Home » Fayette County Public Schools superintendent candidate withdraws name

Fayette County Public Schools superintendent candidate withdraws name

School board to discuss candidates today

FayetteCountyPublicSchoolsLEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2014) — One of the three candidates interviewed for the Fayette County Public Schools superintendent position has withdrawn their name for consideration.

Carmen Coleman told the Fayette County Board of Education that she would feel uncomfortable leaving her work with the University of Kentucky and the Center for Innovation in the middle of the year.

The two remaining candidates are Marlene Helm and Ronald “Sonny” Fentress. Current superintendent Tom Shelton’s last day is on Dec. 31.

The board is meeting today to discuss the candidates, but do not expect to make a decision at this time.

Here is a look at the two candidates:

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.

Marlene Helm

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.