuesday's terrorist acts against New York City and Washington, D.C., local law enforcement officials are viewing three bomb threats Thursday - two against high schools and another at City Hall - as sick in nature and vowed to prosecute the person or persons who made the calls…

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said the Apollo office had the capability to trace the call.

"We put a trace on this call, and we're working with the phone company," Shelton said. "If we're able to determine who made the call, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

DC school board OKs tax rates
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 21, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education on Thursday approved property tax rates that will generate nearly a half a million dollars in new revenue, money that will be spent on a salary increase for all employees…

The new tax rates will generate $456,843 in new revenue which, when added to $498,000 in new revenue expected from taxes on new homes and interest from bank accounts, will generate about $1.1 million in new revenue, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton .

Schools work on plans for emergencies Biological, chemical attacks being included
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky's public schools, so often the targets of disturbed individuals, are now scrambling to revise their emergency response plans to include biological and chemical terrorist attacks…

So far, no schools have come under attack, "but there's nothing wrong with being proactive," said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools.

Use of take-home cars declining Governmental agencies using autos more than private-sector employers
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, October 28, 2001
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

How many employees get to take home vehicles provided by their employer? Probably fewer today than a few years ago, according to consultants and an informal survey of local businesses and government agencies…

The 13 take-home vehicles Daviess County schools provide must be used only for school business, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance. Those who get these cars or trucks are required to be on call 24 hours a day, Shelton said.

Since 1995 Shelton said administration has examined each job that includes a vehicle provision as the job turns over. The system has reduced two from its fleet through that practice.

"We don't take away a vehicle, but we evaluate the job when someone leaves," Shelton said. "We consider if it makes sense to reimburse whoever's in that position for mileage or assign them a vehicle."

Deer Park finally gets check
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, November 8, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Three months after successfully winning an appeal, Deer Park Elementary School finally received a reward check from the Kentucky Department of Education for $30,409 on Tuesday…

The money was received Tuesday, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. The money will remain in a central office account and will be spent as the school requests it, he said.

"They'll cut a purchase order, and we'll cut a check against that money," Shelton said.

DCPS switches to new phone system Change expected to improve line availability, lower expenses
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, December 18, 2001
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools have new phone numbers today.

The district is switching to a new Centrex telephone system through BellSouth that should both save money and reduce clogged telephone lines and busy signals for parents trying to call a school, assistant superintendent Tom Shelton said…

The central office, transportation and maintenance department have been using the new system - and new phone numbers - since September with no difficulty, Shelton said.

The system will now serve all departments and schools, which means each will have a new telephone number with an "852" prefix, Shelton said. Callers who dial the old number will get a recording that includes the new number, he said.

"We wanted to go to a pooled line concept," Shelton said. "Basically what happens is that it allows us to call each other within our buildings without using an outside line."

Shelton, for example, can now speed dial a school with one button and the call doesn't tie up any BellSouth phone lines.

"There's less chance of someone who is calling in getting a busy signal because we're not taking up an outside line," Shelton said. "Before if I called Whitesville, we were taking up two of those lines. Now, we're not taking up any lines."

The new system will cost about the same as the current BellSouth service, but the district will save money by eventually eliminating many of its 165 individual phone lines which cost about $50 a month or $99,000 a year, Shelton said.

"BellSouth says we can cut back to 30 lines, but we think that's a little risky until will see that the (call) traffic is OK," Shelton said. "We'll probably cut back to 80 over time."

Eliminating more than half the district's lines would save about $48,000 a year.

The eliminated lines will be rollover and other lines that aren't used much, Shelton said.

"The good thing about this new system is that you can do a traffic study to track inside and outside calls," Shelton said.

OPS to sell old computers on eBay Apple, Tandy units were manufactured in 1980s
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, January 25, 2002
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Owensboro Public Schools will join the millions of customers who offer items for sale on the eBay auction Web site…

Daviess County Public School officials have talked about using eBay before but have never tried it, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton .

"We haven't had that strong of a need to do that," Shelton said. "Typically, public auctions and sealed bids are your best ways. Those are the ways recommended by the state."

But Shelton said he will watch the OPS experiment closely.

United Way celebrates $1.9 million campaign
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Author: Lydia Carrico, Messenger-Inquirer
Despite the slowdown in the economy and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, United Way of Daviess County still had plenty to celebrate Tuesday evening. The final tally for the 2001 campaign was $1,907,000, a 5 percent increase over the previous year's campaign…

New board members also were selected during the annual banquet. They are Dr. Bill Jansing, president; Darrell Higginbotham, president-elect; Rob Carlton, vice-president; and Tom Shelton , Treasurer. Also selected to serve three-year terms on the board were Larry Vick, Jim Grise, Jennifer Spreng, John Paris, George Henderson and Sharon NeSmith.

Fire station plan draws favorable reviews
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

A proposal to build a county fire station … received mostly favorable reviews from people who attended a forum on the project Tuesday night at the school.

The $500,000 fire station would be built on an acre of ground to be donated to the county by Daviess County Public Schools in exchange for Daviess Fiscal Court's help in getting the state to build the turning lane and put a traffic signal at the intersection.

Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid said the state Transportation Cabinet has agreed to install the turning lane at a cost of $175,000 if the county will pay $25,000 of the cost…but settled on the Countryside Drive location because of the school district's offer and the state's agreement to improve the intersection.

"You're getting a turning lane for $25,000 and a free piece of ground, I don't know how anybody would doubt this location," said Tom Shelton , who lives near the school.

…Shelton earns ASBOI designation
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Author: From staff reports

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations for Daviess County Public Schools, has received the designation of registered school business administrator from the Association of School Business Officials International.

The registration program was created to promote improvement in the quality of school business management and encourage excellence among its practitioners.

ASBO International, founded in 1910, is the professional membership organization of 6,100 members that provides programs and services to promote the highest standards of school business management, practices, professional growth and the effective use of educational resources.

State faces costs with no budget Fiscal year begins tonight; governor has spending plan
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, June 30, 2002
Author: Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, Kentucky enters uncharted waters. Apparently for the first time in its 210-year history, the state will be starting a fiscal year without a legislatively enacted budget.

Gov. Paul Patton said last week that he will operate the state under an $18 billion spending plan, which he created by executive order…

Kentucky schools are operating under the assumption that state money will be there this fall, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of finance and operations for Daviess County Public Schools, the area's largest school district.

"Obviously, we would like to have a budget," he said. "But we feel good enough to adopt our budget. We feel we're in good financial shape."

Software helping Daviess school officials keep eye on bus routes
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, August 30, 2002
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer
With a few clicks on his computer, Kenneth Onstott can see approximately where any Daviess County school student is on any one of the district's 106 school buses as they make their way to and from schools each day.

But more important, a new computer system that's being test driven by Daviess and 11 other public school districts in Kentucky will give Onstott and other school transportation personnel added efficiency when drawing up bus routes…

"We can plot where the students live on the map and plan bus routes accordingly," Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "We've never had a computerized way of doing that before, not to this level."

Because the routes can be electronically generated, the general location of a bus during a route can be quickly determined, Shelton said. Routes can be timed to the minute, he said.

"It's an extra safeguard," Shelton said. "If something happened to (the bus) radio, we'd still have the general vicinity of where that bus is."

New subdivisions or roads can quickly be added to the mapping software through its Geographic Information System software, Shelton said.

"If there's a new road developed, we can drive that road and it will plot that road on the map for us and build it into the routes automatically," Shelton said.

Crashes disrupt Corporate Challenge bike races
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

For Tom Shelton , a 10-mile bike ride barely qualifies as a warm-up. The 39-year-old regularly rides 100 miles at a stretch and participated in a 165-miler earlier this summer.

But Shelton won't soon forget Saturday morning's Corporate Challenge bike race, even though it covered only 10 miles on county roads encircling Panther Creek Park. Shelton was one of several racers who were caught up in a pair of multibike crashes that sent him and another rider to the hospital.

Shelton, who was in the lead pack when the crash occurred in the first third of the race, suffered a concussion and multiple abrasions. Shelton was riding for the Daviess County Public Schools team, where he is the school system's assistant superintendent. Tim Martin, a county school bus driver, suffered a separated shoulder in a crash that happened seconds before Shelton's crash.

Shelton and Martin were treated at Owensboro Mercy Health System and released.

Several other riders suffered less serious injuries, mostly cuts and abrasions.

Shelton, a serious rider for a dozen years, was back at work Monday, albeit feeling banged up.

"They picked gravel and asphalt pieces out of me, but I'll get over it," Shelton said.

Shelton said he doesn't remember much about the crash.

"We had slowed down a little going around a corner, and we were speeding up again," he said. "I generally ride close to the middle. ... Someone cut into my (rear) wheel. I tried to correct it, but I began to wobble. That's the last thing I remember. I went down on my right side on my face."

Jim Grise, riding for the Owensboro Municipal Utilities team and Shelton's long-distance riding partner, went down, along with Messenger-Inquirer photographer Gary Emord-Netzley and two or three others. Grise and Emord-Netzley were able to continue.

Meanwhile, also in the lead pack, Martin and Owensboro Assistant City Manager Bob Whitmer went down.

Shelton said he was gratified by the concern shown for him by other riders and by the many people who called him Monday to inquire about his well being.

"It makes me happy to know that we have so many good, wonderful people here," he said. "One person walked my bike to a barn for safekeeping."

Shelton said he hopes to return to distance riding soon.

"Typically, Jim and I don't run into each other," he said.

Shelton said Martin will be assigned to light duty in the transportation department until he recovers…

County school board passes tax hike Increase will produce 4% more revenue for system
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 20, 2002
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

With less state money expected this fall - and additional state funding cuts looming this winter - the Daviess County Board of Education on Thursday approved raising school tax rates for the second consecutive year.

The new rates will generate roughly $552,000 in new money, a 4 percent increase over last year - the most the district can take without a referendum, Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

The board approved the rates by a vote of 3-1.

The tax rates for real and personal property will climb from 49 cents per $100 of assessed value to 50.7 cents. The motor vehicle tax of 49 cents per $100 of assessed value and a 3 percent utility tax rate will remained unchanged.

A homeowner with a house valued at $80,000 will pay an additional $13.60 per year; a $90,000 house will generate an additional $15.30 per year; and a $100,000 house will pay an additional $17 per year...

Merging city, county districts on the table Discussion `warranted' after release of study
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, April 6, 2003
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

The "M" word is back.

Owensboro and Daviess County residents soundly rejected a merger of city and county governments in 1990, but this time the stakes are different: the education of local children.

A merger of the Daviess County and Owensboro public school systems may be one of several options discussed in the wake of a study of financial and population trends in both districts by the Public Life Foundation and the Citizens Committee on Education…

Merger is not the only option.

The two districts, which collaborate daily in a number of ways, are already discussing how they can improve bus transportation services, Silberman said. Daviess County also buses Catholic school children to schools in Owensboro, Whitesville and Knottsville.

"We've had initial discussions," Silberman said. "Our district has the second most efficient transportation system in the state, and if there's a way to pass some of that savings on, we're open to that."

Transportation efficiency is based upon cents per mile, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton . Daviess County spends roughly $1.48 per mile for transportation.

Almost all costs for busing students are paid by the state.

But there are "hooks" to any plan to consolidate transportation between the three districts, Silberman said. Both school calendars and school start and end times, for example, would have to be coordinated, he said.

The calendars of all three local school districts were the same several years ago, Silberman said. Owensboro adopted an alternative calendar in 1999 to shorten the summer and give students three breaks during the school year.

Owensboro recently purchased a machine to allow maintenance crews to fabricate sheet metal into duct work for central heating/air conditioning systems, Vick said. Machines like that could possibly be shared with other districts, he said.

"Technology is another area," Vick said. "Anywhere you have high costs and low numbers, that's an area you can look to collaborate on."

County school board approves budget…
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, May 16, 2003
Author: From staff reports

The Daviess County Board of Education approved a $67 million tentative budget for the 2003-04 school year during a meeting Thursday night at the board office.

The budget raises salaries at least 2.7 percent for all certified and classified employees. Because of a state law that gives teachers at least $1,080 in new salary, teachers who make less than $40,000 could get a raise of up to 3.7 percent.

The tentative budget does not include grants, said Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton .

A seat with a view Cyclists find fun and exercise on the area's roadways
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, August 16, 2003
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

Ewing Rascoe sits upright, arms almost fully extended as he pedals steadily along Owensboro's west side on his fat-tired, heavy-duty Schwinn single-speed bicycle, listening to music on his headphones and wearing a baseball cap…

In nearly every respect, Tom Shelton is Rascoe's opposite. His road racing bike has 27 speeds and weighs just 18 pounds, about half as much as Rascoe's cruiser. Shelton's back is almost parallel with the ground, and his hands grip racing handlebars as he zooms across the pavement, covering a mile in as little as three minutes. To Shelton, covering 30 miles on his bike is no more remarkable than the average person riding around the block a couple of times. It takes a 60-mile ride, or 100-miler with lung-draining hills, to really get Shelton's attention.

"Twenty-seven to 30 miles is a walk in the park," Shelton said.

Shelton, assistant superintendent of the Daviess County Public Schools, and his riding partner, Jim Grise, director of finance for Owensboro Municipal Utilities, have ridden thousands of miles together and often ride 100 miles on Saturdays. They are training for a 24-hour endurance event.

"It's therapy for me," Shelton said. "Some people play golf or fish. I like to ride. If it's a gorgeous day, some people say it's a great day to play 18 holes. I say it's a great day for a ride."

Shelton and Rascoe do have one thing in common, however. They both came to biking for its health benefits.

"From weightlifting and being a football player, I knew I couldn't keep that up," Shelton said. "I don't like to run. I tried cycling and basically fell in love with it."

