Board hopes to have position permanently filled by July 1, 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2014) — By unanimous vote, the Fayette County Board of Education agreed on Thursday night to appoint Marlene Helm as acting superintendent of the Fayette County Public Schools.
“Dr. Helm’s variety of experiences and familiarity with our school district make her uniquely suited to hit the ground running and tackle the challenges we face,” said Fayette County Board of Education Chair John Price.
Helm previously served as acting superintendent for three months in the spring of 2004 after then-superintendent Ken James resigned less than a year into his contract.
Dr. Helm began her career teaching sixth grade science and reading at Breckinridge Elementary School. After six years as a director of elementary Curriculum in Scott County, she returned to FCPS and over the next 14 years held a variety of administrative positions, including, personnel supervisor, director of state and federal programs, director of early start (KERA Preschool), assistant to the superintendent, affirmative action officer, and director of elementary schools.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected by the school board to serve as the Acting Superintendent during this interim period,” Helm said. “I will approach this role with tenacity and a sense of urgency. My focus will be on improving, clarifying and correcting that which needs to be better, and helping to craft a new vision for persistent areas of concern and challenge.”
The school board has identified the following top priorities for Helm: improving culture, climate and communications, maintaining a focus on student achievement, addressing the issues in the state audit, continuing the process of redrawing school attendance boundaries, and moving forward on the budget and staffing allocation efforts.
Helm’s service will officially begin Jan. 1, 2015. Her contract extends through June 30, 2015, but her contract also includes language that her service could be extended if a permanent superintendent is not in place by July 1, 2015, the date the board set as a deadline for hiring a full-time superintendent.