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Superintendent's Message

K. Cheser

Karen Cheser

Welcome to the new school year in the award-winning Fort Thomas Independent Schools!  We are all proud of the accomplishments of our students, teachers, staff, administrators and community. From National Blue Ribbon schools to U.S. News and World Report national rankings, to Forbes’ top 25 districts, and leading scores on the state assessment, we are grateful for the recognition. Most recently, we were named #1 district in Kentucky once again by These achievements demonstrate our commitment as a community to ensuring our students have the strong content knowledge they need for success. We are looking forward to the 2019-20 school year as we grow Empathetic Collaborators, Global Communicators, Curious Critical Thinkers, Creative Problem Solvers, and Courageous Leaders. Those are our competencies of the FTIS Portrait of a Graduate. While we continue to soar academically, we also know it is vitally important that our students have the skills that will ensure they are successful in the future. This year, every student will collect artifacts demonstrating their growth in each of these five areas, as their teachers create experiences that nurture these skills. These artifacts could be anything from videos to photos to writing pieces to artworks. We are looking forward to sharing these with you! 

This year we will also begin new high school career pathways at Launch (at 20 Grand Avenue): App Development, Entrepreneurship, and Health Innovations. These programs, which combine AP/Dual Credit with career exploration experiences, are a complement to the high-quality, career-focused programs at Highlands High School, such as Media Arts (Broadcasting and Cinematography), Business, Fashion and Interior Design, Pre-Engineering, and Culinary. If you -or someone you know- is interested in assisting our students in these or any other career field, please let me know. We are looking for mentors and guest speakers as well as job shadowing and internship opportunities for our students.

The Johnson Elementary School construction is well underway and we will update you on the progress throughout the year. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we changed schedules and programs to accommodate the temporary relocation of the students of Johnson Elementary School, now at Johnson Valley. 

We are excited about the new Advisory program at Highlands High School and Highlands Middle School as well as Moyer Elementary School’s and Highlands Middle School’s new partnership with Leader in Me. (Woodfill Elementary School has been a successful Leader in Me school for several years.) We will have new opportunities for students to participate in athletics and extra-curricular activities this year; our goal is for every student to be involved, to be included. We also want you to be involved, to be included.  One of the ways to be involved is through the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council.  If you are interested in participating in this group, please email me at (We also have a Student Advisory Council that meets after school if your child is interested.)

As always, please contact me if you have suggestions, concerns, or questions. We also love to hear about successes! We are taking nominations for the FTIS Global Leader Award to celebrate our successes. If you know of a student, teacher, staff member, or community member that exemplifies one or more of our Portrait of a Graduate competencies, just email me with a short paragraph nominating them. Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to catch up on all of our good news, and use the new Fort Thomas ISD app for all event listings. We look forward to partnering with you again this year to help all of our students be FTIS Global Leaders!



Karen Cheser, Ed.D.


Twitter: @FTISSuper


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