Skip to main content

Over 800 attend FIRE K-12 Summit

Over 800 persons attended the Forging Innovation in Rural Education (FIRE) Summit, a multi-district K-12 educational professional learning event October 25 in Pikeville, KY.  More than 160 teachers and students from 22 school district teams presented at the Summit sponsored by the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) as part of the Race to the Top “Appalachian Renaissance Initiative (ARI).”

Teachers shared the innovations planned for their students using the “innovation grants” awarded through the ARI and sought feedback from their colleagues. Demonstrations included drone design and build, robotics, aviation, tele-medicine, advanced manufacturing, student publishing, and much more.
With some of the region’s most innovative leaders and learners, presenters showed off cutting-edge strategies and technologies that will be used in the classroom over this school year and many years to come.  Presenters will return in April, 2018 to report on the progress of their grants and share stories from the classroom and their schools.

 More than 17,000 viewers, from 15 countries and 42 states, tuned in to the live stream and engaged with presenter content on The Holler.

This year’s summit also featured a “Summit within a Summit." This powerful health and wellness conference within the Summit included an “Opioid Hack-A-Thon” in which teams of students developed strategies to overcome this growing crisis in our region and our country.  Guest speaker, Judge Timothy Feeley, Deputy Secretary–Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spoke about the opioid crisis, identifying statistics from the state and offering ways for friends, family, and educators to identify potential warning signs and pathways for recovery.

The Building It Forward Project (Tiny House) was back again this year with five new schools joining three returning schools in the project. By taking learning outside and getting hands-on experience, students are able to learn basic workplace behavior and develop specific skills within an industry. The new schools introduced this year were Letcher, Leslie, Johnson, Floyd and Breathitt County, with Lee, Pike (Phelps) and Knott County continuing the Tiny House work they started last year.

 The event streamed LIVE on The Holler from nine locations across the East Kentucky EXPO Center and featured educators showcasing their upcoming projects in one of 32 breakout sessions over the course of the day. The FIRE summit sessions have been archived and are available at www.the  

Magoffin County had seven teachers presenting at the Summit: Two from North Magoffin Elementary-Elizabeth Tackett, her topic was “Escape the Library”, Mary Lemaster, her topic was “Hands-On Literacy and Math Fun!”. Three teachers from Salyersville Grade School- Tara Howard, her topic was “Full STEAM Ahead”, Marisa Brown, her topic was “Ready to Read!”, Ashley Arnett, “How Does Behavior Affect Student Academics?”. One from Herald Whitaker Middle School- Vickie Howard her project was “Cooperative Learning Groups Driven by Science Labs on Behavior and Science Mastery” and one from Magoffin County High School-Justin Bailey called “Digital Reader Library”.  To see teachers’ presentations and to learn more about their projects, please visit

Magoffin County Student Senate members Thomas Patrick and Keenan Conley also shared their plans for the district.  Their primary objective is to create a positive student-friendly culture at Magoffin County High School that promotes educational and social success for ALL students.

For more information, contact Angela Skaggs Magoffin County Innovations Coordinator or visit



Ligula dignissim tempor montes laoreet adipiscing metus ullamcorper sapien nostra sollicitudin convallis mi purus rutrum