Position will become vacant on Dec. 31
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2014) — Three candidates have been interviewed for Fayette County Public Schools superintendent to replace Tom Shelton, who is resigning on Dec. 31 to become the next executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.
After the regularly-scheduled school board meeting on Monday, board members will go into closed session to discuss the candidates and determine how they want to move forward. A decision is not expected to be made on Monday.
Following are the candidates that were interviewed.
Ronald “Sonny” Fentress
Fentress has spent 42 years in education as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and superintendent, most recently serving as Interim Superintendent in Muhlenberg County in 2013. In all, Mr. Fentress has been Interim Superintendent in nine school districts since 2007, with additional stints in Owen County, Laurel County, Pendleton County, Eminence Independent, Washington County (twice), Mercer County and Floyd County. He has also worked on the statewide level with the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. For 20 years, Mr. Fentress was superintendent of Anderson County Schools, where he was credited with raising test scores and building school culture and climate. Prior to entering district level administration, Mr. Fentress was a principal at three schools — Anderson County High School, Williamstown Independent and Morgantown Elementary School. He was a teacher and coach for nine years in Grayson County, Butler County and Meade County.
Dr. Coleman has two decades of experience in K-12 education. Currently the co-director of the Next Generation Teacher and Leader Academy, Dr. Coleman is also an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky and works extensively with the National Center for Innovation in Education. Prior to accepting her position at UK, she served as Superintendent of Danville Independent Schools, where she led the district to state and national prominence for innovation, project-based learning and college, career and citizenship readiness. No stranger to FCPS, Dr. Coleman was a Director of Elementary Schools in the district for three years. Her experience also includes four years as the first-ever principal of Anne Mason Elementary School in Scott County, and eight years as a teacher and curriculum resource teacher.
Dr. Helm’s experience includes serving as interim Fayette County Schools Superintendent in 2004 and more than two decades with the district as a teacher, director of state and federal programs, assistant to the superintendent, and director of elementary schools. Other leadership posts include director of elementary curriculum for Scott County Schools, Commissioner of Social Services for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Secretary of the Education, Arts and Humanities Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, interim Dean of the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University, Lead Evaluator for Advanc-ED, and Branch Manager with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Dr. Helm has also taught graduate teacher education courses at Georgetown College and the University of Kentucky.