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Poe announces retirement as superintendent of Boone County Schools, effective June 30

NKyTribune staff

Boone County Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Poe has announced his retirement.

He has served in the distinguished and innovative district for 37 years and been the superintendent for the last 12 years making him among the longest-serving public school superintendents in the Commonwealth.

Boone County Schools Superintendent Randy Poe announces his retirement at Thursday’s regularly scheduled school board meeting. Poe has served in Boone County Schools for 37 years in a number of positions, including for the last 12 as superintendent (photos by Mark Hansel).

Poe announced his retirement Thursday night to the Boone County School Board at its regularly scheduled meeting. Here is a copy of the letter he presented to school board members, which he excerpted from at the meeting.

“For the last 37 years the Boone County School district has been my second home.  During this time, I witnessed the tremendous growth of Boone County, along with the growth of a great small school system to a large world-class education system for our students.  After the last 12 years, I can proudly say ‘mission accomplished.’

“During this time, our ACT scores have increased and we are Kentucky’s highest performing large diversified school district. According to OEDC tests we have outperformed the top touted international countries for the last several years. This has been accomplished through the creation of a World-Class Education centered on student empowerment, resource optimization, and parent involvement. Boone County Schools is recognized across this country as being one of the top high performing school districts despite having one of the lowest funding ratios in the country and that’s the result of the hard work of our staff and students.

“Last school year, I accepted an extension of my contract to help finish work within our 2020 Strategic Plan. With the opening of IGNITE Institute, we are well on our way to completing career pathways for all High School students. The district has seen new transformational education concepts, including the building of Ballyshannon Middle School, the IGNITE Institute and design completion of Steeplechase Elementary. Boone County is destined to continue its World Class Education far into the next century. As we embark on a new five-year strategic plan next year, it is now the best time for the School Board to select a new leader that will be able to continue to carry out this work.

Highlights from Thursday's Boone County School Board meeting, at which Superintendent Dr. Randy Poe announced his retirement, effective June 30

Posted by Mark Hansel on Thursday, November 14, 2019

Highlights of Thursday’s Boone County School Board meeting at which Superintendent Dr. Randy Poe announced his retirement effective June 30.

“Contributing to the district, as the Superintendent, has been an immensely rewarding personal and professional experience for me these last 12 years.  We’ve accomplished so much and I am grateful to all the staff, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians that I have had the privilege to work with over my 37-year career in Boone County. I have always said and will always say, “There is no better school district in this country to work in!” This is the reason why I began my career in student teaching in this district and will finish my career here, as Superintendent. I will forever be grateful to those individuals who gave me the opportunity to lead, challenged me to be better and pressed me forward to that edge to fly with confidence, I will always be grateful to you!

“I would like to take this opportunity to most graciously thank the school board members past and present for your trust, your leadership, your support and our genuine friendship over the years. Without a board centered on student empowerment, we would not be World Class, and for that I am sincerely appreciative. You have encouraged and challenged the administration to focus on ‘All Means All’ which was the foundation of the creation of the Boone County Early Learning Center, aligned P-12 curriculum around College, Career and Life Readiness, added the Boone County Virtual Program, Builders Association Program, Boone County Alternative Center, and the IGNITE Institute.  Can I just say ‘WOW?!’ You all are game changers and truly have a deep drive to see our students succeed. Keep changing lives!  Keep asking those tough questions! Keep seeing the big picture for our kids.

Dr. Poe interacting with students. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Teacher

With as much pride as I have for this school system and its students, I am equally thankful and humbled to have served as Superintendent for the past 12 years. I have so many sentiments at this time, as I formally announce my retirement date from Boone County Schools of June 30, 2020. I make this announcement early, so the board may have sufficient time to conduct an appropriate search and transition period for the next leader of this incredible district.

My plans are to spend some much needed time with my family and a little guy that knows me as “grandpa.” Education and my love for being a lifelong learner will never be finished as I plan to continue to invest my time in the future of our communities’ children in some form and look forward to what awaits me in retirement.

May God continue to bless you in the work of educating our next generation of leaders as we continue to ‘Achieve Excellence Together.’
With my most sincere thank you and deepest gratitude,”
Randy J. Poe, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools”

School Board Chair Karen Byrd, who has been a board member for 25 years said even though she knew this day was coming it was still difficult for her to hear.

Boone County School Board Chair Karen Byrd said Superintendent Dr. Randy Poe has the same passion for education as when she first met him 25 years ago.

“I remember as clear as I’m sitting here the first time I met Dr. Poe,” Byrd said.”He was sitting behind his principal’s desk at R.A. Jones Middle School with his sleeves rolled up, all gung ho. He’s still got his sleeves rolled up and is as gung ho for kids and education and learning as he was 25 years ago when I met him.”

Poe will leave soon after the current school year ends, but Byrd said she knows him well enough to say he will not be a lame duck.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Byrd said. “We still have a lot of gaps to close and some goals to hit.”

During Dr. Poe’s tenure, he led the district to distinguished and innovative status by creating a world-class education system centered on student empowerment, resource optimization, and parent involvement.

Over the last decade, the Boone County School district has outperformed the top touted international countries for several consecutive years according to OEDC tests. Its ACT scores have steadily increased to make Boone County Schools the highest performing large diverse public school district in Kentucky. Dr. Poe also completed the district’s 2020 Strategic Plan which included the creation and recent opening of IGNITE Institute, added the Boone County Virtual Program, Builders Association Program, the Boone County Early Learning Center and aligned the P-12 curriculum around College, Career and Life Readiness.

He also oversaw the construction of several new schools in the district.

Dr. Poe started in the Boone County School district as a teacher, coach, and school bus driver and worked his way up to Superintendent. Not many can say they began their professional career in the district they are retiring from, but Poe can. Boone County Schools is also where he did his student teaching. “I have always said there is not a better district in this country to work in,” Dr. Poe added.

Dr. Poe has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions during his time as superintendent including, just to name a few:

The 2012 NKU Outstanding Alumnus Award, The prestigious 2013 KASA Superintendent of the Year Award, 2015 F.L. Dupree Award, 2015 Northern Kentucky Education Council (NKYEC) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 NKY Chamber of Commerce Community Award and the 2019 NKYEC Spirit of the Region Award.

Dr. Poe with the current members of the Boone County School Board at the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, at which Poe announced his retirement. Pictured, left to right are Julia Pile, Dr. Maria Brown, Dr. Poe, Karen Byrd, Matt McIntire and Troy Fryman (not pictured Student Representative Jessica Engler.

With the retirement of Polly Lusk Page in June, Poe agreed to serve in a voluntary role, as interim executive director of the Northern Kentucky Education Council (NKYEC). He has served as a member of the Board for the past six years, most recently as the Board Chair.

“I humbly admit that I did not do any of this alone. Together we’ve accomplished so much and I am grateful to all of the staff, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians that I’ve had the privilege to work with over my 37-year career in Boone County,” said Dr. Poe.

The board also voted unanimously Thursday to contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) to conduct the search for Poe’s successor.

Don Martin, the KSBA Superintendent Search Consultant and a former Grant County Schools superintendent will spearhead the effort. Martin said he expects a wide range of candidates, from within the district and from the outside, to apply for the job.

“This will be a plum position for a lot of people,” Martin said.

Following retirement, Dr. Poe will continue to be a lifelong learner investing time in the community’s children. In the meantime he will spend some much needed time with family.

Poe’s retirement takes effect June 30.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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