Lexington high school will get a new principal after leader moves to district post

Lexington’s Bryan Station High School will soon get a new principal as James McMillin is promoted to Fayette County’s district chief of high schools.

“I have accepted the responsibility as chief of high schools for 2019-2020,” McMillin said Tuesday.

District officials did not immediately name Bryan Station High’s new principal. The School Based Decision Making Council will set a timeline for hiring a principal, said district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall.

“As the outgoing principal I am not allowed to be involved in the process,” McMillin said.

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk’s first personnel decision four years ago was to place McMillin as interim principal at Bryan Station High School, a news release said. Caulk announced McMillin’s new post Tuesday.

“James led the transformation of Bryan Station High School from a school that had been on the state’s watch list to a national model for connecting rigorous classroom learning with real world experiences,” Caulk said. “Having that leadership capacity at the district level will be invaluable as we continue to drive innovation in Fayette County.”

Beginning July 1, McMillin will become Chief of High Schools in Fayette County. He will oversee the district’s six comprehensive high schools, three technical centers, 10 special programs athletics and other high school related programming. McMillin is replacing Randy Peffer, who is retiring in June.

“In his new role, James will continue to support Bryan Station, while helping drive innovation across the system to achieve greater equity,” Caulk said.

During McMillin’s tenure, Bryan Station High School adopted standards based grading and became the first high school in Fayette County to adopt the academy model, which divides the school into smaller learning communities centered on careers.

Students in The Academies of Lexington complete career pathways according to their personal interests, while also taking Advanced Placement and dual credit classes.

The work at Bryan Station will continue, Caulk said.

“James brought stability to Bryan Station and helped change the culture and climate of the building by placing a priority on student learning, family engagement, and open communication,” he said. “Those changes have taken root and become part of the fabric of the school.”

McMillin, 38, has 15 years of experience in education and started his career as a biology teacher at Henry Clay High School. He served as an Associate Principal at both Woodford County Middle School and Tates Creek Middle School before accepting the principal post at Bryan Station High School.