An early morning ride, "Really starts my day off right," Shelton said. "Or, it's a good way to finish off my day."

Rascoe and Shelton are among the many who have made riding bicycles an important part of their recreational and fitness routines. Whether on winding two-lanes roads, residential streets or the David C. Adkisson Greenbelt Park, cyclists are a common sight in Daviess County.

Shelton has noticed a big increase in the number of riders of all persuasion.

"We are definitely seeing more," Shelton said. "When I started in 1989, you wouldn't see any. Now, Jim and I on a Saturday morning will see 15 to 20 serious riders, and many more just riding around."

Redistricting is a crowd-pleaser County school plan draws no opposition
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer
Philpot Elementary School students will move together to Country Heights Elementary School next year under a proposed school redistricting plan to be considered this month by the Daviess County Board of Education…

In fact, all of the students affected by the new district lines have two schools to choose from next year, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent. Nearly all families, however, are expected to switch to their new school, he said.
School building's fate a concern Philpot residents believe structure has usefulness left
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, November 27, 2003
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Apartments. A family's home. A rotting wreck. Landfill.

Those are some of the fates of former school buildings that have closed in recent years in Owensboro and Daviess County, but Philpot residents hope for something better for their beloved school building…

Daviess County Public Schools has no planned use for the building after the students leave this year, Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said Wednesday. That likely means the property, including a small section of land leased by the Philpot Volunteer Fire Department, will be sold, he said.

"Basically, in order to declare it surplus, the board (of education) has to determine that there is no school use for the property," Shelton said. "Right now, we don't see any use for it. But that's a board decision."

Shelton said that if the property is declared surplus, "the needs of the fire department would be considered first."

Spotlight on young leaders More than 100 nominated
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, January 4, 2004
Author: Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer

Five, 10 and 15 years from now, somebody will be making the decisions, leading the charges, creating the critical mass and generating the ideas that will keep the Owensboro area on the road to progress and prosperity. Leaders, the rest of us will call them.

Those people, almost all of them, are here now. They are in their 20s and 30s, already showing obvious signs of leadership…

One thing we discovered early in the process is how many of this area's top young leaders are in their very early 40s, folks like Tom Shelton of the Daviess County Public Schools, Al Thompson of Owensboro Catholic Schools

Governments, schools face major adjustments Baby boomers near retirement, property tax deduction
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, January 18, 2004
Author: Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer

…In just seven years, the oldest Kentucky boomers will get a major birthday present from the state. It's called the Homestead Exemption….

Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said $122 million worth of property in that district is off the tax rolls because of the Homestead Exemption.

"It's grown from $98 million in 2000," he said. "In 2001, it was $109 million. The next year, it was $113 million. And now, it's $122 million."

That translates to $640,000 in lost revenue this year, Shelton said. The total loss increased $47,000 in the past year and $126,000 in the past four years, he said.

"The only local sources of revenue that we have are property taxes, vehicle taxes, utility taxes and business inventory taxes," Shelton said. "When revenues go down, rates have to go up."

About 200 Daviess teachers will get laptops Computers to enhance high school instruction
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, February 19, 2004
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County high school teachers - about 200 in all - will get new laptop computers next year, the second phase of the district's eLearning program…

The new laptops will be IBMs if the Daviess County Board of Education approves a recommendation tonight to stick solely with that brand. The IBMs used by Apollo students have been the most reliable of the four brands leased for the program, Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

`Flat' staffing allocations approved Silberman: More positions may be added in fall
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, February 20, 2004
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools officials don't expect to add teaching positions next year, but that could change in August…

The Daviess County Board of Education on Thursday approved school funding allocations for the 2004-05 school year - money used to hire teachers - and those amounts are virtually unchanged from current staffing amounts, Assistant Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

The district is projecting a need for 524.5 regular education teachers next year, or about the same number as the district currently has, Shelton said. Last March, the district projected a need for 513.7 regular education teachers but added teachers during the year as enrollment swelled.

Eligible locals mum on interest in post
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Most local educators who are eligible to fill a superintendent position are taking a wait-and-see approach as the Daviess County Board of Education begins the process of finding a replacement for Stu Silberman…

Silberman's two assistant superintendents, Tom Shelton and Leesa Moman, were noncommittal on their potential interest in pursuing the job.

"My intention is to wait and see what the board's plans are," said Shelton, who has been serving as assistant superintendent of finance and operations. "Obviously, I'll continue to serve as I have, and until I know what their plans are, I can't really say any more."

Shelton named interim superintendent
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, May 28, 2004
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer
After meeting in closed session for several hours Thursday night, the Daviess County Board of Education named assistant superintendent Tom Shelton as interim superintendent early today.

Board chairwoman Mary Tim Griffin said shortly after midnight that Shelton was selected because, "We have so much leadership in our district, it was important to us to have continuity in that position."

He will replace current Superintendent Stu Silberman on July 1 when Silberman becomes superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools.

Griffin declined to say how many people were considered for the interim post. She said the school board will meet at a later date to determine the process for a permanent superintendent.

During open session Thursday night, the board approved a $77.8 million tentative budget for 2004-05 that was called "worthless" by school officials because it's not based on an approved state budget…

School boards are required by state law to approve a tentative budget by the end of May each year. But unlike past tentative budgets, the one approved Thursday night won't even be reviewed by the Kentucky Department of Education, Shelton said. That's because the state doesn't have a budget of its own in place yet.

"This is the first time I've brought you a piece of paper that was worthless," Shelton told the board.

The budget will likely be amended if and when the state has a budget in place, Shelton said.

School districts were directed to write tentative budgets based upon Gov. Ernie Fletcher's wish to give teachers a 1.5 percent salary increase, Shelton said. Money for the increase will come out of the district's contingency fund, he said.

"They're mandating a raise, but they aren't funding it," Silberman said. "We are prepared to (use money from the contingency fund) to do that, but it's not good practice."

The raise will lower the district's contingency fund from $3.8 million to $2.5 million, which will still represent 3.2 percent of the total budget, Shelton said. The state requires that districts keep at least 2 percent in the contingency fund, he said.

The tentative budget does not eliminate or add any teachers or educational programs from the current budget, Shelton said.

"It's a continuation budget," Shelton said.

Shelton: Goal is to keep progress going Interim superintendent says he'll apply for permanent job
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, May 29, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Superintendent Stu Silberman and his interim successor Tom Shelton wasted no time in meeting with principals, other administrators and staff members Friday to talk about how the leadership transition would take place.

The Daviess County Board of Education selected Shelton late Thursday night to lead the district while a search takes place for a permanent replacement for Silberman, who is leaving to be the superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools.

"My role is to fill the interim - to make sure we continue to move forward," Shelton said Friday afternoon. "Our focus will be to work together as a cabinet and staff to continue the good things we have in place and build on what we've already been doing."

Shelton, who is assistant superintendent in charge of finance and operational support, takes on the new role July 1.

Shelton said he was encouraged by the meetings he had Friday. He also talked to the Daviess County Education Association leadership about how the transition will take place.

"This district has such strong leadership in the superintendent's cabinet, central office, principals, and throughout the whole staff, and we will continue that shared leadership," Shelton said. "That is what gave me the confidence to know that I could do this job."

Board Chairwoman Mary Tim Griffin said Friday the board will meet soon to discuss the search process.

"Our focus (Thursday) night was to find someone we thought could lead our district in the interim," Griffin said. She declined to say if candidates were interviewed during the lengthy session or what the process was for choosing Shelton.

"It was just our normal closed session process. ... It is a serious decision. We have so many leaders within our district that it makes the decision very difficult," Griffin said.

The 40-year-old Shelton has taken a nontraditional path to this superintendent's job. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in business administration from Murray State University and is working on his Rank 1 program - 30 hours above a master's degree - at MSU.

Shelton and his wife, Gwen, arrived in Owensboro 17 years ago. They have two girls, Abby, 13, and Audrey, 9. He is the son of a military father turned preacher and a journalist mother turned teacher. His father-in-law is a preacher, and his mother-in-law is a teacher.

"It's been preachers and teachers in my life," Shelton said. "At first, I wanted to be a high school history teacher, but I've always been good with numbers and fell in love with accounting."

He first worked as an accountant for what used to be York, Neel and Co., now BKD before taking a job with Alcan Aluminum Corp. in Henderson. He made the move from industry to education in 1995 when Silberman hired him as director of business and finance.

"My role has changed as things here have changed," Shelton said. In his current role he oversees finance, maintenance, transportation, food services, personnel and computer operations.

While he has a superintendent's certificate, Shelton will be getting his instructional supervisor's certificate through an alternate certification program as part of the Rank 1 program. He has not been a classroom teacher.

"Certainly people have a right to ask about that," Shelton said. "But I can say that I will be in our schools on a routine basis supporting what's going on there, talking with our teachers and staff and continuing to work with our cabinet to make sure we make the best decisions for kids."

The superintendent's cabinet is comprised of assistant superintendents and directors. This group meets weekly with the superintendent and is involved in every major initiative, Shelton said.

Shelton said his involvement in the cabinet has provided excellent exposure to the teaching and learning process and that he's continuing to grow in that every day.

The board specified in its motion Thursday night that the interim superintendent may apply for the permanent post.

"At this time, I have every intention of pursuing that," Shelton said. "The wonderful benefit of having an interim is that I get a feel for the job, and everyone gets to see me and what I can do."

Shelton said with the rest of the leadership group as well as parents and students, they can bridge the gap when Silberman leaves and continue on the path he has set.

Shelton is Sunday school director at First Baptist Church. He serves as co-campaign chairman for this year's United Way campaign, and he's a board member for the Community Foundation of Owensboro-Daviess County.

Board may buy defibrillators
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Author: Mark Cooper, Messenger-Inquirer

There's no way to know if a portable heart defibrillator would have saved the life of a 16-year-old Apollo High School student who collapsed and died of heart failure in 1999 after running in physical education class, said Tom Shelton , assistant superintendent for Daviess County Public Schools.

But if the Daviess County Board of Education agrees, automated external defibrillators will be in place in every school this fall to assist students and staff members who suffer heart attacks, Shelton said Tuesday.

"We're always looking to make schools as safe as possible," Shelton said Tuesday following a school board luncheon that included a discussion of the defibrillators.

District officials recommended buying 30 automated external defibrillators at a total cost of $32,610, and a decision could come later this month. At least 200 teachers and staff members who are receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation training this summer also will be trained to use the defibrillators, Shelton said...

E-Learning project focus changes Students won't get more computers
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public School's e-Learning project is moving forward, but instead of providing laptops for more high school students this year, the district will focus on getting teachers comfortable with the technology and evaluate how e-Learning should be used in the classroom.

Last year the district gave 160 laptop computers to freshman students and teachers in a pilot project to see how the technology worked in a particular classroom setting. The project is a progression of the Graduation 2010 initiative that seeks to expand children's capacity to learn by introducing them to innovative learning opportunities at an early age.

"What we've learned from the pilot is that we want our teachers to be fully comfortable with the technology. ... This year we want to focus on continuing our professional development for our staff and the integration of the technology from the teaching side," said Interim Superintendent Tom Shelton . "Our teachers need to evaluate the best ways to use it in the classroom."

The pilot project with the students also will continue, giving the district two areas to evaluate, Shelton said.

Funding is another crucial reason for delaying the purchase of computers for all high school students. The district used the money it had earmarked for e-Learning to pay for raises the state mandated but failed to fund, Shelton said.

The state's spending plan calls for a 2 percent salary increase for employees. Local districts were required to pay 1.5 percent of that, plus step increases. That took about $1.3 million from the district's rainy day fund, Shelton said.

"Without a state budget, we can't move forward," Shelton said. "My hope would be that we can restore what we lost from our contingency fund."

Schools' enrollment up 300 this year Extra staff hired to handle the increase
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education learned at its luncheon Tuesday that enrollment has increased by more than 300 students since the same time last year. The total number of students has grown to 10,834, and that doesn't include 440 preschoolers who will be attending the district…

Putting together a picture of where the students are coming from is difficult, said Tom Shelton , interim superintendent.

"What we can do is compare our outgoing senior class to our incoming kindergarten class, and when we do that, our kindergarten class has 200 more," Shelton said.

What Shelton does know is that 113 students in grades 1-12 have indicated they transferred from Catholic schools, and 49 students pay tuition and come from city schools or surrounding counties. Twenty-six students who live in the city are attending county schools.

Officials mull what to do if teachers walk Educators plan Sept. 27 protest
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, September 20, 2004
Author: James Mayse, Messenger-Inquirer

With the Kentucky Educational Association preparing to ask school districts to close Sept. 27 for a one-day strike, regional school superintendents are still deciding what they will do if teachers do not show up for class…

Tom Shelton , interim superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said he will discuss with school officials this week how they will proceed if teachers do hold a one-day protest on the 27th.

"If we close school, that's a day in the school calendar, so we would have to make it up another day," Shelton said. "We'll have to look at what our options are. The bad thing about it is we have such a short time frame to work this out and then notify the public what we have decided."

Local groups will be meeting today; `This is a grave situation,' one says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

As discussion across the state heats up, two local education groups will meet today to allow members to have their say on Gov. Ernie Fletcher's restructured state health plan that promises to deliver higher insurance rates for most of them…

"We will be in school on Monday, but I'm going to propose to the group (tonight) that we have a group from each school meet with me and draft something that shows a united response," Daviess County interim superintendent Tom Shelton said. "All of our staff is affected by this, and we feel it's important that we respond with a unified voice."

