McCracken County School Board ‘waiting on a response’ in search for acting superintendent

McCracken County Board of Education Chair Steve Shelby

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — McCracken County Board of Education Chairman Steve Shelby said, although the board did not take any action during Friday’s executive session, they are still working to find an acting superintendent following the sudden resignation of Brian Harper.

Friday afternoon, Shelby called a special emergency meeting with the school board. The board unanimously accepted the resignation of Harper, effective March 9.

The board later went into executive session to discuss who would become the acting superintendent until a new superintendent can be appointed. After the executive session, which lasted about 20 minutes, Shelby said no action was taken. But, he did give an update on the progress the board has made.

“We have made contacts. This is a pretty big job, so you can’t expect someone to say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll be there tomorrow.’ So we’re waiting on a response, and we will call another meeting, confirm whichever person we come to, and we will let you know immediately,” Shelby said. “We cannot discuss who was contacted, but we’re going to be on it and we hope to have this resolved next week.”

After the meeting, Shelby answered questions from the media, including what type of person the board wants to fill the role.

“We’re just looking for experience in different fields, experience as a superintendent. We got a huge building project. There’s a lot of aspects to doing this,” Shelby said.

Local 6 also asked Shelby about the impact of Harper’s resignation.

“There’s a lot of things impacting the school district right now, and we’re trying to work through them,” said Shelby. “We’re trying to do the best job we can, and we can’t always put the best thing out there in front of the media if we don’t know it — so there’s an impact.”

Shelby said Harper did not indicate why he decided to resign. Local 6 also asked Shelby if he saw Harper’s resignation coming, but Shelby would not comment. Shelby said he has not spoken with Harper since he submitted his resignation letter.

Shelby said, as superintendent, Harper was “very cooperative, always seemed to have the best interest of the children and the staff,” adding that “I wish the very best to Brian Harper and his family.”

McCracken County School District is also without an interim principal at the high school after Ginger Stewart, who was serving in that role, announced Thursday she’s returning to her position as director of district-wide programs.

With high school principal Michael Ceglinski still suspended with pay, Local 6 asked the district what’s next. Public Relations Director Jayme Jones confirmed that an interim principal won’t be appointed until the board picks an acting superintendent first. Jones told Local 6 the high school still has five assistant principals.

Late Friday night, Jones also confirmed to Local 6 that Harper will not receive a severance package, because he resigned. “The board accepted his resignation and did not provide severance or compensation moving forward,” Jones said. “Today is his last day of paid employment.”

To see our coverage of the emergency board meeting today, click here. For our previous coverage of the investigations out of McCracken County High School, click here.

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