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Paducah Public Schools News Article

About Paducah

The district currently serves students in grades Pre-school – 12 and has an enrollment of 3,016 students. Our staff utilizes various data sources for continuous improvement to develop and meet the educational goals and skills necessary for sustained growth and achievement. We emphasize high expectations for all students. We believe that education is a shared experience of the home, community, and school. 

Located in far Western Kentucky, the city of Paducah is the seat of McCracken County. Paducah is often called “The Bright Star on the River” since it’s located on the Ohio River at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. The Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers are not far from Paducah with many referencing the area as the “Four-Rivers Region”. Encompassing an area of 21 square miles, the city has a current population of more than 27,000. Paducah’s population is 73% Caucasian and 24% African-American. The surrounding county boasts 65,000 residents.

The site, chosen by George Rogers Clark during the Revolution, was settled in 1827 by William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) and incorporated in 1830. The City is named in honor of the Padouca Indians. Local folklore speaks of Chief Paduke, a Chickasaw leader who hunted this region. The rivers, railroad, and highways have played major roles in the development of Paducah. Interstate-24 traverses the outskirts of Paducah and helps link Paducah to the major cities of Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, and St. Louis Missouri. All are within a two to four hour drive from Paducah.

Paducah is the largest city in a fifteen county area in western Kentucky. The City serves as a cultural, business, transportation, and medical center. It has a large shopping mall that attracts customers from western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, southern Illinois, and southeast Missouri. The City’s oldest industry is a barge manufacturer that was founded in 1854. Paducah has a thriving river industry, one of the most active on the intercoastal waterway. Two of the City’s largest employers are the medical facilities: Western Baptist Hospital and Lourdes Hospital. Each hospital has nearly 400 beds. There is also a strong professional community in Paducah offering local and regional services. You can find services for banking, insurance, legal, technology, printing, and others.

Education is a top priority in the Paducah area, with both public and private school systems holding the belief that schools are the fundamental building blocks of the community. The Paducah Public Schools district was established in 1864. Higher education opportunities are available at West Kentucky Community & Technical College. The College also offers a four-year Engineering degree through the University of Kentucky. Murray State University in nearby Murray, Kentucky also has an extended campus in Paducah.

Paducah’s downtown is bustling with activity with several new restaurants and businesses. This vibrant river town is host to more than 400 businesses located in the 80 square blocks commonly known as the Renaissance Area. With the recent development of condominium and loft spaces in the upper floors of the buildings, the downtown area is enjoying a resurgence of residents who enjoy living in an urban environment within walking distance of a riverfront park. The riverfront contains lighted walkways, benches, picnic tables, and a stage. Plus, Paducah has approved a plan that will include a new boat launch, enhanced parks, extension of the greenway trail, marina, and performance area. One of the city’s major downtown attractions is a series of nearly 30 panels depicting Paducah’s history, which were painted on the City’s floodwall by muralist Robert Dafford.

Paducah’s historic homes and museums, art galleries, theater productions, festivals, and concerts generate more than 800,000 hotel participant-days per year. Paducah’s Market House, a vital center of the city for 150 years, is an innovative civic complex containing a museum, art gallery, and community theater. The Market House Theatre is one of Kentucky’s leading not-for-profit community theaters. Paducah is home to six museums, including the National Quilt Museum, which is dedicated to the accomplishments of quilters nationwide. Cultural offerings also include the LowerTown Art Galleries, Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the Yeiser Art Center, and the Paducah Community College Performing Arts Series. The $40 million Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Performing Arts Center opened in 2004.

Paducah is a progressive community filled with passion. You will always find someone celebrating the season with an event, parade, or festival. The Paducah Parks Services Department provides supervised public recreation programs and facilities including parks, playgrounds, a swimming pool, spraypark, disc golf course, skatepark, ballfields, and tennis courts. Paducah also hosts many annual events, including the LowerTown Art and Music Festival, Barbeque on the River Tournament, the Eighth of August Emancipation Celebration, the Dogwood Trail, River’s Edge Film Festival, and the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show and Contest with an attendance of more than 30,000. Located 30 minutes from Paducah, the Land Between the Lakes is a national recreation area comprised of the stretch of land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. It’s more than 170,000 acres of wooded areas, small lakes and ponds, and trails providing numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.

To learn more about what makes Paducah unique, visit our Visitor's Bureau web site here.

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