20 Grand Launches for Success


Pictured left to right: Dr. Randy Poe, Brent Cooper, Jeffery Rosenstiel, and Karen Cheser

Sydney Cooper , Editor-in-Chief

On January 14th the new Fort Thomas school building on 20 Grand Ave. had its official showcase and launch party followed by the first School Board meeting of the new year.

Students and parents on the second floor of the new building experiencing the new Professional Studies Center.

The new building has various new spaces for students and faculty alike to use, to increase learning and collaboration. Some of these spaces include a Convening Room, Makerspace Lounge, Student Pop-Up Shop, Professional Studies Center, and various classrooms. 

Elementary students explaining their lego project about water filtration on the moon.

The concept for the new location was put into place approximately a year ago and with the help of the owner of the 20 Grand building, Dan Gorman,  20 Grand became a reality in a very short span of time.

Superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools, Dr. Karen Cheser said, “I thought that it would take a couple of years. So the idea that it took about three and a half months from the time that teachers started talking about it, to we actually have it available is a miracle. I definitely know that the teachers of Highlands High School, the principal, and the community are always looking for more and more opportunities for students.”

One of the uses is moving some of the media, entrepreneurial, and health classes to 20 Grand and having high school students spend a couple class periods focused on a pathway to enrich their learning towards a specific career.

Bill Bradford, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning said, “Our students will have every opportunity to study viable career pathways, partner with industry mentors and work through genuine challenges provided by real local businesses. We’re excited for them to further develop the skills they’ll need to be successful in the future by having them demonstrate those skills in a personal and professional manner.”

There are various different activities happening at 20 Grand after school, including the Student Advisory Council meetings, Foundation Club, Robotics, Makerspace, and Odyssey of the Mind.

Members of the middle school robotics team showing off their award-winning robot in the new Makerspace Lounge.

Freshman Elle Mead said, “We have our [Odyssey of the Mind] meetings here every Wednesday and we love that it is open and there are more places to do things than a classroom. It is not as cluttered.”

Juniors Caroline Bueker, Ella Surrey, and Blake Egan explain what they have been doing in their art class this year to help further support for the arts.

After the launch party, the School Board meeting kicked off with recognizing the Highlands High School Varsity Dance team for their 1st place state championship win, the We The People team for their state championship win, awarding different teachers and faculty members with Portrait of a Graduate awards, and this month’s art’s showcase.

In the words of Cheser, “The sky’s the limit for what we are going to be able to do here.”