Program challenges high school seniors to pursue additional education after graduation

WARSAW, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state program challenging Gallatin County High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.

The “Close the Deal” initiative creates a college-going culture in selective high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The statewide program, in its second year, supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.

“If Kentucky is to compete for 21 century jobs, we must have a highly trained, skilled, educated workforce, and Close the Deal plays a critical role in achieving this goal,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Expanding Close the Deal at Gallatin County High School will definitely benefit the senior class, helping them know their options after earning their diplomas.”

Lt. Gov. Abramson said like him, many of Gallatin County High School students will be first generation college-goers.

Close the Deal was created in Louisville when Lt. Gov. Abramson was mayor after he realized that “many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next.”

At today’s Close Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.

The successful launch of Close the Deal at Gallatin County High School is due to the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said.

“We are looking forward to our first experience with Close the Deal,” said Gallatin County School District Superintendent Dr. Dorothy Perkins. “This truly is an opportunity for our students to focus their attention beyond the doors of our high school and make a successful transition into college, vocational school, the military or the world of work. We are excited about the possibilities this brings for our students and look forward to this event.”

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to provide this experience for our seniors,” said Gallatin County High School Principal Roxann Booth. “We are fortunate to have the support from the lieutenant governor’s office and we are looking forward to continuing and expanding this beneficial program each year.”

“This is a terrific opportunity for the students of Gallatin County, that they may realize a dream can now come true,” said Gallatin County Judge-Executive Ken McFarland.

“I look forward in working with Lt. Gov. Abramson, the school and Judge Mcfarland on this,” said Warsaw Mayor Charlie French. “I believe the program will be beneficial to our students and the community.”

“I am excited to represent the Gallatin County Chamber of Commerce as part of the Close the Deal program,” said Gallatin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rena Mylor. “As business leaders in our community, we have an opportunity to help prepare these students to be employees, employers, and leaders of tomorrow. I am grateful that the Lt. Governor sees the value in our rural community.”

Officials at Gallatin County High School will continue to work with seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage students to apply to at least one college or university.

In taking Close the Deal statewide, Lt. Gov. Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.

Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.

“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”

Lt. Governor Abramson launched the program at Covington-Holmes High School Oct. 4, 2013. Additional 2013 Close the Deal events include:

  • Greenup County High School – Tuesday, Oct. 29; and
  • Logan County High School – Friday, Nov. 1.

Campbell County High School, Lawrence County High School and Bullitt Central High School launched Close the Deal in 2012.

For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.




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