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Jon Ballard looking to return to alma mater

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Profile of finalist for EIS superintendent

By Kelly Cantrall

A product of Elizabethtown Independent Schools, Jon Ballard is excited at the opportunity to return to the district.

Ballard is one of two finalists for the superintendent position at Elizabethtown Independent Schools. Ballard previously worked in the district and is associate superintendent of human resources for Hardin County Schools.

Ballard graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1983 and began his teaching career at the school. He became interested in teaching after encountering several influential math instructors during his time there.

His work in administration began when he was referred by a professor to look at a position in Barren County.

“I really wasn’t looking to get out of the classroom originally,” he said.

He since has held several administrative and district-level positions and has worked at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Ballard said the experience has allowed him to see the various needs of teachers and to see how other districts operate.

“I’ve been able to gain new ideas and see how things could be done in different ways,” he said.

Ballard said becoming EIS superintendent would be the next step in his career and is an opportunity to do so at a district with which he had ties.

“It was that particular position” that caught his interest, he said.

Ballard interviewed for the job this week. Despite a familiarity with the district, much has changed in education since he left EIS, including new standards and a new state assessment, and he enjoys seeing how the district has responded to these changes.

His relationship with both local districts is an asset, he said, and the two districts are beneficial to the county.

“We’re fortunate in this community to have two strong districts,” he said.

Mark Owens, director of pupil personnel at Daviess County Schools, is the other finalist for the position. The finalists are two of an initial 15 applicants for the job. Board Chairman Tony Kuklinski said the board ideally would select a new superintendent by the end of the month.

Superintendent Gary French plans to retire in June.

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

Getting to know Jon Ballard

Age: 48

High School: Elizabethtown High School

College: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, master’s degree and a Rank I degree from Western Kentucky University

Career:

 - Teacher and coach at Elizabethtown High School

 - Assistant principal at Barren County Middle School

 - Principal at Eastern Elementary School in Barren County

 - Director of Pupil Personnel at Barren County Schools

 - Director of Pupil Personnel at Hardin County Schools

 - Assistant Superintendent for Student Services at Elizabethtown Independent Schools

Family: wife, Courtney; and two sons, Ethan and Jack