NKU Ed.D. alumnus named 2015 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year

For immediate release…
Monday – Dec. 1, 2014

James Flynn, superintendent of Simpson County Schools and a graduate of the Northern Kentucky University Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program, has been selected as the 2015 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA).

Mr. Flynn was presented the award at Franklin Simpson High School in a surprise ceremony attended by faculty, staff, board members, KASA staff, the Honorable Wilson Stone, and other local dignitaries. Mr. Flynn now competes for the National Superintendent of the Year Award, to be given by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in February.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award and share it with the amazing team of students, staff, and community partners here in Simpson County,” said Mr. Flynn. He also credited his time at NKU. “My NKU experience in the Educational Leadership doctoral program was the best professional development experience of my life,” he said. “It made a profound impact on me as a leader and educator.”

Boone County Superintendent Randy Poe, Ed.D., who won the award in 2013, said, “Dr. Jim Flynn is a dynamic, inventive, and creative leader. Jim is willing to share his superintendent knowledge and is the go-to individual among his colleagues.”

Now in its 28th year, the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year Program pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation’s public schools. Mr. Flynn was selected for his enthusiastic and iconic devotion to improving achievement levels for all students.

Under his leadership, the district has had multiple successes with various programs targeting at-risk populations, has been a frontrunner in the now statewide Professional Growth and Evaluation System (PGES) for administrators, and has achieved a pervasive focus on nurturing the district’s learning culture. Mr. Flynn is at the helm of a district with a free/reduced lunch rate of 62 percent, meaning over half of the students qualify for free or reduced rates for district-provided meals.

Rated a Proficient district by the state of Kentucky, almost 98 percent of 2014 graduates from Simpson County earned a state credential as college-ready, career-ready, or both, which is about 35 percent higher than the state average for college- and career-readiness certification of 62.3 percent. One hundred percent of the district’s alternative school graduates were certified as college- and/or career-ready as well.

Mr. Flynn began his career as a school administrator as the dean of students at Corpus Christi Academy in Texas before becoming an assistant principal in the Warren County Public Schools (Bowling Green), a principal in the Shelby County School District (Shelbyville), and the last 11 years as the superintendent of Simpson County Schools in Franklin.

Milli McIntosh, human resources director for Simpson County Schools, nominated Mr. Flynn for the award. “His unwavering commitment to do ‘what’s right’ and ‘what’s best for the children’ is observable by every decision he makes, and at the same time, his commitment touches all around him…evidenced by the fact that his beliefs become the beliefs of others,” Ms. McIntosh said.

Mr. Flynn has contributed significantly to the education community beyond his district, as well. In addition to various positions on local boards, he is a faculty member and mentor for the KASA leadership series for onboarding new superintendents. He also serves as past president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, vice chair of the Local Superintendents Advisory Council, and adjunct faculty for the Center for Leadership Excellence at Western Kentucky University.

“Jim understands that great leadership begins when you get back to the basics,” said KASA Executive Director Wayne Young. “He has worked diligently to create a school culture that inspires initiative, exploration, and service to others, and that culture is paying dividends back to the community every day through the entry of life-ready citizens.”

Mr. Flynn will receive a bronze eagle to commemorate the award, a $2,500 scholarship for one of his high school students, and a 2015 Superintendent of the Year ring. He will also participate in celebration activities at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Meeting on Public Education in February. The award is made possible by KASA and Classworks.

Representing more than 3,000 education leaders, KASA has members in every school district in the commonwealth. Since 1969, KASA has been connecting education leaders to policy makers, legislators, and other interest groups, in addition to providing benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators.

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