VERSAILLES, Ky. (FOX 56) — There are many firsts and a lot of lasts in Woodford County as students head back to class for the first day of school.

New notebooks, new pencils, and a new district-wide initiative created by Superintendent Danny Adkins with the help of state and local education leaders, as well as the community. Known as “Portrait of a Learner,” it is the new framework all curricula and teachings are based on.

(Woodford County Schools)

This poster is in every classroom across the district. A sticker of the crest is on every laptop. And it can be seen around the community as well. Adkins says this is what the future of education in Woodford County will look like.

Portrait of a Learner focuses on creating a well-rounded student and is a vision for what success looks like beyond academics. It’s broken into five categories, known as competencies: resilient learner, reflective collaborator, empathetic communicator, creative problem solver, and responsible contributor. The administration is now brainstorming how this initiative will look in three to five years.

Student safety remains a top priority for parents this school year. In turn, the district has incorporated a new safety feature for all schools.

On the outside of each school building at the main entrance is one of these call boxes. When visitors approach the door, they’ll ring the bell, which alerts the front office, and hear a doorbell sound. A staff member will greet them and ask questions about their visit, before letting them in. Visitors only need to push the button once. It’s not necessary to hold it again to speak. The door unlocks after they buzz you in. Previous identification procedures are still in place, so be sure to have an ID ready.

Construction of the new Woodford County High School is expected to be completed by September 2024, which means this is the last full year students will learn in the old building. Adkins says, after 50 years of natural wear and tear, it’s time for a new facility that the kids deserve.

As previously reported by FOX 56, the new school will feature larger classrooms, a new and improved media center, state-of-the-art science labs, and a music suite that doubles as a storm shelter.


Adkins expects this change to increase school spirit and maintain staff retention rates. Unlike many other districts across the state, he says, Woodford County Schools aren’t experiencing staffing shortages. Almost all positions are filled this school year. The district is, however, still trying to hire an instructor for the school’s career program, known as Jobs for American Graduates.

Finally, it’s the final first day of school for Woodford County’s longest-serving principal, Elaine Kaiser. This is her 14th year as the principal at Huntertown Elementary and 30th year in education. FOX 56 met up with her before the bell rang to find out what she was looking forward to, what she’ll miss the most, and what’s next for her.