Kelly McIntosh: A Caring Connection with Students

educatorWhat’s the inspiration behind Kelly McIntosh’s newest club at Bourbon County High School? None other than Elvis Presley.

McIntosh, a math teacher for 20 years, is surrounded by Elvis fans at home. Her husband, Troy, adores the King and her son, Tristan (a self-taught guitar and saxophone player) first dressed up as Elvis for Halloween when he was 2.

Six years ago when Tristan was 8, the family visited Graceland. In Memphis, McIntosh realized the rich history of the city, returned to BCH and helped form the RISE Club, which stands for Real World Integrated

Study Enhancement.

Juniors and seniors can qualify for the club with good grades and attendance, solid test scores and no discipline issues. Club members meet with McIntosh and two other teachers once a month – mainly to plan fund-raisers to support an annual trip – Memphis one year, Charleston, S.C., the next.

“Both cities have so much history,” McIntosh said. “The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston.”

Mama Mac (as the students call her) connects with the students so well because of her involvement with school clubs. Besides working on RISE, she was the Prom Club sponsor for seven years and the yearbook advisor for five.

“It shows you care about things the kids are interested in,” she said, “and you see each student as a person.”

BCH Principal David Horseman said: “Kelly has such great passion for the students. She just cares so much.”

An innovator, McIntosh builds student skills through intervention and uses the new web-based Math 360 to keep students engaged. McIntosh is also a faculty leader. A Board Certified teacher studying for her principal certification, she was picked to lead the district’s new CIITS program. This on-line initiative is a way to teach teachers, providing lesson plans, professional development and assessment tools.

These are serious jobs held by a woman who takes education very seriously…but still has fun teaching.

“I like to keep things pretty light-hearted,” she said. “I treat all of the students like human beings and they appreciate that. It’s why they feel comfortable coming to me.”

And they just ask for Mama Mac.