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John Hardin High School's Garrison selected for state superintendent training

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By Kelly Cantrall

The principal of John Hardin High School is supplementing his leadership experience with a program that includes an out-of-district internship.

Alvin Garrison has been selected to participate in the Minority Superintendent Internship Program, which trains educators from ethnic minorities who might be candidates for future superintendent positions.

Garrison is one of three chosen for the two-year program, which has been part of the Kentucky Department of Education since 2006. Garrison will train with Superintendent Nannette Johnston and associate superintendents in the Hardin County Schools district during the first year. Afterward, he will work with a superintendent in a different district.

Garrison has completed the superintendent certification process and wanted to explore options in education.

“I was hoping that would be a part of my future,” he said of a superintendent position.

Garrison has been principal of John Hardin for six years, and has served as an assistant principal and social studies teacher. The program gives him an opportunity to test his success in a district’s Central Office.

“Really, I’m just wanting to know if I’m up for the challenge,” he said.

The district will select an interim principal during Garrison’s absence in the second year of the program.

“We encourage our leaders to seek opportunities to better themselves and gain experiences that will help them grow as a leader,” Johnston said in a news release.

The program was created to combat a drastic imbalance in minority representation in superintendent positions. There is only one ethnic minority superintendent in the 174 school districts in the state, said Lisa Gross, director of the Department of Education’s division of communication and community engagement. The numbers are not at all representative of Kentucky’s population, she said.

There has been steady progress made in the number of female superintendents, she said. There are 38 women serving in superintendent positions in the state.

Gross said the department hopes the program can give a boost to talented educators who would be qualified for such positions.

Garrison said he is a believer in lifelong learning and knows the experience will help him in whatever roles he assumes in his career.

“This is an opportunity for me to grow,” he said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.