The Innovation Hub

Excellence, Tradition & Pride Since 1864
building at night

The Innovation Hub

Real World Learning

The Innovation Hub grows talent for the region through immersive experiences 
in technology, trades, healthcare, river industry and more. 
HIgh School students from Paducah City, McCracken County, Graves County,
Livingston County as well as homeschool and private school students
are eligible to attend. 
For more information contact:
Steve Ybarzabal, Principal

Giving Opportunities

Join us in the Journey to Raise Up Our Future Workforce! 
This year's Paxton Challenge provides 3 ways to give towards programs at the Innovation Hub. 
Become an Industry Sponsor for Welding, Health Science, Carpentry,  Auto Technology or Auto Body.
Name a space in honor of a loved one or help us make afterschool activities available to all children with scholarship opportunities through our Donor Wall Champions Challenge.
Click on image below to be directed to our donations portal. Or contact Steve Ybarzabal 270.444.6592 

Virtual Tour January 2020


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Growing Future Workforce for the New Economy


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In The News

Corbin Snardon

Snardon Named Assistant Principal at Paducah Innovation Hub

Corbin Snardon has been named assistant principal of the Paducah Innovation Hub.

Snardon is currently interim assistant principal at Paducah Middle School. He began teaching at Paducah Middle in 2011 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Social Studies from Western Kentucky University. While at Paducah Middle he taught sixth grade geography and eighth grade history.  He served on the School Based Decision Making Council for five years and was facilitator for the School Lighthouse Leadership Team for two years. He was a finalist for the Ashland Inc. Kentucky Teacher of the Year in 2015.
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Michael Sanders A and K

Sanders Secures Internship with A&K Construction

Paducah Tilghman’s Michael Sanders has secured a paid internship with A and K construction of Paducah. Mr. Joshua Kowalczik,Sr., Director of Field Operations/General Superintendent for A&K Construction, Inc. reported that Michael will complete his orientation today and begin working for the firm on Monday, February 24th. Michael will spend his morning at PTHS completing requirements for his senior year and his afternoons on the job applying the skills he learning in various CTE courses.

Michael aced multiple construction/carpentry courses such as Intro to Construction Technologies, Exterior and Interior Finish, and Intro to Engineering during his time at PTHS. He will begin as a carpenter’s assistant/laborer.

Earlier in the year, Joel Crider, Workforce Coordinator, and Chris Nelson, Executive Vice President of Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky met with Michael to discuss a possible future in the field of construction technologies. It looks like Michael is on his way to a very successful career.
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Brennan Larimer Welding Student of the Week

PTHS student building career on grandfather's welding tools

by David Snow
The Paducah Sun
February 21, 2020
Used with permission.

Brennan Larimer transferred from Marshall County High School to Paducah Tilghman High School in the school year after the horrific shooting at the former school. Now, the high school senior is settling in to a potential career in welding.

The second-year welding student at the Paducah Area Technical Center is this week's Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week.

Larimer has taken several classes in the area technical centers at Marshall County and Paducah Tilghman high schools.

"My freshman year, I was in construction, actually, at Marshall County," he said. "My sophomore year, they gave me a choice of construction or welding, so I chose welding to see if I liked that instead.

"After (the shooting) happened, I chose welding again for my junior year, and that's when I really started liking it and practicing a lot more."

Larimer transferred to Paducah Tilghman in October of his junior year. Part of the reason was the school's welding program.

Larimer's welding instructor, Brandon Wilber, said his student is a class leader through his actions.
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Tim Franklin

Franklin Named Paducah Innovation Hub Makerspace Director

Paducah Middle educator Timothy Franklin has been named Director of the Paducah Innovation Hub Makerspace. As Makerspace Director, Franklin will manage and develop programs and services for K-12 students to encourage project-based learning, creative thinking, and the blending of art, academic disciplines, and career/technical education. Franklin will continue at Paducah Middle for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year and will begin his duties July 1, 2020.

“We are excited to welcome Tim Franklin as Makerspace Director,” said Will Black, Assistant Superintendent.  “He not only brings a wealth of knowledge as a former engineer and science teacher, but he is also an expert at engaging students of all ages in creative, hands-on exploration and problem solving.  This is the heart of Makerspace—allowing students and adults opportunities to learn about science, art, design, and career and technical opportunities through hands-on activities.”
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IH Panoramic View Screen Shot

Link: Innovation Hub Lobby Panoramic View

Here is a link to a panoramic view of the lobby interior of the Innovation Hub.  There's also a QR code included that you can scan with your phone for the same view.
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Steve Ybarzabal

Ybarzabal Named Principal of Paducah Area Technical Center

Clark Elementary principal Steve Ybarzabal has been named principal of the Paducah Area Technical Center, which will move into the Paducah Innovation Hub in fall of 2020. Ybarzabal will begin work at the Paducah Area Technical Center on October 14.

