CMS Principal Lewis earns high praise from board of education

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By Zac Oakes


Campbellsville Middle School Principal Zach Lewis earned high praise from Campbellsville Independent Schools Superintendent Kirby Smith and members of the CIS Board of Education at Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

Lewis, who is in his first year as principal of CMS, presented to the board an update about the various activities and accomplishments the students have had thus far in the school year.

Lewis took over the position of CMS principal over the summer, after former CMS Principal Elisha Rhodes decided to return to Campbellsville Elementary. Lewis was formerly an assistant principal at CES before taking over the CMS job.

Smith told the board that Lewis is doing an excellent job in his first year as principal.

“He is farther along than what I was as a first-year principal,” Smith said.

CIS Board Chair Pat Hall asked Lewis how he felt in his first year as principal. Lewis said he is really enjoying his first year at the helm of CMS.

“I tell people this and it sounds cliché, but I love my job,” Lewis said. “Because no two days are the same and sometimes, no two hours are the same. I get to work with people as well and I get to impact lives, and if you’re working in a school system, you are affecting the future and I think that’s the core of what we do.”

Smith added that Lewis has exceeded his expectations. He said when he was hired, he told Lewis that he expected him to attend several events and be a well-known face in the school. He said Lewis has been at nearly every CMS function and has done a great job of representing the school.


In other news from Monday’s meeting:

·      Several CMS students were recognized for their achievements inside and outside the classroom. MaCayla Falls and Haylee Allen were recognized for their performance as members of the CMS Academic Team at the Governor’s Cup region competition. Falls placed fourth in science and Allen placed fourth in math. Both advanced to state competition held in Louisville March 17-19. CMS student Chase Hord was recognized for being the school’s first student to hold a state-wide office at Junior Beta. Hord will compete for National Secretary this summer. Peyton Dabney and Whitney Frasure were also recognized for their achievements at the state Junior Beta convention for advancing to national competition.

·      Change Awards were given to CMS/CHS head custodian David Mardis and the community award was given to CIS alumnus and parent Amanda McNeill.

·      Campbellsville Independent board members will be undergoing training related to charter school authorization. Hall told board members that they have to complete 12 hours of training over the course of the next two years. Under charter school legislation that passed through the Kentucky General Assembly last year, charter applications will need approval from a local school board.

·      Hall also reported that she and Smith had a productive visit with Rep. Bam Carney and Sen. Max Wise recently regarding budget issues as it relates to education and the state’s pension situation. While Hall said there was not a lot to disclose, as both situations are very fluid right now, she said the legislators were very understanding and she appreciated them taking the time to meet with her and Smith. It’s possible that a pension bill is released this week, but as of press time, there was no confirmed release date.

·      Hall and Smith both applauded Campbellsville High School Principal David Petett and the CHS faculty and staff for putting together an event last Friday in which a basketball game was organized for several deserving CHS students.

“What happened in the gym last Friday has been a long time coming,” Hall said. “That is why we, as board members, do what we do.”

·      Associate Superintendent and Financial Director Chris Kidwell informed the board that a future meeting, possibly next month, he would be discussing with the board an amendment to the budget to allow an additional $30,000 — $50,000 be placed into the fund that is used to pay out unused sick leave for district retirees. Kidwell said the district is nearing the allotted funding for unused sick leave payouts already, as uncertainty regarding the future of the state’s struggling pension system has led several school employees to announce their retirements. Kidwell said that there are other school district employees eligible for retirement, and some of those could also go ahead and announce their retirements to in the coming months. 


Personnel Report

New Employees- Jill Blakeman, substitute teacher; Lisa Durham, substitute teacher; Joe Knifley, substitute bus driver; Debbie Simmons, substitute teacher; Kimberly Sims, substitute teacher

Hired athletics/others- Debbie Edwards, CES academic team (FPS) coach