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November 16, 2023

In this issue:

  • Beshear wins, most school board incumbents keep seats
  • Education commissioner search delayed 
  • Registration open for 2023 Winter Symposium
  • Webinar on the educational journey of a child in state custody
  • Annual Conference call for student involvement
  • KSBA job postings
  • Superintendent Search Alert
  • Nominations open for School Board Member of the Year Award
  • November Kentucky School Advocate available online
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Beshear wins, most school board incumbents keep seats

In the general election last week, incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear defeated Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron by 6 percentage points to win another four years in office.

At a press conference the day after the election, Beshear said he will continue to push the legislature to fund raises for teachers.

“For many of these legislators, the school system is the largest employer in the region. ... If we’re not paying our educators enough, we’re just impoverishing our own communities,” he said.

Though the governor’s race was the most high-profile race on the ballot, there were at least 45 school board seats up for election due to resignations and appointments. Unlike regular elections, candidates who win elections for unexpired terms begin serving immediately after the election results are certified. 

There were only a handful of contested races, and those races resulted in only three new board members – with one seat still to be decided.

In Jessamine County, the only open race where no incumbents were running, Michael Foster won the election over Eric Walsh by 52 votes.

Foster, who is president of the Jessamine County Youth Football league, told the Jessamine Journal he is advocate for school sports and wants focus on school safety.

In Lyon County, incumbent William Simpson, who had served since being appointed to the seat in early 2023, lost to challenger Aimee Hildalgo-Brown, a mother of four who has served on a school-based decision making council and a parent teacher organization.

Steve Becker is returning to the Danville Independent board after a one-year absence. Becker beat incumbent Melinda Weathers who did not file for election but ran as a write-in candidate.

One seat will likely be determined by the courts. In Montgomery County, challenger Josh Oney beat incumbent Bill Morgan by 67 votes. However, Morgan has filed suit against Oney in Montgomery Circuit Court alleging that Oney cannot serve because his brother is employed by the district. Oney has appealed a judge’s order declaring him ineligible to serve. 

Education commissioner search delayed 

The Kentucky Board of Education on Nov. 6 voted to post a new request for proposals (RFP) for a search firm to lead the search for Kentucky’s new commissioner of education.

The board’s RFP Evaluation Committee met Nov. 2 to discuss the proposals received and determined it would not be in the best interest of the Commonwealth to award a contract, KBE member Steve Trimble said during the Nov. 6 special meeting. He did not specify why none of the responses met KBE’s requirements.

Chairwoman Sharon Porter Robinson said due to limitations in KRS Chapter 45A, members of the RFP Evaluation Committee were limited in what they could discuss.

The reposted RFP must be open for responses for a minimum of seven business days, although a longer period of time is possible. Once a vendor is selected, processing of a contract can take up to 30 days.

Former Education Commissioner Jason Glass left the department on Sept. 30 and KBE appointed Associate Commissioner Robin Kinney as interim commissioner. Whomever the board selects as commissioner must be confirmed by the state senate.

Special hotel rate for 2023 Winter Symposium expires Friday

KSBA’s 2023 Winter Symposium, Dec. 8-9 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, is the last in-person training opportunity before the end of the calendar year. The symposium offers members engaging sessions, networking opportunities and a trade show.

KSBA has a limited block of hotel rooms at the Louisville Marriott Downtown for the nights of Dec. 7 through Dec. 9. Rates are $182 (plus tax) per night. The deadline to make hotel reservations through KSBA's block of rooms is Nov. 17. The hotel link to reserve special rate rooms will be included exclusively in your event registration confirmation email, so register now!

View/download a printable Winter Symposium session schedule.

Access easy online registration by clicking the button below or visit KSBA’s Winter Symposium page.

Begin online registration

Webinar on the educational journey of a child in state custody

The December (and final) installment of KSBA's 2023 Learn and Earn webinar series is “What happened to Katie? The educational journey of a child in state custody.” 


