Whitesburg KY

Jenkins board hopes to have superintendent hired at least by July 1

The search for a new superintendent for the Jenkins School System is now underway.

Members of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education met with representatives of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) last week to formally engage that organization’s services in conducting the search. The results will be used to create a list of candidates for a screening committee that will be selected by the Jenkins board.

The board decided to use the same criteria as it did with the last search, which resulted in the hiring of former Superintendent Freddie

Bowling in 2014. After a short but successful term as superintendent, Bowling resigned last September to accept a position with Pike County Schools. Eddie Whitaker, who had been hired as principal of Jenkins High School the previous June, has served as interim superintendent since. KSBA will do the advertising and conduct the search and the board will meet with its representatives after April 24, the closing day for receiving applications. The board will select the screening committee from staff, administrators, parents, and community members and plans to meet with the committee and KSBA representatives on May 2. However, that date may be changed after the screening committee is selected. During that meeting, Board Chairman Tracy Goff will inform the screening committee of the specific attributes the board wants in a superintendent and the committee will be asked to deliver a list of three to five candidates to the board. A tentative date of May 23 has been set for the board members to receive the committee’s recommendations and they hope to begin interviewing candidates by June 15. The board would like to have a superintendent in place by July 1.

In other business, the Jenkins High School prom will be held in Jenkins this year, in the school auditorium of the old Jenkins High School. The auditorium was renovated along with the rest of the school when it was redesigned as apartments. JHS teacher Stephanie Cassell told the board the date for the prom is May 7, and the theme will be “The Great Gatsby.” She said the theme of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald will fit nicely, as the prom is returning to the old Jenkins school, which was built by Consolidation Coal Company to serve the children of the miners who came to Jenkins after the city was built in 1912. Cassell added that there will be a grand march for the attendees and the seniors will be announced as they enter the auditorium. The space recently housed the Jenkins Senior Citizens and a full-service kitchen is in place, and meal will be served as well.

Cassell also announced that the senior trip will take place from April 1 to April 6. Seniors will travel to Williamsburg, Va., and visit Virginia Beach and Busch Gardens as well. The eighth grade trip will be held on April 29 and eighth graders will travel to Dollywood at Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Spring break is scheduled for April 4-April 8.

Representatives of the Cornerstone Church of Nashville, Tenn., attended the meeting and offered their assistance to the board for repairs and renovations, mentoring, and other ways they can serve the system. Church member Scott George and Associate Lead Pastor Galen Davis met with Burdine Principal Stacy Collier and toured the Burdine School earlier on Monday, and Collier said she had shown the visitors around the school, including several areas that are in need of repairs. George added that a number of church members will conduct a mission trip to Jenkins this summer and will be happy to assist in other areas as well. The board will develop a list of overall needs and will remain in communication with Cornerstone in anticipation of the visit.

Board Chairman Goff asked George to consider ways to help students overcome their lack of confidence and lack of understanding of the opportunities that are possible for them. He said that he had noticed a lot of kids in Jenkins who have been left with unrealized potential and said it would be very good to help the students to prepare themselves for the future.

The elementary school academic team participated in county and district competitions recently and was undefeated in the county in regular season Quick Recall. Hope Polly placed fifth in Language Arts and Delaney Johnson placed first in Language Arts and first in English Composition. In district competition, Nate Mullins was fourth in Mathematics, Wynter Smith placed fifth in Science, and Hope Polly was second in Language Arts and third in Arts and Humanities. Nathan Collier placed fifth in Arts and Humanities, Kaleigh Cook was fourth in English Composition, and Delaney Johnson placed first in English Composition and fifth in Language Arts.

Delaney Johnson also placed first in English Composition in the regional competition and the team received the Catherine

Hume Sportsmanship Award in both the district and regional competitions. The elementary academic team consists of Delaney Johnson, Nate Mullins, Wynter Smith, Hope Polly, Kaleigh Cook, Nathan Collier, and Luke Rowe.

Burdine Principal Stacy Collier reported that the staff and students at Burdine have been very productive since the return to school after the weather delays. She said the school held a Dr. Seuss reading festival and third graders visited the Letcher County Extension Office for a “Dollars and Sense” session, where they used Monopoly money for their practical living class. Three groups of students from Burdine visited the Jenny Wiley Theater’s production facility at Pikeville and saw “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Collier said all the students are eager to return.

Pre-school and kindergarten registration will be held April 1 at Burdine from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and refreshments will be served. A list of requirements for incoming students such as vaccination records, etc., will be provided at that time.

MHS Principal Thomas Pinion reported that it has been a very busy period for high school and middle school students and said that sophomores visited the Wise County Vocational School on February 24. The statewide American College Test (ACT) was given on March 1 and Pinion said scores are just in.

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