Fleming County High School recently celebrated two successes. Previously labeled a Priority School by the state, when the Kentucky Department of Education released its Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test results FCHS placed in the Top 50 in the state of Kentucky and first in the region. While proud of both FCHS students and teachers for this amazing journey, the Morehead Writing Project is especially excited by one specific aspect of those K-PREP test results: FCHS was named among the Top 40 Writing Programs in the state (out of 247 high schools).
“Fleming County High School students deserve so much credit for their hard work and I know that the teachers and administrators went to incredible lengths to support their growth, but I believe one person should be singled out for special recognition,” said Morehead Writing Project Site Director Deanna Mascle. “Brandie Trent has worked tirelessly to support the writers of Fleming County High School and she has played a central role in making this success possible.”
Mascle points to the 2018-2019 $20,000 Professional Development in a High-Need School grant by the National Writing Project that she and Trent wrote to support argument writing across the curriculum using the NWP College, Career, and Community Writers Program. Trent worked with teachers throughout the school although the core team supporting the effort included Adam Caskey, Greg Clark, Janet Driggs, Donita Halsey, Brian Howard, Angie Jackson, Cara Perry, Nathan Ryver, Brooke Sparks, and Lori Staggs.
The Morehead Writing Project was only eligible to apply for that grant because it had successfully completed a previous CRWP program funded by a $20,000 Scale-up the College-Ready Writers Program Grant which worked with Bath, Fleming, Montgomery, and Rowan schools. Trent worked with Rowan County High School teacher Lindsay Johnson to lead that work.
Trent was selected to work with Johnson because of her extensive NWP leadership experience. Trent joined the MWP Leadership Team as the Summer Institute Coordinator in 2010 and stepped in to serve as Co-Director in 2011, a position she held for several years. In addition to the professional development she provided for the Summer Institute Fellows, Trent provides professional development on literacy strategies, teaching writing, digital literacy, and closing the poverty gap. She has been involved in NWP work at the state and national level.
The Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts named Trent as the 2013 High School Teacher of the Year. The National Council of Teachers of English recognized Trent as a High School Teacher of Excellence.
Trent earned her bachelor’s degree in English Education from Morehead State University in December 1998 and has taught high school English for Fleming County Schools since January 1999 with one year spent working outside the district as a Literacy Coach for the Striving Readers Grant in the 2006-2007 academic year. She completed her master’s degree in English, also from MSU, in 2007. Her teaching credits include literature and composition for grades 9-12 as well as AP Literature and AP Composition. She has also taught classes in Oral Communication and Poetry. She helped develop Fleming County’s dual credit Eng 100 and 200 classes for Morehead State University.
“Brandie is supportive of writers at every level,” Mascle notes. “She will work with adult writers at our Fall 2019 Writing Retreat and she will bring a busload of students to our Fall 2019 Teen Writers Day Out, because knows that writers need a community of writers and the opportunity to share their voice.”
“Brandie Trent is a rock star, but she and our other Morehead Writing Project teacher-leaders are in the business of creating rock stars. National Writing Project methods are research-driven and research-proven,” Mascle said. “The students of writing project teachers outperform the students of non-writing project teachers and FCHS’ success proves it once again.”
FCHS Principal Stephanie Emmons agrees that Trent and the other writing project teachers in her building played a key role. “We are incredibly excited to be one of the top schools overall in the state of Kentucky. Our writing program is a phenomenal program that emphasizes writing across all content areas. We look forward to seeing it grow even more. Through the Kentucky Writing Project and the leadership of Brandie Trent, the writing at FCHS has excelled. We are very fortunate to have such leadership in writing in our school.”