Two Fayette Elementary principals leaving posts to join superintendent’s leadership team

Maxwell Elementary School principal Heather Allen Bell and Clays Mill Elementary School principal Edwina Smith are leaving their posts to join Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk’s executive leadership team.

Both have accepted positions as elementary school directors for Fayette County Public Schools, where they will support other principals. Caulk, who was hired as superintendent last summer, announced their appointments Wednesday.

Bell, who said in an email to parents that she had been principal at Maxwell in Lexington for the past 10 years, said her last day would be Jan. 22.

“Rest assured that we have established a talented team at Maxwell that will continue to look at our students’ needs in our ever-changing society and make decisions to serve all students while providing an outstanding immersion education,” Bell said. She promised a “seamless transition.”

Maxwell’s site-based council will set a timetable for hiring a principal for the next school year. .

"Our team keeps getting stronger," Caulk said in a statement Wednesday. "Edwina and Heather have proven that they are committed to creating learning environments where every student is valued and challenged. They built successful teams at their schools and I know they have what it takes to support other principals working to do the same in their buildings."

Bell has been with Fayette County Public Schools since 1993, having taught at Meadowthorpe, Harrison and Northern elementary schools before serving as an elementary language arts specialist.

Smith has more than 26 years of experience in education. She taught at Meadow View Elementary in Hardin County, where she also served as assistant principal before joining Fayette County schools in 1996. In Fayette County she taught at Glendover Elementary, and held the professional staff assistant positions at Glendover and Russell elementaries.

She was named principal at Russell in 1998 and principal at Clays Mill Elementary in 2001.

As elementary school directors, Smith and Bell will each oversee a team of roughly a dozen principals and will be responsible for supporting their schools. They will be members of Caulk’s cabinet.

Bell and Smith will officially assume their duties Jan. 25. The Professional Growth and Effectiveness coaches at both schools will serve as acting principals for the rest of the school year. Grant Davis will be the acting principal at Clays Mill and Michelle Grant will be the acting principal at Maxwell.

The site-based councils at both schools will be responsible for selecting permanent replacements to start on July 1, 2016.

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