McLean County Public Schools has a new addition to the leadership team.

In July, the district hired Amanda Glenn as the new community education director. Glenn previously worked at Owensboro Public Schools for STRIVE, an alternative education and placement program for sixth- to eighth-grade students, designed to remediate academic performance, improve behaviors and provide an enhanced learning experiences.

“In addition to learning a new job, (I’m) learning a new county and all that it comes with,” Glenn said.

This year, Glenn went back to school and received a bachelor’s degree in family studies from Western Kentucky University. She found the community education director role as an opportunity to grow in her professional experiences and to aid her passion in bringing families together.

“I was interested in the community aspect because I think that a good community can then translate into stronger families,” Glenn said. “If you have that community support, then you have support for the families, in which, trickles down to benefit the kids, the parents, the schools. That just really appealed to me.”

Glenn has already gotten the ball rolling. She created the first Facebook page for the community education department in late July, asking for input from students and families about course offerings and programs. Glenn also attended open houses where people could fill out an interest survey.

Glenn emphasized that she wants to foster a collaborative effort with all residents of McLean County.

“The interesting thing about community education is that it’s not just geared towards the kids that are enrolled in school. It’s for everybody,” Glenn said. “It’s for the toddlers at home, to the senior citizens, to the parents at home — you don’t have to have a child in the school system to be able to participate in the programs.”

After receiving feedback, Glenn scheduled their first event: an e-cigarette and vaping parent information session in collaboration with the Green River District Health Department on Sept. 13 at McLean County Middle School.

“I’ve heard from a lot of the schools that (e-cigarettes and vaping are) a big epidemic right now,” Glenn said. “From (working) in an alternative program, I can testify this is true. The surge in kids that are vaping or smoking e-cigs — I don’t think they realize the severity of what they’re doing.

By Harry