Ybarzabal has been an educator for 25 years and has been an administrator for 14 years. He has taught grades 5 – 12 and has taught in private, parochial, and public school settings. He began working for Paducah Public Schools in 2000 at PTHS, where he was a biology teacher, science chair, and volleyball coach. Ybarzabal moved to Clark Elementary to become assistant principal in 2006. He was named principal at Clark Elementary in 2011.

Ybarzabal earned his B.S. degree from Louisiana State University. He earned his M.A. in school administration and a Superintendent’s certificate from Murray State University. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in the MSU College of Education.

“While I’m sad to be leaving a tight-knit family of faculty and staff at Clark, I can leave knowing that they will continue building the solid foundation on which the educational future of our students rests,” said Ybarzabal. “I am eager to take on the challenge of leading the PATC and the Innovation Hub because I believe that it will provide me with the opportunity to have the greatest impact on students from our district and the region. I look forward to using my skills and experience to create an innovative learning experience for students.”

“We are pleased that Mr. Ybarzabal will be moving to the Paducah Area Technical Center to serve as principal,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Shively. “Mr. Ybarzabal has a proven track record of student success at Clark and Paducah Tilghman as a teacher and an administrator, and we look forward to the positive impact that he will have on our regional students, the faculty, and the staff at the PATC.

“As we anticipate the opening of the Paducah Innovation Hub next year, the hiring committee is confident that Mr. Ybarzabal will lead the way as we seek to work with regional business leaders to align the offerings at the Innovation Hub with workforce needs to ensure the opportunity for success for each and every student.”
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Innovation Hub will boost local vocational education

by David B. Snow
The Paducah Sun
July 17, 2018
Used with permission.
Back in the day, there were vocational schools that taught trades to students so they could be mechanics, carpenters, electricians, welders or other jobs they could gain right out of high school.

They learned through hands-on instruction at the school and gained experience by working at off-campus jobs.

Today, those schools are called area technical centers, and the level of instruction is much higher than it was a couple of decades ago. Students gain certification in their chosen fields, seek to join unions and compete on state and national levels through SkillsUSA to demonstrate their expertise.

The Paducah Independent School District is taking career preparation a huge step further with the construction of its Innovation Hub, which will replace the Paducah Area Technical Center.

The Innovation Hub is a $24.3 million project made possible through a $4.5 million state grant, $3.5 million in available PISD funds and $16.33 million in 20-year bonds sold by the Paducah Independent School District. 
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Innovation Hub will benefit area workforce

by David B. Snow
July 18, 2018
Used with permission.
The planned Innovation Hub at Paducah Tilghman High School will do more than meet the career needs of its students.
It will also help meet the needs of the workforce, especially in and around McCracken County.
The employee skill needs for businesses have been widely cited, especially in carpentry, welding, electrical and automotive areas. There are also needs in computer skills in some of those areas.
Monica Bilak is the workforce relations director for the Paducah Independent School District who has brought employers' needs to the Innovation Hub's design. She has also helped develop Sprocket, the maker space area at the Coke plant that allows people to take ideas and designs and turn them into reality through computer-aided design machines, 3-D printers and other technology. 
The Innovation Hub at PTHS will feature its own maker space, a large work area where students can apply what they learn to actually build and create using state-of-the-art tools including computer-aided design (CAD). 
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RIGHT IDEA Innovation hub at Tilghman is a well-timed investment

by Jim Paxton
The Paducah Sun 
June 22, 2018
Used with permission.
People who invest in mutual funds routinely encounter disclaimers that go something like this: Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
The same can be said for a college education these days. Historically people with college degrees have earned more over a lifetime. A 2016 Georgetown University study found college graduates earn on average $1 million more over the course of their working careers than people with high school educations. A Pew Research Center study that same year found a median income gap of $17,500 a year between 
college and high school graduates.
But this picture may be changing as we speak due to demographics, technology and the spiraling cost of four-year college degrees. 
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Superintendent's Blog: Innovation Hub Part 1 - Connecting to the Goal of Student Learning

March 17, 2017
Have you ever heard a band or orchestra when it is warming up? I was walking by the band room at Paducah Middle recently and got to hear the band in “warm-up mode”. It sounded pretty terrible! All the students were playing different melodies at different speeds and volumes, and it was pure noise. However, once Ms. Williams ended the warm up and began to rehearse the band, as all the musicians began to play their part at the speed in harmony, and the different parts converged to create a sound that sounded good. But for that to happen, all the musicians had to have a plan (music to work from) and everyone had to be committed to working together to create a harmonious sound
Over the past few months, I hope that many of you have heard about our plans to build a regional Innovation Hub at Paducah Tilghman High School. In February we applied for and received a $3.8 million dollar Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative grant to help with construction, and we also partnered to with WKCTC to secure a grant of $408,000 to buy equipment and machinery that will help with immediate upgrades at the Paducah Area Technical Center (PATC) and ultimately be placed in the Paducah Innovation Hub.