Student arrested over remarks DCHS teen accused of threatening students
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, September 25, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell and Owen Covington, Messenger-Inquirer

A 16-year-old Daviess County High School student was charged Thursday with second-degree terroristic threatening, a Class D felony, after an assistant principal overheard him make threats toward a group of students…

"I would say that this has been an isolated incident," Interim Superintendent Tom Shelton said Friday afternoon. "Kids kept being reported for remarks, and we checked them out. We worked with the sheriff's department and dealt with the situation."

Shelton excited about ride with Tour de France champ Armstrong
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, October 14, 2004
Author: Messenger-Inquirer

Tom Shelton , interim superintendent for Daviess County Public Schools, is one of 6,500 cyclists from around the world who will participate in a fund-raising bike ride with six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong this weekend in Austin, Texas.

Shelton, an avid cyclist who has trained for the event for months, received the trip as a 40th birthday gift from his wife, Gwen, and daughters, Abby and Audrey.

"I would have to say this is the best gift I have ever received," Shelton said in the latest Daviess County Public Schools newsletter. "This is a great family trip, and I know I will remember it forever."

More than $5 million is expected to be raised for cancer research and treatment through the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Livestrong campaign.

Progress at 2 high schools falls short
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, October 15, 2004
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess and Ohio County high schools have learned that they failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress under the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act…

"We had one area in which we didn't meet our goal - math scores for students with disabilities," said Daviess County Interim Superintendent Tom Shelton . "Since it's an all or nothing-at-all process, that meant we didn't make AYP." …

Shelton said the district will analyze the individual students' data to see if there are particular areas to focus on. District staff members will work with the high school to bring the scores up, he said.

Smokin' Drug dog noses around campuses
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Author: Owen Covington, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Sheriff's Department and Daviess County Public Schools now have another nose on the job of sniffing out drugs on area campuses.

The school system has purchased a 15-month-old black Labrador retriever named Smokey that is trained in drug detection. The dog will be working with Deputy Russ Day, the school resource officer at Daviess County High School.

"Without calling on the city police or the state police, we didn't have access to a drug dog," said Tom Shelton , interim superintendent for the school system. "With having Russ already here at county high, and him willing to be a handler, it just worked great."

Student fight puts kibosh on pink Middle schoolers asked not to wear solid pink clothng until return from Christmas break
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Author: Renee Beasley Jones, Messenger-Inquirer
Pink is out at College View Middle School - at least for a few days.

A fight between two male students on Friday prompted school officials to ask the student body not to wear solid pink shirts, pants, shorts or skirts for eight days. Reportedly, the fight was related to gang activity, Principal Joe Mason wrote in a letter to parents Tuesday.

"This reported gang is symbolized by the color pink," said the letter…

Tom Shelton , Daviess County interim superintendent, supported the middle school's request not to wear all-pink items.

College View has not struggled with gang-related activity, he said. "We have very safe schools, and we are going to maintain that. That's what our administration is assuring here with its action."

Shelton did not disclose how the school system dealt with the two males who fought Friday, saying only they were "dealt with according to the discipline code." Depending on the situation, fighting can result in suspension.

School violence needs thoughtful response
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, December 11, 2004

The thought of gang activity in Owensboro - particularly among middle-schoolers - is enough to make anyone a little uneasy - and perhaps unsure about what steps to take.

But administrators at College View Middle School clearly overreacted earlier this week in response to a fight Dec. 3 between two male students.

School officials became concerned that the incident might be related to gang activity, and that the gang's symbol was the color pink.

That's certainly cause for alarm and reason for action, but school leaders must be counted on to handle a crisis in a thoughtful, calm manner. Principal Joe Mason's response, however, only made the situation worse by creating unnecessary confusion among both parents and students.

His solution was to make an announcement Monday afternoon to students that they would no longer be able to wear pink clothing. But there was little or no communication about why this decision was made.

A letter explaining the decision wasn't sent to parents until Tuesday afternoon - a day after students were told of the ban. By that time, as one can imagine, confusion, fear - and even anger - were running rampant. Parents didn't know what clothes to put on their kids and didn't know whether the school they were sending them to was safe.

There's a certain silliness to banning a common color that makes up a part - sometimes a large part - of the normal wardrobe of kids, the vast majority of whom wouldn't know a gang if they saw one.

But there's a larger issue here beyond just miscommunication and the inability to wear certain clothing that is cause for greater concern. Mason and Interim Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton went to great lengths Tuesday to say that CVMS is safe and that the school has not had a problem with gangs.

This is most likely true, but still there was enough concern to take action. And even though they said it was all just a matter of miscommunication, they left the ban in place until after Christmas.

So then the question becomes: What do school officials hope to accomplish by banning pink? Is this really the best they can come up with as a way to prevent future violence?

If kids are being violent and talking about forming gangs, it's not because they are empowered by their pink clothes. If it's not pink, it will be blue, red, green or whatever color. The point is that what binds a gang is not their colors but rather the need to use violence as a form of expression or a way to fit in.

School violence is a serious matter that deserves serious solutions. This isn't the first time - and most certainly won't be the last - that local school officials have had to deal with the threat of violence.

Let's hope that when those situations arise in the future, officials in Daviess County, or any other district for that matter, come up with a more reasoned, thoughtful response - one that will actually address the root causes of any problems, not just the symptoms.

Wilhoit visiting schools in region Kentucky education commissioner will make stops at eight area schools
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit will be on the road much of the first quarter of this year traveling to schools that have earned distinguished academic records. Many of his stops will be in the Owensboro region.

Wilhoit's schedule will take him to 23 schools whose combined 2003-04 accountability scores reached 100 or above. A school that earns 100 or above on its index has reached proficiency in the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System. These schools earned the rating 10 years ahead of the 2014 schedule.

Wilhoit's road trip - part of his "Proficiency and Beyond" state tour - includes rallies at six Daviess County and two regional schools.

"We're very fortunate to have seven schools of the 23 he will visit - technically the most schools of any district," said Daviess County Interim Superintendent Tom Shelton . "This is quite an honor to have the commissioner here and to be able to have this recognition for our students and staff."

Educators pin hopes on budget Health insurance, mandated salaries among concerns
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, January 30, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The last thing local schools want is more "unfunded mandates." But sometimes that's what they get when the Kentucky General Assembly prepares the state's two-year budget.

Education leaders at all levels will be watching Tuesday as the state legislature reconvenes in Frankfort.

"Of course, getting a budget is most important to us, and providing adequate financial support for schools in the budget," said Tom Shelton , interim superintendent for Daviess County Public Schools… superintendents would like to see adequate funding for all eligible preschool students and for all-day kindergarten.

Shelton said in 1993, education was receiving 48 percent of the state's budget, and that has dropped to 41 percent.

DCPS in top third of magazine's national schools rankings
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, February 3, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools rank in the top one-third of 2,800 secondary schools in a national study by Expansion Management magazine…

Daviess County Public Schools were rated a blue ribbon school in the magazine's research study. Of Kentucky's 15 districts in the study, Oldham County was the only one to earn the gold medal status placing it in the top 16 percent. Fayette County Public Schools was the only other blue ribbon winner…

DCPS and the chamber cooperated to place an ad in the magazine to further maximize their marketing…

"We also believe there is a strong tie between education and economic development, so we were glad to share in the ad," said interim superintendent Tom Shelton . "Then they notified us that they had selected us for a blue ribbon award, and we were very proud to see that."

Most area agencies comply with requests
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Author: Owen Covington, Messenger-Inquirer

Of 16 public agencies audited in area counties during a recent survey for access to public records, 10 were found to be compliant with the state open records law that guarantees the public the right to inspect certain government documents.

Three - the Daviess and Muhlenberg county jails and Daviess County Public Schools - did not comply with a request for documents the public has the right to view…

Tom Shelton , interim superintendent for Daviess County Public Schools, said his office will do more to ensure it complies with the public's access to records.

He said he became aware after-the-fact that someone had requested a copy of the superintendent's contract and had been told that document was not available to the public because it was confidential.

Shelton said the person made the request at a time when the administrative staff was in a meeting, and the staff member who dealt with the request was not familiar with the open records law.

"We know very clearly that it is an open record," Shelton said of school system administrators. "We need to follow up a little bit better so (support staff) know what's subject to it."

Leaders & readers Local newsmakers share what they're reading now
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Some are best sellers. Others are classics. A few are career-specific. The books on some Owensboro newsmakers' reading lists are as different as the readers themselves….

As a child, Tom Shelton read every book on military history in his school library and at the public library by the time he was in junior high school. He was a "Curious George" fan before that.

Shelton, the interim superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, has forsaken those books, for the most part.

"Nowadays, I basically read two types of books - books on leadership that help me in my profession, and books about my real passion, cycling," Shelton said.

He just finished "23 Days in July," about the Tour de France, the largest sporting event in the world. He's now reading "A Significant Other," another cycling book written from the perspective of a non-competing rider who supports the Tour De France.

District report cards mailed
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, March 13, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Report cards are going out across the commonwealth, designed just for parents to point out how schools are doing…

The cards' main value is in the consistent format for all schools, said Daviess County's interim superintendent Tom Shelton .

"You can look at your school vs. the district and state and tell how you're doing on benchmark issues," Shelton said. "The problem is, when people look at the cards, they need to understand the context, too."

An example, he said, is when spending per student is different at the school level than at the district level. Centralized services are included at the district level, which will always be greater, he said.

"The main thing is, the cards are not an end to the conversation," Shelton said. "If parents look at the information and have questions, we want them to call the school or the district."

Budget pleases education officials
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, April 3, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The bullying bill didn't make it. The nutrition and exercise law did. Kentucky legislators threw a number of education laws in the hopper during the 2005 session, but local educators kept their eyes on the big one: the state's two-year budget.

Lawmakers built in funds to get local districts back to level ground after passing unfunded mandates for teachers and other school employees. The new state budget also contains funds for a mandatory 3 percent pay raise for employees next year. Daviess County Public Schools also received more good news in the form of $1.2 million in additional building fund revenues for next year and each year after.

"That was a real win for Daviess County," Interim Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "We were one of only 12 districts in the state that passed an additional `nickel road tax' which the state didn't equalize. Other districts were allowed to pass the nickel tax for their building funds in subsequent years, and the state provided a proportional match." Shelton was referring to a few years ago when the legislature approved a change in school funding law to allow school boards to increase taxes by 5 cents and use the revenue exclusively for major construction projects. Shelton said the 12 districts worked together with their legislators to get the funding match. "We're really thankful that our legislators helped us out on this," Shelton said.

Board chooses Shelton Interim leader given 4-year contract as superintendent
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, April 8, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The man who takes over the permanent job as superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools won't have to move. Thomas D. Shelton, who has led the district since last July, was officially named to the post at a special board of education meeting Thursday afternoon at Deer Park Elementary School.

"I promise I'll do my best to justify your trust in me and abide by the `It's About Kids' philosophy," Shelton said after the announcement. Shelton said he wants to listen to teachers, hear their needs and respond to them. "What you'll see is continued progress toward some of our initiatives and fine-tuning of some," he said. "We'll continue to plan and dream and to make sure our kids get what they need to be successful."
The vote was unanimous to give Shelton a four-year contract at an annual salary of $132,000 plus benefits and a vehicle. All five board members voted. Shelton was picked from four finalists to lead the district, which has an enrollment of nearly 11,000, about 1,650 employees and a $74 million budget.
"This is one of the most important responsibilities this board has," said Frank Riney in making the motion to hire Shelton. "The screening committee brought us strong candidates." Board Chairwoman Mary Tim Griffin breathed a sigh of relief after the board adjourned. She led the board's efforts to find the replacement for Stu Silberman, the previous superintendent who is now heading Fayette County Public Schools.
Griffin said Shelton stood out from the finalist field as progressive in the area of technology and that his knowledge of the school system was a big plus. "We were able to see how well he worked as an interim superintendent with the daily challenges the district faces," she said.
A crowd of well-wishers, mostly faculty and staff members, stood in line to shake Shelton's hand as his wife, Gwen, and daughter Audrey, 10, stood at his side. Another daughter, Abby, who was 14 on Thursday, was on her way to the school, her mother said…

Funding fails to meet needs of preschoolers
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, April 16, 2005

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, was looking on the bright side when he talked last week about state funding levels for preschool, kindergarten and other programs associated with the Kentucky Education Reform Act. The funding was held level or slightly increased, Shelton said. "It's not the increase we were hoping for, but at least there weren't deep cuts," he said. "We're still not quite at adequate funding for preschool and kindergarten."

Shelton eyes next level `We have a long record of success,' new superintendent says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, April 17, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Tom Shelton is glad the "interim" is off his job title. On April 7, the Daviess County Board of Education chose him as the district's superintendent… Shelton talked last week about his plans to take the district to the next level. … "You have to know where you are first." That's where the accountant-turned-educator had a significant advantage over three other finalists and a field of 29 other applicants for the job. Shelton has been involved in high-level decision-making in the system for 10 years.

"We have a long record of success, and our staff continues to work hard," he said. " ... In my opinion, we're poised to be the first district to reach total proficiency in the state." He's talking about Kentucky's charge to districts to earn a score of 100 on the Commonwealth Accountability and Testing System by 2014. For Shelton, his job is not to fix anything, but to support what's already going on in the classrooms, he said.

Two big pieces Shelton wants to address quickly are long-term plans for personnel and technology. ..
Schools keep classes small Local educators say students benefit
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, April 25, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

"I think our system as a whole strives to have smaller class sizes." The district has been generous in its approach to class size, and the center's school council has traditionally chosen to use Title I funds to reduce class sizes, she said. Classroom teachers today are trying to meet a wide variety of needs, and it only makes sense that it's much easier for one person to deal with 20 students than 28, Beavers said. "The current research shows that to truly impact student achievement, class size needs to be lowered significantly - cut in half of the state caps to 12-15 students per teacher," said Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton . "We haven't made it a dedicated philosophy with a plan to reduce class size to that level. There's just not adequate funding for us to consider that. It would take an unbelievable amount of resources to do that." The Daviess County district focuses on helping teachers to be more prepared, he said. State funding for schools fits more what the maximum enrollment figures are, Shelton said. Daviess County uses the caps set by statute for its staffing guidelines.

