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New KSBA executive director making plans for July 1 job start, will attend Kids First Advocacy activities Thursday in Frankfort
New KSBA executive director making plans for July 1 job start, will attend Kids First Advocacy activities Thursday in Frankfort

KSBA President Durward Narramore announced Feb. 12 the board of directors’ unanimous selection of Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Mike Armstrong to become the association’s executive director, effective July 1.

Armstrong met via webcast with KSBA staff that same day from his office in Louisa, expressing his excitement about the new leadership opportunity.

“KSBA has a wonderful reputation all across the state because of the high-quality work of the professional staff,” he said. “I’ve been a user of many of these services, so I know firsthand how you are serving the members.”

He also confirmed plans to visit the association’s Frankfort offices between now and July 1, participating in the KSBA Advocacy Conference and Lobbying Day this Thursday, and the board of directors’ quarterly meeting next month.

A former administrator in the Kentucky and Ohio departments of education, Armstrong is a native of Marietta, Ohio, a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and is in his second year of doctoral studies at Morehead State University. He has been a classroom teacher, principal, special education and preschool director and consultant prior to becoming Lawrence County superintendent in 2010.

Here is the text of the media release issued Feb. 12:

Frankfort, Ky. - An educator whose experience ranges from Kentucky and international classrooms to leadership roles at the school and district level as well as in education departments of two states has been selected for the top staff position with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

Michael Allen (Mike) Armstrong of Louisa has been chosen unanimously by the KSBA Board of Directors to become the next executive director of the 78-year-old organization. KSBA is Kentucky’s largest organization of local elected officials, with membership of all 173 public school districts.

Armstrong, 59, of Louisa, is in his fifth year as superintendent of the Lawrence County Schools. A native of Marietta, Ohio, he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from the University of Kentucky, and is on track to receive his doctorate in educational leadership from Morehead State University in 2015.

KSBA President Durward Narramore of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education said Armstrong’s varied expertise developed in a 33-year career in education and his passion for quality teaching and learning sold the association’s 27-member board.

“Mike’s resume is impressive from his beginning as a special education teacher to his development as a principal, administrator with the Kentucky and Ohio departments of education and his work leading the Lawrence County system,” Narramore said. “He also brings to our management team the background of an elected official (former city councilman and mayor of Louisa) and leadership roles in such organizations as the Lawrence County Education Association, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. In short, KSBA is gaining a chief administrator of tremendous past practice and just as promising potential to grow our organization’s services to local school leaders.”

Armstrong received his second four-year superintendent’s contract from the Lawrence County Board of Education in 2013. He began his education career in 1978 as a special education teacher at Lawrence County High School. He has worked in the district as middle school principal and director of special education and preschool programs.

For a decade, he managed state programs for special needs children in the Kentucky Department of Education (1996-2002) and Ohio Department of Education (2002-2006). He spent a year as a consultant to the Supreme Education Council in the Arab emirate of Qatar, helping that nation’s schools develop classroom services to students with disabilities.

Armstrong, who will become KSBA’s executive director on July 1, said he felt all of his career work to this point will aid him in the responsibilities to lead a statewide service and advocacy organization.

“This is a special opportunity for me because KSBA is so well respected for its high-quality services and the team of outstanding professionals who are available around the clock, not just to school board members and superintendents, but also to other district leaders and education partners in other organizations,” he said. “I’ve had many chances over the years to work for student success, and I think being part of the KSBA team will just allow me to continue what I’ve been doing in Lawrence County to a statewide level.”

Armstrong becomes the first superintendent to lead KSBA, although Interim Executive Director David Baird also is a former superintendent. Baird will resume his duties as associate executive director after the transition. William G. Scott, KSBA’s previous executive director, retired in 2013.

Armstrong signed a four-year contract at a starting salary of $125,000 in addition to all benefits available to other employees of the nonprofit association.

Photo above: KSBA Interim Executive Director David Baird (left) and President Durward Narramore (standing) go over the contract details with Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Mike Armstrong, who will assume the duties of KSBA executive director July 1.