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Shively to lead city schools

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

The superintendents who will lead Paducah and McCracken County schools when the calendar turns to July have been selected.

The Paducah school board unanimously approved Donald Shively, currently assistant superintendent of instructional programs, as the next district leader during a specially called meeting Monday night. The McCracken County school board selected Lyon County superintendent Quin Sutton Thursday. Both men will begin their four-year contracts on July 1.

The city process began shortly after Superintendent Randy Greene announced during a November meeting that he will retire when his contract ends June 30. A six-member screening committee provided a list of three finalists on March 19. The board interviewed the finalists - one from in state, one from out of state and one from within the system - during three closed door meetings last week.

"All three candidates were professional, highly qualified and capable, but we could only choose one,"  board chairman Carl LeBuhn said. "We are confident we have selected the best candidate at this time to continue Paducah Independent Schools' positive trajectory."

LeBuhn mentioned Shively's collaborative and respectful style, data-driven approach to curriculum and glowing letters of recommendation from two other superintendents as several of his standout qualifications.

Greene said Shively will begin with a thorough knowledge of the district, community and state requirements.

"He just fit like a glove here," Greene said. "He's an energetic young man who understands curriculum and is well connected in the system. He's going to do great things."

Shively has served as assistant superintendent since 2011. He was the principal at Ballard Memorial High School from 2004 to 2011. From 1997 to 2004, he held several positions at Paducah Tilghman High School, including science teacher, assistant football coach, athletic director, assistant principal and member of the site-based decision-making council.

He emphasized the benefits of a deep and detailed knowledge of the district and the needs of faculty, staff and students.

"The knowledge base I have will definitely help to speed up the transition cycle," Shively said. "I've taught, coached, worked in administration and in the central office, so I have a unique perspective and can relate to everyone throughout the district."

He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Centre College in Danville and a master's degree in educational leadership from Murray State University. Shively will also begin a doctorate of education in P-20 and community leadership program at Murray State this fall.

His management style will focus on gathering and communicating information, he said. Another emphasis will be continuing to work on getting every senior student ready for college or a career.

Shively said he learned several keys of successful leadership while working with Greene.

"I've got some big shoes to fill, but what I learned from him was always listen, ask a lot of questions, treat everyone the right way and surround yourself with great people," he said.

Shively said his focus will remain on a individualized approach to ensuring student success districtwide.

"I'm excited and focused on serving students and meeting their needs," he said. "I want to build on the legacy we have here and continue to prepare our students for the next step."

The district will post Shively's current job as soon as this week, according to board secretary Lisa Mitchell.

 

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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