KSD Advisory Board hears about ongoing principal search, CTE pathway updates

Meeting notice graphic featuring the Kentucky Department of Education and United We Learn logos

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-128


May 10, 2024

Kentucky School for the Deaf Advisory Board graphic

KSD Advisory Board hears about ongoing principal search, CTE pathway updates

(DANVILLE, KY) – During the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board meeting on May 9, council members heard an update on the principal search from Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney.

The principal position was posted for the second time on Jan. 16 and shared with 111 national Deaf organizations. Kinney said the posting was open for 25 days, and during that time, the Kentucky Department of Education received seven applicants, none of which met all of the minimum requirements.

The KSD principal’s position was posted for the third time on April 29 and will be closed on May 29.

Before this third posting, Kinney said that the department sent out a survey s to seek additional input on the qualifications of the position from current and former students, staff members, community and family members.

She said the department received 97 responses, which shared an overall desire for someone who reflects strong leadership experience and the ability to communicate in American Sign Language.

“We know sometimes not everyone from each of those groups of people can make these advisory committee meetings, so we wanted to make sure we heard from them as well,” said Kinney.

The minimum requirements that the candidate must have include: 

  • A Kentucky principal certification or pending certification from the Education Professional Standards Board based on recent completion of preparation requirements, out-of-state preparation or alternative routes to certification pursuant to KRS 161.027 and 161.028 at the time of application.
  • Demonstrated successful leadership in working with students, staff, parents and the general public.
  • Three or more years of experience in curriculum and instruction development and implementation, with direct experience assisting teachers and administrators in curriculum implementation.
  • Professional certificate for Teaching Exceptional Children-Hearing Impaired, Grades Primary through 12, or the out-of-state equivalent.
  • Experience in Deaf education.
  • A Sign Language Proficiency Interview rating of advanced or higher.

Kinney assured attendees that the department is determined to find the best principal to serve the school's students. 

“Thank you once again for your dedication to the KSD. Together, we will find the best possible principal to lead us forward,” she said.

Kinney also publicly acknowledged the positive work of the current interim principal, Lynn Petrey. She said that she has received numerous emails from staff, students and families on the extraordinary work of Petrey during this school year.

Petrey has focused on improving the student and staff experiences at KSD including expansion of opportunities in career and technical education pathways, student athletics, training for dorm staff and transition opportunities for students after graduation.

Kentucky School for the Deaf Program Updates

Petrey shared with the board members updates on programming and positive highlights of the school year.

“The Kentucky School for the Deaf is all about the students and this year we have challenged the students and taught them to continue learning and to never stop,” said Petrey.

Petrey said the school has created programs, opportunities and plans for these students' futures, not only for them, but with them.

“We have cared and loved on these students. We have helped them develop self-esteem and helped them feel proud of themselves,” said Petrey.

Sandy Smock, the career and technical education (CTE) coordinator at KSD, said they will be introducing an engineering technology program in the 2024-2025 school year that will offer two different pathways – aviation and drones, and automation engineering. Within these classes, the students will create a product related to engineering technology career fields. That product will start with discussions in the classroom as an idea and then go through the design and creation process.

“These pathways will give students access to many more opportunities with high-end technology equipment,” said Smock.   

She said KSD will continue to have agriculture education and advanced manufacturing pathways available for students to continue exploring, although the culinary pathway is ending after the 2024-2025 school year.

The KSD Advisory Board will meet next on Aug. 8.