Whitesburg KY

Jenkins board picks Sherry Wright to serve as interim superintendent

Longtime faculty member Sherry Wright has been appointed to the post of Interim Superintendent of Jenkins Independent Schools, and will serve in that position until a new superintendent is hired.

Wright’s appointment took place at a special called meeting last Wednesday, May 13. The action was taken after the board voted unanimously to approve annual leave for departing Superintendent Mike Genton, effectively severing Genton’s connection with the system. Genton’s contract was in effect until June 30, but with the annual leave, it will not be necessary for him to return to Jenkins Independent Schools.

The board declined to extend Genton’s contract at its last regular meeting on April 28. At a called meeting held May 6, the board voted to declare a vacancy in the position of Superintendent of Schools as of June 30, 2020, the final date of Superintendent Genton’s contract. Board attorney Tim Crawford has been hired to conduct the search.

Neither Genton nor the board has said why the board declined to renew his contract.

The decision to extend the annual leave and allow Genton to forgo his last month was made in an executive session that began the meeting. The vote to approve, taken when the board emerged, was unanimous. Wright was then appointed as acting superintendent until the position is filled. Wright currently serves the system as Director of Federal Programs/Special Education, a position she has held for several years. She has held several other positions in special education as well.

Applications for the superintendent vacancy will be accepted no later than May 22, and candidates must answer the questions in writing posed by Tim Crawford and meet all the criteria set forth by the screening committee. The screening committee, which usually includes one board member, one teacher, one parent, one community member, the principal, and one classified worker, will be appointed by May 22.

Board member Chris Bentley was appointed to serve as the board’s representative to the screening committee. The committee will choose three candidates to be presented to the board at a joint meeting of the board and the screening committee on May 26 for in-person interviews. The board plans to hire a candidate no later than May 26.

Jenkins Schools conducted a virtual graduation for Jenkins High School seniors on May 8. The program is available on YouTube and the link can be accessed on the Jenkins Independent Schools homepage.

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