With a unanimous vote of the Bullitt County Board of Education, Mr. Jesse Bacon has been selected among four finalists as the new superintendent beginning July 1, 2018.
Current Superintendent Dr. Keith Davis is retiring June 30.
“I am extremely excited to work for Bullitt County Public Schools,” Mr. Bacon said. “This is a tremendous opportunity and I feel very fortunate to become part of such an outstanding staff and community.”
He thanked the superintendent screening committee and board members for their confidence in him.
“This is truly an honor. I am humbled by their decision,” he said.
Mr. Bacon praised Dr. Davis’ leadership and said his short and long term goals will focus on continuous improvement in the district.
“I am a big believer in communication with all stakeholders from students, staff and parents to the community, businesses and government officials. Unity is vital. I want to talk to as many people as I can, listen and bring topics to the table so we can work together as a team,” he said.
Mr. Bacon departs after four years as Simons Middle School Principal in Flemingsburg, KY. During his educational career, he served as a high school social studies teacher, athletics coach, central office program director and a high school assistant principal.
Flemingsburg is his hometown and leaving is the most difficult part of his new position.
“It is hard to leave where you grew up and have worked your entire career,” he noted. “I will carry fond memories of the many people I have worked with and whose lives have impacted mine.”
Mr. Bacon has had the opportunity to participate in numerous leadership programs including the Leadership Institute for School Principals through the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), the National Institute for School Leaders (NISL) Executive Development Program, as well as the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Aspiring Superintendents Academy. He was also an active participant on Advanc-ED school and district accreditation teams.
The new superintendent earned a Bachelors and Master’s degree from Morehead State University and is working toward completion of a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky.
Transitioning from middle school administrator to overseeing Kentucky’s seventh largest school district, Mr. Bacon acknowledged he has much to learn and will seek advice when necessary.
“Educators know how to network and I value the input of mentors and professional colleagues,” he said. “I am eager to continue my growth as an administrator.”
He and his wife, Johna, Family Resource Center Coordinator at Flemingsburg Elementary School, have two young daughters. Nora is nine and in third grade while Piper is four and completing preschool.
Board members commenced the superintendent search last fall by contracting with the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
KASA Consultant Phil Eason coordinated the search with the establishment of a screening committee which reviewed a total of 10 applications before recommending four finalists: Dr. Matthew Shane Baker, Director of District-wide Programs in the Greenup County School District; Mr. Willie Foster, Assistant Superintendent in the Oldham County School District; and, Mrs. Becky Sexton, Assistant Superintendent for Bullitt County Public Schools.
Board members Debby Atherton (Chairperson), Darrell Coleman (Vice-Chairperson), Dolores Ashby, Lorraine Laughlin and Diane Thompson met Feb. 15 and Feb. 21 to interview each finalist.
A special board meeting was held Feb. 22 in which board members met in executive session before announcing their selection.
Mrs. Atherton publicly acknowledged the screening committee’s work.
“The selection of a superintendent is a very detailed process and takes many hours. We thank the screening committee for their service in their critical role. It took a lot of time and effort,” said.
Board members cited differing reasons Mr. Bacon’s application and interview stood out.
“Mr. Bacon’s references said time and again that he was able to motivate people and bring them together for a common goal,” Atherton said. “In four years, he brought his school from one of the bottom schools in the state to a top school in the state. He had a proven record of having the ability to create a positive culture. Mr. Bacon had many skills that will help him lead this district.”
Mrs. Ashby noted BCPS owes a great deal of gratitude to the members of the Superintendent Screening Committee.
“They did a wonderful job researching candidates and following the BC School Board’s criteria for BCPS’s next superintendent,” she said.
She added that Mr. Bacon met their criteria.
“We wanted a candidate with integrity, vision and who had recent classroom experience. We felt he was a good fit for Bullitt County School District and our community. I look forward to working with Mr. Bacon,” Mrs. Ashby said.
Mrs. McLaughlin pointed out that the Search Committee followed a set of strict criteria for screening candidates and carefully researched each one.
“The final four that those of us on the Board reviewed were all very good candidates, making our decision difficult,” she said. “In the end, we unanimously choose Mr. Jesse Bacon, who fully exemplified the qualities needed for our next superintendent of Bullitt County Public Schools. Under his guidance, we feel sure we will continue our goal of Excellence in Education.”
Mrs. Thompson called the decision very difficult because they had four very qualified applicants.
“My final decision was based on the fact that Mr. Bacon was the best fit overall, at this time, to lead the Bullitt County schools,” she said.