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Superintendents on the move


Kentucky School Advocate
April 2021

Staff report

At least 12 school boards are searching for their district’s next leader. Since last month, there are four newly announced superintendent vacancies in addition to Woodford, Fayette, Oldham, Knox, Fulton, and Hancock counties and Fort Thomas Independent. Here are the recent openings:  

Mercer County
Mercer County Superintendent Dennis Davis announced at a Feb. 24 board meeting that he will retire Aug. 1. Davis has led the district since 2011 when he become interim superintendent. A year later he was named permanent superintendent. Davis worked at Mercer County Schools for more than 30 years and has also served as assistant principal at Mercer County High School, as a special education teacher, in-school suspension coordinator and Ninth Grade Academy principal.“I consider it an honor to be part of the Mercer County School system and will continue to offer guidance and support to our district until I retire,” he said.

Davis also thanked the school board and district employees for always keeping students at the center of their work.

“I believe each decision was made with the best interest of the children and families of Mercer County,” he said.

Hopkins County
Hopkins County Superintendent Deanna Ashby announced she will retire June 20. Ashby has worked at the district for 29 years, starting as a marketing teacher and cheerleading coach. She has been superintendent since 2016.“As I depart, I want to thank the board of education for having faith in me through the years and especially during the pandemic,” Ashby said in her letter to the board announcing her retirement.

Ashby said the reason for her retirement was not related to the pandemic but a desire to spend more time with her family.

“Through the years, I have been blessed beyond measure by students, colleagues and the community,” she wrote. “I was warmly welcomed to the Hopkins County Schools family and developed a firm foundation for a rewarding career.”

Morgan County
The Morgan County school board chose not to offer Superintendent C. Thomas Potter a new contract. The board did not specify a reason for the decision, according to WTVQ-TV. Potter has served as superintendent since 2017. He was previously superintendent of Elliott County Schools. The Kentucky Educational Development Corporation selected Potter as its 2019 superintendent of the year.Supporters in Morgan County have started an online petition urging the board to reconsider. As of early March the petition had just over 1,000 signatures.

Bath County
Bath County Superintendent Harvey Tackett announced he will retire at the end of the school year. Tackett, who has worked in education for 37 years, has been superintendent in Bath County since 2012.Before coming to Bath County, Tackett served as a teacher, high school principal and director of Pupil Personnel at Jenkins Independent.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to work with great people across our whole school district, not just our students our staff, but our school community,” Tackett said in an interview on WKCA Radio. “We have just a wonderful school community that loves our schools, they care about each school. I’ve just been blessed and fortunate to be a part of a great team.”

Tackett noted that the board chose to use KSBA’s Superintendent Search Service and consultant Don Martin to guide the quest for a new district leader.

“There are certain steps that have to meet the letter of law, by going with the Kentucky Schools Boards Association and Mr. Don Martin all of that will flow very smoothly,” he said.

Livingston County
In Livingston County, Victor Zimmermann resigned as superintendent. The board unanimously accepted Zimmermann’s resignation on Feb. 8. Retired Livingston County Superintendent Darryl Chittenden is serving as interim superintendent.

Zimmerman had led the district since 2015. In his resignation letter, but he will continue to serve as an independent consultant for the district.

Board chairwoman Christine Thompson told WSPD-TV that the district is looking toward the future.  

“We’re committed to moving forward. We don’t want to look in the past, or dwell in the past, so we’re just kind of keeping an eye on the future and working to keep a strong focus on student achievement,” Thompson told the station said after the Feb. 8 meeting.

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