Ronald H. “Sonny” Fentress has been named as the new interim superintendent by the Laurel County Board of Education, and began his duties on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Fentress’ resume boasts 42 years experience in education as a graduate of Western Kentucky University. In 1979, he became principal of Anderson County High School working his way up to the superintendent position in 1985. Since his retirement in 2005, he’s taken his 19 years of superintendent expertise to Floyd, Washington, Mercer, Eminence and Pendleton counties as an interim on six occasions. The Laurel County Public School District will be his seventh interim position.
“I want to do as much as I can to help kids do as well as they can, and keep moving forward,” he said.
Fentress is a Kentucky Colonel, has received a Distinguished Service Award by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the F.L. Dupree Award by the Kentucky School Boards Association.
Deputy Superintendent Denise Griebel and Assistant Superintendent Randy Leger chose not to assume the interim position because they would have been required to step down from their current positions.
According to Board Chairman Bud Stuber, Fentress will receive $500 a day in salary, the standard pay for an interim superintendent. While Fentress will not receive benefits, he will be reimbursed for any travel expenses.
As interim, Fentress will not only oversee all 17 schools in the district but also assist the Superintendent Search Committee in naming a new, permanent superintendent.
Currently, the board has received only 36 email responses from community members concerning superintendent criteria to be taken into consideration during the interview process. To make a superintendent criteria suggestion, log onto www.laurel.k12.ky.us for a link upon the home page. Anonymous suggestions will not be considered.
Fentress’ term as interim will expire before the appointment of a permanent superintendent, tentatively set for July 1, 2012.
“The main thing is to have a great school year. Everybody working together is what’s good for the kids,” Fentress said.