Barbourville Independent board member Buck Treadway retires after more than 55 years’ service; longest current board tenure in Kentucky

It was January 1961. Just before turning the office over to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders the U.S. Embassy in Cuba closed, not to reopen for 55 years. The Supremes signed their first recording contract. A gallon of gasoline costs 37 cents while a dozen eggs cost 30 cents.

And Shirley “Buck” Treadway took office as a member of the Barbourville Independent Board of Education.

The 89-year-old Treadway recently ended his board service after what KSBA’s database shows as, at the very least, a modern-times record: 55 years and five months. And he’s spent all but a few months of that time as chairman of the Barbourville Independent board.

On May 23, family, friends, local officials and colleagues including KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong, honored Treadway with a reception.

"Servant leaders do so not for their own ego or personal gain. Instead they serve to genuinely benefit their community. To that end, Buck Treadway has maintained that service since 1961. His service to the children and youth in the Barbourville Independent school system will be forever appreciated,” Armstrong said.

Retiring Barbourville Independent Superintendent Larry Warren, who was also honored at the event, said, “You can be great in this lifetime but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good person. But if you’re a good person, a good man, then you are great. Mr. Treadway is a good, great man. He saved this school system on four distinct occasions.”

“I’ve been very dedicated to this school system,” Treadway said. “I’ve enjoyed the years that we’ve had success and I hope it will continue for years to come.”

During the reception, state Representative Jim Stewart III (R-Flat Lick) presented Treadway with a street sign marking his record-setting service. The sign will be erected at a location of Treadway’s choosing in Barbourville.

Congratulations and thank you to Buck Treadway for your service to your community, its citizens and its children.

Photo above: KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong (right) presents Buck Treadway with a framed certificate of appreciation during the May 23 celebration of his service. Photo courtesy of Emily Baker of the Barbourville Mountain Advocate.

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