If you haven’t heard about the Innovation Hub, or if you’ve heard of it, but aren’t sure what it’s about, I’d like to show you how many different moving parts in our city and our school district are aligning to build something that will be a key asset for our students, our faculty, and our community.
In this blog post and the next I want to give you a little background so you’ll see how the Innovation Hub lines up with our district vision, mission, and values and the focus area of student learning.
Before we decided to take on a project like this we wanted to count the cost. We knew that building a new Innovation Hub would not only require a lot of time, money, and effort- we also knew that it would be a a game changer in the way we educate students. So we wanted to ensure that the concept of an Innovation Hub was in line with the district’s vision, mission, and values. Beyond that, we wanted to make sure that it was what’s best for our students, and what’s best for our community.

Our vision is to know each and every student by name and need. Our mission is to inspire all students to achieve excellence, explore opportunities, and realize their full potential with the goal of preparing every student to be college and career ready upon graduation. We achieve our vision and mission through relationships.

As we developed our strategic plan in 2015 and 2016, we settled on five areas of focus. I want to spend a little extra time here, because we haven’t talked about the focus areas of our plan as much, but they are the compass that guides the ship, so they are very important to our thinking about the Innovation Hub.
Our first focus area is Student Learning. Our first student learning goal is to have 100% of our students graduate from Tilghman college and career ready by 2020. We are well on our way to that thanks to the hard work that is going on in our elementaries, our middle school, and our high school. The Innovation Hub will help us achieve this goal because it will provide the environment and the resources needed to facilitate the connections between courses of study in industrial maintenance, art and design.

As it’s designed right now, our career pathways are stand alone courses of study, with little overlap between the pathways. 
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Superintendent's Blog: Innovation Hub Part 2 - Connecting to the Goal of Student Learning

May 22, 2017
Our elementary schools, along with Head Start, will be holding their spring sports days this week and one of the events they will do is the three-legged race. Have you ever done that? It’s the race where you have a partner, and you and your partner’s legs are tied together to create a third leg. It’s harder to run with three legs than it looks, and it takes coordination between you and your partner to synchronize your gait and stay upright!

There are three goals for student learning in our strategic plan. They are:

1) Engage every student in meaningful and relevant learning that prepares them to pursue college and career aspirations.
2) Engage every student in opportunities that create effective problem solvers, preparing them for leadership in work and life.
3) Build and align systems to put students in charge of their own learning and measuring individual growth.

In the previous post I made the connection between the Innovation Hub concept and the first goal for Student Learning in our strategic plan. In this post I want to talk about how the Innovation Hub concept coordinates with student learning goals two and three.

The three goals for Student Learning are like the “three” legs in the three-legged race. Each leg is dependent on the other and all three legs have to be in sync for there to be forward momentum. 
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Innovation Hub at Tilghman Will Cost Around $16 Million

by Jason Morrow, The Paducah Sun
February 23, 2017
Used with permission.

Few people are more excited about the Innovation Hub and what it will bring to students and the community than Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Donald Shively.

Following his presentation to the school board Monday about the hub, he provided more details Wednesday.

The facility will replace the Area Technology Center at Paducah Tilghman High School and come with a projected cost of $16 million.

“Our vision is to create something innovative that’s not out there,” Shively said.

Coming up with the $16 million was a long process that included visits to schools and facilities in several states. Shively said it was a time of drawing inspiration as well as seeing how much schools spent on similar structures.
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Paducah Residents Eager to Create Regional Innovation Hub

by Genevieve Postlethwait, The Paducah Sun
January 5, 2017
Used with permission.

One way or another, Paducah will soon bid farewell to its aging Area Technology Center to make way for a regional Innovation Hub.

Paducah Public Schools, in partnership with Paducah Economic Development and many local public and private entities, is ranked fifth of 24 finalists in the running for a slice of the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative's $100 million bond program.

The school district should learn within the month how much of its $9.8 million asked for the project has been funded. Regardless of the answer, the momentum already behind Paducah's Innovation Hub is undeniable.

"We need this. Our community needs this. Our students need access to this," said Donald Shively, PPS superintendent. "We're going to be hiring an architect in the next couple of weeks to design this."
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P.O. Box 2550 Paducah, KY 42002 | Phone: (270) 444-5600
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