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KSBA News Article

KSBA names new staff attorney

John Powell

Kentucky School Advocate
June 2021

Staff report

KSBA hired R. Johnson “John” Powell last month as KSBA’s new staff attorney. Powell began his service on May 26 following the retirement of long-serving staff attorney John Fogle.

Powell previously served as an investigator with the Office of Education Accountability (OEA) and has nearly 15 years of experience as a litigator and practicing attorney primarily in an administrative law setting. His professional experience also includes education law, employment law, business law, contracts, real estate law and legislation.

It was his stint at OEA, Powell said, that gave him valuable perspective on school board service.

“During my time there, I met and talked with many superintendents from across the state and dealt with education law issues of all kinds,” he said. “This experience gave me a well-rounded appreciation for the challenges of school boards and the districts they represent. I am very excited to be serving Kentucky’s public schools in this capacity and I look forward to engaging with our members.”

That excitement is shared by KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling who spearheaded the search for the association’s next top legal adviser.

“KSBA is fortunate to have acquired the services of such a seasoned attorney,” she said. “Our members will benefit immediately from John’s diverse legal experiences and his work ethic.”  

Among his day-to-day responsibilities, Powell will work closely with KSBA’s policy staff to ensure local policies are in line with the most up-to-date education laws. He will also serve as liaison for Kentucky’s Council of School Board Attorneys (CSBA).

In addition to his Juris Doctorate degree, Powell holds a Master of Science degree in physics with an emphasis in astrophysics.

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