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Kelsey Berryman named UP Center director

Kelsey Berryman

Kelsey Berryman will guide the Nelson County Area Technology Center through its evolution from a high-school centered vocational mission to the UP Center, a centerpiece for workforce development in the region that will expand its mission to comprise grades K-12 as well as adult education and workforce training.

Berryman was announced as the Director of the UP Center for Nelson County Schools Thursday.

Berryman said she will focus on continuing the important education already taking place at the ATC while building out its mission over the next several years.

“I am just energized by the opportunities that the ATC currently has for students, thinking about connecting students with real partners, real hands-on work in the industries, and then thinking about what it's going to look like five years down the road, when we look at the UP Center and how it will grow exponentially to have more impact than we can imagine,” Berryman said.

Berryman has focused on education systems for the past two years as the NCS Director of Innovation. In that role she partners with backpack leaders, literacy specialists and principals to develop instructional design and building learning experiences with an eye toward leveraging community opportunities for students to make authentic contributions.

This year the Kentucky General Assembly appropriated $10 million in state funding to renovate the facility and expand its workforce development scope to include adult education and developing additional partnerships with private-sector employers. That expansion will entail re-envisioning the possibilities of how the public school system can strengthen and partner with the local economy.

The ATC currently serves about 500 students from NCS as well as Bardstown City Schools, LaRue County Schools and private schools with programs offering preparation for the work force ranging from aerospace and automotive technology to health science and IT. 

“As we thought about the future vision of the UP Center, we knew it would take a strong instructional leader experienced with building collaborative systems with both teachers and community partners,” said Laura Arnold, director for workforce development with Nelson County Schools. “Kelsey has focused on creating innovative experiences for learners through her work with the district, and knows how to bring partners together to leverage their gifts to the benefit of students.”

Misty Roller is the community relations lead for the ATC and was a member of the selection committee. She feels Berryman has the experience and knowledge to move the center into the future.

“Mrs. Berryman’s passion for education and community, and the experience she brings to the table with regard to the instructional design process, is exactly what the school needs as we reimagine learning here at the UP Center,’ she said.

Berryman’s new role will include building new programs that instill skills to ready graduates to enter the workforce.

“Kelsey has great innovative ideas to team up with both community and business partners as far as to advance education not only for high school students but also the adult learners in our community,” said Shelly Bell, a human resources manager with Orbis who also served on the selection committee. “From the workforce perspective, it's not just finding candidates, but finding the right candidates that have the skills that we need to take us into the next evolution of manufacturing.” 

“I feel that I could speak for other organizations and manufacturers within the community that we're happy to continue and extend this relationship that we have with the ATC.”

The UP Center is in the process of working with area employers and industry to align its current and future programs with local needs. The $10 million expansion will include renovating and expanding the facility originally built in the 1960s. The addition of a diesel mechanic program is one of several programs currently under consideration. The Nelson County Board of Education and the UP Center Foundation recently hosted two discussion sessions with employers and is actively seeking public input  from the private sector on future workforce needs.

Berryman will assume the role effective July 1.


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