Cuba School Earns TELL Winner's Circle Award
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
CUBA, KY - Cuba Elementary School, in southeastern Graves County, has been selected as a 2013 TELL Winner’s Circle Top 10 Award recipient. Along with the receiving the award, principal Lora Miller and three other representatives of the school will participate in a panel discussion at the AdvancED/Kentucky Department of Education Continuous Improvement Summit at the Marriott East Hotel in Louisville Monday, Sept. 30.  

Carol Leggett, Education Administration Program Consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of Next Generation Professionals, informed Miller and district officials of Cuba’s selection Friday, Sept. 13.

Little more than a week earlier, school and district officials were notified that Cuba had been selected as one of 49 schools earning honorable mentions regarding teaching conditions, school safety, and student achievement.

The Kentucky Department of Education’s recognition of the schools is related to the TELL Kentucky survey. TELL is an acronym that stands for Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning. The TELL Kentucky survey is an anonymous, online survey of every school‐based educator.

It is an opportunity for educators to provide input on teaching conditions such as time during the day for collaborative instructional planning, school and teacher leadership, facilities and resources, professional development, and other supports needed for educators to do their jobs well. The main intent is to provide additional data for school and district improvements.

At the summit, the discussion will center on ways the award-winning schools have used the TELL data for school improvement and strategies teachers and administrators have implemented to address those issues.  

Miller and the other principals of award-winning schools also are invited to a special dinner meeting on the evening of Sept. 29 that the New Teacher Center will host.  

"I am so excited for Cuba and am truly blessed to work with staff that sets high expectations for themselves and their students,” Miller said. She was hired as principal this summer.

“Congratulations to everyone at Cuba Elementary School for this statewide recognition,” said Superintendent Kim Harrison. “The Cuba team is very deserving of this honor and I know our entire district joins me in being proud of and grateful for their great work and success.”

Amanda Henson taught for a number of years at Cuba and served as its administrative lead teacher. She was promoted to supervisor of elementary instruction at the district’s central office prior to the 2013-14 school year. Harrison said she played a key role in Cuba’s success, as leader of its faculty and staff.

“I am so proud of my colleagues at Cuba Elementary School,” Henson said. “They not only are very professional in all that they do, they also care so much about their students. This is a great honor and they are very deserving of it!”

The initial selection included the list of schools that reached the 50 percent minimum threshold for response rate on the TELL Kentucky Survey. From that list, the schools that ranked in the third or fourth quartiles regarding working conditions then were selected to move on to the next phase.

Phase II included student scores from the 2011-12 school year to determine a cut-off point to ensure that successful schools continued to the next phase of selection.

Schools in Phase III then were examined for details regarding their TELL Kentucky results, as well as other criteria, such as school safety, using a rubric designed by the New Teacher Center and the TELL Kentucky Advisory Team.

Phase IV schools met all of the minimum criteria for selection. The advisory team reviewed those schools and selected 49 exemplary schools across the state, aiming for seven schools in each of the state board/judicial districts. They are the honorable mentions. A list of honorable mention schools has been compiled and given to educational leaders in Kentucky so that others are aware that the schools are excelling and can provide some best practice models. The honor also places each of those schools in consideration for the commissioner’s “Winners’ Circle” honor.

From those 49 honorable mentions, one school in each of Kentucky’s state board/judicial districts, two at-large schools, and one ATC school now have been selected for the Winners’ Circle honors.

To learn more, see what Kentucky educators are saying about "Improving Teaching and Learning Conditions" at:

Published 11:14 AM, Thursday Sep. 19, 2013
Updated 05:57 AM, Friday Sep. 20, 2013

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