JCPS promotes Fern Creek principal to Asst. Superintendent of School Turnaround

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fern Creek High School principal Dr. Nate Meyer is taking a new job to help other Jefferson County Public Schools succeed.

On Thursday, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio announced Meyer will serve as the district’s assistant superintendent of school turnaround.

"The purpose is to work with 18 schools that have been identified by KDE as priority schools and look at the systems they have in place, see what's working and see what we can do to improve student achievement in each of those 18 schools," Meyer said.

The former Doss High School social studies teacher spent seven years as an assistant principal at Fern Creek before taking the top job in 2014.

"I was very fortunate to serve as both an assistant principal and principal here at Fern Creek and be a part of a sustained turn around effort," Meyer said. "When I took over as principal, we were kind of in the middle of the turnaround process. We were a priority school."

During Meyer's tenure, Fern Creek pulled itself out of priority status. And the high school grew and received several national awards.

 "We were one of the five schools nationally that received the National Principal Leadership Institute Award," Meyer said. "And then in 2017, we won the Dufour Award as one of the nation's leading examples of a professional learning community.

"Those national awards that we received are about the dedication of our staff and the culture that we have been able to create."

The school also implemented an Ivy Plus Academy, which helps students go to the nation's top colleges and university.

"We have 75 students coming in just this year to be apart of the Ivy Plus Program," Meyer said.

Meyer made the announcement of his move to his Fern Creek family at a Thursday morning meeting. Joey Bailey, the executive director of the FCHS Alumni, said tThere was not a dry eye in the house."

"We are going to be so sad to lose Dr. Meyer," said Laquisha George, a FCHS parent.

George said he's happy for Meyer but sad to see him go.

"It was just an unexpected, very sudden thing ... kind of heart wrenching," George said.

Pollio said Meyer's ability to motivate other is another plus.

"It is impossible for one person to implement school turnarounds," Pollio said. “What Dr. Meyer has accomplished during his tenure at Fern Creek is to be commended, and I am confident our schools throughout the district will learn and benefit from his success.”

Meyer has always said the success at Fern Creek was a team effort, and Pollio believes that's why Meyer is the right man for the job in this case.

"Dr. Meyer has been extremely successful at creating a culture of systems and implementing those supporting students," Pollio said.

Meyer is a graduate of Eureka College in Illinois with a master’s degree from George Mason University in Virginia. He completed his doctoral work at the University of Louisville.

Meyer will start his new job Monday, and the search for a new principal to lead Fern Creek High School has already begun.

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