Another $2.5 million in matching funds from the UofL Foundation will complement the Oxley gift, which is the largest private gift in the CEHD history.

Five Jefferson County Public Schools will share in the benefits including The Academy @ Shawnee, Westport Middle and Atkinson, Cochran and Portland elementary schools. All are part of UofL’s Signature Partnership Initiative, a program launched in 2007 to improve quality of life for residents in west Louisville.

The gift was announced Nov. 7 at a news conference. Watch the video here.

The combined Oxley and UofL Foundation gifts will provide:

  • Summer enrichment for at-risk students.
  • Professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • Support for JCPS teachers to pursue National Board Certification, a process that can take one to three years and cost more than $2,000. Those who gain certification must agree to remain at the school for at least three more years.
  • An intensive, clinical education program that pairs student teachers with experienced mentors as they work collaboratively to customize learning plans for each student.
  • Expansion of a Teacher in Residence program where experts in urban education are hired as a resource for other teachers.

“This extraordinary gift allows us to do even more to train outstanding teachers. It will expand our nationally recognized clinical model of teacher preparation and provide other opportunities for teachers to meet the needs of at-risk youth,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

“It is an honor and a privilege for JCPS to participate in the Signature Partnership Initiative,” JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said.  “The investment in our teachers and students from the Mary K. Oxley Foundation and the UofL Foundation is an exceptional and invaluable contribution to our district’s mission.”

Debby Oxley, a trustee for the Mary K. Oxley Foundation, and her husband John “Jack” Oxley are longtime public education advocates who indicated that they wanted to invest in a program giving disadvantaged students a leg up.

“Jack and I really like UofL’s Signature Partnership program and it seemed like an ideal vehicle to help Louisville-area schools with the greatest need,” said Debby Oxley, who is also a UofL graduate.

 The $5 million gift renews and expands programs initially funded by the Oxleys in 2010 with a $1 million donation.

“The initial gift from four years ago has yielded truly impressive results,” said CEHD Dean Ann Larson. “For example, the schools have had less teacher turnover, significant jumps in student achievement and more than 20 teachers have gone through the national certification process. We are thrilled we will be able to continue this good work.”

Cindy Hess
Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.