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Dunbar assistant to head SCHS

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By Lisa King

Eddie Oakley, the newly anointed principal at Shelby County High School, says he's excited about the job.

Oakley, an assistant principal at Dunbar High School in Lexington for the past four years, was chosen this week by SCHS's Site-Based Decision-Making Council to take the reins at Shelby County High School. He starts July 1.

"I am really looking forward to coming to Shelby County; it's a beautiful community, and I'm really excited about meeting the challenge of being principal of the high school," he said.

Superintendent James Neihof said in a prepared statement that Oakley "brings a strong background in working with students as well as in administrative roles, which will be a good fit for SCHS."

Oakley spent 11 years at Dunbar in a variety of roles, including associate principal, physical education and health teacher, and head boys' basketball coach. His first educational position was in 1983 as a special- education teacher.

In his current role, he oversees the school's Freshman Academy, handles disciplinary matters and supervises a program called PASS (Positive Approach to Student Success), which assists students at risk of academic failure because of behavior disorders.

"Behavior of students dictates their academic performance," he said.

Oakley said he doesn't know if he will face any significant disciplinary problems at SCHS.

"I have not been advised of any discipline problems there, but of course, I will be feeling people out and getting to know everyone," he said. "And if there any such issues to be addressed, I am a firm believer in doing the right thing for students."

In his application letter, Oakley emphasized the value of analyzing all student data.

"Data analysis, followed by data-driven instruction, is an element I have used in my classroom, and both are aspects of who I am as an instructional leader," he wrote in his application letter. He supported that after being named principal Wednesday by saying, "I have seen the change that can occur when we use data to drive what we do for our students."

He said it's important for teachers to work together "to guide where we need to

be on the same page of learning."

Neihof said in his statement that Oakley will be an asset to the school system.

"We welcome Eddie to our team of principals," he said. "His attention to students should individualize relationships, which can promote academic achievement for those who are struggling as well as those who are excelling."

Oakley has a bachelor's from Transylvania, master's from Morehead State University, and certifications from Eastern Kentucky University.

He has two sons, Ryan, a junior at Murray State University, and Josh, who has enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Oakley, who currently lives in Lexington, said he is planning to put his house on the market and try to find a place in Shelbyville.

"I think it's an important move, because I want to be a part of the community," he said.

 

 Principal chosen for high school

Comes from Dunbar in Lexington

By Lisa King/Sentinel-News staff writer

Eddie Oakley, current assistant principal at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, has been named to take the reins at Shelby County High School come fall.

Oakley, who has been at Dunbar for 11 years, and assistant principal there since 2005, will become the new principal at SCHS effective July 1.

“I am really looking forward to coming to Shelby County; it’s a beautiful community and I’m really exciting about meeting the challenge of being principal of the high school,” he said.

Superintendent James Neihof said in a prepared statement that Oakley "brings a strong background in working with students as well as in administrative roles, which will be a good fit for SCHS."

Oakley oversees the Freshman Academy as well as handles discipline and student activities. One of his key responsibilities is supervision of PASS (Positive Approach to Student Success) for students at risk of academic failure due to behavior disorders.

"Behavior of students dictates their academic performance. I have witnessed successful results because of changes in behavior," he said in a press release.

When asked if he anticipates discipline problems at the high school, he said he does not know.

“I have not been advised of any discipline problems there, but of course, I will be feeling people out and getting to know everyone,” he said. “And if there any such issues to be addressed, I am a firm believer in doing the right thing for students.”

Oakley also emphasized the value of analyzing all student data.

"Data analysis, followed by data-driven instruction, is an element I have used in my classroom and both are aspects of who I am as an instructional leader," he wrote in his application letter. He supported that after being named principal Wednesday by saying, "I have seen the change that can occur when we use data to drive what we do for our students."

He said it’s important for teachers to work together "to guide where we need to be on the same page of learning."

Oakley has had a well-rounded experience at Dunbar, with positions including associate principal, physical education and health teacher, and head boys' basketball coach. His first educational position was in 1983 as a special education teacher.

His proudest moment in 22 years as an educator, as expressed to Duanne Puckett, Community Relations Coordinator of Shelby County Public Schools,

was being named assistant principal at Dunbar where he has enjoyed working with students and staff. In a statement to Puckett, he said he looks forward to bringing that enthusiasm with him to SCHS.

"Building positive relationships is something which I handled at Dunbar. Students need to know we are more than their teacher. When you have a happy and healthy environment, students perform better," Oakley said.

He added that such relationships come from strong teachers who have open lines of communication with students and parents and who support students in extracurricular events.

"Seeing teachers at their activities means a lot" to students who, in turn, respond with a more positive attitude toward learning for that teacher. "It's a win-win situation," he said.

He gives much of the credit of his educational success to his mentor, Ron Wilson, who was his basketball coach at Transylvania.

"He took me under his wing and guided me toward education, calling me a natural, and I listened to him,” he told Puckett. “These 22 years later, I am still grateful.”

Oakley also credits his mother for pushing him toward college. A school secretary, she and didn't accept Oakley's lack of desire for continuing his education.

"We were very family-oriented and I listened to her," he said. He has a bachelor's from Transylvania, master's from Morehead State University, and certifications from Eastern Kentucky University.

He has two sons, Ryan, a junior at Murray State University, and Josh, who has enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Oakley applauds the high school’s recent decision to switch to a trimester schedule.

"The staff has made the commitment to help students so now I want to get everyone on board and get the positive outcomes out there that I learned through my research," he said. "We're always going to have NCLB (No Child Left Behind) so having that remediation time daily should really help close the achievement gap."

Neihof said Oakley will be an asset to the school system.

"We welcome Eddie to our team of principals,” he said in a prepared statement. “His attention to students should individualize relationships, which can promote academic achievement for those who are struggling as well as those who are excelling."

Oakley, who currently lives in Lexington, said he is planning to put his house on the market and try to find a place in Shelbyville.

“I think it’s an important move, because I want to be a part of the community,” he said.