Medical Leader | Photo by JESSICA HOWARD
PROJECT PROM: Pikeville Medical Center’s Trauma Department held an event at Jenkins Middle/High School to show students the dangers of distracted driving.

PIKEVILLE — On April 28, Pikeville Medical Center’s Trauma Department held Project Prom at Jenkins Middle/High School to help teach students the importance of keeping their eyes and mind on the road when driving.

PMC Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Scott Suttles said, “The death rate from car crashes in Kentucky (23.2 per 100,000) is higher than that of the national average (12.9 per 1,000). At Pikeville Medical Center, we hope to decrease the overall death rate by providing trauma care for patients who are severely injured.”

At 1pm, Jenkins Middle/High School Students, along with their teachers, gathered to watch their peers in a real-life scenario of what can happen when driving distracted.

In the scenario, five students were driving to the prom when they decided to take a selfie. They unbuckled their seat belts and gathered around the driver for the picture. While taking the selfie, the driver crossed the center lane colliding with another vehicle head on.  The second vehicle had two more students who were also traveling to prom driving 70 miles per hour.

The crash resulted in one student being killed after her body was thrown 50 feet from the vehicle, one student suffering from a major head trauma and paralysis from the chest down, and another student having an arm amputated.

Two students needed to be flown by medical helicopters to the nearest trauma center and the other four students were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

PMC Trauma Outreach and Injury Prevention Coordinator Jackie Caudill said, “Current data shows that distracted driving is a bigger problem than people once thought,  and  as our society becomes more focused around technology, the problem will continue to increase. Hopefully, this event opened students’ eyes and helped them understand how deadly distracted driving can be. As Jenkins and other surrounding High School students approach Prom season, we hope they will remember this mock car crash and in turn make wiser decisions when behind the wheel of a car.”

Kentucky State Police Jody Sims, said, “Distracted driving is anything that takes your minds and eyes off the road.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ‘driving distraction is the leading cause of most crashes. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent  of near-crashes involve some sort of distraction within three seconds of the event taking place.  In 2014, there were 53,500 crashes reported that resulted in 14,000 injuries and 169 fatalities, all of which were related to distracted driving.’”

Many community leaders and students participated in the event.

PMC and Jenkins High School would like to give a special thanks to the students who volunteered their time to be victims in the mock event, including: Dylan Bentley, Brittany Sexton, Whitney McCall, McKenzie Gibson, John Holyfield, Ted Allen and Katie DePriest. 

PIKEVILLE — May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center encourages everyone to take precautions when going outdoors this summer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year more than 3.5 million new cases are diagnosed and nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.

There are two different types of skin cancer: non-melanoma and melanoma. Melanoma is considered to be more serious, with one person dying from this diagnosis every 57 minutes.

Even though these statistics are alarming, there are many steps people can take to protect themselves and their family.

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds. To help prevent skin cancer, it is recommended to adhere to the following:

•Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

•Do not burn.

•Avoid tanning outdoors and using UV tanning booths. New high pressure sunlamps used in tanning salons emit ray doses are as much as 12 times that of the sun.

•Cover up. Thick fabric and bright/dark colored clothing provide the best defense.

•Use broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.

•Apply sunscreen over entire body 30 minutes before going outside.

•Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming/excessive sweating.

•Keep newborns out of direct sunlight. Babies are very susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects because they do not have enough melanin (the skin’s pigment that provides some sun protection). Sunscreens should be used on babies six months old and older

•Examine your skin from head to toe every month for any changes or new spots

•See a physician every year for a professional skin exam. This is especially important for people with fair skin, light eyes and hair and those with personal/family history of skin cancer.

If you notice any of the following cancer signs when examining your skin, seek medical attention immediately:

•A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode or bleed

•An open sore that does not heal in two weeks

•A skin growth, mole, beauty mark or brown spot that changes color or appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black or multicolored; changes in texture; increases in size or thickness; is asymmetrical; is irregular in outline or border; is bigger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser); or appears after age 21.

A free skin cancer screening is set for this September at Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center.

More information will be announced at a later date.


Theodore Thelmer Colley, better known as “T.T.,” passed away just before noon on Wednesday, April 15 at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) at age 88.