ACLU files suit against Daviess schools Group objects to ban on Confederate flag T-shirt
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, May 14, 2005
Author: James Mayse, Messenger-Inquirer

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has filed a federal lawsuit against two Daviess County Public Schools officials, claiming they violated a student's freedom of speech. The suit, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, says Apollo High School Principal Tom Purcell violated the rights of sophomore Amber Jewell in October when he prevented her from wearing a T-shirt with the Confederate flag logo. …

The lawsuit also names Superintendent Tom Shelton as a defendant. Shelton said Confederate flags have caused "tension" in county schools. "We have had incidents in the past ... the best way to put it is tension," Shelton said. "I don't think we've had anything beyond some tension and individual fights. "There was no individual incident that led to this situation."

School board policy allows principals to ban any item that could disrupt education in the schools, Shelton said. "There is not a policy per say that prohibits a Confederate flag," Shelton said. "That's not the issue. We're talking about something that disrupts the educational process. We believe there is a good reason (to believe) a disruption will occur. That's why our principals acted the way they do." T-shirts with Confederate flags have "the potential to create a situation that is not good to the (school) environment," Shelton said. " They don't always happen to be Confederate flags. It could be anything that's disruptive to the educational process." The same policy against disruptions is used across the state. "It's not a specific Daviess County policy," Shelton said.

Emphasis being put on reading More money sought for grant initiative
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, June 6, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Sometimes only a cliche will work. When Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton spoke last week about links between graduation, dropout rates and literacy, he found himself using one. "Reading is fundamental," Shelton said. "Our graduation rates are high, and our dropout rates are low, and we've seen positive results in our reading scores." Shelton suggested that if he compared all three of these areas, he would find correlations.

Daviess freshmen to get laptops School system to spend about $450,000 on the computers
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, June 17, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

In August, about 900 Daviess County public school freshmen will start school with IBM laptops as the district implements the next stage of its eLearning project.

The Daviess County Board of Education voted 4-1 during a meeting Thursday night at the central office to continue the project at an estimated cost of $450,000. "As we prepare kids for work and for life after high school, I feel like it's the right thing for them," Superintendent Tom Shelton said in recommending continuation of the laptop project. The bulk of the payment - $290,000 - will come from the general fund with $160,000 allocated from the district's Enhancing Education Through Technology grant.

District ends year with $4.2 million in reserve
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, July 1, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools ended its 2004-2005 school year Thursday with $4.2 million in reserve. Even though the carryover was about $130,000 less than last year's, school officials were counting their blessings… "I feel this is very positive compared to what it could have been," Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

Pupils with disabilities increasing Improved identification, broadened criteria cited
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, August 7, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools has experienced a 48 percent growth in students with disabilities over seven years. It's the fastest growing area for the district and was one of the biggest reasons for adding seven assistant principals at elementary schools this year. "It's a reality of our kids today; there are more of them with disabilities," said Superintendent Tom Shelton.

State looks at student drug tests Advisory council is studying issue
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, September 5, 2005
Author: Owen Covington, Messenger-Inquirer

State officials are studying whether to promote the testing of students for drug and alcohol use in an effort to deter them from substance abuse and to better treat those already abusing. …

Daviess County Public Schools first discussed drug testing about five or six years ago and decided to wait before moving ahead with any student drug testing program, superintendent Tom Shelton said this week. "We have talked about it in the past," Shelton said. "We decided it didn't make sense to be on the forefront." Shelton said Daviess County Public Schools and other school systems test employees and bus drivers, and so it could make sense to extend that to students. Decisions would have to be made about what groups would be tested and how such a program would work logistically, he said. "I certainly can see some value and reasons why that could be a benefit for schools," Shelton said.

Public vs. private debate heats up Proposal calls for teams to have separate postseasons
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, September 29, 2005
Author: Mark Mathis, Messenger-Inquirer

Proposal 20 is weighing heavily on administrators and coaches at Owensboro Catholic High School. The proposal calls for public and private schools to be put in separate divisions for postseason sports play. …

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, believes there has been a good relationship with Owensboro Catholic and DCPS. "The thing with me is that we have always had a very positive relationship with Owensboro Catholic," Shelton said. "As soon as the proposal became public, I called Jim Mattingly and Harold Staples and discussed it with them. "This community doesn't deserve to have problems happen between the school districts." Shelton also thinks there are concerns between public and private schools that need to be addressed. "I can't really say I'm on board, but I can understand why there needs to be discussion," Shelton said. "You can see why the proposal is being made. I was floored at how many private schools have won (non-revenue) championships." Financial assistance for student-athletes and boundaries where those student-athletes come from are also key issues for superintendents. "The boundary issue is huge," Shelton said. "Is it fair for a kid from the surrounding counties to come and play for a private school?"

School Unfunded Mandates
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, November 27, 2005
Author: Messenger-Inquirer

The following is Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton 's list of areas in which the General Assembly has mandated programs, policies and salaries without the appropriate funding mechanism:
* Preschool. The total dollars allocated have increased, but the amount per student has decreased. "About every district can say this," he said. Local cost - about $250,000.
* Transportation. Districts must bus students to and from school, and the state typically pays 90 percent to 95 percent of the bill. Local cost - $250,000 to $500,000.
* Raises for all employees. Generally, for every 1 percent the state doesn't fund, the local cost is $450,000. Increases based on rank and experience of about 1.5 percent cost an additional $625,000 to $650,000.
* Technology. If districts are using technology the way they should be, the investment estimate is 4 percent to 5 percent of total budget or $4 million to $4.5 million, Shelton said. "We proudly admit that we're ahead of the game, but for most districts this area is underfunded," Shelton said. "We have had to find our eLearning initiative funding ourselves." Most districts are not in a position to sustain that level, he said. Local cost - easily $500,000 per year underfunded.
* All-day kindergarten. Some districts see this as a backdoor mandate. It's not required, but districts are expected to reach proficiency by 2015, and research shows all-day kindergarten is the best route for kids, Shelton said. More than 100 of Kentucky's 176 districts have all-day programs. Local cost not covered by state - $1.25 million.
* Facilities. Some districts also are left short on construction funding. While the Owensboro and Daviess County districts boast excellent school buildings, it costs millions to maintain them. Growth generates new tax money, but several districts have level or declining enrollments. With facilities planning mandates and some districts unable to "grow" more tax money, Shelton argues that this allocation is underfunded.

Student behavior improving in region More strategies in place to help troubled youths
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, December 16, 2005
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer
Alternative education programs and other intervention strategies may be driving the improved behavior tracked at most regional schools, officials said Thursday…

Superintendent Tom Shelton said Daviess County compares its data to the state's and to districts of comparable size - 10,000 enrollment or more. The tracking helps district personnel determine if what they're doing with their discipline code and other school safety measures are working. "We look good at all levels," he said.

Here is a glimpse of each district's data: * Daviess County Public Schools district reported that one student was expelled for breaking the law and received educational services. The district had none in this category during the previous two years. Forty-nine students were suspended for breaking the law, down from the previous year and up slightly from 46 in 2002-03. The board suspended 639 students, representing a three-year decline. The number of students suspended in 2003-04 was 684, with 717 suspended in 2002-03.

Local districts don't teach topic Officials: It may come up in classroom discussion
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, January 14, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

A survey of officials with six public school districts in the region this week turned up none that said their schools teach intelligent design, but several said the topic comes up in discussions on scientific theory. "Intelligent design is not covered in the core content for assessment," said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education. " ... It's OK for them to teach it, but that's a local decision. ... KDE has taken no position on intelligent design." The department continues to give districts the same direction it has in the past - curriculum decisions are made at the local level by school councils and teachers, Gross said.

The discussion resurfaced after Gov. Ernie Fletcher mentioned intelligent design in his State of the Commonwealth address to legislators this week. He said the "opportunity exists" for districts to teach it and encouraged them to take advantage of it. Intelligent design says some aspects of the world that are unexplained by evolution can be attributed to an unnamed and unseen intelligent designer; most supporters say that designer is God. Opponents claim intelligent design is thinly veiled religious creationism.

"We follow the state's core content, which says we explain how organisms evolve and change," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "Most scientific theory discussion typically leads into conversation about all scientific theories." Those discussions include intelligent design, Shelton said.

Shelton pushes to join coalition Members reluctant to pursue litigation
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education is considering membership in the Council for Better Education, a coalition of school districts that filed suit in September 2003, asking the courts to decide how much money the legislature should be spending on elementary and secondary education…

Daviess County is one of only eight of Kentucky's 176 districts that is not a member of the CBE. "It's not a good situation to talk about litigation with someone, but I thought it was time to discuss this with you," Superintendent Tom Shelton told the board … "If they are working toward a settlement, which it looks like they are, I think we need to be at the table." …

Shelton said political action by the state superintendent and state school board groups has not been effective. CBE, on the other hand, has taken some credit for getting a budget passed last year and for the efforts announced in the 2006 General Assembly. …

 The CBE's new lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Circuit Court in September 2003, claims the state legislature has failed to live up to its responsibility to fund education reform. In December 2003, Daviess County was the lone local district that did not join the lawsuit. …

 Three studies by the Kentucky Department of Education and the CBE have looked at the adequacy of funding at the elementary and secondary levels. Each using different methods, they found between $565 million and $2.3 billion in additional education funding is needed annually if the state hopes to reach goals set forth in the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Shelton said he's definitely recommending CBE membership, which will cost about $5,000. Without membership, the district can't be a part of the council's discussions, he said.

Board's out-of-town meetings questioned Newspaper might seekstate ruling on matter
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, March 5, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer
Owensboro Board of Education members and other education officials do not believe the school board skirted Kentucky's Open Meetings Law when a quorum of elected officials met two hours away from their constituents for a planning retreat in Louisville in late January. Others disagree.…

Daviess County Board of Education members also routinely attend the KSBA meetings in January. This year they were on the agenda as program presenters. The board did not have a meeting as part of the session, Superintendent Tom Shelton said. DCPS has two planning retreats per year in spring and fall, but Shelton said none have been held out of district since 1995. "We generally have them here, but we had one last year, my first one as superintendent, at the Field House," he said. The location would be a board decision, but he wouldn't recommend holding a retreat out of town, Shelton said. "When we're doing planning and discussion, we have the resources and staff here," he said. "Also, this is just my opinion and the way I understand the law, but the retreat would be a meeting where people have to be able to come to it. It may not be a violation, but I wouldn't want to put us in a position of having someone complain they couldn't attend."

Educators digesting impact of budget Salaries main focus of education legislation
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, April 17, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The dust hasn't settled yet on the 2006 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, but that hasn't stopped educators from trying to discover the local impact of the nearly $18 billion budget…

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said he has more questions than answers on the salary provisions in the budget. Even so, it appears the second year of the biennium looks better than the first for Daviess County, Shelton said. If the base SEEK formula is increased by only 2 percent in the first year, that likely won't be enough to cover the local raises. "They also never consider the step increases, which is about 11/2 percent additional," Shelton said. "For us that's $1.4 million." Step increases are raises given as educators increase their experience and education. Shelton also isn't sure if the two additional instructional days are included in the $3,000. "If you give teachers a $3,000 raise and then make them work two more days, you really haven't given a $3,000 raise," Shelton said.

Daviess schools superintendent to speak to management group
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, May 7, 2006

The Owensboro Society for Human Resource Management will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Daviess County Public Schools Learning Center, 1700 W. Parrish Ave. Guest speaker will be Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools.

District vying for Harvard program Only seven districts invited to apply
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, May 13, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Public Schools district is in the running for a place in the Executive Leadership Program for Educators taught by Harvard Business School faculty. District officials are still learning about the three-year program, Superintendent Tom Shelton said. ..

Daviess County's application letter focused on the district's achievements and described a new model of school success or achievement strategy the district is developing. "Essentially, with our unique model, we will be measuring our success as a district and at the school level and at the student level," Shelton said. Basically, the district will continue to focus on CATS - the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System - with concentrated efforts on reading and math. The new success model, however, is three dimensional encompassing growth, achievement and performance measures - what Shelton is calling the GAP model. CATS is the performance measure. The achievement component uses the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP test and the district literacy plan. The growth measurement, the most comprehensive, involves all stakeholders including students, teachers, administrators, parents and community partners. …

 "If we're chosen, we will be part of a team from the Kentucky Department of Education working with Harvard professors and staff to implement instructional leadership changes," Shelton said. For some instruction, educators enrolled would go to Harvard, and for some classes, Harvard instructors would be in the home districts. All participants would meet in Frankfort on occasion. "Even if we're not selected, we're going to implement this model," Shelton said. "It would be really nice to have our team trained and supplemented by this Harvard team.

District may go tobacco-free sooner than 2009
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools is on track to have all of its schools and grounds tobacco-free by 2009, but the move may happen even sooner. …

Superintendent Tom Shelton said the remaining schools want the district to step forward with a policy rather than having each school make the decision. "We feel comfortable moving ahead earlier with the district implementation," Shelton said. "It's up to you all." The smoke-free initiative has been highly successful at the four schools that have gone ahead with the policy, Shelton said.

