Michelle Ruckdeschel has been selected as the first Alternative High School Director and leader of the alternative program starting this fall at the new Beacon Central High School site at 3361 Buckland Square. She will officially assume this role on July 1.
Her responsibilities will include administration and management of the district’s alternative high school; implementation of instructional programs; and establishment of community partnerships leading to opportunities for student field placements and internships. She will work in collaboration with district and building administrators, counselors and other personnel to advance the effectiveness of the alternative high school program.
Ruckdeschel said, “This position is especially exciting because I have the opportunity to be an instructional leader and continue to work with teachers to build a rigorous curriculum and implement project-based learning. We have some innovative projects that we believe the students will enjoy while experiencing education in a more hands-on, minds-on learning environment.”
In making the announcement, DCPS Superintendent Owens Saylor said, “Michelle not only brings a wealth of experience in alternative education, but also demonstrates a genuine passion for teaching kids who need a nurturing environment and a different approach to learning.”
Ruckdeschel has served as math teacher and staff developer at Beacon Central High School since 2010, earning district and national recognition as an outstanding educator. She previously taught at Owensboro Day Treatment for seven years. She began her teaching career in 2000 as a business and computer teacher at Christian County Middle School and joined the Daviess County Public Schools district in 2002 as a permanent circulating teacher, teaching various subjects in grades K-12 at all schools in the district.
In 2014, she was named DCPS High School Teacher of the Year; and received the Ashland Teacher Achievement Award, Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award and the Foundation for DCPS Great Expectations Focus Award.
Ruckdeschel serves as chairman of the ECET2KY (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) committees for the Daviess County/Owensboro Public School districts and the Western Kentucky Region; as well as serving on the ECET2KY state convening planning board and as a presenter. Other organizations, honors and professional memberships include the Collaborative for Student Success Teacher Champion and America Achieves National Teaching Fellow (2014-16).
Ruckdeschel earned an education specialist degree and Level 2 principal certification from the University of the Cumberlands in 2014; has a master’s degree in business and marketing education from Murray State University; and received a bachelor of science degree in hospitality management from the University of Kentucky. She has earned Highly Qualified Teacher Certifications in high school and middle school mathematics.