Colley was born on Aug. 21, 1926 in Esco, Ky. After graduating from Virgie High School, he joined the Navy at age 18 and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla.  Following his military stint, he attended Eastern Kentucky University but dropped out after two years to work in the coal business. 

Colley’s mother, the late Elizabeth Branham Colley Baker, guided him in personal and business matters. With her influence, he decided to finish college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Transylvania University in 1955. He was proud of his connection to the university and was a donor and supporter throughout his lifetime.

Upon receiving his degree, he returned to Pike County and immediately began a teaching career. He taught economics and history at Virgie High School in 1955 and Pikeville High School in 1956.

He once again started working in the coal business while teaching, putting in many long days. He once described that time as “very tough.” After purchasing the coal company for which he worked from Tom Lucas, Colley ended his teaching career. He went on to own and operate several coal companies throughout his career.

In 1957, he established Colley Block Company, a business he operated for 35 years. He coined the advertising slogan “Colley Blocks are Best.” Hand-painted signs and buildings displaying signs for Colley Blocks could be found on roadsides throughout the area.

He built and operated the Colley Motel for many years and owned interest in hotels in Daytona Beach, Fla. He developed Colley Hills Subdivision, just south of Pikeville, in addition to other land projects. He also invested in radio stations, including WPKE in 1964.

In addition to being an educator, a coal operator and a business leader, Colley was a political force in the area. An active member of the Democratic Party, he spent two terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives (1959-1963) for the 93rd District. He was Pike County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) from 1970-1986.

He followed local, state and national elections and supported numerous political candidates. He helped Martha Layne Collins become the first female governor of Kentucky and was a supporter and longtime friend of Gov./Senator Wendell Ford. Other friends in the political world included Carl D. Perkins and Governors Happy Chandler, Bert T. Combs and Wallace Wilkinson.

Colley brought his knowledge and business skills to different Boards and agencies.  He served on the Pike County Housing Authority for seven years.  Understanding the importance of tourism, he served on the Board of the Breaks Interstate Park for six years.  He continued his commitment to higher education by serving on the Board of Trustees of Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tenn. 

He served 25 years on the Board of Directors of Pikeville Medical Center, bringing his expertise to the Buildings and Grounds Committee. A loyal supporter of the hospital, he actively solicited gifts for the organization.  He came to his last Board meeting on March 17, even though his health was failing. The Board gave him a standing ovation for his commitment and dedication. 

Colley was also a loyal and longtime member of the Pikeville United Methodist Church.

“T.T. Colley was well known throughout our region,” said PMC President/CEO Walter E. May. “He was raised and worked in Pike County, a place he loved dearly. T.T. and I were friends for many years. T.T. passed during one of his favorite events – Hillbilly Days. He loved the festival and made a point to always attend the festivities.  When he was no longer able to walk through the downtown area, he made sure he had a golf cart to take him through the town so he could see old friends. T. T. was truly one of a kind and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Colley is survived by two children: Teddy Colley and Cam Colley of Pikeville; four grandchildren: Rachel (Matt) Dotson of Pikeville, Colley Stevens of Orlando, Fla., Elizabeth Stevens of Washington, D.C., and Mitchell Colley of Lexington, Ky.; and one great-grandchild: Huxley Scott Dotson of Pikeville.  Also special to Colley was his godchild, Maria Musgrave; personal assistant Roger Dale Caudill; caregivers Buffie S. Johnson, Jean Adkins, Cheryl Hall and Diane Thacker; and secretary of 34 years Diana Lenox.

PIKEVILLE  Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

This marks the third consecutive year the stroke center has earned this honor.

“Pikeville Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines — Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said PMC Neurologist and Stroke Center Medical Director Dr. Naveed Ahmed. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates its commitment to ensuring our patients receive care based on internationally — respected clinical guidelines.”

Dr. Ahmed continued, “This award is a great honor and is only possible by the dedication of our stroke team and continued support of PMC’s administration. I would like to personally thank President and CEO Mr. Walter E. May, COO Juanita Deskins, the Board of Directors, Neurologist Dr. Sujata Gutti, Neurosurgeons Dr. Duane Densler and Dr. Norman Mayer, our excellent Emergency Room and 7A/Stroke Unit staff and Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Turner for their daily commitment to providing quality stroke care to our patients.”

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Turner.  “Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center staff is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal.”

