GSkyTeach Program At WKU Benefits JCPS

There’s a new program at Western Kentucky University that directly benefits Jefferson County Public Schools and it’s called GSkyTeach.

Rather than flood you with information, feel free to click here to get the details.

But here’s the gist:

Thanks to a recent $5.4 million grant over five years, the program will prepare physics, chemistry and math teachers for JCPS high schools. GSky recruits graduating seniors and recent graduates with majors in those three disciplines without teacher preparation. Trainees will be paid $30,000 plus benefits during the year of prep and all tuition costs will be paid as they earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching. At the end of the program, grads will be employed by JCPS with a starting salary of $42,000.

I’m pretty sure this is a big deal.

Jim Ramsey Says UofL Is Accountable

In February, Jim Ramsey told the State House that the University of Louisville was accountable:

Unfortunately, he’s yet to apologize for his “anonymous crap” mess and has all but praised Robert Felner for two years.

The mandatory meal plan ordeal? I haven’t heard an honest word from the man on the matter.

The Alicia Sells mess? Still haven’t gotten any answers.

Using the UofL Foundation as a slush fund to pay friends and confidants? You guessed it, no solid answers.

But UofL is accountable according to Jimbo.

WKU Through Rose-Colored Specs

Let’s see. First off, a monumental upset of Tennessee in Knoxville. Then, getting Big East power South Florida at home shouldn’t be a problem. No stumbles in the Sun Belt Conference, a road win at Navy is do-able. Yep, time to make reservations for the New Orleans Bowl next year.

For the first time, Western Kentucky University will be competing as a full-fledged Division I football school this fall. That means eligibility for a real bowl game.

The Hilltoppers have spent the last two years in a kind of NCAA purgatory, losing games and building up the football stadium. The school has scheduled drubbings the last few years against the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky and Virginia Tech.

Entering the Tennessee game Sept. 5, they carry the burden of an 8-game losing streak.

But the NCAA just announced Western’s admission into the big time, and that’s worth something.

Thursday’s Menu of Possibly Cool Items

A Day in the White House: Pres. Obama’s status as the coolest president of our generation is safe after NBC’s Brian Williams hung out with him for a day for an NBC special. Bo the dog is pretty cool, too. A rare thing — interesting, compelling network TV. [NBC]

Jumping on the Church/Guns Bandwagon: Since we published our story on New Bethel Church’s plan to encourage bringing guns to church on Tuesday, local TV stations, radio, the C-J and even a national blog have jumped on it. At least Francene gave us some credit when she interviewed Pastor Ken Pagano Wednesday.

At Least We Are Among the Faves at Possibility City: Check out the newly-redesigned website brought to you by the folks who bring you all those goofy videos. [Possibility City]

Something Else They Could Waste Money on: Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the idea of this NASCAR-related bargain is tempting to ‘Ville boosters. Don’t do it. [A Bargain?]

Sypher Seeks Delay: So much for those comments about wanting to get to a jury as soon as possible. Karen Sypher wants to delay her June 29 trial date in the extortion case involving Rick Pitino. Her attorney, Thomas Clay, says he’s discovered additional phone records and witnesses and needs more time.  [WLKY]

Speaking of The Rick: To stop the rumor mill, U of L put out a statement from the coach yesterday saying he’d offer an assistant coaching position to Ralph Willard, for the fifth time, but that Pitino didn’t expect his old pal to accept it.

Yes, We’re For the Magic: WKU’s Courtney Lee will be guarding Kobe Bryant when the NBA Finals start tonight, so we’re pulling hard for Orlando.  He’s the first ‘Topper to play in the Finals since Clem Haskins. [Bozich]

Why Did They Really Fire the Swim Coach at St. X?: Mike O’Toole, the swim coach and a teacher who’s been at St. X High since 1989, has been fired, and there’s a Facebook firestorm brewing over it. O’Toole was told he’d done a poor job, but WAVE couldn’t find anyone who would criticize him. 1,500 people have joined a group supporting him. Oh, he was going through a divorce with another teacher at the Catholic high school. Parents want an explanation. [WAVE]

Jerry the Teacher: Next week in Charleston, W. Va., the special guest speaker on the topic of merged metro government is. . . Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.  [Charleston Gazette]

Today in the Chamber: Groups appearing before the Metro Council’s Budget Committee today are the Library, Parks and Recreation, External Agency Workgroups and the Water Co. The fun starts at 1.

Now We Gotta Get a #5 Window Sticker

Now that my alma mater has decided it wants to appeal to the NASCAR crowd, it’s time to go get one of them stickers for my car, a t-shirt and maybe get me a mullet.

That’s right, in Nashville this weekend at the Federated Auto Parts 300, the #5 Chevy car will be sporting the WKU Red Towel logo on its hood. On the rear bumper, there’s a link to the school’s website. I’m pretty confident that there’s are better ways to use the school’s marketing dollars (an amount WKU is not releasing), but here’s the explanation provided by Donald Smith, executive director of the WKU Alumni Association.

“We are used to seeing the red towel wave with pride at a lot of our events, and this will be a first for the red towel to be displayed on the hood of a car traveling around the track at 200 mph. This type of coverage, branding and awareness is essential as WKU becomes a leading American university with international reach, and we are grateful to the generosity of our alumni, friends and partners for providing us this unique opportunity to get the WKU brand in front of an audience that represents the largest spectator sport in the country.”

So it’s all about branding and awareness, and the move has already gotten the school some national publicity in USA Today. If they could only get Big Red to be the driver.