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Shipley named as interim principal

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By Nathan L. McBroom

There are few people in the county who love Painted Stone Elementary School more than Michelle Shipley.

For the past two years, Shipley was the first person that many students saw when they got off the bus in the morning and the last person they waved to as they went home.

When the buses roll in for the first day of school on Aug. 6, the students will address Shipley with a new title--principal.

Shipley was named as the interim principal for next school year by Superintendent James Neihof on Wednesday afternoon.

The school's former principal, Lisa Smith, left her post to take a job with the district's central office earlier this month.

Due to the short period of time between Smith's leaving and the start of the school year, an interim principal had to be appointed at Painted Stone.

According to Kentucky law, a job with the state has to be advertised for at least 30 days before the interviewing and hiring process can begin.

Because of these time constants, the site-based decision-making councils at the school asked Neihof to make an emergency appointment.

Shipley will serve as interim principal for one year and could be considered for a full-time position when the application process begins at the end of the year.

For the last two years, Shipley has been second-in-charge at the school as the student support specialist under Smith.

In a press release, Shipley said she considers her two years with Smith as valuable learning time for the new role she is taking on.

"She was very methodical in assigning me tasks within the school that would help further my leadership skills," Shipley said, naming areas such as transportation, discipline, parent conferences, etc.

Also in the release, Neihof said Shipley was the ideal candidate for the position.

"She exhibited a positive attitude, a true relationship builder and a commitment to make learning fun," he said. "Her strong classroom experience along with her energy and excitement will continue to move Painted Stone forward in academic achievement."

The district will now post the assistant principal position for Painted Stone.

In the release, Shipley said the transition should be smooth because of the "phenomenal leadership Mrs. Smith provided."

Shipley met her husband, Todd, while they attended Georgetown College. She was a cheerleader and he played football. After the couple graduated and taught for a few years in Florida, they returned to the community when Todd was named as a teacher and head football coach at Shelby County High School almost 10 years ago. Upon returning to the bluegrass, Michelle began pursing an administrative degree at the University of Kentucky.

Shipley was an elementary teacher for 17 years before accepting the administration job at Painted Stone.

The Shipleys have a daughter, Kelsi, who is a senior at SCHS and a son, Zachary, who is an eighth-grader at West Middle School.