After former Helmwood Heights Principal Jessica Turner was named the new instructional coordinator early July, the school now has a new leader at the helm.
Aaron Howell, former assistant principal at Central Hardin High School, had worked there since 2014 before deciding to apply to Helmwood.
“I knew it (Helmwood) was a great school, and I wanted to be part of it,” Howell said.
Orignally from Elizabethtown and graduating from Elizabethtown High School in 1998, Howell then went on to receive his bachelor’s in history at the University of Kentucky, and his master’s in teaching at Bellarmine University.
Since the early 2000s, Howell has taught and led at James T. Alton Middle School, North Hardin High School, LaRue County High School and CHHS.
He said education and teaching is a profession that runs in the family. His mother is a retired teacher and his sister is an elementary principal in northern Kentucky.
“It’s about the joys that you had growing up,” Howell said about pursuing a career in education. “The people who impacted your life, many times it’s teachers. You remember the people who made a mark on your life, and then when you decide what you want to do is that, you kind of reflect on that.”
EIS Superintendent Kelli Bush said the Helmwood site-based decision making council work diligently to determine the principal from 18 applicants.
“We found him to be very passionate. Passionate about kids, passionate about teaching and learning. Passionate about E’town,” Bush said.
Howell said his leadership experience and knowledge of the community is what most likely led to his selection as principal of Helmwood.
With COVID-19 a factor in the upcoming school year, Howell said he’ll be taking cues from the district, and will also work on making sure teachers are making the necessary connections with students even with online schooling.
“I think with the staff that’s there at Helmwood, I think they’re gonna be after it. I think they’re going to want to get it done,” Howell said.
Howell also said that although programs Turner had in place at Helmwood weren’t able to be demonstrated because of testing cancellations in spring, he said he would like to continue what she started.
He is married to Meredith, and has a four-year-old daughter named Violet and an 18-month-old daughter named Margot, both who will be going to Helmwood.
Howell will be taking on the school year very soon. Even with the delayed start date, he has about two weeks to prepare himself. He said despite this, they’ll be meeting and discussing the school year soon.
“We’re gonna do right, we’re gonna get it done right, and I’m excited and I’m looking forward to it,” Howell said.