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Dr. Carl LeBuhn of Paducah Independent Schools named Kentucky School Board Member of the Year

Louisville, KY (Feb. 26, 2022) Dr. Carl LeBuhn, chairman of the Paducah Independent Schools Board of Education, was named the 2022 Kentucky School Board Member of the Year during the 2022 Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) Annual Conference in Louisville on Saturday.

Public school board members, administrators and education leaders from across the state were present at the Kentucky International Convention Center as KSBA announced the inaugural winner of the award. KSBA’s Annual Conference represents one of Kentucky’s largest annual education gatherings, regularly drawing more than 1,000 participants.

The KSBA Kentucky School Board Member of the Year (BMOY) Award was established in 2021 to honor the exemplary service of association members – Kentucky’s 857 locally elected school board members –and to celebrate the critical roles school boards play in the advancement of public education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The BMOY is honored for his or her significant contributions to public education through service on a local board. The honor is presented to a board member who, among other things:
  • Exemplifies leadership best practices.
  • Passionately advocates for needs of his/her district and public education.
  • Demonstrates the highest ethical standards and celebrates the values of public service.
  • Exhibits a keen understanding of district governance and operations.
 View the complete criteria for Kentucky’s School Board Member of the Year award.

Nominees for BMOY were carefully considered by a panel of judges appointed by KSBA President Davonna Page. The panel included former association presidents and major award winners.

“As we expected, our panel of judges expressed just how difficult the selection process was,” Page said. “All of this year’s eligible nominees were certainly award-worthy, making the selection of our inaugural winner that much more impactful.”

That impact was not lost on LeBuhn.

“To say I am completely surprised and humbled would be an incredible understatement,” he said. “I am very grateful.”  

KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling pointed to LeBuhn’s initial reaction to the award as evidence of his leadership.

“After learning of the award, he was quick to point out that any honor he was to receive was an honor to be shared with the other members of his board team,” she said. “According to him, any success was the success of the district.”

While accepting the award at KSBA’s Saturday conference luncheon, LeBuhn expressed his admiration for those with whom he shares a board room.

“Serving our community with an unbelievably talented board team has been a true privilege,” he said.

Most of LeBuhn’s acceptance speech was spent affirming the unique talents and contributions of his fellow board members.

“I may have the opportunity to lead the meetings, but it is the combined years of board service, life experiences, collective wisdom, and dedication of these board members that is the compass directing our district.”

Long-serving Paducah Independent board secretary Lisa Chappell, who nominated LeBuhn, echoed that team mentality, writing in her nomination; “He is the first to give credit to our collective team of faculty and staff, administrators, and other board members. His values and steadfast dedication to our district and community are the force behind our shared success.”

Fellow Paducah board member Mary Hunter Hancock noted LeBuhn’s professional expertise as an infectious disease physician as critical in leading the district through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As with many Kentucky school districts this past year, Paducah Public Schools has been met with more than its fair share of hardships,” Hunter Hancock said. “I am certain we could not have had better leadership and guidance throughout the ever-changing Covid pandemic than Dr. LeBuhn.”

That commitment to the district and the community at large never wavered, she added.

“He worked extremely long hours at both our full-capacity hospitals during the height of Covid all while remaining in constant communication with district administrators and board members,” Hunter Hancock said.

LeBuhn was elected to the Paducah Independent Board of Education in 2005 and elected vice-chair in January 2008. LeBuhn was voted chair in January 2014 and has held the position ever since. His tenure is motivated, in part, by a strong personal connection to the district.

“It is obvious just how personal district service is to Dr. LeBuhn,” said Schelling. “He’s a parent with students in the district’s schools, a spouse of an alum of the district, and as a physician he is strongly connected to the community.”

The 2022 Kentucky School Board Member of the Year is sponsored by American Fidelity Educational Services.

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