Principal is named for district’s next high school

A rendering of the Fayette County high school on Winchester Road, with a picture of Lester Diaz, who has been named principal.
A rendering of the Fayette County high school on Winchester Road, with a picture of Lester Diaz, who has been named principal. Fayette County Public Schools

Lester Diaz, the principal at Bryan Station Middle School, will be the principal of Lexington’s next high school, to open in fall 2017 off Winchester Road.

“Lester has an exciting vision for the new high school that makes a part of me wish I were back at the school level so I could be a member of the team preparing to welcome students next fall,” Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk said. “This is a situation where leadership meets opportunity, and that is when innovation occurs. I look for this school to be a model of 21st-century learning.”

Diaz, who has 17 years of experience in education, started his teaching career in Miami. He came to Fayette County in 2004, as a science teacher at Lafayette High School, where he also was an in-school suspension instructor, the dean of students, the assistant athletic director and an assistant football coach. Diaz was an assistant principal at Henry Clay High School for three years before accepting the principal’s post at Bryan Station Middle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science education from Florida International University, and master’s degrees in instructional leadership and sports administration, both from Eastern Kentucky University.

“It is exceedingly rare to have the privilege of opening a new high school, and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to join the company of those great leaders who have gone before me,” Diaz said. “While I am thrilled and excited to begin the work of ensuring that Fayette County’s sixth high school opens as one of the top schools in the nation, this is also a bittersweet day for me because this means I have to say goodbye to the home and people at Bryan Station Middle School who helped mold and shape me into the leader I am.”

A transition plan for Diaz is being developed. The school council at Bryan Station Middle will meet Monday to decide whether to request an interim principal or begin selecting a permanent replacement.

Caulk also has made other hiring decisions.

Miranda Scully is the district’s new family and community engagement coordinator, joining the district from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, where she was school and community engagement manager. The district’s new world-language specialist, Laura Roche’ Youngsworth, has 24 years of experience as a world language teacher in Covington, Anderson County and Fayette County.

Caulk also hired a college and career coach for each of the district’s high schools:

▪  Pam Bates, assigned to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, most recently director of academic advising and assessment and completion 2016 coach at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

▪  Vince Bingham, assigned to Henry Clay High School, most recently coordinator for academic enrichment services with the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education GEAR UP Kentucky.

▪  Kate FitzGerald, assigned to Lafayette High School, most recently universities and community liaison at The Learning Center.

▪  Marian Granville, assigned to the new high school, most recently workforce coordinator/success coach at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

▪  Charliese Lewis, assigned to Tates Creek High School, most recently coordinator for school improvement services, advising and assessment with the Council on Postsecondary Education, GEAR UP Kentucky.

▪  Therron Rogers, assigned to Bryan Station High School, most recently a college and career readiness counselor with the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative.

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