School Communicator Day

The National School Public Relations Association has declared the second Friday in May as National School Communicators Day and in 2024, that date falls on May 10. Owensboro Public Schools Public Information Officer Jared Revlett, our district’s “School Communicator” talks about the top stories from this past year that he has enjoyed promoting in our community.

Halfway through my seventh year as Public Information Officer of Owensboro Public Schools, I couldn’t have imagined all of the stories and opportunities I have experienced with this school district where I first started my education many years ago at Sutton Elementary. 

This past year has definitely been more challenging than any other, but it’s refreshing to look back at some of the positive stories that we’ve shared that highlights the success of our students and staff in our district.

To celebrate this year’s National School Communicators Day, I want to share with you my favorite stories from the 2023-24 school year to bring awareness to the amazing work our students, teachers and staff are doing. *These stories are listed in chronological order from the start of the school year until now and are not in any particular order of favoritism.

Owensboro High School’s Rose Curtain Players Celebrate Centennial Season

Once upon a time, I had a dream to be a child star from the stage to the big screen. The furthest I made it was a brief appearance on Season 2, Episode 15 of ABC’s hit drama Nashville, so clearly things ended up a little differently. However, acting has always been something I’ve enjoyed, so being able to help our district celebrate 100 years of student productions is a pretty special milestone.

This year, the Rose Curtain Players at Owensboro High School are celebrating 100 years of success with a “special hits” season. With performances such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and It’s a Wonderful Life, students will have the opportunity to leave their legacy on the troupe for its 100th season.

Founded in 1924, the Rose Curtain Players is one of, if not the, oldest, continuous high school theater production troupes in the country. The troupe has earned countless recognitions throughout the years and looks to continue their success throughout the next century.

This summer, they will cap off the centennial anniversary with a special performance and gala August 2 and 3 where they will welcome back alumni of the Rose Curtain Players and share stories and experiences from their time both at Owensboro High School and where their lives have taken them since graduation. 

For ticket information and reservations to the gala August 3, you can email Carolyn Greer at

Gala Invite

Happy Feet Donates 1,000 Shoes to Foust, Cravens and Hager Students

One of the worst parts about being an adult is when you get a new pair of shoes, no one tells you that they make you look super fast. We don’t ever want our students to lose that feeling and thanks to the generosity of a few of our community partners, our district was able to provide brand new shoes to nearly 1,000 students early this year.

An organization by the name of Happy Feet partnered with Rally Point Events to provide 1,000 free shoes to students at Cravens and Foust elementary schools and Hager preschool. Representatives from the Owensboro Police Department, Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Women's Soccer Team and the OPS Technology department volunteered to help with the distribution process.

Rally Point Events raised the funds needed to purchase the shoes from Shoe Sensations for the students. The event was so successful that they hope to expand it to all of our elementary schools for the 2024-25 school year. 

This event took place right before the Christmas holiday and for many of the students in these schools, this may have been one of the only gifts they received for the holiday. Sending kids home with a smile on their face and a new pair of shoes that certainly made them look super fast was the perfect way to end the semester!

Happy Feet DonationWilliams Makes Good on Tattoo Promise to Students

Every once in a while in School PR, you’re presented with a story idea where you have to sit down and play out every possible scenario in your head. How will it play with the general public? What are parents going to think? Is this really a good idea? After all of that, you still have to decide if it is a good idea to pitch that story to the local media.

When word came across that one of our elementary school principals was going to get a tattoo of the school logo on his arm during the middle of a school assembly…let’s just say there were more than a few conversations about how to navigate this event…including discussing if we should even go forward with it.

Estes Elementary School principal Ryan Williams made a promise to his students that if they improved their state testing scores from the previous year that he would get the school’s logo tattooed on his arm. Needless to say, the students were motivated to go above and beyond and they crushed the goal, forcing Williams into keeping his promise.

There are a few important things to know about this story. Principal Williams is a character and the students LOVE it. From superheroes to WWE championship belts and Nike shoes to match every costume, through his larger than life personality Williams has created a culture at the school that is second to none. Secondly, you have to understand the population of the students and their families in which you serve. You have to think about their relationship to the school, their feelings about their students’ education and their sense of belonging in the school culture as well.

Thankfully, Mr. Williams has a great grasp on the students and families in which his school serves and the event was an overwhelming success. Every news outlet in our area showed up and a couple of them even live streamed the event. Surprisingly, the comments (and you’re never supposed to read the comments) were incredibly positive and only one person called the district to complain. That’s a win in my book!

But this story is about so much more than just a tattoo. It’s about making that connection with your students and their families to create a culture where all of the students are loved, accepted and encouraged to do their best every single day. The tattoo is something Mr. Williams will carry with him forever, much like the students will forever remember their principal making good on a promise he made to them for achieving their goal.

