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Emma Donnece Henson

Kentucky School Advocate
September 2019 
 
First board-appointed member
The Harlan County Board of Education in August became the first in the state to appoint a school board member under a new state law that allows remaining board members to fill a vacant seat.

The board appointed Emma Donnece Henson (pictured being sworn in) to the vacant seat which will be up for election Nov. 5. Henson has filed to run for the seat and will have one opponent in the election. 

Henson, who was one of two applicants, holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and serves as director of quality improvement at Harlan Appalachian Regional Healthcare. Henson has two children in the district and one who recently graduated. 

“The success of our district is of vital importance to me,” she said. “Providing a quality education for all of our students has to be a top priority for any community.” 

House Bill 22, which passed in the 2019 legislative session, gives remaining members of the board 60 days to appoint a new member. If the board does not appoint a new member in that time, the commissioner of education would appoint the seat. Resources to help districts through process can be found at ksba.org/BoardVacancies.aspx. 
 
Seeking session proposals   
Proposals are now being accepted for workshops at KSBA’s upcoming Winter Symposium, Nov. 22-23 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. A limited number of spaces are available for 75-minute sessions on topics appropriate to governance roles and responsibilities of public school board teams. More information, including the proposal form, can be found at www.ksba.org/KSBAWinterSymposium.aspx. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 20. 

Superintendent snapshot
Sixteen Kentucky school districts started the 2019-20 school year with a new superintendent at the helm, according to the Kentucky Association of School Administrators. Three districts had interim superintendents as of July 1, KASA said. Of the new superintendents, four had previously been superintendent in another district. 

As of July 1, the average length of service for Kentucky superintendents was 4.05 years, up from last year’s 3.86 average years of service, KASA said. There are two superintendents who have served in the same district for more than 15 years (Jerry Green, Pikeville Ind., and Patrick Waddell, Edmonson Co.) and 101 superintendents who have served in their current district for less than five years. 

Muhlenberg custodian wins Fred Award       
Angela Shoemaker (right), a custodian at Muhlenberg South Middle School (Muhlenberg County), was named the 2019 Fred Award winner by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA).

Inspired by Fred Shea, the subject of Mark Sanborn’s bestseller, “The Fred Factor,” the award honors non-administrative staff members who often aren’t recognized. It recognizes an individual who exudes a Fred-like spirit of service, innovation and commitment to others, positively influencing and impacting the lives of those in the school community. Shoemaker was recognized in July at KASA’s Annual Leadership Institute.

“Miss Angela is changing the world starting right here in Muhlenberg County,” Muhlenberg South Middle School Principal Brian Lile said. “She is widely known for making a positive difference in the lives of children, not only in her building but also throughout the county.”
 
Shoemaker serves as the morning greeter for the school, making sure she arrives early to attend to her custodial duties before the students arrive.

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