Temperature checks part of state lawmakers tour of BCTC

Photo courtesy: BCTC

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – State lawmakers toured Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) in Lexington on Monday for a first-hand look at safety precautions being taken on campus during the pandemic and to see progress on the school’s newest facility, ‘The Den.’

The day began with a visit by Senator Ralph Alvarado, Representative James Tipton, Representative Susan Westrom and Representative Mark Hart. Later in the afternoon, Senator Reginald Thomas, Representative Cherlynn Stevenson and Representative George Brown, Jr. toured the campus.

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After all legislators were temperature checked and entered the Classroom Building, BCTC’s Healthy at Work Officer Beecher McCarty discussed safety procedures that keep students, faculty and staff #HealthyAtBCTC, including mandatory face masks, temperature and health checks, social distancing, and cleaning and hygiene practices. Legislators also had the opportunity to ask questions about safety procedures.

They then moved to classrooms to see how instruction delivery is changing for BCTC students as faculty employ new methods and practices that give students flexibility and support as they work toward their educational goals through the pandemic.

In classrooms with 50 percent capacity, legislators learned that the rest of the class was joining virtually and had the opportunity to greet them via Blackboard Collaborate.

Students in the classes discussed how they are navigating the “new normal” learning environment.

In Vicki Partin’s calculus class, students James Blankenship and William Ross expressed how much they like the opportunity to attend in-person classes where they can ask questions of the faculty member and work on problems. Blankenship said, “I learn better when I can be here and ask questions. And, if I want to go back and watch the video to pick up something I missed, it’s an added bonus.” Both students said they feel safe on campus.

Class material is offered through in-person instruction, live remote participation or watching instruction via video and completing online assignments.

Faculty member Erin Howard said, “Our new approach to instruction and flexibility meets the needs of all students.” Students in her humanities class agreed.

Representative Cherlynn Stevenson recognized the work it has taken to create the new normal in education: “I’d like to say thank you to our teachers who keep having things thrown at them and they rise to the challenge every time.”

Legislators ended their campus visit with a tour of The Den, a renovation of the historic Eastern State Laundry Building. This 19,480 square-foot facility will house departments that serve students on the Newtown Campus. The facility is scheduled to open summer 2021.

*Note:  The photo of Republican State Senator Ralph Alvarado, of Winchester, getting a temperature check before his tour of BCTC is courtesy of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.