Pikeville Medical Center has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

“We are pleased to recognize the Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get with the Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools.

Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall health care costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. 

Medical Leader | Photo by MARY MEADOWS
THRILL-SEEKER: Pikeville Medical Center Public Relations Specialist Jessica Howard  sails on one of eight ziplines offered on the White Lightning Zipline canopy tour in Pikeville.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of WHITE LIGHTNING ZIPLINE
PREPARING TO ZIPLINE: Members of the media pose for a picture prior to taking a ride on the White Lightning Zipline on April 16.

PIKEVILLE — People who walk the trail at Bob Amos or visit the park’s walking track will likely hear more than just the birds calling from trees.

They’ll also hear White Lightning Zipline patrons screaming with excitement as they zip down the hillside.

The zipline opened April 16, the first day of the Hillbilly Days Festival, and has since been packed with adventure-seekers who are eager to experience it.

The White Lightning Zipline is one of many attractions the city has implemented and/or supported at Bob Amos Park and throughout the city over the past several years as a way of improving the quality of life for local residents and providing activities for people to enjoy while visiting Pikeville.

“I’m eastern Kentucky, born and raised, and to see the progress that’s been made in the city over the last 10 years is something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime,” Pikeville Administrator of Operations Sean Cochran said. “It makes me very proud.”

With eight lines, the zipline has approximately 6,500 feet of total length, zig-zagging its way from platform to platform on Bob Amos mountain to the zipline headquarters located behind the park’s walking track. The longest zipline is about 1,000 feet, and the canopy tour also includes two hanging platforms and a swinging bridge for patrons to cross.

White Lightning Zipline staff members Justin Fields and Morgan Adkins took the inaugural group of zip liners out on the first official zipline canopy tour on opening day.

This group of guests — representatives from local media outlets — expressed both excitement and fear as they each took their turns on the zipline.

And that’s the beauty of the adventure, Adkins explained.

“It’s pretty typical to find people who are excited and people who are scared to ride the zipline in the same group,” she said.

“Saturday, we had this girl who was so scared we had to talk her into going, then midway down the zipline, she loved it. She was saying that she wished she hadn’t been so scared for the first few ziplines.”

“It’s a good feeling to see someone come in like that who is scared then after getting the hang of it, become excited about it and start enjoying it,” Adkins said.

Adkins also works as a bar manager at the Blue Raven Restaurant.

“It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun. It’s exercise. I love working here,” she said. “I didn’t even take this job to make money. I applied because I knew it would be fun.”

The zipline canopy tour guides ride the zipline prior to the start of tours, and they also ride down the zipline with patrons.

They worked 12 hours on the zipline Saturday, Adkins said, because so many people were anxious to ride.

“It’s awesome to have a zipline in this area,” she said. “I never imaged Pikeville having a zipline.”

Canopy tour patrons park near the walking track and are shuttled to the start of the zipline on the mountainside.

The first zipline is shorter and closer to the ground than the other ziplines so that guests can work their courage up to ride the longer ziplines as the tour continues down the mountain.

“It’s not what you think it is,” Cochran said. “It’s just like I tell people with kayaking, come out and try it and you’ll see that it’s not as scary as what you think it is. It really is just good fun.”

All safety gear is provided for White Lightning Zipline patrons, and staff members offer safety tips and assistance throughout the canopy tour.

“We’ve got some great staff members,” Cochran said. “They’re fun. They’re professional. But, most importantly, safety is number one.”

The weight limit for the zipline is 250 pounds and children between the ages of eight and 14 who weigh at least 70 pounds may experience it.

For a limited time, the city is offering a grand opening special, discounting rides for adults from $45 to $29 and rides for children from $31 to $25. Tax is not included.

The city is also offering discounted rates for those who would like to take the Zip, Paddle & Saddle tour. It has been cut from $99 to $69 for adults and from $85 to $65 for children.

The White Lightning ZipLine is open at Bob Amos Park at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, at 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, and at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It is closed for inspection and maintenance on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

For details or to purchase tickets, visit More information may also be available on the Visit Pikeville Facebook page.

Medical Leader | Photos by MEDICAL LEADER STAFF
PATIENT CARE: Pikeville Medical Center phlebotomists draw blood from patients for testing.

