Celebrating academic success in Johnson County, Paintsville

The Paintsville Independent Board of Education, seen here with the Paintsville City Council, recognized the work of Paintsville Independent Schools in district, regional and state academic competitions.

The Johnson County Fiscal Court met in special session for its April meeting Monday for a change of venue, to provide the space to honor Johnson County Schools’ numerous academic achievements at state Governor’s Cup competition in Louisville.

Johnson Central High School earned its first overall state championship, Johnson County Middle School continued its more than 20-year streak finishing in the top three, and in community problem solving, the middle school team was named state champion and Johnson County elementary schools swept the top three places in the junior division. 

“There’s a lot of bright individuals here, and we’ve got a bright future. Thank you for applying yourselves and representing us well,” Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie told the students. “You are well-known, obviously, throughout the state. I was actually in a meeting a few months ago and an individual who’s involved in economic development, who lives in another county, said, ‘When we go to Governor’s Cup, my kids have competed there, and when those kids from Johnson County and Paintsville come in there, they walk with a swagger, like they’re going to absolutely take over this place, and you know what? They do.’ So obviously, your reputation is known all over the state. From this fiscal court, we say to you, thank you for your efforts, and thank you for being a contributing part of this community.”

The fiscal court also gave a nod to the achievements of Paintsville Independent Schools, while the Paintsville City Council and the Paintsville Independent Schools Board of Education, which also met Monday, took time to honor those students as well. Paintsville Elementary School’s future problem solving team earned the state title in the junior division for the second time in three years, with additional runner-up finishes in junior division individual scenario writing and senior division team-based community problem solving. 

The city’s recognitions also included the sixth grade team, which won its fourth consecutive Sixth Grade Showcase academic competition, and Paintsville Elementary’s sixth consecutive title in regional competition, the highest level elementary schools compete.

“What we want to do is honor them for what they’ve accomplished,” Mayor Bill Mike Runyon said. “We need to remember one thing: We are a great athletic school, but we are also a great academic school.”

Future problem solving and community problem solving teams that placed in state competition will go on to international competition in June at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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