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Election2012: Shelby County School Board: Kurt Smith

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Smith points to leadership

By Todd Martin

Kurt Smith is taking his first shot at public office as a candidate for the Shelby County Board of Education, District 5, and he said his biggest goal is retention.

“I believe one of our biggest obstacles is the turnover in the principal position,” he said. “The principal is the leader of each school. That needs to be one of the most stable positions in the system with our most talented people filling these positions. Each new principal brings with them a new leadership style. Our teachers struggle because every time that principal changes, they now have a new set of expectations put upon them.”

Shelby County Public Schools changed principals in five of its 11 schools this year.

Smith, 45, is a managing partner at ABC Supply Company in Louisville and earned his a bachelor’s degree in business management from Northern Kentucky University. He and his wife Jamie have three daughters, Emma, 14, Alexis, 13 and Sara, 11.

Although he hasn’t held office before, Smith has been active in his professional field as a member of the Kentucky Roofing Contractors Association and the Home Builders Association of Louisville. He also is a member of Centenary United Methodist Church and the Centenary Youth Fellowship.

He said his reason for running is to see Shelby County Public Schools continue to be pushed to achieve.

“We have a school system that scores as average at best with the rest of the state,” he said. “Our facilities and our funding are both above average for the state. We should be scoring much higher as a school system.”

And those lagging scores put his main goal, if elected, into frame: “To bring the Shelby County School System into the top ten percent of districts in the state.