District will join Harvard program
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools has been accepted into the Executive Leadership Program for Educators at Harvard Business School. The local district is one of four systems in Kentucky and among only 16 in the nation selected for the prestigious program, Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

Daviess County High School earns accolade It's one of only two in the state honored for national `High Schools that Work' program
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, June 15, 2006
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County High School has won an award for a program that focuses on combining academics and technical education - one of only two schools in Kentucky and 44 nationwide to earn the prize. …

Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton said it shows off the hard work of the educators also. "I think it speaks very well for what we do every day, trying to help students in our school districts," he said, adding that this approach is one they'll keep up to build on their success. "We'll continue to focus on meeting the needs of students. We like to look at the individual needs of students and meet those individual needs." Shelton also said this level of achievement is something he's come to expect. "It's obviously a surprise that we won a national award, but I'm not surprised to see our schools get an award for excellent work," Shelton said. "I think it just recognizes what goes on on a regular basis in our schools."

Shades of gray Religion in schools not a black-and-white issue
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

It's been 44 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school-sponsored prayer is unconstitutional in the landmark Engel v. Vitale case. While that case and subsequent court rulings have tried to create a black-and-white picture of how to keep church and state separate, gray areas continue to crop up. …

… the test also is about proselytizing, or trying to persuade someone to come to a particular religious belief, authorities said.

… Grant Todd, this year's Apollo High School valedictorian, used much of his speech to witness to the crowd - telling the assembly that it was never too late to find the meaning of life and encouraging them to read the best-selling book ever, the Bible. Todd prefaced his comments by saying it was his two minutes to use as he wished.

Superintendent Tom Shelton said Daviess County Public Schools has let students who have been selected to speak at graduation write their speeches. "We never have listed prayer for graduation since I've been here," he said. "In the opening and closing by selected students, some kids have read poems, some have welcomed people, and some have prayed. It's left to the students." …

 Daviess County Public Schools has a Christian Student Union and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. "We require all of our co-curricular activities to have school sponsors, but these groups are student-led," Shelton said. "The sponsors are there to be liaisons between organizations and the schools." This year, the district issued excused absences for students to attend the National Day of Prayer ceremony. Each school council establishes its attendance policy, and those students' requests met the schools' guidelines, Shelton said. "I'm going on my 12th year here, and the only question we've had on religion was about prayer before a public meeting," he said. "Our attorney researched it and recommended we not do that. He said we could allow a moment of silence if we wanted to." The board opted to be conservative and change to offering a moment of silence.

Coaches monitor heat Henderson junior dies; other players suffer illnesses
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, July 20, 2006
Author: David Blackburn, Messenger-Inquirer

KHSAA guidelines include mandatory water breaks and halting outside activities once the heat index hits 105 degrees. …

The state guidelines "are a minimum for us," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. They cover marching bands and other extracurricular activities, Shelton said. Apollo and Daviess County high schools have band camp this week, but as with athletes, they don't go outside if the heat index hits 105 degrees, he said.

Deciding factors Assessment tools shift focus to students' individual needs
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

For years, educators used schoolwide data when making curriculum and instructional decisions for students. That's changing as tools for greater data-based decision-making are developed. With regional schools' success in the state's Commonwealth Accountability Testing System, educators are using each student's performance data to help in guiding individual academic progress. …

In addition to using the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP test, the district is using DesCartes to create a road map to learning for math, reading and language. "DesCartes says that basic concepts need to be taught and allows us to focus on those and tie into the state's core content," Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "These tools help us make sure we're delivering the core content and differentiating instruction."

Helping students meet their academic goals ultimately drives school performance levels, he said. … "First of all, we're making a concerted effort to focus on the individual needs of students," Shelton said. CATS looks at how individual schools perform, an important part of assessment, Shelton said. "The problem is that it misses out on two other key areas - individual student achievement and individual student growth," he said. "When you look at performance, growth and achievement, we feel all three must work together." Using data effectively to drive education decisions helps in knowing what to target and how and when to intervene, educators said. "If a student is behind, we want them to catch up; if they're ahead, we want them to stay ahead," Shelton said.

`Free' education is costly Parents paying steeper fees to cover class supplies, extras
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, August 6, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

`I thought it was a free public education,' and `Don't we pay taxes?'

Public school districts need fees for several reasons, said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. " ... The unfortunate piece of this is that based on the full cost of educating a child, we don't have adequate funding," he said.

"We have to supplement through fees and fundraising. Those have become negative words, but it's reality. Education is underfunded."

Shelton [is] quick to point out that students who qualify for free or reduced lunch have fees either waived or scholarships are provided. The sticking point for … superintendents is in having to charge textbook rental fees. …

"This year the textbook allowance for K-8 would not buy a set of books for any of our schools," Shelton said. "We were anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 short." … "We're struggling to come up with options to minimize those, and if someone out there has a good idea I'm open to suggestions," Shelton said.

Audit: Dropout data inaccurate Daviess County, Owensboro among systems in state underreporting problem, report finds
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, October 13, 2006
Author: Owen Covington, Messenger-Inquirer

The state's system of tracking enrollment underreports the number of students who leave school and drop out of the educational system altogether each year, according to a state audit released Thursday.

The number of students who dropped out during a recent school year is actually 30 percent higher - about 2,000 students - than was reported by local school districts, a report by the office of State Auditor Crit Luallen contends.

"It's always good to look at the numbers," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "I think the (auditor's) report compares, a little bit, apples to oranges."

…four codes classified as dropouts by auditors included students who were withdrawn because of extensive medical conditions and students who moved out of the district and whose re-enrollment elsewhere couldn't be confirmed, according to state code definitions for the 2004-05 school year. …

Shelton said it is good to track students who withdraw and find out where those teens go and if they continue their educations.

The district takes a more detailed look at students who withdraw that goes beyond withdrawal codes, and added an additional administrator last year to follow up with those students, Shelton said.

"Obviously any opportunity we have to work to keep kids in school and improve the dropout rate we're very supportive of," Shelton said. 

Continuing the fight Shelton: Kentucky schools need adequate funding
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

First it was equity, and now it's adequacy.

After nearly a four-year school funding lesson, the Council for Better Education is hoping for a ruling soon in the lawsuit the group filed to get the Kentucky General Assembly to provide "adequate" funding for public education.

The bottom line is that Kentucky's public schools are not adequately funded, said Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton , one of the council's three vice presidents.

He points to unfunded mandates like salaries and underfunded programs like all-day kindergarten and transportation.

"As a percentage of the state budget, it has continued to decline every year for the last 10 years," Shelton said.

Schools beat the poverty odds Report says poor students can still perform well on tests
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, November 24, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Too many of Kentucky's poor students are still performing below those who are not, but several schools have found a way to help children in poverty to be successful, according to Robert Sexton, executive director of the Prichard Committee….

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, also disagrees that creating high expectations for all children creates false hope.

"I fully believe that with the right resources, the right support and the right culture, all students can achieve at high levels," Shelton said. "I don't believe poverty, race or ethnic origin prohibits students from learning."

It's a matter of creating expectations and securing the resources for teachers to help their students succeed, he said. The Daviess County district's average percentage of students in poverty is a little more than 40 percent. Kids from wealthier homes often have had more opportunities, such as frequent visits to the public library and quality preschool programs, before they get to public school, Shelton said.

"Our goal is always to level the playing field and provide the resources they need; sometimes they may need remediation," he said. …The classroom teacher is still the single biggest factor that affects academic ability, according to research, Shelton said…"If we give them adequate resources and support, they can do wonderful things," he said. "We need to help them to deal with different learning styles and issues."

Program isn't yet meeting its goals Daviess County Public Schools not participating
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, December 17, 2006
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Collegiate High School, a high school-college combination, is finishing the fall semester with 42 students.

That number is down from about 50 who signed up when the learning model was introduced to the community Oct. 4, 2005, …

A big part of discussions taking place among educators has to do with why Daviess County Public Schools has chosen not to participate. Most would admit that's a sore spot for both the college and DCPS.

"This summer when I took over, we had hoped to include Daviess County, but they weren't ready to commit," Beardmore said.

Superintendent Tom Shelton told the Daviess County Board of Education at a Dec. 1 retreat that he had "an extremely good meeting" that included representatives from the state Department of Education, the Gates Foundation and the local p-16 council.

Daviess County's problem with the program is that there was no collaboration up front, Shelton told the board. No one in the school system knew anything about it, and it was seen as a competitive effort, he said.

Daviess County Public Schools operates Beacon Central, an alternative school. Shelton said steering students to Collegiate from Beacon would endanger it.

Shelton said he was told the Collegiate program is struggling and that the county schools were being blamed for it. Others at the meeting told him that the consortium is ready to pull the funding.

Students deserve chance at Collegiate High
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

When we strongly endorsed the Collegiate High School concept 14 months ago, we began with the premise that the higher education attainment rate in this community needed to rise. …

One aspect hindering the program's enrollment is the nonparticipation by Daviess County Public Schools, by far the largest district in this area. This is unfortunate, and it needs to be rectified quickly.

The reasons given by Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton for the district's nonparticipation aren't enough to justify denying the program's many benefits to county high school students. For one, it does not compete with any existing county program, including Beacon High School, the county's alternative high school.

School site decision stirs mixed feelings
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Families are experiencing mixed emotions in Utica, the community from which a proposed new elementary school in Daviess County will draw most of its students.

Some are excited about having a new school, which is expected to open in August 2008 on 20 acres at U.S. 431 and Hill Bridge Road.

"All the feedback I've personally received has been very positive," Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said Monday. "The main comment I've heard is that it's the best location, at high elevation and centrally located."

But others have questions, such as how much longer the bus ride will be for their children and whether closing their school is wise given all the proposed development in south-central Daviess County.

Classroom upgrade Daviess County going high-tech
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools has started a $3 million project that eventually will provide every classroom in the district with new technology including a laptop, projector, document camera and voice amplification system.

"This is where the kids are in there learning, and if we're going to make it relevant for them, we have to provide the tools for teachers," Superintendent Tom Shelton said…

Shelton said as the district has added technology, the staff has kept an eye on where it's being used.

"We're taking the approach that we'll put it first where we know it will be used, and that drives the interest."

With that approach, a jealousy factor has emerged, which is good and bad, Shelton said.

"If one teacher has it and is using it, then another teacher can see how it could be used and wants it," he said.

Educators will head for China
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, March 12, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

… an 11-member delegation from Daviess County Public Schools that will visit Wuxi, China, from May 25 to June 6…

"As we all know, China, India and the Far East areas are rapidly moving forward in technology and education, advancing in math and science particularly," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "One thing we will do on the trip is observe what they are doing in the instruction they are delivering for those programs in their secondary schools."

Schools: Threats treated seriously Virginia Tech massacre has `heightened' senses
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, April 28, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Since the Virginia Tech shootings this month, one Daviess County public elementary school was locked down over a concern with a parent's behavior, and a high school student was suspended for talking about security issues and about what "may or may not be possible."…

"I don't believe we're handling [such cases] any differently than we always handled them," Superintendent Tom Shelton said of school threats. "The senses have been heightened in light of that tragedy."…

Asked about whether and how the district is balancing free speech and safety, Shelton said that was easy to answer.

"We want our students to learn that freedom of speech and of the press and those fundamental rights are guaranteed," the superintendent said. "But if I look at the true definition of those and how they apply, limits can be placed in an educational environment."

If there is a threat to the educational environment, officials have a responsibility to limit those freedoms, he said…

Administrators at each school make the first judgment call for…school-based threats with district personnel providing support, Shelton said.

"Ultimately, the principal is responsible for the safety of all 1,400 students and the staff, and that is another balance that's required," he said…

"What I want my staff to do is always to err on the side of caution," Shelton said. "I want to take the most cautious approach to make sure we don't have an issue."

Emergency call system gets board's attention Shelton: OneCall Now sees `glowing reviews'
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools may be buying a new emergency communications tool that can reach parents, teachers and staff by phone in minutes with the same recorded message…

Districts that are using the system are giving it "glowing reviews," Superintendent Tom Shelton told the board at a recent luncheon. He learned about the system at a superintendents' meeting.

Cain fails to get higher tax collection fee Shelton says schools face same budget concerns as sheriff's office
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, May 18, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education will not be raising the sheriff's commission fee for collecting school taxes, but the district likely will fully fund the school resource officer program that will amount to an increase of about $46,000.

Superintendent Tom Shelton said Thursday night at the board's regular meeting that he will not ask the board to act on Cain's May 2 request to increase the collection fee from 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

The sheriff's office will receive about $280,000 in commissions this year. In addition, the district pays $68,201 to have deputies working as school resource officers.

Through increases in property assessments, the sheriff has received a 7 percent average increase in commissions fees over five years, Shelton said.

Cain said in a phone interview that he is disappointed but not surprised with Shelton's recommendation.

"The superintendent indicated to me that would be his recommendation before we ever made the request to the board," Cain said. "I do understand his interpretation of the statutes, but I disagree with it."

The current commission fee of 1.5 percent is the minimum state law allows, but the fee can go as high as 4 percent.

Cain's office is entitled to a fee that is "equal to his expense," according to state law, Shelton said.

The superintendent said he is sympathetic to the sheriff's budget challenges.

"He has real, legitimate budgetary concerns, and we have those same concerns with our budget," Shelton said. "... While we're sympathetic to his situation, he has produced no documentation to support that his expenses exceed the $278,000 amount for this year."

Shelton's contract gets renewed Daviess school board gives superintendent unanimous confidence vote
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, June 30, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education gave Superintendent Tom Shelton a unanimous vote of confidence Friday with an early contract renewal that includes a provision to roll over the agreement each year…

Starting July 1, 2008, his salary will be $152,775 and he will get the same raise and average step increases that other board employees are due. "Any time you include the evergreen clause in a contract, it's a vote of confidence," said Board Chairwoman Mary Tim Griffin. "This is the first opportunity we've had to add this." Evergreen is sometimes used to refer to automatic extension of contracts. In this case, the superintendent's contract will be extended annually for a year, unless the board votes before June 30 not to. As Shelton completes a year, the contract adds a year, always on a four-year cycle. Griffin said the board has done the same for other superintendents and that it's a common practice in Kentucky.

