The next leader of Paducah Public Schools is gearing up for his turn to lead a district he knows well.
The Paducah Board of Education unanimously approved Donald Shively as superintendent on March 31. Superintendent Randy Greene announced in November that he wouldn't seek another contract when his current agreement ends June 30. The district spent the next five months vetting applicants through a screening committee and interviews.
Shively has been assistant superintendent of instructional programs since 2011. He previously served as principal at Ballard Memorial High School and also held several positions at Paducah Tilghman High School, including science teacher, assistant football coach, athletic director and assistant principal.
He said Greene has allowed him to lead as assistant superintendent and he looks forward to bringing his own style but a continued focus on individualized student development.
"We have a great process in place, but we can always keep improving," Shively said. "It's about providing the best value to the customer and knowing what kids, teachers and community members want to see and then collaborating for an overall vision."
He said the familiarity he has with the district will help ease the transition. Shively has been meeting with key stakeholders throughout the district - including principals, directors and community members - to gather information.
"I've been listening and asking a lot of questions," he said. "I've seen how the district runs from every different perspective."
Shively said he hopes to build on the last, very successful year, which included a record number of scholarships for the Paducah Tilghman 2013-2014 senior class, improving graduation and college and career readiness rates, and the first year in the new Paducah Middle School building.
"It's been great, but we are not satisfied and want to provide more and more opportunities for our students," he said. "When you have a high quality product, you want to keep making it better."
He has also been working to transition his replacement, Will Black, who was named the assistant superintendent of instructional programs in late May. Black, a graduate of Paducah Tilghman and Princeton University and former principal in Massac County, Ill., served as the Title I coordinator for Paducah Schools last year.
"He (Black) is bright, passionate and has a laser-like focus on improving Paducah schools," Shively said.