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KSBA News Article

New regional chairs set to join KSBA’s Board of Directors


Kentucky School Advocate
December 2022

Staff Report

Six of KSBA’s 12 regions selected regional chairs during the 2022 fall regional meetings. Regional Selection Committees, comprised of board members from within each region, reviewed applications and put forward candidates to serve as regional chairs.

Regional chairs coordinate the association’s regional meetings each year while also serving as members of KSBA’s board of directors. Regional chairs serve three-year terms. Here are KSBA’s newest regional chairs:

First Region
Shawn Smee, Murray Independent    


Shawn Smee will continue as the First Region chair following his selection at the region’s September meeting. Smee was first appointed to the role in 2020 following the resignation of the previous chair.Smee has served on the Murray Independent school board since 2018 and has been a member of the Local Planning Committee and the County ATC Committee. Prior to board service, he served on the Murray Elementary School-Based Decision Making Council.

Smee has also served on the Government Relations Committee for the Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling and as international president of the Association for Advancement of Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education.

Having earned two master’s degrees, one in organizational communication and one in nonprofit leadership studies, Smee works as an administrator at Murray State University.

Third Region
Nancy Uhls, Simpson County            


Nancy Uhls was selected to serve as the Third Region chair, replacing Butler County board member Debbie Hammers.Uhls was appointed to the Simpson County Board of Education in 2010. She has held her current seat since her election in 2014, and has served as vice chair since 2016.

Uhls is a member of Business and Professional Women, executive board member of Life Skills, president of a local non-profit and chaplain for the Medical Center at Franklin.

She holds a degree in business administration. Licensed in massage therapy and nuclear medicine, Uhls is a governor-appointed executive board member of the Kentucky Board of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy and owns her own therapy and massage business.

Fifth Region
Larry Dodson, Oldham County              



Larry Dodson was selected to serve as the Fifth Region chair, replacing Anchorage Independent board member Hannah Barnes.

Dodson has served on the Oldham County school board since 2006, currently as vice-chair. He previously served two terms as a KSBA director-at-large from 2013-2019 and a term as regional chair from 2007-2010.Dodson is a member of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Local School Board Advisory Council and the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust. 

He is a senior gas safety and technical training consultant with LG&E and KU.Central Kentucky Region

Jerry Browning, Garrard County              


Jerry Browning was selected to serve as the Central Kentucky Region chair, replacing Anderson County board member James Sargent.Browning has served on the Garrard County school board since 2004 and is currently board chair. He previously served as vice-chair and as a member of the calendar, screening, budget and superintendent search committees.

Browning is a former school-based decision making council representative and has mentored students at Camp Dick Elementary School. As a former member of the Civil Air Patrol, Browning served as chaplain/mission pilot for more than 16 years.

He holds a doctorate degree in theology and is a minister.

Upper KY River Region
Donna Isfort, Estill County              



Donna Isfort was selected to serve as Upper Kentucky River Region chair, replacing Hazard Independent board member Dennis Smith.Isfort has served on the Estill County school board since 2015 and is currently board chair.

She is a member of the Kentucky Legislative Committee for Nurse Practitioners and serves on the boards of Hospice and the Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital.

Isfort has a master’s degree in nursing and is the CEO and owner of Estill Medical Clinic in Irvine. She is also the medical director of the Estill County Rescue Squad.  

Eastern KY North Region
Keith Mason, Elliott County              


Keith Mason was selected to serve as Eastern Kentucky North Region chair, replacing Boyd County board member Tammy Pruitt.Mason has served on the Elliott County Board of Education since 2018.

He enjoys helping those in his community and did so as a local volunteer firefighter for 25 years. Mason is a member of the Hepburn Masonic Lodge and serves as president of the Willard Masonic Lodge.

Mason is a graduate of Ashland Vocational School and is employed as an operating engineer of Local 182. Through his occupation, he has been a member of the pipefitter and steelworker unions.

Regional chair positions will be up for election next fall in the following regions: Second, Fourth, Northern Kentucky, Middle Cumberland, Upper Cumberland and Eastern Kentucky South. More information will be available next summer and will be found in various KSBA communications.

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