CRUCIAL SERVICE: Pikeville Medical Center laboratory staff often work behind the scenes to provide crucial services to patients.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) joins hospitals across the country in observing Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 19 - 25.

Clinical laboratory science professionals play a key role in the diagnosis and prevention of diseases. Laboratory staff usually work behind the scenes but are essential to quality patient care. 

“I am very proud of our department,” PMC Laboratory Director Carolyn Johnson said. “The lab is accredited by the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Accreditation Program, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ for laboratory accreditation.”

As PMC has grown, so has the laboratory, which is located on the second floor of the Elliott building next to the May Tower entrance, in the PMC Outpatient Diagnostic Center and the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center.  The lab has 39 full-time and three part-time medical technologists/medical laboratory technicians, 27 full-time and five part-time phlebotomists, four full-time Histotechnologists and two full-time pathologists.

 “Laboratory volumes have increased dramatically,” Johnson said.  “Over 102,801 tests were performed in the month of January alone. This compares to 80,771 done in the same period in 2012.”

Specialty areas of laboratory medicine include transfusion services, clinical chemistry, clinical immunology, hematology and clinical microbiology.

Medical decisions can be a direct result of lab test data.  Growth in new testing areas are on the rise, resulting in faster turn-around for physicians allowing patient treatment to begin quicker.

In December, the lab began testing on positive blood cultures that allows identification of organisms in about an hour, rather than the 48 hours it previously took. Lab staff are also considering implementing additional gastrointestinal panel testing that would detect 22 common gastrointestinal pathogens like viruses, bacteria and parasites. If implemented, this system would also bring results to physicians in about an hour.

Work is being done toward in-house testing of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae.  The results would be available to physicians in about 90 minutes.  Johnson said that having these tests available would be especially important to patients in the Emergency Department and managing patients who may not return for treatment.

The lab is also moving closer to testing HIV patients in house with initial results available to the physician on the same day of ordering.

The lab is expected to double in size with construction planned to begin in August.

“Many of our technicians have more than 25 years of service,” said Johnson.  “The field is consistently changing and the laboratory will change with it to meet the needs of our patients and physicians.”

For more information, call 606-218-3500. To schedule an appointment, call 606-218-1000.

PIKEVILLE — The East Kentucky Leadership Foundation’s 28th Annual Conference is underway in Pikeville.

The event, sponsored by Pikeville Medical Center, brings leaders together to discuss and share ideas.

It began April 23 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center, with roundtable discussions on various topics, a reception and an awards ceremony featuring Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen as guest speaker.

The conference continues today in the Record Memorial Building at the University of Pikeville with the following items on the agenda:

•7:30 a.m.: Registration; continental breakfast, Booth lobby

•8:15 a.m.: Welcome by UPIKE Interim President Paul E. Patton, Pike County Judge-Executive William Deskins and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter.

•8:30 a.m.: Opening session, “Youth on the Move: Growing in the Economy, Race to the Top Students,” will be held in the Booth Auditorium

•9:30 a.m.; 11 a.m.: Concurrent sessions on entrepreneurship, alternative job opportunities, tech-based entrepreneurship, health care opportunities and “youthful ideas” on growing the economy

•12:30 a.m.: Luncheon at the Expo Center will feature Shaping Our Appalachian Region Director Jared Arnett as keynote speaker

More information about the conference will be published in next week’s Medical Leader. For details, visit

Medical Leader | FILE PHOTO
RAISING AWARENESS: Hundreds of people marched through Pikeville during the 2014 autism walk.

Local residents have the opportunity to walk to raise awareness about autism this weekend.

Pike County Judge/Executive William M. Deskins and the Pike County Fiscal Court proclaimed April 25 as Autism Awareness Day in Pike County during a recent meeting.

The proclamation was read by Deputy Judge/Executive Brian Morris following Irene Sturgeon’s address to the Fiscal Court announcing the 7th Annual East Kentucky Autism Awareness Walk scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, April 25, at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

A free Autism Awareness T-shirt, lunch and music will be provided for all participants. The Autism Awareness walk is sponsored by the Pike County Fiscal Court, Pikeville and a large number of other civic groups and individuals.

“Be a voice for the families affected by autism and join in the activities to help raise awareness of this growing problem among our nation’s children and adults,” Sturgeon said. “Autistic children are like snowflakes. They’re all different.”

Autism, a lifelong developmental disorder that affects a person’s brain development, social interactions and ability to communicate, affects children and adults throughout the world.

The most recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in 68 American children are born with autism, though most people know very little about the diagnosis.

By raising public awareness of the increasing numbers of those diagnosed with autism and to show support for autistic individuals and their families, county and city officials hope to educate residents about what it means to be diagnosed with autism.

Tax deductible donations should be made payable to the Pike County Fiscal Court, 146 Main Street, Pikeville, KY 41501.

For more information, contact Jeanne Robinson at 606-432-6247 or 606-432-6395.

The Class of 2000 ushered in a new era for PHS. 

The district’s board of education, led by Regald Smith, Chairman, Ann Carty, Dr. Tom Hartsock, Dr. Mark Myers and Mike McCoy, worked with Superintendent Howard Wallen Jr., PHS Principal Gilbert Shely and PES Principal Jerry Waddell.

In this year, the PHS library was dedicated to Charles Spears, former principal, who stated that “Education came first.” 

In 2000, there were 16 sets of twins within the Pikeville Independent School District!

In 2001, PHS decided not to have a valedictorian or salutatorian.  Instead, students were grouped in rank of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, and this decision lasted until the end of 2004. 

Pikeville Independent got a new leader in 2002, current Superintendent Jerry Green stepped into his current role that year. 

In 2002, PHS’s Academic Team placed first in the state All “A” Classic Academic tournament.  Coach McNamee was honored as the Appalachian New-Express Pike County Football Coach of the Year, and baseball coach, Chris Lawson was vote the ANE Pike County Baseball Coach of the Year.  

PHS entered the first-ever season on the soccer field on the varsity level, led by Coach Calvin Wheat.  Coach Hillard Howard was honored by the Pikeville City Commission by naming the new artificial surfaced football field, Howard Field. 

Pikeville High School, in 2003, mourned the loss of a former student and football standout, Brent Coleman.  Brent shined on the football field and still holds two school records. A full military funeral was held at the Pikeville High School Alumni Auditorium. His service in Iraq, and to his country, will not be forgotten.

In 2004, the Alumni Association and Pikeville Independent Board of Education, in a joint venture broke ground for the Pikeville Veterans Memorial and Outdoor Classroom at Pikeville High School. The Veterans Memorial was to be erected outside of the Alumni Auditorium and dedicated that same year.  The memorial was constructed in honor of PHS, Perry A. Cline, and Pikeville Academy alumni, faculty, and staff who served America during times of war. 

The girls’ golf team, under first year coach, Karla Corbin, grabbed its first trip to the State Tournament in 2005.  This same year, PHS and PES underwent improvements that updated the look of the buildings and enhanced safety and efficiency.

After 30 years of service to PHS, Wayne Ray retired. He served as head of maintenance for 27 years and then went to buildings and grounds to finish his tenure.  Green described Ray as “Mr. Pikeville High School.”  

That same year, the new administration building, on Second Street, was named for longtime Superintendent John Waddell and Dustin Combs joined Pikeville Elementary as Principal. 

“You can tell this is a work in progress,” says Ann Carty, of the new Maroon and White Room at PHS. The Maroon and White Room is a labor of love to house all things PHS! The souvenirs and memorabilia on display were collected and donated by families and friends of PHS.  

In 2008, PHS was named in the top 1,600 high schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.  Pikeville High School was named Bronze Medal School by the magazine in its 2008 listing.  Twenty one schools in Kentucky received Bronze Medals. 

“We’re proud of both our kids and our staff,” said Principal, Royce Mayo. 

Ernie Johnson was such an important part of PHS and the community as well. Students, teachers and community leaders mourned the loss of Ernie when he lost his life in a car accident returning from a ball game in 2008.

 ABC News brought 20/20 to PES in 2008 to film a segment about the DARE program facilitated by Anthony Conn, a Pikeville Policeman.  

The baseball teams won district titles in 2009 and 2010. The boys’ Varsity cheerleaders won three state KAPOS championships; a record for cheerleaders at PHS!  In 2011, the Varsity cheerleaders won the state title again! 

In 2011, Pikeville Independent became a District of Distinction.  Students must have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on the assessment to qualify. 

