The Rise of Fairdale

I am happy to be living in Fairdale. And I am noticing a real rise in our community.

Fairdale, KY 40118 is a small community in the southwest corner of Louisville. Many Louisville citizens may not be familiar with Fairdale, perhaps just hearing about it from a distance.
Fairdale does possess two great well-known attractions: 1) Jefferson Memorial Forest and 2) The King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic Basketball tournament. While for years, these two showcases were the rare highlights of Fairdale, in recent months and years there is increasingly more and more to celebrate in Fairdale.

In any community, the schools and the sports are two of the most important factors. Here is what I see happening in Fairdale.

SCHOOLS

Fairdale High School – Fairdale High School is quickly becoming one of the more prized schools in Jefferson County. This has not always been the case. As recently as 2010, Fairdale was among the bottom in high school test score rankings. But those days are long gone. Since the superb leadership of Principal Brad Weston began in July 2011, Fairdale has continued to improve and impress.
According to the very recent test scores released by the state in the Courier-Journal, Fairdale High School has improved again. So much so, that Principal Weston was interviewed by the news.

Here is the Courier-Journal’s interview with Fairdale Principal Brad Weston concerning their consistently improving test scores.

In 2011 when Principal Weston began, F.H.S. ranked in the bottom 3% in the state of KY. The next year 2012, they had improved to the 13th percentile. By 2013, they had climbed to the 36th percentile. And in these most recent results, they are currently ranked in the top 55% of the state. That is remarkable progress! This marks the first time EVER that Fairdale High School is in the top half of the state!

Also, Fairdale High School was just recently recognized as one of only 9 schools in the state for “Best Practices” with their FLEX program.

Also, Fairdale High School is the only school in the state of Kentucky that is a Cambridge International School.

Also, Fairdale High School was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a 2013 Best High School.

Also, it is worth noting that Fairdale High School is repeatedly the “Cleanest High School in JCPS.”  What an honor to the staff, faculty, students and custodial staff! Anyone who gets to spend any time on the campus or in the building of Fairdale High School will walk away impressed.

For more news and info on the success of Fairdale High School, you can follow Brad Weston on twitter at @PrincipalFHS 

Fairdale Elementary School – Fairdale Elementary School is a part of the International/Cultural Studies and Language Magnet Program. The diversity of the student body is one of the shining highlights of Fairdale Elementary.

When the test scores were released recently,  Fairdale had made great strides academically.

For more news and info on Fairdale Elementary School, you can follow the school on twitter at @FESBBDAWGS

Coral Ridge Elementary School – Coral Ridge Elementary School has been known for years as one of the best elementary schools in JCPS. The amount of commitment from Fairdale community members make Coral Ridge consistent and dependable.

When the test scores were released recently, Coral Ridge was recognized for having exceeded their goal!

For more news and info on Coral Ridge Elementary School, you can follow the school on twitter at @coral_ridge


SPORTS

Fairdale High School has a very rich basketball history. Fairdale is one of only 2 schools ever in the state of Kentucky to win back-to-back state championships. Fairdale won back-to-back titles in 1990-1991. They won it again in 1994. Three state championships in one decade is remarkable! A few years ago cn2 did a TV special on this team. You can check that out here.  Legendary coaches like Stan Hardin and Lloyd Gardner brought a lot of success in athletics to Fairdale.

Also, as mentioned above, Fairdale is home to the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic basketball tournament. This national long-time-running tournament is one of the more well-known hoops tournaments in the country.

But beyond basketball, Fairdale has seen little success in sports. Until recently.

After losing 15 straight games in football, Fairdale High School has turned it around. Second year Coach Matt Wright, a Fairdale graduate and current teacher at the school, has the football program rolling. They have won 4 games in a row. They are leading the district. And they are still improving.  WDRB news channel was recently out to report on this success in football.

And then the Courier-Journal/USA Today High School Sports released this article on the turn-around in Fairdale football.

Just half-way through the season, the Fairdale community is already buzzing about the momentum and energy surrounding the football team.

Other Fairdale High School sports are excelling as well. To name a few: Fairdale Soccer won the District Championship in 2012 and advanced to the regional final. The soccer program is strong and competitive every season. Last season, Fairdale baseball posted their first winning season in many years. Expectations going into this season are very high! Last year, Fairdale was very proud of Tia Weston as she was the state track champion in the women’s 800m. State champions are very rare!

Fairdale Youth League. Moving beyond the high school and into the community, the Fairdale Youth League has done a complete turnaround. Under the leadership of new League President Neil Johnstone, the Fairdale Youth League is serving and impacting more kids and families now than ever before.

The summer involvement numbers for t-ball, baseball and softball were way up. Then to everyone’s delight, the “Fall Ball” numbers exploded with over 260 kids participating.

When speaking with those who run the league they went on and on with the countless upgrades and improvements the league has made. New fences, improved landscaping, an emphasis on cleanliness, and a positive-friendly environment are just some of the recognizable changes happening.

The Fairdale community is now greatly benefitting from the quality of the Fairdale Youth League. The days of Fairdale families going outside the Fairdale community to find quality schools and sports leagues are gone. I am not only thankful but very excited about the rise of Fairdale!

COMMUNITY

Many local businesses in Fairdale are currently thriving. Dairy Queen, Shack-in-the-Back BBQ and The Floral Grind: Florist & Coffee Shop (just to name a few) contribute a tremendous amount to the community.

In 2011, Fairdale Fire Department Chief, Don Wittry, published a book on the history of Fairdale. This book is dear to Fairdale citizens, and Chief Wittry’s efforts are another example  of renewed devotion to the Fairdale community.

In 2012, the city built Fairdale a brand-new state-of-the-art Public Library. It is a beautiful building, and we are proud to have it here.

Just this week, WDRB aired this report on Fairdale citizen and Louisville Metro Police Officer Tyler Holland. Quality people like him living in Fairdale is encouraging and strengthening to our community.

Our church, FBC Fairdale, recognizes the fresh energy and effort going into the growth of this community. Over the past few years, our church is experiencing tremendous growth from all ages but especially among young people. We are aware that the next generation are the future, and therefore they must be our focus and priority.

As the pastor of our church and a long time citizen of Fairdale, I cannot be more excited about the rise of Fairdale. As I walk through the community and observe, I see the schools working hard  to impact Fairdale. I see the sports programs improving in so many areas. I see the local businesses desiring to “give back” to the community that supports them. And I especially see many adults wanting to make a good, positive, lasting difference in the lives of the young people. This is exciting! These things are exciting. And I am ready to lead our church to focus in on the community. It is our humble desire to love and serve the community of Fairdale well!

When the schools, the sports and the community are all making an effort to improve and contribute, then we have every reason to believe that Fairdale is on the rise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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