Williams TattooOHS Carpentry Student Surprised with “Blue Collar Dollar” Award

Everyone remembers their first job. Perhaps it was a paper route, mowing lawns, or working at a fast food restaurant. My first job was working for a local butcher shop cleaning scraps out of the freezer, mopping the floor, and assisting with catering preparations around the holiday season. While we all remember our first jobs, for some students, their dream is to own their own company and be their own boss.

That was the dream of Owensboro High School senior Juan Quintana. Quintana always wanted to own his own lawn care business and thanks to an enter-to-win opportunity at the local Home & Garden show, Quintana was presented with all of the tools he needed to get his business started.

Rager Fencing, a small business in Owensboro, created the “Blue Collar Dollar” award as a way to give back to the community and help young entrepreneurs get their business off the ground. Quintana was selected from a competitive field of applicants to receive the award which consisted of a 5’ x 8’ trailer, lawn mower, leaf blower, weed eater, fuel cans, fuel and a gift card to a local hardware store.

Cody Rager, owner of Rager Fencing, surprised Quintana during his carpentry class on a chilly March morning. Quintana’s teacher, Mr. Nathan Meredith, even let him know that several community members have offered up their yards for business.

It was exciting to watch this student’s life literally change before his eyes. Through this award, he was handed the keys to the start of a lifelong entrepreneurial journey and we will keep a close eye on his progress.

Blue Collar DollarSchools Enjoy Amazon Donation Days

Think of that feeling you get on Christmas morning and then multiply that by at least a thousand! That is as close as I can come to explaining the excitement of our students when they entered their school gymnasium to see the entire court packed full of tables with countless items from Amazon for them to comb through.

Community partnerships really are what help public school districts thrive and we've touched on that a couple of times already, but this story is unique in that one of our community partners from the Happy Feet story above helped connect another community partner, For Good Communities, to our District Community Schools Coordinator that created this opportunity for our students.

Representatives from For Good Communities went out and purchased hundreds of pallets of goods from retailers, primarily Amazon, that were delivered to the schools as a sort of giveaway for the students and staff. The idea was that each student had the opportunity to comb through the items and select two things to take home: one for themselves and one for a member of their family.

We never knew what was going to come in the pallets and when I tell you the items were all over the place...I mean it. Kitchen appliances, guitars, telescopes, clothes, baby strollers, meat slicers, walking pads, car parts and more were all unwrapped and students could pick whatever they wanted.

My personal favorite moment was with a student from Newton Parrish Elementary School that came into the gym and told me that he really wanted to get an air fryer for his mother. She always wanted one, but they couldn't afford it, he told me. Luckily, I had spotted one while we were setting everything up and as soon as they released the students, I got his attention and pointed him in the right direction. The air fryer had to have been an industrial one because it was bigger than the student was, but the smile on his face knowing he was going to surprise his mother was even larger.

This is just one example of many where students were excited more for the giving part of this experience than the receiving part. All of the leftover items were donated to local churches and nonprofits, so more than just the schools benefited from this experience and we hope to do it again next year as well!

Amazon Donation Clock

Duvall Named 21st Superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools

I mentioned at the start of this story that it has been a year more challenging than any other in this role. Before I jump into this final story, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the selflessness of Mrs. Anita Burnette, who graciously stepped up to serve as our district’s leader following one of our darkest chapters. She gave up valuable time with her husband and grandchildren to help lead us through this past year as we searched for a new, permanent superintendent. Her contributions through the years to our district are numerous, but perhaps none are more valuable to us than this past year. We will forever be grateful for your selfless service to our district and come May 25, we’ll let you get back to being retired and spending time with those grandbabies!

After a nearly year-long, nationwide search for a new superintendent, the Owensboro Board of Education named Dr. Wendy Duvall the 21st superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools on Thursday, March 28, 2024. 

Duvall comes to Owensboro Public Schools after spending the last three years as Assistant Superintendent of Todd County Schools where she oversaw personnel, federal programs and title funds. Prior to her time in Todd County, she spent 14 years as the principal of Hopkinsville Middle School, a school with a highly diverse, transient population due to the proximity of Fort Campbell. In that role, she improved the school’s state assessment scores and raised more than $1.2 million dollars in grant funding during her tenure. 

She will officially assume her duties effective May 26, 2024 and lead our district into its next era. She is looking forward to getting out into the community to meet with parents, business owners, community partners and more in her first few months on the job as we continue to develop relationships that help our students succeed.

Duvall Named Superintendent

These five stories aren’t the only ones that have been told this year. They are only some of my favorites. Our media partners both locally and from afar do an outstanding job in assisting me in telling our district’s story and I couldn’t be more grateful for their partnership. 

Not every story is a good one and just like every other district across the country, we have to take the good with the bad, but we do our best to highlight the incredible things our students and staff are doing.

I hope that when you turn on the TV, open a newspaper, or read a story online that you feel like you are a part of the Owensboro Public Schools family and that you are proud of the work our students and staff put in each and every day. While it may be School Communicators Day, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the effort of our students and staff and for that, I am incredibly grateful that I get to share their stories.