Four new principals named in Fayette County Public Schools

Fayette County Public Schools central office on East Main Street in Lexington.
Fayette County Public Schools central office on East Main Street in Lexington. File photo.

New principals have been selected for four Fayette County Public Schools, Superintendent Manny Caulk announced Friday.

They are Freda Asher, Mary Todd Elementary School; Joe Gibson, Leestown Middle School; Matt Marsh, Sandersville Elementary School; and Kevin Payne, Southern Middle School.

“All four of our newest principals are familiar faces in our district,” Caulk said in a statement. He said that each of the new principals formerly served as either associate principals, academic deans or professional growth and effectiveness coaches.

“Freda, Joe, Matt and Kevin are invested in the improvement efforts already underway in our schools and feel a sense of urgency to serve all students at high levels. I look forward to supporting them and continuing to watch them grow,” Caulk said.

Asher has nearly 28 years of experience in education, including 19 years of teaching at Lansdowne Elementary, Southern Middle and Tates Creek High School. For the past nine years, Asher has worked as an academic coach, curriculum coach and professional staff assistant at Lansdowne Elementary and professional staff assistant, administrative dean, and professional growth and effectiveness coach at Northern Elementary. During the spring of 2015, Asher also served as acting principal at Northern.

Gibson has 21 years of experience beginning with service as a migrant education instructor and substitute teacher in Pike County, and as a para-educator with Harrodsburg Independent Schools. His entire 13-year teaching career was at Leestown Middle School, where he became the administrative dean in 2010 and associate principal in 2012.

Marsh has nearly 12 years of experience in education, including five years of teaching at Northern and Sandersville elementary schools. In 2010, he became an administrator at Sandersville Elementary, where he has been the professional growth and effectiveness coach and administrative dean. During the 2014-15 school year, he served as interim principal at Garden Springs Elementary when a vacancy occurred after the start of the school year.

Payne has nearly 11 years of experience in education, including eight years of teaching at Northern Elementary School in Fayette County. He has been at Southern Middle School since 2014, where he served as the professional growth and effectiveness coach and associate principal.

Asher, Gibson, Marsh and Payne will assume their duties July 1.

Filling the positions was necessary because Kari Kirchner, principal of Mary Todd Elementary School; Cynthia Lawson, principal of Leestown Middle School; and Sandy Mefford, principal at Sandersville Elementary School, are all retiring, said district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall.

Frank Coffey, former principal of Southern Middle School, moved to the district Central Office in December to become associate director of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness.

On April 14, the district named five other new principals: Denis Beall, Beaumont Middle School; Robert Crawford, Maxwell Elementary School; Molly Dabney, Veterans Park Elementary School; Robin Kirby, Bryan Station Middle School; and Rebecca Puckett, Julius Marks Elementary School.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears