TCHS principal resigns

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By Calen McKinney


When they go back to school next month, a new face will greet Taylor County High School students.

Taylor County High School Principal Charles Higdon Jr. has resigned from his principal post, and the search has begun to find his replacement.

Higdon is now director of district-wide programs, which he says is an assistant superintendent post alongside Taylor County Superintendent Roger Cook.

The position was posted on Taylor County Board of Education's website on May 19. The posting states that applicants must meet specific certification requirements, which include having a superintendent's certificate. Applications for the post were due June 19.

Higdon, who was on vacation last week, stated in an emailed response for comment on his new job, "In this position, I will continue to serve students, parents and staff on a daily basis."

With construction of new Taylor County schools beginning soon, Higdon stated, Cook will be extremely busy.

" ... And I feel I will be able to take care of whatever tasks he needs me to handle, which will keep him readily available to remain hands on with the construction projects."

Higdon, a Campbellsville University graduate, became TCHS principal after Gaylon Yarberry retired before the 2007-2008 school year.

Higdon began his education career at Meade County Schools. After six and a half years there, he was named assistant principal at Hebron Middle School. Shortly after, he was named principal. While at the school, test scores rose.

In 2007, Hidgon told the News-Journal that he had heard good comments about TCHS, and that's what prompted him to apply.

TCHS Site-Based Decision Making Council members interviewed nine candidates during the second round of applications to become Yarberry's replacement. Council members said Higdon's enthusiasm, his putting children first and his priorities of faith, family and his school set him apart from the other candidates.

Higdon stated that the committee chosen to select his replacement met on Wednesday to receive the required training to perform the search.

"I am blessed to have served as principal of TCHS for the past seven years," he stated. "I truly believe TCHS is one of the finest high schools in the state of Kentucky. I am so proud my daughter attends TCHS and my other two children will someday graduate from there.

"The staff at TCHS is second to none. They care so much about the students and are there to serve the children of our community. I am excited about the future for TCHS. We have an extraordinary SBDM council that will find the right person for the job."

Cook was on vacation last week and didn't respond before press time to a request for comment on Higdon's resignation.


Search Begins

The search to replace Higdon has already begun, and two public meetings have been scheduled to continue the process. SBDM members, along with Cook, will go through the selection process.

The council consists of parents Chad Sullivan and Jennifer Boils and teachers Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Lindsey McPherson and Ryan Williams.

A survey has been posted on the TCHS website, according to Fitzpatrick, for parents and others interested to give their input on the qualities the new TCHS principal should have. To access the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/975FTQ9.

Surveys will be accepted through Thursday, Fitzpatrick said.

SBDM members will meet next Monday at 5 p.m. in the TCHS office to analyze survey data and draft and approve principal interview questions. Also on the agenda is a closed session to discuss personnel.

The following Monday, July 14, council members will meet again at 4 p.m. in the TCHS office to interview principal applicants in closed session, and possibly choose Higdon's replacement.

Both meetings are open to the public.

Applications for the TCHS principal post were accepted beginning June 19 and will continue to be through July 19.

According to the job description, the TCHS principal is to be a "visionary leader who promotes the success of all students and staff through educational leadership, efficient organizational management, professional standards of conduct and effective communication with all stakeholders in the school."

For a complete description, visit the Taylor County School District employment opportunities page at www.taylor.kyschools.us/content_page2.aspx?cid=246.