The new assistant superintendents in a restructured school-leadership model don’t have far to move — all three have already been serving as directors in the district.
The hirings of Jimmy Adams as chief operating officer and Matt Moore as chief of staff were announced Monday at the Jessamine County Board of Education’s work session; Kathy Fields’ assignment as chief academic officer had been announced at an earlier meeting.
Current deputy superintendent Owens Saylor announced in March that he was leaving to assume the superintendency in Daviess County. Superintendent Lu Young presented the board with her plan to create three assistant-superintendent positions, promoting Fields, replacing Saylor and keeping Paul Hamann, the current chief operations officer. But Hamann announced his retirement at the April board meeting, leaving two big vacancies at the top of the district.
Young said the district’s development and “grooming” of staff paid off with three quality in-district candidates for the jobs.
“It’s been apparent that we were going to lose Owens to a superintendency coming up, so we always try to work on talent-pool development, although we did have some really good candidates from outside the district, as well,” she said.
Fields is the only one of the three not leaving a vacancy behind, as her previous post as director of teaching and learning was morphed into the chief-academic-officer position. She has the longest tenure in the county, having graduated from Jessamine County High School in 1979.
Fields began her teaching career in 1984 at Corinth Elementary in Grant County. She taught and served as director of special education in Bath County before returning to Jessamine County to become principal of Nicholasville Elementary. She has worked as the district’s lead instructional administrator and interim principal at West Jessamine Middle School, and became director of teaching and learning last year.
Moore, formerly the district’s director of special programs, has 20 years of education experience, all of them in Jessamine County. He began as a special-education teacher at Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary while coaching varsity boys’ soccer at Jessamine County High School. He transferred to Nicholasville Elementary in 1996 and to the alternative high school in 2001.
Moore was named director of special programs in 2002 and retired from the Army National Guard and Reserves in 2009 at the rank of major.
Adams is the newest of the three to Jessamine County, finishing his third year as director of secondary schools. He taught at Tates Creek High School and served as a technology-center director and assistant principal at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School before moving to Woodford County, where he was district technology director and principal.
All three of the new chiefs live in Jessamine County and hold superintendents’ certificates.
Young said she hopes to begin interviewing candidates for director of special programs and director of secondary schools in the coming weeks.
“The dominos start to fall,” she said. “In Kathy’s case, that really was just upgrading the position to that of assistant superintendent, but the other two will now be vacant, and so those positions are both posted.”