|Local business owner Tracy Davis received a Global Leader Award for her support of Fort Thomas Schools. She stands with Highlands High School Principal Matthew Bertasso.|
by Robin Gee
Fort Thomas resident and business owner Tracy Davis has received a Portrait of a Graduate Global Leader Award from the Fort Thomas Independent School District. Davis, owner of a State Farm insurance agency, was honored for her partnership and support of Highland High School’s security badge program.
Superintendent Karen Cheser explained that school staff had discussed the idea of providing students with security badges to allow them access to locked school buildings for after hours activities. While this was something all agreed would improve student safety, the money was not available in the current budget. Then, someone suggested looking to community members and businesses for sponsorship.
Davis stepped up to provide funds and to form a partnership with Highlands High School for the project.
Highlands Principal Matthew Bertasso explained the importance of the project and Davis’s donation. It was not uncommon to see doors propped open with books so that students could get in and out when the doors were locked.
"In the evening the whole building is locked up and yet we have practices going on, rehearsals going on, we have Dance Team, We the People, Mock Trial, winter sports...Now, we can keep the building quite a bit more secure," he said.
"When we came up with this idea, we checked with [Director of Operations] Jerry Wissman, and he said we could do it but we figured out it was going to be expensive. You don’t want the price tag to get in the way of something as important as school safety. It has been great the we have partners like this to help us out."
Said Davis, "As a small business owner, I try to find things that align with what my personal connection is...Having kids in the school system in this community has blessed us so I’m glad we could work it out. I appreciated that you considered a small business for this partnership."
School board member Karen Allen noted that the partnership also opens ideas for tapping into Davis’ expertise and interests to help in classes, and Cheser noted the partnership provides a model for future projects.