Hardin County Schools and WKU are partnering to create an Early College and Career Center. The partnership announced Thursday also includes Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and the Central Kentucky Community Foundation.
The result will be a new building where Hardin County school students can take courses in several career pathways, including engineering, manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts, and health sciences.
Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nanette Johnston told WKU Public Radio the center will offer students a new way to prepare for either the workforce or postsecondary education.
"We have to get out of this mindset that if you don't go to college you have to go to a vocational school. This is not a vocational school like you and I might be familiar with," said Johnston.
WKU faculty will teach classes at the Early College and Career Center during the day and college courses in the evenings once the high school students go home.
Miss Hardin County, Jenna Walters, was crowned Miss Kentucky County Fair 2013 at a Saturday night pageant at the Galt House in Louisville. She beat out 90 other young women, aged 16 to 21 who were all winners of Kentucky county fairs and festivals during the past year. Walters' title brings with it $1,000.
The first runner-up was Miss Hart County Meighan Shumate, followed by Miss Southern Kentucky Fair Lacey Graham. The event was part of the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows' 2013 Convention and Trade Show. The contestants were interviewed on Friday, while the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the pageant were held Saturday night.
Hardin County Schools will use a $1 million grant from the Defense Department to bolster dropout prevention efforts. The grant announced Thursday in Elizabethtown will pay for counseling programs for at-risk students, extended school services, and random drug testing at the district’s alternative school for troubled students.