• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Four administrators hired to lead schools in other districts

Other school districts have hired four administrators who were assistant principals or administrative/academic deans in Woodford County schools a year ago. All four were hired to lead schools in those other districts, which Woodford schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins hopes demonstrates the good administrative experience they've gotten here. "And I hope it's a good reflection of our school district," he said. "When (other districts) get people who apply for these kinds of positions - when they're coming from a quality school district - maybe that gives them a little bit of an advantage over other candidates." So while he never wants to see quality administrators leave the district, Hawkins said he hopes their experiences here helped prepare them for what's to come in their careers. John Darnell, who was an assistant principal at Woodford County High School for four years, has been hired as head principal at Bellevue High School in Northern Kentucky. Former Simmons Elementary administrative dean Damon Stefanic has been hired as principal at Garth Elementary in Scott County. Stacy Rutledge left her position as academic dean at Southside Elementary to become principal at Bridgeport Elementary in Frankfort. Jeff Rhode was hired as principal at Elkhorn Middle School after leaving as assistant principal at Woodford County Middle School. "I've seen all of them grow over the time that they've been here," said Hawkins of the administrators. "When you get good people in those positions," he added, "you know that you're not going to keep them forever if you don't have (head principal) vacancies" in your schools. Hawkins said the district's next challenge becomes hiring quality people to fill those vacant administrative positions "and let's grow them" as leaders. In an interview with The State Journal in Frankfort, Rhode said, "There are things that we brought up at Woodford (County Middle School) that worked there, and now everybody is stealing what we did."

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