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It was slightly more than two years ago when Dr. John Millay and his wife, Melissa, walked through a firestorm of howls and jeers as they entered the boardroom of the Elizabethtown Independent Schools Board of Education. That evening, board members unanimously voted to hire Millay as superintendent while a crowd of angry students, parents and teachers supporting then-interim Superintendent Gary French protested their decision with catcalls and placards.
Needless to say, this less-than-desirable welcome was an embarrassment to many in the community and a tumultuous start for Millay in his new role.
In contrast, the new superintendent humbly acknowledged the opposition against him, pointing out he’d “rather see passion for kids and education, than the absence of it.”
As the days passed and Millay exercised his skill and ability as an educator, administrator and communicator, he proved he could lead the district forward. Under his leadership standardized test scores across the district improved and EIS maintained its high educational rankings among the top districts across the state. The tradition of excellence in which the district prides itself continued within the classroom.
But now, following his recent resignation, Millay’s tenure at the district’s helm will be disappointingly short-lived. He’s decided to pursue another educational leadership opportunity as a policy adviser with the Kentucky Board of Education. His resignation is effective at the end of the month.
We wish Millay success and fulfillment in his new position and thank him for the investment of his abilities within the EIS system.
Now, EIS’s board has the task of finding the best successor possible and in a relatively short period of time. The approaching school year begins Aug. 7.
The board is to be commended for its decision to again call upon Bill Twyman to oversee the district as interim superintendent and for his willingness to do so again. Twyman, a retired administrator, has a depth of knowledge and experience and served in this temporary leadership capacity for the district before.
It’s also good to see the board has decided to once again make use of the available resources and recruiting assistance of the Kentucky School Board Association. KSBA will conduct a national search and provide the district with a pool of qualified candidates. Further, the candidate screening committee established by the board – composed of two certified teachers, another district employee, a student parent, a board member and a district principal – will be another important asset to the recruitment and selection process.
With initial preparation steps taken, we encourage the board to cast a wide net in finding Millay’s successor. Identifying and selecting another quality candidate to lead a quality district will ensure the right fit for a long and successful tenure.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.