Jenkins Independent Schools will be starting the coming school year with a new principal at the Middle- High School.
MHS Principal Lisa Carroll, who was hired last summer, submitted her notice of intent to resign by e-mail to Superintendent Deborah Watts on Monday. Carroll came to the system as part of a team headed by former Pike County Superintendent Frank Welch that was formed to help the system overcome poor test scores and stayed on to become principal at the Middle-High School. Carroll replaced interim principal David Lester, a retired teacher and administrator from Pike County, who had been hired temporarily after former Principal Teresa Bentley was demoted.
Supt. Watts said she did not want to speculate on why Carroll is leaving or if she is planning to take another position. Carroll did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
The announcement of Carroll’s resignation came during a special meeting held to conduct the annual evaluation of Supt. Watts. After meeting in closed session to discuss the job performed by Watts, the board reported that Watts met or exceeded the performance standards called for under the Superintendent Certified Evaluation plan and adhered to by the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education.
“She has had to perform under many unexpected circumstances dealing with the school system and has performed at a high level,” the board said in its evaluation.
Watts’s school year was marred by the loss of her Knott County home and possessions in a house fire during the school year, and like most school administrators in Kentucky, she had to face the uncertain funding situation that resulted from budget shortfalls experienced by the state. The lack of a state budget until near the end of the school year made concrete planning difficult as well, but Board Chair Durward Narramore Jr. expressed confidence in Watts and commended her for her performance. Narramore also said it will be important to keep people with a focus on providing superior service and on continuing to improve the system for the students of the Jenkins Independent Schools System.
Watts said the next year could be very important in moving the Jenkins System forward and providing a high quality school system for the students. Watts and the board share the hope that the state will agree to fund a new school for Jenkins which will house both elementary campuses along with the high school in a central location.