Two finalists named in Oldham County superintendent search
Two longtime educators with extensive backgrounds in academics were named finalists in the search for a new superintendent of Oldham County Schools on Wednesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two longtime educators with extensive backgrounds in academics have been named finalists in the search for a new superintendent of Oldham County Schools.
Dewey Hensley, who most recently served as the chief academic officer of Jefferson County Public Schools, and Greg Schultz, the assistant superintendent of student learning in Bullitt County, were named finalists during a public forum held at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center on Wednesday.
During the public forum, each finalist candidate had one hour to respond to questions pertaining to all school district operational areas -- Hensley went first at 5:30 p.m., with Schultz scheduled to follow at 6:30 p.m.
"Oldham County is a place with high expectations for academic excellence and a focus on positive outcomes for students at all levels," Hensley said. "I believe I can bring a unique perspective and leadership style to the district."
Hensley added "it would be an honor to lead in that kind of environment."
"We have the opportunity to develop the leaders and innovators of the future, as well as ensure each child has the critical thinking skills, creativity and academic knowledge they need to become whatever they want to be," Hensley said.
"When I started at Bullitt County we were pretty far behind," Schultz said. "We had to right the ship quickly. So we had to do a lot for kids in a short amount of time."
The school board has set a goal of selecting a new superintendent at its April 25 meeting at Crestwood Elementary. The new superintendent will assume those duties July 1.
Both Hensley and Schultz were teachers in Oldham County early in their careers.
"Bottom line, I'm looking at coming home," Schultz said. "It's been a long time since I've been here. I've not ever forgotten the great things I learned when I was here."
Since February, the Oldham County Schools Superintendent Screening Committee has been reviewing the applications of 19 candidates -- five from outside Kentucky -- and conducted three major screening events.
Over the past few weeks, the Oldham County Board of Education has been conducting their own review of the candidates and narrowed the list to Hensley and Schultz.
According to bios provided by the school board:
- Dewey Hensley has served Kentucky children and families for 24 years as a national board certified high school teacher, a highly Skilled Educator helping schools around the state, an award winning principal, the Associate Commissioner of Education for Kentucky and as the Chief Academic Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools. He has been recognized nationally as a leader in educational leadership, innovation, closing the achievement gap, and teaching and learning.
- Greg Schultz is a career-long educator. He started his teaching career at Oldham County high school where he was named teacher of the year for the school in 1998 prior to being promoted to the Dean of Students/Associate Principal position. Mr. Schultz left Oldham County when he was hired as the Principal of North Bullitt High School.
Hensley, who grew up in eastern Kentucky, began his career with Eminence Independent Schools, where he taught for nine years. He then spent four years as a teacher in Oldham County before becoming a highly skilled educator with the Kentucky Department of Education, where he was assigned to work with Carroll County Middle School and Covington Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky.
In 2003, he joined Jefferson County Public Schools and served as principal of Bates Elementary School from 2003-2005. He was named principal of Atkinson Elementary in 2006 and serving that school for five years.
Hensley briefly left Jefferson County in 2011 to become an associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, but came back to JCPS as chief academic officer in 2012 -- a position he held until he resigned in October.
In his resignation letter to JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens, citing referred to his growing frustration with his position, saying that after the first year of his tenure, "it has been a challenge to be heard above the 'noise' of indecision, the circling buzz of perception, and the hammer strikes to fabricate an image."
Hensley's resignation letter spoke about how working conditions in the district have "not been very enriching."
"It has been a time of marginalized voices, eroded credibility, and a great deal of time devoted less to developing quality schools for children and more about managing perceptions for adults," Hensley wrote.
Meanwhile, Schultz has spent the last eight years serving as the assistant superintendent of student learning in Bullitt County. During his tenure, Bullitt County has risen from the bottom of the state rankings to the top third in the state and has seen improvements in all areas across the instructional front.
Schultz is a native Kentuckian. He celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary this past fall with his wife Angela. They have two sons, Jake and Tim. Jake is a junior at the University of Louisville and Tim is a senior at Ballard High School.
Hensley and his family, Kathy and Daxon, live in Prospect. Daxon is nine years old and attends Locust Grove Elementary in Oldham County.
The Oldham County school board decided to part ways with the district's previous superintendent, Will Wells, in September, who it had placed on paid suspension in June. As part of a joint agreement, Wells will resign effective Dec. 31, but he continued to get paid and receive benefits through Sept. 30. He will also receive $60,000 before Jan. 15.
The agreement also discontinued an investigation into Wells and does not "give rise to any inference of any guilt on the part of Wells for any matter related to the investigation."
The Oldham County Board of Education hired the Kentucky School Boards Association to oversee the superintendent search process at a cost of $8,000.
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.