"That's the only thing I really asked for," Shelton said. "I enjoy the job and feel we have excellent board leadership. My hope is that I can work here as long as I'm effective."

Kentucky fares poorly in teacher quality report
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

A national report that examines every state's policies that impact teacher quality gives Kentucky a D….

Superintendent Tom Shelton said he had not seen the state policy yearbook yet but that the ongoing work in the Harvard leadership project is focused on getting agreement on quality instruction.

"Our plan is to be the pilot group that can bring this to scale in our districts, and then share it with the rest of the state," Shelton said. "We recognize that some state policies will need to change in order for this work to be successful. We haven't identified specific policies at this point, but will be working toward this objective as our work moves along."

Districts struggle with how to allocate funding Group proposes `65 Percent Solution' to improve instruction
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky school districts' concerns over funding didn't end when the Council for Better Education lost its legal battle to force state lawmakers to provide more money…

"Funding is still inadequate," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "The good news is that the judge in our case left the door open for another suit. We don't plan on going that route, though. These three agencies have a joint legislative agenda with the same focus on school funding."

Shelton said the groups share an interest in gaining more funding for early-childhood education and want to see an end to unfunded or partially funded mandates from the state.

Apollo High School searched after hate messages left on walls
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Author: Joanie Baker, Messenger-Inquirer

Graffiti was found in two boys' bathrooms at Apollo High School on Monday night that referenced Sept. 11, the Ku Klux Klan and threatened minorities.

Officials said the school was searched by a bomb-sniffing canine from the Daviess County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday morning before determining the building was safe for school functions…

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said the decision was made to err on the safe side and bring in a canine to render the building safe.

Shelton said he thinks the graffiti is similar to recent events at Owensboro High School but does not know if it is a true copycat act.

"We have not had any indication of racial tension," Shelton said. "There's been no fighting or racial behavior."

Shelton said the school has character development programs and orientations that stress equality-type issues, and does not anticipate additional programming in the future.

"We really feel like at this point this has been an isolated incident and we'll carry on with our current programs," he said.

Feud far from being settled Scheduling boycott of private schools by public schools weighed in state
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, September 24, 2007
Author: Mark Mathis, Messenger-Inquirer

The decision to withdraw Proposal 2 as a possible solution to the public vs. private schools athletics debate could lead to public schools trying to boycott playing private schools…

Daviess County Schools superintendent Tom Shelton said he would have difficulty signing on to such an agreement.

"From a state standpoint, it is easy because we generally don't compete against Lexington or Louisville private schools unless we're in the postseason, a large invitational meet or some kind of tournament," Shelton said. "Most of the frustration from the public schools has been aimed at those schools."

The large private schools in Louisville, like St. Xavier, Trinity, Assumption and Sacred Heart, and Lexington Catholic, have been perceived as the main targets of the public-private situation.

"Where it would be difficult is locally," Shelton said. "It would have a direct impact on the community. We've had an excellent relationship with Catholic High."

If there were issues between Daviess County schools and Owensboro Catholic, Shelton said every effort would be made to resolve them before thought was given to signing a boycott petition.

"I couldn't support that unless we were where we had exhausted all efforts locally," Shelton said. "The community deserves better than that. I really think I would struggle locally to support (a boycott). Our community has to come first."

There could be sharp divisions within Owensboro over the issue, Shelton said, because there are Catholics going to public schools and teaching in public schools, and there are non-Catholics attending and teaching at Owensboro Catholic.

Forum examines racial incidents Students urged to follow channels to report problems
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Author: Beth Wilberding, Messenger-Inquirer

Nearly 100 students, parents, school officials and community leaders gathered at Fourth Street Baptist Church on Monday evening to discuss recent racial incidents at area schools and how to address them…

Many of the questions and concerns were addressed to school leaders such as … Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton and the principals of Apollo, Daviess County and Owensboro high schools.

"I appreciate the NAACP and career development association for putting it on," Shelton said after the forum. It's "definitely something we need to talk about as the whole community, (and) bring the community together to look at what type of environment ... we want to have within our own community."

Schools on lookout for dangerous infections Prevention efforts hiked over worries about bacteria resistant to antibiotics
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, October 26, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The region has had very few cases and no major outbreaks of MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to common antibiotics, said an epidemiologist with the Green River District Health Department…

Even before outbreaks in other regions, Daviess County Public Schools was working with its school nurses and the health department to check for staph infections, Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

Shelton said he's only aware of two staph infections in the district this year, and both are near the end of their treatment cycles.

The district has communicated with teachers and staff members, students and families through fact sheets and a news release from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

"It's kind of an ongoing thing for us; we're on the watch for it all the time," Shelton said. "If students have anything that could be remotely infective, we have them get the proper treatment."

Town meeting draws over 600
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, November 11, 2007
Author: James Mayse, Messenger-Inquirer

The organizers of Saturday's We the People 21st Century Town Meeting had hoped to draw a crowd of at least 600 participants from every walk of Daviess County life to discuss community issues.

In the end, they did even better than they'd expected…

When the forum addressed education, 54 percent of the participants said they wanted more parent and community involvement in education. The group also placed a priority on schools providing more preschool experiences for children.

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said participants need to discuss their desire for more preschool programs with legislators, who control the funding to expand such classes. But Shelton said in terms of increasing parental involvement and adding more opportunities for preschool: "We share those same goals."

Parents of Highland kids oppose plan Safety issues, lack of input cited
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, November 15, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

More than 100 homeowners from four Kentucky 54 subdivisions have organized to declare their opposition to the part of the Daviess County Public Schools redistricting plan that affects Highland and Meadow Lands elementary schools…

Superintendent Tom Shelton announced a proposal for redrawing the district's school attendance boundaries last week. The overall draft plan would create a change in schools for about 400 students, not counting those from Utica who will move into a new school.

Ninety-eight students from Highland would go to Meadow Lands if the school board accepts the plan in its first draft.

However, Shelton has reminded parents at eight forums that public input will be considered before a final recommendation is made.

"I think it's important to note that in previous redistricting, we prepared the plan internally, discussed it internally and then presented it to the board for approval," Shelton said.

Daviess school district mulling next move Redistricting plan could get some changes, Shelton says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, November 18, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Grandfathering, or allowing current students to stay at their schools, was the most common request last week at forums held to discuss a redistricting proposal for Daviess County Public Schools.

Superintendent Tom Shelton said Friday the district couldn't give Highland, Deer Park, Burns and Audubon elementary schools immediate relief from overcrowding if grandfathering is allowed. But Shelton and his staff will explore whether enrollment can be managed while trying to reduce it over time.

"We'll get together (this) week and reflect on the comments we've had, revisit the proposal and see if there are things we can change," Shelton said.

Mountjoy to head state Education Cabinet She's former head of state school board
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, November 29, 2007
Author: Beth Wilberding, Messenger-Inquirer

Helen Mountjoy, who most recently worked as executive vice president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, was appointed Gov.-elect Steve Beshear's Education Cabinet secretary on Wednesday.

"The governor asked me two weeks ago if I would fulfill this role," she said. "I was really honored that he asked. I feel really privileged to be able to work in this area."…

"I think her leadership was exceptional on the state board," Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "I think this is wonderful for Owensboro-Daviess County and the whole state."

Mountjoy will be missed locally, Shelton added.

Ex-College View teacher could face drug charges Students allege he snorted cocaine in class
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, December 22, 2007
Author: Joy Campbell and Joanie Baker, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County sheriff's detectives and prosecutors are investigating whether Daniel R. Mattingly, a former social studies teacher at College View Middle School, should be charged with drug-related offenses that may have been committed in his classroom…

In a filing cabinet, the principal found two ounces of a white powder wrapped in a Kleenex, which tested negative for drugs, the report says.

Mattingly no longer works for Daviess County Public Schools, Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

Contacted by phone Friday, Mattingly said he had no comment.

Shelton said district officials conducted an investigation following its policies and processes and declined to say anything more.

Budget could be hard on schools
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Owensboro Public Schools would be looking at an almost $1.2 million shortfall if the state sends the district 7 percent fewer dollars next year.

Daviess County would get $3 million less…

Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton said districts still have questions about the 7 percent scenario.

"Is this 7 percent of the base SEEK funding? Or is it on all funds?" Shelton said. "With just SEEK dollars amounting to $3 million, it's a significant cut, and we can't swallow that even for one year."

Shelton said Daviess County would look "everywhere else" before affecting the classroom.

The district could delay replacing buses, cut travel and cut district-level programs that could be put on hold, he said.

"I have to believe this is very preliminary," Shelton said. "With the legislature just coming into session today (Tuesday), it's hard to see where this may end. ... But I guess it's better to start with a worst-case scenario than to have cuts later."

Commissioner plans CATS study
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, March 7, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Superintendents in Daviess County and Owensboro said Thursday they support Kentucky Education Commissioner Jon Draud's plan to convene a statewide committee to review the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System…

"We are 100 percent supportive of the task force," said Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton . "Our white paper we proposed said just that."

Shelton is a member of a superintendent and CEO network that is an arm for the commissioner, and that group suggested earlier in the year that a task force should be formed to work on a future state assessment plan.

Shelton was at the Senate education committee meeting when that group voted to pass S.B. 1 Thursday.

"We were disappointed; the options in Senate Bill 1 are not the way to go," Shelton said in a phone interview. "We need a well-thought-out agreement on what's best for students."

The superintendent and CEO network was being proactive earlier this year when it called for the task force, he said.

"The commissioner asked if we would hold off until after the session," Shelton said. "And then Senate Bill 1 came out."

School chiefs bemoan state move on pay Shelton: It's `almost an insult'
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton understands the gesture from Kentucky's lawmakers in mandating a 1 percent salary increase for school employees, but he's not pleased with it.

"I understand that times are really tough and budgets are tight, but 1 percent is almost an insult," Shelton said Tuesday. "It doesn't even meet inflation, and they're taking a loss in buying and earning power."

Shelton and others across the state are analyzing the proposed 2008-10 education budget that is part of House Bill 406 - Kentucky's two-year budget. The budget bill was passed by the General Assembly and awaits Gov. Steve Beshear's signature.

Compared to last year, legislators have earmarked $172 million less for preschool through 12th-grade education in 2008-09, and $171 million less for 2009-10.

Officials: Finances could be even tougher in 2009-10 Daviess County school board meets
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools already has spent $120,000 more for diesel fuel this year than it did all of last year. And next year's state education budget doesn't provide any additional funds for transportation.

Finance director Matt Robbins and Superintendent Tom Shelton presented the working budget for 2008-09 on Tuesday and prepared the board of education for an even tougher year financially for 2009-10.

State's flexibility lets DCPS end year on solid footing
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, July 25, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Going by the numbers, Daviess County Public Schools ended the 2007-08 school year in good financial position.

The school district had a general fund balance of $6.07 million after all the bills were paid, revenues were received and other year-end adjustments were made.

And when the unspent general fund contingency of $3.75 million is combined with the $650,000 Foodservice Fund reserve, the total contingency is $4.40 million, or 4.57 percent of the $96.3 million budget.

The budget surpluses from various accounts have kept the district in good shape.

But without some flexible spending from the capital outlay fund this year, the general fund would have been in a one-year deficit state, Superintendent Tom Shelton and financial services director Matt Robbins told board members.

CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) Educators and parents will put Kentucky's assessment system under the magnifying glass
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

A statewide task force is gearing up to analyze CATS - the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System - and all of its components with the first meeting scheduled for today in Frankfort…

"The first thing I would say is that I believe CATS testing has been a good thing," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "The entire implementation of KERA (the Kentucky Education Reform Act) has been positive, and the changes in education have greatly benefited our schools as a result."

That said, Shelton believes Kentucky is at a crossroads.

"Is it time to revisit KERA as a whole?" he said. "I'm concerned about having a task force just focused on assessment. We should ask, what is the next level of reform, and assessment should support that."

The superintendent is among a group of statewide educators advocating a balanced assessment system that considers all of the constituencies impacted.

A good first step would be to look back at the beginnings of KERA to see if the goals set then are still valid and to then build a support system, Shelton said.

"I, along with several of my colleagues, have been advocating that," he said. " ... We've been on a journey to get to proficiency by 2014, and it's now 2008, and we've come a long way," Shelton said.

Worth Repeating
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, September 21, 2008

"We believe that kids are safest in school when their parents are working and dealing with other issues. And for many of our kids, due to poverty, the best meal they get is in school." - Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, on the school district's decision to reopen schools as quickly as possible after the windstorm.

In abbreviated fashion Educators worry text messaging hurts students' writing
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

…Most public schools in Kentucky have policies that allow students to have cell phones in case of emergencies. That is the case in Daviess County Public Schools.

But the phones are not supposed to be on or be used during school, superintendent Tom Shelton said.

"It does happen, though," he said. "They will have them on and be making calls or sending text messages. We end up taking them away."

Shelton said texting has been a manageable issue.

"Some kids are so good at texting. They can do it with their phones in their pockets - and without looking," he said.

Shelton said the district's on-demand-writing scores are up, and he's not heard of any issues of students' writing suffering from the texting influence.

"I have two daughters, and they text me regularly, in code," Shelton said. "It certainly is almost a different language. My daughters laugh at me because I text them in complete sentences with punctuation."

The district has found no instructional use for cell phones and texting yet, Shelton said. But administrators have explored that possibility.

"We looked at working with Agent511, Ankur Gopal's company, to see how we could use texting in a more productive way for instructional purposes, but we haven't found that link," Shelton said. "From our perspective, however, we want to provide consistency for the schools and develop policies and procedures for them."

