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Superintendent's Message

K. Cheser

Karen Cheser

Welcome back!

We are excited for a new school year at Fort Thomas Independent Schools and can’t wait to see our students again. Over the last year, our school district received many accolades, from a Niche.com #1 rating for the state of KY, to U.S. News and World Report’s gold medal ranking for Highlands High School, to #1 school district in NKY according to Cincy Magazine.


Our teachers and staff continue to lead the state and have been working hard all summer to get our classrooms ready for another banner year. Not only are our facilities shining, but our teachers have been engaged in professional learning since school ended. Much of this professional learning is focused on our Portrait of a Graduate competencies. You will start to hear about Portrait of a Graduate as school begins; the Portrait describes what we want our students to know, do, and be like.


Last year, our community defined our Portrait of a Graduate through a number of events and input gathering sessions. We had Industry Leader Think-Tanks, Community Conversations, Film Festivals and surveys. We listened to teachers during faculty meetings, students during lunch forums, and parents during coffee chats. Task groups then compiled everyone’s ideas into five competencies to form our Portrait of a Graduate. These are: Global Communicator, Empathetic Collaborator, Curious Critical Thinker, Creative Problem Solver, and Courageous Leader.


We continue to focus on high academic standards and will incorporate these skills from preschool through 12th grade to ensure our students are ready for the future, no matter what career they pursue.



Karen Cheser, Ed.D.



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