Have you ever wondered what happened to students who leave your districts and enter a residential program, a hospital setting or a juvenile justice center? This session will follow the journey of a student in state care while describing the educational services provided by local school districts, the treatment services provided by state partners, and the wraparound services students experience while in state care. Join us from noon - 1 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, Dec. 12 as Ronnie Nolan, executive director of the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children, discusses demographic information about state agency children, required educational services, the challenges our students face and the opportunities we have to support them.

Please note this Learn and Earn webinar will be held on the second Tuesday of December instead of the usual second Wednesday of the month.


Register for this webinar.


Pre-registration and payment is required for all Learn and Earn webinars at a cost of $50 per attendee. Each webinar counts for one hour of school board training credit.

Student artwork, performers wanted for 2024 conference

Student involvement is at the heart of what makes KSBA’s Annual Conference so special each year, and the tradition will once again be a centerpiece of the association’s 2024 conference, March 1-3, 2024, in Louisville. KSBA invites districts to showcase their talented students in the following ways:

  • KSBA asks each school district to submit student-designed banner artwork for display at the event and in conference materials. The banners serve as reminders to attendees of their primary focus – students. Banner artwork, submitted electronically, is also designed to commemorate the annual theme. Access banner criteria and instructionsBanners must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, to guarantee inclusion in conference displays, the commemorative book, on social media, etc. Last year, KSBA received banner artwork from 116 districts, and we hope to receive even more this year! 

  • Districts are also encouraged to submit applications for student performances. KSBA regularly provides opportunities for students throughout the Commonwealth to perform during conference general sessions, luncheons and receptions: vocalists, choirs, instrumentalists, bands, ensembles, etc. Learn more and to complete an online student performance application. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 15. Groups will be notified of acceptance by Jan. 5, 2024, to allow time for travel arrangements.

Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions about how you can showcase your district.

Join our team! KSBA is hiring

KSBA is currently hiring for the following three positions.

  • Director of Advocacy
  • Controller
  • Administrative Assistant to the Board

Access job descriptions, requirements and links to online applications on KSBA's Employment Opportunities page. Please share these opportunities with those who may find them of interest. All open positions are full-time and Frankfort-based. KSBA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Boards seeking to fill superintendent openings

KSBA's Superintendent Search Service is currently facilitating searches in the following districts. Click the district name to be directed to the position posting.

Clinton County Schools

Application deadline: Nov. 19, 2023

Owensboro Independent Schools

Application deadline: Jan. 1, 2024

KSBA's experienced Superintendent Search consultants are featured in this month's Kentucky School Advocate: Meet the team. Questions? Contact [email protected].

Nominations open for School Board Member of the Year Award

KSBA is currently accepting nominations for the association's highest individual honor, the 2024 Kentucky School Board Member of the Year Award (BMOY). The BMOY was established in 2021 to honor the exemplary service of association members and to celebrate the critical roles school boards play in the advancement of public education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. BMOY honorees are those who have made significant contributions to public education through service on their local school boards.

Districts are encouraged to nominate a deserving board member for the award. Nominations must be submitted by Dec. 15. Access award criteria and the nomination form, or contact Josh Shoulta at 502-695-4630 ext. 1208 with questions.

Online nomination form

KSBA is also accepting nominations for the 2024 KOSAA KUP award and the PEAK Award. Visit the links for more information.

Nominations are also open for KSBA’s 2024 First Degree College Scholarship and Career and Technical Education Student Grant programs. The deadline for districts to submit nominees for both is Nov. 30. More information, including criteria and online nomination forms, can be found at

November Kentucky School Advocate available online

A record number of school boards have passed nickel taxes over the past two years. Experts say the cost of construction and rising property assessments have put many boards in the sweet spot to pass the tax that funds district facilities. Read more about nickel taxes in the November issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.

Also in the November Advocate:

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Nov. 28: PEAK Award nomination deadline

Dec. 6-7: Kentucky Board of Education meeting

Dec. 8-9: KSBA Winter Symposium

Dec. 12: KDE Superintendents Webcast

Dec. 15: Kentucky School Board Member of the Year Award nomination deadline

Dec. 15: KOSAA KUP Award nomination deadline

This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Tier 1 Affiliates
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |
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