Education is still key to America's future
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, November 30, 2008
The election of 2008 is over, but the issues that were discussed as part of the campaign are still with us.

And one of the most important of those topics is education.

Nov. 16-22 is American Education Week. The theme of this year's observance is "Public Education: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility."

Our children are fortunate to live in a community with two strong and successful public school districts. But even as we celebrate the great educations that are available to children in our community, we should all recognize our responsibilities in supporting education. Education is the key that unlocks the doors of the future - for our children, for our community, for our nation and for our world.

The Daviess County and Owensboro Public School districts need and appreciate your continued support as we work together on behalf of our students.

Tom Shelton , superintendent, Daviess County Public Schools
Dr. Larry Vick, superintendent, Owensboro Public Schools

Shelton deserve[s] state recognition
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, December 18, 2008

Owensboro-Daviess County is fortunate that many of its highest-achieving residents frequently garner statewide recognition for their accomplishments and abilities, which in turn speaks well of this community.

Two local leaders, Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain and Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, achieved well-earned recognition last week…Shelton was elected president of the Council for Better Education at the organization's winter meeting in Louisville. Previously, Shelton was vice president of the CBE.

The Council for Better Education is made up of Kentucky school superintendents representing their districts. The organization counts among its endeavors a successful lawsuit it filed in the late 1980s that led to the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990. School funding at the state level remains a high priority for the CBE and Shelton is familiar with the issue and is seeking change, up to and including reform of Kentucky's methods of generating tax revenue. His willingness to take on a touchy and difficult issue makes him an ideal person to lead the CBE.

Education groups will present consistent message, Shelton says
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

The overarching request educators will be delivering to the General Assembly is simple - preserve education funding or restructure to develop new revenue sources.

"Typically, in a short session we don't accomplish a lot," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools. "We hope the economy and budgetary issues are the focus and we don't get too distracted."

Shelton is president of the Council for Better Education, a nonprofit group that has about 168 of the state's 174 school districts in its membership.

"We're hoping legislators will take a larger approach and look at state government as a whole," Shelton said. "Education has continued to be reduced as a percentage of the state budget with more of a shift to local taxpayers." …

"What the CBE wants to do is work with the Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Kentucky Education Association to be consistent in our message," Shelton said.

The education groups believe that funding cuts are costing the state instead of saving money.

"If we don't put the money in now, we won't get the payback in the future," Shelton said.

Educators expect to see another bill filed that would change the student assessment within the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS), he said.

"If a new bill is anything like Senate Bill 1 from last year, we will fight it," Shelton said. "We believe that changes are needed, but a multiple-choice test and the components of SB 1 will not prepare kids for today's world."

A better approach would be to take the recommendations from the task force on assessment and accountability and build on those, he said.

Study: Schools excelling on tests CERA shows district fared better than expected on state achievement tests
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, January 17, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Quite a number of schools in the greater Owensboro region are performing better than expected on state achievement tests, according to a study from the Center for Educational Research in Appalachia…

Looking at data in a unique way, as with the survey, is always helpful, said Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton .

"In Kentucky, it makes sense to break down the data by socio-economic indicators," Shelton said. "Kentucky doesn't have large numbers of minorities or large numbers of non-English-speaking students, although that population is growing. But socio-economic status affects all of Kentucky."

The superintendent cautioned, however, against using the data as an excuse for students not achieving at high levels.

"That's not what the study is saying, but some people may use it in that way," he said. "The study shows, however, that some low-socio-economic districts are high-achieving."

Daviess County's data shows students are outperforming at all three grade levels, but the district overall falls in the middle category, which means it's performing as expected.

"In our district, we're trying to redefine student success and look at how to prepare students to succeed beyond high school," he said.

The CERA data and the CATS scores are two of many indicators of success for Daviess County students, Shelton said.

Technology use earns Shelton national award Superintendent: Tools `enhance education'
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, February 9, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Tom Shelton blogs and texts and Twitters.

The Daviess County Public Schools superintendent also leads the charge to provide technology for all students in the district.

The commitment of resources to technology and day-to-day usage has earned the superintendent a national award.

Shelton was selected last week as one of the top 10 superintendents from across the country in the 2009 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent awards.

"It's an acknowledgment and understanding I have that education basically has to work with and around technology," Shelton said. "If not, you are not adequately preparing students for the 21st century."

Shelton chosen for national team
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, February 28, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, has been chosen for membership in the Century Club 100, a national leadership development organization.

Two active superintendents per state comprise the group that started as the governing board of the American Association of School Administrators.

"My big hope is that by being involved with such a prestigious group of educators from all over the country that I'll get to be exposed to a lot of best practices that will ultimately help the district," Shelton said Friday.

Governor to sign CATS overhaul Educators have mixed reaction to changes
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Students in Kentucky public schools will take the current core content test within the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System this spring, but CATS will start going away over the next three years…

"There's some good and not-so-good sides to it," Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "I'm really surprised there hasn't been more outcry to this." Shelton, who was in Frankfort on Friday when the last-minute discussions on the bill were taking place, gave the Daviess County Board of Education an update at a Friday night board retreat held at the central office.

"Quite frankly, the legislature shouldn't be deciding this," Shelton said. "They should set the standards, and the department of education and local districts should be creating this." Shelton said he would have preferred to leave CATS intact until 2014, the target year for all Kentucky schools to have helped students achieve proficiency in the tested subjects.

"If I was among the public, I would be saying, `You promised me proficiency by 2014. ... Now what?' " Shelton said. Board member Frank Riney asked why there was such a push to change CATS. "Is it because a bunch of schools are not going to make accountability by 2014, and now they don't have to face the music?" he asked.

Shelton said he believes the lack of public outcry may be because a large number of schools are not in line to achieve accountability. The superintendent speculated the reasons behind the push were more political. "We'll find ways to make it work as we always do," he said. "We'll also find ways to make sure other areas not tested are not forgotten, because as you know, if it's not tested, it's not taught."

Shelton, who is the president of the Council for Better Education, said legislators got mixed messages from education groups. The Kentucky Education Association supported Senate Bill 1.

New page Cats is done. But what Kentucky's next school testing system will look like is still uncertain
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, April 5, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Educators and advocates of all stripes have been scrambling to discover exactly what Kentucky lawmakers created with the passage of Senate Bill 1…

Senate Bill 1 is a "good direction for where we can take assessment and accountability after the interim," said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools.

The key is that Kentucky will be looking at academic standards first, he said. New standards - what it is that students need to know at all grade levels - will be developed over the transition period and implemented in the 2011-12 school year.

"The problem with standards so far is that they are so broad it has been difficult for teachers to teach all of them," Shelton said. "What was called `teaching to the test' really was happening because teachers were teaching these standards."

Shelton among applicants for education post Daviess schools chief passes the initial screening
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton confirmed Tuesday that he has applied for the Kentucky education commissioner post.

The superintendent said several people encouraged him to apply.

"I thought that at least one Kentucky superintendent should apply," Shelton said. "After learning that Stu (Silberman) and Roger Marcum and other likely players were not going to apply, I thought I should at least throw my name into the ring." …

He believes a Kentucky superintendent who has the baseline experience "of where we've been so far as a state" should be the next commissioner.

"We need someone who understands what we've been able to accomplish and can build what I call KERA 2.0, the next level of reform," Shelton said.

He also said the state's current economy and funding situations are "coming to a real boiling point," and his background in finance and school funding coupled with school leadership would be a plus.

Shelton rated highly in first public evaluation
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, June 19, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Superintendent Tom Shelton sat quietly while the five-member Daviess County Board of Education delivered his first public evaluation Thursday night.

Shelton received a strong show of support. He rated "exceeds requirements" in five of seven areas in the board's consensus evaluation and earned two "meets requirements" ratings…

Shelton was praised for his business and finance savvy…

After the meeting, he said he was noticeably quiet because he doesn't agree with the attorney general's office ruling and doesn't think anyone should be evaluated in public. "The board did what they had to do until the ruling is challenged," he said. "I have no problems with anything they said."  

M-I, county schools create partnership for text messaging
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools has added text messaging as its latest communications vehicle through a new partnership with the Messenger-Inquirer.

Every DCPS school and the central office is now listed in the newspaper's text messaging system available through the Web site www.messenger-inquirer.com.

The district will be able to send text messages about school closings, back-to-school happenings, fall festivals and other news and events going on at each of its schools.

"This is a great partnership for us, and we appreciate the Messenger(-Inquirer) bringing it to us, especially when the word `free' is attached to it," county schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "We were already looking for a means to do this."

Local schools see few objections to speech
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 4, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Several public school superintendents across the region said Thursday schools and teachers can decide whether and how to use President Barack Obama's live back-to-school message Tuesday…

Daviess County Public Schools is providing the presidential address as an option for teachers to use if they think it's appropriate. If parents object to their kids participating, teachers will provide an alternative assignment.

"Effectively, we want parents to know that we see this as a historic event," Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "In my lifetime, and I'm approaching 50, we never had the opportunity to receive a live broadcast from the President of the United States. I think we will look back at this as more of a historic event later than we are at this point."

Shelton said he thinks the point of Obama's speech is one everyone can agree on - encouraging students to do their best in the classroom, take responsibility for their own learning and set high academic standards for themselves.

He expects each teacher to assess where their students are with their lessons Tuesday and decide if the speech will benefit them. Some may see it live, while others may watch a taped version.

"My personal opinion is that I prefer to set politics aside and recognize that we're talking about the president of the greatest country in the world and the leader of the free world," Shelton said. "I think it's amazing for kids to be able to hear this."

Shelton recalled as a student seeing old videotapes of historical moments such as the Kennedy assassinations and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"This is live," he said.

Partisans upset over Obama's harmless speech
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Kind of creepy."

That's how Steve Robertson, head of the Republican Party of Kentucky, described President Barack Obama's desire to speak directly to the nation's schoolchildren…

"My personal opinion is that I prefer to set politics aside and recognize that we're talking about the president of the greatest country in the world and the leader of the free world," Daviess County Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said Thursday.

It's nice to hear Shelton's voice of reason through the screams of those who are so blinded by fear and hate and the desire to score political points or radio and TV ratings that they now think it's "creepy" for our president to encourage our students to learn and achieve.

Daviess County schools in fourth year of assessing, adding rigor
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, September 27, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools started focusing on rigor about 3 1/2 years ago as part of its "Focusing Our Vision" initiative.

"We realized that as we focused on `What is a rigorous classroom?' we first had to define it," Superintendent Tom Shelton said. "It's almost synonymous with critical thinking, and it involves problem-solving and addresses the level of work."

The district looked at three aspects - what both the teacher and students are doing in the classroom and what the content looks like to show there is rigor…"Rigor doesn't mean more of the same. It doesn't mean 50 math problems instead of 20. It has to do with the difficulty or challenge in the work," Shelton said.
Shelton helps educate legislators Superintendent pens paper to explain need to protect contingency, emergency funds
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

This fall and winter as legislators start to ponder how to plug another projected revenue hole for the next biennium, superintendents from across the state want them to leave their contingency funds and fund balances alone.

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, has prepared a white paper that already is being used to help legislators and others understand the role these two resources play for local districts.

Shelton shared the paper with the local board Tuesday at its luncheon in the central office.

"Contingencies and fund balances are not synonymous, and they shouldn't be used to balance the state budget," Shelton told the board.

Shelton has given the paper to various state education groups, including the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky School Boards Association.

"They are recommending that every school district have this discussion," Shelton said.

Tough assignments Protecting education funding a priority - not a given
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, January 10, 2010
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Protecting Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, the state's base K-12 funding, is uppermost on Owensboro Superintendent Larry Vick's mind as he monitors the 2010 Kentucky General Assembly.

He's not alone…

Tom Shelton , the superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, doesn't expect to see any new funding for education, but he goes beyond the wish for no cuts to the SEEK program.

"There has been a misinterpretation that we have been kept whole throughout the recession, and that has not been the case," Shelton said. "I would like for all of our funding sources to be kept whole. That was not done until this year. ..."

Last week, the governor announced that excess funds appropriated through the SEEK formula will be returned to school districts instead of captured for the general fund. That $30 million to $40 million will help to offset the 3 percent, non-SEEK funding cuts made in June.

Shelton also is continuing to advocate for more flexibility in use of restricted funds such as those tagged only for facilities.

"It wouldn't cost anything to let us tap those funds for a one-shot time," he said.

Shelton also wants to get through the biennium without any partially funded or unfunded mandates. This past year, districts had to give 1 percent raises with no extra money appropriated.

Change to dropout age among school bills to be considered
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, January 10, 2010
Author: Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer

Even though crafting the budget will dominate the 2010 General Assembly, a fair number of education bills already are in the hopper, including one that would raise the school dropout age from 16 to 18…

The legislature should fund additional alternative programs that would help to bridge the steps between high school and college, such as middle colleges and more vocational-technical programs, said Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools.

"I agree with it in principle, but I would urge the legislature to seek a comprehensive solution," Shelton said. "We have to get kids through high school and into some postsecondary programs."

Educators in area pleased with new standards
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, February 12, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Local educators say Kentucky's move to adopt national academic standards, making it the first state to do so, is a step in the right direction to reform education in the state…

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said that having too many standards and no time to delve into them did more harm than good.

"Teachers had way too much content they had to cover in a restricted amount of time," Shelton said. "(The new standards) will allow us to teach students more to a mastery level and appropriate levels and make sure they know and can do what they should be able to do." …

Shelton said the new standards also thin out some redundancies that were present.

"We had a lot of repetition in the old standards where things would be covered year after year," Shelton said. "(The new standards) are laid out in a more developmentally appropriate format."…

Shelton said he's also looking forward to seeing the new standards as they can be applied to students year after year.