Senior class accomplishments for 2011 included: 88 graduates earned $2 million in scholarships, six were Governor’s Scholars, one attended the Governor’s School of the Arts, eight were Booth Scholars, one graduate earned a perfect ACT score, two graduates earned perfect SAT math scores, the district ranked 12th in the state for class ranking and students completed 630 college credit hours completed! 

Lights, camera, action!  The multimedia classes provided students with fundamental procedures in producing a school news show called Panther Power Hour.  This endeavor proved to be one of the most successful and enjoyable outlets for creativity from students. 

Jessica Casebolt, a 2011 graduate of PHS, was crowned Miss Kentucky, a first time honor for a PHS graduate!

2013 brought regional championships to the Lady Panthers soccer team, the Panther boys soccer team, the PHS Boys basketball team All “A” Classic, FBLA teams and Pikeville Elementary Academic Team.

In 2014, the Panther Band, under the direction of Dr. Scott Bersaglia, earned many All District and All County honors.  As a whole, the band received straight distinguished ratings at the performance assessment. 

The PHS Jr. Chef team, under the supervision of Kelly Scott, won the 15th Region title, and the Jr. High Cheerleaders won the KAPOS State title.  

As Pikeville Independent enters the 100th year, the High Schools began the new school year with a new, yet seasoned, principal David Thomas. 

Thomas has been at Pikeville High School for 27 years.  

Just recently, the Pikeville Junior High Cheerleaders won the National Title in Orlando, Florida, a huge accomplishment for all of their hard work. 

Congratulations to all of those Panthers who have brought honor and respect to Pikeville High School.  The story really doesn’t end here. It will be continued.

Editor’s note: Pikeville Independent School will host its 100-year reunion on July 30-Aug. 1, 2015. This is the 10th in a series of monthly articles that explore the history of the school. This article, focused on the school in the 2000s, was taken from articles written by Mary Lynn Linton Hauss for the Pikeville High School history since 1996.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class

BELFRY – Future Sailor Jacob Hatfield was the first sailor in the U.S. to join the Navy through Navy Recruiting District Ohio’s Virtual Recruiting Division.

The Navy is utilizing VRDs to reduce travel cost and optimize recruiter productivity, while still providing access to Navy Recruiters in remote areas.

Hatfield, a 2014 graduate of Belfry High School, is scheduled to go to boot camp May 19. From there, he is scheduled to attend Culinary Specialist “A” School.

Hatfield chose the Navy because the opportunities the Navy offered were more aligned with his goals than the other branches of service. These opportunities include the ability to attend college.

Hatfield said, “My family was aware of my choice to join the Navy. They were supportive and proud that I made a choice to better my life.”

Hatfield spoke to Yeoman 2nd Class Lisa Adkins, a Navy Recruiting District Ohio recruiter, who told him about the VRD. NRS Huntington is part of NRD Ohio’s Division 9 which is undergoing the pilot for the Navy’s VRD.

Hatfield said, “I was aware that I was the first future sailor to be recruited in the Virtual Recruiting Division. I think it is pretty awesome.”

Adkins said, “The program (referring to the VRD pilot program) is in the early stages. As with any new program, there are going to be challenges. Once a recruiter has gone through the initial contact, putting together prescreens and getting that person contracted, it seems to be an easy process as far as paperwork is concerned.”

According to Chief Navy Counselor Dominic Robinett, NRD Ohio VRD Leading Chief Petty Officer, the reduction in drive times to remote locations has allowed recruiters to focus on a smaller radius, which has improved recruiters’ morale and time management.

Robinett said, “I met with him face-to-face after he joined the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to introduce myself and the VRD process and requirements. Mentoring is mainly over phone at least twice a week to ensure he is still getting the same training needed to prepare him for Recruit Training Command (RTC).”

Though contact is primarily over the phone they also use programs such as Skype to maintain contact with the future sailors.

Robinett said, “Navy Recruiting is adapting and taking advantage of the new technological era we live in today. I feel that this is not only going to save money for the Navy, it can increase productivity through more efficient operations.”

Robinett stated that it has been a learning curve to identify best practices and reduce as many shortfalls as possible and that the support of the Chain of Command and the flexibility of headquarters staff personnel has been key to their success.