LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An administrator with Jefferson County Public Schools has been named the principal of the district's new alternative school.

Donald Dillard has been an assistant principal in JCPS since 2007 serving at Doss, Shawnee and Waggener high schools and Farnsley Middle School.

He will lead the district's alternative school efforts at Buechel Metro High School, which is expected to be renamed the Minor Daniels Academy at Monday's school board meeting.

"I have always liked working with kids who have struggled," Dillard told WDRB News on Monday. "There are a lot of students who need extra help recovering some of the academic work that they have lost."

"A lot of times, kids don’t know what they want to do, they don’t see the purpose of having an education," he said. "We have to help change the direction they've been in and find ways to help them be successful."

In March, the school board approved a plan to merge Kennedy Metro and Buechel Metro and make other changes at Breckinridge Metro High, Liberty High and the Phoenix School of Discovery. 

District officials believe the changes will better meet the needs of individual students, as well as reduce the drop-out rate and increase the graduation rate of the district's alternative students as well as help ensure safe and orderly environments in the district's other schools.

Dillard will start his new job Tuesday. That leaves two principal vacancies at Jeffersontown and Shawnee high schools.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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