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A familiar face will be in a new role in Hardin County Schools this week.
Ron Ortiz will return to Hardin County Schools on Wednesday as principal of Brown Street Alternative Education Center in Vine Grove, and as district dropout prevention administrator, a newly created position.
Ortiz was principal at Central Hardin High School when he began military duty in January 2010. Tim Isaacs, an assistant principal at the school, took over as interim principal. He will continue to serve in that capacity until June, when a permanent replacement will be selected.
Ortiz replaces Joe Welch, who is retiring.
When Superintendent Nannette Johnston learned Welch would retire, she said it made sense to slide Ortiz into the new role to avoid bringing in a new face to the district.
“It all fit perfectly, honestly,” she said.
Johnston also thought Ortiz was a good choice for dropout prevention administrator. Creation of the position was approved at December’s school board meeting. Ortiz’s duties entail data analysis and studying new intervention programs to boost graduation rates.
“He’s a great fit for this,” Johnston said, citing Ortiz’s experience in leadership positions in education and the military.
Calculations for graduation rates are changing, and Johnston said she expects many districts to add similar positions. Elizabethtown High School has two graduation coordinators.
She said ensuring all students graduate also is a necessity for the greater good.
“It’s the right thing to do for our kids and our society and our nation,” she said.
Ortiz said he is looking forward to working with the staff and students at Brown Street and that he appreciates the support of the Central Hardin community, which he’s been a part of since 1990.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.