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Mr. John Sanders and Mrs. Chastity Rohan shown with the 2016 Program of Excellence award.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, has named the Grant County High School Engineering program its 2016 Program of Excellence for Kentucky.  Grant County's program, headed by teacher, Mrs. Chastity Rohan, was the single honoree chosen from 73 similar programs throughout the Commonwealth.


Mrs. Rohan and the Grant County High School (GCHS) Engineering program was recognized at the Kentucky Project Lead the Way Conference held October 2-3, 2016, in Shelbyville, KY.  According to Doug Klein, PLTW Affiliate Director, with the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky, “Grant County High School’s Engineering Program has been a consistently high-achieving program in Kentucky.  When we are asked after what program a school should model their program, Grant County is the one we express to emulate.  They have tremendous teachers and the district ensures they have all the necessary resources to allow their program to excel.”


Program of Excellence Awards are determined by a team of six individuals that includes representatives from the University of Kentucky, Project Lead the Way, the Kentucky Department of Education, and leaders in related industries.  Criteria considered in the selection process include end of course scores, activities held by the program, program certification, and unique characteristics that set the program apart. 


Mrs. Rohan, formerly a math teacher at Grant County High School, has been the Project Lead the Way Engineering teacher since the program was first introduced at GCHS in 2010.  “From my first PLTW training, I knew I had found my passion,” says Mrs. Rohan.  Rohan is now a model PLTW Master Teacher, who further, according to Klein, “benefits thousands of students each year with the effort she places in mentoring teachers across the nation.”   


In addition to her Master teacher status and the role GCHS plays in modeling instruction and programming, local unique characteristics that make the program noteworthy include: 

  • The GCHS Engineering program has received and maintained its status as a “PTLW Certified Program.”

  • Grant County’s hard-hat ceremony held for students completing the program was the first such recognition program in the Commonwealth.

  • Engineering camps held during the summer for elementary and Grant County Middle School students both expose and recruit younger students for higher-level STEM programming.

  • Grant County’s Engineering program includes a higher percentage of females than any other program.

  • Grant County offers 6 of the 8 available PLTW Engineering courses, which is more than most schools are able to provide, and

  • The program has expanded to include focus Geometry courses taught by Mrs. Debra Hambrick, which allows students to receive dual math and engineering credits.


Students completing the program have a myriad of opportunities.  Some will choose engineering programs at the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville, some make a slight shift to Information Technology (IT), while others have chosen a college/career pathway from KYFAME (Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education).  “And some,” says Mrs. Rohan, “choose a career path that is 180 degrees different than engineering -- but even in those instances, I’m pleased that the students have gained knowledge in the field and extraordinary critical thinking and problem solving skills.” 


Mrs. Rohan credits the success of Grant County’s engineering program to the support she receives from the high school and district-level administration, and to her students.  She claims she is just the “pulling the strings” while the students “are the ones doing the work.”  Her face reveals how proud she is of them.


Mr. John Sanders, Associate Principal in charge of Career and Technology Programs, however, credits Mrs. Rohan.  “We are extremely proud of Mrs. Rohan and the engineering program she has built here at the Grant County Schools Career and Technology Center.  This award highlights her commitment to her profession, her interest and enthusiasm for her subject matter, and her extreme dedication to her students.” 

Congratulations to Mrs. Rohan and the GCHS team!