FRANKFORT, KY – Frankfort Independent Schools recently honored Kentucky State University (KSU) and Interim President Dr. Aaron Thompson for their partnership and leadership in the community. Dr. Thompson was presented the TRY award at the January meeting between community members and Frankfort Independent Schools.

Dr. Houston Barber, superintendent of Frankfort Independent Schools, said Thompson was honored for several reasons.

“This award is based on a true dedication to the community and a clear impact on the community, but specifically for student learning and student engagement,” Barber said.

Dr. Thompson and KSU cultivated a partnership between the University and P-12 institutions, developing a P-16 pipeline.

“Dr. Thompson has been instrumental in having a continuous educational system to support students who normally wouldn’t attend a four-year institution,” Barber said.

Another reason for the honor: the University is open for Frankfort Independent School’s students who need further engagement. The Rosenwald Lab, located in the Rosenwald Center for Families and Children, fills that need.

Finally, Barber said Thompson and KSU’s leadership is pivotal in the community.

“In a relatively short period of time, Dr. Thompson has already made his leadership mark on workforce development.” Barber said. “His faculty, staff, along with P-12 educators and industry leaders are designing educational programs that focus on increasing essential skills for all students. Strengthening these skills will have students better equipped to take on work responsibilities as well as leadership rolls.”

These programs lead to a seamless education system, career pathways and associate degrees that lead to four-year degrees. Thompson recently lauded the dual-credit program at KSU and the increase in enrollment in that program during the fall 2016 semester. He emphasized the importance of the dual-credit program and how its success helps both students and the University.

“Kentucky State University is working hand-in-hand with agencies to provide Kentucky students with robust, meaningful programs that are well-connected with industry and with real-world opportunity,” Barber said.

HCF stands to congratulate interim President Dr. Thompson, KSU and the KSU community on this outstanding achievement and recognition given in producing the next leaders of tomorrow!


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 land grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse populations of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in Nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 1,700 students.

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