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In addition to the two slots for principals already open at Shelby County schools, two more administrators have announced they are leaving, bringing the total to four.
The search is continuing for principals to head up the new Martha Layne Collins Secondary Center as well as Shelby County High School.
Duanne Puckett, community relations coordinator of Shelby County Public Schools, said she could not elaborate on who is being considered for those positions because personnel issues are confidential.
It is not known if Michael Rowe, interim principal at the high school, is among the final candidates being considered for the position. Rowe was principal at Cropper before coming to the high school last year to replace Gary Kidwell, who left to take a position at the school system's central office.
Now two more schools will be losing their principals - Southside Elementary and West Middle School.
Caldwell to retire
Sue Ellen Caldwell of Southside will retire in June after 29 years in the education field, and in July, Kymberly Rice of West Middle will begin her 2-year term as a HSE (Highly Skilled Educator) official at the Kentucky Department of Education.
Caldwell said in a prepared statement that with retirement, she is looking forward to gardening, playing the piano and "seeing what the rest of my life has to offer."
Superintendent James Neihof said in the same statement that he wishes Caldwell the very best and complimented her organizational skills that she brought to the job of principal when Southside was reopened in a short turnaround period in 2006.
Caldwell spent several years as a music teacher in Jefferson and Frankfort counties. She came to Shelby County in 2003 as student support specialist for Painted Stone Elementary, where she worked with students who faced barriers to learning.
She said she has fond memories of Southside, describing it as a neighborhood school "where I would want my own children to attend."
Caldwell has two sons, Bryce, 31, who just passed his bar exam and is joining a law practice in Lexington, and Noel, 29, who is assistant county attorney in Fayette County.
Rice appointed state educator
Rice, principal of eight years at West Middle School, will begin a 2-year appointment in July, which will become official when the school board approves the Memorandum of Agreement for the term.
"This is bittersweet for me," she said in a prepared statement. "I love West Middle School, yet I look forward to helping other schools overcome challenges, using the abilities I have learned as principal here."
Rice says the school, its staff, students and parents are like family to her, in addition to her own family, her husband, Chester and children, Miles, an eighth-grader at West, and Myah, a fifth-grader at Painted Stone Elementary.
Neihof commended her leadership, and Rice in turn commends the HSEs with whom she has worked, because she says they helped her stay focused on the right things that make a school successful.
"She will bring honor to Shelby County as she is clearly capable of helping move other schools forward in academic success," Neihof said.
Puckett said the goal is to have all new principals in place by July 1.
She added that the names of the new hires would be announced as soon as they become final.
"We will make that known as soon as we know," she said.