Lieutenant Governor Abramson's Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Abramson Joins Bullitt County Officials to Launch ‘Close the Deal’
Program challenges high school seniors to pursue additional education after graduation
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state pilot program challenging Bullitt Central High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.
The Close the Deal initiative creates a college-going culture in high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The program supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.
“We started Close the Deal when I was mayor of Louisville because we realized that many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next. Since then, more than 5,400 students have learned how to continue their education thanks to the program, and it’s still going strong in Louisville,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Now we are partnering with Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and launching the initiative at Bullitt Central to engage even more high school seniors.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson said like him, many of these students will be first generation college-goers.
At today’s Close Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.
The successful launch of Close the Deal at Bullitt Central High School is due to the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said.
“We have incredibly able students at Bullitt Central High School,” said Bullitt County Superintendent Keith Davis. “I believe that the level of community encouragement provided by Close the Deal can help them – especially the first generation college student – take the next important step in their academic career and life.”
“Participating in Close the Deal will help our students get fired up about their future,” said Bullitt Central High School Principal Christy Coulter. “We are committed to helping each student find their way to college and a productive life!”
“We are excited to be chosen as one of three counties in Kentucky in implementing the Close the Deal program,” said Bullitt County Judge-Executive Melanie J. Roberts. “As a 1982 graduate of BCHS, I'm thrilled to see such a great opportunity be provided to the Cougars and desire to provide the same opportunities to BEHS and NBHS seniors. Education is very important in being a successful citizen, and our Bullitt County students deserve opportunities to excel. I want to thank Lt Gov. Jerry Abramson for his support of Bullitt County students.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Lieutenant Governor and the Department of Education, as well as the school leaders and elected officials from our great city, county and our great Commonwealth on Close the Deal,” said Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis. “Continuing education is an important part of moving our cities and our state forward and putting Kentucky on the map as leader in education.”
“It’s an honor and a tribute to the work our school system is doing that Bullitt County has been chosen as one of only three schools in the state to participate in this pilot program,” said Freida Howe, executive director Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce. “This program gives our business leaders, college, high school representatives and our community the chance to make an enormous impact in driving home the importance of education to our students. This is an opportunity to provide them with the many paths available upon high school graduation – options that will greatly impact their lives and the future of Bullitt County.”
Officials at Bullitt Central High School will continue to work with seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage students to apply to at least one college or university.
In taking Close the Deal statewide, Lt. Gov. Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.
Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.
“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson will join local officials to launch Close the Deal at Lawrence County High School, on Oct. 22. He helped launch the program at Campbell County High School last week. Abramson said he is hopeful that additional high schools will join the program in the coming years.
For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.