"I hope this puts them into what I consider a longitudinal development line across a student's entire developmental career," Shelton said. "It'll be another way to let us see them over time as a student develops during their educational career."

State looks at next step in grant push Federal funds sought for education reform
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, March 6, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky is one of 16 state finalists for the Race to the Top stimulus grant, competing for money Kentucky needs to accomplish an educational restructuring mandated in 2008 by the state legislature, said state and local officials…

When the Kentucky legislature passed Senate Bill 1 in 2008, the state budget was already in dire financial straits. The revamping of the education system that the bill demands is a move that will be lengthy, costly and impossible without money the state does not have, said Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton .

"We're going to have all new standards that teachers will have to be trained in. They'll have to unpack and develop that into curriculum and the units and lessons they'll teach. Then we'll have a new assessment," Shelton said. "We can't implement Senate Bill 1 unless we get Race to the Top."

Though there are no sure or exact numbers available, Shelton said about $200 million seems likely for Kentucky, should the state get funding in the first of two phases for Race to the Top. Shelton also said based on what he's seen, Kentucky has a strong platform to compete for that money.

"If we can get $200 million, half of which would go to school districts and half of which would go to (the state's education programs), I think that will go a long way toward the implementation of Senate Bill 1," Shelton said. "I know our application is strong. I've had the opportunity to have a lot of input in it from the committees I serve on and I feel we have a very comprehensive plan."

Webinar touts stimulus dollars tied to schools
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, April 15, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

State education officials are racing against the clock to push a bill through the state legislature that would allow the creation of charter schools, a gamble aimed at making Kentucky eligible to receive federal education stimulus dollars…

Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Vick and Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said they are both cautious about what this legislation means, but neither voiced disapproval..

Shelton said as he understands it, the legislation itself does not present any problems. What he is concerned about is the reason for the legislation. Change should be about improving education, Shelton said.

"Is dangling money in front of someone as a motive to change the right motivation?" Shelton asked.

Shelton said he won't condemn the move without first hearing from those affected.

"By being rushed so much, I haven't had adequate time to discuss with my school board or my staff or the community," Shelton said. "It's not that I'm against charter schools. If we do it, it needs to be a thoughtful conversation. I don't think we have enough time to do that."

Stimulus funds boost schools However, they will have no impact on state shortfall
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Local education officials say $176 million the state recently received from the federal government will ensure that teacher jobs are safe, at least for the time being…

"It's not new money," said Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton . "That $176 million had already been counted on by the governor, the House and the Senate and all the budget proposals being considered.

"The way you have to look at it is, what would have happened if we didn't get it," Shelton said. "We were already looking at some pretty dire budget scenarios with that money included."

Because of the state's already-difficult budget situation, education has been hard-hit in the state's various versions of the budget, none of which made it out of the general session.

"Effectively, all the budget proposals had $35 (million) to $40 million less after this $176 million was counted," Shelton said. "The situation is looking bad enough. It would have been catastrophic for Kentucky not to get this."

Schools poised to cut two days Uncertainty over budget forcing their hands
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, April 29, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Local school districts are either cutting two instructional days next year or preparing to do so, as uncertainty over the state budget leaves them unable to fund the two days...

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said even more frustrating is that days could be added into the budget and local districts would have to undo all their contingency plans.

"We're doing it because of the lack of a state budget. The reality of it is, depending on what happens, those days could be added back. We're going through an exercise right now of not knowing what the final answer is going to be," Shelton said. "That's kind of frustrating that we're going through that."

Shelton said this problem could have been avoided.

"There should be nothing more important than getting this budget resolved and completed as soon as possible and it should have been done in the regular session," Shelton said. "I think politics is playing into what really should be common sense."

`Outgoing' class leaves with money 350 seniors earn record $6.5 millioin in scholarships
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, June 3, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

The 350 seniors who graduated Wednesday night from Daviess County High School have secured … approximately $6.5 million in scholarships this year…

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said this class stands out to him in another way.

"This class, one of the things I notice when I look through the list of graduates, I know more students in this class than in any previous class," Shelton said. "That says they're very outgoing and engaged. They're an involved, engaged group."

Half-cent property tax hike likely Owner of $100,000 house would pay $5 more
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

The Daviess County Board of Education will consider a plan to increase property taxes by a half cent per $100 of assessed property value…

DCPS Superintendent Tom Shelton said a 4 percent increase is not realistic in a down economy.

"We just feel like with the current state of the economy, people are having to tighten their belts, people have lost jobs," Shelton said. "We just don't feel like the timing is right. We could certainly use the money. That additional 2.2 cents would generate an additional $1 million."

The proposed increase represents a break from policy for the previous two fiscal years, Shelton said. In those years, the DCPS board voted not to raise the tax rate at all.

"Our board has recognized that with the state of the economy, with people dealing with difficult financial times, they wanted to show fiscal responsibility and not add to the burden of our taxpayers," Shelton said.

"We've really made some substantial cuts in transportation and maintenance, which are two of our larger dollar expenditure areas, just through efficiency," Shelton said. "We've cut overtime for staff, we've adjusted some of our routes in transportation. My hat is off to my staff and to our board."

Shelton said, however, that without additional funding from the state, the burden will get heavier at the local level.

"(Funding for) 2011-12 looks much worse to me. Ultimately it's my hope that the state will do the right thing and find the funds to adequately fund education."

He warned that additional funding cuts at the state level will only hurt Kentucky in the long run.

Kentucky falls short on education grant Second-round winners unveiled in Race to the Top
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky once again fell short in the final stages of competitive federal stimulus education grant, Race to the Top…

That's not to say that Kentucky ignores [charter schools] entirely, Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

Kentucky addresses the issue, but not in ways that Race to the Top scorers found adequate, he said.

"Kentucky already has a level of charter schools in the fact that we have site-based decision making at our schools. Therefore, you have parents and teachers who are the policymakers for their schools, decide the curriculum, assign the teachers and are responsible for the scheduling," Shelton said. "It's my opinion that if the state legislature and the federal government would remove the layers of regulation and bureaucracy from public school districts, we could create our own charter schools. We've evidenced that with what most people call alternative schools. That's what it's really about, personalizing education to meet the needs of students."

School system receives state award for wellness efforts
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Friday, September 17, 2010
Author: Rich Suwanski, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools earned state recognition Tuesday in Louisville as a Kentucky Health Policy Hero by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky…

"This was an award for the vision of a school board that represents our public, students and staff," said DCPS Superintendent Tom Shelton . "It speaks very strongly in the board's belief and values. ...

"We worked with a cross-section of parents, students, physicians, nurses, board members and citizens around the community, and they developed a plan on what they felt needed to happen, focusing on physical health."

Teachers will work on new literacy guideline Gates Foundation funds their efforts
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Sunday, September 26, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Teachers in Daviess County Public Schools have been picked to help develop new literacy standards that could be used across the country.

The Literacy Design Collaborative will be funded in Kentucky by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the money split between six school districts by the Lexington-based Prichard Committee, a citizen-based educational advocacy group. Daviess County and districts in Kenton, Boyle, Fayette, Jessamine and Rockcastle counties are receiving part of the $300,471 grant.

DCPS Superintendent Tom Shelton said teachers plan to increase the focus on reading and writing by making them an integral part of every subject.

"This method that they're going to be using in the literacy work is developing modules, more than just lessons or units," Shelton said. "Teachers can actually teach reading no matter what subject area they're in. Even math at the high school level requires a lot of reading. This modular approach will allow all our teachers to be reading teachers within our content areas and allow more growth and development for the students."

The methods will be applied to all grades, working back to the younger levels where reading begins, he said.

Shelton named state's top superintendent
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton was named the 2011 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators on Tuesday, putting him in the running for the American Association of School Administrators' National Superintendent of the Year…

Wayne Young, executive director for the KASA, said Shelton has earned a reputation for selfless leadership in education throughout the state. "He's never met a challenge he wasn't willing to take on," Young said. "Here's a guy who just could have sat in his office with a computer full of numbers. ... He chose to make himself the best superintendent he could be…

Roger Marcum, a former school superintendent, current state board of education member and member of the 12-person panel that selected Shelton for the award, said Shelton was chosen in part because he is also a role model. "He's a leader among superintendents and a teacher of superintendents," Marcum said. "He's one of the three or four superintendents statewide that other superintendents look to for leadership."

Shelton visits Cyprus, talks about research
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Saturday, January 15, 2011
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton presented research to international education experts at a conference in Limassol, Cyprus, an experience that he said will open doors for educational exchange with his colleagues abroad.

Shelton recently received his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Louisville. His adviser and dissertation chair, Sam Stringfield, submitted Shelton's research to the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement. ICSEI meets once a year at locations around the world.

"I was just honored that he thought it was worthy enough to submit," Shelton said.

However, to Shelton's surprise, ICSEI accepted his work and asked him to come to the Cyprus conference to present it.

Holliday wants plan to stay on track
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, January 20, 2011
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

In a letter released Tuesday, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said he is opposed to any calls by educators to state legislators to delay implementation of Senate Bill 1 of 2009 and has called on legislators to keep the plan on its present track…

Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said that there are other concerns, however. As chair of the Local Superintendent Advisory Council and President of the Council for Better Education, Shelton said there are dangers to pressing forward before being ready.

"This is technically right now an unfunded mandate," Shelton said. "If our legislature really wants these type of changes to be made, it needs to be funded. It's going to require a lot of professional development and training for staff. Districts right now don't even have the money for textbooks."

But Shelton added that as a superintendent, he must agree with Holliday. In Daviess County, which is ready and able to implement the changes, Senate Bill 1 will bring positive change.

"There is absolutely no argument in my mind that Senate Bill 1 is a very positive piece of legislation," Shelton said. "It's something that's needed to happen. I agree with the commissioner completely that we need to keep moving forward, from that perspective."

Yet without adequate funding, Shelton said, the state risks bringing back problems from prior to the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990.

"We tried to make sure all students in Kentucky had an equitable and adequate education. If we move forward with this now, we risk taking a step backwards for some of our districts and some of our children in the state, unless the legislature steps up," Shelton said. "You'll have the haves and have-nots again, which is something we've tried to get away from. KERA tried to provide equity for all students."

Shelton said there is no simple answer unless the state finds money to make this happen.

"There's simply not a means to adequately implement the legislation," Shelton said. "Without funding this legislation, we are putting ourselves in the position of this state having districts that can and districts that cannot implement this change."

Shelton supports raising dropout age for students
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am writing to correct a comment attributed to me in the Jan. 29 editorial. Taken out of context, my statement implied that I do not support raising the dropout age from 16 to 18. Nothing could be further from the truth. I served on the Graduate Kentucky task force, which originally proposed this bill!

House Bill 225 is important, particularly because it supports alternative opportunities for students who are not engaged in the traditional classroom.

In our community, there are many options, including Beacon Central, GED programs, Discover College, etc. When the conventional education system doesn't work for a student, we do our best to find something that does work.

However, not all communities are as fortunate. Knowing there are hundreds of students across Kentucky who are not engaged in the traditional classroom and at risk of dropping out, and for whom there are currently no educational alternatives, I said that even if those students are unhappy about being in high school, at least raising the dropout age from 16 to 18 would keep those students in school for two years - giving them a chance. We must not give up on these kids!

Everything I do is based on this commitment: preparing students to succeed for life. I am dismayed at any implication of anything less. I echo the closing line of the editorial: "Keeping (potential dropouts) in school another two years could make a big difference in the direction they will head the rest of their lives."

Dr. Tom Shelton , Ph.D., Superintendent
Daviess County Public Schools

Silberman will lead Prichard Committee Former Daviess schools chief called `perfect choice' for job
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Thursday, March 3, 2011
Author: Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Former Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman has been named the new executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a nonprofit educational advocacy organization based in Lexington…

Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton , who succeeded Silberman at DCPS, agreed.

"First of all, I'd say the Prichard Committee is an organization I have the deepest respect for. Bob Sexton, and all the work that has gone on there for years, have helped Kentucky move forward. Their support of the public education system is unprecedented," Shelton said. "When you add Stu to that mix, it doesn't get any better than that."

Shelton added that Silberman's past record speak volumes for his ability and attitude.

"Stu's actually been there and lived it. He's been here (in Kentucky) for 16 years now in education," Shelton said. "He'll bring a practitioner's viewpoint, and there is no bigger advocate for kids. He's a perfect choice for the job. I believe their board made an excellent selection."

Hard time Youngsters facing minor charges can be locked in jail with serious offenders
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Monday, April 11, 2011
Author: James Mayse, Messenger-Inquirer
Juveniles, like adults, can be charged with the full array of "public order" criminal offenses such as robbery, burglary, assault, theft, disorderly conduct and murder.

But for juveniles, there is a second set of offenses - "status offenses"…Status offenses such as frequently skipping school or running away from home are often indicators of a larger problem in a juvenile's life. Officials from the … Daviess County school districts said they look for the underlying cause of status offenses.

Tom Shelton , superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools, said the district has student assistance coordinators on staff who specialize in areas such as alcohol, drug abuse and depression.

"Whatever you see happen in the home or the `real world' outside school, if there's a kid involved, it will play itself out in school," Shelton said.

Both the school system and the court designated workers investigate the root causes of status offenses, Shelton said. The goal is to work with status offenders to keep them within the school system, Shelton said.

"When we had the Goebel (juvenile) detention center here, we had a school" and drug treatment program at the center, Shelton said. "When the Goebel detention center went away, we started seeing kids being taken to (detention in) Bowling Green. ... We realized the need to focus on early intervention and getting to the level where we weren't referring students out of the school system.

"It's our belief - especially for status offenses - why would you punish a kid who has been excessively absent by (pushing) him out of school?" Shelton said.

Daviess County Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) Combined Reading and Mathematics Proficient/DistinguishedReport

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