In Aug. 19 Issue
The Russell County School Board offered the position of school superintendent to Kenny Pickett, the present interim superintendent.
After about 28 minutes in executive session with the selection committee the board returned to open session and a motion was made and seconded, then a unanimous vote authorized contract negotiations between board attorney Jeff Hoover and Pickett.
"Until they vote on a contract at the next board meeting I'd say I'm actually still interim superintendent," Pickett said Tuesday.
The 27-year veteran educator said he was excited to be superintendent of the only district he's ever worked in.
Pickett said he returned to Russell County Schools after earning his teaching degree at Western Kentucky University and has been teaching here, or working as principal, ever since.
He said the district's finances will be the challenge going forward.
"We've got good teachers, good principals, good staff all around," Pickett said. "We can do a good job of educating the county's children."
There won't be a lot of luxuries going forward in the near term however.
"We're going to have to be in a very conservative mode until the district is more financially stable," He added.
Though there is federal money appropriated in a recent funding bill the president signed, there is no word on how that will help the district.
"I don't know what requirements will come with it or how much money the district might be receiving," Pickett said. "We're going to make do with what we have for now."
Earlier in the meeting board treasurer Marla Carnes said the district started last month $475,000 in the red, but $2.6 million in receipts brought the accounts up to $1.5 million after the month's expenditures.
There was better news in the education side, as High School Principal Darren Gossage said the ACT scores for last year's junior class were not only better than the previous year's but lead the state in most of the catagories.
He said the score in English last year was 17.9, up from 18.8 the previous year and tops the state-wide score of 17.8. In math scores went from 17.5 to 18.6 and in reading from 17.8 to 19. In science scores were 18.4 this year compared to 17.5 the previous year.
Science was the only area where local scores did not outpace Kentucky scores in general.
Gossage stressed that all of the preparation and training that lead to the increase was planned in-house with staff and teachers cooperating.
"That is something I'm really proud of," Gossage said.
Pickett said the scores were truly something for the students and the district as a whole to be proud of .
"That is a great way to start the year," Pickett said. "This ACT thing is a great big deal."
In other actions at the board meeting-
• Consideration of a proposal to stop offering bus service for preschool children had been tabled at the previous board meeting, and was rejected at this meeting. Pickett said the district would continue with the same transportation policy as in years past.
• Resignations were accepted, including that of RCMS Principal David Weston. Pickett said Weston had not been happy with the position and was returning to work for the district as a special education teacher.