Smith named CIS superintendent

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Vote was 3-2 to hire Smith; contract details not yet worked out

By Zac Oakes


Campbellsville Independent School District has selected its new superintendent.

Kirby Smith, Campbellsville High School Principal and head baseball coach, was selected by the board to be the district’s new superintendent following a 3-2 vote at Monday night’s meeting.

Following the meeting, Smith expressed gratitude to the board and said he was honored to be chosen.

“Right now, I am just very thankful and grateful,” Smith said. “I am very humbled and honored to be given this opportunity by the board of education. I am looking forward to continue moving this district forward and working with everyone … I thank God for this opportunity. I truly am blessed.”

The motion to nominate Smith for the position was made by board member and Vice Chair Mitch Overstreet and seconded by board member Angie Johnson. Suzanne Wilson joined Overstreet and Johnson in the majority decision.

Board Chair Pat Hall and board member Barkley Taylor voted against the motion.

Smith will take over the position on July 1, as current superintendent Mike Deaton’s current contract runs through the end of June.

In December, Deaton announced that he would not seek another contract with the school district.

Hall said the board was pleased to have two strong candidates from within the district.

“We would’ve rather been in a situation where we could hire both as a superintendent,” Hall said. “But that is not the case. Somebody had to be chosen. Mr. Smith won the majority vote and we are pleased with the decision. This board will move forward with Mr. Smith at the helm.”

For now, Smith said he is focused on finishing the school year as CHS principal.

“My focus is on finishing out this school year strong,” he said. “We have finals coming up next week, so my focus is on finishing out this year at the high school.”

Smith said he anticipates meeting with Deaton in the near future, after the school year, to discuss the transition process.

He said he believes Campbellsville Independent Schools is a great district to work in.

“This is a great district, I love this district,” Smith said. “I’ve loved my time here and it is a special place to offer a quality education with a down-to-earth, caring staff. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.”

Following the vote, Hall had a message for those in attendance.

“All five board members have pledged their support to him in all of his efforts,” Hall said. “It still remains that Mr. Deaton is currently the superintendent. He has had to sit silently by and has done his job, and he does not know how much this board appreciates him.”

Hall said she and the board were thankful for what Deaton has done for the school district during his tenure, and for what he is continuing to do. The board will conduct Deaton’s evaluation next month.

There have not yet been any contract discussions with Smith as of Monday evening, but Hall said those discussions will begin soon between her and the board’s attorney.

Details of Smith’s contract will be announced at the board’s next regular monthly meeting, scheduled for June 12 at 6 p.m. at the board office at 136 S. Columbia Ave.

Deaton was hired at approximately $98,000 per year. Through step increases during his eight-year tenure, Deaton’s contract gave him a salary of $122,000 or $123,000, according to Hall. A spreadsheet from the Kentucky Department of Education website showed Deaton’s salary to be $122,732 as of September 15, 2016. 

Hall said there were tentative discussions with each of the finalists about salary expectations during the interview phase of the superintendent hiring process.

Before becoming principal, Smith was the assistant principal at CHS under Deaton and was a special education teacher before that. Smith has been at the helm of the CHS baseball team for more than a decade.

Hall said in an email Tuesday morning that no decision had been reached on releasing the names of the other two finalists. One of the other two finalists is a current Campbellsville Independent Schools employee.

With Smith switching roles, the CHS principal position will have a vacancy. Hall said filling that position would be left up to the CHS Site-Based Decision-Making Council. That process will be started soon, Hall said.

“That process will be done by the site-based council, and all proper procedures will be followed during that process,” Hall said.

In other news from the meeting, the district’s salary schedule for 2017-2018 was approved by the board and includes a 1-percent pay raise for district employees.

The tentative budget for the 2017-2018 school year was also discussed. Deaton said the projected carry forward balance unrestricted was $2.2 million. The reserve restricted fund balance was $620,000. Deaton said $500,000 of that was in the construction fund. The remaining $120,000 was in the sick leave payable account.

CES Reading Intervention teacher Laura Dicken was chosen for this month’s Dare to Soar Award. Dicken has been teaching at CES since 1997 and said she was honored to receive the award.

“I’m really honored to receive this,” Dicken said. “This isn’t just a job for me. It’s more like a ministry. I always try to do my best so my children can be their absolute best… It is a lot of joy every day and I have a great time teaching here.”

The board approved an auditor contract with Wise, Buckner, Sprowles, and Associates, LLC for fiscal year 2017. Deaton said the district’s familiarity with the company played a big part in the agreement.

The board also approved a physical therapy contract with Taylor Regional Hospital. Deaton said the district has been pleased with the services it has received there.

CIS Public Information Officer Calen McKinney gave a breakdown of the district’s various accomplishments, as well as accomplishments from each individual school throughout the school year.

All five board members were present for the meeting.