Parents optimistic about new interim principal at McCracken County High

Matthew Houser

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — After weeks without leadership, McCracken County High School has an interim principal.

The announcement, made Wednesday, comes weeks after several investigations were opened regarding criminal allegations against school staff and a student.

Interim McCracken County Schools Superintendent Heath Cartwright and Houser each say they want to do everything they can to make sure students finish this school year on a strong note. Parents I spoke with as they picked up their kids Wednesday said they’re happy to be able to share some positive news with their children after weeks of controversy.

Just days into his new role, Cartwright said he didn’t want waste any time. “I can’t. There was important work that had to be done to find the right person to just bring a sense of closure — even if it’s an interim closure,” Cartwright said.

Houser’s selection comes just shy of one week without a principal at the high school. Talking with me Wednesday, he said his focus is no different than it was in his previous role as assistant principal. “Our priority is always our students, and that certainly won’t change, so we’re going to do whatever is best for our kids and try to have a good fourth quarter,” Houser said.

Parents said they hope the school’s community will be able to move forward in a positive direction.

“I’m tickled — tickled to death about it,” parent Jack Randle Perdew said.

“I believe he has the standards to do this, and so we feel really positive,” parent Sherry Carbonell said. “And I was really happy when I just got the alert on my phone.”

Cartwright said he plans to work to make sure teachers are trained so they know how to report criminal incidents to the proper authorities. He also said he is confident Houser will be able to bring the sense of healing that the school needs.

Houser began his career as a classroom teacher in 2006. When the high school opened in 2013, he was named assistant principal.

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