LEXINGTON, Ky. — While Fayette County’s newest elementary school is still under construction, Superintendent Manny Caulk has already selected the leader who will be responsible for building the educational program within its walls.
Josh Williams, a former elementary school principal who also helped open Frederick Douglass High School in 2017 as the principal of the Freshman Academy, will be the principal of Fayette County’s 37th elementary school off of Athens‐Boonesboro Road.
“The compelling vision that Josh has for the new school will provide a rich educational experience for our children,” Caulk said. “Since he has served as both an elementary and high school leader he can see the through‐line from the foundation laid in elementary school to deliver on the global competencies we identify for students in the Fayette County Public School Portrait of a Graduate. His plans to educate the whole child by anchoring learning in the arts align directly with the core values of our district by embracing families and the broader community as partners.”
Williams, who has 13 years of experience in education, started his career teaching world history and government at Lafayette High School. From there, he served a year as a principal intern in the Fayette County Public Schools, shadowing other principals. He served for a year as director of students and student life at Madison Southern High School, a year as assistant principal at Camp Taylor Elementary and four years as principal of Watson Lane Elementary School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Georgetown College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership as well as his superintendent’s certification from Eastern Kentucky University. He will complete his doctorate at EKU in 2019.
“With this new elementary school, we really want to focus on infusing the arts into the curriculum and providing students with the opportunity to learn thru the lens of arts,” Williams said. “Our goal will be to provide opportunities for students to learn in different ways – through movement, through expression, through sound and rhythm – so that they are able to verbally express and articulate the things that they’re doing and the things that they’re learning.”
The walls of the school are not yet complete and Williams has not set foot on the construction site, but in his mind’s eye he knows what he wants to see when the school opens in the fall of 2019.
“When you walk into our building, students will be actively engaged in the learning process,” he said. “We will incorporate the pillars of global competency, where students have the opportunity to explore the world around them and how they can understand and appreciate different points of view and different cultures. We want them to be prepared to act on what they see and to be able to make a difference.”
Josh and his wife Meocha WIlliams, who is the principal of Scott County High School, have two dogs named Simba and Dakota. Mr. Williams will start in his new position on January 2, 2019, when FCPS staff return from winter break.