Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

December 2, 2012

Hurt tenders resignation, plans to retire

EDMONTON — Metcalfe County’s superintendent, Part Hurt, tendered her resignation earlier this week, effectively retiring from education Dec. 31.

Hurt notified school district employees of her decision via e-mail Wednesday. She also shared the e-mail with local media.

“I think we know when it is time to make a change and I am looking forward to the next chapter,” she said in the e-mail.

Hurt met with Joey Shive, school board chairman Wednesday night.

Shive said on Thursday that Hurt’s decision to resign “kind of came as a shock to everybody.”

Hurt still has more than a year remaining on her contract. Her decision to resign was hers alone.

“I think we know when it is time to make a change and I am looking forward to the next chapter,” she said in the e-mail.

She added since her mother’s death this year she has paused more than once to think about her priorities.

 “My family matters and I have much to do in Ohio to settle her estate still. My grandchildren have grown up saying, ‘Where’s Nana!’ Perhaps they can now readily find me,” she stated.

Hurt asked district employees to join her in celebrating what they have accomplished during her more than seven-year tenure as superintendent.

“I have no regrets and would do it all again,” she said. “Through it all, the ups and the downs, I have had the time of my life. We have a month left together so let’s remember all of the good we have accomplished together. You have made me so very proud.”

Allen Trotter, principal of Metcalfe County Middle School, said he supports Hurt’s decision.

“While I will miss her, I will carry with me always the things that she has instilled in me as an individual, as well as an educator/administrator,” he said. “She, along with the help of the board members and directors past and present, has put our district in a position to share with other districts what can be done at the classroom level to ensure academic success, and college and career readiness.”

LaKettia O’Leary, a Metcalfe County Board of Education member, said she knows Hurt put a lot of thought into her decision to retire.

“Many wonderful things have been accomplished under her leadership and guidance during her tenure at Metcalfe County,” she said.  “Ms Hurt’s determination and drive for student achievement is a legacy that she leaves behind.  I am proud to have had the opportunity to have worked with such a wonderful lady and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

In a follow-up interview, Hurt said her plans are also to retire, but that she is open to taking a position at either state or regional levels, whether it be part-time or full-time should the right opportunity to come along. Because she is retiring, she must wait 90 days before accepting another job in education.

“I am not ready to retire from education forever, but for a while it is inviting. I do feel that the timing is right for me here because so many of the goals we sought to reach as a board team have been met with recent success.”

Hurt came to Metcalfe County Schools in 2005 after working for the Kentucky Department of Education as director of the division of school improvement. She succeeded Byron Jeffries as superintendent.

During her tenure, plans were made to construct two new schools — a new Metcalfe County Middle School and a new primary education center for grades preschool through  second.

An open house for the new middle school is planned for Dec. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The school district did not have the funds, at first, to build the schools. The school board increased property tax rates and levied additional taxes, coupling tax revenue with the school district’s bonding capacity to generate enough money to fund the school construction projects.

Also during Hurt’s tenure, the school district found itself on a list of 10 schools identified as persistently low achieving  as part of a Race to the Top federal grant application. Since its appearance on the list. The high school make quick comeback by making adequate yearly progress on assessment exams that same spring in 2010. Recently, the school  district has improved its assessment scores and was recently named a

proficient district by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Another challenge Hurt faced during her tenure as superintendent was the loss of the school district’s central office and bus garage to a flood in May of 2010.

“We’ve come out better at the end of every one of these,” she said.

As for the successes, the school district achieving proficiency was “simply the best news she ever heard.”  The school board may appointment someone to serve as interim superintendent until a search can be conducted to find permanent replacement.

Shive supports the idea of appointing an interim superintendent.

“It’s going to take the will of the whole board [to make that decision],” he said. “I think the proper thing to do right now would be to go ahead and find an interim and then form a committee and work with the KSBA [Kentucky School Board Association] to do a superintendent search.”

As for when the school board might appoint an interim superintendent, Shive said he wasn’t sure if the school board would be ready to appoint someone by its December meeting, but added it would be nice if that happened.

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